Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Video Report - 🇸🇦 Is Saudi Arabia trying to protect whoever ordered Khashoggi murder? l Inside Story

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UN Rights Experts Urge Saudi Arabia to Halt Six Imminent Executions

United Nations human rights experts called on Saudi Arabia on Monday to halt the imminent execution of six men sentenced to death for activities related to the 2011 Arab Spring.
They said that since the Saudis were all under age 18 at the time, imposing the death penalty on them would violate international law, including a treaty protecting children ratified by the kingdom.
Riyadh's human rights record has been in the spotlight since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate this month. There has also been growing international criticism of the Saudi-led coalition's air strikes in Yemen that have caused heavy civilian casualties including children.
The charges against the six men are based on "criminalisation of the exercise of fundamental rights, including freedom of assembly and expression", the U.N. experts said in a joint statement which gave scant details.
"They were allegedly tortured and ill-treated, forced to confess, denied adequate legal assistance during trial and never had access to an effective complaint mechanism," it added.
The men were tried in a Riyadh specialised court that handles terrorism-related issues and there is no known appeals process, a U.N. human rights official told Reuters.
A Saudi source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that his understanding was that the men would not be executed, in line with recent changes to Saudi law.
However, the U.N. experts said that the revised law still allows for the death penalty to be imposed on defendants who committed crimes as juveniles between ages 15 and 18.

Death penalty sentences and executions for crimes committed by people under the age of 18 run contrary to international law and standards, they said. Saudi Arabia has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which forbids capital punishment in such cases.
"In these circumstances, the execution of these six individuals would constitute arbitrary executions," the experts said.
The U.N. statement named the six as: Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon, Abdullah al-Zaher, Mujtaba al-Sweikat, Salman Qureish and Abdulkarim al-Hawaj.
The five independent experts, who include the U.N. investigator on arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard, said they were in contact with Saudi authorities regarding the cases.
Saudi Arabia is the world's third biggest executioner, following China and Iran, Amnesty International said in its latest annual report issued in April. 


Will pro-Israel champion, Ambassador Nikki Haley, enable a Qatari agent to secure immunity from prosecution in a cyberattack on U.S. citizens? In the latest chapter of ongoing litigation over Qatar’s hacking of prominent United States citizens, an American official with close ties to the pro-Israel community could play a decisive role: US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
Earlier this month, Ambassador Haley announced that she would be resigning from her post at the end of the year. Her surprise exit was received with some disappointment among advocates for Israel, for we had come to prize her activism on behalf of the Jewish state in the United Nations, that most hostile of international forums.Before she heads into the next stage of her career, Haley will have one more chance to intervene on behalf of the pro-Israel community: blocking diplomatic immunity for a paid agent of Qatar (one of Iran’s closest allies) which hacked and disseminated the private communications of an American citizen.
The legal team of Elliot Broidy, a former vice chair of the Republican National Committee, has accused longtime United Nations official and Moroccan national Jamal Benomar of serving as the ringleader in the Qatari hacks of more than 1,200 individuals, including Broidy and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Both are leading pro-Israel advocates in the United States. The Washington Post and Newsweek have called Boteach the most famous rabbi in America.
The suit, filed in federal court in New York, alleges that Benomar "helped to mastermind the dissemination of stolen materials to the media and other third parties and also spoke regularly with senior Qatari officials.But Benomar has sought to short-circuit the legal process and avoid accountability by claiming retroactive immunity as a Moroccan diplomat. His attorney, Abbe Lowell of Winston & Strawn LLP, in a letter to the court, asserted that he is “immune from jurisdiction for actions performed in the course of his duties.” According to Lowell’s tortured logic, Benomar “specifically counseled Qatar at the request of his home government of Morocco.”Benomar’s contentions are risible, and Lee Wolosky, Broidy’s attorney has said as much: “To date, the US government has not agreed to extend diplomatic immunity [to Benomar],” Wolosky wrote in a letter to New York’s Southern District Court of the United States. He noted that according to the United Nations, the Moroccan Mission to the UN retained Benomar as a consultant or advisor on August 1, 2018, only after the July 23, 2018 filing of this lawsuit.
In short, Lowell’s argument contains “fatal flaws,” Wolonsky contends.
Here’s where Haley comes in: Given her post at the United Nations, it falls to her to decide whether to accord Benomar diplomatic immunity. The US Mission at the United Nations, overseen by Haley, has ultimate discretion over who receives accreditation from the UN as a diplomat. Her choice will determine whether Qatar, a leading partner of Iran and enemy of Israel, faces consequences for its assault on the private data of American citizens, or whether it can continue to prey on Americans with impunity.
Jamal Benomar was the architect of an underhanded cyberwar campaign against Americans on behalf of one of the United States’ and Israel’s first-line foes. He should face these charges in court, and not escape under the flimsy pretext of post-hoc diplomatic immunity. Doing otherwise would set a dangerous precedent for the security of American citizens and harm the vital interests of both the United States and Israel.
Pro-Israel advocates in the United States who have long admired Haley's outspoken leadership and courage when it comes to fighting for Israel at the United Nations, have called on her to not to side with one of Iran's closest allies, Qatar.
“As Ambassador Haley moves toward the exit, we hope that she does not chose to provide unwarranted diplomatic immunity to an agent of one of Israel s worse enemies,” said Gregg Roman," Director of the Middle East Forum. “It has been alleged that Jamal Benomar was the leader of a cyber espionage campaign to target and attack Americans. He should face these charges in court. Allowing diplomatic immunity to be abused in this way sets a dangerous precedent for our country that puts all US citizens at risk.”

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'President Hate, Leave Our State' Pittsburgh Jews Give Trump a Furious Reception

Hundreds of protesters are rallying outside the Tree of Life synagogue to demonstrate against Trump's rhetoric, holding signs that read 'Trump will lie about this too' and 'Ban assault rifles, be a leader'.

U.S. President Donald Trump landed in Pittsburgh Tuesday to pay his respects to the Jewish community that lost 11 of its members on Saturday when a shooter opened fire on the Tree of Life congregation.
Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer joined President Donald Trump, his wife and top White House officials, as they landed in Pittsburgh.

While Dermer agreed to join the president, other big names in Washington turned down the honor - House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, House Majority and Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority and Minority leaders Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, all turned down invitations.
A list of local officials, including Pittsburgh mayor, Bill Peduto, also declined their invitations to meet with the visiting president. The mayor had publicly advised the president to delay his visit so that the community’s attention could be focused on embracing the victims.
But the White House moved ahead with the plan to visit on Tuesday afternoon.
President and Melania Trump, escorted by shooting survivor and rabbi of the synagogue Jeffrey Myers, walked in front of a row of makeshift memorials in front of the synagogue for each of the victims, decorated with a Star of David, as the president placed a small stone on each one.
The entourage also included first daughter and son-in-law and White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
The U.S. president and his family lit candles for each of the victims in the synagogue vestibule.
Earlier in the day, Myers had said that while, in his view, the president should be "welcome" to pay his condolences, that he would not meet with him because he would be too busy with funeral arrangements for his congregants. In the end, however, Myers did choose to greet Trump, a decision that was applauded by some and condemned by others. 
While Trump and his family lit candles in memory of the victims, thousands of people rallied outside to protest Trump's divisive rhetoric, which many in Pittsburgh believe contributed to a national climate of hate that gave rise to the attack.
Protesters held signs that read, "President Hate, Leave our state," "Words matter," "Ban assault rifles, Be a leader" and "Trump will lie about this too."
Members of Pittsburgh's Jewish community said earlier Tuesday that they would protest against Trump if he came to Pittsburgh. In an announcement for the protest to be held on Tuesday afternoon, organizers said, "President Trump, words have consequences."
Hundreds attending a rally against U.S. President Donald Trump as he pays his respects to the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting, October 30, 2018.
Amir Tibon
"The gunman who tore apart our neighborhood believed your lies about the immigrant caravan in Mexico," the announcement read, referring to a group of migrants who are trekking through Mexico toward the United States. "He believed anti-semitic lies that Jews were funding the caravan."
The announcement also echoed an open letter from a group of local Jewish leaders who told Trump: "You are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism."
More than 43,000 people have signed the letter, organized and posted online by the Pittsburgh chapter of Bend the Arc, a Jewish organization opposed to what it calls "the immoral agenda of the Trump administration and the Republican Party."
Earlier Tuesday, the Jewish community buried the victims of Saturday's terror attack. Funerals were held for brothers David and Cecil Rosenthal as well as for Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz.

Video Report - #CNN #News Protesters denounce Trump's #Pittsburgh visit

#Pakistan - #AasiaBibi - 'She is in prison only because she is Christian. This is a big mistake', European Parliament President defends Asia Bibi

By Marcus Jones

The President of the European Parliament has called for the immediate release of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman on death row in Pakistan.
Answering a question on her situation in a press conference, Antonio Tajani said: "We need to save Asia Bibi. She is in prison only because she is Christian.
"This is a big mistake, it is against human rights. We want to defend human rights everywhere. For this, we need to save Asia Bibi."
Tajani later went on to raise her plight in the European Parliament chamber, calling on Pakistan's government to stop the discrimination.
His comments were greeted with applause.
Asia Bibi is currently waiting on a verdict from judges in Pakistan after appealing her case.
She's been sentenced to the death penalty after being accused of insulting Islam.
Despite spending the past decade in prison, supporters are hopeful she will soon be released.


#Pakistan #AasiaBibi - The UN's scary silence on Asia Bibi's blasphemy case

Today, on the front page of the United Nations’ website is an article entitled, “French full-body veil ban, violated women’s freedom of religion: UN Human Rights Committee.”
In 2012, two French Muslim women sent complaints to the U.N. when a 2010 French law was enforced against them for wearing niqabs. A UN Committee of 18 international members ruled that these women in question have a religious right to wear the niqabs. “The State has not demonstrated how the full veil presents a threat in itself for public security to justify this absolute ban,” the decision read. The Committee has recommended the two women be compensated for the fines they had to pay, and that the 2010 law be reviewed.
The U.N. seems zealous about protecting religious rights. So, why has it not issued any statements or recommendations regarding Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in Pakistan who has been sentenced to death for violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws?
Her crime was that she drank from a communal cup of water as the sole Christian working in a field with three Muslim women. By doing this, Asia Bibi supposedly “contaminated” the cup.
Asia Bibi appealed the conviction. Having been in prison since 2009, she now awaits a final ruling from Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
Regarding human rights, the U.N. states the following: “Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression ... Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.”
Pakistan has been a member state of the U.N. since 1947. The U.N. maintains that one’s right to life is a human right to which everyone is entitled, without discrimination. So, why has the U.N. remained silent on Asia Bibi? She is a Pakistani woman whose right to life is being threatened by a severe and controversial religious law that violates her own freedom of opinion and expression as a Christian.
Recall that, in 2017, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the U.S. to end its “barbaric practice” of the death penalty. “The death penalty has no place in the 21st century,” he said.
So, where is Guterres now? Does he not know about this situation? For a man so vehemently opposed to the death penalty, it is highly unusual that he has yet to utter a single word regarding Asia Bibi.
If Antonio Guterres thinks it is his job to criticize the United States for the death penalty, then he should be consistent and criticize Pakistan for the same.
It is disillusioning, to say the least, that the U.N. will readily speak up in defense of a woman’s religious right to cover her face, but remain utterly silent when a woman’s very life hangs in the balance because of her own faith. If the U.N. does not stand for Asia Bibi, then what on earth does it stand for?

#AasiaBibi - Pakistan’s Supreme Court to Decide if Christian Mom Asia Bibi Will Live or be Executed for Her Faith Tomorrow

The Pakistani Supreme Court will issue its decision on the appeal of Christian mom Asia Bibi’s conviction and death sentence for blasphemy tomorrow.
The decision is expected to come down overnight tonight and will determine if this Christian mom of five is set free or hanged for her Christian faith.
Pakistani media is reporting this afternoon:
The Supreme Court of Pakistan is set to announce much awaited judgment in Aasia Bibi case on Wednesday.
The top court reserved its ruling on October 8 on the accused’s plea against her conviction.
The 51-year-old Christian woman has been on the death row since November 2010 after she was convicted on charges of committing blasphemy during an argument with two Muslim women in Sheikhupura.
Her case gained prominence after then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer pleaded for a retrial of her case and was subsequently shot dead by one of his guards, Mumtaz Qadri, in January, 2011.
In October 2014, the Lahore High Court upheld Aasia’s death sentence. However, in July 2015, the SC stayed the execution.
As we reported two weeks ago:
After years of delays, seven years and eleven months to the day after she was sentenced to death by hanging for her Christian faith, Christian mom Asia Bibi has finally had her appeal heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
A three-member panel of the Supreme Court of Pakistan consisting of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel heard arguments in Asia Bibi’s case yesterday. Asia was arrested in June 2009 and sentenced to death in 2010 for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad’s name.
Asia Bibi was arrested in 2009 and convicted in 2010 under section 295-C of Pakistan’s penal code that punishes blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad with the death penalty. Asia was accused of speaking disparagingly about the Prophet but her real crime was that she offered water to Muslim co-workers who believed Asia had made the water ceremonially unclean by drinking from the same cup. They asked her to convert to Islam, which Asia refused. After five days of this argument between the women, a Muslim cleric lodged a complaint against Asia after a mob of Muslims beat her and forced her to confess.
According to the Supplementary Cause List, the highest court in the land is set to announce its verdict Wednesday morning Pakistani time. This is probably one of the most awaited decisions involving religious persecution. The entire world is watching what Pakistan will do.
While there are hundreds of Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus, and even Muslims who have spent long prison terms and many have been killed by religious extremists, the government of Pakistan has never executed anyone for blasphemy.
At the Supreme Court hearing earlier this month – a hearing our legal team on the ground in Pakistan attended – Asia Bibi’s defense attorney in Pakistan called much of the prosecution’s evidence – or lack thereof – into question.
Given the probing questions from the Justices during arguments on appeal and Pakistan’s history of never executing a death sentence in a blasphemy case, the only reason for the Supreme Court to uphold Asia’s conviction would be the extreme pressure from Islamic groups that has currently engulfed the country, including threats against the Justices.
We have been aggressively advocating across the globe for Asia Bibi’s freedom for years. We’ve been demanding the world act to help free her. We’ve presented Asia Bibi’s plight to the U.N. to urge intervention. We’ve sent legal letters directly to Pakistan, demanding her immediate release. But now she needs your voice.
We are closely following the court’s actions, and will update you as soon as we are able. We must not allow Asia Bibi to be put to death for her Christian faith. Join us in taking action.


Bilawal Bhutto condemns shocking killing of journalist in Charsadda

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned shocking killings of journalist Ehsanullah Sherpao and three others in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda district on Tuesday.
In a statement issued here, the PPP chairman said that sense of insecurity among journalist community was on the rising in the country and the fraternity was already on the streets against intimidation, censorship and unpaid hard-work.
Bilawal stressed that killing of Ehsanullah Sherpao and others should be taken up seriously by the provincial government and there must be no delay in the arrests of the culprits.
He also demanded adequate compensation to the victim families and security.

Is this ‘Naya Pakistan’ you promised us? Malala’s father lambasts PM Imran Khan


Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai slammed a government notification banning the entry of male dignitaries to girls’ schools in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, reports The News International.

Addressing PM Imran Khan, Yousafzai said, “Is this the ‘change’ and ‘Naya Pakistan’ you promised us?”
Ziauddin Yousafzai shared the notification issued by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Elementary and Secondary Education Department on Twitter.
According to the notification, girls’ schools can only invite female officers or women members of parliament or provincial assemblies as chief guests.
Tagging PM Imran Khan, Yousafzai tweeted Monday, calling the move “ institutionalisation of Talibanisation”.

Dear PM @ImranKhanPTI,
Is this the “Change” and “Naya Pakistan” you promised us?
Institutionalisation of Talibanisation?!

“ No male minister, MNAs,MPAs & officers shall be invited to the girls schools as Chief Guests. Entry ...strictly banned”