'Stay at Home for Eid': Delhi Jama Masjid Imam Appeals To Muslims To Refrain
From Any Mass Gathering -- Religious Or Celebratory
Taliban Chief Urges US to Implement Afghan Peace Deal
Indonesia Cases Top Daily Record as Muslim World Prepares For 'Saddest' Eid
Imran Khan's Former Aide Among Six Major Millers Acting Like 'Cartel': Official
Eid: Celebrities Urge Muslims To Celebrate Festival at Home and To Follow
Social Distancing Guidelines
Iran’s Leader: No Enmity with Jewish People
Tunisia To Reopen Mosques, Cafes and Hotels on June 4
US: FBI Says Texas Base Shooting Was Act of Terrorism
Slain Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Family Forgives Those Who Killed Their
Iraq Arrests ISIS Leader Abdulnasser Al-Qirdash Said To Be Al-Baghdadi’s
UAE Says Eid Prayers To Be Performed At Home, Mosques To Remain Closed
Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s West Bank annexation plans
Rami Makhlouf’s brother Ihab confirms Syriatel resignation, declares loyalty to
ICRC warns of dire humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria amid coronavirus
Iraqi lawmaker calls for posters of Iran’s Ali Khamenei hung in Baghdad to be
Man Pleads Guilty in US to Conspiracy to Hezbollah Drone Parts Export
Pray at home on AlvidaJummaand Eid prayers, Muslims asked by Imarat-e-Shariah
Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha
US deports Qaeda man Anwar al-Awlaki’s aide to India
J&K cop killed, 2 others hurt in Pulwama terror attack
Why Centre changed its mind on flights; al-Qaeda operative lands in Amritsar
Bangladesh denies rights group’s claim security forces beat Rohingya refugees
Afghanistan attacks underscore scale of challenge facing peace negotiators
Bangladesh Using Controversial Law To 'Gag Media, Free Speech'
Khalilzad met with Ghani and Abdullah after meeting Taliban leader in Qatar
Pentagon’s latest report regarding Pakistan’s support to Taliban, Haqqani
Non-Muslim Places of Worship in Malaysia's Green Zones to Reopen Under Strict
Unity Ministry: Non-Muslim Weddings in Houses of Worship Only Allowed After July
‘The Saddest Eid’ — Coronavirus Lockdown in Malaysia Cuts Lifeline for Indonesian
Covid-19: Churches say will keep doors closed until end of CMCO
Non-Muslim places of worship can reopen June 10
Selangor Religious Council Seeks to Intervene In SIS’ Move to Challenge Law
Morocco, Indonesia Team Up to Fight COVID-19 in Africa
Pakistan Ends COVID-19 Lockdown Even As Infections Tick Higher
ATC concludes trial proceedings in Imran Farooq murder case
NDMA, UN, donors to help Balochistan fight Covid-19
PPP leader tells PM to stop adding confusion to chaos, proceed on leave
Balochistan CM defends Jabbar’s nomination to NFC
Britain First leader Paul Golding convicted under terrorism law
Daesh terrorist charged for attacking Turkish shops, mosque in Germany
Norway mosque attack trial wraps up, verdict next week
‘I Thought We Would Be Safe Here’ – Father Pays Tribute To Murdered Lebanese
Student, In Northern England
Russia warns Israel against expansionist actions
Greek police forcing asylum seekers into Turkey: Report
Latest UK 'terrorism' legislation criticised by rights groups
Nasrallah Vows to Complete General Soleimani’s Efforts to Liberate Quds
Iran Deplores US New “Repetitive, Fruitless” Sanctions
IRGC: Palestinian Issue Most Important Priority of Muslim World
DM: Iraq Ready to Strengthen Cooperation with Iran
Iranian President Underlines Sharing Anti-Coronavirus Experiences with
Russia Stresses Cooperation with Iran in Fighting Terrorism, US Influence in
Iranian FM: Palestinian Issue Never Forgotten
Iran’s Human Rights Council Dismisses Hype on Fate of Australian-British
EU chief condemns in ‘strongest possible terms’ Iran threat to Israel
Bella Caio blasts from hijacked Turkish mosques’ speaker systems
Over 1,000 Israeli websites targeted in cyberattack showing cities in flames
Coronavirus: Iran urges against Eid travel as COVID-19 cases surge
Palestinians shun CIA after declaring end to security coordination with US and
Israeli military says Iran is slowly pulling out of Syria
Jordan state employees to have shorter working hours after Eid holiday
Libyan Army enters downtown al-Asabaa
'Haftar forces to be legitimate target if attack Turkish interests'
Libyan army carries out ops against Haftar in Tarhuna
September 11 convict renounces terrorism, al-Qaeda
Trump’s vaccine chief has a Moroccan background
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi Family Forgives Those Who Killed Their Father
The family of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi said on Friday that they
have forgiven those who murdered their father, his son Salah wrote in a tweet.
this blessed night of the blessed month (of Ramadan) we remember God's saying:
If a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from
we the sons of the Martyr Jamal Khashoggi announce that we pardon those who
killed our father, seeking reward God almighty" he added.
was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018, where he had
gone to obtain documents for his impending wedding. His body was reportedly
dismembered and removed from the building, and his remains have not been found.
murder caused a global uproar, tarnishing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's
image. Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed he had
ordered the killing.
officials say he had no role, though in September 2019 MbS indicated some
personal accountability, saying "it happened under my watch".
Arabia sentenced five people to death and three to jail over the murder of
Khashoggi last December. The suspects were put on trial in secretive
proceedings in the capital Riyadh.
trials were condemned by the United Nations and rights groups. UN special
rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard,
accused Saudi Arabia of making a "mockery" of justice by allowing the
masterminds of the 2018 killing to go free.
Salah Khashoggi said of the December verdict that "it has been fair to us
and that justice has been achieved."
at Home for Eid': Delhi Jama Masjid Imam Appeals To Muslims To Refrain From Any
Mass Gathering -- Religious Or Celebratory
the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak, Jama Masjid deputy Shahi Imam Syed
ShabanBukhari on Thursday in an advisory asked people to refrain from any mass
gathering -- religious or celebratory -- at any time during the month of
Ramadan, especially on the occasion of Eid.
initiative is aimed to ensure the health and safety of the people in the light
of the pandemic and is aligned with the social distancing guidelines as
mandated by the government. A video regarding the same will soon be issued via
his official social media accounts, he said.
imam has asked each member of the community to offer prayers for Jamat-ul-Vida
and Eid al-Fitr from their homes as it will significantly help to alleviate the
threat of coronavirus transmission from spreading further.
on the learnings from Islam, Bukhari has also asked the community to help those
in need during this time of crisis as it is an integral part of the Islamic
culture. The advisory also appeals to everyone to practice social distancing
and follow government guidelines.
the month of Ramadan, Muslims across the world partake in rituals and customs
community observes stringent fasting from dusk to dawn, crucial to the Islamic
offer special Taraweeh prayers only after opening their fasts and observe the
same ritual for a month until Eid.
his concern over the health and safety of the people, Bukhari said, “We can’t
allow any congregations in courtyards and parks as it will expose people to an
increased risk of contracting the virus.”
we urge you to offer holy prayers of Jamat-ul-Vida, Namaz-e-Eid from your
homes. I would also like to request all citizens, especially the Muslim community,
to abide by the lockdown mandates and help the poor and destitute persons
during this period, and pray to the almighty to help keep everyone safe and
evade this pandemic.”
first time the month of Ramadan has begun amid the lockdown. The advisory
instructs the community to continue following the government’s guidelines for
Eid, which will be observed nationwide on May 25, this year.
Chief Urges US to Implement Afghan Peace Deal
- The leader of the Taliban said Wednesday that implementation of his group’s
“historic” agreement with the United States was key to ending the war in Afghanistan
and paving the way for U.S. troops to exit the country.
Islamic Emirate [the Taliban] is committed to the agreement signed with America
and urges the other side to honor its own commitments and to not allow this
critical opportunity to go to waste,” said MawlawiHibatullahAkhundzada.
reclusive Taliban chief made the remarks in a message released in connection
with the coming annual festival of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the
Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.
us move forward with the implementation phase so that a path is paved for the
withdrawal of your [U.S.] forces and for peace and security to take hold in
Afghanistan and the region,” Akhundzada said.
message coincided with a fresh trip to the region by U.S. peace envoy ZalmayKhalilzad,
who negotiated and signed the deal with the Taliban on February 29.
American envoy visited Qatar for talks with insurgent leaders based there prior
to meeting Wednesday in Kabul with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
pre-visit U.S. announcement said that during Khalilzad's trip, his talks would
focus on implementation of the agreement and press Afghan parties to the
conflict to open internal negotiations as soon as possible.
United States-Taliban agreement opens a historic opportunity for moving forward
on peace,” Khalilzad told reporters before leaving Washington for the visit.
increase in summer fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban has
threatened to derail the landmark deal, which requires U.S. and coalition
forces to leave Afghanistan by mid-July 2021, ending America’s longest overseas
urge American officials to not afford anyone the opportunity to obstruct, delay
and ultimately derail this internationally recognized bilateral agreement
between us and you,” said Taliban chief Akhundzada.
Afghan government and the Taliban have blamed each other for fueling recent
battlefield hostilities. Islamic State terrorists, meanwhile, also have
conducted deadly attacks, mostly targeting Afghan civilians.
United Nations said in a report issued this week that the renewed violence had
killed and injured hundreds of Afghan civilians over the past six weeks.
Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again underlined the need for
reducing the violence and starting intra-Afghan talks to negotiate an agreement
on the political future of the country.
need all sides, including the Taliban, to do their part to get into talks. We
need violence reduced. We’re working hard to meet the critical objective of
getting peace and reconciliation inside of Afghanistan,” the chief American
diplomat told reporters in Washington.
also welcomed this week’s political power-sharing agreement between Ghani and
his chief election rival, Abdullah Abdullah, urging both men to speed up the
government’s entry into negotiations with the Taliban.
and Abdullah both claimed to have won the disputed September presidential
election, triggering months of political and governance crisis in Afghanistan.
Ghani has retained the office of the president, the deal gives Abdullah the de
facto No. 2 position and power to recommend candidates for 50 percent of the
will also lead the peace process and future negotiations with the Taliban as
head of a new High Council of National Reconciliation.
the U.S.-Taliban deal, the proposed intra-Afghan dialogue was due to begin in
early March. The crucial talks have been delayed because of an extremely slow-moving
prisoner swap between the Taliban and Kabul.
Afghan government has to release up to 5,000 insurgent prisoners in return for
1,000 detainees held by the Taliban. So far, only 1,000 prisoners have been set
free from Afghan jails while the Taliban have released fewer than 300
cases top daily record as Muslim world prepares for 'saddest' Eid
has reported its highest number of daily coronavirus cases as millions of
people in the world’s fourth most populous country prepared to mark the
festival of Eid al-Fitr without the usual celebrations and gatherings.
year’s festivities will be dampened by the economic hardship for many as
Indonesian migrant workers, who usually send money back home to their families,
have been left stranded and with no income.
president JokoWidodo has banned people travelling home to their families for
the holiday, though thousands have reportedly made the journey this week,
despite fears that this could prompt further rises in transmission.
said the virus has been spreading at its fastest rate over the past nine days,
due in part to a worsening outbreak in East Java.
Thursday, the country reported 973 new infections, bringing the total number of
confirmed cases to 20,162. The authorities have asked the military and the
police to prevent arrivals in Jakarta until a full reopening of the capital is
of Friday, 5,101,97 cases of coronavirus have been reported around the word,
with the US recording the highest number of infections. There is growing
concern about the outbreak in Brazil, which recorded its biggest daily death
toll on Thursday, when 1,188 fatalities were reported. Brazil now has 310,087
recorded cases – seen as a likely underestimate given the lack of testing in
the country – and has almost overtaken Russia to become the second worst-hit
country behind the US.
the world, many Muslim countries have said they will tighten restrictions this
weekend for Eid, which marks the end of the holiest time in the Muslim
calendar, the Ramadan month of fasting.
Lebanon, an economic crisis that was already causing huge hardship has worsened
as a result of the pandemic and left Muslims in despair as Eid begins.
during the civil war there was money and no one starved,” said an unemployed
public bus driver, Mohammad, in Beirut. “Now it’s just welfare. Who would have
Egypt, authorities are bringing forward the start of the existing coronavirus
curfew by four hours to 5 pm, and banning all public transport for six days
from Sunday. Meanwhile, in Bethlehem, the first town in the West Bank to be
sealed off because of a coronavirus outbreak, the Palestinian authority has
said a lockdown will be re-imposed on the West Bank during the three days of
in Iran have also warned people not to travel during the festival. “Our biggest
concern” is to have “new peaks of the disease in the country by not respecting
health regulations,” said health minister Saeed Namaki. “So I ask the dear
Iranian people... not to travel during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. New trips mean
new Covid-19 infections,” he said, quoted by the semi-official news agency
health ministry announced 66 more deaths and another 2,392 cases of coronavirus
infection across Iran, which has the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak.
the most vulnerable, who have lost work and are stranded away from home, the
holiday period will be especially challenging. Maizidah Salas, a coordinator at
the non-profit Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Union, said this year will be “the
saddest Eid for migrant workers and their family members”.
festival is usually celebrated with feasts, gifts and new clothes, and there is
normally a spike in remittances sent by millions of people who work overseas in
casual construction and factory jobs. This year, however, many have seen their
work cut as businesses have been forced to close.
who works as a plumber in Malaysia, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that he
has not been paid his monthly wages of 2,500 ringgit ($575) during the six-week
shutdown. Instead, he has been forced to borrow money from his employer just to
did not dare to ask why I wasn’t paid because I don’t want to be fired, and I’m
too embarrassed to borrow money again for Eid,” he said. “My wife has been
calling every day and crying. We have to cancel Eid celebrations this year.”
Khan's former aide among six major millers acting like 'cartel': Official
Pakistan's six major millers, including a former confidante of Prime Minister
Imran Khan, owing over 50 per cent of sugar production were acting like a
"cartel" and under-reported sugar sales for years, according to a
government report released on Thursday.
report is based on the probe of the Sugar Forensic Commission (SFC) constituted
in April to find out those behind the sugar shortage and its price hike that
hit the country earlier this year.
findings show that the six major millers owing over 50 per cent of sugar
production were acting like a cartel," the Prime Minister's aide on
accountability, Shehzad Akbar, said at press conference he addressed along with
Information Minister ShibliFaraz.
said that the finding showed that the millers underreported their stocks to
also colluded to create artificial shortages and sell sugar at high prices.
said they sold sugar to unnamed buyers and also indulged in "double
booking, under-reporting and over-invoicing".
report noted that under-invoiced sales from bagasse and molasses by one miller
resulted in 25 per cent cost inflation.
report also showed that mill owners are maintaining two account books. There is
an under-reporting on sugar procurement of 25-30 per cent, which is an
absolute," he said.
of the owners also committed corporate fraud whereby money was transferred from
their public limited company to their private company, Akbar said.
said that the sugar industry was given subsidies worth Rs29 billion over the
last five years whereas the tax income from all 88 sugar mills across the
country was just Rs 10 billion after-tax refunds.
said that the probe found stark failure of the government institutions to hold
them accountable, as their malpractice went on unchecked for years.
the prominent mill owners mentioned in the report include Jehangir Khan Tareen,
once considered as the most powerful in the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
(PTI) after Prime Minister Khan.
one of the richest men in the country, was dubbed as "ATM" of Khan by
opposition parties after he was frequently seen using his private jet to haul
lawmakers from far flung areas to Islamabad in order to win their support to
form the government after elections in 2018 as Khan's party lacked numerical
strength to form the government on its own.
do not maintain two sets of books. I pay all my taxes diligently," Tareen
said and vowed to answer every allegation and be vindicated.
Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) leader MoonisElahi is also one of the mill owners
named in the report.
party is an ally of Khan at centre and in Punjab province.
father PervaizElahi is Speaker of the Punjab Assembly.
Shehbaz and his father Shehbaz Sharif of opposition Pakistan Muslims
League-Nawaz have been also named in the report.
scandal was a test case for Khan who came to power in 2018 riding on the slogan
to expose the corrupt mafia and put them in jails.
Prime Minister had kept his promise and it is our commitment that we will not tolerate
any kind of corruption," said information minister Faraz.
said that now action would be taken against those named in the report,
including registration of cases and prosecution on charges of for corruption,
cheating the public, evading taxes, fraud and other crimes.
Celebrities Urge Muslims To Celebrate Festival At Home And To Follow Social
including baker NadiyaHussain and Citizen Khan creatorAdil Ray have urged
Muslims celebrating Eid this weekend to follow social distancing guidelines.
the festival is marked with communal prayers in mosques and visits to friends
in a video posted online, Muslims were encouraged to stay at home and celebrate
with their families online.
said "now could not be a better time to put others first".
is celebrated at the end of the fasting month of Ramandan and is a special time
for nearly two billion Muslims all over the world.
Eid al-Fitr prayers are usually among the best attended of the year, however,
mosques are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
his fellow Muslims in the video, Ray said: "This year, we can stay home,
save lives and give consideration to others. What a wonderful Eid gift that
Blue Peter presenter and children's book author KonnieHuq, who also appears in
the video, said: "By following the guidance we are helping to protect not
just ourselves but also our families."
Thursday's Downing Street coronavirus briefing, a member of the public asked
about advice for those celebrating Eid this weekend.
from Coventry asked: "With the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic)
coronavirus death rate being relatively high, will you be advising the Muslim
community to stay at home or stay alert during the upcoming three-day
celebration of Eid?
not, what is your advice for them? As a member I am concerned that some people
may be finding ways to flout the rules like having garden parties or
medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said religious celebrations for all faiths
will have to continue to be adapted to meet social distancing rules.
said: "Everybody knows what those rules are and they remain the same for
the reason we must all do that is, this is to protect the whole community, all
communities and all of us must find ways around this, of whatever faith."
this week, the Muslim Council of Britain - an umbrella organisation of various
UK Muslim bodies - said people should celebrate Eid at home and virtually.
by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that black men and women
are nearly twice as likely to die with coronavirus as white people in England
and women from Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities had an increased
risk of between 30% and 80%, the analysis found.
Leader: No Enmity with Jewish People
Zionist regime has proven it won’t abide by any treaty and understands no logic
except force. The nature of the Zionist regime is incompatible with peace,
because the Zionists seek to expand their territories and will certainly not be
limited to what they have already occupied,” the official twitter page of
Ayatollah Khamenei wrote on Wednesday night.
the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It
means abolishing the imposed regime and Muslim, Christian and Jewish
Palestinians choose their own govt and expel thugs like Netanyahu,” it added.
is “Eliminating Israel” and it will happen, Ayatollah Khamenei underlined.
noted that a proposal for a referendum to choose the type of government for the
historical country of Palestine was registered with the UN as offered by Iran,
adding, “We say the true Palestinians with Palestinian roots of at least 100
years, and Palestinians living abroad, choose the govt of Palestine.”
struggles by the Palestinian nation - political, military and cultural - should
continue till the usurpers submit to the referendum for the Palestinian nation.
This nation should determine what political system should rule there; struggle
must continue until then.
will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights
the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this,” Ayatollah Khamenei
remarks came as the Iranian parliament in its meeting on Monday unanimously
approved the generalities of a bill to confront the hostile acts of the Zionist
regime against peace and security.
parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission had on Saturday
prepared and approved the bill on “confronting the hostile acts of the Zionist
regime against peace and security”.
on the first article of the plan, all Iranian bodies are required to use the
country’s regional and international capacities to confront the Zionist
regime’s measures, specially its warmongering and terrorist moves, siege (of
Gaza), settlement construction, displacing the Palestinian people and
occupation of countries’ lands, including Golan,” Rapporteur of the
parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission
SeyedHosseinNaqaviHosseini told FNA on Saturday.
added that the plan also underlines support for Quds city as the Palestinian
capital and the Palestinian people.
said that based on the approval, any cooperation or spying for the Zionist
regime is equal to enmity towards God and corruption on earth and activities of
the Israeli software platforms in Iran and using its hardware and software
products is forbidden.
noted that another article of the plan requires the foreign ministry to pursue
the referendum in the Palestinian territories which has been registered at the
new bill also bans transferring the goods produced by the Israeli companies via
the Iranian territories as well as participation of the Israeli nationals and
firms in the exhibitions held inside Iran.
also requires the government to pave the ground for the establishment of a
virtual embassy in Palestine.
foreign ministry is required to make necessary arrangements to form the Islamic
Republic of Iran’s virtual embassy or consulate (in Palestine) and submit the
results for approval to the cabinet,” one of the paragraphs of the bill said.
foreign ministry is required to adopt necessary measures (to this end) in
consultations with other countries,” it added.
plan was approved on the eve of the International Quds Day on May 22.
International Quds Day is an annual event opposing Israel's occupation of Beitul-Muqaddas.
Anti-Zionist rallies and demonstrations are held on the last Friday of Ramadan
in Muslim and Arab countries around the world, specially in Iran, as well as a
large number of non-Muslim states.
International Quds Day was started by the late Founder of the Islamic Republic,
Imam Khomeini, in 1979 as a way of expressing solidarity with the Palestinians
and underscoring importance of the holy Quds to Muslims.
to the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran, the International Quds Day will be
commemorated differently without holding gatherings and rallies.
this month, an official with the Coordination Council of Islamic Propagation
Organization said Ayatollah Khamenei will deliver a speech on the occasion of
the International Quds Day corresponding with May 22.
to reopen mosques, cafes and hotels on June 4
will reopen places of worship, restaurants and hotels from June 4, authorities
announced Thursday, more than two months after closing them over the
reopening could be delayed if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, the
ministers of major projects, interior and religion told a press conference.
and restaurants, closed since March 22, will reopen at 50 percent capacity and
authorities are finalizing sanitary measures for tourism facilities.
the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.
final lifting of all movement restrictions is scheduled for June 14, the
ministers added, renewing calls for wearing masks, washing hands and social
between provinces remains forbidden and security checks will be increased this
weekend as Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when
people traditionally visit family.
will remain closed until September with only baccalaureate preparation classes
resuming for a month at the end of May.
daycare will also reopen at the end of the month.
March, Tunisian authorities have reported 1,045 COVID-19 cases, including 47
deaths. Rigorous containment measures since then appear to have halted the
spread of the virus in recent days.
didn’t waste time and we made difficult, bold and occasionally creative
decisions,” Prime Minister ElyesFakhfakh said in a televised speech on
the crisis exposed deep problems that Tunisia can “no longer ignore,” he said,
including poverty, a weak economy and underfunded public infrastructure, with
the healthcare system a top concern.
government is revising the 2020 budget and a plan to reactivate the economy, to
be presented to parliament at the end of June, Fakhfakh said.
will focus on reducing bureaucracy, increasing digitalization, maintaining jobs
and fighting corruption, he said.
FBI says Texas base shooting was act of terrorism
shooting at a naval air base in Texas is "terrorism-related," FBI
officials said Thursday.
shooting at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi took place around 6:15 a.m. local
time (1115 GMT). One sailor was shot with minor injuries and is expected to
leave a local hospital later in the day.
gunman, who has not been officially identified, was killed in a shootout with
base personnel after he attempted to speed through an entry gate with a
vehicle. NBC News reported the suspect's name is Adam Alsahli.
Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Leah Greeves told reporters during a brief
news conference that the bureau has information determining "the incident
this morning at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is
are working diligently with our state, local and federal partners on this
investigation, which is fluid and evolving," she said.
second person "of interest" may be involved, and may be "at
large" within the community, according to Greeves.
arrests ISIS leader Abdulnasser al-Qirdash said to be al-Baghdadi’s successor
intelligence has arrested Abdulnasser al-Qirdash, the ISIS leader said to be a
favored candidate to succeed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to several Iraqi
the terrorist named Abdulnasser al-Qirdash, the candidate to succeed the
criminal al-Baghdadi, was arrested. [The arrest] came after accurate
intelligence,” the statement from the Iraqi National Intelligence Service read.
all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
images show #ISIS leader Abdulnasser al-Qirdash, said to be a favored candidate
to succeed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in captivity after his arrest by #Iraq's
image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
AM - May 21, 2020
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was one of the candidates to succeed al-Baghdadi, who was killed by US forces
in a raid in the Syrian city of Idlib last October.
latest raid that led to the capture and arrest of al-Qirdash comes a month
after Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s former intelligence chief, became the
country’s prime minister.
had served as the head of the negotiations committee within ISIS. He had also
worked with the organization as a leader during the time of Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi. Most recently, al-Qirdash was in charge of the battles for
al-Baghouz in Syria, a small town in the province of Deirez-Zor close to the
Iraqi border and the final stronghold for ISIS.
to Al Arabiya, al-Qirdash confirmed that ISIS leadership, at the request of
al-Baghdadi, reevaluated the terrorist group’s ideas after in recent years after
it began losing many of its strongholds.
was a massive reevaluation of the Islamic State after it lost vast areas
including Kobani and many other areas. There were three of us, myself, Omar
al-Furkan and AyoubRakawi, who sat with the leadership to review our steps,”
al-Qirdash told Al Arabiya.
says Eid prayers to be performed at home, mosques to remain closed
United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday that Eid al-Fitr prayers are to be
performed at home instead of mosques this year, adding that mosques will
continue to remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
per the Emirates Fatwa Council, Eid al-Fitr prayers should be performed at
home. Taking all precautionary measures to protect yourself and your family is
a religious and national commitment,” said Abdul Rahman al-Shamsi, official
spokesperson for the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments
our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.
spokesperson said the public will hear the call for Eid takbeer 10 minutes
ahead of prayer time to keep the ritual and mark the religious festival while
staying at home.
we will be staying home, we still can maintain the spirit of the Eid,
communicate with our family members and exchange Eid greetings via the virtual
communication tools,” said al-Shamsi in a tweet.
Rahman Al Shamsi: Though we will be staying home, we still can maintain the
spirit of the Eid, communicate with our family members and exchange Eid
greetings via the virtual communication tools. #UAEGov
PM - May 20, 2020
UAEGov's other Tweets
- F o r s a n
Albeit our keenness to perform the Eid prayer every year together in mosques,
we will have to perform this Eid's prayer in homes with families based on the
Fatwa of the Fatwa Council of the #UAE#DedicationAtWorkSafetyAtHome
image on Twitter
AM - May 21, 2020
UAE - F o r s a n's other Tweets
UAE announced on Wednesday that it has detected 941 new coronavirus cases,
raising the number of confirmed infections to 26,004, according to the health
on Wednesday, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Human Resources and
Emiratisation announced that the nationwide disinfection program in the UAE
will be extended for two hours in industrial areas, and will now be from 6 p.m.
to 6 a.m. as part of efforts in the country to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
Arabia rejects Israel’s West Bank annexation plans
Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that it rejected Israel’s pledge to annex parts
of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Foreign Ministry stressed the Kingdom’s “condemnation of any unilateral
decisions and any violation of legitimate international decisions.”
said it opposed anything that hinders the peace process to achieve stability in
the region. The Kingdom continued to “support the Palestinians and their
choices, as well as their right to establish their own independent state.”
new coalition government is expected to discuss proposals to annex Jewish
settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.
response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was cutting off all
agreements signed with Israel and the US, and had informed those countries of
Israeli threat to annex the land has been widely condemned by both Arab and
Western nations. The Vatican said the Israeli move was concerning and could
further compromise peace dialogue.
for international law and UN resolutions was an “indispensable element for the
two peoples to live side by side,” the Vatican said following talks between
chief foreign policy official Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher and Palestinian
Holy See is following the situation closely, and expresses concern about any
future actions that could further compromise dialogue,” the Vatican said.
to a select group of journalists Erekat said that Palestine will happily attend
an international conference arranged by Russia.
have been in contact for some time with the quartet which includes Russia and
we have been discussing the possibility of a quartet plus meeting that could
include Saudi Arabia, UAE, China, and others.”
said that Palestinians are proud of their relations with the Russians and “we
will attend any meeting that they organize on the terms of reference of what
has been agreed.” Erekat revealed that the idea of an international conference
was also discussed with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called Abbas
noted that the last time security coordination was suspended — by Palestinian
President Arafat — Ariel Sharon sent in the tanks to Ramallah, but he said: “We
are on our land and we are not going anywhere.”
Makhlouf’s brother Ihab confirms Syriatel resignation, declares loyalty to
tycoon Rami Makhlouf’s brother Ihab has stepped down from his VP role of
Syriatel and pledged his loyalty to his cousin Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad, according to a Facebook post in which he blamed his sibling for his
said confirmed he was resigning and blamed brother Rami for their company’s
legal and financial troubles with the Syrian government.
want to ensure that I was not pressured to step down from any side and that my
resignation was a result of differences with the chairman of the board at
SyriatelMr. Rami Makhlouf over his dealings with the media over the legal and
financial files toward the government,” Makhlouf wrote.
unverified document reportedly leaked by Rami #Makhlouf to social media and
#Syrian media revealed that the Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf’s second son Ali,
20, has been named deputy CEO of telecom company Syriatel.
AM - May 21, 2020
Al Arabiya English's other Tweets
companies of the world will not budge my loyalty to the leadership of President
Bashar al-Assad,” he added.
government says Syriatel, the largest mobile phone network in Syria, owes 134
billion pounds, around $77 million at the current exchange rate on the parallel
Makhlouf brothers are Assad’s first cousin and key members of the regime’s
warns of dire humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria amid coronavirus
International Committee of the Red Cross warned Thursday of a worsening crisis
in northeast Syria, where water cuts, food shortages and depleted health
services are proving as dangerous as coronavirus.
to sprawling displacement camps hosting tens of thousands of people, including
families of ISIS members, the Kurdish-held northeast has been hard hit by nine
years of war.
COVID-19 outbreak, which the United Nations says has infected six people and
killed one in the region, has only added to a litany of challenges in the area,
the ICRC said.
millions of people in northeast Syria, consequences of fighting, shortages of
water, food and medicine, a lack of electricity, the economic downturn with job
losses and price hikes are as much of a worry as coronavirus,” said Karim
Mahmoud, ICRC office head in the city of Hasakeh.
ICRC’s regional director, said “there’s a risk that profound crises will
worsen, hidden in plain sight, while the world’s attention is on” the COVID-19
are 16 hospitals in north eastern Syria.
1 functions fully. https://bit.ly/3g5HBhw
PM - May 21, 2020
people are talking about this
pressure from Russia, the UN Security Council in January reduced the number of
border crossings authorized to deliver humanitarian aid to northern Syria from
four to two, both on the Turkish frontier.
Yarubiya entry point on the Iraqi border, used mainly to deliver UN-funded
medical aid to the northeast, was one of those scrapped, causing an aid
one out of 16 hospitals is fully functioning, while eight are partially
operational and seven are out of commission, the ICRC said.
50 percent of the local population in northeast Syria is believed to be food
insecure, which means they consume less than 2,100 calories a day, the World
Food Program says.
high proportion was “due to the heavy fighting that took place in this part of
Syria over the past few years,” said WFP spokeswoman Jessica Lawson.
fighters for years battled ISIS, before Turkey and its Syrian proxies seized Kurdish
areas on the Syrian side of the border last year.
lawmaker calls for posters of Iran’s Ali Khamenei hung in Baghdad to be removed
outspoken Iraqi lawmaker questioned on Wednesday why authorities put up posters
and images of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iraq, after a
large poster put up in the capital Baghdad in preparation for Iran’s Quds Day
caused an uproar amongst Iraqis.
image shared on social media showed a large poster in Baghdad which included
the faces of Khamenei, slain military commander QassemSoleimani, former supreme
leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and slain Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi
poster was put up in preparation for Iran’s annual Quds Day, which is held on
the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
is the purpose of putting up images of Khamenei in Iraq?” Iraqi lawmaker Faiq
Al Sheikh Ali tweeted on Wednesday.
that there is no basis for having posters of Khamenei in Iraq, Al Sheikh Ali
said in the same tweet that Khamenei is a foreign political leader, and that
Iraq has many of its own Shia clerics, thus there is no justification for
having his images in Iraq.
streets of many Iraqi cities, including the capital Baghdad, are filled with
posters and images of Iranian figures, such as Khamenei, and Soleimani.
Iraqis on Twitter pointed out that while there are countless images of Iranian
leaders in their country, there are no images of Iraqi leaders in Iran.
does the Iraqi government allow images of Iranian figures to be put up in Iraq,
when Iran does not allow the opposite? Children of Iraq … remove the images of
Khamenei and his followers wherever you find them and burn them,” Shia Iraqi
cleric Ayatollah Hassan al-Moussawi tweeted.
demonstrators protesting Iran’s role in their country took down, ripped up and
torched many posters of Iranian leaders, including Khamenei, Khomeini and
Soleimani during the country’s nationwide protests at the end of last year.
recent days, Iraqi social media users launched a hashtag against Khamenei in
response to what they consider interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.
said in a speech on Sunday that the US “will be expelled” from Syria and Iraq.
took to Twitter to attack Khamenei following his remarks by tweeting using an
Arabic hashtag that read “Khamenei stick to your limits.”
hashtag quickly gained traction as thousands of Iraqis expressed their
opposition to Iran’s involvement in Iraq.
Pleads Guilty in US to Conspiracy to Hezbollah Drone Parts Export
Lebanese man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Minnesota to conspiring to
export drone parts and technology from the US to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Attorney Erica H. MacDonald said this week that UsamaHamade, 55, pleaded guilty
to conspiring to illegally export goods and technology.
brother, IssamHamade, pleaded guilty in March in federal court in Minnesota.
said the brothers acquired sophisticated technology for drones from 2009 to
2013 and illegally exported them to Hezbollah, which the US considers a
Hamades were arrested in February 2018 in South Africa and were extradited to
the US last fall.
to an indictment, the parts included inertial measurement units, which can be
used to track an aircraft’s position, and digital compasses, which can be
paired with the inertial measurement units for drone guidance systems. The
parts also included a jet engine and 20 piston engines.
at home on AlvidaJumma and Eid prayers, Muslims asked by Imarat-e-Shariah
Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha
In view of the Covid-19 lockdown, many Islamic bodies have asked Muslims to
offer ‘AlvidaJumma’ (last Friday of Ramzan) and Eid prayers at home and follow
social distancing norms.
on the sighting of the crescent moon, Eid is likely to be celebrated on Sunday
a Muslim religious body with jurisdiction over Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, has
told the devotees that no congregational prayer services will be conducted at
mosques on ‘AlvidaJumma’ and Eid this year. Only the ‘imam’ (who leads
prayers), ‘muezzin’ (who gives the call for prayers) and three others will pray
general secretary MaulanaShibliQasmi said, “Mosques will remain shut till the
Centre issues a notification regarding recommencement of prayer services at
religious places. Your prayers will be accepted even if you offer ‘AlvidaJumma’
and Eid namaz at home.”
State Sunni Waqf Board (BSSWB) also made an appeal to the people to avoid large
gatherings and pray at home. Its chairman MohdIrshadUllah told this newspaper
on Thursday, “Devotees should form a small group of five to seven people and
offer prayers with ‘khutba’ (public preaching in the Islamic tradition) at
also emphasized on maintaining social distance as “it is the only way to combat
deports Qaeda man Anwar al-Awlaki’s aide to India
al-Qaeda operative from Hyderabad, who has been convicted in the United States
for financing activities of the slain Yemeni preacher and al-Qaeda leader Anwar
al-Awlaki, has been deported to India.
Ibrahim Zubair, 41, a resident of Toledo in Ohio, US, was deported to India on
a special flight that landed in Amritsar on May 19. He was escorted by Indian
is “Sharjah born”, but is an “Indian national”, with his parents tracing their
roots to Hyderabad, a top Punjab Police officer said. He was among 167
deportees by arrived in Amritsar from the US, the officer said.
in New Delhi said Zubair was interrogated by central intelligence agencies
about his links with al-Qaeda and his networks across the world and in India,
if any. He has now been sent to 14 days’ quarantine in Amritsar as the agencies
decide on their next step.
has not been booked in any case here. We are still exploring if he can be
booked at all. There is no case against him. He has already served the sentence
for the offence for which he was convicted in the US. Our main objective is to
see how much information he has about al-Qaeda networks in India,” a security
establishment officer said.
July 2015, Zubair was arrested by US authorities for helping send around
$22,000 in 2009 to al-Awlaki in Yemen. The money was allegedly carried by his
brother Farooq Mohammed, who was then based in the United Arab Emirates. Farooq
is currently serving a 29-year sentence in the US for both terror links and for
conspiring to kill the judge who was hearing his case. Al-Awlaki was killed in
a drone strike ordered by President Barack Obama in Yemen in September 2011.
April 2018, Zubair pleaded guilty to charges of concealing financial aid to a
terrorist organisation and was sentenced to 60 months in prison. The court
recently ordered his deportation to India.
Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said that during his questioning by the
Counter Intelligence wing of the state police, Zubair had revealed that he was
radicalised after he started following the preachings of al-Awlaki, who was
calling for a jihad against the US. “The FBI detained Zubair on November 5,
2015… He was sentenced to 60 months jail in April 2018 but was supposed to
spend 30 months only taking into account the 30 months he had already spent in
detention,” Gupta said.
ADGP (Internal Security) R N Dhoke said, “He is not wanted by us; he has no
linkages in Punjab.”
to central agency sources, Zubair comes from a well-to-do family which migrated
to Sharjah and then to the US while he was still a child. Both he and his
brother graduated from the University of Illinois as engineers.
were engaged in well paying jobs, but got sucked into the whirlpool of
radicalisation and terrorism that swept the western landscape post the 9/11
attacks. They had been influenced by videos of al-Awlaki and even [the
Malaysia-based wanted Indian televangelist] ZakirNaik lately. In fact his
brother’s attempt to meet al-Awlaki in Yemen had failed,” an officer said.
graduating, Zubair moved to Toldeo and married an American citizen in 2006,
following which he became a permanent resident of the US, sources said. Before
that he lived in Texas with his parents.
their father is dead now, the two brothers had bought a property in Hyderabad
and sent back their mother to India a few years ago,” the officer said.
to an order of the US District Court for the Northern district of Ohio, Zubair
along with his brother and two others “did knowingly and intentionally provide
material support and resources… including currency and monetary instruments,
knowing and intending that they were to be used in preparation for, and in
carrying out, violations” of US laws.
cop killed, 2 others hurt in Pulwama terror attack
One security personnel was killed and two others were injured when two
terrorists attacked a temporary naka in Prichoo area of Pulwama district on
Thursday. Intelligence sources held The Resistance Front (TRF) – an amalgam of
Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and HizbulMujaheedin – responsible for the
Prichoo attack comes a day after terrorists shot dead two BSF personnel in
Pandach area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
deceased has been identified as J&K Police head constable Anoop Singh. The
two injured are police constable Mohammad Ibrahim and CRPF jawanKrishan Kumar.
While Ibrahim was critically injured and shifted to Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital,
Kumar, who received a minor bullet injury in his chest, was being treated at
Pulwama sub-district hospital.
zone police tweeted that terrorists fired at joint naka party of police and
CRPF at Prichoo, Pulwama. “Two police personnel got injured, however, one of
the injured succumbed,” the tweet read.
range IGP Vijay Kumar said the terrorists came from the bylane near the naka
and opened fire upon the securitymen, who retaliated but they managed to flee
from the spot.
CRPF and Army have cordoned off the entire area and launched searches to track
down the attackers.
intelligence officer said that terrorists have stepped up attacks on security
forces to avenge the killing of Hizbul commander RiyazNaikoo, who was
eliminated in an encounter at Beighpora in Pulwama on May 7.
security forces on Thursday arrested three newly recruited terrorists
affiliated to Lashkar during a brief exchange of gunfire in Sogam area of north
Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Centre changed its mind on flights; al-Qaeda operative lands in Amritsar
Liu Chuen Chen , Leela Prasad
May 17, the Centre, in its revised guidelines for lockdown 4.0, said domestic
air travel will remain prohibited till May 31. But in just three days, it had a
change of mind. The reason: An imminent threat of more than one airline folding
up, both on account of the extended lockdown and little to no relief in the
reading: Aviation ministry has introduced fare caps — notably, they do not
include the additional fees and taxes
special flight from the US that landed in Amritsar on May 19 was carrying 167
deportees. Among them was a convicted al-Qaeda operative from Hyderabad. As he
serves the mandatory 14-day quarantine, intelligence agencies mull over their
on Chinese transgressions into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control
(LAC) show there has been a marked increase in the western sector, which falls
in Ladakh. Officials contend that they occur because both the militaries try to
patrol the area up to their respective perceptions of the LAC, but concede that
the Chinese are coming to the Indian side more often.
Minister NarendraModi will be travelling to Odisha and West Bengal to hold an
aerial survey of the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan which claimed 72
lives. Track our live coverage here
threat of hunger, evictions and unemployment created by the COVID fear and
subsequent lockdown forced hundreds of thousands to return from the city to
their native place. However, Uttarakhand’s ‘ghost villages’ are symptomatic of
what forced them out in the first place. Not one of the more than two lakh
residents of the state who have registered to return have opted for its
1,700-odd “nirjan” villages, areas with no road connectivity or opportunities,
which now house just one-two families.
today’s oped, senior advocate Justice FaliNariman lauds the “humanitarian
approach” of a division bench of the Karnataka High Court who had recently
questioned the state government’s decision not to fund the travel of migrant
workers if their home states do not deposit funds for train fares. “Like Abou
Ben Adhem (in the poem by James Hunt) ‘May their tribe increase’,” he writes.
poll-bound Bihar, high-decibel political activities are on hold, given the
pandemic and the unprecedented reverse migration. But BJP leaders pointed out
that the initiatives of the government and party would “eventually create
goodwill for the party”.
Sunday, India decided to keep schools closed for another two weeks. In Europe,
millions of children have begun returning to classrooms. Will reopening make
children vulnerable? Are there any findings to suggest that school reopening
has led to a rise in cases in Europe? We try to answer these questions.
World Health Organisation has poured water over the claims on the efficacy of
hydroxychloroquine in treating Covid-19. Its warning comes two days after US
President Donald Trump said he is on the drug, and at a time when India is
going through heated discussions within the government on whether to reconsider
denies rights group’s claim security forces beat Rohingya refugees
on Thursday slammed an international rights group’s claim that its security
forces beat Rohingya refugees held at a flood-prone island, calling them
306 Rohingya rescued by Bangladesh after being stranded at sea for weeks were taken
to Bhashan Char – a silty strip of land in the Bay of Bengal where a severe
cyclone has just barrelled through – earlier this month.
said the mostly Muslim minority from Myanmar were not sent to camps in Cox’s
Bazar in the country's southeast as authorities were afraid they might have
Rights Watch alleged in a report Wednesday citing interviews with 25 Rohingya
that the refugees have been subject to interrogations and beatings on the
said that those on the island are being confined in prison-like conditions
without freedom of movement or adequate access to food, water, or medical
care,” the New York-based group said.
alleged beatings by Bangladesh security forces.”
Rights Watch said refugees on the island told them that “soldiers threatened
and beat up male refugees, including children, while interrogating them about
the smugglers who transported them”.
described hearing screams from the interrogation room,” the report added.
Minister A.K. Abdul Momen hit back at the claims and questioned why the
allegations were being raised.
have an evil motive. Why they (Human Rights Watch) are silent about the
violence in Myanmar?” he told AFP.
who are making such comments they should take them (Rohingya) to their country.
If they think they are in discomfort, they should take them to their country
and make them happy.”
junior foreign affairs minister ShahriarAlam told AFP that Human Rights Watch's
reports were “baseless and ill-motivated.”
spokesman for the navy, which is looking after the Rohingya on the island, said
the refugees were being "treated very well".
added that no-one was hurt and there was no damage on the island from Cyclone
Amphan, which smashed into Bangladesh and India on Wednesday.
chief Antonio Guterres last week urged Momen to shift the rescued Rohingya to
Cox’s Bazar – where nearly one million Rohingya live in squalid camps, many
after fleeing a 2017 military crackdown – after a coronavirus quarantine
previously said the refugees would “most likely” have to live on Bhashan Char
until they return to their home state of Rakhine in Myanmar.
attacks underscore scale of challenge facing peace negotiators
least 14 people have been killed in attacks on a mosque in northern Afghanistan
and on worshippers returning from prayers in the east, as the US peace envoy
arrived in Kabul to push Afghanistan’s newly united government to start peace
talks with the Taliban.
Taliban rapidly denied involvement in either shooting, but said it had carried
out an attack on a checkpoint that killed nine militia fighters. The violence
on the eve of the planned talks underscored the scale of the challenge facing
the US-brokered efforts to negotiate an end to the war.
a rare message to mark the upcoming celebration of Eid, the Taliban leader,
HaibatullahAkhundzada, said the group was committed to the deal reached with
the US earlier this year. He urged Washington “not to waste” the opportunity
offered by the agreement, which provided for the safe departure of US troops
from Afghanistan and was also meant to pave the way for serious peace talks
between Afghan parties. This part of the process has stalled.
the February signing ceremony the Taliban rejected government calls for a
ceasefire, continuing attacks inside Afghanistan and prompting the Afghan
government to accuse it of bad faith.
comments quoted by the AFP news agency, Akhundzada said: “I urge American
officials to not afford anyone the opportunity to obstruct, delay and
ultimately derail this internationally recognised bilateral agreement. The
[Taliban] is committed to the agreement.”
US envoy, ZalmayKhalilzad, arrived in Kabul days after Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan
president, finally brokered a deal with his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, to
settle a dispute over the results of last year’s presidential election.
men had claimed victory, accused the other of fraud and organised his own
inauguration, with the long standoff prompting the US to cancel $1bn (£817m) in
new agreement leaves Ghani as president, while Abdullah will control half of
the cabinet posts and lead the government’s peace efforts.
process was dealt a heavy blow last week, however, by a horrific attack on a
maternity hospital in Kabul. In response Ghani ordered Afghan forces back on
the offensive against the insurgents, after a period in “active defence” to
prepare for possible talks.
Taliban denied responsibility for the bloodshed and Khalilzad was quick to say
it was the work of Islamic State, but Afghan government officials said it was
too early to apportion blame.
attacks also targeted civilians, with gunmen storming a mosque in Parwan
province, north of the capital, as people gathered to break the Ramadan fast,
killing at least 11. The next morning relatives carried the bodies of their
loved ones to the provincial capital, Charikar, to protest outside the
that the evening, gunmen in eastern Khost province attacked a family returning
home from prayers, killing three brothers, AdilHaidari, spokesman for the
provincial police chief, told AP.
using controversial law to 'gag media, free speech'
Bangladesh - At least 20 journalists in Bangladesh have been charged or
arrested under the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA) in the past month,
raising concerns about free speech in the South Asian nation.
number of journalists have been arrested for social media posts critical of the
government or reporting on the government's handling of the coronavirus
60 cases have been filed against more than 100 people, including 22
journalists, under the DSA this year until May 6, according to a study by
Article 19, a UK-based human rights body.
journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol disappeared on March 10, a day after a
politician from the governing Awami League party filed a criminal defamation
case against him for publishing "false, offensive, illegally obtained and
defamatory" content on Facebook.
governing party legislator, SaifuzzamanShikor, filed a defamation case against
Kajol, a photographer and editor of the biweekly Pakkhakal magazine, and 31
others, accusing them of linking him to escort services run from a hotel.
mysteriously turned up in police custody 53 days later on India-Bangladesh
has been slapped with three cases under the DSA, a law rights bodies have
described as "draconian". Police have registered a fourth case
against Kajol for "trespassing" into his own country.
punished, he faces seven years in jail.
top editor, Motiur Rahman Chowdhury, was also charged in the same case.
prisoner of conscience'
International said Kajol was detained for exercising his right to freedom of
expression. "Shafiqul Islam Kajol is a prisoner of conscience and must be
released immediately and unconditionally," the rights body said in a
statement released on May 6.
Kajol's son, has pleaded for his father's release. "My father still hasn't
got the chance to appeal in front of a court as the courts are now shut due to
COVID -19 lockdown," Polok told Al Jazeera.
of humanity and out of kindness, we appeal to our government to consider my
father's pr-existing health conditions and his mental state and immediately
release him and drop all charges against him," he said.
filing reports critical of the government's measures to contain the spread of
the coronavirus also seemed to have been targeted.
May 6, at least 11 people, including a cartoonist, two journalists, and a
writer, were charged with "spreading rumors and carrying out
journalist Tasneem Khalil, US-based journalist ShahedAlam and blogger Asif
Mohiuddin also have cases against them under DSA.
the same day, Didarul Islam Bhuiyan, a member of a politico-civic organization,
Rashtrachinta, was arrested for a Facebook post.
husband was not involved in any criminal acts, but he was picked up by
plain-clothes people who identified themselves as members of Rapid Action
Battalion (RAB)," DilshanAra, wife of Bhuiyan, told Al Jazeera.
is innocent, who merely posted some write-ups on social media criticising the
corruption in the relief distribution process; we all have that right to
expression under the constitution.
want his immediate release, he may get exposed to coronavirus inside the
officials have defended the cases against journalists.
Rahman, Dhaka Metro Police deputy commissioner media, told Al Jazeera that
cases filed on May 6 against 11 people, including journalists, and Bhuiyan were
filed by paramilitary RAB for social media postings.
affirmed that the police would investigate the matter in accordance with the
law. "However, it will be up to the court to decide their fate in the end.
All of them have been sent to Keranigonj central jail, pending a court
hearing," Rahman told Al Jazeera.
activists have expressed grave concern over the rising number of cases being
filed against journalists and critics of the government. They say the DSA law
is being used to "gag media and freedom of expression".
are alarmed by nature and procedure followed by authorities to prosecute people
in some of the cases under The Digital Security Act (DSA)," SaadHammadi,
South Asia campaigner for Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera.
a police official's justification for taking a DSA case against someone is
based on only the fact that a ruling party leader is aggrieved as opposed to
determining the necessity and proportion of the actions, it severely
compromises the country's commitment to promote and protect people's right to
freedom of expression," he said.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called on Bangladesh to urgently
revise the DSA to ensure that it is in line with international human rights
cases against journalists
than 1,000 cases have been filed in Bangladesh under the DSA since it was
implemented in 2018.
the last two months, journalists have become more vulnerable, with many media
outlets announcing lay-offs due to COVID-19 pandemic that has infected 25,121
and killed 370 people in the country of 160 million.
group of eminent citizens and journalists unions have called for the release of
jailed media workers.
Security Act can be useful against those who commit cybercrimes, but it should
not be used against journalists and media persons," Farida Yeasmin,
general secretary of the Bangladesh National Press Club, told Al Jazeera.
Bangladesh Editors' Council (SampadakParishad) has also expressed grave concern
over the recent cases against journalists.
concern is being shown over the merit of the complaints before making
arrests," the Editors' Council said in a statement.
month, Reporters Without Borders published a report that at least nine
journalists had been physically attacked and six face charges under the DSA for
collecting or publishing news on misappropriation of relief materials.
met with Ghani and Abdullah after meeting Taliban leader in Qatar
U.S. envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation ZalmayKhalilzad met with President
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah after meeting the deputy political
chief of Taliban in Qatar.
with President @AshrafGhani and Chairman of the High Council for National
Reconciliation @DrabdullahCE together and separately today in Kabul. I
congratulated them on their agreement to form an inclusive government after
protracted negotiations,” Khalilzad said in a Twitter post.
also added “We discussed next steps required to implement the agreement between
the 2 leaders. On peace, we agreed that violence is much too high and there is
a need to move urgently to reduce it by all sides.”
also agreed on the importance of delivering (and soon) on other commitments
made in the US-Taliban agreement and US-Afghanistan joint declaration including
release of prisoners by both sides and the start of intra-Afghan negotiations,”
regards to his meeting with Abdullah, Khalilzad said, “In my meeting with Dr
Abdullah, we discussed his plans for operationalizing his new role and will be
working closely with him and his team.”
had earlier tweeted “I held 3 constructive mtgs w/ Mullah Berader& members
of the Taliban Political Commission. Emphasized the US-Taliban agreement is
inter-connected: CT commitments, intra-Afghan negotiations, troop withdrawal,
& gradual violence reduction leading to a permanent ceasefire.”
sides have implementation requirements on all fronts including on prisoner
releases by the Afghan government and the Taliban,” Khalilzad said, adding that
“I also raised missing Americans Mark Frerichs and Paul Overby as well as our
concerns about recent Taliban attacks in Kunduz, Ghazni, &Khost. We
discussed their concerns with President Ghani’s ordering offensive attacks.”
violence, I told the Talibs violence by all sides must fall. Innocent Afghans
have borne far too much and for too long the costs of this war,” he said.
latest report regarding Pakistan’s support to Taliban, Haqqani Network
Department of Defense (Pentagon) released its latest report outlining
Pakistan’s continued support to Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist
Pentagon report, prepared by the Inspector General, complied with the helip of
the Department of State and United States Agency for International Development,
covers the period from January to March of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the
U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.
continues to harbor the Taliban and associated militant groups in Pakistan,
such as the Haqqani Network, which maintains the ability to conduct attacks
against Afghan interests,” the report said.
report also added that Islamabad has encouraged the Afghan Taliban to
participate in peace talks but that it “refrained from applying coercive pressure
that would seriously threaten its relationship with the Afghan Taliban to
dissuade the group from conducting further violence.”
comes as Pakistani leaders have repeatedly assured Washington that they support
peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Pentagon stated in its report that Islamabad’s primary strategic objective in
Afghanistan is to counter its regional archrival, India, and prevent the
spillover of instability from the neighboring country.
places of worship in Malaysia's green zones to reopen under strict health
LUMPUR: A total of 174 non-Muslim places of worship in green zones will be
allowed to open on selected days starting Jun 10, said Malaysian Senior
Minister Ismail SabriYaakob.
a press conference on Thursday (May 21), he said the decision was made after
Minister of National Unity Halimah Mohamed Sadique met with the heads of
organisations representing various religious groups.
met earlier today and agreed that these places of worship would be allowed to
operate under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).
includes only allowing up to 30 worshippers at a time, but that would also
depend on the size of the premise. If it is too small for 30 people, then the
respective management should ensure a more appropriate number,” the senior
Ismail Sabri said in addition to implementing SOPs such as compulsory use of
hand sanitiser and face masks, worshippers above the age of 70 and below the
age of 12 will not be allowed to enter, as they are in the high risk group.
that, these premises will only be open to Malaysians. Other nationalities will
not be allowed to enter the temples or churches.
must also be noted that these premises will only be allowed to open on
important days. For example, Sundays for churches. There will be similar
important days for the Hindu and Buddhist communities as well. We will only
allow one or two days in a week for these places to operate,” he said.
of the 174 places of worship, 84 are Hindu temples, 67 are churches, 15 are
Buddhist temples and eight are Gurdwaras.
senior minister stressed that events like weddings will still not be allowed in
these places of worship. Officers from the Ministry of National Unity have been
appointed to oversee the operations of these places of worship.
note that should the SOPs be defied, the permission to operate can be
withdrawn,” he warned.
date, a total of 126 districts have been declared as green zones. There are now
seven red zones.
week, the government announced that all mosques and certain surau in the
federal territory will be able to conduct Friday prayers starting May 15.
Additionally, daily Tarawih prayers and Hari Raya prayers will also be allowed,
subject to strict SOPs.
MORE INTERSTATE TRAVEL.
following the failure of Malaysians to avoid interstate travel unless
absolutely necessary, Mr Ismail Sabri said the government has decided to ban
interstate travel altogether.
noted at the Thursday press conference that there has been increased traffic on
the roads despite requests by the government for people to avoid returning to
their hometowns for the Hari Raya season.
(May 20), the police department had 149 interstate roadblocks nationwide. A
total of 271,646 vehicles were checked and 2,412 vehicles that tried to cross
state borders were told to turn back as their reason for travel was to return
to their hometowns."
the government announced that those who needed to make interstate travel during
this period would need to get approval from the police department.
if the travel ban would apply to those who have already obtained approval from
the police but have yet to hit the road, the senior minister replied that
approval was only given for cases of extreme emergency.
would not have been cases of someone getting approval to travel but only in
three days' time. It is for immediate travel, so this problem would not arise.
you can see the lack of Malaysian compliance by looking at the 1,300 who lined
up at the Kuantan police station to get approval. They can’t all be going to
another state for an emergency like the death of a family member. This is just
Malaysians trying their luck to see if they get away with it,” he said.
was referring to a long line of people outside the Kuantan district police
station to get permission for interstate travel.
Ismail Sabri told Malaysians to be more considerate and not travel to their
hometowns as they could risk the lives of others.
then cited a case of a pregnant woman from Ampang who had travelled to Kelantan
and was later tested positive when screened at her hometown.
the time she was screened, she had already made contact with so many people ...
Now although that place is not under lockdown, the community will need to
undergo screening due to the actions of one person.”
Ministry: Non-Muslim weddings in houses of worship only allowed after July 31
LUMPUR, May 21 — All non-Muslim wedding ceremonies held in house of worships
have been postponed to July 31, the National Unity Ministry said in a statement
comes after the National Security Council (NSC) approved the reopening proposal
for non-Muslim worship places operating in green zones submitted by National
Unity ministerDatukHalimah Mohamed Sadique during the Ministers’ Special
Committee Meeting held earlier today.
ministry also said arrangements for burial at residences must not exceed 20
people including close relatives depending on the size of the house while wake
services are strictly prohibited.
the ministry also provided a list of standard operating procedures (SOP) for houses
of worship to make the necessary arrangements prior to resuming their services.
today, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail SabriYaakob said non-Muslim places of
worship, located in green zones, are allowed to operate throughout the
conditional movement control order (CMCO) period from June 10 onwards.
the SOP were for the management committee of the respective houses of worship
to ensure all devotees understood and obeyed the SOP provided.
showing signs of fever, cough, breathing difficulties and flu are not allowed
diagnosed with diabetes, cancer and other non-communicable diseases are also
not encouraged to attend religious services,” it said, adding that devotees
aged 70 above and children below 12 were prohibited from attending similar
statement also said a distance marker of one metre, both visible and adhesive,
must be compulsorily placed on the floor.
ministry also said officers from the National Unity and Integration Department
will be appointed to monitor the compliance rate of the SOP in accordance with
Section 3 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act.
ministry will like to remind all parties including religious bodies and
devotees to obey the SOP issued by the NSC and the Health Ministry.
to do so will result in the immediate revocation of the permission to operate,”
statement also said a total of 174 non-Muslim places of worship were allowed to
operate nationwide beginning June 10, in accordance to the guidelines set forth
in the SOP such as limiting attendees to 30 people depending on the size of the
place of worship.
saddest Eid’ — Coronavirus lockdown in Malaysia cuts lifeline for Indonesian
LUMPUR, May 22 — Since leaving his village in Indonesia to work abroad three
decades ago, Wasito has never failed to send money home at Hari Raya to support
family in the world’s largest Muslim country.
year he cannot.
lockdowns around the world have forced companies to cut jobs or wages, and
migrant workers such as Wasito are particularly vulnerable because of
inadequate job protections.
wife has been calling every day and crying. We have to cancel Eid celebrations
this year,” said Wasito, who works as a plumber in Malaysia and like many
Indonesians goes by one name.
Raya celebrations, due to start this weekend, mark the end of the holiest time
in the Muslim calendar, the Ramadan month of fasting.
businesses in Malaysia have reopened this month, but Wasito said he was not
paid his monthly wages of RM2,500 during the six-week shutdown, forcing him to
borrow money from his employer to get food that he now has to repay.
did not dare to ask why I wasn’t paid because I don’t want to be fired, and I’m
too embarrassed to borrow money again for Eid,” the 49-year-old father of four
told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
Raya Aidilfitri is the most important festival in Indonesia, where nearly 90
per cent of its 260 million population are Muslim.
festival is celebrated with feasts and new clothes, and characterised by a
spike in remittances sent by millions of labourers who work overseas in
building, plantations and factories.
workers sent US$11.44 billion (RM49.8 billion) back to Indonesia in 2019, up
from US$8.35 billion in 2014, mostly from countries in Asia and the Middle
East, Indonesia’s Central Bank figures show.
are important for Indonesian families to support their basic needs like food,
housing and education,” said PingkanAudrine, a researcher at the Centre for
Indonesian Policy Studies, a Jakarta-based think-tank.
of their relatives have also used the money to start small business such as the
warung (roadside kiosks), so their family in the village can earn an income,”
World Bank says global remittances are set to fall by about 20 per cent — or
US$100 billion — this year, about four times more of a drop than during the
2009 financial crisis.
a loss would cut a crucial lifeline for many families, as one in nine people
globally benefitted from international remittances in 2019, according to the
than 100,000 Indonesians have returned home since the start of the coronavirus
crisis, local media reported, and with little work around, they are now the
ones who need help.
of sending money home), many migrant workers are asking their family for
money,” said Maizidah Salas, a coordinator at the non-profit Indonesian Migrant
will certainly be the saddest Eid for migrant workers and their family
members,” she added.
returning workers have started their own small businesses, but sluggish
consumer sentiment makes it tough.
always difficult to find jobs in village, which is why I became a migrant
worker,” said ArumyMarzudhy, once a nanny in Singapore who now sells rice
crackers in East Java province.
decline in sales is a blow and there is no fixed salary any more,” said
32-year-old Marzudhy, who was paid S$1,000 (US$707) a month as a nanny.
46, struck a more optimistic note about Hari Raya.
mother of two worked as a cleaner in Malaysia for a decade until she lost her
job in March. She has started a sewing business back home — and sees a silver
lining in her layoff.
Churches say will keep doors closed until end of CMCO
LUMPUR, May 21 — The Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) today said that
churches under its umbrella will remain closed until the conditional movement
control order (CMCO) is lifted.
general secretary Rev HermenShastri said that CCM will only allow churches to
open if there is assurance from the Ministry of Health that Covid-19 no longer
poses a threat to the general public.
that will be June 10, will be reviewed judiciously when the time comes.
seek to priorities the safety of our people as our paramount spiritual duty.
The current situation is still very precarious and volatile,” he said in a
he said that the believers can continue to pray and worship at their respective
homes with online streaming will be offered for the worship service on Sundays.
we continue to battle the Covid-19 pandemic together, we take this opportunity
to salute the frontliners who are working tirelessly and selflessly in order to
keep the rest of us safe.
God continue to bless, protect and guide our nation. Stay at home. Pray at
home. And, let us carry one another's burdens for the good of the nation,” he
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail SabriYaacob said that non-Muslim religious
houses will be allowed to open with strict standard operating procedures (SOP)
starting from June 10.
Sabri said that only religious houses in green zone are allowed to open with
the numbers limited to only 30 people.
comes as Islamic authorities have allowed some mosques to allow congregational
prayers with strict restrictions since last week.
noting the authorities’ SOPs, Hermen said that CCM also have additional rules
for its churches when they reopen in the future.
church leader should issue guidelines to their congregations to comply and
self-regulate taking cognisance of national and state SOPs.
Sunday Worship maximum 30 individuals are allowed and there will be online live
streaming in sanctuary. Other services like weddings, funerals and prayer
meetings held when needed. Worship time restricted to one and a half hours,” he
also said no physical contact during the worship, which includes no laying of
hands on others, no back up singers and choirs, and no sharing of communion
hall will be sanitised immediately after use. A break of two hours is essential
between different worship services.
places of worship can reopen June 10
Non-Muslim houses of worship will be permitted to reopen on June 10, but only
in the green zones, according to Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri
they must comply with standard operating procedures (SOP) set including the
number of those present should not exceed 30 people and is subject to the size
of the place of worship.
a house of worship is small and cannot accommodate 30 people, then the number
of people attending should be less, people should not crowd together,” he said.
addition, Ismail Sabri said senior citizens of 70 years old and above, and
children of 12 years old and below are not permitted to attend. Body
temperature screening, the use of hand sanitisers and the wearing of face masks
were also part of the SOP, he added.
to use these houses of worship will only be granted to Malaysians, and only be
opened on auspicious days according to the respective religions.
example Christians go to church on Sundays, so only Sundays are permitted,” he
date, the government has allowed 174 places of worship nationwide to reopen,
namely 84 Hindu temples, 15 Chinese temples, 67 churches and eight gurdwaras.
said permission would be granted gradually and so far it accounts for about
1.0pc of houses of worship nationwide.
he said weddings were still not allowed at these premises, adding that if there
were violations of the SOP then this relaxation of the rules would be retracted
immediately. customers should lodge a report with the police and the Malaysian
Communications and Multimedia Commission if there was a leak of personal data
such as identity card number after entering a business premises.
Sabri said it was agreed at the meeting to waive 50pc of the hotel quarantine
charges for people with disabilities who are returning from abroad, while
members of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme still have to bear the
full quarantine charge of RM150 per day.
said earlier that from June 1, all Malaysians overseas who want to return home
would have to pay 50pc of the RM150 per day for hotels converted to Covid-19
quarantine centres while non-citizens will be charged 100pc.
churches that are members of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) will
remain closed until the movement control order (MCO) is fully lifted.
general secretary Rev Dr HermenShastri said its churches would remain closed
until it was deemed safe to re-open without risking public health.
added that online streaming of Sunday services would continue, with devotees
remaining at home to pray and worship.
Religious Council seeks to intervene in SIS’ move to challenge law
The Selangor Islamic Religious Council has applied to intervene in a suit by
women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS), which is seeking a declaration
that a state enactment allowing the state Shariah High Court to review fatwas
issued by the state religious authorities is unconstitutional.
MaizatulAmalina Ahmed Mustaza, who represented SIS, said the application would
only be heard in the event the Federal Court allowed her client leave
council’s intervener application will be heard subject to a single judge
allowing the leave application before the merit of the case can be heard,” she
told FMT after case management before deputy registrar AznizaMohd Ali.
said the court had fixed July 20 for the leave hearing.
will appear in person before a judge as our application to have virtual
proceedings did not have the support of the council,” she said.
filed the challenge under Article 4 (3) on grounds that the state legislature
cannot pass Section 66A of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State
of Selangor) Enactment 2003.
66A states that shariah high courts in Selangor have the jurisdiction to hear
judicial reviews against the decisions of state religious councils or
applicant is arguing that any judicial review of a law passed by Parliament and
state assemblies can only be heard before a civil high court.
filed the application in the Federal Court on Jan 21 after a High Court in Kuala
Lumpur last year dismissed its judicial review application against a Selangor
religious authority’s fatwa labelling the group as deviant.
Section 66A, judgeNordin Hassan ruled that it was within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Selangor Shariah Court to determine legal challenges
against a fatwa issued by a state religious committee.
Indonesia Team Up to Fight COVID-19 in Africa
Morgan Hekking -
– Indonesia and Morocco have agreed to coordinate their efforts to combat the
COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs
RetnoMarsudi announced yesterday.
and Morocco have agreed to work together through the Ministerial Coordination
Group on Covid-19, as well as through other international forums, to face the
Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in Africa,” said Marsudi during a videoconference
based in Jakarta.
stressed that the world cannot definitively defeat the global pandemic if
countries are left behind, particularly African states. The Indonesian FM
underlined the right of developing countries to access quality health services
and the COVID-19 vaccine, as soon as scientists can develop it.
minister added that Indonesia’s efforts to counter the global spread of the
virus include cooperation with 111 international partners, 11 countries, 12
international organizations, and 88 non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
20,162 cases of the virus, including 4,838 recoveries and 1,278 deaths,
Indonesia is one of the leading countries in East Asia in terms of COVID-19
figures. The country’s government expects the epidemic to fade after peaking
this month and hopes to reopen the economy by July. Marsudi did not detail when
the country expects to open its borders to foreign nationals.
and Indonesia enjoy warm diplomatic ties but pledged in October 2019 to further
solidify cooperation on a range of issues, including education and culture.
October 28, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita led a working
visit to Jakarta, where he met with Indonesian Vice President Maaruf Amin and
Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives Puan Maharani.
underlined the need to nurture the socio-cultural ties between the two nations
and said Morocco intends to increase the number of scholarships and study
grants to Indonesian students.
also expressed Morocco’s commitment to working with Indonesia, the country with
the largest Muslim population in the world, to promote a tolerant and moderate
interpretation of Islam.
December 2019, Morocco’s House of Councillors President Hakim Benchamach
announced that Morocco is ready to work with Indonesia to build a league of
senates and consultative “shura” councils that would promote a positive image
of Islam and defend against offenses targeting Muslim people or the religion of
two countries formalized their bilateral relationship in 1960 during a visit to
Morocco by President Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president and a pioneering
figure in the Afro-Asian Non-aligned and anti-colonial movements. A street in
Rabat, “Rue Soekarno,” bears his name.
ends COVID-19 lockdown even as infections tick higher
infections in Pakistan trended higher in recent days and were approaching
50,000, official data showed, with total deaths crossing 1,000, as the
government remained unsure over the consequences of its decision to end the
of the economic and financial impact, and swayed by the acute hardship suffered
by millions of poor families, Prime Minister Imran Khan has defended the
lifting of the lockdown last week, saying the virus spread has been well below
is the only major sector that remains closed.
ending of the lockdown doesn't mean the threat is over," Yasmeen Rashid,
the health minister of Punjab, the country's largest province, said in an
interview on Pakistani television on Wednesday, adding that people needed to
adopt safety measures themselves.
the mostly Muslim nation of 207 million people behaves when the fasting month
of Ramadan ends and festivities for Eid begins, which is expected on Sunday or
Monday, could influence the course of the contagion.
Eid draws big crowds to malls and shops, and people travel in droves to reach
their hometowns. While the government has advised people to act responsibly,
and avoid going out for nonessential reasons, there has been little mention of
special precautions needed over the festival period.
a country of Pakistan's size, levels of testing remains low at around 14,000 a
day. But Reuters calculations, using official data, suggest the infection rate
has so far remained relatively steady, with total infections doubling every 9
to 11 days since April 1.
and experts fear Pakistan's under-funded and creaking health care system if the
contagion gathers more pace.
the first 20 days of May, over 630 people have died, compared to around 380 in
the entire month of April, data tabulated by Reuters shows. There were less
than 10 deaths in March.
32 deaths reported on Wednesday took the total to 1,017, a government website
showed, making Pakistan the 25th country worldwide where the toll has crossed a
thousand. On Tuesday, Pakistan reported the most deaths for a single day at 46.
on Wednesday were reported at 2,193 – the second highest for a single day in
the country – taking the total number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan to 48,091.
of the final death toll, Pakistan expects to suffer an awful human cost, as the
government expects millions more of its people to fall into poverty.
International Monetary Fund has forecast Pakistan's economy will shrink 1.5%
this year, and the government is expected to miss major revenue and deficit
targets, making it more dependent on loans from multilateral lenders.
concludes trial proceedings in Imran Farooq murder case
The Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) of Islamabad on Thursday concluded the trial
proceedings in the murder case of MuttahidaQaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran
Farooq. A verdict will be announced on June 18.
his arguments, special prosecutor Khawaja Mohammad Imtiaz informed the court
that Pakistan has assured the British government that the accused in this case
would not be given the death sentence even if he is found guilty of murdering
Farooq, a senior leader of the MQM, was murdered outside his home in London in
British government was reluctant to share evidence with Pakistan’s Federal
Investigation Agency (FIA) as the European laws discourage the death sentence.
upon Pakistan’s assurance that the suspects would not be given the death
penalty, the UK shared key evidence with Pakistan. Among the evidence Pakistan
received from the UK Central Authority are the CCTV footage of the murder
incident, forensic and post-mortem reports, recovery memo, statements of the
investigation officer and 23 witnesses.
Farooq’s widow, ShumailaSyedaNazar, was also among the British witnesses. In
her statement recorded before ATC Judge ShahrukhArjumand, she said that her
husband went to the market to buy bread, but never returned. When she tried to
find out him, she found police standing near her home. Her neighbour informed
her that two youngsters shook hand with Farooq and then one of them attacked
him with a knife while the other hit his head with a brick.
September last year, Toby Cadman, the counsel for the Pakistan government,
confirmed that following a request for mutual legal assistance (MLA) to
transfer evidence relevant to the murder inquiry into the death of Dr Farooq,
the FIA prosecution team has received an acceptance letter from the UK Central
Authority confirming the transfer of evidence in the possession of the UK
the UK authorities did not respond to Pakistan’s request for MLA. The UK
government had been reluctant to hand over the evidence to Pakistan as the
European laws did not permit the sharing of evidence with a country where the
offence was punishable by death.
the Pakistani government has assured the UK government that if convicted, the
accused persons would not be given death penalty and also given assurance of
amending the law.
trial of the murder suspects had been standstill since last year as the
prosecution case was stuck up because of non-availability of evidence.
2018, the IHC had directed the ATC to conclude the much-delayed trial by
October 2018. However, the prosecution of the FIA repeatedly requested the
court for extension of the deadline since the British government was reluctant
to share evidence related to the murder fearing that the accused might get
death sentence if convicted.
suspects in the case — Khalid Shamim and Syed Mohsin Ali — have recorded their
confessional statements before a magistrate, saying Dr Farooq was killed
because he was a “potent threat to the leadership of the MQM”.
UN, donors to help Balochistan fight Covid-19
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), UN agencies, donor
organisations and the Balochistan government have agreed to work jointly to
minimise the impact of Covid-19 in the province.
decision was taken in a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Jam
Kamal Khan Alyani on Thursday. The meeting was attended by NDMA chairman Lt
General Muhammad Afzal along with representatives of the United Nation agencies
and donor organisations.
Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal, Balochistan Assembly Deputy
Speaker Sardar Babar Musakhel, Chief Secretary retired captain FazeelAsghar and
other concerned were present in the meeting.
sources said that matters pertaining to Covid-19 in Balochistan, economic
challenges, and assistance from donor agencies were discussed in the meeting.
Afzal informed the meeting that the NDMA would provide maximum possible
assistance to increase the capacity of conducting corona tests, including
establishment of two more laboratories at divisional level. With the
institutionalisation of these two laboratories, the capacity of testing would
increase, he said.
heads and representatives of World Health Organisation, United Nations
International Children’s Emergency Fund, United Nations Population Fund, and the
World Food Programme assured the chief minister to provide maximum possible
assistance to combat the pandemic.
sources said that the meeting decided that steps would be taken to boost
relation and cooperation between United Nations agencies and provincial
government departments. The World Health Organisation would provide assistance
in different programmes of paramedic trainings, conducting surveys and
awareness among the people.
WHO also appreciated and expressed complete satisfaction on the efforts taken
by provincial government of Balochistan to contain the spread of the virus.
chief minister Alyani, while speaking at the meeting, said that the Covid-19
situation in Pakistan was better than western countries where millions of people
were infected and a large numbers of patients had lost their lives.
day new theories, philosophies, hypothesis were emerging about coronavirus but
the entire world is agreed on one point that the pandemic has been posing a
great threat to the economic, financial and health prospects,” he said.
said that the coalition government of Balochistan had been focusing on
improving the economic and trade-related activities in the province, and to
utilise the resources to meet the financial constraints and challenges
leader tells PM to stop adding confusion to chaos, proceed on leave
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) information secretary MaulaBuxChandio has said
that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statements and policies in the present
situation are only adding to confusion and chaos in the country.
prime minister should proceed on leave and let institutions work independently,
because his politics is endangering people’s lives,” he remarked.
was speaking at a press conference at his residence on Thursday evening.
PPP activists including Saghir Qureshi and Ahsan Abro were present.
quoted the PM as saying that Pakistan still did not face a serious situation
and wondered that such statement was given in spite of thousands of positive
cases emerging in the country.
Chandio said that even Supreme Court had given important observations on
present coronavirus situation in the wake of a presentation by the attorney
general of Pakistan. He said the apex court realised that it was indeed a
pandemic. It was only the prime minister who was not sensitised on the issue,
adding that he even issued statements that hurt people. “The PM is not even
saddened by the death of his party’s lawmaker from Covid-19,” he remarked.
present situation has raised the question as to who is in fact ruling over the
country and framing policies,” he said.
argued that the PM clearly looked helpless; he had himself said he was averse
to lockdown policy which showed that lockdown was given effect in all four
provinces against his consent. “We know those running government sit
elsewhere,” he said.
Chandio said there was a legal option which enabled the PM to proceed on leave.
“Why doesn’t he proceed on leave?” he asked.
senior PPP leader said that the PM’s party leaders were adding confusion to the
present situation and creating chaos. “Even the Sindh governor is doing the
same,” he added.
to PM’s former special assistant for information FirdousAshiqAwan, Mr Chandio
said he as her former cabinet colleague knew her, adding: “She is just waiting
for permission and would start reacting against PTI ... she won’t spare
claimed that Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was acting on federal
government’s advice but the latter was ridiculing his decisions and not taking
any step [on control of Covid-19 spread]. He insisted that coronavirus outbreak
in Pakistan was critical but the rulers lacked the capacity and seriousness to
CM defends Jabbar’s nomination to NFC
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has defended the nomination of
former senator JavedJabbar to the National Finance Commission, saying he had
“all the knowledge needed” to plead the province’s case at the NFC.
up a debate in the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday, the chief minister
recalled that Qaiser Bengali and GulFaraz had represented the province in the
NFC a few years ago and no one opposed their nomination.
need strong arguments to persuade the Centre into giving Balochistan’s rightful
share. Unfortunately political pressures were seen during previous meetings,”
criticised the opposition parties for trying to politicise Mr Jabbar’s
nomination, warning that it would harm the province’s interests.
chief minister said Mr Jabbar was conversant with Balochistan’s economic
problems and had forcefully advocated the province’s case at various forums.
Pasha and JavedJabbar have been speaking out for Balochistan and other small
provinces for the past 20 years.”
said the government was ready to take the opposition into confidence over the
to criticism of the provincial government’s handling of the coronavirus matter,
he said “we were the first to act after the outbreak at a time when other
provinces were merely debating how to tackle the scourge”.
on the recent spate of terrorism in Balochistan, the chief minister accused
India of funding “the terrorists”.
elements living abroad are taking money for killing our soldiers and civilians,
but we are determined to wipe out the menace.”
condemned the recent attacks on security forces in PirGhaib and Mand.
Supreme Court Bar Association president AmanullahKanrani has filed a petition
in the Balochistan High Court on behalf of independent MNA Mohammad
AslamBhootani, challenging the nomination of ex-Senator JavedJabbar to the NFC
by the Balochistan government.
First leader Paul Golding convicted under terrorism law
leader of the far-right political group Britain First has been found guilty of
an offence under the Terrorism Act after refusing to give police access to his
mobile phone on his return from a political trip to Russia.
Golding, 38, was stopped at Heathrow by Metropolitan police officers on 23
October last year on his way back from Moscow. He refused to give the pin codes
for an iPhone and Apple computer and was later charged with wilfully refusing
to comply with a duty under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act.
denied the charge but was found guilty following a trial at Westminster
magistrates court in London on Wednesday.
magistrate Emma Arbuthnot ruled there was “no doubt” that Golding had failed to
comply with requests for information, despite his obligations being explained
to him and being warned “over and over” that he risked arrest.
handed Golding a conditional discharge for nine months and ordered him to pay a
£21 surcharge and £750 in costs.
said Golding had been lawfully questioned and that under Schedule 7 there had
been no requirement for “reasonable suspicion” for the stop.
evidence earlier, PC Rory O’Connor, a borders officer with the Met who
questioned Golding, told the court that Schedule 7 enables accredited officers
to “speak to people in order to make a determination of whether they are or
have been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of
officer explained that it also permitted police to interrogate, search and
detain anyone for up to six hours at UK ports.
said he had cause to examine Golding under the legislation and recalled him
being initially “agitated” and “clearly angry” at being stopped, with him
shouting at officers.
of Hodder Bank, Stockport, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth,
address and nationality.
Defence League founder Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen
Yaxley-Lennon, watched the proceedings in the court’s physically distanced
described Britain First as a “patriotic, right-wing, conservative” group who
considered themselves “loyalist”.
Golding, Abigail Bright said Britain First had never been a banned
organisation. She said Golding had been “calm, compliant and respectful” during
questioning under what she claimed was a “predetermined operation”.
First was deregistered as a political party in November 2017.
terrorist charged for attacking Turkish shops, mosque in Germany
federal prosecutors said Wednesday they were investigating an alleged member of
the Daesh terrorist group suspected of a series of acid and arson attacks on
Turkish-owned shops and a mosque and of planning killings with a gun and
suspect, named only as Muharrem D., faces charges of attempted murder against
27 people by arson, and of grievous bodily harm against six, as well as
planning "a serious violent act endangering the state."
in mid-April, Muharrem is believed to have committed a series of violent crimes
against Turkish-owned businesses and a mosque in Waldkraiburg, a small town
near Germany's border with Austria.
say he also secured a pistol with ammunition as well as "significant
amounts" of bomb-making equipment for planned attacks on nearby mosques,
the Turkish consulate in Munich and a major mosque in the western city of
manufactured 23 pipe bombs and 34 kilograms (75 pounds) of explosives.
said in a statement that German citizen Muharrem "underwent a
radicalization process from 2017 onward" and then he grasped the ideology
of the Daesh while becoming a member of the terrorist group.
operations in northern Syria were the terrorist's pretext for an "enduring
hatred of the Turkish state and people of Turkish origin," prosecutors
said, adding that he aimed "to bring about a spiral of violence and
retaliation" with his attacks.
with ties to Daesh have committed several violent attacks in Germany in recent
years, with the worst a ramming attack at a Berlin Christmas market in December
2016 that killed 12.
was one of the first countries to recognize Daesh as a terror group in 2013, as
soon as it emerged. The country has since been attacked by Daesh terrorists numerous
times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings and four armed attacks
that killed 315 people and injured hundreds of others.
response, Turkey launched military and police operations at home and abroad to
prevent further terrorist attacks.
Daesh terrorist group held vast swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq from
its rise in 2014 until its military defeat last year.
mosque attack trial wraps up, verdict next week
Denmark (AP) — A Norwegian man charged with murder and terrorism in the killing
of his stepsister and the storming of an Oslo mosque should get the maximum 21
years in prison, a prosecutor said Wednesday on the final day of the trial.
Manshaus, 22, is accused of first killing his 17-year-old stepsister by
shooting her with a hunting rifle at their home in the Oslo suburb of Baerum on
Aug. 10. Authorities say Manshaus then drove to a nearby mosque where three men
were preparing for Eid al-Adha celebrations. He wore a helmet with a video
camera attached and a bulletproof vest, police said.
was armed with a hunting rifle and a shotgun and fired four shots with the
rifle at a glass door before he was overpowered by one of the men in the mosque
at the time. One person was slightly injured when they jumped on Manshaus
inside the mosque.
actions upset the feeling of security we have in Norway, regardless of faith
and ethnicity,” prosecutor Johan Oeverberg said Wednesday according to the
Norwegian News Agency as the trial wrapped up after starting on May 7.
say Manshaus was inspired by the shootings in March 2019 in New Zealand, where
a gunman targeted two mosques, killing 51 people, and in August 2019 in El
Paso, Texas, where an assailant targeted Hispanics and left at least 22 dead.
who in court expressed regrets of not having caused more damage, “has proven to
be an extremely dangerous person,” Oeverberg said.
demanded that Manshaus should be sentenced to prison for at least 14 years, but
called for him to get the maximum 21 years. A verdict is expected next week.
has already appeared at an Oslo court where he denied the charges. He has
acknowledged the facts of what happened, but denies the accusation, saying he
opposes non-Western immigration.
Thought We Would Be Safe Here’ – Father Pays Tribute To Murdered Lebanese
Student, In Northern England
The father of a Lebanese student murdered in a drive-by shooting in northern
England said he thought his family would be safe in the UK.
19, was killed when she was shot in the chest as she went to buy groceries in
Blackburn on Sunday.
have arrested 11 people as part of the investigation into the killing, eight of
whom are suspected of her murder.
court on Thursday granted police extra time to question three men who were
arrested on Tuesday.
said Aya, who was studying law at university and planned to become a solicitor,
was not the intended target.
father Ismail, who arrived with his family in the UK as a refugee from Lebanon
about 10 years ago, said his dreams have been destroyed by his daughter’s
think I would be safe here... in this small town. No big problems,” he told the
BBC. “All my dreams (were) Aya. Everything Aya.
had big dreams, she helped many people. Anywhere, everybody liked Aya. But we
lost Aya, my family lost Aya.”
described how he had been trying to call Aya, the eldest of his four children,
when she did not return home from the supermarket.
he went searching for her, he saw an area had been cordoned off but was unaware
it was the scene of her murder.
officers then came to his house and told him and his wife that Aya had died.
warns Israel against expansionist actions
warned Israel on Thursday against expansionist actions, saying it might provoke
violence and destabilize the situation in the Middle East.
repeatedly warned Israel against implementing unilateral plans contradicting
the international legislation for the Middle East settlement, the Foreign
Ministry said in a comment, published on its official website.
annexation would make impossible the territorial continuity of the West Bank of
the Jordan River, which is an essential condition for the viability of a future
Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, it said.
expansionist actions by Israel could provoke a dangerous cycle of violence in
the Palestinian territories, as well as destabilize the situation in the Middle
East region as a whole," it added.
Ministry reaffirmed Russia’s strong adherence to a two-state solution and
called on all sides to refrain from actions that could provoke a new dangerous
escalation in the region and hinder the creation of conditions for the
resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.
police forcing asylum seekers into Turkey: Report
Greek police have been bringing in asylum seekers living in the country and
expelling them to Turkey by force while using the coronavirus pandemic as a
cover for their abuses, according to a report published Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal report, based on evidences from asylum seekers who faced
violence as well as lawyers and human-rights activists, said "at least 250
asylum seekers have been forcibly expelled from Greece since late March."
Campbell, the field coordinator of Border Violence Monitoring Network, told the
Wall Street Journal that he believes the real number is bigger than the cases
reported and said "many migrants who are returned to Turkey don’t speak
the Greek authorities have denied reports of extrajudicial deportations, they
failed to respond to the WSJ's questions regarding the allegations by migrants
and human rights groups.
a lawyer with the Greek Council for Refugees, defined the Greek treatment
against the asylum seekers as an "illegal pushback" and not "a
illegal according to the Geneva convention and Greek law," Koros said.
efforts to continue on legal ground, Koros and his group compiled testimonies
from at least 10 migrants with Afghan, Pakistani, North African, Syrian and
Iraqi nationalities, who recently faced forced deportation from deep inside
that the "Greek police are targeting migrants and refugees who haven’t
officially filed an asylum claim," Koros said even without the official
file, the Greek law allows the asylum seekers to stay in the country for 30
days if they express an intention to apply for asylum and cannot be deported
without due process.
to the Wall Street Journal, the migrants' testimonies compiled by the Greek
Council for Refugees said additionally that "taking people from refugee
camps, the Greek police have also deported migrants from a closed detention
center, promising them freedom but instead driving them to the Turkish
used as cover for abuses
told the US daily that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic paves the way for Greek
police to abuse asylum seekers.
Koros, Nadia Hardman, a researcher with Human Rights Watch (HRW), also told the
WSJ: "Under the cover of a global pandemic it is obviously easier to get
away with particular human rights abuses when the attention of the world is
HRW report published in March pointed out Greek authorities’ violent acts
against the asylum seekers trying to cross the border, "including
assaulting them, taking personal property and stripping them to their underwear
before sending them back into Turkey."
the Greek government refused to comment on the rights group’s report, it further
noted that the Greek security as well as unidentified armed men were carrying
out the illegal pushbacks via violent methods.
HRW's Hardman, who investigates and reports on human rights abuses, said in the
report: "You just have a complete breakdown in the rule of law."
of the asylum seekers, Khalid Hassede, a 35-year-old Syrian, told the WSJ that
he and his extended family "arrived by raft on the Greek island of Symi on
March 21" and "were held by Greek police at the port for three days,
rather than being taken to the island’s refugee camp."
said his family along with at least 24 other Syrian asylum seekers were
"told to board a Greek coast guard boat and informed that they would be
taken to Athens to begin their asylum applications."
the boat took them back into Turkish waters, and they were forced to board an
inflatable raft and left to drift in the sea. They were eventually rescued by
Turkish coast guards and taken back to Turkey."
Ali Ahmadzi, a 20-year-old Afghan man who was also forcibly expelled, said
"he saw Greek police give the smugglers cash to take 45 people across the
river in two boats."
an asylum seeker from Morocco, told he was stopped by Greek police in
Thessaloniki in April.
stopped by the Greek police, Mohmed, 25, was taken to the police station
"where he said he was beaten and had his cash and cellphone confiscated.
Then he was put in a cell overnight with three Afghan migrants."
to the Wall Street Journal, Mohmed said: "They [the Greek police] threw us
to Turkey without our clothes except for our underwear... They kept hitting us
and told us never to return."
has been one of the main routes for asylum seekers wanting to reach Europe,
especially since the Syrian civil war started in 2011.
UK 'terrorism' legislation criticised by rights groups
liberties groups have criticised the British government's latest overhaul of
the United Kingdom's "terrorism" legislation, highlighting the
potential for indefinite restrictions placed against those suspected - but not
convicted - of terrorism.
burden of proof would be lowered for officials considering placing
"terrorism prevention and investigation measures" (TPIMs) against
suspects, while the current two-year limit on their use would be removed, under
legislation unveiled on Wednesday.
the proposed law, courts would be able to limit a suspect's movements,
enforcing curfews and electronic tagging for an indefinite period, subject to
review. Minimum sentences would rise and the most serious offenders, if
released, would remain on licence for the rest of their lives and could be
taken back into custody.
promised to act and today we are delivering on that promise," Home
Secretary Priti Patel said in announcing the plan.
campaigners said the proposals were a fundamental threat to justice.
was never right to drastically curtail people's liberty on the basis of secret,
untested evidence using control orders or TPIMs - and we seem to be diving
headlong into that territory, where the standard of proof is extremely flimsy
and people's liberties can be curtailed on an indefinite basis," said
Rachel Logan, Amnesty International UK's legal expert.
new restrictions are needed, say the government, after Usman Khan killed two
people in a knife rampage, injuring several more, near London Bridge in
November. The attacker was tackled by members of the public and shot dead by
28-year-old had previously served six years in prison for plotting to bomb the
London Stock Exchange, was out of prison on licence and required to wear an electronic
is an announcement designed first and foremost to grab headlines, as the
government struggles over its coronavirus response, rather than to make any
change in the legal or security situation," Scott Lucas, professor of
international politics at the University of Birmingham, told Al Jazeera.
Johnson used the London Bridge attack during the December election campaign to
proclaim an extension of terrorism sentences. That came into force in April.
Priti Patel talks about mandatory minimum sentences of 14 years, and of
permanent surveillance and control of those who have not been charged. So the
question again is: will a political gambit for power, amid questions about
performance, lead to a significant change in law, imprisonment, and the
rights experts said the government's counterterrorism strategy was failing.
legislation not only authorises people being locked up indefinitely, it also
poses a threat to fundamental pillars of our justice system. By reintroducing,
in all but name, the widely condemned Control Orders, a fundamental principle
of justice - the presumption of innocence - hangs in the balance," said
Rosalind Comyn, policy and campaigns officer of human rights group Liberty.
Orders allow people to be placed on indefinite house arrest without trial - and
this can happen based on suspicion rather than charges, evidence and proof.
Control Orders were abolished by the coalition government as a stain on our
human rights records and that's where they should remain."
Shanahan, head of the politics department at the University of Reading, said
tougher TPIM restrictions may not make much of a difference when it came to
preventing violence, as they had not been widely used since their first
that appears to make life tougher for terrorist suspects will play well with
the Conservatives' natural base, but is also likely to go down well with the
wider public in the wake of the relatively recent London terror attacks,"
he told Al Jazeera.
same can be said for the new minimum sentences. Making sure convicted
terrorists are off our streets for longer will be a popular move. And at a time
when virtually all media is dominated by a less-than-stellar response to the
coronavirus crisis, and with a Brexit bubble close to bursting in the
background, this is an attempt by the Home Office to show strong and decisive
action that paints the government in a positive light.
who read a little deeper into government action may worry about the attack on
personal freedoms, but it's not that easy to make a case in favour of those
suspected of terrorist involvement."
timing of the government's move has also caused concern.
Vows to Complete General Soleimani’s Efforts to Liberate Quds
on the occasion of International Quds Day, Nasrallah addressed martyred General
Soleimani, stressing that the Resistance is preparing to pray in Al-Quds, the
Arabic-language al-Manar news channel reported.
year, we miss martyr Hajj QassemSuleimani. Hajj Qassem had worked throughout
the day and the night to strengthen the Resistance and to liberate Al-Quds.”
promise him and all the other martyrs that the day when Al-Quds will be
liberated is coming,” he added.
said that Imam Rouhollah Khomeini declared Al-Quds Day as an annual occasion on
the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in a bid to voice Iran’s firm and
decisive commitment to Palestine and Al-Quds.
we are so close to liberate Al-Quds thanks to faith, steadfastness, patience
and sincerity of Axis of Resistance’s powers.”
added that those who are seeking to normalize ties with the Zionist entity
don’t represent the real image of the Muslim and Arab Ummah.
noted that the Zionist officials are concerned over the military buildup of
Resistance factions across Arab and Muslim countries.
officials are scared of victories achieved by Axis of Resistance and astonished
by defeat of the United States and its allies.”
in Hezbollah, pledge to stand by the oppressed people of Palestine,” he
International Quds Day is an annual event opposing Israel's occupation of
Beitul-Muqaddas. Anti-Zionist rallies and demonstrations are held on the last
Friday of Ramadan in Muslim and Arab countries around the world, specially in
Iran, as well as a large number of non-Muslim states.
to the outbreak of coronavirus, the International Quds Day will be commemorated
differently without holding gatherings and rallies in most countries.
Soleimani in a letter before his martyrdom to Commander of Hamas’s Izz al-Din
al-Qassam Brigades Mohammed Deif had underscored Iran’s continued support for
Palestine despite all pressures and sanctions.
should rest assured that no matter how much pressures increase and sanctions
are intensified, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave Palestine and
Palestinian people alone,” martyred General Soleimani wrote in his letter
released by the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel.
described Mohammed Deif as a “living martyr” and a “brave commander”, sending
greetings to the brave nation of Palestine which is under an oppressive siege
before the eyes of millions of Muslims.
a part of his letter, martyred General Soleimani also sent his greetings to the
Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh, calling him as a resilient and
Palestine is an honor for the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran will not
renounce and give up its duty for the benefit of the world. Palestinians are
our friends, and enemies of Palestine are our enemies and this is and will be
our policy,” he stressed.
letter was released a few days after Head of the Tehran bureau of the Islamic
Jihad Movement of Palestine Nasser Abu Sharif praised General Soleimani for his
strenuous efforts in line with the Palestinian cause to liberate Quds from
Soleimani’s ultimate goal was the holy Quds wherever he was. He thought of Quds
when he was in Iraq or Syria. No matter which part of the Muslim lands he was,
his ultimate objective was liberation of Quds,” Abu Sharif said, addressing a
seminar in the Republic of Azerbaijan to commemorate the International Quds Day
(May 22) via a video conference on Sunday.
said that the Palestinian people enjoy the spirit of struggling and are always
after liberation of their occupied lands and have never become tired of
pursuing this cause.
Sharif warned that if Muslims do not consider Quds as their compass, they will
lose their path and unity among them will fade away.
Soleimani played a key role in assisting the resistance forces in the region.
of the Research Center of the International Islamic Awareness Organization
HosseinAkbari underlined that Israel was forced to change its war strategy from
offensive to defensive mode after General Soleimani stood beside the resistance
martyr Soleimani was the initiator of a strategic move which forced Israel to
change strategy from offensive to defensive,” Akbari said in an interview with
Persian-language Sobh-e No on Saturday.
explained that General Soleimani awakened many people in the Muslim world when
he stood beside Secretary-General of Hezbollah resistance group in Lebanon and
defeated Israel in 2006 while many imagined that the regime cannot be defeated.
was the first and biggest failure of Israel,” Akbari said, adding that it was
followed by the regime’s second defeat during the 22-day war against Gaza.
Soleimani's command ran through the Palestinian resistance in a unique way and defeated
Israel in the territories occupied by the regime,” he underlined.
said that after all these defeats, the Syria war was ignited and the US and its
allies attempted to establish security for Israel but General Soleimani’s
advice to the Syrian army commanders defeated them again.
Soleimani had before his martyrdom in January 2020, in an interview disclosed
some untold facts about the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah 33-day War.
should say that the 33-day war had some hidden causes which were the principle
factors leading to the war. The war had some apparent and some hidden causes,
the pretext of which were the hidden goals that the [Zionist] regime sought for
a period of time. When I say there were hidden causes, we had some information
about the preparations of the Zionist regime, but we had no information on the
fact that the enemy wanted to launch an attack in ambush. Later, based on two
circumstances, we concluded that prior to this war, a swift ambush was supposed
to be conducted to overturn Hezbollah. Well, this war happened when two
important events, one concerning the entire region and another exclusively
concerning the Zionist regime were taking place,” he said in 2019 in an
interview with Khamenei.ir website.
said that Tel Aviv was using the opportunity of the presence of US military
forces in the region to uproot Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon, adding that
some Arab countries were also collaborating with the Israeli-American plot.
Deplores US New “Repetitive, Fruitless” Sanctions
US regime's addiction to imposing sanctions reflects the illegal and arbitrary
behavior of the United States against the international law and order which
targets the legal institutions and authorities of independent states,” Foreign
Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday.
US regime's fruitless, repetitive and blind sanctions against the interior
minister, the police chief and other Iranian officials are a sign of the US
regime's weakness, despair and confusion which is based on the constant
illusions and under the influence of inexperienced advisers and in response to
the failures of this regime against the will of the government and the people
of Iran,” he added.
recent sanctions are also a major violation of UN Security Council Resolution
2331 and its obligations under the international law,” Mousavi said, adding,
“The international community must hold the United States accountable for such
imposing and enforcing such sanctions, the United States has ignored customary
and international decencies and directly sanctioned individuals and
institutions that are tied with the order and security of the Iranian people
and, in a larger scale, with the security of the region,” he noted.
remarks came after the US Treasury Department announced on Wednesday a fresh
round of sanctions against a number of Iranian authorities, including the
Interior Minister RahmaniFazli and Police Chief Brigadier General
new sanctions affect the Great Tehran Penitentiary in Iran's capital, the Law
Enforcement Forces Cooperative Foundation, and Qarchak Prison, also situated in
Tehran. All three entities are targeted with secondary Countering America's
Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)-related restrictions.
sanctions are also imposed on seven other officials in the Iranian Police.
Palestinian Issue Most Important Priority of Muslim World
issue of Palestine is still of highest regional and international priority for
the Islamic world, the IRGC’s statement said on Thursday.
also honored the memory of the martyrs of the Resistance, specially Quds Force
Commander Lieutenant General QassemSoleimani.
statement said that after 72 years of occupation of Palestine by the Zionists
and gradual siege and martyrdom of Palestinian people with the ominous plot of
the “wicked UK and criminal US”, the old wound is still annoying the Muslims
and freedom-loving people of the world.
wise naming of the last Friday of Ramadan as World Quds Day by late Imam
Khomeini was a turning point for the cause of Palestine and in fact the move
challenged the world Arrogance and Zionism, the statement said.
that the martyrdom of General Soleimani strengthened the Resistance and the
Quds Force of the IRGC, the statement referred to the annexation of the West
Bank to the occupied lands, and said the simultaneity of the two happenings not
only had no achievements for the usurpers but also put the clock forward for
the total destruction of the fake “child-killing” Zionist regime.
of relations with the Zionist regime by some Arab states while the Palestinian
groups have chosen the path of resistance shows that the Deal of the Century
has failed and the defeat of the groups advocating compromise is crystal clear.
IRGC said that hopefully, as the two leaders of the Islamic Revolution have
promised, the end of the Zionist regime is close and soon the news of Ayatollah
Khamenei congregation prayers in the Holy Quds and the region emerging without
the Zionist regime and the US will be covered by all the media of the world.
statement was issued on the eve of the International Quds Day on May 22.
to the outbreak of coronavirus in the world, the International Quds Day will be
commemorated differently without holding gatherings and rallies in most
Iraq Ready to Strengthen Cooperation with Iran
the meeting in Baghdad on Wednesday, Anad appreciated Iran's efforts in
said Iraq is ready to promote cooperation with Iran.
for his part, congratulated Anad for his election as defense minister of Iraq.
also underlined Iran's readiness for developing relations with Iraq.
Iranian ambassador noted that no efforts will be spared in line with having a
this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said stability in Iraq is
important, and stressed the need to boost Tehran-Baghdad ties.
his phone conversation with Iraqi President BarhamSalih, Rouhani discussed
regional developments and underlined strengthening of Tehran-Baghdad relations.
the regional countries are facing many problems, he said, adding,
"Bolstering all-out relations and cooperation between friends can be a way
to overcome problems."
Islamic Republic of Iran stands by the Iraqi government and nation like before,
and favors protecting Iraqi sovereignty and non-interference of foreign powers
in the future of the country’s government and people," he noted.
president, for his part, congratulated the arrival of Eid al-Fitr in advance,
stressing the need for further development of relations and cooperation between
the two countries.
to the importance of Iran-Iraq political relations, he said, "The
stability and security of Iraq require cooperation between friendly and
neighboring countries, especially with the Islamic Republic of Iran."
President Underlines Sharing Anti-Coronavirus Experiences with Kazakhstan
the phone talks on Wednesday, Rouhani and Tokayev referred to problems
concerning coronavirus in the world, and emphasized the need for sharing
experiences in fighting COVID19.
noted that Iranian and Kazakh health ministries will have more cooperation in
fighting the pandemic and on exchanging items like ventilators, N95 mask and
serology test kits.
and Astana have always been together, both presidents said, stressing that they
will spare no efforts in developing relations in issues of mutual interests.
to continued US illegal sanctions in time of coronavirus and their impact on
people's life, Iranian and Kazakh presidents underscored lifting
and Tokayev expressed satisfaction over cooperation in railway and road fields,
saying they are ready to increase trade exchanges through Caspian Sea.
Rouhani highlighted the importance of lifting rail and road transit obstacles,
banking cooperation and finalizing the agreement to facilitate visa issuance.
added that barter trade will help boost economic cooperation and Iran is ready
to launch this mechanism.
a relevant development last month, Iran and Kazakhstan had reviewed ways to
further develop efforts to fight against coronavirus.
Stresses Cooperation with Iran in Fighting Terrorism, US Influence in Region
Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Wednesday that Jalali and Rudenko reviewed
major regional developments and issues of mutual interest.
of Caucasus and Central Asia were at the center of attention during the phone
call between the two officials.
Embassy in Moscow also announced in a statement that bilateral relations,
situation in Afghanistan, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and coronavirus
pandemic were also dealt with by the two officials.
also stressed the need for consultation and interaction between the two
countries on the issues of Central Asia and the Caucasus as well as cooperation
between Iran and Russia to address threats facing the region, including the
spread of terrorism and extremism and US influence in the region.
relevant remarks earlier this month, Senior Aide to the Iranian Foreign
Minister for Political Affairs Ali AsqarKhaji underlined continued cooperation
among Iran, Russia and Syria in fighting terrorist groups.
strategic cooperation among Russia, Syria and Iran in line with the fight
against the ominous phenomenon of terrorism and the ongoing consultations of
the three countries to settle the crisis in Syria politically will continue,”
Khaji said in a meeting with Syrian Ambassador to Tehran Adnan Hassan Mahmoud.
also reiterated Tehran’s firm support for Syria in combat against terrorism.
pointed to the continued US unilateral sanctions against the Syrian nation in
the conditions of coronavirus outbreak and the crisis in the country, stressing
the need for the international community to support the Syrian nation and the
country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity within the framework
of the international laws and fight against terrorism.
FM: Palestinian Issue Never Forgotten
some Arab countries had coordinated themselves in the past with the Camp David
Accord and recently with the policies of Saudi regime, with Israel and against
the Palestinian cause, the issue of Palestine is not the issue that will be
fallen into oblivion by these methods, Zarif said in a TV program on Wednesday
night on the occasion of the International Quds Day (May22).
described the issue of Palestine as a priority of Iran’s foreign policy both
for government and people of the country since the time of the late Imam
Khomeini up to the present time, and stressed, “Given its concern for the
Islamic world, the Islamic Revolution of Iran should stand up for the
inalienable and legitimate rights of Palestinian people.”
terrorist and fake regime of Israel has violated the most fundamental and basic
rights of Palestinian people,” Zarif said.
response to a question that some believe the issue of Palestine is an issue
that is related to the Arab world and has nothing to do with the Islamic
Republic of Iran, Zarif emphasized, “The policies of the Zionist regime are not
the policies that are limited to a small area. Today, you can see that even in
the United States, interests of the Zionist regime prevail over the interests
of Americans themselves in many cases.”
also said that the Zionist regime is a global problem that threatens the world
with its nuclear bombs and Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMDs].
relevant remarks on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that
Palestinian people will embrace ultimate victory and their territories will be
freed from occupation of Israel.
will not be forgotten. Quds will not remain under occupation of oppressors. The
Palestinian lands will one day be liberated. We do not accept and tolerate this
cruelty, oppression and aggression at all. We will commemorate the highly
important Quds Day,” Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran.
day, a new plot is hatched by the US against the Muslims and the Palestinian
people but the strong determination of the Palestinian people and their
resistance will continue and this path will lead to victory,” he added.
Rouhani underscored that the Iranian nation has always stood against the
oppressors, adding that it is one of the principles of Islam.
comments came as the Iranian parliament in its meeting on Monday unanimously
approved the generalities of a bill to confront the hostile acts of the Zionist
regime against peace and security.
Human Rights Council Dismisses Hype on Fate of Australian-British Prisoner
Human Rights Council's reaction came after certain foreign-affiliated media
claimed that Moore-Gilbert has committed suicide in Iran.
claims of her suicide was soon denied by her family in a statement published in
Western media. They announced that Kylie was in “good health” and that they
have been in contact with her through the embassy.
had been reported by Western-affiliated media to have attempted suicide
has strongly denied reports that she has attempted suicide or that she is being
tortured," her family said.
noted that she is treated like other prisoners and has access to medical
treatment. "She is provided with the things she needs as well such as
books. Her books are provided as she wishes."
December 2019, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi had said
Moore-Gilbert had been arrested on a charge of violating Iran’s national
security and “the competent court has also issued the appropriate ruling by
observing all relevant laws.”
has shown that the Islamic Republic of Iran would not give in to political and
smear campaigns, and this Australian citizen is serving her sentence while
enjoying all legal rights, like any other convict with a judicial verdict,” the
chief condemns in ‘strongest possible terms’ Iran threat to Israel
European Union’s foreign policy chief on Thursday condemned a threat against
Israel from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as a threat to world peace.
the EU high representative for foreign affairs, took to Twitter after
Khamenei’s comments sparked an angry response from Israel’s Prime Minister
condemn in the strongest possible terms the call by the Iranian Supreme Leader
@khamenei_ir to fight Israel,” Borrell wrote, using the Iranian leader’s
is a threat to international peace and security. The security of Israel is of
paramount importance and the EU will stand at its side,” he declared.
condemn in the strongest possible terms the call by the Iranian Supreme Leader
@khamenei_ir to fight #Israel. This is a threat to international peace and
security. The security of Israel is of paramount importance and the EU will
stand at its side.
PM - May 21, 2020
people are talking about this
was responding to comments posted on Twitter by Khamenei on Wednesday in Farsi,
English and Arabic.
the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews,”
Khamenei wrote, explaining that what he meant was to “expel thugs like
is ‘eliminating Israel’,” he said.
the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It
means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish
Palestinians choose their own govt& expel thugs like Netanyahu. This is
“Eliminating Israel” & it will happen.#FlyTheFlag
PM - May 20, 2020
people are talking about this
afterwards he added: “We will support and assist any nation or any group
anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to
comment was also condemned by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and drew a
counterthreat from Israel’s Netanyahu.
should know that any regime that threatens Israel with extermination will find
itself in similar danger,” Netanyahu wrote on his official Twitter feed in
Caio blasts from hijacked Turkish mosques’ speaker systems
popular song Bella Ciao blared from mosques in Turkey, and a Turkish prosecutor
on Thursday launched a probe into the alleged hijacking of the mosques’ speaker
tune, a World War II-era Italian anti-fascist anthem, has been adopted by
leftists around the world but it has no particular association with religion
and it was unclear why anyone would seek to broadcast it from mosques.
government and religious officials reacted angrily to the breaking of a
religious taboo -- mosques are supposed to only broadcast calls to prayer or
other significant religious messages -- accusing unnamed individuals of
the national religious body Diyanet filed a legal complaint and launched an
internal inquiry, the Izmir prosecutor's office said it would investigate the
original incident as well as social media users who posted about it.
is one of Turkey's secular bastions, where the main opposition Republican
People's Party (CHP) dominates local politics.
RecepTayyipErdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its allies roundly
criticised the stunt.
committed this ugly act will surely be found," tweeted AKP spokesman Omer
Sabah daily described it as a "scandal" and the YeniSafak newspaper
said it was a "vile attack" on mosques.
1,000 Israeli websites targeted in cyberattack showing cities in flames
Israeli websites were hit by a coordinated cyberattack Thursday, with the home
pages replaced by images of the country’s commercial capital Tel Aviv in
National Cyber Directorate said private companies using a particular operating
system were targeted, but said the damage was “superficial.”
did not state the number of pages targeted but Israeli media reported it was
more than 1,000, including those of major firms.
pages were replaced with the slogan “the countdown to the destruction of Israel
started long ago.”
link led to a computer-generated video of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities on
fire, seemingly after a series of attacks.
were no immediate details on the group which claimed the attack called Hackers
attack came a day before Israelis celebrate Jerusalem Day -- signifying the
country’s capture of the eastern part of the disputed city in 1967.
Israel’s long-time rival, also commemorates the day but highlights the
Palestinian and Muslim connection to the holy city.
animosity has flared in a war of words on Twitter.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently attacked Israel’s founding ideology
Zionism, charging that Zionists have “been acting like a cancerous tumor,
furthering their goals by massacring children, women and men.”
Zionist regime is the most evident example of state terrorism. Ever since
Britain’s anti-Islamic, antihuman policies put the Zionists to rule in
#Palestine, they have been acting like a cancerous tumor, furthering their
goals by massacring children, women and men.#FlyTheFlag
AM - May 20, 2020
people are talking about this
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replied Wednesday evening, saying Khamenei
“should know that any regime that threatens Israel with extermination will find
itself in similar danger.”
Iran urges against Eid travel as COVID-19 cases surge
called on its citizens on Thursday to avoid travel during the upcoming festival
marking the end of Ramadan as it announced another surge in coronavirus
more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
Islamic republic has entered a fourth month in its battle to contain the virus.
biggest concern” is to have “new peaks of the disease in the country by not
respecting health regulations,” said Health Minister Saeed Namaki.
I ask the dear Iranian people... not to travel during the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
New trips mean new COVID-19 infections,” he said, quoted by the semi-official
news agency ISNA.
Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is
expected to begin on Sunday in Iran.
remarks came as his ministry announced 66 more deaths and another 2,392 cases
of coronavirus infection across Iran, which has the Middle East’s deadliest
spokesman KianoushJahanpour said the latest figures took Iran’s overall death
toll to 7,249 and its caseload of infections to 129,341.
said that of the new infections, 351 were in people who had been hospitalized
and 2,041 who had been in close contact with patients.
added that there were no new deaths in 12 of Iran’s 31 provinces, and that six
provinces reported just one virus fatality.
minister said people were failing to adhere to health protocols in Iran’s
Khuzestan province, and in some of the provinces that have experienced new
outbreaks of the disease, we found that they had not followed instructions,” he
said, referring to the government’s social distancing protocols.
reported its first cases of coronavirus on February 19 – two deaths in the
Shiite holy city of Qom.
government of President Hassan Rouhani was criticized for being slow to react
as the virus spread rapidly across the Islamic republic.
shun CIA after declaring end to security coordination with US and Israel
The Palestinians have suspended contacts with the CIA after announcing an end
to security coordination with Israel and the United States in protest at
Israeli proposals to annex territory in the West Bank, a Palestinian official
said on Thursday.
secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Washington had
been told of the move after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday
his administration was no longer committed to agreements with Israel and the
United States, including on security coordination.
cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency, Erekat told reporters in a
video call: “It stopped as of the end of the (Palestinian) president’s speech.”
cooperation with the CIA continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting
US peace efforts led by President Donald Trump in 2017, with the sides working
together on heading off violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the
Palestinian Authority is based.
has threatened before to end security ties, without following through. Israeli
officials say he needs Israel’s support in the face of domestic challenges from
the Palestinian group Hamas.
Erekat said: “Things change and we have decided it is time now to change.”
cooperation with the United States is no more. Security coordination with
Israel is no more,” said Erekat. “We are going to maintain public order and the
rule of law, alone.”
US embassy in Jerusalem declined to comment.
in the day, a senior Palestinian security official told Reuters that Palestinian
forces had begun to pull back from some areas of the West Bank that they had
policed in coordination with Israel during the coronavirus crisis.
light of the president’s instructions about ceasing security coordination, the
Israeli side was notified” of the partial withdrawal.
officials had no immediate comment and it was not clear how widespread the
Palestinian forces’ drawback was.
worry that Israel, with the blessing of Washington, could carry out pledges to
apply Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the
West Bank, which they see as annexation.
military says Iran is slowly pulling out of Syria
Iran is slowly pulling out of Syria in response to Israeli strikes, as well as
growing domestic discontent linked to the economy and its handling of the
coronavirus pandemic, the Israeli military said Thursday.
and Iran have for years been engaged in a shadow war that has recently been
playing out in Syria, where Israel says Iran has been boosting its military
presence along the frontier. Amid the chaos of the Syrian civil war, Israel has
carried out repeated strikes aimed at pushing back Iranian forces and
preventing the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah, the Iran-backed
Lebanese militant group that is also fighting in Syria.
Israeli military described the withdrawal as “a backward movement from various
locations to other locations that are further away and in reduced numbers.” It
said the movement was ”not massive, not overwhelming,” but that it was also
military shared its findings in a briefing with reporters and said they were
based on classified intelligence, without elaborating.
military partly attributed the pullback to growing discontent in Iran, where
the economy has cratered under US sanctions and authorities have struggled to
contain the deadliest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East.
a speech earlier this month, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah described
Israeli reports about Syria’s allies abandoning it as “empty” talk and “wishful
acknowledged some movement by Iranian military advisers and a reduction of
personnel in some areas, but said that was because fighting there had ended and
Syria had “won.” He said Israel is lying when it links those movements to its
and Iran have tangled in the open on a number of occasions in recent years,
with the latest incident in November, when Israeli fighter jets hit multiple
targets belonging to Iran’s elite Quds force in Syria following rocket fire on
the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.
views Iranian entrenchment on its northern frontier as a red line, and it has repeatedly
struck Iran-linked facilities and weapons convoys destined for Hezbollah.
portrays its actions in Syria as support for an allied government battling
terrorist groups. It says its support for Hezbollah is aimed at defending
Lebanon from Israel, which occupied parts of southern Lebanon from 1982 until
2000. It rarely comments on the Israeli strikes.
Israeli military also said it would be prepared to respond to any Hezbollah
attack by striking homes, factories and other civilian infrastructure used by
the group. The military said it had no interest in an escalation and believed
the same was true for Hezbollah.
state employees to have shorter working hours after Eid holiday
Jordan’s public sector employees are in for a shorter working period from 8:30
a.m. to 3:30 p.m. after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, the minister of State for
Media Affairs AmjadAdaileh said.
recent decision to impose the comprehensive curfew was “not improvised” but
came according to the requirements of the epidemiological situation in the
Kingdom,” according to Adaileh, in a report from state news agency Petra.
will continue to impose a comprehensive curfew from time to time, which helps
to curb the transmission of the virus,” he added.
also said that the Kingdom’s third phase of repatriating citizens stranded
abroad will start after the Eid holiday, and will include new states.
have accomplished two phases so far, during which about 7,000 Jordanians have
returned, and they are currently being subjected to precautionary quarantine,”
Army enters downtown al-Asabaa
Libyan Army on Thursday entered al-Asabaa downtown after clashes with warlord
Al-Ahrar TV channel cited unnamed military source as saying the army launched
an attack on the remnants of Haftar's militia, who had escaped from the
Wednesday, the Libyan army said it was in progress towards liberating the town
located 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the capital Tripoli from Haftar's militia.
tribes in al-Asabaa announced their support to the Libyan government on the
army on Monday retook al-Watiya Airbase, a key facility now back under
government control after some six years under putschist forces of warlord
move came after the Libyan army destroyed three Russian-made Pantsir type air
defense systems used by Haftar’s forces that were also supplied by the UAE.
government has been under attack by Haftar's forces since April 2019, with more
than 1,000 killed in the violence.
forces to be legitimate target if attack Turkish interests'
reiterated Thursday it will respond to putschistsKhalifaHaftar's elements in
Libya as a “legitimate target” if they attack Turkey’s interests in the
remind it once again that in case of targeting Turkish interests in Libya, this
will have very heavy consequences and the putschistHaftar elements will be considered
as a legitimate target,” HamiAksoy, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said
in a written statement.
statement came after eastern Libya-based renegade Gen. Haftar’s militias said
they would target Turkish forces and interests.
is noteworthy that the statement, which is referred by a foreign media outlet
and said illegitimate militias loyal to Haftar will target Turkish interests
with their air elements, is made after new warplanes are deployed in Libya’s
east with foreign support,” Aksoy added.
said the statement mirrors the defeat of Haftar’s forces on the ground, and
added it was “the clearest sign” that Haftar and his supporters were trying to
escalate the dispute in Libya.
army recently destroyed many Russian-made Pantsir-type air defense systems
supplied to Haftar by the United Arab Emirates. Earlier this week it also
recaptured the key Al-Watiya airbase from Haftar militias.
helps the Libyan government in military training, cooperation and consultancy,
according to a Wednesday statement by Turkish National Defense Minister
who has targeted the government for over a year now, intensified his attacks on
civilians in May due to the recent achievements of the Libyan army against the
army carries out ops against Haftar in Tarhuna
Libyan Army carried out five air operations against militias loyal to renegade
commanderKhalifaHaftar in the past 24 hours, military sources said early
military spokesman Col. Mohamed Qanunu said in a statement that the airstrikes
were carried out against Haftar’s militias in the city of Tarhuna, southwest of
the capital Tripoli.
military vehicles and an ammunition carrier were destroyed and the army carried
out observation flights over Tarhuna, it added.
Wednesday, the Libyan army destroyed a Russian-made Pantsir-type air defense
system in Tarhuna.
is a major focal point for supply lines for Haftar’s militias from Al-Jufra
army on Monday retook Al-Watiya Airbase occupied by Haftar's militias, a key
facility now back under government control after some six years under putschist
move came after the Libyan army destroyed three Russian-made Pantsir type air
defense systems used by Haftar’s forces that were supplied by the United Arab
11 convict renounces terrorism, al-Qaeda
only man ever convicted in a United States court for a role in the September 11
attacks now says he is renouncing terrorism, al-Qaeda and the ISIL (ISIS)
Moussaoui is serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Colorado after
narrowly escaping the death penalty at his 2006 trial.
was sometimes referred to as the missing 20th hijacker, and while he was
clearly a member of al-Qaeda, there is scant evidence to suggest he was slated
to hijack a plane on September 11, 2001. Instead, prosecutors pinned
responsibility on Moussaoui because they said he could have prevented the
attacks if he had not lied to the FBI about his knowledge of al-Qaeda and its
efforts to attack the US when he was arrested in August 2001.
a handwritten court motion Moussaoui filed with the federal court in
Alexandria, Virginia last month, Moussaoui wrote, "I denounce, repudiate
Usama bin Laden as a useful idiot of the CIA/Saudi. I also proclaim
unequivocally my opposition to any terrorist action, attack, propaganda against
also said he wants "to warn young Muslim against the deception and the
manipulation of these fake jihadis".
remarks are a far cry from his 2006 trial, when he taunted victims and flashed
a victory sign after a jury opted to send him to prison for life rather than
execute him. At his final sentencing hearing, he told the judge "God save
Osama bin Laden, you will never get him."
Laden was killed in a raid by US forces on a compound in Pakistan in 2011.
made his renunciation in a petition seeking relaxation of the special
administrative measures under which he serves his sentence. In particular, he
says he wants either Rudy Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz to represent him as a
lawyer, so he can testify in a civil trial filed by victims of the September 11
documents filed with his motion indicate he received a response of some kind to
a letter he wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union but was not allowed to
see it because it was marked as privileged legal communication, and he is only
allowed to receive the mail if the prison can open and read it.
has a long history of writing letters to the court - indeed he served as his
own lawyer for several years leading up to his trial and regularly wrote legal
motions referring to himself as "Slave of Allah", a name he continues
has written numerous letters seeking to testify at a civil trial related to the
September 11 attacks, and at the military trials of al-Qaeda members, including
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. But those requests have not included the explicit
renunciation of terrorism that he includes in his most recent letter.
recently as 2018, he continued to refer to himself as a "natural born
terrorist" in court papers. In another handwritten motion that year, he
concluded his motion with "God Curse Ugly Satan of Abomination" in
Donahue, an anthropology professor at Plymouth State University in New
Hampshire, who wrote a book about Moussaoui called "Slave of Allah"
after attending his 2006 trial, said she was unaware of any other instance in
which Moussaoui had renounced terrorism or bin Laden. She said she expects he
is being truthful, even though he admitted at his trial that he lied to the FBI
after his arrest.
been there 14 years. It's a long time to think about what you've done,"
she said. "I don't see him lying ... There were so many ways he could have
helped himself before by lying" but he did not.
District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who presided over Moussaoui's trial and was
regularly subjected to Moussaoui's insults in court papers, denied his request
and said any grievance he has about the treatment he is receiving in prison
should be filed in Colorado where he resides.
these issues with this Court is an act of futility," Brinkema wrote.
has appealed her denial to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond,
vaccine chief has a Moroccan background
President Donald Trump’s nomination of MoncefSlaoui to head the anti-COVID-19
vaccine program has brought cheers, thousands of miles away in the North
African country of Morocco.
61, a former professor of immunology at the University of Mons, Belgium was
born in Agadir, Morocco. Those close to him said that his sister had died from
whooping cough, while they were growing up in the African country bordering the
Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
then he never looked back. He has spent his career attacking the
under-researched diseases that plague the developing world.
already has a cervical-cancer vaccine and a pneumococcal immunization to his
credit, and in 2015 he won European approval for the world’s first malaria
vaccine, which could limit the spread of a disease that kills more than half a
million people a year,” said the New York-based American multinational business
has compared his vaccine initiative called Operation Warp Speed, to the
Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb in the 1940s.
triple doctorates in molecular biology and immunology from the Free University
of Brussels, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University, Salaoui had
previously worked as head of the vaccine department at the of GlaxoSmithKline
has several scientific achievements and patents to his credit such as vaccines
to prevent stomach and intestine infections, cervical cancer, malaria, and
newspaper AkhbarAlyoum said a blessing in disguise of COVID-19 pandemic was
recognizing and the talent of Moroccan-born scientists. The newspaper hoped
justice will come to other Moroccan talents as well.
scientist left Morocco at the bare age of 17 to pursue studies in medicine in
France. After graduation, he moved to Belgium for higher studies, where he
married his colleague, who is a specialist in neuroscience.
development of 24 vaccines
serving a university in Brussels for 27-years, he shifted to the U.S. to teach
at the Harvard University in Boston and contribute to the discovery of the many
supervised the development of 24 new vaccines to combat viruses from 2011-2016,
which were formally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
combat the COVID-19 Slaoui was engaged with several pharmaceutical companies,
such as GlaxoSmithKline which is developing a vaccine in collaboration with
on a Moroccan TV channel on April 12, he said there are 800 clinical studies currently being undertaken to develop vaccines that can
reduce the infection rate and reproduction of the virus.
said that it is possible to have a vaccine against the COVID-19 by the end of
this year or early 2021.
new position came two weeks after President Trump announced the "Operation
Warp Speed" to accelerate the production of a vaccine.
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