Sunday, February 22, 2015
Hollywood’s awards season reaches its apogee on Sunday at the 87th Academy Awards, where “Birdman” and “Boyhood” will battle for best picture and veteran actors are likely to grasp their first golden Oscar statuettes.
Kuwait Sentences Opposition Politician Mussallam Al Barrak to Two Years in Jail for “Insulting Ruler”
By Amira Al HussainiKuwait sentenced leading opposition politician Mussallam Al Barrak to two years in jail for “insuting the country's ruler.” The former member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly (parliament)is charged for a speech he gave in October 2012, in which he threatened to depose the Amir of Kuwait Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, telling him that the people of Kuwait would not allow him to practice “autocratic rule.
He was arrested on October 29, and released on bail four days later pending trial. In April 2013, he was sentenced to five years in prison, and a Kuwaiti appeals court reduced the sentence to two years yesterday.
When Al Barrak was first arrested in 2012, Amnesty International issued thefollowing statement, describing his arrest as “outrageous”:
“The arrest and prosecution of Musallam al-Barrak, on account of his peaceful criticism of Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, is outrageous and is yet another manifestation of the increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly in Kuwait,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director for Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.“He did not incite violence or hatred but was engaged purely in exercising his right to peaceful freedom of expression – the Kuwaiti authorities must drop the charges against him and against anyone else facing similar charges for peacefully expressing their views.”
For many, the charges are aimed at silencing Al Barrak, 59, an outspoken Popular Action Bloc member, who has been an MP since 1996.
According to Kuwaiti blogger Mohammed Almutawa:
The sentencing of Al Mussallam for his views,
Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab explains to his 260K followers on Twitter:
The jailing of Mussallam Al Barrak for views he holds or views he expressed is a stark violation of human rights and his right to free expression. It also shows that Kuwait is regressing in its human rights record
In another tweet, he adds:
The jailing of Mussallam Al Barrak in Kuwait is a violation of international human rights accords and all activists and politicians, including those who disagree with him, should condemn it
And Kuwaiti university professor and columnist Dr Bader Aldaihani explains to his 17K followers on Twitter:
The jailing of Mussallam Al Barrak is a political sentence as his case is political, from its start to finish, and political problems should be solved politically and not through criminal cases
In another tweet, he notes:
People can't believe how an activist who has lived his life fighting corporate corruption is in jail while those who steal public money and are lead corruption are free
Many Kuwaitis took to Twitter to raise alarm about the jailing of Al Barrak under the hashtag #سجن_ضمير_الأمة, which translates to “the jailing of the nation's conscience” as Al Barrak is referred to by his supporters.
According to Suhail Al Yamani:
A living conscience is a big and concerning problem.. this is why some countries get rid of its conscience so that corruption can continue
Turkey transgressed into the Syrian territory and relocated the tomb of Suleyman Shah from the northeastern Raqqa province where it exists in a “suspicious” act that reveals the Turkish government’s close connection with terrorist organizations operating in the area.
An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement to SANA Sunday that Turkey did not await the Syrian consent to move the tomb after the Turkish Foreign Ministry informed Syria’s consulate in Istanbul of its intent to carry out the relocation on the eve of the transgression act.
Turkey did carry out the move without Syria’s consent contrary to procedures usually followed according to the 1921 agreement signed between Turkey and the French occupation authorities back then.
The Foreign Ministry source described the Turkish move, which took place at dawn Sunday, as no less that an act of aggression against Syria, dismissing it as “suspicious” inasmuch as it unmasks the reality of the Turkish intentions and Turkey’s relationship with the terrorist organizations of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Turkey went far beyond providing all forms of support to its tools of the gangs of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations to carry out a blatant aggression on the Syrian territory,” the source said in the statement.
The suspicion lies in the fact that this reputed tomb has been all along spared the acts of ISIS, which, on the other hand, has been destroying mosques, churches and tombs in various areas across Syria, according to the statement.
This “confirms the deep connection between the Turkish government and this terrorist organization,” the source added.
It concluded the statement by saying that the Turkish authorities, by breaching the aforementioned agreement, will be responsible for any possible repercussions of this aggression.
The spiraling chaos in Libya and the recent beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) have led to calls for a new military intervention in the country. And while the international community mulls the option of arming various factions, groups like IS are expanding their foothold. What can be done to stop Libya's slide into anarchy? Oksana is joined by Jason Pack, Middle East researcher at Cambridge University, to unravel these issues.
Three armed dacoits entered into a Our Lady of Queen of Angels Church located at Multan Road, Bhai Pheru District Kasur and made the Church staff hostage including Re. Fr. Ijaz Bashir assistant Priest on Thursday about 09:00 am. The Church officials said that the dacoits have looted about worth of two million Pakistani Rupees million and took away Mobiles, cameras and seven Silver Crown with them.
Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,Human Rights Defender was informed by the Church staff and immediately reached the scene and assisted the Church in lodging police complaint. The FIR No.48/2015 has been registered under section 392 PPC at City police station Bhai Pheru against the three unknown dacoits. The fingerprints also have been taken and the Concerned DSP Pattoki made assured to arrest the culprits within a few days. “We have started the investigation and soon we will be able to arrest the culprits,” he said.
Rev. Fr. Leopold Evans OFM Cap who is missionary from Belgium and serving in this parish from last more than 26 years, was fell ill and admitted in doctor hospital two weeks ago where now he is fighting for life. He told that there were Eleven thousand Euros which also the dacoits took away with them.
Gill met with other staff and sisters of the Church, Sr. sister Marriam Hakam told that they had trust in God and they did not know who could be the instrument in the hands of culprits to do such incidents. She further added that there were not any satisfactory security arrangements but she looked satisfied from Government's initiative regarding counter terrorism.
“The dacoity looks similar to the way which was used in previous robbery in which Rev. Fr. Leopold forgave the dacoits after their arrest,” Catechist Shahbaz Anjum said. He added that the dacoits came to pretend to get admission in School for children. He further added that if this robbery happened in Broad-day then act of terrorism could be happened anytime because of lack of security arrangements.