Sunday, March 19, 2017
“The deals would arm members of a military coalition that has attacked thousands of civilians in Yemen and violated international humanitarian law,” the human rights group said in a press release published on Tuesday.
The organization noted that its experts found unexploded US bombs and “identifiable fragments of exploded US bombs” among the destroyed civilian buildings in Yemen.
If the US approves the deals while banning Yemenis from coming to the US, it would be like “throwing gasoline on a house fire and locking the door on [the] way out,” according to Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA executive director. “The US should not continue to arm governments that violate international human rights and humanitarian law and simultaneously shut its doors to those fleeing the violence it escalates,” she said.
“Arming the Saudi Arabia and Bahrain governments risks complicity with war crimes, and doing so while simultaneously banning travel to the US from Yemen would be even more unconscionable. President Trump must not approve this arms deal,” she said.
On Wednesday, President Trump held a meeting with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudi delegation hailed the meeting as a “historical turning point” in US-Saudi relations, “which had passed through a period of divergence of views on many issues.” Speaking to RT last week, Ahmed Benchemsi, communications and advocacy director at Human Rights Watch’s Middle East & North Africa division, said that the US, UK, and France should stop selling weapons to Riyadh.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is “increasingly unsustainable” and urgent action must be taken by both sides in the conflict, he said, adding that the situation is turning into a “deep humanitarian catastrophe.”
Saudi Arabia’s coalition, which also includes Bahrain, began the military operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to bring the ousted government back to power.
More than 10,000 people have been killed in the impoverished country, the UN reported in late February, while seven million people are close to starvation.
In addition to countless casualties, Saudi bombing has destroyed civilian infrastructure.
'Has Mr Erdogan lost his mind?' - Boundary crossed: Erdogan has gone too far with ‘Nazi’ comments, Germany says
'Has Mr Erdogan lost his mind?', Julia Kloeckner, vice-president of Merkel's CDU party, says angrily.
By Vishal Arora
Shreya Narayan shares her experience as a Bollywood actress and what she see would like to see change.
Is the “casting couch” a reality in the Hindi film industry? That’s a question actress Shreya Narayan, the great-grand-niece of India’s first president, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, says she is often asked. The term refers to an aspiring actress trading sexual favors to producers or directors in return for entry into a film.
It does happen, says Narayan, but the Mumbai-based film industry, nicknamed Bollywood and one of the largest centers of film production in the world, is a safe place for women to work. Bollywood, though, is as patriarchal as any other workplace in India, adds the actor, who is also a writer, and has recently finished writing her debut novel.
In this informal, intimate video, the 31-year-old actress, who has worked in several top films, including Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Rockstar, and Tanu Weds Manu, shares her experience as a Bollywood actress and what she see would like to see change in the industry.
د مومندو قبایلي سیمې انتظامیې د یکشنبې په ورځ د کوزه مومندو مېچنۍ موصل کورونو خلکو ته امر کړی چې هم نن سیمه تخلیه کړي او خپلې کډې دې وباسي، ځکه چې د دوی له کلي نه د ترهګرۍ د پېښو د پلان جوړېدو وېره لیدل کېږي.
خو د سیمې یو ملک عادل خان ترکزی وايي د دوی اکثره ځوانان د ملک په نورو برخو کې په خوارۍ، مزدورۍ بوخت دي او دلته یې کورنۍ پاتې دي، نو دا به ډېره ګرانه وي چې په دومره لږ وخت کې دې ټوله سیمه تخلیه کړل شي.
« په کشمير، پنډۍ او نورو ځایونو کې مو ځوانان په مزدورۍ بوخت دي، دلته یې په کورونو کې مېرمنې اوس کډې باروي، څوک چې طالب پېژني هم نه. »
ملک ترکزی زیاتوي چې د دوی د سیمې خلک وخت په وخت د طالبانو خلاف خپل غږ پورته کړی او له همدې وجې یې ډیری څوانان طالبانو وژلي هم دي، خو حکومت پر ځای ددې چې د قبایلي اولس د قربانیو احترام وکړي، به لوی لاس یې بې کوره کوي.
د ملک هاشم خان په نوم یو بل ځايی مشر چې پخپله یې هم کډه باره کړې، د مشال همکار ته یې وویل:
« کورونه خالي کوو لګیایو، څوک لاړل او څوک روان دي. د ګاډو په انتظار یو، نه پوهېږو چې چیرته به ځو، موږ خو د کرایو ورکولو وس هم نه لرو.»
د سیمې خلک وايي د کلو خالي کول او د کورونو ورانول د ستونزې حل نه دی. دوی وايي حکومت دې ورانکاري او د هغوی ملاتړ کونکي ونیسي، ټول خلک دې نه په عذابوي.
خو بل پلو د حکومت دریځ دا دی چې د کوز مومند د میچنۍ د موصل کورونو نه د د امنۍ د پېښو خطره لیدل کېده نو ځکه یې خلکو ته امر کړی چې کلی دې پرېږدي.
پاکستان تر دې وړاندې په خیبر، شمالي وزیرستان او باجوړ کې هم خلک په ورته ډول له خپلو سیمو بې کوره کړي چې ځینې یې د کلونو په تېریدو هم خپلو مېنو ته ستانه شوي نه دي.
A Taliban "court" recently ordered a young man accused of theft to have his hand and foot chopped off. The victim spoke with DW about his ordeal as an increasing number of Afghans turn to the Islamist group for justice.
On Monday, the Taliban cut off an accused thief's hand and foot in the western Afghan province of Herat. It is the latest case of the militant group's harsh application of punishment for suspected criminals.
In another case earlier this month, the militants stoned a woman to death accused of adultery in northern Badakhshan province.
The victim in Herat, 15-year-old Afghan Ghulam Farooq, was captured by Taliban members after he and three of his friends were allegedly involved in a motorcycle theft in Obe district. Farooq, however, insists he was innocent and wrongfully faced the group's cruel sentence for a crime he never committed.
"My friends suggested stopping people on motorcycles and stealing from them, but I tried to stop them. They did not listen to me," Farooq told DW from a hospital bed.
"My friends stopped three people who were traveling on motorcycles, tied their hands and eyes and took the bikes with them," he added, claiming he did not accompany his friends during the theft.
Farooq said that he untied the victims and offered help. But the men instead turned to the Taliban for help, something an increasing number of people do in rural areas of Afghanistan where the government does not have a strong presence and cannot ensure the rule of law.
In these areas, the Taliban run a parallel justice system that more and more Afghans are turning to.
Setting an extreme example
In Farooq's case, Taliban members were unable to capture his friends as they had already fled the area. Taliban members detained him as the only suspect in the case. Farooq spent over 70 days in Taliban captivity, holding on to the hope that his family would be able to forge a deal with the militants for his freedom.
"We tried everything during this period. We sent tribal elders to the Taliban and asked for his freedom but they never released him," the young man's older brother told DW.
The Taliban militants finally held a hearing and found Farooq guilty. The so-called court ordered that his hand and foot be cut off in public and before his brother's eyes. The Taliban carry out sentences in public to make an example out of their victims. The rulings are based on an interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.
"After the hearing I was given an injection. Later a man came and took my hand and foot from me," Farooq said from a hospital bed in Herat province where he is currently recovering. His condition is not life-threatening, his doctor said.
The latest incident is just another example of Afghans going to the Taliban for help instead of the government in areas under the militant group's control. One reason, experts say, is the high level of corruption in the Afghan judiciary system. Government courts also take much longer to deliver a sentence due to a high number of pending cases.
Although the international community has spent millions of dollars to strengthen the judicial system in Afghanistan over the past decade, analysts say the system remains inefficient and corrupt.
The Taliban's growing control over remote areas in Afghanistan makes it nearly impossible for the government in Kabul to run courts in districts like Obe where the Taliban have a strong presence. Local residents therefore have no other option but to ask the Taliban for help in many cases.
Asking a Taliban court for help, however, comes with a price. Their rulings are mostly final with no chance for appeal and sentences are carried out on the spot and in public. Suspects of adultery, stealing or spying can lose body parts, or even their lives, if convicted by a Taliban court.
However, other cases could have less drastic outcomes. Mohammad Dawood, a resident of Chanjer village in Helmand province had a different experience with the Taliban's parallel judiciary system, when he was dragged by one of his relatives to a Taliban court over a land dispute.
"There were a number of Taliban members who listened to both of us," Dawood told DW. "We were given a fair chance to tell them our side of the story. After that they made their ruling."
"We did not appeal the ruling as both of us had willingly agreed to appear in their court," he said, adding that the Taliban were fast and fair in their rulings, and that people did not have to bribe judges.
"In the mainstream judicial system, people face many problems - they have to spend a lot of money and wait years for a verdict," 48-year-old Dawood said.
While a Taliban court may have ended Dawood's long dispute over land, for Farooq and many others, they have brought life-long suffering. And both experts and activists are calling on the Afghan government to ensure rule of law across Afghanistan and protect the rights of its citizens.
Pakistan has been getting in on the act when it comes to the hijab.
We have the Punjab Higher Education minister to thank for the initial 'gaffe'. Firstly, he announced his intention of wanting to make the hijab mandatory for women attending government colleges. No mention of parliamentary debate. Yet not content with this, he went for the double-whammy: 5 extra marks would be transferred from those students whose attendance records fell below 60 percent.
Not to be outdone, the PTI waded in with one of its lawmakers calling for the same, barring the five extra marksbut including private colleges. Yet credit where credit is due. The PTI side at least had the good grace to table a resolutionbefore the Punjab Assembly. Instead ofjust waving an invisible wand and wishing it was so. It is a shame, however, that the PTI move was overshadowed by the question of "did she or didn't she" forget to add a resounding "no" to the final draft. Or whethershe had committed a faux par of Oscar-worthy proportions and unwittingly submitted the wrong paper.
For all the unintentional humour to be derived from the entire debacle, the issue remains at heart a very serious one: the policing of women's bodies. It is not enough to brush this off as the folly of two political partieswho, at various points in the past,have had to publicly distance themselves from accusations of courting militant groups.
The so-called liberal secular elite would do well to remember this. For it is less than a year ago that Internet sensation, model and yes, feminist icon,QandeelBalcoh was murdered. Reportedly,she was murdered by a brother who could no longer take the taunting over her "vulgar" behaviour.
Even some of Pakistan's most well known liberals inadvertently fuelled this accepted narrative. For instance, Qandeel's murder was qualified with the sentiment that while Qandeelwas "no role" model, she deserved a better life and death. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. The qualifier dictating that even though we didn't approve of her conduct doesn't mean her murder was justified is, to put it bluntly, more troubling than open calls to have the hijab introduced across colleges. At least the former is an open call for the policing of women's bodies. And as such, it is so much easier to challenge, even if on a superficial level. Whereas the latter represents a clear whitewashing of the facts.A young woman was killed. We either condemn it or we condone it. How hard can that be?
Governments must not tell women what to wear. It is not their job.