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Islamic World News ( 7 Dec 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Barbaric Pakistan Lynching: At Condolence Meet PM Imran Khan Says Won't Tolerate Violence In The Name Of Religion

New Age Islam News Bureau

08 December 2021

  

People light oil lamps next to laid roses to express their condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, following the lynching of the Sri Lankan factory manager, in Karachi, Pakistan [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

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• Clerics of Different Religious Schools of Thought Visited the Sri Lankan High Commission to Express Condolence on the Tragic Killing of Priyantha Kumara

• Mosque Leading to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Painted 'Saffron' In Varanasi Ahead Of PM Narendra Modi's Visit

• Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs to Muslims: "Give Up Building At Mathura's Krishna Janmabhoomi"

• Twenty Bangladesh Students Sentenced To Death for Brutal Murder of Abrar Fahad, 21, Who Criticised the Government on Social Media

 

Pakistan

• Violence in Islam’s Name Won’t Go Unpunished: PM

• 'Ashamed': Pakistan grapples with fallout from mob killings over blasphemy

• Man, who tried to save manager from mob, dedicates honour to deceased, Sri Lankan nation

• Pakistani Hindu families stranded in India return after months

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India

• Muslims Perform Last Rites of Elderly Kashmiri Rajput Hindu in Kulgam

• Aurangzeb Donated Lands for Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, According To the Guwahatiplus.Com

• Muslim Council Rejects Clerics’ Namaz Deal; Muslims Will Continue Juma’ah Prayers At All the 37 Sites Agreed Upon In 2018

• In First Delhi Riots Conviction, Man Found Guilty of Setting Fire to Muslim Woman's Home

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South Asia

• Taliban’s provincial governors directed to resolve problems of those seeking asylum abroad

• Lankan Minister Demands Apology From Pakistan's Defence Minister For Insensitive Remarks On Lynching

• Taliban writes to Afghan missions globally to fall in line, gets tepid response

• Bangladesh mantri seeks Teesta issue resolution, return of Rohingya

• Hunger could kill more Afghans than all the bombs and bullets of the past two decades, warns US think tank

• Afghanistan’s central bank receives second package of humanitarian cash

• Afghan Taliban fighters now man urban checkpoints

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Europe

• Suspect In Killing Of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Arrested In France

• Bosnia arrests five former Muslim soldiers for war crimes against Serbs 

• UK abandoned supporters as Afghanistan fell to Taliban, whistle-blower tells Parliament

• Iran nuclear draft proposals ‘not a reasonable basis’ for deal: France

• 'Turkey should enjoy EU funding for Green Deal'

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Mideast

• Iran’s Top Security Official Warns of US Plot to Revive ISIL, Create New Crisis

• CBI Governor: Iran's Access to Forex Resources Facilitated despite US Economic Terrorism

• President Rayeesi: Gas Swap Deal with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan to Make Iran Regional Transit Hub

• Iranian Envoy: Unilateral Coercive Measures Should Exclude Cultural Properties

• Israel announces completion of ‘smart fence’ around Gaza Strip

• Dutch appeals court rejects Palestinian’s case over Israeli airstrike in Gaza

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Southeast Asia

• Jobless Man Fined For Insulting Remarks On Islam, Ex-Minister

• Transport minister: No more requirement for liquor licence to sell alcohol following orders by MOF to Customs

• Malaysia records 66 more Covid-19 deaths, including nine brought-in-dead

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Arab World

• UAE weekend change: Is UAE the first Arab or Islamic country to approve Friday as an official working day?

• Organisation of Islamic Cooperation can benefit from Egypt’s prestigious Islamic institutions: Sisi

• US Senate approves $650 million sale of missiles to Saudi Arabia

• Iraqis who helped ADF fight Islamic State say they have been abandoned by Australia

• Motorcycle Bomb Kills 4 in Iraq, Official Blames Islamic State

• Around 400 Iraqi migrants flown back to Erbil from Belarus

• Gilgamesh tablet stolen during Gulf war returned to Iraq in formal ceremony

• Saudi Arabia: Citizen arrested in France not tied to Khashoggi case, should be freed

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Africa

• Algeria Grants $100 Million to Palestinian Authority: Ennahar TV

• Sudan’s deal a clean slate for Hamdok but lost opportunity for real change: Analysts

• UN says 30 percent of Sudan’s people will need aid next year

• UN chief names US diplomat Stephanie Williams to run Libya mediation

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North America

• US Imposes Sanctions on People in Iran, Syria and Uganda, Citing Rights Abuses

• Once-bustling Afghan Embassy in US down to few diplomats

• US Navy seizes two caches of Iranian arms in Arabian Sea destined for Yemen’s Houthis

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/barbaric-pakistan-lynchingimran-violence/d/125923

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Barbaric Pakistan Lynching: At Condolence Meet PM Imran Khan Says Won't Tolerate Violence In The Name Of Religion

 

People light oil lamps next to laid roses to express their condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, following the lynching of the Sri Lankan factory manager, in Karachi, Pakistan [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

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Dec 07, 2021

The government will not tolerate violence in the name of religion, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday, warning those who commit such acts will not be spared by the authorities. The comment came days after the barbaric lynching of a Sri Lankan factory manager in Pakistan by an Islamist mob.

On Tuesday, authorities organized a condolence meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad. During the event, Khan also praised Malik Adnan, a colleague who tried to save the life of the Sri Lankan national. The incident has brought embarrassment to the country, he said.

“I am certain our youth will remember the way Adnan stood up to those monsters,” he said.

The premier said the Holy Prophet brought peace and justice to Arab society, adding that the first welfare state was established by the Holy Prophet.

“People are killing in the name of the Holy Prophet,” Khan was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune. Pakistan, he said, has now decided to "put an end to such incidents". He further added blasphemy accused rot in jails because lawyers and judges were scared to listen to the cases.

“Judges refuse to hear blasphemy cases, we know that. Then who will defend these accused,” he said.

Islamic clerics from different schools of thought also issued a joint statement on Tuesday condemning the incident.

"It was an inhumane act, and to accuse someone of blasphemy without proof is not in accordance with the Shariah," Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Qibla Ayaz was quoted as saying by Dawn. He also met the Sri Lankan High Commission to Pakistan Mohan Wijewickrema.

"This tragedy caused anger worldwide as the mob brutally killed a man and later burned his body," he said, adding the incident against “the teaching of the Holy Quran, the Constitution as well”

There was no place for extremism and violence in Islam, he said, urging scholars to play their due role in uprooting the menace.

Source: South Asia Monitor

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.southasiamonitor.org/pakistan/pakistan-introspects-over-lynching-incident-pm-imran-khan-says-violence-name-religion-wont

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Clerics of Different Religious Schools of Thought Visited the Sri Lankan High Commission to Express Condolence on the Tragic Killing of Priyantha Kumara

 

(Photo courtesy: The Nation)

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By Asim Yasin

December 08, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council and SAPM on Religious Harmony and Middle East, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, along with Ulema and Mashaykh of different religious schools of thought visited the Sri Lankan High Commission here on Tuesday to deplore and express condolence on the tragic killing of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara in the Sialkot incident. They declared the incident as a clear violation of Pakistani laws, including the Quran and Sunnah, the Constitution and democracy.

"The Ulema of different religious schools of thought have announced unanimously to observe 'Condemnation Day' on Friday, 10th December, 2021 all over the country against the tragic incident of Sialkot," said Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council and SAPM Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, while talking to the media here on Tuesday along with the leadership of different religious schools of thought. Besides SAPM Ashrafi, the delegation comprised Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Dr. Qibla Ayaz and Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Abdul Khabeer Azad and other Ulema. The delegation was led by Wifaqul Madaris Al-Arabia President Mufti Taqi Usmani.

Ashrafi said a 'Condemnation Day' would be observed across the country on Friday against the tragic incident of Sialkot. Also during the Friday congregations, religious scholars will educate the public on Blasphemy Laws and ask them to abide by the law of the land. The Ulema's visit to the Sri Lankan High Commission is a clear message to extremists and terrorist elements that no violation of the law is acceptable, he said. "We will not allow anyone to use religion for their personal gain," he said, adding the premier had made it clear that "hooliganism" in the name of religion will not be tolerated anymore. "No one will be allowed to torch someone to death or burn houses [...] for how long will people from the Christian community go to jails?" the special representative asked.

Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Dr Qibla Ayaz said the Sialkot tragedy has caused global outrage, also in Pakistan. “This incident is starkly against the teachings of the Holy Quran, the Constitution and laws of Pakistan and the reprehensible act has brought shame to the people of Pakistan." He said the strictest-possible legal action must be taken against the miscreants. There was no place for extremism and violence in Islam, and urged scholars to play their due role in uprooting the menace. Dr Ayaz said Ulema fully support the decision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to award Tamgha-i-Shujaat to Malik Adnan, who had tried to shield Kumara from the violent mob.

Speaking on the occasion, President Wifaqul Madaris Al-Arabia, Mufti Taqi Usmani, said the delegation conveyed its heartfelt sorrow over the barbaric incident to the Sri Lankan high commissioner, the victim’s family and people of Sri Lanka. Mufti Usmani said, "The incident has shaken the entire nation to its core. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are friendly countries and this tragic incident is a shared grief.” Mufti Usmani demanded due punishment to the culprits involved in this heinous act of barbarism. He also expressed the hope that the Government of Pakistan would compensate the victim’s family "even though there can be no real compensation [for the loss of a life]."

Former federal minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi said that we are saddened by this tragedy and the religious scholars will play their role in bringing the culprits to justice. Senator Professor Sajid Mir said no amount of condemnation of the Sialkot incident was enough. "We are with Priyantha's family and express our solidarity with the friendly country of Sri Lanka." Hanif Jalandhari termed the incident as highly reprehensible. Allama Arif Wahidi, Shia Ulema Council of Pakistan, said that we are representing the whole nation here and we condemn this extremism. "This is an enmity with Pakistan and Islam." Others in the delegation included Allama Ameen Shaheedi, Sahibzada Hamid Raza etc. On the occasion, a joint statement issued by the religious scholar called the Sialkot incident a "violation of the Constitution of Pakistan and Islamic laws, which caused great humiliation to the country".

Speaking on the occasion, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Wijewickrama said it was tragic to see the brutal attack on Priyantha Diyawadana by an extremist mob and termed it a very sad and tragic incident. “We appreciate the sympathy of the people of Pakistan and such incidents should not happen anywhere in the world, including Pakistan,” he said.

The high commissioner said he was satisfied with the measures taken by the Government of Pakistan in dealing with the issue for taking stringent action against the culprits. He said that already a number of culprits had been rounded up and were behind the bars. The high commissioner said Pakistan and Sri Lanka were both friendly countries and this incident will not affect the relations between the two friendly countries. "The relationship between the two countries dates back to the independence of Sri Lanka and Pakistan," he said and thanked the delegation for expressing condolence with the people of Sri Lanka and the victim’s family.

Earlier, the Ulema delegation laid flowers at the memorial, adorned with portrait of the deceased Sri Lankan manager.

Source: The News Pakistan

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/914935-in-condemning-kumara-s-lynching-all-religious-schools-of-thought-united

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Mosque Leading to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Painted 'Saffron' In Varanasi Ahead Of PM Narendra Modi's Visit

 

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

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08th December 2021

VARANASI: A mosque on the road leading to the Kashi Vishwanath temple here has been painted "saffron" by the authorities ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expected visit on December 13, according to a masjid committee panel member.

There was no immediate comment from the authorities over the claim but an official had earlier said all buildings on the road are being given an uniform colour, which is "light pink".

After an objection was raised by members of the Muslim community, the mosque located in the Bulanala area is being repainted white again.

Mohammad Ejaz Islahi of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee said, "The mosque was first white in colour. It was painted saffron. The masjid committee was not consulted."

He alleged that is was done under a "conspiracy" and they submitted their objection to the Kashi Vishwanath temple office.

Efforts were also made to raise the objection before the district magistrate but he could not be met, Islahi said.

"Later, the administration understood this and the mosque is being painted white," he added.

Sunil Verma, Secretary of the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) and the Chief Executive Officer of the Kashi Vishwanath temple, had earlier said the buildings on the road leading to shrine are being given an uniform colour.

Most structures in the area are made of sandstone, which is of "light pink" colour, he had said.

The buildings of the area are being painted with this theme, he had added.

Source: New Indian Express

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/dec/08/mosque-painted-saffron-in-varanasi-ahead-of-pm-narendra-modis-visit-2392933.html

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Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs to Muslims: "Give Up Building At Mathura's Krishna Janmabhoomi"

 

Mosque Near Temple In Mathura Should Be Given To Hindus: UP Minister

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December 07, 2021

Ballia (Uttar Pradesh): Uttar Pradesh minister Anand Swarup Shukla has said Muslims should hand over a mosque close to a temple at the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura to Hindus, referring to it as a “Safed Bhavan” (white structure).

In provocative remarks on Monday, he said while the court had resolved the Ayodhya issue, the “white structures” in Varanasi and Mathura hurt Hindus.

"A time will come when the white structure in Mathura that hurts every Hindu will be removed with the help of the court,” Mr Shukla, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs, told reporters Monday evening.

“Dr Ram Manohar Lohia had said that the Muslims of India would have to believe that Ram and Krishna were their ancestors and that Babar, Akbar and Aurangzeb were attackers. Do not associate yourself with any building built by them," he added.

The minister said, "The Muslim community should come forward and hand over the white structure located in the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi complex in Mathura to Hindus. Time will come when this work will be completed."

He said on December 6 (1992), ‘karsewaks' had removed a “blot on Ramlalla” and now a grand temple is being constructed there. He was apparently referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya by Hindutva mobs.

Asked about the conversion of former Shia Waqf Board chairman Syed Wasim Rizvi to 'Sanatan dharma' (Hinduism), he said Muslims should follow and do "ghar wapsi" (return to Hinduism).

"All Muslims in the country are converted. If they see their history, they will find that 200-250 years ago they converted to Islam from Hinduism. We will like all of them to do 'ghar vapasi',” he said, hailing Mr Rizvi for his "courageous" step.

Source: ND TV

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/muslims-should-hand-over-mosque-in-mathura-to-hindus-says-up-minister-2640618

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Twenty Bangladesh Students Sentenced To Death for Brutal Murder of Abrar Fahad, 21, Who Criticised the Government on Social Media

 

Police escort one of the 20 convicted university students, out of a court in Dhaka. Credit: AFP Photo

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Dec 8, 2021

DHAKA: Bangladesh sentenced 20 university students to death on Wednesday for the brutal 2019 murder of a young man who criticised the government on social media.

The battered body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in his university dormitory hours after he wrote a Facebook post slamming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for signing a water-sharing deal with India.

He was beaten with a cricket bat and other blunt objects for six hours by 25 fellow students who were members of the ruling Awami League's student wing, the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

"I am happy with the verdict," Fahad's father Barkat Ullah told reporters outside court after the verdict. "I hope the punishments will be served soon."

Prosecutor Abdullah Abu told AFP that the remaining five perpetrators were sentenced to life imprisonment.

All those handed death sentences were between 20 and 22 years old and attended the elite Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology alongside Fahad.

Three of the defendants are still at large while the rest were in the courtroom.

A lawyer for the defendants said the sentence would be appealed.

- 'Highest punishment' - Fahad had put up a post on Facebook that went viral hours before his death.

In it, he criticised the government for signing an accord that allowed India to take water from a river that lies on the boundary the two countries share.

Fahad had been seen in leaked CCTV footage that went viral on social media walking into a dormitory with some BCL activists.

About six hours later, his body was carried out by the students and laid on the ground.

The BCL has earned notoriety in recent years after some of its members were accused of killing, violence and extortion.

In 2018, its members allegedly used violence to suppress a major anti-government student protest.

Those protests were sparked by anger over road safety after a student was killed by a speeding bus.

Protesters have called for the attackers to be harshly punished and for the BCL to be banned.

Hasina vowed soon after the attacks that the killers would get the "highest punishment".

Death sentences are common in Bangladesh with hundreds of people on death row. All executions are by hanging, a legacy of the British colonial era.

In August, a court sentenced six Islamist extremists to death for the brutal murders of two gay rights activists.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/20-bangladesh-students-sentenced-to-death-for-brutal-murder/articleshow/88160690.cms

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Pakistan

 

Violence in Islam’s name won’t go unpunished: PM

DECEMBER 8, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said anyone found involved in cruelty by using religion, especially the name of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), will not be spared.

“The message of Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was declared by Allah Almighty as Rehmatul-Lil-Alameen, is based on humanity and justice,” he said while addressing a condolence reference held here at the PM Office to express solidarity with the family of Priyantha Kumara, who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot last Friday, as well as the government and people of Sri Lanka.

Imran said the message of humanity and justice given by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was the characteristics of a human society as against the inhumane world where rules like “might is right” and “survival of the fittest” were applied.

Imran also awarded Malik Adnan – the person who tried to save the Sri Lankan factory manager from the mob attack during the ‘shameful’ Sialkot incident – with a certificate of appreciation and said Malik Adnan had made the whole county and nation proud. The condolence was attended among others by the Sri Lankan high commissioner to Pakistan, federal ministers, Members of Parliament, Ulema, artists and civil society representatives.

Imran said Prophet (PBUH), who united the people, including the warring Arab tribes, spread the message of Islam through love and peace and not through the sword.

“With only 1,400 casualties, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) dominated the whole Arab in 10 years. Prophet (PBUH) brought the message of love, which was based on humanity and justice,” he remarked. The prime minister said a human being was valued in the society of humans and the weaker segments were taken care of, adding, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) established the world’s first welfare state in Medina and upheld justice.svg%3E

“People here are killed in the name of religion and use the name of Prophet (PBUH)”, he mentioned and regretted that when someone was accused of something [like the Sialkot incident], even lawyers and judges hesitate to plead or hear such a case. The prime minister, however, maintained that after the tragic Peshawar Army Public School (APS) incident in December 2014, the whole country united against extremism and terrorism and the war against terrorism was won.

“Now the whole of Pakistan has decided that Sialkot-like incidents should not be repeated,” he stressed. The prime minister told the gathering that the traders of Sialkot had collected $100,000 for the family of late Priyantha Kumara and salary of the late Sri Lanka citizen will also be regularly paid to his family.

Imran Khan mentioned his decision of establishing Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Authority and said its objective was to gather religious scholars at one platform and make the country’s youth fully aware of the life and achievements of Prophet (PBUH).

“All of us are the lovers of Holy Prophet (PBUH). But we have to prove it by following and adopting his way of life. For that purpose, we have to read history, his life and Seerat and hold debates at colleges,” he added.

The prime minister said that people, especially the youth, were required to know why Allah Almighty declared Holy Prophet (PBUH) as His “Beloved” and why Michael Hart, an American author, kept the Holy Prophet (PBUH) at number one in the list of 100 most influential persons in history.

Regretting that how people in Pakistan were used to giving “edicts of infidelity”, Imran Khan mentioned that once the holy Prophet (PBUH) showed his anger and did not talk with a Sahabi, who killed an infidel in a holy war even after he (the infidel) recited Kalma Tayyaba.

Describing the Sialkot incident as “shameful”, he said Pakistan was the only country in the world which was created in the name of Islam.

“I am receiving a lot of messages from the overseas Pakistanis, who feel ashamed of the Sialkot incident,” he remarked.

The prime minister said 9 million expats had to face embarrassment after such incidents in their homeland, which was created in the name of Islam.

Imran Khan paid tribute to Malik Adnan and said his brave action and effort to save Priyantha Kumara had strengthened the confidence of people in humanity.

“You (Malik Adnan) will Insha Allah be rewarded with Tamgha-e-Shujaat on March 23,” he added.

The prime minister while mentioning an English quotation “one moral man is an army” said moral strength was more powerful that the physical strength.

Source: Daily Times Pakistan

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://dailytimes.com.pk/851793/violence-in-islams-name-wont-go-unpunished-pm/

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'Ashamed': Pakistan grapples with fallout from mob killings over blasphemy

Dec 7, 2021

ISLAMABAD: A shocking and deadly mob attack on a Sri Lankan factory manager accused of blasphemy in eastern Pakistan last week prompted days of soul searching as the man's remains were flown to his home country.

The violence, which was condemned by rights watchdogs including Amnesty International, also drew intense responses from politicians, celebrities and journalists on social media.

"Ashamed!! Sick to my stomach!!," actress Mahira Khan wrote on Twitter shortly after the lynching.

Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara was assaulted by a mob of hundreds of people before being dragged into the streets and set on fire last Friday in Sialkot, Pakistan, where he helped run a sports equipment factory. Workers at the factory accused him of desecrating posters bearing the name of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Several gruesome video clips shared on social media showed a mob beating the prone victim while chanting slogans against blasphemy.

Many in the crowd made no attempt to hide their identity and some took selfies in front of the burning corpse.

The killing raised alarm over the potential for accusations of blasphemy to fuel crowd violence in Pakistan, coming just weeks after at least seven policemen were killed in clashes with the radical TLP movement, which has built its identity on fighting what it sees as blasphemy.

Mob killings over accusations of blasphemy are frequent in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where the crime can carry the death sentence.

Other politicians and the country's powerful military also released statements condemning the attack.

"Mob violence cannot be acceptable under any circumstance as (the) state has laws to deal with all offences," said Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Twitter.

The victim's body was returned to Sri Lankan officials over the weekend and then flown to his home country.

Punjab's police said arrests were continuing.

"In the last 12 hours, police have arrested seven more key figures, including one involved in planning an attack on a Sri Lankan manager," they said in a statement.

Some politicians and activists argued that broader societal and political change was needed, beyond legal consequences for those involved.

"Arrests should of course be made, but there has to be a clear appraisal of why mobs feel the impunity," said Senator Sherry Rehman, a member of the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

In an editorial entitled "Horror in Sialkot", leading newspaper Dawn on Sunday criticised Pakistan for "appeasing religious extremists."

"Once again, we are reminded how far this nation has descended into the abyss," the editorial said.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ashamed-pakistan-grapples-with-fallout-from-mob-killings-over-blasphemy/articleshow/88135866.cms

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Man, who tried to save manager from mob, dedicates honour to deceased, Sri Lankan nation

December 8, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Malik Adnan, the underling at a production unit in Sialkot, who tried unsuccessfully to save the life of Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan national and the business’ general manager, from a violent mob that killed the latter last Friday, dedicated the honour bestowed on him by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the deceased and the people of Sri Lanka.

Footage of the incident shared on social media showed Adnan attempting to calm down the charged mob, and later shielding Kumara when the matter escalated — but in vain.

Some among the crowd could be heard chanting slogans while Adnan tried to shield Kumara with his body who clung to the man’s legs.

But the mob, comprised of the unit’s employees, later overpowered Adnan and dragged the manager out on the road before torturing him to death.

“My passion that day was to somehow save the Sri Lankan citizen. I wanted no such incident to happen that would tarnish the name of the country,” Adnan wrote on Twitter.

Taking stock of his act of bravery, Prime Minister Khan announced his government will confer Tamgha-i-Shujaat on Adnan.

Talking to APP, Adnan said that in a situation like the one he found himself in, one should always stand with the oppressed.

“Today, I am very proud [of how the nation has responded to the incident] and my message to the nation is that whenever you encounter such a situation, always stand with the oppressed,” he said.

Adnan said he was thankful to everybody for the way the nation stood with him after the Sialkot incident.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2021/12/08/man-who-tried-to-save-manager-from-mob-dedicates-honour-to-deceased-sri-lankan-nation/

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Pakistani Hindu families stranded in India return after months

December 7, 2021

Pakistani Hindu families, who had gone to the neighbouring country in hopes of becoming Indian citizens but were unable to do so despite staying in India for several years finally return to Pakistan on Tuesday, after being stranded for months.

The families were stranded near the Attari-Wagah border for months. For the past three months, these people had been living under the open sky near the Attari border of India and were provided food by the locals.

The families, numbering more than 100 people, were unable to return to Pakistan despite necessary preparations being completed for the reception at the Wagah border and could not cross due to Covid-19 related border closure.

A Pakistani Hindu man whose wife had a baby in December, was told by the immigration authorities to get a birth certificate and travel documents of the child since he was born in India.

The family was sent back to India in order to obtain travel documents from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

According to Pala Ram, 97 Pakistanis stranded at the border include 47 children, six of whom were born in India and were less than a year old. Apart from Pala Ram, another Pakistani citizen, Laga Ram, gave birth to a child named Bharat. Laga Ram went to Jodhpur, India in 2020 to visit her brother.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2021/12/07/pakistani-hindu-families-stranded-in-india-return-after-months/

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India

 

Muslims Perform Last Rites of Elderly Kashmiri Rajput Hindu in Kulgam

DECEMBER 07, 2021

Setting an example of communal harmony and brotherhood, local Muslims in the Begam village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam came together to help perform the last rites of their Hindu neighbour who died on Tuesday.

Lajwanti Devi, a resident of Begam village in Kulgam district was a Kashmiri Rajput Hindu and died at the age of 75 late evening after a brief illness.

The Muslim neighbours joined hands to carry out all the formalities for the deceased woman’s last rites, in line with the cremation practices of Kashmiri Pandits.

From setting up the cremation pyre to the last minute details of carrying the earthen pot to the cremation ground, local Muslims did them besides carrying the body for the final journey.

“She was one of us. We never thought of her as a Hindu. We arranged everything needed for the cremation,” said Abdul Rashid Khanday, adding, “She has been living here among us for many years. They were part of our society and celebrating every festival with us," he added.

Source: News18

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.news18.com/news/india/muslims-perform-last-rites-of-elderly-kashmiri-rajput-hindu-in-kulgam-4529636.html

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Aurangzeb Donated Lands for Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, According To the Guwahatiplus.Com

Dec 08, 2021

NEW DELHI: An AIUDF MLA has triggered a controversy by claiming that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had donated lands for the famed Shaktipeeth Maa Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.

Aminul Islam, the AIUDF MLA of Dhing assembly constituency, said the Mughal emperor had actually donated land for the Kamakhya Temple located atop the Nilachal Hills in the state capital, according to the guwahatiplus.com.

Aurangzeb had donated lands to several hundred of temples in India, he donated 178 hectares of land to the Jangamwadi temple in Varanasi. Aurangzeb’s land grant to the Kamakhya temple is still on display at the British Museum,” the AIUDF MLA claimed.

It may be noted that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb is known for his brutality against Hindus and ordering attacks on Hindu temples during his reign.

Reacting to the AIUDF MLA’s controversial comment, Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said that his government will not tolerate such statements.

“MLA Sherman Ali is now in jail. If he makes such statements again, Aminul Islam will have to go to jail too. Under my government, statements against our civilization and culture will not be tolerated,’’ Sarma said.

Source: Zee News India

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https://zeenews.india.com/assam/aurangzeb-donated-lands-for-kamakhya-temple-in-guwahati-claims-aiudf-mla-2417047.html

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Muslim Council Rejects Clerics’ Namaz Deal; Muslims Will Continue Juma’ah Prayers At All the 37 Sites Agreed Upon In 2018

DECEMBER 08, 2021

‘The community will continue to offer prayers at all the 37 sites agreed upon in 2018’

A day after the Gurugram Imam Sangathan in a meeting with right-wing groups and the administration agreed not to hold namaz at 20 designated places, the Gurgaon Muslim Council submitted a memorandum to the office of Deputy Commissioner on Tuesday, rejecting the proposal as “fraudulent”. It also demanded setting up of a committee for an amicable solution to the controversy over offering of Namaz in the open.

The council, in the memorandum, said the Muslims would continue to offer Jumma Namaz at all the 37 sites agreed upon in 2018, and demanded that the district administration ensure law and order was maintained.

The delegation comprised members of the Gurgaon Muslim Council and several imams, including Mufti Mohammad Saleem Qasmi, president, Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, Gurugram, and Muslim Ekta Manch chairman Hazi Shahzad Khan.

“We have come in large numbers along with the imams to show that those who were part of the agreement yesterday [on Monday] were just a handful of people and not true representatives of the community,” said Gurgaon Muslim Council member Altaf Ahmed. Mr. Khan said those present in the meeting on Monday were not even residents of Gurugram.

The memorandum said the meeting between the imams and Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti leaders was “absolutely fraudulent and illegal”, which was held “secretly and in a suspicious manner”. The document said the submission of the Gurgaon Muslim Council to the office of Deputy Commissioner that “Muslims in general do not trust Muslim Rashtriya Manch or a handful of maulvis, and they are not the voice of genuine and reasonable Muslim citizens of Gurugram, has once again been ignored”.

Source: The Hindu

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https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslim-council-rejects-clerics-namaz-deal/article37890544.ece

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In First Delhi Riots Conviction, Man Found Guilty of Setting Fire to Muslim Woman's Home

DECEMBER 08, 2021

New Delhi: In the first conviction among a slew of cases relating to the Northeast Delhi riots of February 2020, a man was convicted on Monday for being part of a riotous mob that set a Muslim family’s house on fire.

The court of additional sessions judge Virender Bhat convicted Dinesh Yadav alias Michael for being a member of an unlawful assembly, rioting, arson, house trespassing, and robbery.

As per the prosecution, Yadav was an “active member of the riotous mob” and actively participated in vandalising and setting on fire the house of a 73-year-old woman named Manori near Bhagirathi Vihar on the night of February 25, 2020. Manori had alleged that a mob of around 150-200 rioters attacked her house when her family was not present and looted documents such as the sale deed, jewellery and even a buffalo.

Curiously, the three victims, including the complainant Manori, were declared hostile during the trial and denied that they had told the police that the house had been vandalised, ransacked and looted by the violent mob in their presence.

While the court admitted that “the evidence on record does not indicate that the accused had directly committed the offences involved in this case”, it said section 149 (member of unlawful assembly guilty of common offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) engraft the principle of “constructive liability”. This means that a person would be guilty of an offence though he may not have directly committed it because as a member of the unlawful assembly, “he had shared the common object with the other members to commit such an offence”.

“The accused stands convicted for offences punishable under sections 143 (member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 457 (house tresspass), 392(robbery), 436 (arson) of IPC read with section 149 (member of unlawful assembly guilty of common offence) of Ithe PC,” the judge stated in the order and listed the matter for order on sentence on December 22, according to news agency PTI.

The maximum punishment under these sections entails a jail term of up to 10 years.

“It is great to share that the first conviction order has been issued today in respect of North-East Riot Cases,” Sanjay Kumar Sain, DCP northeast district said in a press statement.

In July, another judge had pronounced the first judgment in the Delhi riots case, acquitting a man of rioting and dacoity charges and noting that the prosecution had “miserably failed to prove its case“.

More than 50 people, a majority of them Muslims were killed in the Delhi riots in late February 2020. More than 700 people were injured and property worth crores of rupees was vandalised and looted during the rioting. According to report, so far, chargesheets have been filed in 361 out of 758 riots cases and charges have been framed in 67 cases.

What unfolded during the trial

The prosecution examined 13 witnesses during the trial, while Yadav denied all the charges against him and claimed he was false implicated in the case.” The accused has chosen not to lead any evidence in his defence,” the court noted, according to Bar and Bench.

Judge Bhat’s order also noted that the testimony of the complainant Manori shows that she had not seen or identified any of the assailants who had vandalised her house. She deposed that because of the communal riots in the vicinity of her house, she and her family members left the house at around 4 pm on February 25, 2020 to stay with one of their relatives. After four days, they were called by the police and found that their house was completely burnt and a buffalo and calf had been taken away by unknown persons.

She deposed that she can not identify any of the rioters who might have set fire to her house as she was not present at the time of the incident. “She was declared hostile at the request of the [special public prosecutor (SPP)] and in the cross-examination conducted by the [SPP], she denied having stated to the police that her house had been vandalised, ransacked and looted by the violent mob in her presence,” the order says.

Similarly, witnesses Arif and his brother Ashiq, whose house had also been set ablaze and looted by the rioters, deposed that they cannot identify any of the rioters. They were also declared hostile and denied that the incident had taken place in their presence.

“Even though these victims … had not identified any of the rioters in the mob yet their testimonies establish the fact that their houses had been trespassed into after breaking open the locks, vandalized, robbed and then set on fire by a violent mob. Therefore, the offences … were committed by the persons comprising the mob,” the court said.

The prosecution then said that two police officers, constable Vipin and head constable Sanoj, are the eyewitnesses to the incident. The court said that their deposition clearly establishes the fact that the Yadav was part of the mob which had attacked, looted and set ablaze the house of the complainant.

Police officer Vipin deposed that on February 25, 2020 at about 11 pm, he and Sanoj and other police officers were on riot controlling duty in the area of Bhagirathi Vihar. He saw about 200-­300 rioters armed with lathis, dandas (sticks) and stones.

“They saw that the rioters were identifying the Muslim persons, segregating them and beating them. The vehicles belonging to Muslims were put on fire and thrown in [the] nala. He further deposed that rioters were putting on fire the houses in E block. He deposed that from amongst the rioters, he identified the accused Dinesh Yadav @ Michael as he knew him prior to the incident,” the order says.

In the cross-examination, Vipin admitted that he did not see the accused taking away the buffalo of the complainant nor enter the house to commit robbery or set it on fire.”In further cross-examination, he admitted that he had not seen the accused [threatening the] complainant or her two grandchildren. He also admitted that he did not see the complainant and her two grandchildren fleeing from the house after any threat to their life given by the accused and his associates,” the judge wrote.

The deposition of police officer Sanoj was also on similar lines – that he identified Yadav as being part of the mob but did not see him commit the offences in the case.

At this point, the counsel for the accused argued that no active role has been attributed to his client by the two witnesses, which “clearly indicates that the accused was only a bystander and did not share the object of the unlawful assembly”. The defence also argued that the accused resides in the vicinity of the spot where the incident occurred and therefore, “his presence on the road in the area during the riots was natural”. The deposition of these two witnesses establishes “the innocence of the accused and is liable to be acquitted”.

The judge noted that though it is true that the accused had not taken any active part in vandalising, looting or setting the house of the complainant on fire, “it cannot be said that he was only a bystander or a passive spectator”.

The deposition of the police officers shows that the accused was amongst the rioters who were identifying Muslims, beating them and setting ablaze the houses in E ­Block of Chaman Park. The accused was also carrying a danda at that time, the court noted.

The court relied on the Supreme Court’s judgment in State of UP vs Kishan Pal (2008) to show that once membership of an unlawful assembly is established “it is not incumbent on the prosecution to establish whether any specific overt act has been assigned to any accused”. The top court had said:

“In other words, mere membership of the unlawful assembly is sufficient and every member of an unlawful assembly is vicarious[ly] liable for the acts done by others either in the prosecution of the common object of the unlawful assembly or such which the members of the unlawful assembly knew were likely to be committed.”

Source: The Wire

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://thewire.in/law/delhi-riots-conviction-man-guilty-setting-fire-muslim-woman-house

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South Asia

 

Taliban’s provincial governors directed to resolve problems of those seeking asylum abroad

08 Dec 2021

In a recent decree, supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Mullah Hebtullah Akhund directed all the provincial governors of Afghanistan to solve the problems of those who are fleeing Afghanistan and seeking asylum elsewhere.

A statement released by the spokesperson’s office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reads that people who are going abroad are facing various problems both on the way and in refugee camps.

The statement further reads that Afghan refugees confront the problems of security, ethical degeneration, and other humanitarian issues.

“Some inflammatory programs endanger belief, ethics, and spiritual values. Afghans are mostly made to fabricate anti-Islam documents to gain citizenship. People who must utilize their ability and professionalism inside Afghanistan, go abroad and do some inferior jobs.” Reads the statement.

Hence, the statement directed all provincial governors and religious scholars to meet these people and resolve their problems.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/talibans-provincial-governors-directed-to-resolve-problems-of-those-seeking-asylum-abroad-89978/

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Lankan minister demands apology from Pakistan's Defence Minister for insensitive remarks on lynching

Dec 7, 2021

COLOMBO/ISLAMABAD: Sri Lanka's Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (Retd) Sarath Weerasekara on Tuesday demanded an apology from Pakistan's Defence Minister Pervez Khattak for his insensitive remarks on the lynching of a Sri Lankan national by a frenzied mob in Punjab province.

Khattak on Monday said the ghastly lynching of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana at the hands of a mob in Sialkot should not be linked to the Pakistan government's recent decision to lift the ban on the hardline Islamist party, the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), saying even "murders take place" when young people get emotional.

The senior Pakistani minister's remarks came amid countrywide outrage after a mob comprising hundreds of protestors tortured to death the Sri Lankan factory manager over blasphemy allegations and then burnt his body on Friday.

Reacting to Khattak's remarks, Weerasekara said Pakistan's Minister of Defence must apologise to the people of Sri Lanka for those remarks, Sri Lanka's News1st TV channel quoted the country's public security minister as saying.

In a shocking incident on Friday last, supporters of TLP attacked a garment factory in Sialkot in Pakistan and lynched its general manager Diyawadana, 49, before setting his body on fire over allegations of blasphemy.

Meanwhile, a leading Pakistani newspaper on Tuesday criticised defence minister Khattak for his remarks, saying it can "only be interpreted as a pathetic justification for murder."

"Such a statement from a federal minister should come as a shock, but unfortunately, we are accustomed to our public officials being in denial about the realities of extremism and violence in the country," the Dawn newspaper said in an editorial.

"Mr Khattak's remarks are deeply problematic. They create an impression that such killings are somehow a 'normal' part of growing up in a country where religion can be used to justify crime," it said.

Instead of asking the journalist who was quizzing him to change this mob mentality, it would have served the minister better to have recalled that, in fact, he is a member of government who actually has the power to influence large sections of the population, it said.

"It may be an alien idea to Mr Khattak, but he should have roundly condemned this incident and reflected on why our society has become so brutalised, instead of ascribing this heinous crime to youthful passions," the editorial added.

The Pakistan government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan recently lifted a ban on the TLP after signing a secret agreement with it after which its chief Saad Rizvi and over 1,500 activists accused of terrorism were released from jail.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/lankan-minister-demands-apology-from-pakistans-defence-minister-for-insensitive-remarks-on-lynching/articleshow/88150949.cms

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Taliban writes to Afghan missions globally to fall in line, gets tepid response

Dec 07, 2021

Taliban has written to Afghan missions globally asking them to regularly give inputs and details even as the group tries to takeover the remnants of the previous Afghan government.

The group hasn't got much of a response from Afghan missions globally who continue to provide basic services including consular access. The Afghan missions have been working in coordination and consultation with each other since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August.

An understanding has been achieved that unless the people of Afghanistan give recognition to the Taliban, not much of response can be expected from them to the group's demand. It includes the continuation of Afghanistan's tricolour flag instead of the Taliban flag.

So far the Taliban regime hasn't been recognised by any country including the group's closest supporter like Pakistan. The international community has urged the formation of an inclusive government involving women and significant representation of minorities like Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. 

In fact, the United Nations credentials committee has not accepted Taliban's nominee Suhail Shaheen as the Taliban government's envoy to the UN. It means the Afghan envoy Ghulam M. Isaczai, who was appointed by former President Ashraf Ghani continues to represent his country.

What the Taliban has sought is more time for governance and has asked the United States for a period till March to conclude consultations on the further announcement on inclusive government, however, given the Taliban's pre-August actions it might be seen as a delaying tactic.

The pre-August period had witnessed talks in Doha between Taliban and the Afghan representatives even as on the ground the group still on the United Nations sanctions list continued to mount an offensive. There are increasing worries over Afghan missions globally running out of cash. It means cost-cutting has been underway in many missions.

Meanwhile, resistance is also taking shape and the plans of the Afghan government-in-exile is still under process. Leaders like Salahuddin Rabbani, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Sayaf, Muhammad Mohaqiq, Ustad Khalil, Masoom Stanekzai, Karim Khalili, Hanif Atmar, Rahmatullah Nabil are in talks in Turkey even as many of the countries like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan have debarred political activities but resistance continues to exist in some form.

Source: WIO News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/taliban-writes-to-afghan-missions-globally-to-fall-in-line-gets-tepid-response-434953

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Bangladesh mantri seeks Teesta issue resolution, return of Rohingya

Dec 8, 2021

NEW DELHI: Bangladesh foreign minister A K Abdul Momen called for speedy resolution of the Teesta water sharing issue. He also asked India to build a road between ‘Mujibnagar’ in India to Dhaka.

Bangladesh also asked India to ensure the return of Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar before they became a huge security problem for the region. Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla reviewed bilateral relations with his counterpart Masud bin Momen on Tuesday, kicking off a two-day visit to Bangladesh, in preparation for the first visit by President Ram Nath Kovind, who is expected to be in Dhaka on December 16.

A press statement by its foreign ministry said Bangladesh had asked for “early signing of the Teesta water sharing agreement and equitable comprehensive water sharing agreement for other common rivers” during the foreign minister’s meeting with Shringla on Tuesday. Shringla is expected to call on PM Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday as well as transport minister and leader of Awami League, Obaidul Quader.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/bangladesh-mantri-seeks-teesta-issue-resolution-return-of-rohingy/articleshow/88153812.cms

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Hunger could kill more Afghans than all the bombs and bullets of the past two decades, warns US think tank

Anwar Iqbal

December 8, 2021

A US-based think tank has called on the international community to ease restrictions on Afghanistan to avoid "state failure and mass starvation", according to a report issued on Monday.

“International actors must ease restrictions to avoid state failure and mass starvation in Afghanistan," said the report issued by Washington-based transnational think tank, International Crisis Group (ICG).

It warned that hunger and destitution in the wake of the Taliban's takeover could "kill more people than all the bombs and bullets of the past two decades".

ICG projected that up to one million Afghan children could die of starvation this winter if not helped, urging the US, Europe, and other donor nations to find ways to keep Afghanistan from imploding without endorsing the Taliban regime.

Other relief agencies have also warned that providing only humanitarian aid to Afghanistan was like a band-aid at best and that economic engagement with Afghanistan was necessary to prevent a collapse of the Afghan state,

ICG, other think tanks and relief agencies have asked for a “humanitarian-plus” approach to prevent the collapse of the Afghan state. The suggested “humanitarian-plus” initiative includes providing salaries for doctors and teachers, sending hospital supplies and restoring electricity.

The report includes a statement by a UN health official in Afghanistan who warned that “stopgap solutions” will run out of money in early 2022.

“It is misleading to suggest that financial support to teachers, health care or food security workers in state institutions is somehow not entirely humanitarian,” the UN official argued.

But the report noted that a United States' diplomat disagreed with the suggestion, saying “funding with ancillary benefits to the Taliban government remains out of bounds.”

The report pointed out that “the principal arbiter of Kabul’s economic relationship with the world remains the United States” and the Biden administration was “searching for, and not yet identifying, assistance options that will entirely circumvent the country’s Taliban rulers”.

Other donors, the report added, were waiting for signals from Washington. ICG identified three main points of leverage that gave “the US an outsized role in shaping the policies of Western donors toward the Taliban regime: frozen assets, sanctions and influence in multilateral settings”.

The US holds most of Afghanistan’s $9.4 billion in overseas assets — a major form of US leverage over a government whose central bank held few reserves locally and depended on US cash shipments.

Taliban officials told ICG that they were “negotiating” with the US for access to the frozen assets, but US officials said their conversations with the Taliban on the topic had been brief, as they “bluntly informed” the Taliban that the assets will stay out of their reach.

Noting that the US and its allies wielded substantial influence at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the report said that “the donors must decide whether [and how] to continue supporting the basic services financed by international aid for the past twenty years.”

US response to appeal

Responding to the appeal, the US State Department said while Washington was willing to provide more humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, it was not yet willing to establish economic ties with the Taliban regime.

“If the Taliban are looking for a deeper relationship with the international community, including the US, it’s their conduct that we will look to in terms of devising what that might look like,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters in Washington.

Urging the Taliban to respect human rights, educate women and girls and work for a more inclusive setup in Kabul, the US official said those were not preconditions for continuing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1662621/hunger-could-kill-more-afghans-than-all-the-bombs-and-bullets-of-the-past-two-decades-warns-us-think-tank

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Afghanistan’s central bank receives second package of humanitarian cash

07 Dec 2021

Afghanistan’s central bank-De Afghanistan Bank- in a statement on Tuesday, December 7 said that they received a second package of cash in humanitarian aids to the bank.

The bank did not close the exact amount of money though, the statement reads that the money was delivered to Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) through the central bank of Afghanistan.

The cash in humanitarian aid by the UNAMA comes as Afghanistan’s local currency is at its lowest point ever against the US dollar.

It is said that the lack of a dollar has caused the local currency (Afghani) to lose its value and ultimately made the prices of food ingredients to be double.

De Afghanistan Bank in the statement said that the problem of the banking system and local currency will soon be resolved and banks will deliver their best services to people.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/afghanistans-central-bank-receives-second-package-of-humanitarian-cash-98697/

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Afghan Taliban fighters now man urban checkpoints

Dec 8, 2021

HERAT: Afghanistan, Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan more than three and a half months ago amid a chaotic withdrawal of US and NATO troops, their fighters have changed roles, from insurgents fighting in the mountains and fields to an armed force running the country.

Many Taliban foot soldiers now have new jobs: manning checkpoints on the streets and carrying out security patrols in and around Afghan cities and towns. Last month, several Taliban fighters posed for portrait photographs for The Associated Press on nighttime patrols and at checkpoints in the western city of Herat.

One of them, 21-year-old Ahmad Wali, was on patrol in the village of Kamar Kalagh, north of Herat. A student in an Islamic religious school known as a madrassa, he said he joined the Taliban because he believed in the teachings of the Quran and was against the American presence in his country and against the previous Afghan government, which was widely criticized for corruption.

Now, he said, he is very busy with his new responsibilities providing security in the area he was assigned to. He hopes both he and his country will have a bright future, and said he was "99% sure" better days will come for all people in Afghanistan.

After the Taliban takeover in mid-August, Afghanistan's already dilapidated and aid-dependent economy careened into full-blown crisis. The international community has withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in financing that the country of 38 million people relied on. Billions of dollars in Afghan assets abroad have been frozen.

Afghanistan's banking system has been largely cut off from the world, and the new Taliban rulers have been largely unable to pay salaries, while jobs across the economy have disappeared.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/afghan-taliban-fighters-now-man-urban-checkpoints/articleshow/88160381.cms

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Europe

 

Suspect in killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi arrested in France

Dec 8, 2021

PARIS: A suspect in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was arrested Tuesday in France, according to a French judicial official.

The official said the suspect was being held on the basis of a Turkish arrest warrant. He requested not being named in accordance with the French justice system's customary practices.

French radio RTL said the Saudi national, Khalid Aedh al-Otaibi, was arrested at the Roissy airport near Paris as he was trying to board a flight to Riyadh.

Al-Otaibi was one of over a dozen Saudi officials sanctioned by the US Treasury in 2018 over Khashoggi's killing and dismemberment at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

He was also mentioned in the declassified US intelligence report that said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ``approved'' the operation that killed Khashoggi. The report used an alternate English transliteration of his last name.

The Saudi Embassy in Paris said the arrested man ``had nothing to do with the case in question,'' and said the embassy expects his immediate release. It noted that Saudi Arabia already held a trial over the killing, though it was behind closed doors and the verdicts were criticized by rights groups and others for not holding to account or finding guilty anyone responsible behind organizing , ordering or overseeing the operation that killed Khashoggi.

French authorities were on Tuesday evening verifying the suspect's identity.

The director of media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Christophe Deloire, welcomed the news.

"Sometimes governments close their eyes about people who are pursued by justice in another country. I note with satisfaction that there was an arrest, and the police didn't close their eyes this time," he told The Associated Press.

Al-Otaibi "is someone we have been following for a long time," Deloire said. RSF has lobbied multiple governments to seek justice for Khashoggi's killing, and filed a lawsuit in Germany for crimes against humanity over the case.

There was no immediate comment from Turkey over the arrest.

French media report the suspect is going to be notified about the arrest warrant by a prosecutor on Wednesday. He can accept or refuse to be transferred to Turkey. If he refuses, a judge will decide whether he remains in custody pending the review of the case and a possible extradition process, which could take months.

The arrest comes as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues his first regional Gulf tour since the killing. He traveled Tuesday from Oman to the United Arab Emirates.

The prince met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday in Saudi Arabia. Macron said they notably had talks about human right issues.

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi, said in a statement the arrest of the suspect, if confirmed, is ``a very significant first step for justice for Jamal...Justice must be allowed to take its proper course... Most importantly, those who executed the plan must not be used to shield those much higher up who gave the order for Jamal's brutal killing, including the Crown Prince himself. They must also be arrested and prosecuted.''

"If this is all true, this is the first step that should continue until justice is served and until the person who ordered the killing also faces justice," said Abdullah Alaoudh, director of Gulf issues at DAWN, a US-based organization envisioned by Khashoggi before his murder to support democracy and rule of law in the Arab world. Alaoudh's own father, well-known Islamic scholar Salman Aloudah, is among those detained in the kingdom since 2017 under the crown prince. He was arrested shortly after a tweet perceived as not supportive of the Saudi embargo against neighboring Qatar at the time-a spat that has since ended.

The arrest comes as the crown prince works to move away from the stain on his reputation internationally and woo back big name Western investors and celebrities.

Human rights activists have urged celebrities and sports stars to boycott events in Saudi Arabia, arguing they serve to distract from the country's crackdown on critics and that such events happen only with approval of the crown prince. Just this week alone, the kingdom hosted its first ever Formula One race with pop star Justin Bieber performing despite Khashoggi's fiancee plea for him to not participate in protest. Meanwhile, stars like Hillary Swank and Catherine Deneuve were photographed on the red carpet Monday for the kingdom's inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in Jiddah.

Last year, Turkey began trying 26 Saudi nationals in absentia over Khashoggi's murder after Saudi Arabia refused to extradite them and after Turkish officials dismissed a trial against some of the suspects that was conducted behind closed doors in Riyadh.

In the last hearing in November however, the court in Istanbul requested that the Ministry of Justice contact authorities in Saudi Arabia to determine whether they had been sentenced there to avoid them from being tried over the same offense.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/suspect-in-killing-of-saudi-journalist-jamal-khashoggi-arrested-in-france/articleshow/88156187.cms

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Bosnia arrests five former Muslim soldiers for war crimes against Serbs 

07/12/2021

Five former Bosnian Muslim soldiers have been charged with war crimes against Serb civilians during the 1990s war.

The suspects are accused of killing at least eight civilians in Sarajevo, the country's prosecutor's office said.

The group is also suspected of crimes against at least 100 victims, including unlawful imprisonment, torture, abuse, forced labour, and inflicting bodily and mental harm.

The crimes were allegedly committed in a school and prison set up by Bosnian forces in a building in the Hrasnica suburb.

The arrests were made in cooperation with authorities in neighboring Serbia, where some of the survivors now live.

More than 100,000 people died during the 1992 to 1995 conflict in Bosnia, including thousands of Bosniak Muslims.

War broke out when the Bosniak-led government declared independence from Serb-led Yugoslavia, triggering a rebellion.

Source: Euronews

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.euronews.com/2021/12/07/bosnia-arrests-five-former-muslim-soldiers-for-war-crimes-against-serbs

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UK abandoned supporters as Afghanistan fell to Taliban, whistleblower tells Parliament

December 07, 2021

London: Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to the mercy of the Taliban during the fall of the capital, Kabul, because of a dysfunctional and arbitrary evacuation effort, a whistleblower alleged Tuesday.

In devastating evidence to a parliamentary committee, Raphael Marshall said thousands of pleas for help via email were unread between 21 August and 25 August. The former Foreign Office employee estimated that only 5 percent of Afghan nationals who applied to flee under one U.K. program received help. He said that at one point, he was the only person monitoring the inbox.

“There were usually over 5,000 unread emails in the inbox at any given moment, including many unread emails dating from early in August," he wrote to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, which is investigating Britain's chaotic departure from Afghanistan. “These emails were desperate and urgent. I was struck by many titles including phrases such as ‘please save my children’."

Marshall said some of those left behind had been killed by the Taliban.

As the Taliban took power in August, the United States, the U.K. and other countries rushed to evacuate Afghans who had worked with Western forces and others at risk of violent reprisals.

Britain managed to airlift 15,000 people out of the country in two weeks, and the government says it has since helped more than 3,000 others leave Afghanistan.

But an Afghan Resettlement Scheme announced by the government in August with the goal of bringing another 20,000 people to Britain has yet to get underway.

Former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was moved from the Foreign Office to become Justice Secretary after the crisis, defended his actions.

“Some of the criticism seems rather dislocated from the facts on the ground, the operational pressures that with the takeover of the Taliban, unexpected around the world," he told the BBC. “I do think that not enough recognition has been given to quite how difficult it was.”

Tom Tugendhat, a Conservative lawmaker who heads the foreign affairs committee, said Marshall's testimony “raises serious questions about the leadership of the Foreign Office.” The committee is due to quiz senior Foreign Office civil servants later Tuesday.

The Taliban stormed across Afghanistan in late summer, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the U.S. and its allies melted away. The Taliban took over Kabul on 15 August.

Source: Firstpost

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.firstpost.com/world/uk-abandoned-supporters-as-afghanistan-fell-to-taliban-whistleblower-tells-parliament-10193071.html

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Iran nuclear draft proposals ‘not a reasonable basis’ for deal: France

07 December ,2021

Proposals submitted by Iran at talks in Vienna last week aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal fall well short of what is needed, France said on Tuesday, adding time was running out with Iran’s atomic drive making worrying progress.

“The proposals presented by Iran last week do not constitute a reasonable basis that is compatible with the objective of a rapid conclusion while respecting the interests of all,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

It expressed “disappointment” that the talks failed to move forwards, after diplomats agreed on Friday to pause the discussions for several days to allow consultations in capitals. It is not clear when they will resume.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“None of the delegations present – apart from Iran – wanted the negotiations to restart on this basis,” the ministry said.

“Time is running out then because – five and a half months after Iran halted negotiations – they still have not really resumed,” it added.

There was added urgency because “Iran is continuing its nuclear program at an extremely worrying direction,” it said.

The United States warned after the talks that it would not allow Iran to “slow walk” the negotiations, which seek to revive the 2015 accord that has been moribund since president Donald Trump walked out of it in 2018.

His successor Joe Biden has said he is ready to re-enter the agreement so long as Iran meets key preconditions including full compliance with the deal, whose terms it has repeatedly violated by ramping up nuclear activities since Trump walked out.

Iran’s foreign ministry said Monday it was ready to resume nuclear talks based on the draft proposals it submitted, accusing Western powers of stalling the negotiations.

Israel, which has never ruled out military action against the Iranian nuclear program, urged world powers to halt the talks.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/07/Iran-nuclear-draft-proposals-not-a-reasonable-basis-for-deal-France

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'Turkey should enjoy EU funding for Green Deal'

Gökhan Ergöçün

07.12.2021

Financing from the international community is key for making the transition to a green economy, said a top Turkish diplomat on Tuesday, adding that as an EU candidate, Turkey should be able to enjoy some of the funding provided to other candidate countries.

Speaking at the 12th Bosphorus Summit in Istanbul, Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakci said Turkey is closely following developments on the EU’s Green Deal, announced earlier this year.

The two-day summit, organized by the International Cooperation Platform (ICP), started on Monday.

“When we talk about the Green Deal, we’re not (just) talking about the environment, it’s as related to trade as it is related to industry,” said Kaymakci. “We need to have sustainable green transport, which is also about energy policies.”

Some countries can finance Green Deal projects themselves, but the green transition is not only in Europe, but everywhere, and of course Turkey is also trying to evolve, he stressed.

Telling how the Turkish government adopted a Green Deal action plan, Kaymakci said Turkey is focusing on such important elements as carbon border adjustment mechanisms.

On Turkey’s long-sought update to its 1995 Customs Union with the EU, he said this is also related to the Green Deal, as free trade pacts with third countries would help the bloc to adopt climate action and sustainability policies.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-should-enjoy-eu-funding-for-green-deal/2441109

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Mideast

 

Iran’s Top Security Official Warns of US Plot to Revive ISIL, Create New Crisis

2021-December-7

The US is outraged by the collapse of the ISIL in Syria and Iraq and the victory of the Resistance Front and it is now seeking to create new crises in the region, Shamkhani said in meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad in Tehran on Tuesday.

He also cautioned that the conspiracy of creating a security crisis in Syria is an American-Zionist plan which will cause dangerous consequences and harm the region’s security.

The occupation of Syria by any country will perpetuate insecurity and spread the scope of violence, Shamkhani said.

He strongly condemned the constant invasion of the Zionist regime against Syria.

Shamkhani also pointed to the strategic relations between Iran and Syria in political and security fields, stressing that the two countries should expand strategic relations in all fields.

He also announced Iran’s readiness for the expansion of relations between the two countries.

Mikdad, for his part, appreciated Iran’s all-out support for the Syrian people, saying that the two countries began a new chapter of cooperation, especially in economic fields since the defeat of the terrorism front and the creation of relative stability in Syria.

He also called the illegal presence of the US in Syria a violation of sovereignty principle and aggression to the territorial integrity of Syria, adding that the US is seeking to revive terrorism to prevent permanent stability in the country.

Mikdad also described the continuation of the Zionist regime’s vicious measures in the region and recurring invasions to Syria as an overt example of terrorism and provocative action, saying that military aggression and oppressive sanctions cannot disrupt the Syrian people’s will in resisting coercion of the enemy.

He referred to the potentials of the two countries and the Syrian people's interest in the Iranian products, and called for the further presence of Iranian private and state companies in Syria.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Mikdad said that his country attaches special importance to the development of trade and economic relations with Iran, and called for the removal of sanctions against both states.

“Syria pays special attention to strengthening trade relations with Iran. We welcome any efforts to end the sanctions. We welcome any cooperation with Iran in Syria,” Mikdad said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Tehran.

He also called for the removal of all sanctions against Iran and Syria.

Elsewhere, Mikdad referred to Israel’s attacks against Syria, and said, “These attacks against Syria will not remain unanswered.”

“I assure you that Syria is responding to these aggressions in various ways, including by prosecution of remnants of terrorist groups many of whom are supported by Israel,” he added.

“The Israelis should know that Syria enjoys power to respond to their attacks,” Mikdad warned.

The Syrian foreign minister also held a meeting with Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi in Tehran on Monday.

During the meeting, he conveyed the message of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and invited President Rayeesi to visit the country, saying, "Syria is determined to activate all capacities for cooperation with the aim of growing Tehran-Damascus relations in the interest of the two nations."

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000916000355/Iran%E2%80%99s-Tp-Secriy-Official-Warns-f-US-Pl-Revive-ISIL-Creae-New-Crisis

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CBI Governor: Iran's Access to Forex Resources Facilitated despite US Economic Terrorism

2021-December-7

"The CBI and the government had earmarked or enabled access to some $36 billion for the purpose of imports into Iran since the start of the calendar year in March," Salehabadi said.

"We are in a very good condition with regards to the flow of foreign currency into the country and my forecast is that the situation will take a turn for the better in the near future,” he added.

The current CBI rules require exporters, including those selling petrochemicals to foreign customers, to bring back their proceeds to an integrated forex trading system known as NIMA.

The system imposes a price cap on forex trade to make it possible for importers to obtain foreign currency at prices lower than the unofficial market.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000916000347/CBI-Gvernr-Iran's-Access-Frex-Resrces-Faciliaed-despie-US-Ecnmic

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President Rayeesi: Gas Swap Deal with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan to Make Iran Regional Transit Hub

2021-December-7

"We had problems with Turkmenistan for five years, so following this visit, the relations between the two countries were considered, as well as the issue of Iran's transit and the issue of gas swaps between Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. It turned out that this issue could raise Iran as a regional hub and transit route," President Rayeesi said.

"For example, in Turkmenistan, we had a meeting with economic activists who have been working there… so I promised them to follow the revival of the gas contract so that their work would continue,” he said.

A trilateral agreement to swap 1.2 to two billion cubic meters of Turkmenistan’s natural gas to the Republic of Azerbaijan via Iran was signed in Ashgabat in the presence of President Rayeesi and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

According to the agreement which was initially signed by oil ministers of the involved countries on the sideline of the ongoing ECO Summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan will sell five to six million cubic meters of natural gas to the Azerbaijan Republic each day.

This gas will be swapped to Azerbaijan through Iran's soil and the contract which has no ending date will be implemented as of December 25, 2021.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000916000385/Presiden-Rayeesi-Gas-Swap-Deal-wih-Azerbaijan-Trkmenisan-Make-Iran

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Iranian Envoy: Unilateral Coercive Measures Should Exclude Cultural Properties

2021-December-7

“Cultural properties should not be subjected to any confiscation or law enforcement action as well as unilateral coercive measures as they are a common heritage of humankind,” Takht Ravanchi said, addressing the UN General Assembly on “return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin” on Monday.

The full text of the Iranian envoy’s remarks are as follows:

Allow me to express my appreciations to the Secretary-General and the Director-General of UNESCO for the report contained in document A/76/321. I also wish to commend the Government of Greece for its able leadership to facilitate draft resolution A/76/L.17 entitled “Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin”. My delegation would also like to take this opportunity to reemphasize the prominent role of UNESCO in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property and encourage the reinforcement of its efforts for returning or restitution of cultural objects to the countries of origin.

Mr. President,

Cultural properties, while truly considered as a common heritage of humankind, contribute to shaping cultural and national identity of countries of origin and are a testament to their civilizations, values and cultures. Ownership of cultural property is an inalienable human right of the people of their soil. Consequently, the international community shares a common responsibility as well as legal and ethical obligation to not only preserve and protect cultural property but also secure its return to the countries of origin.

The deprivation of cultural properties from its countries of origin by whatever means, forms or justifications and based on any general principles of international law, natural law, conscience or human values, is unacceptable and illegal. Therefore, the obligation to return cultural properties to countries of origin neither necessarily emanates from international legally binding instruments nor is limited to their State parties.

In the same vein, the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property neither legitimizes any removal of cultural property from its countries of origin before the entry into force of this Convention nor exonerates any states, including its parties, from the obligation to restitute or return the cultural objects stolen or illegally exported before the entry into force of the Convention to the countries of origin.

However, my delegation believes that since its entry into force, the 1970 Convention needs to be reconsidered in line with the relevant developments. This includes the articulation of the non-retroactive application of the Convention as well as the recognition of possession of cultural property by the people of their soil subjected to archaeological, ethnological or natural science missions’ eviction from the countries of origin. Such eviction took place during a period of international relations when most of the origin countries were under colonial domination and political influence of foreign powers and due to various reasons, including the lack of development and access to knowledge, were not cognizant of great values of their cultural properties.     

Furthermore, cultural properties should not be subjected to any confiscation or law enforcement action as well as unilateral coercive measures as they are a common heritage of humankind.

Mr. President,

The illegal international cross-border movement of cultural objects is still an ever-increasing concern for countries of origin, including my Country. As the Secretary-General indicates in his report, “… threats to movable cultural heritage have continued to increase and have taken new forms.” In addition to the traditional main catastrophic causes leading to the illicit trafficking of cultural properties, such as conflicts, occupation and foreign interventions, trafficking and trade through the illegal market by terrorist groups with the aim to financing terrorism has emerged as one of the main vehicles for the trafficking of cultural properties that has been exacerbated in recent years, especially after the creation of DAESH and Al-Qaeda. My delegation expresses its satisfaction with the inclusion, in the draft resolution before us today, of its proposal on countering the financing of terrorism through the illicit trafficking of cultural properties and the obligations of States to return those items to the countries of origin, as indicated in “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: seventh review”.

In this regard, we also wish to alert the international community regarding illegal excavations and threats facing the cultural heritage in Palestine, especially the Al-Aqsa mosque, by the occupying regime of Israel and its attempts to destroy and change its functions. While this act constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, it will lead to the escalation of the already volatile situation in the Middle East that itself is the result of the prolonged occupation of Palestine.

Mr. President,

The Islamic Republic of Iran is of the view that only through international cooperation, we can combat the illicit trafficking of cultural property and its return or restitution to the countries of origin. In this context, our proposal on the establishment of a Joint Action Plan by countries of the Ancient Civilization Forum as well as countries of origin that are victims of the illicit trafficking of cultural property will help coordinate and consolidate efforts to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural objects and its return or restitution to countries of origin.  

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000916000201/Iranian-Envy-Unilaeral-Cercive-Measres-Shld-Exclde-Clral-Prperies

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Israel announces completion of ‘smart fence’ around Gaza Strip

07 December ,2021

Israel on Tuesday announced the completion of a sensor-equipped underground wall on its side of the Gaza border, a counter-measure developed after Hamas militants used tunnels to blindside its troops in a 2014 war.

Israel went public with the project, which also includes an above-ground fence, a naval barrier, radar systems and command and control rooms, in 2016.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“The barrier, which is an innovative and technologically advanced project, deprives Hamas of one of the capabilities it tried to develop,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, according to a defense ministry statement.

“(It) places an ‘iron wall,’ sensors and concrete between the terror organization and the residents of Israel’s south,” he said of the project, which beefs up an existing border fence.

The ministry said the barrier, which includes hundreds of cameras, radars and other sensors, spans 65 kilometers (40 miles) and that 140,000 tons of iron and steel were used in its construction, which took 3.5 years to complete.

It said the project’s “smart fence” is more than 6 meters (20 feet) high and its maritime barrier includes means to detect infiltration by sea and a remote-controlled weapons system. The ministry did not disclose the depth of the underground wall.

Gaza also has a 14-kilometre-(8.7-mile)-long border with Egypt, which has also clamped down on crossings, citing security concerns. Since 2013, Egyptian forces have demolished smuggling tunnels while Hamas, on its side, has stepped up patrols.

Israel and Hamas have fought four wars since the Islamist group seized control the coastal Gaza Strip in 2007 from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/07/Israel-announces-completion-of-smart-fence-around-Gaza-Strip

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Dutch appeals court rejects Palestinian’s case over Israeli airstrike in Gaza

07 December ,2021

A Dutch appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz cannot be held liable in a case brought by a man who lost six relatives in a 2014 airstrike in Gaza.

Ismail Ziada, a Dutch-Palestinian man, lost his mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law, a young nephew and a friend in the strike during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge targeting Gaza.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Ziada had appealed against a ruling by The Hague district court in January 2020 that it had no jurisdiction under international law in the case, which named Gantz and a former Israeli air force chief.

“Dutch courts are not competent here to judge the claim. The (lower) court rightly decided that,” The Hague appeals court said.

“High-ranking military personnel have carried out official policy of the state of Israel, which renders a judgment on their actions moribund.”

The court added that it was “not blind to the plaintiff’s suffering.”

Israel’s defense minister since last year, Gantz was the chief of general staff of the Israeli defense force (IDF) at the time of the airstrike on the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza on July 20, 2014.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/07/Dutch-appeals-court-rejects-Palestinian-s-case-over-Israeli-airstrike-in-Gaza

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Southeast Asia

 

Jobless man fined for insulting remarks on Islam, ex-minister

December 6, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Two people were taken to court today accused of making insulting remarks about religion. An unemployed man was fined RM8,000 for remarks against a former minister which insulted Islam, but a woman claimed trial to a charge of insulting Christianity.

The jobless man, Lim Eng Seng, 44, pleaded guilty to posting the remarks last year against Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, then minister for religious affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department while he was holding a live press conference on Facebook.

Judge MM Edwin Paramjothy ordered Lim to serve six months in jail if he failed to pay the fine, Bernama reported.

He was charged with consciously making and initiating offensive communications against the former minister with the intent to annoy others through the NTV7 Facebook page on May 14, 2020.

The prosecution said a police report had been lodged about the posting, claiming the comment had insulted Islam. The press conference was held to announce that Muslims will be allowed to perform Friday prayers beginning May 15, 2020 after the first movement control order was eased.

At the same court, a woman claimed trial to a charge of posting offensive comments against Christianity in March this year.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2021/12/06/jobless-man-fined-for-insulting-remarks-on-islam-ex-minister/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=Z46ZTQzlgFUGdI3yZaGXqljMYZ95nQDWtG1sQ4Iso_Y-1638951212-0-gaNycGzNDT0

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Transport minister: No more requirement for liquor licence to sell alcohol following orders by MOF to Customs

07 Dec 2021

BY R. LOHESWAR

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — The Royal Customs Department will cease enforcement of liquor licences for sales of alcoholic beverages in retail outlets following orders from the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Putrajaya announced today.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong confirmed the matter in a statement saying he had spoken with Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz who confirmed the orders were sent on November 23, 2021.

“MOF had issued an official letter to instruct the Customs Department to cancel the implementation of making liquor licences compulsory for selling alcoholic drinks,” he said.

The MCA president said this is since the MOF had in 1977 authorised the mentris besar and chief ministers in each state to handle this matter through the Licensing Board under their respective local governments.

“The Customs Department is part of the Licensing Board of each state and it had no power to instruct restaurant coffee shops to apply for liquor licences,” he said.

“Therefore MOF had cancelled the circular issued on April 7, which requested business owners to apply for liquor licences from the Customs Department before December 31.”

Wee also asserted that Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country where non-Muslims have the right to consume alcoholic drinks, and this matter must be respected.

Source: Malay Mail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/12/07/transport-minister-no-more-requirement-for-liquor-licenses-to-sell-alcohol/2026676

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Malaysia records 66 more Covid-19 deaths, including nine brought-in-dead

08 Dec 2021

BY KEERTAN AYAMANY

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The Health Ministry (MoH) has recorded another 66 deaths due to Covid-19 as of 11.59pm yesterday, including nine people who died before being brought in to hospitals.

This brings the death toll from the disease here to 30,718 people.

The national death rate now stands at 16 deaths per 1 million, based on data from the past two weeks.

In the same period, Terengganu had the highest death rate of 48 deaths per 1 million people, followed by Perak with 27, and Kelantan with 24.

Other states and Federal Territories with a rate higher than the national figures are Negri Sembilan with 22 deaths per million people, and Perlis at 20, as well as Kuala Lumpur, at 17.

Meanwhile Selangor had a rate of 12 deaths per million people.

Taking into account all Covid-19 deaths in the same two-week period, 60.3 per cent were of those who were fully vaccinated, 3.3 per cent partially vaccinated and 36.4 per cent unvaccinated.

A total of 74.9 per cent of people who died were aged 60 and above. Another 24.4 per cent were aged between 30 and 59, while 1.7 per cent were aged between 18 and 29.

There were no deaths involving those aged 17 and under in the pas two weeks.

Meanwhile, 97.5 per cent were Malaysians, with 57.9 per cent comprising males.

New infections by state

The latest update on CovidNow shows that there were 4,936 new Covid-19 cases recorded yesterday, up to 11.59pm.

Source: Malay Mail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/12/08/malaysia-records-66-more-covid-19-deaths-including-nine-brought-in-dead/2026826

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Arab World

 

UAE weekend change: Is UAE the first Arab or Islamic country to approve Friday as an official working day?

December 07, 2021

Tawfiq Nasrallah

Dubai: UAE announced on Tuesday that it will transition to a four-and-a half-day working week, with Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday forming the new weekend. All Federal government departments will move to the new weekend from January 1, 2022.

The authorities added that with this move, the UAE has become the first nation in the world to introduce a national working week shorter than the global five-day week.

Is the UAE the first Arab or Islamic country to approve an amendment to the weekly work system to make Friday an official working day?

Source: Gulf News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://gulfnews.com/living-in-uae/ask-us/uae-weekend-change-is-uae-the-first-arab-or-islamic-country-to-approve-friday-as-an-official-working-day-1.1638870466904

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Organisation of Islamic Cooperation can benefit from Egypt’s prestigious Islamic institutions: Sisi

Farida Elserty

7 Dec 2021

This, the president said, would be done with the aim of presenting the Islamic world to the international community in accordance with the principles of true religion, and refuting the negative ideas spread by extremist and terrorist organisations and entities, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency.

El-Sisi made the remarks at a meeting in Cairo with Hussein Ibrahim Taha, secretary-general of the OIC, who assumed the post on 17 November.

El-Sisi welcomed Taha in Cairo and stressed Egypt’s full support for him in his mission, taking into consideration all the challenges facing the Islamic world at various levels.

Taha, who reviewed the work plan of the OIC during the meeting, had expressed his keenness to meet El-Sisi at the beginning of his term to hear his vision and assessment on all issues related to the Islamic world.

The OIC secretary-general also expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by Egypt to enhance solidarity among Islamic countries and support the role of the organisation, the statement said.

The meeting also witnessed a review of the developments of some regional crises, where the secretary-general hailed Egypt's efforts to reach political settlements for all the crises in the region.

Source: Ahram Online

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.ahram.org.eg/News/445965.aspx

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US Senate approves $650 million sale of missiles to Saudi Arabia

December 8, 2021

The US Senate on Tuesday rejected a bill banning the sale of 280 advanced medium-range “air-to-air” missiles to Saudi Arabia.

62 deputies voted in favor of the resolution, 25 against the deal approved by the US State Department, which includes 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) and 596 LAU launchers. 128), as well as containers, support equipment, spare parts, and engineering and technical support provided by the US government and contractors.

Last November 19, three members of the Senate announced that a group of members of the Senate opposes the first major arms deal to Saudi Arabia during the Biden administration, against the background of Riyadh’s involvement in the Yemeni conflict.

The White House announced that it strongly opposes a Senate resolution blocking the proposed sale of medium-range air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia.

The White House said in a statement that it “strongly opposes a Senate resolution that would block the proposed sale of 280 medium-range air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia.”

Source: ABNA24

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://en.abna24.com/news//us-senate-approves-650-million-sale-of-missiles-to-saudi-arabia_1206386.html

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Iraqis who helped ADF fight Islamic State say they have been abandoned by Australia

Ben Doherty

7 Dec 2021

Two dozen Iraqi nationals who served alongside Australian soldiers battling Islamic State say they have been abandoned in their homeland, living in fear of militia groups who have sworn retribution against anyone who assisted foreign forces.

“The threat is real and there will not be a ‘warning’ or anything like that,” said one former interpreter, Mohammed, who has gone into hiding.

“The militias are criminals. They have killed people who worked with foreign forces before … if they catch me or any of us, there will not be a second chance.”

In 2019, the Guardian reported more than 60 ADF interpreters were caught in a bureaucratic limbo – told they were ineligible for resettlement or unable to apply for visas from inside Iraq – as their country roiled under sectarian violence.

However, some were subsequently able to get out.

In mid-2020, former interpreters were invited, in an email from Australia’s defence department, to confirm their interest in applying through Australia’s dedicated Iraq Locally Engaged Employee (LEE) scheme.

At least 35 of those interpreters have since been granted visas to resettle in Australia: 30 have already moved.

But 25 say they remain stuck in Iraq, their applications to Australia stalled, and with no response from the Australian government for more than a year.

No interpreters who have worked for Australia have yet been killed, but most have had to move out of Baghdad, or away from their family homes for fear of reprisal attacks as Iranian-backed militias continue to threaten and attack anyone viewed as having connections to the West. Militants launched an exploding drone attack on the Iraqi prime minister’s house last month.

The Guardian is aware of at least one interpreter who, after waiting several months for a response from Australia, abandoned his application, and sought a visa to the US. He was granted a protection visa to resettle in America by himself, and is trying to apply for his family to join him. Another was forced to flee over Iraq’s borders with his family. In hiding in Turkey, he described his exile as “the worst days of my life”.

The interpreters have provided photos of themselves serving alongside Australian comrades – which the Guardian has chosen not to publish for security reasons – as well as employment notices, contracts, and multiple glowing references from coalition military leaders, including officers from Australia’s Task Group Taji.

Mohammed – who is remaining anonymous for his own safety – served the ADF’s Task Group Taji, training Iraqi soldiers between 2016 and 2018 in Baghdad and west Iraq.

He said he “formed very strong relationships with almost all the Aussies and Kiwis and Americans”.

“I have continuing friendships with a lot of them.”

Mohammed has been forced to move out of Baghdad with his wife and family, fearing militant attacks.

“Most of us had to change our residence and move to a less populated area or an area with fewer militias … to give ourselves and our families the best chance of surviving.

“Thanks to Covid-19, I can cover my face so no militia member could recognise me. It sounds ironic that a virus is saving my life.”

Islamic State militants killed three civilians and 10 soldiers in an attack in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region in the country’s north this month. Mohammed said Islamic State remained a potential threat in southern Iraq, but a secondary one.

“Daesh is a minor problem at the moment, the real danger are the Iranian-backed proxies and militias, they live among us, they eavesdrop and hunt anyone who worked with coalition forces.”

The Iran-backed groups have vowed revenge for the US drone-strike assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds force, at Baghdad airport in 2020.

Another interpreter, Saif, said those remaining in Iraq were “suffering from the political and economic crises that Iraq is going through: hunger, lack of job opportunities, chaos, instability, ongoing conflicts between the parties and the threats we face”.

After being emailed by defence over the LEE program, applicants were re-vetted, and some interpreters were then issued with approval letters by defence, with which they applied to the department of home affairs for an “in-country special humanitarian visa” subclass 201, granted to people who face persecution in their home country.

The Guardian has spoken with a number of those who have moved to Australia in 2021. One says “it has literally saved our lives”.

But those left waiting indefinitely are in an “ambiguous” situation, Mohammed says.

The last email he received from the Australian government was more than a year ago.

“They never came back to us, neither with negative nor positive answer, no explanation at all. We have been so proactive and sent a number of follow-up emails but alas no reply.

“We tried to email the embassy but they informed us they can not do anything without the referral of the defence. We have worked hard to the last day of the mission, so there is no reason to leave us behind.”

Australia’s LEE scheme for Iraq was established in April 2008, when the Rudd government announced 600 places additional to the government’s humanitarian visa quota would be reserved for “locally engaged employees”, including interpreters, from its Iraq operations, acknowledging that they had been “targeted” by insurgents for their connection to western forces.

A Home Affairs official said this week the 600 places had been almost entirely filled. Iraqi LEE candidates are required to have been individually “certified” by the minister of their employing Australian government agency “as being at significant risk of harm due to their employment”.

“Visa applications from certified LEE are afforded the highest processing priority within the humanitarian program but applicants must still meet rigorous health, character and national security requirements. Depending on individual circumstances this may take a significant period of time.”

In correspondence with the interpreters, the department of defence has said interpreters “will generally be required to apply within six months of ceasing employment with the Australian Defence Force”.

“Should you not apply within this timeframe, your application will only be considered under this policy in exceptional circumstances.”

Source: The Guardian

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/08/iraqis-who-helped-adf-fight-islamic-state-say-they-have-been-abandoned-by-australia

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Motorcycle Bomb Kills 4 in Iraq, Official Blames Islamic State

December 07, 2021

BASRA, IRAQ —

A bomb killed four people in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Tuesday, the first such attack in years in a part of the country that has enjoyed relative stability, and a senior official said Islamic State militants were suspected of carrying it out.

The blast, near a major hospital in the predominantly Shi'ite Muslim city, was caused by a motorbike rigged with explosives, the military said in a statement, citing preliminary information.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

"The blast carries fingerprints of Daesh (Islamic State)," Basra Governor Asaad al-Edani told reporters.

Bomb attacks in the Basra area been rare - the last major one was in 2017, and claimed by Islamic State. The authorities have kept a tight grip on the area where the bulk of the OPEC member's oil is produced and exported.

Policemen were collecting body parts from a minibus that was badly damaged by the blast, a Reuters witness said. The street was covered with broken glass and blood. The governor announced three days of mourning.

"Today and after this terrorist act, the people of Basra must definitely be cautious and careful. Basra became unsafe today," said Mohammed Ibrahim, a car mechanic whose workshop was near the blast site.

Police and hospital sources earlier told Reuters that 20 people had been wounded, in addition to the four fatalities.

Source: VOA News

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https://www.voanews.com/a/iraq-basra-motorcycle-bomb/6342797.html

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Around 400 Iraqi migrants flown back to Erbil from Belarus

07 December ,2021

A new flight returning around 400 Iraqi migrants that had hoped to cross into EU-member Poland from Belarus left Minsk on Tuesday, authorities said.

It will be followed by the first repatriation flight to Damascus that will take Syrian nationals home on Wednesday.

Thousands of migrants have been camped in Belarus for weeks, often in bitter conditions, hoping to cross the Polish border and enter the European Union.

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An Iraqi Airways flight departed Minsk National Airport for Erbil – the main city in Iraqi Kurdistan – at 11:07 GMT, the airport said.

A total of 417 passengers, including two small children, had registered for the flight.

More than 3,000 Iraqi migrants have been flown back since repatriation flights began in mid-November from the ex-Soviet state, with many showing injuries from the freezing cold.

Several thousand more migrants remain in Belarus, including at a logistics center at the Bruzgi checkpoint of the Belarusian-Polish border.

Most of the Iraqis stranded on the border said they had spent their savings, sold valuables and even taken loans to escape economic hardship in Iraq and start a new life in the EU.

On Wednesday, the first flight bringing Syrian migrants home is set to depart Minsk for Damascus at 00:30 GMT.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/07/Around-400-Iraqi-migrants-flown-back-to-Erbil-from-Belarus

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Gilgamesh tablet stolen during Gulf war returned to Iraq in formal ceremony

07 December ,2021

A small clay tablet dating back 3,500 years and bearing a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh that was looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago and recently recovered from the United States formally returned to Iraq on Tuesday.

The $1.7 million cuneiform tablet, known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, is one of the world’s oldest surviving works of literature and one of the oldest religious texts. It was found in 1853 as part of a 12-tablet collection in the rubble of the library of Assyrian King Assur Banipal.

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The tablet was looted from an Iraqi museum during the 1991 Gulf War.

Officials believe it was illegally imported into the United States in 2003, then sold to Hobby Lobby and eventually put on display in its Museum of the Bible in Washington.

Federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations seized the tablet from the museum in September 2019. A federal judge in New York approved the forfeiture of the tablet in July this year.

On Tuesday, the tablet was handed over to Iraqi authorities in a ceremony at Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the presence of UNESCO officials as well as Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and Hassan Nadhem, Iraq’s minister of culture, tourism and antiquities.

“We were able to recover about 17,926 artifacts from several countries, namely America, Britain, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands,” Hussein said.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/life-style/art-and-culture/2021/12/07/Gilgamesh-tablet-stolen-during-Gulf-war-returns-to-Iraqi-in-formal-ceremony

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Saudi Arabia: Citizen arrested in France not tied to Khashoggi case, should be freed

08 December ,2021

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in France demanded French authorities immediately release a Saudi citizen who was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“In reference to what was circulated in the media about the arrest of a Saudi citizen suspected in the case of Jamal Khashoggi, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in France would like to clarify that what was circulated is incorrect, and that the person arrested has nothing to do with the case in question,” the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy also called for the detained Saudi’s immediate release.

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“The embassy would also like to confirm that the Saudi judiciary has issued verdicts against everyone who was proven to have participated in the case of Jamal Khashoggi and they are currently serving their given sentences,” the embassy added.

Agencies had earlier in the day quoted French sources as saying French authorities detained a Saudi citizen at an airport in Paris before he was about to board a flight to Riyadh.

Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/12/08/Saudi-Arabia-Citizen-arrested-France-has-no-ties-to-Khashoggi-case-should-be-freed

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Africa

 

Algeria grants $100 million to Palestinian Authority: Ennahar TV

06 December ,2021

Algeria has agreed a grant of $100 million dollars to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Ennahar TV reported on Monday.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced the grant after a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is visiting the North African country.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/06/Algeria-grants-100-million-to-Palestinian-Authority-Ennahar-TV

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Sudan’s deal a clean slate for Hamdok but lost opportunity for real change: Analysts

07 December ,2021

The deal signed between Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and General Abdel-Fattah Burhan allows the PM to get rid of a previous government that caused him “headaches” in the past and start anew, but the deal was a lost opportunity to do more than restore the status quo, analysts told Al Arabiya English.

Hamdok signed a political agreement with Burhan on November 21, ending the coup launched by the military on October 25. But analysts question what that deal really means for the future of Sudan.

Here’s what analysts told Al Arabiya English:

A new cabinet

The political agreement allows Hamdok to form an independent cabinet of technocrats, until an election can be held in July 2023.

Analysts find that the deal between Hamdok and Burhan is an opportunity for the PM to clean house in the cabinet and appoint new ministers who would be more cooperative in implementing changes to the government, its policies and projects.

“The infighting of the former civilian government was a headache for Hamdok,” said Theodore Murphy, Director of the Africa Program at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“The coup was a terrible catastrophe but if there is any silver lining to be wrung out of it, I think that Hamdok’s calculus was that it gave him an excuse to disperse of the difficult people in his constituency who were making his life difficult,” Murphy added.

Sudan has suffered from an ailing economy, widespread shortages of essential goods such as fuel, bread and medicine, incredibly high inflation and a society that was hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Implementing reforms to better manage the country under Hamdok has not been very successful and the government’s efforts did not appease the general public.

“I think Hamdok thought [the deal] would improve his situation. The status quo before wasn’t great for Hamdok, because his political constituency, his cabinet, his ministers, there was a lot of infighting, there was a lot of difficulty,” Murphy said.

Hamdok’s office said in a statement last month that the PM denied having any “personal interest” in signing the deal and had stressed in multiple interviews that it was only for “national interest” and to “stop bloodshed”.

Why only Hamdok reinstated?

The reinstatement of Hamdok did not reverse the coup. The military retains overall control and the appointment of a technocratic government further dismisses the political parties and the pro-democracy protesters.

Analysts question why only Hamdok was reinstated from the previous government in the deal with the military.

“The agreement is a deal only between two figures: General Burhan and Hamdok,” Murphy said.

“The fact that he is the only one allowed to make that decision combined with the fact that his democratic constituency, the protest movement, has discarded him, that’s the more worrying part,” Murphy added.

“You don’t have to worry that the military – Burhan – is going to pull a fast one on Hamdok. I think what’s more worrying is what’s the understanding between Hamdok and Burhan.”

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Fellow at Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center believes the deal means the military “successfully asserted their political dominance in terms of setting the pace and direction of the transitional process.”

“Hamdok apparently felt unable to resist this assertion. Maybe he judged the US and EU to be insufficiently committed to forcing the generals to retreat, but in all cases, he made a strategic misjudgment,” Sayigh added.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/07/Sudan-s-deal-a-clean-slate-for-Hamdok-but-lost-opportunity-for-real-change-Analysts

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UN says 30 percent of Sudan’s people will need aid next year

06 December ,2021

Thirty percent of Sudan’s population will need humanitarian aid next year, the UN warned in a report Monday, saying the rate is “the highest in a decade.”

It blamed Sudan’s economic crisis and the Covid pandemic, floods and disease and the fact Sudan, one of the world’s poorest countries, also hosts millions of refugees and internally displaced people or IDPs.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 14.3 million of Sudan’s population of 47.9 million, including both citizens and refugees, will require humanitarian assistance next year.

This is about 800,000 more people than this year, the report said, adding that “the number of people in need in Sudan in 2022 is the highest in the past decade.”

More than half of the vulnerable population are women and children.

Sudan has nearly three million IDPs after decades of conflict, including in the western region of Darfur where fighting from 2003 left 300,000 dead according to the UN.

The country also hosts nearly 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers, 68 percent of them from South Sudan which seceded in 2011.

Sudan has been grappling with political turbulence that worsened following the April 2019 ouster of president Omar al-Bashir after mass protests against his rule.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/06/UN-says-30-percent-of-Sudan-s-people-will-need-aid-next-year

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UN chief names US diplomat Stephanie Williams to run Libya mediation

06 December ,2021

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday appointed US diplomat Stephanie Williams to lead mediation efforts in Libya after his special envoy quit just weeks ahead of planned elections in the war-torn country.

UN special envoy on Libya, Jan Kubis, is due to step down on Friday. Guterres had informally suggested veteran British diplomat Nicholas Kay as a replacement, but Russia said it would not support Kay, according to diplomats. The 15-member UN Security Council, operating by consensus, must approve a new appointment.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Guterres named Williams as his special adviser, which does not require council approval. Williams was the acting special envoy on Libya after Ghassan Salame quit in March 2020 because of stress and before Kubis was approved in January 2021.

Kubis, who has been based in Geneva, said last month there was a need for the head envoy to be based in Libya’s capital Tripoli and he resigned “to create conditions for this.”

Williams “will lead good offices and mediation efforts and engagements with Libyan regional and international stakeholders to pursue implementation of the three intra-Libyan dialogue tracks - political, security and economic - and support the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Libya descended into chaos after the NATO-backed overthrow of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In October last year, the two major sides in Libya’s civil war - the internationally recognized Government of National Accord and Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based Libyan National Army - agreed a ceasefire.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2021/12/06/UN-chief-names-US-diplomat-Stephanie-Williams-to-run-Libya-mediation

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North America

 

US imposes sanctions on people in Iran, Syria and Uganda, citing rights abuses

07 December ,2021

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on more than a dozen people and entities in Iran, Syria and Uganda, accusing them of being connected to serious human rights abuses and repressive acts.

In an action marking the week of the US Summit for Democracy, the Treasury Department said in a statement it was targeting repression and the undermining of democracy, designating individuals and entities tied to the violent suppression of peaceful protesters in Iran and deadly chemical weapons attacks against civilians in Syria, among others.

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“Treasury will continue to defend against authoritarianism, promoting accountability for violent repression of people seeking to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement.

Washington blacklisted two senior Syrian Air Force officers it accused of being responsible for chemical weapon attacks on civilians and three senior officers in Syria’s security and intelligence apparatus, according to the statement.

In Iran, the United States designated the Special Units of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces and Counter-Terror Special Forces, as well as several of their officials, and Gholamreza Soleimani, who commands Iran’s hardline Basij militia. Two prisons and a prison director were also blacklisted over events that reportedly took place in them.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/07/US-imposes-sanctions-on-people-in-Iran-Syria-and-Uganda-citing-rights-abuses

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Once-bustling Afghan Embassy in US down to few diplomats

06 December ,2021

One of the last diplomats representing Kabul’s toppled government in Washington has implored the US not to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, pointing to the radical group’s suppression of women and human rights violations.

The Afghan government, led by deposed President Ashraf Ghani, collapsed on August 15 after Ghani fled the country and the Afghan security forces failed to prevent the Taliban from taking over.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

But the diplomats at the Afghan Embassy in the US refuse to acknowledge the Taliban and have rebuffed all of the group’s attempts of opening lines of communication, Deputy Chief of Mission Abdul Hadi Nejrabi told Al Arabiya English in a recent interview.

“We are definitely not in contact with Kabul, with the Taliban. We are also not interested in maintaining any relations with the Taliban; we don’t recognize them,” Nejrabi said from an near to empty embassy in Washington.

Nejrabi pointed to the members of the “so-called acting cabinet,” which includes several individuals blacklisted by the United States.

After turning down a Zoom invite with the Taliban’s acting foreign minister following the takeover, Nejrabi said he and his colleagues continue to receive emails from Taliban officials trying to establish contact.

“Sanctions are imposed on most of them … that are now holding high-ranking positions in Taliban government,” he said.

Counterterrorism sanctions on the Taliban continue to make engaging in financial transactions with them illegal.

The UN has also sanctioned multiple members of the Taliban. Earlier this week, the group’s attempts to occupy Afghanistan’s seat at the UN failed.

This was their second attempt, but the UN deferred the decision, and diplomats have said another vote on the matter may not take place until the 2022 General Assembly.

No US recognition of Taliban, yet

As for the US, Nejrabi said he does not believe any recognition of the Taliban is imminent.

“We don’t expect that the US government would recognize the Taliban very soon because the US government and [the] international community have their conditions for recognition,” he said, pointing out women’s rights, access to education, and not going after former members of the collapsed Afghan security forces.

Despite the Taliban vowing to change its behavior, based on the group’s own interpretation of Islam and Sharia, Nejrabi said the proof already showed the truth. Over the weekend, the US and other Western nations blasted the Taliban after Human Rights Watch and other organizations said “summary killings and enforced disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces” had been documented.

In the last month alone, the Taliban has ordered television channels to stop airing shows with women actors while also demanding that female TV journalists wear a hijab while on air.

“They are not responsible people, and their actions are different… than whatever they are saying the media. And whatever they are doing currently in Afghanistan is very different,” Nejrabi said.

Taliban is Pakistan’s proxy

Nejrabi was clear about his views when asked if diplomats from Pakistan, China or Russia had reached out to him or other diplomats to push the premise that the Taliban be recognized as the Afghan government.

The three countries have been at the fore of trying to convince the international community to recognize the Taliban as the new government.

The three countries have not tried to contact diplomats of the former government.

“But, yes, they are advocating for the Taliban. And, you know, the Taliban is a proxy of Pakistan,” Nejrabi said, blaming the current situation in Afghanistan on Pakistan and its intelligence services.

Nejrabi also hit out at Qatar for its support of the Taliban.

Washington will be diplomatically represented by Qatar in Afghanistan after a deal between the US and Doha last month.

Moving forward with no budget

So, what can the Afghan diplomats in Washington do without a government and how much longer do they have?

“Providing consular services to Afghan refugees,” he said. “They need consular services and a lot of documentation so they can file with immigration authorities [in the US],” Nejrabi said.

Nejrabi and only a handful of diplomats remain at the embassy.

Adela Raz was appointed to become Afghanistan’s next ambassador to the US. Shortly after she arrived in Washington, Kabul fell to the Taliban, and she was unable to present her credentials to US President Joe Biden.

Having no budget and no government to report back to, the remaining diplomats at the embassy are working for free and paying their own bills. They haven’t been paid in over two months, Nejrabi said.

“The thing is, it’s not about the budget… And I don’t have any financial resources to keep paying our diplomats. So, we are just here to serve those people that are really in support and of consular services, which are very important for the resettlement.”

He estimates that more than 85,000 Afghan refugees have fled to the United States since the chaotic withdrawal ordered by the White House ended a 20-year military presence in Afghanistan.

US officials have not delivered any messages that would force Nejrabi and his colleagues to vacate the embassy.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/06/Once-bustling-Afghan-Embassy-in-US-down-to-few-diplomats

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US Navy seizes two caches of Iranian arms in Arabian Sea destined for Yemen’s Houthis

08 December ,2021

The US Navy seized two large caches of Iranian weapons from two vessels in the Arabian sea which Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) intended to ship to the Houthi militias in Yemen, the US Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The caches contained 171 surface-to-air missiles and eight anti-tank missiles, as well as approximately 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum products. The petroleum products were seized from four foreign-flagged tankers in or around the Arabian Sea while en route to Venezuela.

The Justice Department said Tuesday’s seizure represent the US “largest-ever forfeitures of fuel and weapons shipments from Iran.”

The US government sold the seized petroleum products for $26.7 million and directed that amount to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

“The actions of the US in these two cases strike a resounding blow to the Government of Iran and to the criminal networks supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/12/08/US-Navy-seizes-two-caches-of-Iranian-arms-in-Arabian-Sea-destined-to-Yemen-s-Houthis

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