Archive for category Peace

Gaza Conflict Test for Egypt’s Morsi



Shahira Amin, Egyptian journalist, the former deputy head of Egyptian state-owned Nile TV and one of its senior anchors

Shahira Amin, Egyptian journalist, the former deputy head of Egyptian state-owned Nile TV and one of its senior anchors

By Shahira Amin for RIA Novosti

CAIRO, November 20 – As the shelling of Gaza continues and the civilian death toll rises, Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi may face increasing pressure at home to take firm action against Israel. If that happens, Egypt might find itself drawn into a conflict that the country neither has an appetite for, nor the resources with which to fight.

In recent days, Morsi has engaged in talks with international leaders and diplomats to contain the potentially explosive crisis and stave off further bloodshed.

His talks with the Qatari leader Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al Thani and Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Cairo on Saturday focused on “a ceasefire proposal for a longer lasting solution to the problem,” a source close to the talks said.

Morsi has also consulted exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Ramadan Shallah, the leader of Islamic Jihad, a militant group in the Palestinian coastal enclave.

Morsi’s measured response and choice of a diplomatic approach over the military option for dealing with the escalation has surprised some skeptical observers, who had anticipated nothing short of “use of military force” by the Islamist President. After all, the Israeli offensive was a chance for the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, to act on their frequent and often intense anti-Israeli rhetoric.

Not only has there been no muscle-flexing on the part of the Egyptian President, but Egypt has also played a pivotal role in the ongoing multilateral mediation effort between Hamas and Israel – one that could soon lead to a breakthrough, according to Morsi.

While post-revolution Egypt enjoys closer relations with Hamas than the Mubarak government did (and hence, may have better chances of succeeding in mediating a truce), Egypt’s newly-elected President has so far avoided direct contact with Israeli officials – a factor likely to complicate matters as Egypt works to secure a ceasefire agreement.

If the Israeli strikes continue much longer, Morsi will face increasing pressure from Egypt’s newly-politicized public – including revolutionary forces and Islamists – to revise, or scrap altogether the peace treaty with Israel and to permanently open the Rafah border crossing to ease the suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents.

The border has been partially open in recent days to allow wounded Palestinians into Egypt for medical treatment. In recent days, Morsi has sent a convoy of much-needed humanitarian aid to Gaza but he has stopped short of providing military aid to Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood from which he hails. In the meantime, Morsi has not threatened to sever diplomatic or commercial ties with Israel.

Analysts say the Israeli offensive is a test for Egypt, whose security cooperation is vital to enforce the thirty-year-old Peace Treaty with Israel and restore stability in the Sinai region.

It also comes as Egypt is embroiled in its own domestic issues including economic decline, high unemployment, a precarious security situation in Sinai that has kept tourists and investors at bay and differences between liberals and Islamists over the role Islamic Sharia law will play in the new Egypt.

Both Israel and Hamas have expressed a willingness to commit to a diplomatic solution but have also said they were prepared to continue to fight if no truce agreement was reached. They have each put forward their conditions for an end to the hostilities. While Hamas wants the blockade on Gaza permanently lifted and is seeking an end to the targeted killings of Palestinian military leaders, Israel has demanded guarantees that Hamas will halt the rocket attacks from Gaza and the neighboring Sinai Peninsula.

In recent months, Jihadi militants have attempted to launch cross-border attacks into Israel from neighboring Egypt. Egyptian military and police forces in Northern Sinai have also been targeted in similar violent attacks.

In the latest in a series of deadly assaults since the start of the year, three police officers were killed when gunmen ambushed a police patrol in El Arish earlier this month. In August 2012, 16 Egyptian border guards were killed when Jihadi militants attacked their outpost as they were breaking their Ramadan fast.

The Israeli onslaught which began on Wednesday and is soon to enter its second week, was triggered by the firing of Hamas rockets from inside Gaza into southern Israeli cities and towns. Longer-range rockets targeting Tel Aviv have also been intercepted.

Since the outbreak of the latest round of violence, hundreds of rockets have been fired into Israel, over 250 of which have been knocked down by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense System. Israeli sources said 120 rockets were fired on Monday alone, nineteen of which were stopped by Iron Dome. Meanwhile the death toll in Gaza from nearly a week of Israeli shelling has reached 110, with hundreds more injured.

Shahira Amin is an Egyptian journalist, the former deputy head of Egyptian state-owned Nile TV and one of its senior anchors.


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Occupied Palestinian Territory 2012

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Release Fadhila Al Mubarak

About Fadhila Al Mubarak
Fadeela Mubarak, 38 years old mother of 9 years old son, lives in Aali village in the suburbs of Manama, Bahrain. Fadhila Al Mubarak who was sentenced 4 years imprisonment for listening to anti-government CDs in her car. She was the first woman in Bahrain being tried in military tribunal, which gave that verdict. Her case was rarely highlighted in media. A short documentary titled “Fadheela Mubarak A Mother Behind The Bars in Bahrain”
covers the plight of Fadhila.


We ask all concerned people to take immediate and urgent action in support of Fadhila Al Mubarak.


Write about Fadhila Al Mubarak: 
Please use the below sample letter to urgently demand the immediate and unconditional release of innocent prisoner Fadhila A- Mubarak. The mail should be addressed to Secretary General of United Nations in New York with copies to international foreign ministries worldwide as well as media outlets. Email Addresses appear below the sample letter.

His Excellency 

The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to plight of 38 years old mother namely Fadhila Al Mubarak, who has been in false imprisonment for nine months bearing sentence of eighteen-months in prison handed down in a travesty military trial for playing a song in Bahrain.
On March 27 2011, Fadhila was passing a checkpoint with her son and nieces whist a revolutionary song was playing in her vehicle when she was stopped and asked to step out by police. At the checkpoint, as she was answering the questions of a police officer, a man in civilian clothes tried to enter into her car.  Fadhila resisted deeming the man to be a thug and fearing for the safety of children in the car but later it turned out the man is also a policeman.
Fadhila was verbally abused at the checkpoint which contradicts the Article 2 of Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and subsequently arbitrarily detained, arbitrary detention is illegal according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 7 which Bahrain is a state party.
After around one month, Fadhila was released but only to be rearrested 10 days later and prosecuted and sentenced for four years (The sentence was converted from four years to one and an half year in the appeal by the military court) by a military court without according any legal counsel to her. The military court convicted her in totally baseless and fraudulent charges viz. offending a public official, inciting hatred towards the regime by playing an audio revolutionary song, partaking in protest etc.
Even though Fadhila was detained in span of martial-law, martial-law does not permit or revoke:
  • Arbitrary deprivations of liberty or unacknowledged detentions.
  • Deviation from fundamental principles of fair trial, including the presumption of innocence.
  • The right to have immediate access to legal counsel and family,
  • The right to be secure from torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment – All these principles must always be respected even during a public emergency.
Fadhila’s prosecution before military tribunal and conviction by the same blatantly violates principles of prosecution of a civilian and other afore mentioned principles.
According to her family, she has been tortured in prison which puts a life a patient of “Ovarian cysts” even at higher risk and makes me deeply concerned for her that a woman going through all this only for listening to an anti-government song. Totally shame!
Fadhila’s 9 years old son has made a plea to international community to help him (Video  I also request you to insure Bahraini authority abide by the human rights treaties and principles applicable on them and demand immediate dropping of charges and safe release of Fadhila Al Mubarak. She should be released immediately and without any condition.

[Your Name]


ADDRESSES (copy and paste into your email address lines)
Ban Ki-moon

Office of the United Nations, Secretary-General

Foregin Minister and UN State Department;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Navanethem Pillay 
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

You can also send the letter to: 
EU Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law at
European Association for Human Rights at,35-.html

US Department of Sate at

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Iranian Judiciary Punishes Political Activist Asal Esmaeilzadeh with Prison Sentence

Source: Persian2English
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)

Yesterday morning, branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced political activist Asal Esmaeilzadeh to four months in prison and eight months *suspended imprisonment. Her charges are: “Propaganda against the regime” and “Gathering and Colluding…”. She is currently not imprisoned.

Esmaeilzadeh was recently arrested in Behesht Zahra cemetery along with activists Peyman Aref and Sharar Konoor Tabrizi under the charge of praying at Neda Agha Soltan’s grave site.  Esmaeilzadeh and Konoor Tabrizi were released after a few days on bail. Peyman Aref remained jailed until last month.

Esmaeilzadeh was also arrested by plainclothes agents in her home back in May 2011. She endured 31 days in solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin prison. She was released on June 1, 2011 on a $100 thousand [USD] bail.

* A suspended imprisonment sentence means that the sentence will not be implemented, unless the person is found guilty on another charge. There is usually a time limit associated with the suspension. 

هرانا؛ محکومیت عسل اسماعیل‌زاده، فعال سیاسی به یک سال حبس

يكشنبه 18 دی 1390 ساعت 01:01 |

خبرگزاری هرانا – صبح روز گذشته دستگاه قضایی “عسل اسماعیل‌زاده”، فعال سیاسی را به یک سال حبس محکوم کرد.

بنا به اطلاع گزارشگران هرانا از تهران، صبح روز گذشته ۱۷ دی ماه شعبه ۲۶ دادگاه انقلاب تهران عسل اسماعیل‌زاده را به اتهام “تبلیغ علیه نظام” و “اجتماع و تبانی” به تحمل چهار ماه حبس تعزیری و ۸ ماه حبس تعلیقی محکوم نموده است.

وی چندی پیش به همراه پیمان عارف و شرر کنور تبریزی در بهشت زهرا و به جرم فاتحه خوانی بر مزار ندا آقا سلطان دستگیر شده بود که پس از چند روز به همراه شررکنور تبریزی، به قید التزام آزاد شد.

خانم اسماعیل‌زاده هم‌چنین ۱۱ اردیبهشت‌ماه سال جاری در حین بازگشت به منزل توسط نیروهای موسوم به لباس شخصی بازداشت شده بود و مدت ۳۱ روز در سلول انفرادی بند ۲۰۹ به سر برد و یازدهم خرداد ماه با قرار وثیقه یکصد میلیون تومانی به طور موقت آزاد شده بود.

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Free Human Rights Defender Zainab Al-Khawaja

Zainab Al-Khawaja is a 28-years-old member of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, famous human rights blogger as @angryarabia and a mother of 2-years-old girl from Bahrain.

On 15 December 2011, Zainab was arrested by Bahraini security forces from a roundabout on Budaiya highway, west of capital city Manama where she was taking part in a peaceful-sit-in-protest. The security forces responded with firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protest, while Zainab continued the sit-in before the police moved in to rough her up.  She was arrested, handcuffed, assaulted and punched in her back by the police officer as she was forcibly dragged off into custody.  She, as well as another woman Masooma Al-Sayed were then taken to the police station.

Zainab is a mother of a two-year-old child, whose husband Wafi Al-Majed is in prison along with her father, Bahrain’s most prominent political activist and human rights defender, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who was imprisoned for life in June by special military court.
Zainab faces grave danger and is at risk of being tortured, as the regime has systematically attacked human rights defenders, health workers and professionals who are speaking up against the repression and human rights abuses.
We condemn ill-treatment of Zainab Al-Khawaja in public in the strongest possible terms, and arbitrary detention and demand the authorities to release her and Masooma Al-Sayed immediately and unconditionally.
We ask all concerned people to take immediate and urgent action in support of Zainab Al-Khawaja and Masooma Al-Sayed.

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Turkey, Syria and the United Nations

As predicted the United Nations could not anonymously vote for a new resolution to prevent Bashir Al- Assad, the president of Syria, by continuously killing the people demonstrating for freedom.Article 41 was first meant to firmly condemn the Syrian government for their violence against innocent and unarmed people. The United Nations council removed most of the elements from this article to convince all the members to vote for this resolution.

China and Russia used their veto against the resolution, Article 41. Abstention: India, South Africa, Brazil and Lebanon. Even though the article 41 only has a request to Assad to stop all violence against its people and to give entrance to the international press. Why did China and Russia use their veto? A simple answer is their own fear to be condemned one day by the United Nations themselves for not respecting human rights.

Of course the United States of America  were deeply offended by the decision  of the  Russians and  the Chinese governments not willing to support a firm statement against Syria. An old biblical saying: “Let the one without sin, cast the first stone.” The USA vetoed 50 times on every resolution against Israel since 1945. Even if it was only to condemn Israel for their cruel actions in Palestine. Last year the Barack Obama administration vetoed the first time since he became the new president of the USA. Who said Obama will change many things? I think we all did.

Since the fall of Mubarak from Egypt, Turkey raised up its power in the region.                                                                                 They try to interfere in the Egyptian development for a new democracy as they are the only country with a democratic system in the Islāmic world. The economic crisis in the USA and Europe makes Turkey a very strong and powerful negotiator in the area. The nation’s economy is better than ever and the war on Kurdistan has begun. The eyes of the world focussed on Libya and Syria which gives Turkey the opportunity to attack Kurdish groups like the PKK and the PUK  in Turkey but in Iraq as well. It is a serious invasion in its neighboring country and not just incidents.

Syria on his turn has provoked Turkey several times by crossing the border on the north side, close to Jisr al-Shughour and Aleppo. As it happens , Kurdistan is also covering parts of Syria.  Without being too philosophical, I think Turkey will invade Syria within the coming time. The NATO still has smoking war machines from the liberation of Libya and a huge economic crisis to further support a possible invasion in Syria. Turkey however has a good and stable economy, a strong and well trained military force, export interests in Syria which are a substantial part of Turkey’s welfare, and the will to recommend and carry out democracies around the Arabic world and above all a trusted partner of many western countries.

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Freedom versus Suppression

The television was loud and the man from Al Jazeera confirmed the news which was passing by below the screen: “GADDAFI FOUND”. Is this really true? I switch on my smart phone to find other sources. Yes, it is confirmed: Gaddafi is captured in Sirte and killed.

A typical reaction from many of us here in Europe: Why did they kill him? It was totally unneccessary. The captured him alive and he had to go in court to take responsibility for what he has done. Under normal circumstances I agree with this opinion but never underestimate the emotion of people close to freedom. I am against the death penalty but the quick death of Gaddafi was needed to prevent further bloodshed. As long as he was alive, the pro Gaddafi forces would continue to kill innocent people.

He decided to go back to the soil where he was born. He could go to the desert, he could go to certain loyal Touareg tribes who could hide him. He had enough money to frustrate the new government in Tripoli for years. Why did he go back to Sirte?

The problem with people with too much power are losing the sense of reality. No one will ever say no to them. Everything he says need to carried out. His word is Gods word. This is what they believe. And if a few people from Benghazi decide to start the first protests in the city on February 17th, it makes him mad as hell. How do they dare to stand up against me? How on earth will they say no to me? He is deeply offended and he only thinks about revenge. Did he see the danger of a possible revolution? No, I don’t think so. He just wanted to capture the few people and thought this would be it and he could continue to stay in power until his son Saif al Islam Gaddafi could  be the next dictator.

For the ones who followed the news on one the international news channels could see how Saif al Islam was profiling himself as the possible new leader. The one so kind man for the western world. The man who was believed the only one with a human touch was now becoming the beast himself. In fact all the Gaddafi’s were fighting for a possible follow-up of their father. No one saw reality or the possible danger. Just because the family lost every sense of reality.

The first thing what came to my mind, when I heard the freedom fighters found him in a hole in Sirte, was Saddam Hussein from Iraq. Also found in a hole. I have mentioned it months ago in another article. These dictators are copying the other. As if they have a manual in how to behave against the people who want freedom.

The west, where is a higher level of freedom, are cynical as ever. They raise questions like: What will happen next? Are radical Islamist groups taking over power? The same thing said with Tunisia and Egypt. Or do they wonder if huge oil contracts are secured? The NATO did a great deal of work supporting the freedom fighters by attacking Gaddafi targets all over the country. And yes, I believe the freedom fighters would have never come this far so soon without their help. We can only have respect for the determination of certain western countries to force the support to freedom of Libya.

The huge profit Libya has in contrary of Egypt or Tunisia is the lack of the old system. Nothing is left. No military elites, no corrupt police forces, no former Gaddafi supporters. Nothing. They can build up the country from scratch. The work will be tough but freedom in Libya with a democratic elected Government will come sooner than in any other country in the Arabic world.

Libya Al Hurra!


Massoud Abu Basr from Benghazi on guitar at Ajdabya

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