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Islamic World News ( 27 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Indonesian Bar Shut, Six Employees Arrested After Blasphemy Charges over Free Alcohol Promotion for People Named Mohammad, Maria

New Age Islam News Bureau

28 June 2022

 

Municipal officers seal the Holywings bar after police charged six employees with blasphemy over a promotional activity offering free alcohol for people named "Muhammad" or "Maria" in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

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• Taliban’s Alleged Extrajudicial Killings in Afghan District Worry UN, Rights Groups

• Growing Presence of Pakistani Radicals in Europe Raises Alarm for Israel

• Kuwaiti Lawyer and Activist Al Shureka’s Twitter Account Withheld in India for Supporting Beleaguered Muslims

• Rights Groups Warn Against Israeli Move to Register Land Adjacent To Al-Aqsa

• 'Diminishing Space for Plurality in India': Twitter Accounts of Several Pakistan Diplomatic Missions Blocked in India

 

Southeast Asia

• Indonesian Bar Shut, Six Employees Arrested After Blasphemy Charges Over Free Alcohol Promotion For People Named Mohammad, Maria

• China: Uyghur student facing trial highlights government push to jail Muslims

• Kelantan allows Eid ul Azha sacrificial rites, says state Islamic religious council

• Malaysia, Iran Joint Islamic Art Exhibition Opens in Kuala Lumpur

• In Indonesia’s ‘Makkah porch,’ Hajj rekindles centuries-old bond with Arabia

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North America

• US carries out strike inside Syria, targeting ‘senior’ terrorist leader: CENTCOM

• Indirect talks between US, Iran to resume in the Gulf this week: State Department

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Europe

• England: Islamophobia has grown since 2017 London mosque van attack

• Azerbaijan’s president, OIC chief discuss promotion of Islamic solidarity

• Sweden’s Kurdish diaspora fear they may pay price for NATO bid as Turkey fumes

• Over 500 right-wing extremists wanted in Germany: Interior Ministry

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Arab World

• Abu Dhabi to focus on rehabilitation, treatment under new anti-drugs initiative

• UAE Minister Almheiri outlines actions to address global food crisis at Berlin meet

• US, Israeli, Arab officials meet in Bahrain as part of Negev summit

• Emirates to air Shahid content exclusively on inflight entertainment system

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Mideast

• Library and House of Manuscripts of al-Abbas holy shrine dedicates shelves for books of 'Fatwa of Defence'

• President Rayeesi: Iran Ready to Help D-8 Countries in Technological Fields

• Spokesman: Vienna Talks to Continue in A Persian Gulf State

• Iranian Foreign Ministry Reminds of Numerous Human Rights Violations by US

• Israel to work with world powers to shape any Iran nuclear deal: Defence minister

• Türkiye protests 'one-sided sanctions' on Iran, hopes revival of nuclear deal

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Pakistan

• Defence Minister condemns Canadian parliamentarian’s remarks against Pakistani military leadership

• Former Chief of Pak’s ISI Says Supporting Imran Khan Need of Hour

• Nascent Pakistan Coalition Govt Comes Under Fire From Within

• IHC asks defence ministry to submit report on harassment of Baloch students

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South Asia

• Taliban Convene 'Loya Jirga' In Kabul: Aimed At Unifying Afghans to Discuss Key Challenges Faced By the Country

• “Tribal Elders and the Ulema” Gather for the Taliban’s Grand Gathering at the Ulema’s Persistent Request

• Human Rights Watch: Taliban’s Jirga Lacks Legitimacy If It Excludes Women

• Death toll of children in Afghanistan quake rises to 155

• Central Bank of Afghanistan: Money-Trading Through Forex Is Illegal

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India

• After Teesta Setalvad Arrest, Civil Society Fears ‘Chilling Effect’

• Mohammed Zubair, one of the founders of the fact-checking website AltNews,

• SC Verdict in Zakia Jafri Case Deeply Disappointing, Says Congress

• Regrettable that still no agreement on Constitutional basis for holding elections in Libya: India

• SC to hear plea alleging attacks on Christian institutions, priests

• Delhi Afghanistan embassy not taking orders from Taliban

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Africa

• Recognise Sharia Court Now – Osun Muslim Community To State Government

• 5 Nigerians among 30 killed in ethnic violence in western Cameroon

• Tunisian parties slam attacks on opponents of constitutional referendum

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/indonesian-bar-alcohol-blasphemy-mohammad-maria-/d/127347

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Indonesian Bar Shut, Six Employees Arrested After Blasphemy Charges Over Free Alcohol Promotion For People Named Mohammad, Maria

 

Municipal officers seal the Holywings bar after police charged six employees with blasphemy over a promotional activity offering free alcohol for people named "Muhammad" or "Maria" in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

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June 28, 2022

JAKARTA, June 28 (Reuters) - Indonesian authorities stripped a bar and restaurant chain in the capital, Jakarta, of its operating permit after police charged six employees with blasphemy over a promotion offering free drinks for people named Mohammad or Maria.

Critics have said Indonesia's strict blasphemy laws are being used to erode a long-standing reputation for tolerance and diversity in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country.

The drinks promotion at the "Holywings" chain prompted a police investigation after complaints by religious groups. The six were charged under the blasphemy law, which can be punished by up to five years in jail, and a blasphemy provision of the internet law, which carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

In a social media post that was later deleted, the chain offered a free bottle of gin for men named Mohammad and women named Maria every Thursday.

On Tuesday, 12 outlets in the capital were sealed off after authorities said they did not have licences to serve alcohol, the Jakarta government said in a statement on its website.

Holywings Indonesia has apologised for the promotion, which it said was created without the knowledge of management.

Police said the employees created the promotion in attempt to meet sales targets.

Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the blasphemy law and a law regulating online activity was becoming "increasingly dangerous".

"These six individuals just made an alcohol promotion, maybe ridiculous in this increasingly Islamic country, but no crime at all according to international standards," he said.

The blasphemy law has mostly been used against those deemed to have insulted Islam, including Jakarta's former Christian governor Basuki "Ahok" Purnama, who was sentenced to two years in prison in 2017 on blasphemy on charges widely seen as politically motivated.

Indonesia has jailed more than 150 people, mostly from religious minorities, since the blasphemy law was passed in 1965, based on data collated by Human Rights Watch.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Kate Lamb in Sydney and Stanley Widianto in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Ajeng Dinar in Jakarta; Editing by Ed Davies, Robert Birsel

Source: Reuters

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

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/indonesia-bar-chain-shut-after-blasphemy-charges-over-drinks-promotion-2022-06-28/

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Taliban’s Alleged Extrajudicial Killings in Afghan District Worry UN, Rights Groups

 

FILE - An Afghan man on a horse crosses a river in Sar-e Pol province, May 8, 2012. Taliban authorities are being accused of human rights abuses as they attempt to quell a rebellion in northern Sar-e Pol province in June 2022.

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June 27, 2022

Taliban authorities in Afghanistan are being accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses as they attempt to quell an armed rebellion in a northern region.

The United Nations and rights watchdogs on Monday called reports of abuses in the turbulent Balkhab district in northern Sar-e Pol province alarming and demanded that the ruling Islamist group hold those responsible.

The accusations stemmed from recent Taliban military operations against loyalist-turned-rebel commander Mehdi Mujahid and his fighters in Balkhab.

Mujahid, an influential member of the Afghan ethnic minority Hazara Shi’ite community, served until recently as the Taliban’s spy chief for central Bamyan province. He was dismissed for unspecified reasons, prompting him to break away from the Sunni-based Islamist rulers.

"Amnesty International is gravely concerned by reports of summary executions and harm to civilians in Balkhab district of Sari-Pul province,” the global rights group tweeted Monday. “As the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, the Taliban has a primary responsibility to end the attacks against civilians and ensure justice and accountability."

Richard Bennett, the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation on human rights in Afghanistan, described as “disturbing” reports of extrajudicial killings, civilian displacement, property distraction and other human rights abuses in the northern district.

“Regrettably verification hampered by info blackout, internet cut & denial of access to media & HR monitors,” Bennett tweeted.

The Taliban refuted the charges as propaganda.

“The situation in Balkhab has returned to normal. No one has been oppressed or persecuted. The people are living a peaceful and safe environment. The propaganda about mistreatment of civilians or casualties is not true,” the chief Taliban spokesman tweeted Monday.

Taliban officials maintained they had reportedly dispatched several delegations to Balkhab to unsuccessfully negotiate a settlement with Mujahid before ordering last week’s military offensive against his forces

The Defense Ministry in Kabul announced on Sunday that security forces had evicted Mujahid's fighters from the district headquarters and surrounding areas, saying fleeing rebels had taken refuge in a nearby valley, and operations against them were continuing. VOA could not ascertain from independent sources the veracity of the official claims.

A video speech circulating on social media showed Mujahid among his fighters somewhere in Balkhab while one of his loyalists addressed the crowd, accusing the Taliban of sidelining Hazara Afghans from the national political space.

The insurgent-turned-ruling group seized power in Afghanistan last August as the United States and NATO partners withdrew their last troops from the country.

The Taliban installed an all-male interim Cabinet to govern the conflict-torn South Asian nation, imposing restrictions on women’s rights to work and education, and cracking down on dissent.

Critics say the new government in Kabul comprises members of the Pashtun-based Taliban group and doesn’t give representation to other Afghan ethnicities.

The lack of political inclusivity and respect for rights of all Afghans, including women, is keeping the global community from formally recognizing the Taliban as legitimate rulers of Afghanistan.

Taliban leaders reject criticism of their administration, officially called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and maintain that their polices are in line with Afghan culture and Islamic tradition.

Source: VOA News

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

https://www.voanews.com/a/taliban-s-alleged-extrajudicial-killings-in-afghan-district-worry-un-rights-groups-/6635218.html

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Growing Presence of Pakistani Radicals In Europe Raises Alarm For Israel

27 June, 2022

Italy [Rome], June 27 (ANI): Amid the spike in illegal migration of radical Pakistanis to Europe, the security concerns of Israel is under threat as this time in Italy where over a dozen people of Pakistani origin (or nationality), were arrested in Genoa all a part of the “Gabar Group”.

Genoa is a warning for Italy and Europe, to pay closer attention to Pakistani migrants and asylum seekers, it also should be a red flag to Israel given the globalization of jihad.

Israel has declared these groups to have close terroristic links stating that Europe could become a nursing ground for such cross-pollination of terror, given the hate for Israel that is found in Pakistan, the Times of Israel reported.

When arrest warrants were issued for fourteen Pakistanis in Italy connected with the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris in September 2020, Europe felt a sudden jolt as it confirmed the growing presence of Pakistani radicals in Europe. The people of Pakistani origin (or nationality) that were arrested in Genoa are said to be a part of the “Gabar Group”.

While Genoa comes as a warning for Italy and Europe, to pay closer attention to Pakistani migrants and asylum seekers, it has become a red flag to Israel amid perpetration of jihad on a global level.

As per local media reports, a two-year-long investigation unravelled the active existence of a terrorist cell formed by young Pakistanis in several Italian provinces and in some European countries. Calling for terrorist attacks against those who insult the Prophet or Islam, the extremist sympathisers network across Europe through social media platforms calling for terrorist attacks against those who insult the Prophet or Islam.

Moreover, Pakistani terror supporters have been under a constant watch in the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany ever since the arrest of a Pakistani national, Zaheer Hassan Mahmood, for stabbing two persons outside the French magazine office in Paris in September 2020, Times of Israel reported.

The magazine had published allegedly insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had openly supported militant organizations like Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to take over the streets of Pakistan demanding the ouster of the French Ambassador.

In December 2020, French authorities arrested four more Pakistani nationals who had prior knowledge of the attack and were encouraging Mahmood to carry out the attack through social media. Mahmood confessed to be a member of a proselytization group based in Pakistan, Dawat-e-Islami. He told his interrogators that he was influenced by the Dawat-e-Islami founder, Mullah Ilyas Qadri.

Taking another example into consideration, the Barelvi group, which claims to be non-violent and non-political, became prominent in 2011 when one of its followers, Mumtaz Qadri shot the then Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

Many members of the group were found to be a part of the Barelvi militant group, Sunni Tehreek. The Pakistan military was anxious about the group and its activities within the armed forces, especially the Pakistan Air Force.

In February this year, Spain arrested five more persons, all Pakistanis, for networking with the Paris attacker, the Times of Israel reported, citing sources.

These persons were using social networks to urge compatriots to attack those who raise their voices against Islam and were later arrested in Barcelona, Gerona, Ubeda (Jaen), and Granada, it added.

All of them admitted to being members of TLP, a group which had the support of the Imran Khan government as well as the army. With active and numerous followers in Spain, France, Greece and Italy, these men were circulating audiovisual material through Facebook and Tik-Tok which glorified terrorist attacks.

According to the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, Andreas Ferrarese, as of February 2021, there are around 200,000 Pakistanis in Italy and only 140,000 are documented. This also gives rise to a large number of Pakistanis with European passports who can freely travel to Israel without visas, he said, adding that the growing networking of extremist groups in Europe may cause harm to Israel in the longer run. (ANI)

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/growing-presence-of-pakistani-radicals-in-europe-raises-alarm-for-israel/1014423/

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Kuwaiti Lawyer and Activist Al Shureka’s Twitter Account Withheld in India for Supporting Beleaguered Muslims

 

Kuwaiti lawyer Mujbil Al Shureka

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Sakina Fatima

27th June 2022

Renowned Kuwaiti lawyer and rights activist Mujbil Al Shureka’s Twitter account was “withheld” late on Sunday “in response to a legal demand” by the government of India.

On Mujbil Al Shureka’s account, a message reads, “@MJALSHRIKA’s account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand.”

In turn, Mujbil Al Shureka (@MJALSHRIKA), from the Kuwait Institute of Law and Legal Studies, in a tweet wrote, “Dear @Twitter Is supporting the oppressed Muslims of India a crime? Is highlighting the human rights violation of a repressive Hindutva regime a sin? If not then why has my account been blocked for Indian viewers? @TwitterIndia @hrw @amnesty @ndtv @nytimes @AlJazeera @RT_com.”

Al Shureka is from Kuwait. In his bio on Twitter, says that he is the “Director of the Centre for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, member of the training body at the Kuwait Institute for Lawyers and Legal Studies”.

The lawyer, who has 232,010 followers on Twitter, had been frequently coming out in support of the issues of India’s beleaguered Muslims.

He has been requesting Indian Muslims to appoint him as their lawyer so he could take the issue of Babri Masjid to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at Hague, Netherlands.

Earlier, the Kuwait-based Muslim activist had extended his support towards the jailed Muslim activists Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid and Siddique Kappan.

He had claimed, “The radicalisation of Hindus by the RSS/BJP regime has seeped into the veins India’s institutions. That’s why innocent Muslim activists like #UmarKhalid #SharjilImam & journalists like #SiddiqueKappan are languishing in jails criminally framed by Hindutva officials.”

Al Shureka had also batted on behalf of journalist Rana Ayub, who has frequetly been targetted for her rebellion against the oppression of minorities in India.

Earlier on Sunday, June 26, Journalist Rana Ayyub posted a notice from Twitter which informed her that the microblogging site will withheld her account in India under Information Technology Act, 2000.

However, later her account waas restored.

Ayyub took to her Twitter account to post the notice and said, “Hello Twitter, what exactly is this?”

The notice from Twitter that Ayyub shared read, “In order to comply with Twitter’s obligations under India’s local laws, we have withheld the following account in India under the country’s Information Technology Act, 2000: the content remains available elsewhere.”

“As Twitter strongly believes in defending and respecting the voice of the people who use our service, it is our policy to notify account holders if we receive a legal request from an authorized entity (such law enforcement or government agency) to remove content from their account. We provide notice whether or not the user lives in the country where the request originated,” it read.

In effect, the accounts have been geo-restricted, so while they can still be accessed from IP addresses outside the country, they will still be unavailable or blocked in India.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/kuwaiti-lawyer-al-shurekas-twitter-account-withheld-in-india-2358108/

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Rights Groups Warn Against Israeli Move to Register Land Adjacent To Al-Aqsa

 

Photo: Tasnim News Agency

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28 June 2022

Rights groups have warned of “far-reaching implications” of the Israeli regime's controversial move to start the process of registering the ownership of land adjacent to the al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East al-Quds.       

The process of the “settlement of land title procedure” was initiated last week in the Abu Thor area as well as the Umayyad Palaces site adjacent to the southern wall of al-Aqsa Mosque, reports said.

According to Middle East Eye, Israeli rights groups Ir Amim and Bimkom said in a joint statement on Monday that the fund allocated to the procedure has been largely utilized to register land for illegal settlements and will ultimately lead to further Palestinian dispossession.

“[The procedure] carries possible disastrous ramifications for hundreds of Palestinian homes in Abu Thor, while the other has an acute potential for escalating tensions due to its highly sensitive location in close proximity to al-Aqsa,” the statement reads.

“There is grave concern that the state is advancing the settlement of title process in the Umayyad Palaces/Ophel site to enable Israeli takeover of this territory through its formal registration as state land while aiding state-backed settler groups in their aggressive efforts to gain control of these highly sensitive locations."

Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, deputy director of the al-Quds Islamic Waqf, in his remarks on Monday stressed that changing the ownership of Umayyad Palaces was invalid and in breach of the Geneva Convention.

In 2018, the Israeli regime for the first time began promoting the “settlement of land title procedure”.

In 2020, Ir Amim said the process was being used as a tool to “seize more land in East Jerusalem [al-Quds], leading to the expansion of Israeli settlements and further Palestinian dispossession”.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are deemed illegal under international law as they are built on the occupied land. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in a series of resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.  

The area south of al-Aqsa Mosque is also the scene of Israeli excavations that Palestinians say threaten the foundation of the holy site.

On Monday, the Council of Endowments, Islamic Affairs, and Holy Places said excavations made by the regime in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque were threatening its foundations, saying new cracks have appeared in the floor of the sacred site.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/28/684661/Rights-groups-warn-Israel-register-land--al-Aqsa

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'Diminishing Space for Plurality in India': Twitter Accounts Of Several Pakistan Diplomatic Missions Blocked in India

 

Representational Image

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June 28, 2022

Pakistan has expressed alarm over India blocking Twitter accounts of Pakistani embassies in several locations.

"Deeply concerning that India has blocked flow of information to Indian Twitter by withholding access to following official accounts," the Foreign Office said on Twitter, adding that the accounts that were withheld in India are official handles run by Pakistan's missions in Iran, Turkiye, Egypt, and the United Nations.

Yesterday, it was reported in Indian news outlets that the neighbouring country had also withheld the Twitter handle of the official Radio Pakistan.

According to India Today, the move came after the Indian Ministry of Information and broadcasting earlier blocked 16 YouTube news channels including six Pakistan-based channels, claiming they were "spreading disinformation related to India's national security, foreign relations, and public order".

Earlier, Twitter had also blocked accounts of certain journalists — Indian and international — who are critical of the Modi regime.

Condemning the restriction on Twitter, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted on Monday night that the diminishing space for plurality of voices and access to information in India was "extremely alarming".

"Social media platforms must abide by applicable international norms," it stressed.

In a follow-up tweet, the FO urged Twitter to immediately restore access to the Pakistan missions' accounts and ensure adherence to democratic freedom of speech and expression.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1697138/diminishing-space-for-plurality-india-blocks-twitter-accounts-of-several-pakistan-diplomatic-missions

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Southeast Asia

 China: Uyghur student facing trial highlights government push to jail Muslims

June 27, 2022

A Uyghur student is set to go on trial for “separatism” in the city of Urumqi on Tuesday in what appears to be the latest example of the Chinese government’s strategy to unlawfully imprison Muslims in the country’s Xinjiang region, Amnesty International said today.

Zulyar Yasin was detained at his home in December 2021 and his family were recently informed that he will be sentenced to up to five years in jail, Amnesty has learned. Yasin appears to have been targeted because he travelled to Turkey as a teenager.

“This prosecution is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to human rights violations against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims in Xinjiang, but it provides a snapshot of how the Chinese government’s machine of repression is operating,” said Gwen Lee, Amnesty International’s China Campaigner.

“Zulyar Yasin appears to be the latest victim of the government’s campaign to arbitrarily detain Uyghurs and other Muslims in prisons on a mass scale. Yasin’s family say the authorities have provided zero evidence for the ‘separatism’ charges against him.”

Yasin, 25, was in the final year of a five-year land management and forestry course at Fujian University in south-eastern China when he was arrested while doing an internship in Urumqi, Xinjiang.

He is set to be defended in court on Tuesday by a government-appointed lawyer, rather than one of his choosing, contrary to international fair trial standards.

Yasin spent two years studying finance at Istanbul University from 2014 to 2016. Uyghurs and other Xinjiang residents who have spent time overseas have been systematically targeted with arbitrary detention by the authorities.

Prosecutions of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang are often shrouded in secrecy, but Amnesty has learned of Yasin’s ordeal through contact with his relatives overseas.

Yasin’s aunt, a Dutch citizen, told Amnesty International: “The police do not have any evidence for his so-called crime. There is no law in China – Uyghurs are being targeted and detained for fake sins. I am broken.”

She has called for the Government of the Netherlands to intervene in the case.

“Recent Chinese government rhetoric claims people are being released or ‘graduating’ from the ‘re-education’ camps that have caused international outrage. But even if true, this is nothing to celebrate when victims are instead being arbitrarily sent to prison for vaguely worded offences after unfair trials,” Gwen Lee said.

“Whether confined in a jail or a camp, the imprisonment, torture and persecution of Uyghurs and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang is unlawful, widespread and ongoing. The international community, including the United Nations, must redouble its efforts to address crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations committed in Xinjiang by the Beijing authorities.”  

Background

In June 2021, Amnesty International launched a comprehensive report documenting how China’s crackdown against predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang amounted to crimes against humanity.

Based on dozens of testimonies, the report described a “dystopian hellscape” encompassing grave human rights violations against detainees, systematic state surveillance of millions of people, and efforts to root out the religious traditions, cultural practices and local languages of the region’s Muslim ethnic groups.

Amnesty has also launched an internationalcampaign calling for the release of all people arbitrarily detained in camps and prisons, and for the closure of the internment camps.

A team led by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spent six days in China last month including two days in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. However, High Commissioner Bachelet failed to address crimes against humanity by the Chinese government during the visit.

Source: Amnesty

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

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/06/china-uyghur-student-facing-trial-highlights-government-push-to-jail-muslims/

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Kelantan allows Eid ul Azha sacrificial rites, says state Islamic religious council

27 Jun 2022

KOTA BARU, June 27 — Muslims in Kelantan are allowed to perform animal sacrificial rites in conjunction with Eid ul Azha this year without additional standard operating procedures, said Kelantan Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MAIK) president Tengku Tan Sri Mohamad Rizam Tengku Abdul Aziz.

“I don’t think there is any problem...Covid-19 cases are also under control and on the decline. Muslims can perform ibadah korban anywhere they want,” he told reporters after launching MAIK Waqf Month at Kompleks Islam Darul Naim here today.

Commenting on the Waqf Month, Tengku Mohamad Rizam, who is also Tengku Temenggong of Kelantan, said the programme was aimed at increasing the knowledge and understanding of Muslims regarding the importance of endowment.

“We will be promoting MAIK waqf products such as real estate, health and education,” he said.

In another development, he said MAIK has never appointed any individual or company to collect funds and donations using the agency’s name.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/06/27/kelantan-allows-Eid ul Azha-sacrificial-rites-says-state-islamic-religious-council/14523

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Malaysia, Iran Joint Islamic Art Exhibition Opens in Kuala Lumpur

June 28, 2022

Titled “Malaysia-Iran Islamic Art Exhibition 2022”, the event has been organized by the Iranian Cultural Centre (ICC) in collaboration with the Visual Arts Department of the University of Selangor (UNISEL).

According to a statement by the Iranian cultural center, the exhibition is an attempt to embody the spirit of Islam and Islamic culture. The exhibition includes pieces that incorporate verses from the Holy Quran and works showcasing the names and attributes of Allah the Almighty as well as the beauties of what God has created.

The exhibition presents more than 120 artworks from about 30 prominent Malaysian and Iranian artists, as well as from ICC’s collection.

Islamic Calligraphy (Quranic Art, Kufi and Persian Naskh scripts), Paintings and Illuminations, Ceramics & tiles, Glass Works, metal works, photographs, digital artworks, and a splendid Persian handmade carpet, are amongst the several Islamic artworks exhibited in a very spiritual atmosphere.

The exhibition is also known as part of the activities of Malaysia Islamic Tourism Week (ITW), which takes place from June 20 to July 3, organized by the Islamic Tourism Centre — an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia.

Iran Cultural Center is recognized as a strategic partner and collaborator of the ITW and a Certificate Of Appreciation was presented to Iran Cultural Counsellor Mohammad Oraee Karimi, by YB Dato Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia during the Inaugural Ceremony of Islamic Tourism Week (ITW) 2022.

Source: IQNA

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

https://iqna.ir/en/news/3479484/malaysia-iran-joint-islamic-art-exhibition-opens-in-kuala-lumpur

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In Indonesia’s ‘Makkah porch,’ Hajj rekindles centuries-old bond with Arabia

SHEANY YASUKO LAI

June 27, 2022

JAKARTA: As they leave for Hajj, pilgrims from Aceh prepare for a transformative and spiritually moving experience, which for many of them also rekindles a special, centuries-old connection they feel for Saudi Arabia.

The westernmost province of Indonesia, Aceh is the site of the earliest Muslim kingdoms in Southeast Asia, which began to form in the late 13th century.

It was the last Southeast Asian port of call for pilgrimages to the holiest city of Islam, and in the 17th century court chronicles of Aceh rulers began to refer to it as “Serambi Makkah,” or “Porch of Makkah” — a term that is still used by the Acehnese today.

Now, the opportunity to depart for the real Makkah and perform Hajj is something they look forward to for years, if not decades.

“In Aceh it’s about 30 to 31 years,” Mizaj Iskandar, who has been tasked by the local government with organizing the pilgrimage, told Arab News.

“They are certainly very emotional because they have been waiting for so long,” he said. “By the time they receive the call, they must be moved, happy, and in disbelief. All these emotions you can find in almost all the participants.”

One of the pilgrims, 58-year-old Kamariah from Aceh Besar regency, could not find the words to describe how moved she was that she would be able to see the Kaaba at the center of the Grand Mosque, Masjid Al-Haram, in Makkah.

“I don’t know how to express how happy I am to see Kaaba,” she said. “It feels like I will never want to leave it.”

Like other pilgrims, Kamariah has been preparing for the journey, especially spiritually.

“Before we go to the holy land, we must have already cleansed our hearts,” she said. “We hope to become good Hajj pilgrims.”

One of Islam’s five pillars of faith, the Hajj was restricted over pandemic fears to only 1,000 people living in Saudi Arabia in 2020. In 2021, the Kingdom limited the pilgrimage to 60,000 domestic participants, compared with the pre-pandemic 2.5 million.

But this year, as it has already lifted most of its COVID-19 curbs, Saudi Arabia will welcome 1 million pilgrims from abroad. More than 100,000 of them are arriving from Indonesia — the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. And among them, 2,022 are from Aceh.

“My family and I have not stopped expressing our gratitude to Allah, because we have been called this year to go for Hajj,” Amalia Sabrina, a doctor from Sigli town in the Pidie regency of Aceh, told Arab News.

“I once had a dream of the event that has now taken place, and it feels almost like deja vu to be in the same position as in that dream.”

She arrived in the Kingdom last week and was enjoying the hospitality with which pilgrims have been received.

“Whether it’s the hotel service, food, laundry, service at the shops, or the people,” she said. “Everyone has been friendly.”

Sabrina’s younger brother Miftahul Hamdi, a football player, was also grateful to be in the Kingdom.

“I am so grateful to get this opportunity to go for Hajj this year,” he said. “Aceh is often referred to as a ‘Makkah porch,’ so being able to go for Hajj here is just very fulfilling and makes me feel very grateful.”

The enthusiasm Acehnese have for the Hajj pilgrimage, a sacred milestone for Muslims, is reinforced by their historical links to Saudi Arabia.

Marzuki Abubakar, researcher and lecturer at Ar-Raniry State Islamic University in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, said that Islam in Aceh has revolved around Arabia ever since its advent in Southeast Asia. The coastal region also connected the rest of the islands that constitute present-day Indonesia with the Middle East.

“Aceh was a transit point for Hajj pilgrims to go to Makkah from all over the archipelago,” he said. “There’s amazing enthusiasm among Acehnese to go for Hajj.”

What has recently strengthened the bond was the help the Acehnese received from the Kingdom during one of the darkest periods in the region’s history — the 2004 tsunami.

“They are emotionally attached to Saudi Arabia because of the help they received after the tsunami,” Abubakar told Arab News.

Saudi Arabia was one the biggest single donors to the relief response, when the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami devastated Aceh, killing more than 160,000 people — nearly 5 percent of the local population.

Saudi charities helped rebuild houses, medical facilities and the 17th-century Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh — a symbol of religion and identity of the Acehnese.

Nurlinda Nurdin, a radio reporter from Banda Aceh, who performed the pilgrimage in 2006 and spent two months covering Hajj preparations in Saudi Arabia, said that before the journey she would often fall ill, but all her ailments were gone when she was there.

“When I arrived in Saudi Arabia, I was always healthy. I was fully working, didn’t feel exhausted at all, I was enjoying myself, I was comfortable,” she told Arab News.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2111841/world

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North America

 

US carries out strike inside Syria, targeting ‘senior’ terrorist leader: CENTCOM

28 June, 2022

The US military said it conducted a “kinetic strike” overnight Monday in Syria in an operation that targeted a senior al-Qaeda-linked terrorist.

“CENTCOM Forces conducted a kinetic strike in Idlib province, Syria, June 27, targeting Abu Hamzah al Yemeni, a senior leader of Hurras al-Din, an Al Qaeda-aligned terrorist organization,” a statement from the US Central Command read.

The US has come under increased criticism for airstrikes that have killed civilians. But the US said al-Yemeni was alone while traveling on a motorcycle, and no civilian casualties were reported.

Extremist organizations like Hurras al-Din continue to present a threat to America and its allies, CENTCOM said, adding that al-Qaeda-aligned militants use Syria as a safe haven to coordinate with external affiliates and plan operations outside of Syria.

“The removal of this senior leader will disrupt al-Qaeda’s ability to carry out attacks against US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians around the world,” CENTCOM said.

US-led coalition troops detained a senior ISIS leader earlier this month, also inside Syria, the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/28/US-carries-out-strike-inside-Syria-targeting-senior-terrorist-leader-CENTCOM

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Indirect talks between US, Iran to resume in the Gulf this week: State Department

27 June, 2022

The US and Iran will resume indirect talks “in the Gulf” later this week, a State Department official told Al Arabiya English on Monday.

The official reiterated previous comments by Biden administration officials that the US is ready to conclude negotiations and implement the deal negotiated in Vienna.

“But for that, Iran needs to decide to drop their additional demands that go beyond the JCPOA,” the official said in a written response.

Washington said it was grateful to its EU partners, “who continue to convey messages and are working to advance these negotiations.”

EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell sounded upbeat after visiting Tehran over the weekend. He announced that the talks, which have been stalled for months, while the Biden administration has said Iran is on the verge of being able to acquire a nuclear weapon “within weeks,” would resume in the coming days.

Due to Iran’s refusal to meet face to face with US officials, the EU and Britain have been shuttling back and forth to relay messages between the two camps.

A senior US official told the Washington Post that Washington was “keeping our expectations very much in check.”

Analysts and diplomats familiar with the talks were optimistic that a deal was within reach on more than one occasion. But Iran came to the table, demanding that the US lift the terror designation imposed on the IRGC. The Biden administration refused and coupled with Russian obstacles, the talks were suspended.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/27/Indirect-talks-between-US-and-Iran-to-resume-in-the-Gulf-this-week-State-Department

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Europe

 

England: Islamophobia has grown since 2017 London mosque van attack

June 28, 2022

The chairperson of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London said at a memorial service on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the mosque in 2017 that Islamophobia in the United Kingdom has become worse since the attack.

Mohammed Kozbar expressed frustration that Islamophobia is "much worse now than it was five years ago" since the attack and that "Muslims do not feel safe in the U.K."

Makram Ali, a 51-year-old husband, father and grandfather, was killed when Darren Osborne drove a van into worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque after Ramadan prayers on June 19, 2017.

Kozbar noted that, at the time of the attack, then-Prime Minister Theresa May pledged sitting in his office that "steps and actions will be taken to seriously tackle this disease which causes Islamophobia."

However, he explained that a definition of Islamophobia – a first step in developing any policy or action – has not even been devised, let alone any steps being taken.

"In fact, it is much worse now than it was five years ago, with the institutionalization of Islamophobia by this government and some sections of the media," he said.

"We won’t feel safe until Islamophobia is taken seriously by the authorities and the police," he added.

The victim's daughter Ruzina Akhtar was also among those at the memorial service and said that as a Muslim woman, she wants everyone “to voice any Islamophobic behavior as it still exists, so it is tackled right away.”

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//england-islamophobia-has-grown-since-2017-london-mosque-van-attack_1270526.html

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Azerbaijan’s president, OIC chief discuss promotion of Islamic solidarity

27 JUNE 2022

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met on Monday with Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha to discuss the bloc’s vision to promote Islamic solidarity and joint Islamic action.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 11th session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers in the capital Baku.

"President [Aliyev] pledged Azerbaijan's full support to the Secretary-General's vision and mission to protect and safeguard the interest of the Muslim world," the OIC said in a statement.

During the meeting, Taha congratulated the Azerbaijani leader on the liberation of its territories from Armenian occupation and voiced support to the country's efforts to reconstruct its liberated areas.

Source: Yenisafak

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

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/azerbaijans-president-oic-chief-discuss-promotion-of-islamic-solidarity-3647729

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Sweden’s Kurdish diaspora fear they may pay price for NATO bid as Turkey fumes

28 June, 2022

Kurds in Sweden’s large diaspora are worried they will become a pawn in the negotiations over Stockholm’s ambition to join NATO if the West makes concessions to win Turkish support.

Sweden, along with Finland, applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with their bids warmly welcomed as a “historic moment” by alliance chiefs.

But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is their support for Kurdish militants and arms controls on Ankara over a 2019 incursion into Syria.

“We don’t want the Kurds to be on the negotiating table,” Shiyar Ali, the Scandinavian representative of the mainly Kurdish regions of northern Syria, said.

Any bid to join NATO, which holds a three day summit this week, requires backing from each of its 30 members. Turkey has been a NATO ally for over 70 years.

Sweden’s 100,000-strong Kurdish diaspora and Stockholm's support for Kurds’ rights has long been points of friction in relations with Ankara.

“Sweden has been a thorn in Turkey’s side, criticizing Turkish human rights abuses, there is a strong and vibrant Kurdish diaspora in Sweden, parts of which is sympathetic to the PKK,” Paul Levin, director at the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, said.

“All these things fly in the face of the Turkish perspective on these issues that the PKK and their affiliates are an essential national security threat to Turkey.”

The PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) has been waging an insurgency in Turkey since 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

Sweden has long outlawed the PKK and says it only provides humanitarian aid to Syria and refugees in the region, mainly through international organizations.

At the same time as the NATO talks, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to launch a fresh incursion into northern Syria to recapture towns held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which are backed by Washington.

The Kurdish YPG militia are a key part of the SDF that controls large parts of north Syria and is regarded by Washington as an important ally against ISIS. Ankara sees it as an extension of the militant PKK, branding it a terrorist group, while Western governments do not.

Aside from its anger with the two Nordic countries, Turkey has long been infuriated by other support for the YPG, notably from the United States, France and Germany.

Uncertain road

All that has worried some Kurds, who fear they may pay the price to placate Turkey and secure Sweden's place in NATO.

Facing a prison sentence, Osman Aytar, an ethnic Kurd, fled Turkey for Sweden in the 1990s.

“Kurds have been betrayed many times in history,” said Aytar, a 62-year-old associate professor in social work at the Malardalen University in eastern Sweden.

“Maybe Erdogan is betting that he can invade new parts of Rojava [the mainly Kurdish regions of northern Syria] and the West will be quiet just because of this NATO membership issue. If the West just shuts its eyes, he will be happy.”

Sweden’s government declined to comment on ongoing talks with Turkey. Ankara’s embassy in Stockholm also declined to comment. NATO has said the security concerns raised by Turkey are legitimate.

The complex web of issues has put the Sweden government - admired around the world for its promotion of human rights and support for minorities - in a tough spot.

Only this month, the government survived a no-confidence vote with the help of a former Kurdish peshmerga fighter, who has demanded continued support for Kurds, further angering Ankara.

A lengthy and uncertain road to NATO membership would undermine Nordic security and weaken the alliance’s hand in the Baltic.

But meeting Turkey’s demands - which remain unclear - would damage Sweden’s reputation and could complicate the fight against ISIS.

“We are worried that the Kurds become victims of the politics,” Ahmed Karamus, the Swedish co-chair of the Kurdistan National Congress, a Kurdish umbrella group, said.

While the Swedish Kurds spoken to by Reuters are confident the government will stand up to Turkey, the negotiations are an uncomfortable reminder that the security of the autonomous area is dependent on the goodwill of others.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/06/28/Sweden-s-Kurdish-diaspora-fear-they-may-pay-price-for-NATO-bid-as-Turkey-fumes

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Over 500 right-wing extremists wanted in Germany: Interior Ministry

Cüneyt Karadağ 

27.06.2022

BERLIN

Over 500 right-wing extremists are wanted in Germany, the country’s Interior Ministry said on Monday.

In an answer to the Left Party's parliamentary question, the ministry said as many as 568 far-right extremists, including 145 people who committed violent crimes, are sought by Germany as of March 31.

At least 79 of the wanted have fled abroad, the ministry added.

According to a 2021 report by the German domestic intelligence service (BfV), there are approximately 33,900 far-right extremists in Germany, of which 13,500 are “violent.”

The report noted that far-right extremists increased by 1.8% compared to 2020, the highest level since the statistics were kept.

In recent years, the country has witnessed growing racism and xenophobia fueled by the propaganda of far-right, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim groups, including the main opposition party Alternative for Germany, or AfD.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/over-500-right-wing-extremists-wanted-in-germany-interior-ministry/2623517

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Arab World

 

Abu Dhabi to focus on rehabilitation, treatment under new anti-drugs initiative

28 June, 2022

Government officials in the United Arab Emirate’s capital of Abu Dhabi have said they will put treatment and rehabilitation at the focus of a new drugs policy designed to combat the use of narcotics.

The Abu Dhabi Media Office tweeted on Monday that the ‘Integrated Strategy to Combat Addiction’ has several main objectives — preventing substance use, enabling early identification and intervention, providing appropriate treatment to substance users and ensuring fast reintegration of those recovering into their families and society.

“The strategy focuses on supply reduction, prevention efforts, and early intervention through targeted awareness campaigns, as well as education programs for parents and key stakeholders from the academic, health and social sectors,” it tweeted.

It said Abu Dhabi will focus on limit access to illegal drugs, while ensuring addicts are treated rather than punished.

Under the theme of ‘A Community Safe from Addiction’, the new strategy will see multiple government authorities - from the police and schools to hospitals and local clinics – working together to tackle the use of illegal substances.

The announcement came on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on June 26.

“The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking comes as a reminder to all societies of the danger of narcotics and their negative impact on family and societal stability,” Abu Dhabi’s Department of Community Development tweeted.

On Monday, neighboring emirate Dubai announced its customs department had made 936 drug seizures across its land, sea, air and passenger ports in the first four months of 2022. This compares to 558 seizures in the same period last year.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/06/28/Abu-Dhabi-to-focus-on-rehabilitation-treatment-under-new-anti-drugs-initiative

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UAE Minister Almheiri outlines actions to address global food crisis at Berlin meet

27 June, 2022

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, participated in the ‘Uniting for Global Food Security’ Ministerial Conference in Berlin, which was hosted by the German Government.

The event brought together ministers from the G7 countries, key donor countries, and the most vulnerable and most affected countries, as well as representatives of UN organisations, philanthropists, and civil society to drive joint action to enhance global food security.

According to Emiraes News Agency (WAM), addressing the audience at a roundtable session entitled ‘Diplomatic Efforts and Humanitarian Action,’ the Minister said: “The UAE pays the utmost attention to enhancing food security and tackling relevant challenges worldwide. As a donor, a UN Security Council member, and the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) president, the country is committed to collective action to address the global food crisis and prevent further hunger.”

In this context, she outlined three areas that can make an immediate and long-term difference. These include championing generous social protection spending by international financial institutions, channeling investment into resilient food and water systems, such as drought-resistant crops and enhanced irrigation, in fragile countries, and scaling up investment in innovation.

Almheiri highlighted the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) as a prime example of the UAE’s commitment to driving investment in innovative food systems to tackle food security challenges. AIM for Climate is a joint UAE-US initiative that seeks to accelerate and increase investment in climate-smart agricultural R&D and innovation to help food producers cope with climate change and reduce the nearly 33 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that food systems generate.

She added, “I am happy to note here that AIM for Climate is now supported by a coalition of over 200 government and non-government partners, and that it intends to increase collective investment in sustainable and innovative food systems to US$8 billion by COP27.”

Almheiri emphasised the UAE’s readiness to transfer its experience and expertise to countries that need them in line with its commitment to supporting nations that share similar climatic challenges in agriculture.

Speaking on supporting vulnerable communities around the world facing food insecurity, the Minister said, “To facilitate and expedite the transportation of aid to those who need it most, we have established the International Humanitarian City, the largest humanitarian logistics hub in the world that is home to 54 humanitarian organisations and nine UN agencies.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/06/27/UAE-Minister-Almheiri-outlines-actions-to-address-global-food-crisis-at-Berlin-meet

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US, Israeli, Arab officials meet in Bahrain as part of Negev summit

AbdelRaouf Arnaout  

27.06.2022

The Negev Summit Steering Committee convened Monday in the Bahraini capital, Manama, with the participation of Israeli, Arab and American officials. 

Alon Ushpiz, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, posted photos from inside the meeting, with the participation of officials from Israel, the US, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Working together to translate the full potential of the Abraham Accords into reality in our region,” Ushpiz said on Twitter.

“Through the Negev Summit, we are creating a real and positive change in energy, health, food & water security, regional security and so much more,” he added.

The Israeli diplomat, however, did not mention the names of the participants in the meeting.

The Negev summit was held last March at the level of foreign ministers.

In a statement on Sunday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the Negev summit “would become an ongoing process based on six working groups: Food & water security, energy, health, education & tolerance, tourism, regional security.”

The goal of the meeting “will be to determine the working groups’ process. Beyond this, the meeting will also serve as a milestone ahead of the US President’s expected visit to the Middle East,” the statement reads.

US President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia in mid-July.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/us-israeli-arab-officials-meet-in-bahrain-as-part-of-negev-summit/2623683

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Emirates to air Shahid content exclusively on inflight entertainment system

June 27, 2022

DUBAI: Emirates has partnered with MBC Group’s streaming platform Shahid to offer premium content exclusively on its inflight entertainment system, ice.

The partnership makes ice the only channel to offer access to Shahid Originals, aside from the streaming service’s own premium subscription online platform.

“We are excited to offer Shahid’s content for Emirates’ customers to enjoy, just in time for the busiest travel season of the year,” said Natasha Matos-Hemingway, chief commercial and marketing officer (VOD) at MBC Group.

Starting in July, 135 hours of Shahid content from 15 shows will be available on ice.

The content has subtitles to ensure its accessibility to a large international audience.

The partnership sees Emirates growing its library of Arabic content on ice, which currently includes over 420 audio channels and 170 film and TV show channels.

“We are excited to welcome the world’s leading Arabic streaming service content on board so passengers can catch up on all their favorite entertainment inflight, just as they do at home,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ senior vice-president, Retail, IFE & Connectivity.

Shahid’s biggest original production “Rashash,” which has been hugely popular in the Arab region, will be streamed for the first time by an airline on Emirates.

Other titles include “Anbar 6,” “Hell’s Gate,” “Al Shak,” “Dofa'at Beirut,” and “Salon Zahra.”

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2111916/media

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Mideast

 

Library and House of Manuscripts of al-Abbas holy shrine dedicates shelves for books of 'Fatwa of Defence'

June 28, 2022

The Library and House of Manuscripts of the al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine, affiliated to the Department of Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, has dedicated a number of shelves for the books of the Holy Defense fatwa and the Popular Mobilization to be at the service of researchers.

Nizar Hassoun, a member of the lending unit at the library, said, "due to the large number of books and sources that talk about the topic of the Holy Defense fatwa and the Popular Mobilization, we have dedicated new shelves for these books.”

He added that "the number of books that talk about the fatwa and the Popular Mobilization is constantly increasing, as we receive many and multiple dedications of books, letters and University theses every month".

"The books donated to the Library and the House of Manuscripts of the al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine go through five organizational steps in order to enter them on the shelves of the library, namely:

The first step: one of the tasks of the lending unit is to receive books from the donor and give him a receipt with a book of thanks and appreciation from the library.

The second step: sending the books to the supply unit in order to Number them in stock.

Step Three: give each book a serial number with notarization of the title, author, publisher and date of printing.

The fourth step: classify the book by topic and give it a number (cage, Shelf, book), for easy access by library goers.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//library-and-house-of-manuscripts-of-al-abbas-holy-shrine-dedicates-shelves-for-books-of-fatwa-of-defense_1270499.html

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President Rayeesi: Iran Ready to Help D-8 Countries in Technological Fields

2022-June-27

The Iranian president stressed Iran's policy is base on cooperation with regional and international organizations, adding that there is a lot of neglected potential in the D8 countries for increasing trade and transit of goods.

He, meantime, pointed to the achievements of the Iranian knowledge-based companies, and said that Iran can share its technological and knowledge-based companies' achievements with other D-8 countries. 

"The United States does not want developing countries to grow, and it wants them to be dependent on the hegemonic powers somehow," the Iranian president said.

Isiaka Abdulqadir Imam, for his part, described Iran as an active member of D-8, and said that two important institutions of the organization are located in Tehran and Hamedan.

He described the consideration of population capacity for the member-states of the D-8 organization and the increase of trade exchanges between the members as his two important management approaches.

The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, is an organisation for development cooperation among the countries, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.

The objectives of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation are to improve member states' position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at international level, and improve standards of living. D-8 is a global arrangement rather than a regional one, as the composition of its members reflects.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010406000767/Presiden-Rayeesi-Iran-Ready-Help-D-Cnries-in-Technlgical-Fields

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Spokesman: Vienna Talks to Continue in A Persian Gulf State

2022-June-27

The date and the place of the negotiations are almost confirmed, Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

One of the countries in the Persian Gulf will host talks and the negotiations will kick off in the coming days this week, he added.

Noting that the upcoming talks will be indirect, Khatibzadeh said that the negotiations will not include the nuclear dimension and only the matters of dispute will be discussed.

Appreciating the facilitating role of EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell during his visit to Iran, he said that the visit was suggested by the Iranian foreign minister.

Saying that Borrell conveyed the views of the US to the Iranian side, Khatibzadeh stated that the US has pledged to be committed to the JCPOA and Resolution 2231, and guaranteed the interests of Iran.

“I can confirm that some agreements on the content and the form on both issues have been reached, but it remains to be seen whether the Americans will show in practice that they will pass on Trump's legacy and be a responsible member,” he added.

Noting that the US has shown how unreliable it is and does not adhere to what it signs and commits, Khatibzadeh said, "We proceeded to these negotiations with determination and seriousness, assuming no definite trust with the American side. The greatest guarantee for our nation is their own capabilities. The other side withdrew once and saw that we are not taking a step back in any area and we can take more steps. If we do not take further steps today, it is because we do not want to, not because we cannot."

Turning to the visit of the Iraqi foreign minister, Khatibzadeh described Tehran-Baghdad relations as multi-layered and strategic, saying the two sides discussed serious projects during Al-Kadhimi's visit.

He appreciated Iraq's role in the Tehran-Riyadh dialogue, and added, "Al-Kadhimi conveyed points to us from Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi side is ready to continue the talks at the diplomatic level in Baghdad and its date will be finalized soon."

Khatibzadeh also said that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian will depart for Turkey today.

He will visit Turkmenistan afterward to attend the Summit of Foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea states, he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the senior Iranian diplomat referred to the situation of the seized Iranian tanker in Greece, and said that the Greek court has issued the initial verdict correctly.

He called on the Greek government to put this issue into action as soon as possible.

Turning to the Greek tankers, he said, "The Greek ambassador is in contact with us and the legal path is underway and they have consular access."

"We hope that a good agreement will be reached in the future," he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Saturday that final deal with the world powers in Vienna talks is possible if the other side reciprocates Iran's seriousness and willingness.

“(I ) Met Josep Borrell in Tehran. Fruitful talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues, including the latest on the sanctions lifting negotiations,” Amir Abdollahian wrote on his twitter page after meeting with Borrel in Tehran.

“A final deal is within reach, if other parties have the will to do so. Iran is resolute on reaching a good, strong and durable deal,” he underlined.

In recent months, Iran has cited Washington’s indecisiveness as the reason behind the protraction of the Vienna talks with the world powers, as a number of key issues remain unresolved, ranging from the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions to the provision of guarantees by the American side that it will not leave the deal again.

In 2019, Iran started its retaliatory remedial measures by reducing its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal after the European parties to the deal — France, Germany and Britain — failed to fulfill their commitments to Tehran by confronting the unilateral US sanctions.

Tehran began to gradually remove a cap set in the JCPOA on its nuclear activities at bi-monthly intervals. At the time, Tehran insisted if the Iranian economy was shielded from sanctions, it would reverse its nuclear decision.

On Saturday, Amir Abdollahian and Borrel confirmed that Tehran and the world powers will resume the Vienna talks on the removal of the US sanctions in coming days.

Amir Abdollahian said that Tehran is ready to resume the stalled talks with the G4+1 countries (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) in Vienna.

He made the remarks on Saturday in a joint press conference with Borrell in Tehran over the removal of the sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"We are ready to resume the Vienna talks within the next days," Amir Abdollahian said.

He expressed the hope that the US would "this time" pursue a "realistic and fair approach" and act responsibly.

The Iranian foreign minister said he held "detailed, precise and deep" talks with Borrell on the JCPOA revival negotiations, adding, "We are going to break the stalemate in the Vienna talks and end the tension that has existed in recent days."

Borrell, for his part, said talks on reviving the JCPOA will resume soon in the coming days.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010406000620/Spkesman-Vienna-Talks-Cnine-in-A-Persian-Glf-Sae

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Iranian Foreign Ministry Reminds of Numerous Human Rights Violations by US

2022-June-27

“The US officials claim that they defend human rights. They at the same time shoot down an Iranian passenger plane, killing nearly 300 people on board unwittingly. Then they award a medal to the person who committed the crime,” the foreign ministry wrote in a post on its official twitter page on Monday.

The post was released on the occasion of the June 1981 terrorist attack on a building in Tehran that led to the killing of the then-Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti and 72 others and the act of shooting down an Iranian passenger plane.

The Iranian foreign ministry referred to Afghanistan’s frozen assets as another example of US anti-human rights acts.

By establishing the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons, torturing and brutalizing prisoners, and committing extrajudicial killings, the US reinvented human rights violations and devised new techniques of flouting human rights, it added.

“The most obvious example of anti-human rights acts of the UN government is the targeted assassination of General Qassem Soleimani. This arbitrary, illegal, and murderous act constitutes violation of many of the principles enshrined in human rights and international law,” the foreign ministry said.

In November 2010, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a report on the violation of human rights by the US inside and outside its borders, and urged Washington to sign the international conventions which prohibit such crimes.

It was stressed in the Foreign Ministry report that the United States, as a self-proclaimed standard bearer of defense for human rights in the world, has despite the international community and the UN demand, and even despite President Barack Obama's promise, still not shut down the Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib horrendous prisons.

It is stressed in the report that the United States has not yet joined the most important convention related to the economic, social and cultural rights that is among the most important human rights documents.

The Children's Rights Committee of the United Nations, too, has announced that the United States has been one of the greatest producers and distributors of the world child pornography products, while it is now one of the only two countries in the world that have not yet joined the International Children's Rights Convention.

Also on January 27, 2014, Iran’s Basij (Volunteer) Force released a comprehensive report on the violation of human rights by the US inside the country and abroad.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010406000823/Iranian-Freign-Minisry-Reminds-f-Nmers-Hman-Righs-Vilains-by-US

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Israel to work with world powers to shape any Iran nuclear deal: Defence minister

27 June, 2022

Israel will work with world powers to have an impact on any deal that may emerge from their nuclear negotiations with Iran, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday.

Iran and the United States are expected to return to indirect talks in the coming days amid a push by the European Union to break a months-long impasse in the negotiations to reinstate a 2015 nuclear pact.

Israel is not a party to the negotiations. But its concerns about the outcome - and its long-standing threats to take unilateral military action against Iran - carry weight in Western capitals.

“With the expected or possible resumption of the nuclear talks, we will continue to work together with the United States and other countries in order to make our position clear and influence the crafting of the deal - if there is such,” Gantz told reporters.

Israel has drawn closer in recent years to US-aligned Arab states which share its concerns over Iran and it has offered them defense cooperation.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/27/Israel-to-work-with-world-powers-to-shape-any-Iran-nuclear-deal-Defense-minister

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Türkiye protests 'one-sided sanctions' on Iran, hopes revival of nuclear deal

Merve Gül Aydoğan Ağlarcı 

27.06.2022

ANKARA

Türkiye on Monday denounced "one-sided sanctions" on Iran, and voiced hopes for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal. 

"We have been against one-sided sanctions on Iran and do not approve those sanctions," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press conference with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Ankara.

Cavusoglu expressed hope for the nuclear agreement to be restored, and for all parties to take the necessary steps in this regard.

Former US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the landmark deal in May 2018, which was followed by the reinstatement of sanctions on Iran under the "maximum pressure" campaign.

Explaining that the nuclear deal would benefit the region, Türkiye's top diplomat said it would have "positive reflections" on regional relations and help carry relations forward.

"We'll exert more efforts to increase our trade volume," Cavusoglu said, adding that the two countries will continue to cooperate in efforts to defend the Palestinian cause.

Emphasizing that the two countries have "well-rooted historical relations," Cavusoglu said Türkiye is determined to further improve relations with Iran in all areas.

The Turkish minister said they addressed not only regional issues but issues related to terrorism as well.

Türkiye and Iran "have to continue cooperation because terror is a common enemy for us all," Cavusoglu added.

For his part, the Iranian foreign minister said they discussed a roadmap to improve relations in many areas. "We'll establish a committee to deal with climate change issues along our border," he added.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkiye-protests-one-sided-sanctions-on-iran-hopes-revival-of-nuclear-deal/2623845

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Pakistan

 

Defence Minister condemns Canadian parliamentarian’s remarks against Pakistani military leadership

June 27, 2022

Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday strongly condemned Canadian parliamentarian’s remarks against Pakistan’s military leadership and urged the Canadian government to take notice of irresponsible statement.

Speaking in the National Assembly he said, “Pakistan and military leadership was

criticized by a Canadian parliamentarian, which is deplorable, the Canadian

government should take action on irresponsible statement.”

He said that a protest had also been registered through diplomatic channel against the remarks but it was necessary to debate the issue in Pakistan’s Parliament too.

Pakistan is enjoying cordial ties with Canada but the remarks against

the Pakistan state and its institution cannot be tolerated, he said.

He alleged that PTI chief Imran Khan is involved in an anti-state campaign outside the country.

He said that the government in Pakistan had been changed through legal process and

according to the constitution.

The Minister said that change of government had also been endorsed by Pakistan judiciary and the majority supported the move.

He said that, in the incident of Isamophobia in Canada, Muslims from 2017 to 2022 were targeted and killed in various incidents.”During the last five years, Canada is leading in the cases of Isamophobia in G-7 countries.

The human rights violations are on the rise in Canada” he added.

He expressed displeasure over the silence in human rights violations in Indian Illegally

Occupied Jammu Kashmir, Palestine and against the Muslim living in India.

The Defence Minister said what an irony it is that western countries always exercise selective sense of justice and look aside when there is a matter of the rights of Muslims in Kashmir, Palestine and Myanmar.

He said it was unfortunate, when the issue of targeting Muslim come, the international human rights institutions showed criminal silence.

Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership had divided the Pakistan society and overseas Pakistanis.

“9.5 million Overseas Pakistanis are assets of the country” he added.

He alleged that PTI chief Imran Khan had promoted hate inside Pakistan and outside Pakistan. He said that all the country’s institutions had been used by Imran Khan for political victimization.

Leader of opposition in National Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmed Khan has also condemned parliamentarian remarks against military leadership.

“The house strongly condemned Canadian parliamentarians remarks against Pakistan institutions and its leadership.”

Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri also called upon the Canadian government to take notice of the irresponsible statement given by a Canadian Parliamentarian against the democratic system of Pakistan.

“I am truly offended as a Pakistani to hear such an irresponsible statement made on the floor of the Canadian Parliament,” she added.

She said the Pakistan government sees the bilateral relationship with Canada as a respect but it does not mean that its parliament should raise questions over the Pakistan’s democratic government and the security institutions.

“Pakistan is a sovereign nation, Pakistan is a nuclear state, and Pakistan has true democratic system that has to be respected”, she added.

She said such statements on the international level are being made only due to the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s anti-Pakistan and anti-democratic behavior who is telling blatant lies in his interviews with the international media.

Responding to the grievances expressed by the Muhammad Aslam Bhootani, the minister added that the issues and the grievances of Balochistan needed to be addressed by action not by words.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/27/defence-minister-condemns-canadian-parliamentarians-remarks-against-pakistani-military-leadership/

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Former chief of Pak’s ISI says supporting Imran Khan need of hour

27 June, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 27 (ANI): Pakistan’s former director-general (DG) of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Zaheerul Islam on Monday said supporting the Chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan was the need of the hour.

A ceremony was held for Shabbir Awan, a by-election PTI contestant from PP-7 (Rawalpindi), by the former director-general in Kahota area Sunday, The News International reported.

The media reports claimed that Islam expressed his support for the PTI and promised to run his election campaign.

Several reports claimed that the retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam has entered the political sphere and joined a political party but he has not yet commented on these reports, the Dawn newspaper reported.

A picture of Gen Islam was shared by journalist Saleem Safi on his Twitter account where Islam could be seen delivering a speech at a political event while standing at a podium emblazoned with PTI’s flag.

The information secretary of the party Fawad Chaudhry has dismissed the reports of the former ISI DG joining the political sphere.

Chaudhry stated that the former ISI Director-General participated in the event to support a candidate of the party, who is also a relative of the retired general, for the upcoming Punjab Assembly by-polls.

There was no truth to rumours that Gen Islam had joined the PTI, he was merely expressing support for a PTI candidate who happened to be a relative of the retired general, Dawn reported citing the PTI member.

The former general was elected as the ISI chief from March 2012 to November 2014 and it was also speculated that he was a part of the negotiations during the party’s sit-in outside the parliament.

Earlier, voting for the first phase of local government elections was held in 14 districts of Sindh.

The total number of registered voters is 1,149,2680. The election commission printed 2,950,000 ballot papers for the first phase of the Sindh LG polls.

While polling began in the morning in all 14 districts, reports of violence, scuffles and ECP mismanagement started pouring in from upper and lower Sindh regions. These clashes were said to emerge out of missing election symbols as well. Polling was suspended at various polling stations.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/former-chief-of-paks-isi-says-supporting-imran-khan-need-of-hour/1014597/

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Nascent Pakistan Coalition Govt Comes Under Fire From Within

Amir Wasim

June 28, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Cracks in the 11-week-old ruling alliance became all too visible on Monday when, one after the other, nearly all coalition partners made angry outbursts in the National Assembly over the “change of attitude” of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), accusing it of backtracking from the commitments it made ahead of the no-confidence vote against former prime minister Imran Khan.

The most aggressive stance was taken by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), which was one of the main components of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance and a key partner of the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on the opposition benches during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) regime.

Federal Minister for Communications Asad Mehmood, who hails from JUI-F, protested the government’s decision to file appeal before the Supreme Court a Federal Shariat Court (FSC) decision in the Riba case.

Complaining that the government had made the decision without consulting his party, the JUI-F leader hinted that his party could even go to the extent of quitting the ruling alliance if the PML-N did not come out with a clarification.

The government and the ministry concerned should make it clear if the banks had gone to court under their directives, he asked, adding: “If they have done it on their own, then who has given them the authority to go into the appeal against such decisions and on what grounds? No government minister can make decisions alone. You cannot file an appeal without consulting us,” declared Mr Mehmood, who is the son of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

He was speaking on a point of order while the assembly was approving demands for grants for various ministries and divisions in connection with the federal budget 2022-23.

“If today any ministry wants to take a solo flight then it should think and decide about its future. We have decided about our future. We will spend our lives in accordance with Islam… and we distance ourselves from such decisions,” he said.

Indirectly threatening to agitate against this move, Mr Mehmood asked the government to withdraw the appeal in the SC and make a categorical announcement in this regard.

Another attack on the government was launched from within the alliance by independent MNA from Gwadar, Aslam Bhootani who lodged a strong protest against Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal for not including development schemes in his constituency in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), despite repeated requests by PPP’s Asif Zardari, and even Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

“Then, I requested those [quarters] from where we normally receive telephone calls – if their calls still had any weight – to ask Ahsan Iqbal, and then he reflected my scheme [in the PSDP],” said Mr Bhootani without elaborating about the telephone calls. He then regretted that the allocated amount would also be released in installments.

Interestingly, Mr Bhootani praised the previous PTI government, stating that it had released billions of rupees and got 100 per cent allocated amount, which was cut by Mr Iqbal. He said he was happy in the PTI government, but joined the present coalition for the sake of Mr Zardari, who had arranged the support of 58 members for the present government.

Khalid Magsi of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) also expressed similar feelings, saying that it seemed that those who were desperate to obtain their support at the time of the no confidence vote, “did not like our faces now”.

Then, Osama Qadri of the Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) took the floor and alleged that the PML-N and the PPP were not implementing the agreements that had been signed with the party at the time of the formation of the government.

North Waziristan MNA Mohsin Dawar also protested the failure of the authorities to produce Ali Wazir in the assembly, despite the issuance of his production orders.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, however, defended the PML-N and said that the grievances of the allies from Balochistan were genuine and said the government would make every effort to remove the sense of deprivation among the Balochistan people.

Earlier, at the outset, lawmakers condemned the remarks of Canadian parliamentarian Tom Kmiec, who belongs to the Conservative Party, where he had reportedly talked about the regime change in Pakistan and the alleged role of the military in this process.

The lawmakers said the remarks were tantamount to “interference” in Pakistan’s affairs and asked the Canadian government to take notice of the matter.

The issue was raised by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif who alleged that the MP had issued the statement at the behest of some Pakistani expats and the PTI lobbyists, stating that former prime minister Imran Khan was involved in “an anti-state campaign outside the country.”

He also highlighted some human rights violations in Canada, saying that Muslims from 2017 to 2022 were targeted and killed in various incidents related to Islamophobia.

Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation Shazia Marri also condemned the statement and said the regime in Pakistan was changed democratically and as per the constitution.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1697101

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IHC asks defence ministry to submit report on harassment of Baloch students

Malik Asad

June 28, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought a report from the defence ministry on alleged harassment of Baloch students and directed secretaries of Ministry of Human Rights and Senate to appear before the court in person and explain reasons why a meeting of the commission formed to probe into grievances of Baloch students had not yet been held.

Hearing a petition filed by lawyer and activist Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, the court observed: “The grievances of the students of Balochistan enrolled in educational institutions are not groundless.” Previously, the IHC had ordered formation of a commission to probe into the matter.

According to the order sheet, authored by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, “the grievances of the students, who belong to the province of Balochistan, are grave ... racial profiling and treating citizens differently is one of the most grave violation of guaranteed fundamental rights.”

The court instructed secretary (Ministry of Interior) to submit a report before the next proceeding and explain why grievances of Baloch students had not been attended to.

Justice Minallah ordered defence secretary to submit a report regarding the progress of disciplinary proceedings against the official who had visited Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, to inquire about Baloch students.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1697041/ihc-asks-defence-ministry-to-submit-report-on-harassment-of-baloch-students

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South Asia

 

Taliban Convene 'Loya Jirga' In Kabul: Aimed At Unifying Afghans to Discuss Key Challenges Faced By the Country

Jun 28, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Taliban government has convened a “Loya Jirga” (grand council of tribal and religious leaders) in Kabul on June 29 saying it is aimed at unifying Afghans from across Afghanistan to discuss the key challenges faced by the country.

A letter signed by Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund has been circulating on social media stating that a meeting of ministers, chaired by Haibatullah Akhunzada, the Taliban supreme leader, in Kandahar discussed calls for a major gathering of scholars in the country.

“It was decided to convene a huge gathering of ulema (religious scholars) from across the country. A commission led by Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been tasked with organising the meeting,” the letter read.

The gathering, it stated, will be held in Kabul from June 29 to July 3 and would be attended by well-known scholars and public figures.

From each district, two religious scholars and one public figure will participate in the gathering and from each police district, two public figures and one religious scholar will be in attendance.

“As we are facing a critical situation, we hope this gathering moves us toward unity and warms the hearts of our citizens to return to the country,” Abdul Matin Mahir, a prominent Afghan cleric, said.

Human rights advocates claim they do not anticipate and expect significant improvement from the Taliban jirga.

Heather Barr, co-director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, said no one in the Taliban’s Jirga could speak up and that the assembly may not reflect ethnic diversity.

“People will hope desperately for this jirga to yield some tiny progress toward ending Taliban violations of the rights of women and girls; but that doesn’t mean that a decision-making body that excludes women can ever be legitimate,” Barr said.

“The Taliban appears to be trying to legitimize their actions against Afghans and the international community by holding this jirga,” she added.

Political analysts suggested that a jirga with members who represent Afghanistan’s political diversity, including women, and an open and transparent agenda, is required in order to make a meaningful effort to resolve the political crisis.

“There is a narrow chance this gathering will convince the Taliban to put aside violence and respect human rights and include people in the country’s politics,” Sayed Sijad Sijadi, an Afghan political analyst, said.

It is still unclear whether representatives of the protesting girls, human rights advocates, and women will be invited to the jirga, despite the Taliban’s previous claims that representatives of all segments of society will be invited.

According to the National Resistance Front, the Taliban have formed the Loya Jirga commission and seek legitimacy and international recognition through this “tribal approach.”

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/taliban-convene-loya-jirga-in-kabul/articleshow/92500437.cms

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“Tribal Elders and the Ulema” Gather for the Taliban’s Grand Gathering At The Ulema’s Persistent Request

By Saqalain Eqbal

27 Jun 2022

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, announced that a gathering of Islamic clerics will soon be convened. The gathering will bring many tribal elders and the Ulema from every province and district together in Kabul.

The gathering will take three days and focus on various issues, according to the sources, who also added that approximately three people, mainly clerics, from each village are invited to attend the gathering.

Without providing a specific date, a senior Taliban official, Zabihullah Mujahid announced on his Twitter handle that the Taliban leadership would convene the gathering of Islamic clerics at the Ulema’s persistent request.

The Kabul Polytechnic University, where the event is organized, has, however, suspended classes for an eight-day period beginning on Sunday, June 27th, suggesting that the gathering will take place sometime this week.

Nevertheless, the gathering will reportedly take place on Wednesday, according to sources in the local news outlets.

The issue of the reopening of the girls’ schools will be discussed by a gathering of the clerics, according to Anas Haqqani, the Interior Minister of the Taliban’s government, who stated this some time ago on two separate occasions, in an interview with CNN and while speaking to a large audience in the southeast province of Khost.

However, there are no indications as to what the agenda for the upcoming gathering of the clerics will be.

While spokesperson Mujahid specifically mentions “tribal elders” and “Islamic Ulema” as the participants of the gathering of the Taliban, which is to be convened in the Loya Jirga tent in Kabul, the participation of women and other concerned groups yet remains unclear.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/tribal-elders-and-the-ulema-gather-for-the-talibans-grand-gathering-47393/

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Human Rights Watch: Taliban’s Jirga Lacks Legitimacy If It Excludes Women

By Saqalain Eqbal

27 Jun 2022

In reaction to the Jirga of the Taliban that will take place in the Loya Jirga tent, Human Rights Watch said that a decision-making body, such as a Jirga that excludes women and other groups is not legitimate.

While human rights advocates claim they do not anticipate and expect significant improvements from the Taliban Jirga in Kabul, Heather Barr, co-director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, said no one in the Taliban’s Jirga could speak up and that the assembly may not reflect ethnic diversity.

Heather Barr tweeted yesterday, 26th June, that “People will hope desperately for this Jirga to yield some tiny progress toward ending Taliban violations of the rights of women and girls; but that doesn’t mean that a decision-making body that excludes women can ever be legitimate.”

“The Taliban appears to be trying to legitimize their actions against Afghans and the international community by holding this jirga,” she said.

Political analysts also support  the stance maintained by the Human Rights Watch by expressing that Afghanistan will not be able to resolve its overlapping issues with “performative” Jirgas.

A Jirga with members who represent Afghanistan’s political diversity, including women, and an open and transparent agenda is required in order to make a meaningful effort to resolve the political crisis, they suggested.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/human-rights-watch-talibans-jirga-lacks-legitimacy-if-it-excludes-women-58493/

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Death toll of children in Afghanistan quake rises to 155

Jun 27, 2022

GAYAN (AFGHANISTAN): The death toll of children in last week's devastating earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan has risen to at least 155, the United Nations said as the scope of the deadliest quake to hit the impoverished country in two decades comes into focus.

The U.N.'s humanitarian coordination organization, OCHA, said on Sunday that another 250 children were injured in the magnitude 6 temblor that struck the mountainous villages in the Paktika and Khost provinces near the country's border with Pakistan, flattening homes and triggering landslides. Most of the children died in Paktika's hard-hit Gayan district, which remains a scene of life in ruins, days after the quake.

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have put the total death toll from the quake at 1,150, with hundreds more injured, while the U.N. has offered a slightly lower estimate of 770, although the world body has warned the figure could still rise.

The quake has also left an estimated 65 children orphaned or unaccompanied, the U.N. humanitarian office added.

The disaster - the latest to convulse Afghanistan after decades of war, hunger, poverty and an economic crash - has become a test of the Taliban's capacity to govern and the international community's willingness to help.

When the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan as the United States and its NATO allies were withdrawing their forces last August, foreign aid stopped practically overnight. World governments piled on sanctions, halted bank transfers and froze billions more in Afghanistan's currency reserves, refusing to recognize the Taliban government and demanding they allow a more inclusive rule and respect human rights.

The former insurgents have resisted the pressure, imposing restrictions on the freedoms of women and girls that recall their first time in power in the late 1990s, triggering Western backlash.

Aware of their limitations, the Taliban have appealed for foreign aid. The U.N. and an array of overstretched aid agencies in the country that have tried to keep Afghanistan from the brink of starvation have swung into action. Despite funding and access constraints, convoys of aid have trickled into the remote provinces.

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/death-toll-of-children-in-afghanistan-quake-rises-to-155/articleshow/92486140.cms

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Central Bank of Afghanistan: Money-Trading Through Forex Is Illegal

By Saqalain Eqbal

27 Jun 2022

In a recent statement, the Taliban-led Da Afghanistan Bank stated that money trading and financial transactions through the Forex online application is illegal.

Da Afghanistan Bank, in a statement issued on Sunday, June 26th, announced that it has not licensed or permitted the operation of the Forex online in Afghanistan, therefore, any financial transaction through the online platform is against the law.

The Central Bank of Afghanistan restricts the use of Forex applications in Afghanistan and warns that its usage is associated with multiple hidden financial risks, despite the fact that many people in Afghanistan’s capital and provinces continue to use it.

Da Afghanistan Bank has also stated that it is trying to identify and prosecute anyone involved in the area.

Forex trading entails the speculative purchasing and selling of currencies for profit. It is an internet marketplace where users can save or transfer money from one location to another.

Forex is not only the world’s largest market; it is also the most actively traded. Every day, millions of dollars are supposedly transacted on the Forex online marketplace.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/central-bank-of-afghanistan-money-trading-through-forex-is-illegal-27438/

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India

 

After Teesta Setalvad arrest, civil society fears ‘chilling effect’

Pheroze L. Vincent  

28.06.22

A civil society struggling to come to terms with the Supreme Court verdict in the Zakia Jafri case hit the streets on Monday against the arrest of human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and whistleblower police officer R.B. Sreekumar by Gujarat police.

During a protest on Jantar Mantar Road here, several Opposition politicians and civil society members asserted a citizen’s right to seek redress of injustice.

“What it (the verdict) means for people like me is that the Supreme Court is saying, ‘Do not come to us for justice’,” scientist Gauhar Raza said.

“It also sends out the message that we are capable of turning a petitioner into an accused; and that if under the leadership of the chief minister a carnage is organised, then the political party, government machinery and perpetrators would be safe.”

Delhi University professor Apoorvanand said: “It is the quest for justice that is being criminalised…. This order will have a chilling effect.”

The apex court had on Friday accepted a special investigation team’s findings and upheld a clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and 63 others. Zakia had levelled charges of a larger conspiracy behind the 2002 violence.

In the context of the conspiracy allegations, the court spoke of a “devious stratagem to keep the pot boiling… for ulterior design”, which has been cited by the Gujarat police  to justify the arrests of Setalvad and Sreekumar.

In attendance at the Jantar Mantar rally were Jairam Ramesh and Ajay Maken of the Congress, which has been accused of lukewarm opposition to the verdict and the police action despite Zakia’s slain husband Ehsan having been a former Congress MP.

Maken said: “The Congress is standing with all the Opposition parties who are in support of Teesta Setalvad. We are against her arrest. Everyone who is raising a voice is being arrested. It is the right of every citizen to point towards the wrongdoings of the government.”

Cadres from the CPM and CPIML Liberation, which were among the first to condemn the arrests, were present in large numbers.

Maimoona Mollah, president of the CPM-backed Janwadi Mahila Samiti, Delhi, said: “This is an attack on democracy. It is an attack on protests…. Those who go against the government are considered guilty and the judiciary is also playing to the gallery.”

Sucheta De, Delhi state committee member of the CPIML Liberation’s All India Central Council of Trade Unions, said: “History will ask who these judges were who refused to entertain the petition against the murderers, but sent those who were seeking justice behind bars.”

In Ranchi, CPI-ML national general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya described the arrest as unfortunate. "Teesta Setalvad has a national and international reputation for her activism in anti-communal campaigns and fight for justice for the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots. The arrest is like a warning to individuals and organisations active on such issues. We, on behalf of the civil society and the Left parties, condemn this arrest," Bhattacharya said, taking part in a protest staged by the Left parties along with civil society groups and human rights outfits near Jharkhand’s Raj Bhavan in Ranchi as part of a state-wide agitation.

The Working Group of Human Rights in India and the United Nations, of which Setalvad is a member, said in a statement: “As India is to appear before the UN Human Rights Council for its fourth review under the UN’s Universal Periodic Review in November 2022, the government will be required to respond to the comments and recommendations from UN member states on the issue of human rights defenders.

“WGHR calls for the immediate release of its member Teesta Setalvad. It also calls for the release of R.B. Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt. The systematic targeting of human rights defenders by the Indian State must stop.”

Bhatt, a former IPS officer who had accused Modi of allowing the 2002 violence against Muslims, is serving a life sentence over a custody death.

On Sunday, the UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, had tweeted: “Deeply concerned by reports of #WHRD Teesta Setalvad being detained by Anti Terrorism Squad of Gujarat police. Teesta is a strong voice against hatred and discrimination. Defending human rights is not a crime. I call for her release and an end to persecution by #Indian state.”

A statement signed by more than 2,200 people has protested the arrests of Setalvad and Sreekumar. Among the signatories are the former navy chief, Admiral Ramdas, Congress MP Kumar Ketkar, actress Shabana Azmi, dancer Mallika Sarabhai, authors Gita Hariharan and Shamshul Islam, former Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed, former diplomat Madhu Bhandari, and former IAS officer and activist Aruna Roy.

“The State has now used the observations made in the judgment to falsely and vindictively prosecute those who had struggled for justice even in the face of State callousness and complicity,” the statement said.

“It is truly an Orwellian situation of the lie becoming the truth, when those who fought to establish the truth of what happened in the Gujarat genocide of 2002 are being targeted.”

They added: “We condemn this naked and brazen attempt to silence and criminalise those who stand for constitutional values and who have struggled against very difficult odds to try to achieve justice for the victims of 2002. We demand that this false and vindictive FIR be taken back unconditionally and Teesta Setalvad and others detained under this FIR be released immediately.”

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which led the yearlong farmers’ protest against three now-repealed central agricultural laws, said: “…Human rights activist Teesta Setalvad who fought for justice for the victims of 2002 Gujarat riots, and former administrative officer R.B. Sreekumar, were also arrested on 26 June. Simultaneously, another case has been registered against former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. We strongly oppose and condemn this dictatorial behaviour by the Union government.”

The Delhi Union of Journalists, National Alliance of Journalists and the Mumbai Press Club too have condemned the arrests.

Additional reporting by Animesh Bisoee in Jamshedpur

Five questions

Congress communications chief Jairam Ramesh said on Monday that five questions would continue to haunt Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Was Narendra Modi not the chief minister of Gujarat when the horrific riots took place in 2002?

Why was then Prime Minister Vajpayee so concerned at Modi’s lack of action during the 2002 violence that he had publicly reminded him to follow his “rajdharma”?

Had a Supreme Court bench not described the then Modi government in Gujarat as “modern-day Neros (who) were looking elsewhere when… innocent children and helpless women were burning, and were probably deliberating how the perpetrators of the crime can be protected”? (The court had made the statement in 2004 while ordering a retrial in the Best Bakery massacre case in Gujarat and its transfer to Maharashtra.)

Why did some within the BJP, including Smriti Irani who is now a member of Modi’s Union government, protest and call for Modi’s dismissal as chief minister if he were not guilty of any wrongdoing? (In 2004, Irani had threatened to go on a fast-unto-death if Modi didn’t resign as CM. Irani repeatedly took Vajpayee’s name. But she soon announced an unconditional withdrawal of her statement.)

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/teesta-setalvad-arrest-civil-society-fears-chilling-effect/cid/1872126

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Mohammed Zubair, One of the Founders of the Fact-Checking Website AltNews,

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui 

28.06.22

Delhi police on Tuesday arrested journalist Mohammed Zubair, one of the founders of the fact-checking website AltNews, on charges of hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity.

Ironically, the same police force, which reports to the Union home ministry headed by Amit Shah, has not yet arrested the now-axed BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Navin Jindal for their derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammed earlier this month.

Sharma’s comment had provoked a backlash in West Asia, landed India in the biggest diplomatic crisis in recent memory and triggered protests in several parts of the country. At least two youths were killed in India in alleged police firing after some of the protests turned violent.

Sources said Zubair, who has used his Twitter handle @zoo_bear to relentlessly call out the fake narratives of the Right wing, had been under the scanner ever since he tweeted a video clip that showed Nupur making the derogatory statements.

The proof had made it difficult for the Narendra Modi government to sweep the issue under the carpet when several Gulf nations took note and expressed outrage. The Modi government had little option but to distance itself from the then BJP spokespersons’ comments and later suspend Sharma and expel Jindal.

Founded in 2017 as a non-profit, AltNews is among the world’s most prominent fact-checking outlets. Its founders have routinely faced online trolling and police cases lodged by Right-wing groups over the past few years.

The complaint on which Zubair has been arrested is not directly linked to the Sharma clip that tied the hands of the Modi government.

Sources said the case against Zubair was based on a tweet by him that came to the police’s notice after a Twitter handle called Hanuman Bhakt @balajikijaiin expressed anger at it.

Zubair’s colleague and AltNews co-founder Pratik Sinha tweeted a little after midnight that the duty magistrate gave custody for only one day although the police had sought custody for seven days.

“A case was earlier registered under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth and language) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC against Zubair,” said K.P.S. Malhotra, DCP (cybercrime).

Zubair joined the probe on Monday. After gathering sufficient evidence on record, the police arrested him, Malhotra said. He said the police were producing Zubair before a magistrate to seek his custody.

Sinha tweeted: “Zubair was called today by special cell, Delhi, for investigation in a 2020 case for which he already had protection against arrest from the high court. However, today at around 6.45pm, we were told that he has been arrested in some other FIR for which no notice was given, which is mandatory under law for the sections under which he has been arrested. Nor FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests.

“After the medical examination, Zubair is being taken to an undisclosed location. Neither Zubair’s lawyers nor I are being told where. We are in the police van with him. No police person is wearing any name tag.”

A former Delhi police officer told this newspaper: “Zubair, who has been routinely calling out hate mongers belonging to the ruling party, has now been arrested for hate speech. Many of those whom he had exposed, including Nupur Sharma, are roaming freely.

“Calling out hate mongers is now a criminal offence in India. Nothing can be more ironical than Prime Minister Modi two days ago in Germany describing the Emergency as a ‘black spot’ on Indian democracy.”

The old case Sinha referred to dates back to September 2020 when the Delhi police had booked Zubair under the Pocso Act after he responded to an abusive message from a Twitter user. Delhi High Court later restrained the police from taking any coercive action against Zubair.

Quoting Delhi police’s senior officials, the news agency, ANI, tweeted: “Present case registered on basis of a post on Twitter by handle Hanuman Bhakt @balajikijaiin where he showed his anger against another Twitter handle in the name of Mohammed Zubair regarding the post….

“The said post of Zubair containing picture and words against a particular religious community are highly provocative and done deliberately which are more than sufficient to incite hatred among people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquillity.”

DCP Malhotra said the Delhi police were alerted by a Twitter handle which said Zubair had earlier made an objectionable tweet and his followers and social media entities had amplified and generated debate and hate mongering in the thread. “He was examined in this case and his role was found objectionable. He was evasive on the questions which warranted his custodial interrogation to unravel the conspiracy in this matter. Accordingly, he has been arrested and is being produced before a court for seeking police custody remand.”

Opposition leaders and many social media users expressed solidarity with Zubair and condemned his arrest.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Every person exposing BJP’s hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them. Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more. Truth ALWAYS triumphs over tyranny.”

Journalist Rohini Singh tweeted: “Busting fake news and calling out bigotry peddled by sympathisers and office bearers of the ruling party is a crime in New India. Another crime is being Muslim and speaking out. @zoo_bear committed both.”

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said the Delhi police were acting in a vengeful manner as AltNews had been exposing the government’s bogus claims.

“AltNews & zoo_bear have been in the forefront of exposing the bogus claims of the Vishguru, who has struck back with a vengeance characteristic of him. Delhi police, reporting to the Union Home Minister, has long lost any pretensions of professionalism and independence,” he said in a tweet.

Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the government “is going after those who are exposing hate speech”.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor termed Zubair’s arrest an “assault on truth” and demanded his immediate release.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/altnews-co-founder-mohammad-zubair-arrested-for-hurting-religious-sentiment/cid/1872136

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SC verdict in Zakia Jafri case deeply disappointing, says Congress

Sanjay K. Jha 

28.06.22

The Congress on Monday described the Supreme Court verdict in the Zakia Jafri case as “deeply disappointing” while stressing that no amount of BJP propaganda can cover up the stain of the 2002 Gujarat violence or Narendra Modi’s failure as chief minister in handling it.

“The Supreme Court judgment in the Zakia Jafri case is deeply disappointing,” party communications Chief Jairam Ramesh said, before posing certain “fundamental questions”.

“Despite the judgment dated June 24th, 2022, the following fundamental questions still remain unanswered: 1. What is the Constitutional & moral responsibility of the Chief Minister & State Govt in cases of large-scale communal riots? 2. Is the responsibility in such cases, only ever that of the Collector & Dy. Commissioner of Police and not of political executive? 3. Will the Chief Minister, Cabinet and State Government never be held accountable, even if a State is thrown into a circle of violence & riots?”

Ramesh referred to then BJP Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s public advice to Modi to carry out his “rajdharma” (duties of a ruler) and the Supreme Court’s description in 2004 of the then Gujarat rulers as “modern-day Neros” who had done nothing as the state burnt.

The apex court had on Friday accepted a special investigation team’s findings and absolved Modi and 63 others of charges of a larger conspiracy behind the violence, as levelled by Zakia Jafri. A mob had burnt alive Zakia’s husband, former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, with 68 others at Ahmedabad’s Gulberg Society housing complex on February 28, 2002.

The Congress has challenged the BJP’s interpretation of the judgment as an exoneration of Modi from all charges relating to the Gujarat riots. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi has argued that the verdict’s context is limited to the Gulberg Society massacre.

Ramesh’s statement on Monday reflected the Congress’s stand that Modi and his then Gujarat government had acted irresponsibly through the riots and their aftermath, when relief and justice needed to be delivered to the victims.

“Furthermore, while the Supreme Court has pronounced its judgment, there are five questions that will continue to haunt the Prime Minister,” Ramesh said. He said these questions were:

**Was Narendra Modi not the chief minister of Gujarat when the horrific riots took place in 2002?

**Why was then Prime Minister Vajpayee so concerned at Modi’s lack of action during the 2002 violence that he had publicly reminded him to follow his “rajdharma”?

**Had a Supreme Court bench not described the then Modi government in Gujarat as “modern-day Neros (who) were looking elsewhere when… innocent children and helpless women were burning, and were probably deliberating how the perpetrators of the crime can be saved or protected”?

**Why did some within the BJP, including Smriti Irani who is now a member of Modi’s Union government, protest and call for Modi’s dismissal as chief minister if he were not guilty of any wrongdoing?

**What about all the numerous convictions carried out on the basis of evidence collected by the SIT relating to the Gujarat riots? Can the BJP claim that those also stand invalidated?

Ramesh added: “We stand by our colleague, the late Ehsan Jafri, and his family in this hour. What happened to him in a most tragic manner was the result of a fundamental lapse on the part of the state government.”

Zakia has alleged that frantic calls by Ehsan to authorities in Gujarat, as a mob attacked Gulberg Society, had brought no response.

Ramesh didn’t comment on the arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad and police officer R.B. Sreekumar, who had questioned the then Gujarat government’s role during the riots.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/zakia-jafri-case-congress-describes-supreme-court-verdict-as-deeply-disappointing/cid/1872094

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Regrettable that still no agreement on Constitutional basis for holding elections in Libya: India

Jun 28, 2022

NEW DELHI: India has said it is regrettable that there is still no agreement on the Constitutional basis for holding elections in Libya, saying that the priority right now is to ensure that elections are held at the earliest in a free, fair, inclusive, and credible manner.

Counsellor in India's permanent mission to the UN R Madhu Sudan said on Monday at the security council briefing and consultations on Libya that New Delhi notes with concern that the progress seen after the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement is not only in danger of coming to a halt, but there are also indications of risk of backsliding.

"We noted with a high degree of concern the reports of armed clashes and mobilisations of armed groups in and around Tripoli. It is also regrettable that there is still no agreement on the Constitutional basis for holding elections," he said adding that India notes that the Speaker of the House of Representatives Aguila Saleh and President of the high council of state Khaled Al-Mishri is scheduled to meet at the UN Office at Geneva on June 28-29 to discuss the draft constitutional framework for holding elections.

"We urge all parties concerned to strive to resolve all outstanding political issues peacefully, keeping the larger interests of the Libyan people in mind. We hope that all parties will work together to maintain peace and stability in the country. In this regard, we once again reiterate the importance of holding the Presidential and Parliamentary elections at the earliest. It has been about half a year since the missed milestone for holding elections as decided by Libyans themselves. It is important that the stalemate not be allowed to continue," he said adding that it is important to ensure that the political process in Libya is fully Libyan-led and Libyan-owned with no imposition or external interference.

India underlined that the priority right now is to ensure that elections are held at the earliest in a free, fair, inclusive, and credible manner. "We hope that all parties in Libya can unite around this common purpose. It is important for the Security Council and the international community to support the Libyan people as they prepare for the elections. The violence of any form could undermine the progress achieved since 2020, and should be strongly opposed."

He further noted that it is also important for the international community to focus its attention on the threat of terrorism in Africa, particularly in the Sahel region. Reports of the secretary-general and the panel of experts have highlighted the presence of training camps of ISIL and its affiliates in southern Libya.

"ISIL's continued ability to launch attacks is deeply concerning. The focus of this Council should be to eliminate every threat posed by ISIL and other terror groups anywhere in the world. Terrorism is a growing threat to Africa and it is important for the Security Council to focus on this issue before it is too late," he said.

India stressed that it is also important to see concrete progress in the full and complete withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries. "It is regrettable that after over a year and a half since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement we are yet to see tangible progress in this regard. The continued presence of foreign forces and mercenaries is detrimental to the peace and stability of the country and the region."

"We would like to stress here that, as noted very clearly by the Panel of Experts of the Libya Sanctions Committee in their recent report, the so-called military training provided by some countries and the presence of their troops on Libyan soil is also a clear violation of Security Council resolutions," he said.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/regrettable-that-still-no-agreement-on-constitutional-basis-for-holding-elections-in-libya-india/articleshow/92510333.cms

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SC to hear plea alleging attacks on Christian institutions, priests

June 27, 2022

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on “re-opening day itself” a plea alleging a rising number of attacks on Christian institutions and priests across the country and seeking the implementation of earlier apex court guidelines to curb hate crimes.

On an average, 45 to 50 violent attacks take place against Christian institutions and priests every month throughout the country, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves said.

In May this year itself, 57 cases of violence and attacks on Christian institutions and priests took place, he added.

“What you are saying is unfortunate, if it is happening. What we can ensure is that your matter is listed on the re-opening day itself,” a vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala said when Gonsalves mentioned the plea and sought its listing for urgent hearing.

The relief sought included the implementation of the guidelines issued in the Tehseen Poonawala judgement in which nodal officers were to be appointed to take note of hate crimes and register FIRs across the nation.

The bench directed the apex court registry to list the petition on re-opening of the courts after summer vacation on July 11.

In 2018, the apex court had come out with a slew of guidelines for the Centre and states. These included fast-tracked trials, victim compensation, deterrent punishment and disciplinary action against lax law-enforcing officials.

The court said offences such as hate crimes, cow vigilantism and lynching incidents should be nipped in the bud.

The states shall designate a senior police officer not below the rank of police superintendent as nodal officer in each district, it had said, adding that these officers will set up a task force to be assisted by one DSP-rank officer for taking measures to prevent mob violence and lynching.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sc-to-hear-plea-alleging-attacks-on-christian-institutions-priests-7993578/

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Delhi Afghanistan embassy not taking orders from Taliban

June 28, 2022

The Taliban is trying to establish its control over Afghanistan's institutions, but there is a big grey area. Most of the country's 70 or so diplomatic missions still functioning are doing so independently of the hardline regime - which isn't recognised by other countries - and without any direct funding from Kabul. The BBC's Zubair Ahmed reports from Delhi.

Visitors to the Afghan embassy in India's capital - housed in a sprawling compound in the heart of the city's diplomatic enclave - are greeted by a photograph of former president Ashraf Ghani when they enter the building. Mr Ghani fled Afghanistan last August as the Taliban closed in on the capital after the collapse of his government, which had been backed by the West.

His photo also hangs on the wall of ambassador Farid Mamundzay's office, which still has the black, red and green tricolour flag of the republic Mr Ghani used to head.

"We have little co-ordination with the Taliban," says Mr Mamundzay, whose staff continue to carry out functions like issuing visas and passports in the name of the republic they were appointed to serve.

In the 10 months since they took power, the Taliban have sent ambassadors to only four countries: Russia, Pakistan, China and Turkmenistan. But even these countries haven't accorded formal diplomatic recognition to Afghanistan's new rulers.

The Indian government has allowed the embassy in Delhi to function as an extension of the previous government, like it did during the Taliban's last stint in power between 1996 and 2001 - the embassy then continued to represent the government of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Despite the change in who holds power in Kabul, Mr Mamundzay says the embassy still follows the rules and policies of the old government that appointed him.

"We are still representing the former republic, our former democracy. We are not taking orders from [the Taliban]," he says.

While the Taliban want to take over the functioning of Afghan missions around the world, they haven't been able to do so, partly due to lack of money. Afghanistan's economy has been in freefall since they seized power - foreign aid dried up and the country's assets were frozen, as the international community tied funds to progress on issues like human rights and the treatment of women.

Mr Mamundzay also says the Delhi embassy and most of its counterparts in other countries have said they will only accept the regime's control on one condition - the Taliban must first form a national government which is inclusive, diverse and gives fundamental rights to women.

Immediately after coming to power, the Taliban had indicated it might adopt a more flexible approach to women's rights. But over the past few months, it has adopted several hardline measures, including requiring women to wear face veils.

Last week, after more than 1,000 people were killed in the deadliest earthquake to hit Afghanistan in two decades, dozens of Afghan expatriates huddled together in the embassy's garden in Delhi - some had come to get their paperwork done, others were anxious for news from home.

Mr Mamundzay says that his embassy continues to issue and renew visas and passports in the name of the former republic - which is, crucially, honoured by the Taliban authorities.

"[Even] leaders of the Taliban travel on the passports of the republic," he says, as countries don't recognise passports and other documents issued by the Taliban.

While the number of people travelling from India to Afghanistan has significantly reduced since the Taliban took over, many still make the trip to visit their families or get their documents in place.

The Afghan embassy in Delhi estimates that around 100,000 Afghan citizens live in India - of these, the ambassador says, some 30,000-35,000 are Afghan refugees and nearly 15,000 are students.

The embassy and the consulates in the cities of Hyderabad and Mumbai don't function in a vacuum - they are in touch with the consular division of the foreign ministry in Kabul every day over paperwork for Afghan citizens, including marriage and divorce certificates, and issuance of birth and death certificates.

Another issue that requires close co-ordination with the Taliban is humanitarian aid.

"India has sent aid to Kabul in the aftermath of the earthquake. We were required to co-ordinate with the foreign office in Kabul," he says.

Funding crunch

Mr Mamundzay says the revenues of the Afghan missions in India have dropped significantly since the Ghani government was ousted.

"There was a time when we had 10-15 weekly flights to Kabul from here. There was a lot of trade. We were fully involved and busy. That's not there any more. Revenues have dropped by 80%," he says.

The situation is similar in other countries as well. In May, the United States took control of the Afghanistan embassy in Washington DC and its consulates in New York and Los Angeles because the missions were facing "severe financial constraints that made continued operations unsustainable".

In India, Mr Mamundzay and his staff are counting every penny to keep the missions going.

Source: BBC

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-61950476

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Africa

 

Recognise Sharia Court now – Osun Muslim community to State government

June 27, 2022

By Francis Ezediuno

The Osun State Muslim Community has beckoned on the State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola to recognise the Sharia Court as part of the judiciary system in the State.

This is as the President of the Community, Mustafa Olawuyi disclosed that the community, as part of its achievements, has established a Sharia court where many issues have been settled amicably.

Olawuyi made this known on Sunday while addressing journalists on the sideline of the community’s 25th anniversary celebration in Osogbo on Sunday.

Olawuyi noted that the court had been able to settle a lot of cases without anybody taking offence or resulting into killing or attacking other people.

“We have been able to settle a lot of issues through the Sharia court, even boundary issues, we have settled.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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

https://dailypost.ng/2022/06/27/recognise-sharia-court-now-osun-muslim-community-to-state-government/

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5 Nigerians among 30 killed in ethnic violence in western Cameroon

Aurore Bonny  

27.06.2022

DOUALA, Cameroon

At least 30 people, including five Nigerians, were killed and several houses were torched in an ethnic-related attack in western Cameroon, multiple sources said on Monday.

The attack took place between Friday and Sunday in the village of Mesaka in the Akwaya commune bordering Nigeria, according to a local church and media reports.

The Cameroon News Agency (CNA) said these people were killed in an "inter-tribal clash," and "young men, women, children, and the elderly were massacred. Some were killed in their houses, while others were beheaded, and more were shot on their way to farms."

"It all began with a land dispute between the Oliti and Messaga Ekol ethnic groups," Reverend Fonki Samuel Forba, moderator of Cameroon's Presbyterian Church in the southwest, said in a statement on Monday.

On April 29, members of the Messaga Ekol tribe were ambushed and slain in their fields. Later, the Messaga Ekol people avenged the killings.

"The Oliti people then mobilized and got the support of hired armed men and started very violent, inhuman, and deadly attacks on the Messaga Ekol People," the preacher said, adding that "more than 30 people were killed, including five Nigerians."

The governor of the South West region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, confirmed the incident to Anadolu Agency without providing any details on the circumstances or the exact number of casualties.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/5-nigerians-among-30-killed-in-ethnic-violence-in-western-cameroon/2623730

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Tunisian parties slam attacks on opponents of constitutional referendum

Yamena Salemi 

27.06.2022

TUNIS, Tunisia

A coalition of five Tunisian parties has condemned attacks on their supporters during a protest against a planned constitutional referendum amid a deep political crisis in the North African country.

Tunisian President Kais Saied plans to hold a national referendum on an amended version of the country’s constitution on July 25 and early elections on December 17.

Rival protests were staged in the eastern city of Sousse on Saturday during which opponents clashed, prompting security forces to intervene.

The coalition said its supporters were attacked by Saied’s supporters during the protest and held the Tunisian authorities responsible for the assault.

It warned that the attacks on opponents of the referendum “posed a threat to civil peace” and amounted to “an attempt to silence the opposition.”

There was no comment from the Tunisian authorities on the allegation.

The 5-party coalition includes the Republican Party, the Democratic Current, the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties, the Workers' Party, and the Democratic Modernist Pole Party.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that has aggravated the country's economic conditions since Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority last year in July. He later dissolved the suspended parliament.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/tunisian-parties-slam-attacks-on-opponents-of-constitutional-referendum/2623434

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