Archive for the ‘Revolution’ Category
Reports from inside Iran as of 1:00 pm local time on Saturday indicate that agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security clashed with the people in the streets nearby as they attempted to gather outside Tehran’s Prosecutor’s Office located near Panzdah-e Khordad Square and Galoobandak intersection.
The anti-riot force used pepper gas against the protesters. Hundreds were arrested, including 80 women. A number of the arrestees were interrogated in the Panzdah-e Khordad Police Station.
Meanwhile, elements of the suppressive forces who were being escorted by motorcycle riders from the anti-riot units fired shots into the air and clashed with the people who had come to participate in the gathering in front of the Hosseinieh of Gonabadi dervishes in Behesht-e Zahra Street of Tehran.
They beat up with batons the arrested dervishes who were resisting getting on the anti-riot forces vehicles to be taken to prison.
The Saturday’s gathering was announced from few days ago in support of 10 Dervishes imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison, Karaj’s Gohardasht Prison and in prisons in cities of Shiraz and Bandarabbas.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 8, 2014
(Source / 08.03.2014)
|The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released an audio message in which it harshly criticized the Saudi decision to blacklist the group.
ISIL described that the Islamic Front, which was excluded from the Saudi list of the blacklisted groups, as a traitor, adding that it works for the Saudi regime.
ISIL’s message did not mention Nusra Front whose commander had threatened ISIL.
It is worth to mention that Nusra and Islamic fronts are allies, so how would their alliance by the Saudi decision?
Saudi has included ISIL and Nusra Front in its list of terrorist groups and banned supporting or belonging to them.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
At least 12,813 women were killed by attacks carried out by the Syrian regime during the civil war in Syria in the last three years, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
The organization issued a report, entitled “Syrian women, truth and pain” to commemorate International Women’s Day.
The report says that most of the women lost their lives through attacks carried out by the Syrian regime. 483 women were shot by snipers, while 31 of them were killed by torture in the government’s detention centers, the report said.
The report also reveals that approximately 87 percent of those killed by the Syrian regime were civilians, and 11 percent of these were women.
More than 7,500 women have been raped since the civil war started and 850 of these events occured in prisons controlled by the Syrian regime, SNHR stated.
The SNHR underlined that the Syrian regime is heavily violating human rights against women, and said that there are more than 4,000 women in Syrian prisons.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which carries out attacks on the opposition groups in Syria killed 33 women so far.
According to the SNHR, women in Syria are being used for bartering. “In order to rescue a person who has been kidnapped, women are being used as a bargaining tool,” the report said.
The report declares that the Syrian regime’s acts of violence against women are humanitarian crimes and calls on the United Nations Security Council to start an investigation.
Meanwhile, Syrian Local Coordination Committee (LCC) stated that Hezbollah militants in Syria, who were backed by regime forces, attacked the besieged village of Zara in Homs province on Saturday killing 20 people.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) confirmed the attack and said that the Assad forces have been blockading Zara village for a while. The committee and general commission described the incident as a ‘massacre’.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
Several dozen Algerians marked International Women’s Day Saturday with a demonstration in Algiers to remember hundreds of women killed by Islamists in the 1990s.
The families of people who disappeared during the civil war that rocked the North African country held a separate protest to demand the truth about what had happened to their loved ones.
“No to forgetting all the women killed” during the 1992-2002 civil war, rights activist Dr Fadhela Chitour told AFP.
“The eighth of March is not a holiday when we send flowers — historically, it’s a day of combat,” she added.
Under the watchful eye of police, demonstrators held portraits of women who had been killed in the decade of deadly violence.
The Algerian civil war killed 200,000 people, according to official figures.
It erupted after the army suspended an electoral process when the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won the first round of a parliamentary vote in 1991.
Also on Saturday, relatives of people missing since the civil war protested to demand the truth about the disappearances.
They also said they opposed a fourth term for Abdelaziz Bouteflika who is standing in the presidential election on April 17.
“No to a fourth term” and “No to Algeria with an old man as president!” they shouted before being dispersed by police, an AFP journalist said.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohammed Jahangir, Director of the Center for Muslim Affairs, Manchester about ethnic cleansing crisis in Myanmar where 800,000 Rohingya Muslims are overlooked in Rakhine State.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Would you call the situation in Myanmar an example of ethnic cleansing against the Muslims there?
Jahangir: It’s ethnic and Muslim cleansing, it’s both to do with ethnicity and religion – especially to do with religion.
The Buddhists want to create a pure Buddhist state and they’ve been trying for a long time – and especially for the last few years. And the West has done very little and we can see how different the reaction is to the Rohingyas and to the Muslims compared to other parts of the world.
There’s silence when it concerns Muslims yet in other parts of the world in Ukraine when it’s in their interests they make a lot of noise and take …. action.
If this was any other community – if it was …being persecuted or …being persecuted in this way it would be on the news 24/7; people would be talking about it; they would be talking about war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Yet they (the West) do nothing because they have an interest in exploiting – they have a wider interest in exploiting the resources of the state just like they did with South Africa and parts of eastern Europe, which they want to open up for capitalism.
So, they don’t really care about democracy or human rights in other parts of the world… it’s where they can exploit the resources.
Press TV: We said there that Buddhist extremists or the Buddhist community are against the Muslims, but of course a lot of people are saying – those on the ground or political observers – that this is state-sponsored and that the government is turning a blind eye to what’s happening to these Muslims.
What can international groups, even independent human rights organizations, do; for instance the United Nations as one outlet to protect these Muslims?
Jahangir: They can continue to expose the crimes – demand access, demand some kind of force in there that would keep the two parties at bay; they could propose charges of crimes against humanity against the state and the leaders of the state as they have elsewhere… we just need to look at Sudan, which was not sponsored by the State at all in Darfur and other places yet the leader of Sudan has been classed as somebody who’s committed crimes against humanity.
But who actually don’t exercise any of their resources or to influence the process there at all, except when it suits their own needs.
So, if there was a will amongst the Muslim nations to do something, something could happen. Yes, aid agencies and rights organizations, Muslim activists are doing their best, but they don’t have the loud voice and the power and resources of state and access to those of influence.
So I think the Muslim sates and the Muslim people can do a lot more. The Muslim Ummah is a global Ummah and it can act globally just like other minority communities do – We are not a minority, we are a very, very big community.
Yet we have smaller communities like the Jewish community or Christian who are very good at defending their interests globally, yet Muslims seem unable to do so.
(Source / 08.03.2014)
Most of us probably know people who suffer from this condition; however, upon monitoring the behavior of states like Qatar, one really wonders whether the same theory could possibly apply to nations as well as humans.
Qatar is a relatively small country geographically, it only gained its independence in 1971 and in a matter of only a few decades, saw itself transform from one of the region’s poorest nations to one of the world’s richest countries.
However, along with economic prosperity, many political analysts argue that over the years, Qatar has also developed an almost-Messianic obsession with “having a role.”
Begging to differ
Indeed, in the name of standing-out and in hope of being recognized as a global player, Qatar regularly made highly-controversial decisions when it came to its foreign policy.
Unfortunately, it was neighboring and fellow Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, that were often affected by these unjustifiably harmful decisions.
As such, Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement, that it (along with fellow GCC countries Bahrain and the UAE) would recall their ambassadors to Doha, was quite understandable; though it could be argued that this measure is unlikely to be effective in ultimately curing Qatar from what seems to be a severe case of “Small State Syndrome.”
On the other hand, what certainly wasn’t understandable was Doha’s response to the joint statement. Indeed, Qatar claimed it was “surprised” by the decision and also claimed that the rift with its neighbors was over “issues external to the Gulf Cooperation Council.”
However, the least that could be said about Qatar’s response is that it is hard to believe, particularly when several reports have attributed the decision to Doha’s consistent interference in the internal affairs of its fellow GCC countries.
A controversial foreign policy
Serious questions began emerging about Qatar’s foreign policy during the reign of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (1995 – 2013). Until this day, many decisions made during that era continue to puzzle analysts.
For example, Qatar supported the pro-Iranian militant group Hezbollah, and continued to do so even after theassassination of (the Saudi-backed) former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (which Hezbollah is now officially accused of carrying out) as well as after the Shiite group’s armed-takeover of Beirut in 2008.
Doha has also infamously backed President Assad of Syria up until the 2011 Syrian revolution against him. In the period that followed Hariri’s assassination, Qatar invested heavily in salvaging Assad’s tarnished image and reportedly assisted in reducing the international pressure on his regime through coordinated efforts with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Qatar only turned against Assad after his brutal retaliation to the 2011 revolution against him, however, when Saudi Arabiatook the lead in supporting the Syrian opposition, it is believed that Qatar insisted on supporting extreme Islamist fighters such as Jabhat al-Nusra, against Saudi advice, and also sought to undermine Syrian National Coalition figures that were not loyal to or pre-approved by Doha.
Saudi Arabia obtained audio recordings containing a conversation among top Qatari leaders discussing supporting an attempt to overthrow the Saudi monarchy
Faisal J. Abbas
Furthermore and for nearly a decade, Qatar also supportedMuammar Qaddafi, Libya’s controversial dictator, who among many things, was accused of plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.
Senior sources in Riyadh also say that following the toppling of Qaddafi in 2011, Saudi Arabia obtained audio recordings containing a conversation among top Qatari leaders discussing supporting an attempt to overthrow the Saudi monarchy. Unconfirmed reports hint that this audio recording was of Qatar’s former Emir Sheikh Hamad and former Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim.
This of course wouldn’t be out of context if we also consider Qatar’s role in Yemen, where money was being reportedly paid to members of the al-Ahmar clan and pro-Brotherhood groups and where Houthis continue to be a source of instability to both Yemen itself and Saudi Arabia’s crucial southern border.
Qatar also continues to support the Muslim Brotherhood (which Saudi Arabia has recently officially labeled a terrorist organization). Just a few weeks ago, Doha’s support of the Brotherhood also became grounds of an official complaint by the UAE, which has been fighting the formation of Brotherhood cells on its lands.
Like father, like son
Doha is in fact still ruled by the old guard and Sheikh Tamim doesn’t intend to introduce any changes to his country’s controversial foreign policy
Faisal J. Abbas
Indeed, that was at least the feeling following Sheikh Tamim’s first visit to Riyadh last August. Sheikh Tamim then returned to Riyadh in November and signed an accord with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the agreement includedthree items:
1- Cutting off all GCC ties with the Muslim Brotherhood
2- Ending broadcast privileges of Egyptian Scholar Yusef al-Qaradawi
3- Restricting movement of Iranian operatives within the GCC region.
However, despite the same terms being agreed again during the GCC’s Kuwait Summit in December, Qatar has failed to deliver on all three items. This has led many to believe that Doha is in fact still ruled by the old guard and that Sheikh Tamim doesn’t intend to introduce any changes to his country’s controversial foreign policy.
If this is the case, then one has every right to ask: with friends like Qatar, who needs enemies?
(Source / 08.03.2014)
A Gaza ministry of interior official told Ma’an Saturday that a group of Umrah pilgrims would be allowed to pass through Rafah, and that a group of pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia would be allowed to return to the Strip.
The returning pilgrims have been waiting in Egypt for several days, the official said.
The Rafah crossing has been the principal connection between Gaza’s 1.7 million residents and the outside world since the imposition of an economic blockade by the State of Israel beginning in 2007.
Egypt has frequently closed the terminal since the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi in July. Hundreds of tunnels that Gazans used for years to import fuel, building materials, and other goods were also destroyed.
T-shirts with pictures of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are displayed for sale by a street vendor in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Feb. 22, 2014
“In the past few days, there has been lots of talk about the issue of running of presidential nomination,” said Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in a celebration for the students of the military academy and institutes. The general looked weary as he explained that he was not free to talk since he held the office of defense minister, but reassured people that he could not turn his back on something that the “majority of Egyptians want.” The crowd cheered, but their excitement did not translate itself on the general’s face. The man who reveled in the crowd’s adoration a few months ago, when he asked them to authorize him to fight terrorism, was gone; the man replacing him, as one Twitter user put it, almost looked as scared at the prospect of ruling Egypt as we are of having him as our ruler.
The problems Egypt faces in the next few years are insurmountable, and the widely held belief among many in the Egyptian population that the Gulf will continue to bail us out and will open the money floodgates once Sisi becomes president seems like a delusional pipe dream, once one does the math. The new government is already expected to fail, given that they are facing bad economic conditions, alongside huge corruption and no political will to reform how the government functions. With foreign reserves dwindling, we no longer have any safety nets, and the waste we have in government due to our exceptional corruption is simply unsustainable. The Sisi believers don’t care about any of this, talking about him in messianic fervor, with expectations so high that they dwarf those of the most enthusiastic Obama fanatic circa 2008. Once Sisi becomes president, their prayer says, he will make the government run right, and will deliver us from all of our problems.
Let’s assume that the fanatics are right and a miracle takes place that turns the dysfunctional Egyptian government into one that is both functional and efficient. Let’s assume that he manages to end the corruption and the waste, and turn employees that are used to half-an-hour-a-day productivity to working day and night to solve our nation’s ills. Would that be enough? The answer is unfortunately no. Even if he manages to do all of this, he will still fail. Here is why:
The next president of Egypt has two main responsibilities: providing food and security; and without security, there will be no food. To achieve said security, Sisi will need to turn Egypt from being a political powder keg into a state of relative political stability. To achieve said stability, he has to make the two deals: one with the youth to get their buy-in, and one with the Islamists to end the political conflict. Unfortunately neither one of those deals is realistically achievable.
The deal with the youth won’t work because there is no one to make the deal with, and even if there were, the youth have already lost all faith and good will towards the post-June 30 state. The media defamation of the January 25 Revolution symbols, the return of National Democratic Party officials in the government, alongside the widespread and unchecked police abuse and crackdowns have the youth completely believing that we are experiencing a return to the Mubarak days, if not worse. Incidentally, the amount of blood brutally spilled on Egyptian streets by the state in the past eight months is enough to make even those whose interests are aligned with June 30 very opposed to the new Egyptian state. To put it simply, the 18-year-old who saw a university colleague — who might be a Muslim brotherhood sympathizer — get shot in the head inside the university grounds will be automatically against the regime that allowed this to happen without holding anyone accountable. There will be no deal with them.
As far as making a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, Sisi is set to meet a similar fate, because although they do have leaders who can be negotiated with, those leaders will no longer be able to control their youth. There has been so many cases of death, torture and imprisonment of young Islamists that it has become a personal vendetta for some of them, and if they perceive that their leadership made a deal at their expense to secure their own freedom, those youth are likely to reject the leadership’s decision and become further radicalized and violent. To top it all off, we already have Ansar Beit El-Maqdes, the local al-Qaeda franchise, and they will not honor any deal made between the Brotherhood leaders and the Egyptian government, which will lead the government to accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of negating the deal when the first post-deal bombing takes place. The crackdown will return, and the vicious cycle will repeat itself.
It goes without saying that without a political solution, there will be no stability in Egypt. However, so far the state has shown an inclination to sticking to the “security solution only,” which is not only digging their grave deeper, it will make the price of a future political solution exponentially higher. So, if reconciliation is out of the window, what will Sisi do?
Well, if his actions so far offer any hint, and given to the government’s inability to provide any real achievement, it seems that he will stick to cheap populism: trumping up external threats in hopes of fostering unity in the population; deploying media flunkies to attack his critics and brand them as foreign agents and traitors; and, having the state tout achievements that aren’t real and make promises that they can’t keep.
If things get really bad, he’s likely to start attacking the wealthy and the upper middle class and milk them dry with new taxation or legislation or regulations on their businesses or lifestyle. You know, all the classic tricks.
It will work for maybe a year or two before it all falls apart because of economic and political realities that cannot be cheated or bargained with. Once that happens, the population will turn on Sisi, and the state, once again, will have to sacrifice his neck to save its own. For better or worse, the moment he announces his candidacy, he will seal his fate.
(Source / 07.03.2014)
Meanwhile a security official told AFP 17 policemen were wounded in the capital Cairo, and that protesters torched three police cars.
Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi have been near-daily protests to demand the reinstatement of the Islamist leader since he was toppled by the military in July.
The interior ministry said 60 Mursi supporters were also arrested nationwide Friday.
Friday’s violence erupted in Cairo and in other parts of Egypt, including second city Alexandria and in the Sinai city of Al-Arish where police fired tear gas at Islamist protesters, state media said.
In Cairo three people were killed and 23 others wounded in the fighting, the health ministry said.
Two people were wounded in Fayoum, southwest of the capital, two others in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya and one in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.
A security crackdown on Mursi supporters since his overthrow has left more than 1,400 killed, and thousands others in jail.
Egypt’s military-installed authorities listed the Muslim Brotherhood movement, from which Mursi hails, as a terrorist group following a suicide bombing that killed 15 people in a police station in December.
The group condemned the bombing and has denied involvement in any of the violence rocking Egypt since Mursi’s ouster.
(Source / 07.03.2014)
Updated 6:00 pm: Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, official Saudi television reported citing a statement by the Interior Ministry.
The kingdom has also designated al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, whose fighters are battling in Syria, as terrorist organizations.
The interior ministry decree, which was released by state media, also listed as terrorist groups the Huthi rebels fighting in northern Yemen and “Hezbollah inside the kingdom,” apparently referring to a little-known Saudi Shia group.
The order penalizes involvement in any of the groups’ activities at home or abroad — including demonstrations — and outlaws the use of “slogans of these organizations,” including in social media.
It also forbids “participation in, calling for, or incitement to fighting in conflict zones in other countries.”
Friday’s move appeared to enforce last month’s royal decree where Riyadh said it would jail for between three and 20 years any citizen who fought guilty of fighting in conflicts abroad.
The kingdom’s authorities want to deter Saudis from joining rebels in Syria and posing a security risk once they return home.
In Egypt, the Brotherhood, which won every election following the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, has been driven underground since the army deposed President Mohammed Mursi, a longtime member of the group that also endured repression in the Mubarak era.
The army-backed government in Cairo designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group in December after accusing it of carrying out a suicide bomb attack on a police station that killed 16 people. The Brotherhood condemned that attack and denies using violence.
Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious authorities have previously spoken out against Saudi fighters going to Syria, but the Saudi Interior Ministry estimates that around 1,200 Saudis have gone there nonetheless.
(Source / 07.03.2014)