Tag Archives: Urges

Amnesty urges Egypt to cost-free boy family members says was abused by police

CAIRO Egypt need to instantly release a 14-year-old boy who says he was sexually abused in detention by police using a wooden stick and bring his alleged torturers to justice, Amnesty International stated.

Mazen Mohamed Abdallah’s household told the rights group the teenager was repeatedly tortured in custody, such as also being offered electric shocks to his genitals.

“The horrific abuse described by Abdallah offers a sickening insight into the widespread and routine use of torture and ill-treatment by Egyptian safety forces in police stations,” Said Boumedouha, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa plan deputy director, said in a statement on Friday.

The boy’s case is a single of numerous highlighted over the previous weeks by rights groups who say police brutality is once once more widespread in Egypt.

The Interior Ministry declined quick comment on Amnesty’s accusations but mentioned it would situation a statement later.

It has stated it would investigate all abuse allegations.

The group said Abdallah was tortured into confessing membership of the Muslim Brotherhood and participating in an unauthorized protest.

The Brotherhood was removed from energy by the military in 2013 when then-military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted former President Mohamed Mursi, a member of the group, following mass protests against his elected rule.

The group was then outlawed and safety forces killed hundreds of its supporters and jailed thousands, with hundreds far more sentenced to death in mass trials.

Egypt’s police had been notorious for human rights abuses during the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak but melted away in the course of the uprising that toppled him in 2011. They have considering that produced a robust comeback under Sisi, who replaced Mursi as president.

Two police officers were sentenced on Saturday to 5 years in jail for torturing a lawyer to death in a police station in February.

On Friday, nine police were referred to a criminal court and charged with beating to death a father of 4.

He was one particular of at least three males who died in police custody in the space of a week in November, prompting riots in his house town and uncommon media scrutiny of police techniques.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein Editing by Alison Williams)

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Iraq urges U.N. council to demand instant Turkish troop withdrawal

UNITED NATIONS Iraq appealed to the United Nations Security Council on Friday to demand an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Turkish troops from northern Iraq, calling Turkey’s military incursion a “flagrant violation” of international law.

“We call on the Security Council to demand that Turkey withdraw its forces immediately … and not to violate Iraqi sovereignty again,” Iraqi Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said in a letter to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, president of the Security Council this month.

“This is considered a flagrant violation of the principles of the U.N. Charter, and a violation of Iraqi territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state of Iraq,” the letter said, according to an unofficial translation of the Arabic original.

The letter, which was seen by Reuters, was sent after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi instructed the Foreign Ministry to lodge a formal complaint at the United Nations.

One diplomat on the 15-nation Security Council said on condition of anonymity that there were no immediate plans to convene a special meeting during the weekend in response to the Iraqi letter.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he would not bow to Iraqi demands to withdraw Turkish troops from a camp close to the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

Alhakim made clear that bilateral diplomacy had failed so far to end the dispute between the two neighbors.

“Iraq worked on containment of this issue by diplomatic means and bilateral talks, but these efforts did not succeed in convincing Turkey to withdraw its occupying forces from Iraqi territory,” Alhakim wrote to Power, noting that the Turkish incursion was an “aggressive act.”

He added: “Assistance with military training and advanced technology and weapons to fight the Islamic State terrorist entity must be based upon bilateral and multilateral agreements and in full respect of the national sovereignty and Iraqi constitution, and in coordination with the Iraqi armed forces.”

The dispute over the deployment has soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad, which denies having agreed to it. Ankara says the troops were sent as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State, which has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The Turkish military is helping to train local Iraqi volunteers and Kurdish peshmerga who are preparing for a long-anticipated offensive to retake Mosul, a major northern city seized by Islamic State more than a year ago.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Sandra Maler and Ken Wills)

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U.S. urges citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon due to safety concerns

WASHINGTON The U.S. State Division on Friday urged U.S. citizens to keep away from all travel to Lebanon “due to the fact of ongoing security and security concerns.”

It also advised U.S. citizens living and functioning in Lebanon that they need to “understand that they accept the risks of remaining in the nation and need to meticulously contemplate those risks.”

“Sudden outbreaks of violence can take place at any time in Lebanon, and armed clashes have occurred in significant cities,” the State Department mentioned in a statement, adding that the Lebanese government could not assure the safety of U.S. citizens there.

It cited cross-border conflicts with Syria and Israel, anti-Western violence, suicide bombers and kidnapping, among other risks.  

(Reporting by Eric Walsh Editing by Sandra Maler)

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China’s Tibet party boss urges senior monk to shun Dalai Lama

BEIJING China’s Communist Party boss in Tibet has urged the Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, to reject the Himalayan region’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, state media mentioned on Tuesday.

Controversy surrounds the position of the Panchen Lama given that the boy the Dalai Lama named as the reincarnation of the leader disappeared when he was six years old.

The fate of the missing Panchen Lama, one of China’s most zealously guarded state secrets, is just a single region of contention among China and the Dalai Lama more than Tibet, and continues to worry numerous Tibetans.

Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a kid on his death.

The Dalai Lama and China’s officially atheist Communist Celebration have repeatedly tussled over who has final authority on the problem of reincarnation.

China’s Communist Celebration has extended maintained that the Dalai Lama’s selection, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, now 26, is not the genuine Panchen Lama, and in 1995, the government chosen Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama.

Chen Quanguo, the celebration secretary of Tibet, said he hoped Beijing’s Panchen Lama would “unswervingly walk with the party” and safeguard national unity, the official Tibet Everyday mentioned.

“Resolutely draw a clear line between the 14th Dalai Lama and firmly reject all subversive separatist activities,” Chen told the Panchen Lama in the Tibetan city of Shigatse throughout a meeting on Monday marking 20 years because the monk’s investiture.

“Tibetan Buddhism is at its ideal period of improvement in history and religious circles and believers enjoy complete religious freedom,” the paper quoted Beijing’s Panchen Lama as telling Chen.

Tibet’s exiled leadership in India stated Beijing’s bid to involve itself on the concern of reincarnation had no moral or legal standing.

“Beijing authorities or the atheist communist party of China have neither legitimacy nor credibility on this matter,” Lobsang Sangay, the political head of the government-in-exile, based in the northern hill town of Dharamsala, told Reuters.

The 80-year-old Dalai Lama fled to India right after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. Beijing says he is a violent separatist but the monk denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.

The Chinese government sees the appointment of the next Dalai Lama as crucial to consolidating state control over Tibet, where separatist movements have flared because the 1950s.

Tibetans worry Beijing will use the problem of the Nobel peace laureate’s eventual death and succession to split Tibetan Buddhism, with one new Dalai Lama named by exiles and a single by the government.

Beijing insists it have to approve the subsequent Dalai Lama, although the title’s current holder has mentioned the function could end when he dies.

(Reporting by Michael Martina Added reporting by Abhishek Madhukar in DHARAMSALA Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Lebanon’s Maronite leader urges factions to pick a president

BEIRUT Lebanon’s Maronite patriarch on Saturday urged the political factions to elect a new president, successfully throwing his weight behind a energy-sharing plan that would make an ally of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad head of state.

The head of the Maronite Christian neighborhood, Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, met leaders of Christian political parties this week, like the touted candidate Suleiman Franjieh, right after Saudi Arabia lent its backing to the program.

“I contact on the political blocs to move responsibly, objectively and mindfully toward this new, significant initiative in order to elect a president,” he said at a mass north of Beirut and quoted by Lebanon’s National News Agency.

Rai urged parties to “rise above individual and factional interests” in order to fill the post, which has been vacant for 18 months. He hoped progress could be wrapped up by the finish of the year.

The lack of president has contributed to a political crisis that has paralyzed state institutions, such as the government which has been unable to take basic decisions. Political rivalries have been exacerbated by the war in neighboring Syria.

The proposal, tabled by Sunni politician Saad al-Hariri, would see him return to Lebanon as prime minister and make Maronite politician Franjieh president. Hariri is backed by Saudi Arabia, while Franjieh is a family members friend and close ally of Assad, who is backed by Saudi’s regional rival Iran.

Under Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing technique, the president need to often be a Maronite Christian. Two other politicians, Michel Aoun and Samir Geagea, have been vying for the post, but neither has been able to garner the cross-celebration consensus required.

Franjieh stated late on Wednesday his candidacy was not but official but he was waiting for Hariri to formally endorse it.

(Reporting by John Davison Editing b y Richard Balmforth)

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Argentina’s incoming foreign minister urges fair vote in Venezuela

BUENOS AIRES Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro must be encouraged to guarantee Sunday’s parliamentary election is democratic, Argentina’s Foreign Minister-designate Susana Malcorra mentioned on Wednesday.

Malcorra’s comments followed a get in touch with from Argentine President-elect Mauricio Macri for Venezuela to be suspended from regional trade bloc Mercosur because of rights abuse accusations, like jailing political opponents.

“We must encourage the Venezuelan government that Sunday be handled inside the strictest democratic framework,” Malcorra, who was U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon’s chief adviser before taking up the ministerial post, told reporters in Buenos Aires.

Center-proper Macri’s difficult stance against Maduro’s socialist government has opened up divisions within Mercosur, with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff expressing concern over the notion of sidelining Venezuela from the bloc.

“Now, to use that democratic clause, you can not just have a hypothesis. You require to prove a truth,” Rousseff stated in Paris earlier this week.

Macri is due to meet Rousseff in Brazil on Friday. His advisers get in touch with the bilateral relationship with Brazil, Argentina’s major trade companion, a top foreign policy priority. [nL8N1385MI]

Malcorra said discussions in between Argentina and Brazil needed to incorporate evaluating how Venezuela’s political technique moves forward in the coming days.

“We need to see what the outcome of the election is and the reaction to the outcome,” Malcorra stated.

Venezuela’s opposition was rapid to hail Macri’s narrow win over ruling celebration candidate Daniel Scioli as a blow for leftists in Latin America and a excellent omen for their own battle with “Chavismo” in the parliamentary vote. [nL1N13I0JS]

Malcorra’s comments risked further angering leading Venezuelan officials. Last week, Venezuela’s second most potent official rebuked Macri for offending a brother nation and told Macri to “leave the Venezuelan individuals alone, never mess with us.”

[nL1N13L04W]

Venezuela’s opposition is attempting to win handle of the National Assembly on Sunday for the first time in a lot more than 15 years, searching for to tap anger over the recession-hit economy.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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We must respond to IS threat, German defense minister urges lawmakers

BERLIN Germany’s defense minister appealed to lawmakers on Wednesday to back plans to join the military campaign against Islamic State (IS) insurgents in Syria, arguing that Europe have to not be intimidated by the threat of attacks but respond resolutely.

After a direct French plea for solidarity following IS shootings and bombings in Paris on Nov. 13 which killed 130 individuals, Germany has joined other nations in stepping up its role in the aerial campaign against IS militants in Syria.

Britain’s parliament was probably to vote on Wednesday night to approve air strikes.

Germany, currently arming Iraqi Kurds fighting IS, is stopping quick of joining the United States, France and Russia in air strikes but plans to send up to 1,200 soldiers, six Tornado reconnaissance jets, a frigate and refueling aircraft.

“This mandate is not straightforward. It was a hard choice and we will want patience. It will be a unsafe mission,” warned conservative Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen in presenting the motion to the Bundestag (lower home of parliament).

“But there is a clear answer (to the threat of attacks): we will not let ourselves be cowed,” she stated, to loud applause.

A strong majority for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “grand coalition” of her personal conservatives and the Social Democrats indicates the plans are set to pass in a vote on Friday despite dissent from the pacifist Left celebration and opposition Greens.

In a nation that has been reluctant because Planet War Two to deploy soldiers overseas, the move is substantial.

A Forsa poll showed assistance strengthening among voters for a German function in fighting IS, up at 42 % from 27 percent in February. Opposition to it is nonetheless firm at 54 %, but down from 68 % in February.

Von der Leyen stressed that the military action is embedded in a political approach for a long-term peaceful remedy in Syria, and argued, “You can make mistakes by taking action but you can also make severe errors by not taking action.”

A response is required to quit the cruelty suffered by those slaughtered by Islamic State militants and thrown into mass graves, and by women and young children sold at markets, she said.

The Left’s Dietmar Bartsch voiced concern that joining military action would raise the safety threat for Germany.

“Terror will not be defeated by bombs, by war. Every bomb that falls on Raqqa … motivates new IS fighters,” he mentioned, referring to the de facto capital of the insurgents’ declared “caliphate” in a swathe of Syria they manage.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier dismissed such arguments. “That’s a perfidious logic: seal your self off, turn off the lights, pull down the blinds if terrorists come down the road. Hope they’ll go to the neighbors with brighter lights.”

But Germany’s mass-circulation every day Bild drove property the risks, printing a photo of a captured Jordanian pilot who was burned alive by IS earlier this year. “What takes place if German soldiers fall into IS hands?” it mentioned.

Bild deputy editor Nikolaus Blome wrote that there was no option to the military campaign against IS and a visible contribution from the Germany army, but it would be risky.

“Angela Merkel is taking a large danger and is accountable.”

(Story refiles to fix typo in name to read Blome in penultimate paragraph)

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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British PM Cameron urges UK parliament to back bombing of Islamic State in Syria

LONDON Prime Minister David Cameron urged lawmakers on Wednesday to approve air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, saying Britain could make a “actual difference” to the U.S.-led campaign to destroy the militants.

Cameron’s argument that Britain need to launch more military action in the Middle East was all but drowned out by lawmakers demanding he apologize for suggesting that these opposing air strikes had been “a bunch of terrorist sympathizers”.

Cameron avoided generating an apology, saying he respected those who disagree. But anger over the slur could stiffen opposition in Britain’s Labour Celebration, whose leader, Jeremy Corby, criticized the Conservative prime minister for rushing to war.

Many Britons are wary of wading into another war in the Middle East soon after Western intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the region and, some believe, led to the rise of ultra-radical groups like Islamic State.

But given that 130 were killed in Islamic State attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, some lawmakers hitherto loath to launch further air strikes on militants in Syria now agree with Cameron that they are needed to protect Britain from such violence.

“The threat is really real,” Cameron told a packed residence of parliament at the begin of a ten-hour debate due to culminate in a vote at about 2200 GMT (1700 ET).

“The question is this — do we function with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go soon after these terrorists in their heartlands from exactly where they are plotting to kill British folks, or do we sit back and wait for them?”

Cameron said pursuing air strikes in Syria would not boost the likelihood of militant attacks on Britain simply because it was already in “the prime tier of nations on the IS (Islamic State) target list”.

He also dismissed criticism that Britain could not make a difference, saying British warplanes, which have been bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq for far more than a year, and their precision strike capability would make “a genuine difference”.

If lawmakers help Cameron, British air strikes – which finance minister George Osborne said would expense in the “low tens of millions of pounds” – could be launched from an air base in Cyprus inside hours of a vote.

Avoid DEFEAT

Keen to steer clear of a repeat of a humiliating 2013 parliamentary defeat over plans to bomb the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Cameron had made it clear he would not bring a vote to parliament if he did not feel he could win it.

He was confident of getting the majority he needs following Corbyn, a veteran anti-war campaigner who says air strikes would be ineffective and kill civilians, allowed Labour lawmakers to vote according to their conscience in order to quell a rebellion in his celebration over military action.

But anger over nearby media reports that Cameron told Conservative lawmakers at a private meeting late on Tuesday not to vote with Corbyn “and a bunch of terrorist sympathizers” could harden opposition.

Corbyn mentioned there ought to be no room for “abuse” in politics and joined at least ten other lawmakers to get in touch with on Cameron to apologize. The prime minister did not do so.

Corbyn accused Cameron of “an ill-believed-out rush to war” just before public support for additional military action falls.

A YouGov opinion poll showed voter assistance for military action in Syria had fallen to the lowest level given that September 2014, with 48 percent of respondents supporting strikes and 31 % opposing.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the prime minister’s proposals for military action basically do not stack up,” Corbyn told parliament, saying the prime minister had no extended-term peace program and method to destroy Islamic State. “The specter of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya looms more than this debate.”

(Extra reporting by William Schomberg Writing by Elizabeth Piper Editing by Guy Faulconbridge/Mark Heinrich)

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Obama urges Turkey to lessen tensions with Russia

PARIS U.S. President Barack Obama urged his Turkish counterpart on Tuesday to reduce tensions with Russia even though stressing U.S. help for its NATO ally’s safety.

Obama met Tayyip Erdogan in Paris, exactly where he has been attending the climate summit, a week after Turkish jets downed a Russian warplane along the Syrian border.

“The United States supports Turkey’s correct to defend itself and its air space … We discussed how Turkey and Russia can perform with each other to de-escalate tensions” and locate a diplomatic path to resolve the problem,” Obama stated.

Obama said he stressed to Erdogan that the Islamic State militant group was the enemy that all sides required to concentrate on.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu known as earlier on Tuesday for the opening of communication channels amongst Turkey and Russia to avoid further incidents like the downing of the warplane.

Putin, who has signed a decree imposing economic sanctions on Turkey more than the incident, has said Turkey shot down the jet since it wanted to defend supplies of oil from Islamic State militants. Erdogan has named claims that Turkey buys oil from Islamic State “slander”.

Erdogan said on Tuesday following the meeting with Obama that the two had discussed Turkish-Russian tensions.

“Our concern is to not come out badly from this, but on the contrary to turn this into peace and contribute to the peace in the area,” Erdogan stated.

Obama added that the U.S. was eager to accelerate work on its military-to-military relationship with Turkey to ensure its NATO ally was safe and to support resolve the conflict in Syria.

(Further reporting by Daren Butler in Istanbul Editing by James Regan and Andrew Heavens)

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Latvia urges Greece to tighten border to ease refugee crisis

RIGA The president of Latvia has urged Greece to demonstrate a “changed attitude” on border safety to stem a flow of migrants, but sees no want to re-erect Europe’s internal frontiers in response to the refugee crisis or Paris attacks.

President Raimonds Vejonis told Reuters he also backed European help to help Turkey deal with more than 2 million refugees from Syria, even though expressing concern about Russia’s growing involvement in Syria’s civil war.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing conflict have poured into Europe from the Middle East and Africa this year, straining external borders along Europe’s southern flank.

“This is the cause why we genuinely require a changed attitude of Greece and other people on border safety. They want stronger control and checks of documents on their border since they are the initial country that asylum seekers are reaching,” Vejonis said.

Amid deep divisions more than Europe’s worst refugee crisis considering that Planet War Two, officials from Baltic states have voiced related issues about Italy, whose islands have also faced an influx.

Hundreds of Latvians protested in August against a government decision to accept 250 asylum seekers more than two years as portion of a European Union plan to deal with the migrants.

Vejonis dismissed calls for the Schengen agreement, a free of charge border zone of 26 nations which includes 22 from the EU, to be frozen in light of the refugee crisis or the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, carried out partly by militants who traveled freely from Belgium.

“I don’t believe that we want to close borders due to the fact in reality these individuals who are involved in terrorism are already mostly European citizens. It indicates our security institutions need to perform more very carefully and intensively to recognize such people and detain them if essential,” he mentioned.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated the open border system would only endure if EU member states accepted a permanent, mandatory quota method for sharing out refugees.

But Vejonis mentioned the EU have to initial shore up its external frontiers, specially in the south, establish successful techniques of returning non-war refugees and combat human trafficking.

“If the EU does not solve all these crucial troubles, it will be very difficult in the future to discuss new choices on reallocation and resettlement. It will be a really hot subject for us and if there are no options on these 3 points, it will be extremely tough to continue.”

RUSSIAN RESURGENCE

The EU is due to hold a summit with Turkey on Sunday to talk about help for the two.three million Syrian refugees there, but differences remain more than what Ankara must offer in return.

“From a European point of view we need to have to organize very good border manage, but at the exact same time uncover the mechanisms for helping Turkey handle the two million or more people who have already arrived from Syria,” Vejonis stated.

Latvia is also examining what it can contribute to an anti-Islamic State coalition proposed by France, soon after sending a senior officer to the U.S. command center for the Middle East.

But Vejonis, a former defense minister who is also commander of Latvia’s forces, mentioned Riga’s priority would be to preserve its personal security amid what Western officials have described as Cold War levels of military activity in the Baltic.

“The initial task of our armed forces is to develop new capabilities here since relations militarily among the Baltic states, and between NATO and Russia, are nonetheless quite difficult and we really feel day-to-day the effect of Russian military activities along our borders on land, sea and air.”

With ties in between Moscow and Western capitals thawing following the Paris attacks, some of Russia’s neighbors fear Europe’s commitment to sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis may be waning as they co-operate in fighting Islamic State.

Vejonis said the EU’s priority in dealing with Russia need to stay complete implementation of a deal to finish fighting in east Ukraine, beneath the terms of the so-known as Minsk agreement, which set a deadline of the end of 2015 for Ukraine to regain full handle over its eastern border.

“No implementation, no good relations with Russia. My opinion is we need to continue negotiations to see how we can preserve sanctions against Russia, but I hope that all parties will actually implement the Minsk Agreement,” he said.

(Added reporting by Gederts Gelzis Editing by Alison Williams)

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