Tag Archives: human rights and civil liberties

Germany: Expected first verdict in Syria torture trial | World | Instant News


Activists hope to increase similar cases, both in Germany and elsewhere, against perpetrators of gender-based violence in Syria, Kaleck added.

Raslan is accused of overseeing the “systematic and brutal torture” of more than 4,000 prisoners between April 2011 and September 2012, which resulted in the deaths of at least 58 people. A verdict in his case is expected later this year.

Al-Gharib was one of Raslan’s underlings. When he was a sergeant major, his unit was allegedly involved in chasing and detaining at least 30 people after the demonstration in Douma, and then taking them to a detention center where they were tortured.

Al-Gharib left Syria in 2013 and came to Germany in 2018. The two men were arrested a year later.

Steve Kostas, a senior lawyer at the New York-based Open Society Justice Initiative, praised Germany for leading the prosecution. He said other countries should resume prosecution immediately, especially countries where the Syrian government perpetrators are known to live.

“Although this verdict will be made against one perpetrator, the evidence shows the scale and systematicity of the Syrian government’s torture program,” said Kostas, whose group represents the four victims in the Raslan case. Two clients left because of concerns about them or them. family safety.

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Germany remembers victims one year after racist killings National | Instant News


HANAU, Germany – Germany is commemorating victims of a racist shooting in Hanau, near Frankfurt, on Friday, one year after 10 people were shot dead by an extremist in a city near Frankfurt.

The assailant, identified as Tobias R, went on a rampage on the night of 19 February 2020, targeting nine people of foreign descent before killing his mother and then shooting himself.

The attack left a grieving community as well as criticism from the authorities, who are accused of not doing enough to prevent the attacks or support the family afterwards.

“Clarification and reckoning of the past is … the responsibility of the state to the public and especially to relatives,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a speech to mark the event.

Steinmeier acknowledged that a mistake had been made by the authorities, saying he was “deeply depressed that our country could not fulfill its promises for protection, security and freedom.”

He challenged the public not to “let evil acts divide us.”

“Let us not ignore the evil forces in our midst – hatred, marginalization, indifference. But let us believe … in our strength to stand together,” he said.

The 43-year-old gunman published pamphlets online before the shooting accompanied by conspiracy theories and racist slander.

Armin Kurtovic, whose son Hamzah was killed, said he grapples daily with questions about how the crime happened and why it was not prevented.

“Since then, the world around us has not moved. Nothing is like it used to be,” he said.

He called for the crime to be investigated but said there was a lack of will to do so. “During this year, we have been trying to find answers to our own questions, because we were not listened to by the authorities and were rejected many times.”

Another victim’s relative sent a video message echoing his calls, saying questions urgently needed to be answered and further efforts were made to fight racism.

Church bells rung in Hanau and the surrounding city and district at night to mark the attack.

Former national football star Rudi Voeller opened a memorial and lit candles while reading the names of the victims: Ferhat Unvar, Hamza Kurtovic, Said Nesar Hashemi, Mercedes Kierpacz, Sedat Gurbuz, Gokhan Gultekin, Kaloyan Velkov, Vili Viorel Paun and Fatih Saracoglu.

Speaking on the eve of the memorial, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that no one could argue that they did not see the Hanau attacks coming given the statistics gathered by domestic intelligence in previous years.

He noted that more than 33,000 far-right extremists live in Germany, 13,000 of whom are willing to use violence, and the trend is increasing.

“Why don’t we hear the alarm bells?” the foreign minister asked.

Maas spoke of “everyday racism in government and city offices, in shops, in schools, buses and trains” that must be stopped.

On Friday, demonstrations took place across the country, including in big cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

In Hamburg, 2,000 people attended several rallies under the banner “Solidarity from Hamburg to Hanau,” calling for an investigation into the incident.

In Hanau itself, demonstrations to commemorate this one year anniversary were organized by an alliance of local youth groups under the banner of “Don’t forgive, don’t forget. Together fight racism.”

(c) 2021 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

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Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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South Korea reported 950 cases, the biggest daily increase | Instant News


– Eight predominantly Western countries have accused North Korea of ​​using the pandemic “to further act on the human rights of its own people,” citing reports of increased executions linked to the coronavirus and tight controls on movement in and around the capital. Their remarks were read after the UN Security Council discussed North Korea’s human rights situation behind closed doors on Friday. Germany has sought open meetings but Russia and China, both North Korean neighbors, object. Seven council members – Germany, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Britain and the United States – who joined Japan said in a statement that North Korea places nuclear power and military power over its people. The government’s decision “to prioritize its weapons program above the needs of its people and their isolation from the international community will inevitably exacerbate the impact of the pandemic on the North Korean population,” they said. North Korea closed its border with China, its biggest trading partner and aid provider, when the coronavirus began spreading in January. Kim Jong Un’s government said it had not found a single coronavirus case in its territory, a claim disputed by outside experts.

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The Dutch Protestant Church admits Jews failed in World War II | World | Instant News


By MIKE CORDER Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch Protestant Church makes widespread recognition of Sunday’s guilt for its failure to do more to help Jews during and after World War II, and for the church’s role in preparing “the foundation on which the seeds of anti-Semitism and hatred can grow. “

The long-awaited historic statement comes at a solemn ceremony to mark Monday’s anniversary of the Nazi Kristallnacht anti-Jewish pogrom, or “Night of Broken Glass.”

On November 9, 1938, Jews were terrorized throughout Germany and Austria. At least 91 people were killed, hundreds of synagogues were burned, about 7,500 Jewish businesses were damaged, and up to 30,000 Jewish men were arrested, many of whom were taken to concentration camps.

René de Reuver, speaking on behalf of the General Synod of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, said the role of the church began long before Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany.

“Over the centuries, rifts were maintained that would later isolate Jews in society in such a way that they could be taken away and killed,” De Reuver said.

“Also in the war years, the ecclesiastical authorities often lacked courage to choose positions for the Jewish citizens of our country,” he added.

More than 100,000 Dutch Jews – 70% of the Jewish community – did not survive World War II. Most were deported, along with Roma and Sinti, and killed in Nazi concentration camps.

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Anti-French protests continue, as Macron seeks understanding | World | Instant News


The crowd, smaller in number after bigger rallies over the past few days, marched towards the French Consulate in the city while security closed the area.

Sunday morning in Karachi, Shia students marched for three kilometers (1.8 miles) singing and pledging to sacrifice their lives for the honor of Islam and its prophet. About 500 students, including several hundred women, dragged a French flag to the floor and carried a picture of Macron. One of the banners depicts Marcon’s face with a large cross.

“We condemn the blasphemy of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad by the President of France,” reads the slogan written on the French flag.

A well-organized crowd wearing face masks chanted praises for the Prophet Muhammad.

In the central Pakistani city of Multan, hundreds of traders demonstrated to call for a boycott of French products. Crowds also burned the statue of Macron and chanted: “Muslims cannot tolerate blasphemy against their prophet” and “the civilized world must provide proof that they are civilized.”

In the Lebanese capital, Beirut, dozens of protesters marched to the French embassy in the Lebanese capital, waving banners reading: “Anything but the Prophet Muhammad,” and chanting in defense of Islam. Security is tight around the embassy.

In Ahmedabad, a city in the Indian state of Gujarat, protesters pasted Macron’s photos to the streets overnight, leaving it for passers-by and passing vehicles to see on Sunday.

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