Archive for February 21st, 2012

Palestinians stage demos in support of hunger strike activist

Tue Feb 21, 2012

Palestinians have held protest rallies across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in support of Palestinian activist Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for 65 days in an Israeli jail.

“People are trying to express their anger at what is happening to Khader Adnan and all Palestinian prisoners. The Israelis have no right to hold him or any of them, especially over 300 administrative detainees,” said Osama Wahaidi, a former prisoner and spokesman for the Palestinian Detainees’ and Ex-detainees’ Association.

Wahaidi reiterated that “administrative detentions” can be extended for years without evidence or trials and detainees have no idea when they will be freed.

Court officials and Adnan’s lawyers said on Monday that Israel’s Supreme Court scheduled a hearing on Tuesday for an appeal for the 33-year-old Palestinian activist.

The hearing had initially been scheduled for Thursday, but his lawyers and human rights groups called for a speedy hearing on Adnan’s case due to his worrying health condition.

The Palestinian activist was arrested on December 17, 2011 and later sentenced to four months of “administrative detention.”

Father of two small girls, Adnan went on hunger strike one day after his arrest, demanding an immediate release. He has not been charged with a crime.

Both the European Union and the United Nations have said they are following the case closely and have urged Israel to give Adnan an open trial.

Source: PressTV.

U.S. welcomes Arab pressure on Syria

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) — Washington welcomes a decision by the Arab League to have an emergency meeting on the situation unfolding in Syria, the U.S. State Department said.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said Washington was calling on its partners in the region to “tighten the noose” on Damascus in terms of political and diplomatic pressure.

Washington is said to be pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria. Following a statement at the United Nations condemning Damascus for its crackdown on opposition groups, regional leaders have distanced themselves from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“The Arab League (on Saturday) will be looking individually and collectively at what it can do to influence the situation in Syria, and we welcome that,” said Nuland.

The United Nations estimates that more than 2,000 people were killed during the uprising against Assad since March.

Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, in statements Monday said more than 350 people were reportedly killed across Syria since the beginning of August.

Assad in statements published by the official Syrian Arab News Agency said Damascus “would never offer concessions to the west hence the Syrian people have chosen to have their will and independent sovereignty.”

Source: United Press International (UPI).

Hezbollah challenges Hariri tribunal evidence

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 25 (UPI) — Using telecommunications data to accuse members of Hezbollah of assassinating Rafik Hariri is invalid because of Israeli control of the sector, a lawmaker said.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon unveiled details about four suspects tied to Hezbollah that are believed to have played a leading role in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Prosecutors at the tribunal used evidence obtained from cell phones to link the suspects to the assassination.

Hasan Fadlallah, a lawmaker in Hezbollah’s parliamentary block, said the data used by the tribunal were suspect because of Israeli connections to the Lebanese telecommunications sector.

“The entire telecoms sector is under the control of Israeli intelligence and the Jewish state can hack into the network,” he was quoted by The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon as saying.

Hezbollah has claimed the tribunal is part of an Israeli ploy meant to discredit the organization, which holds two seats in the Lebanese Cabinet.

The tribunal advised Beirut it would take further steps to bring the accused to trial after Lebanese authorities reported no luck in finding the suspects. The tribunal recently said it was looking into further cases believed to be on part with the Hariri assassination.

Source: United Press International (UPI).