Shia Community of Parachinar have given 72 hours deadline to Pakistani Government


JNN 07 Jan 2011 PARACHINAR : As a first Step the Elders of the Shia Community in Parachinar had given a call  for a Complete shutter down strike, which was successfully  observed in Parachinar and adjoining areas, the headquarter of Kurram Agency.

The call of the Shutter Down Strike was against the Brutalities of the Local Terrorists belonging to Taliban’s, for which Law enforcement agencies have miserably failed to take any action. According to details on Wednesday complete shutter down strike and protest observed in Parachinar on the call by trade unions and tribal elders of the area which they now say that they are protesting against the State for harboring terrorism.

Now They have given seventy two hours deadline to Govt and security forces to take action against Terrorist  Taliban and their local supporters who looted and burnt seven civilians trucks at Shasho and Pirqyum area in Sadda Lower Kurram on tuesday which were bound for  Parachinar escorded by security Forces.

Otherwise the tribals will take revenge according to tribal traditions by punishing the Taliban. It is worth mentioning here that on Tuesday Terrorist Taliban and thier local supporters came with heavy weapons near Shahso & Pirqyum area of Kurram Agency and burnt the civilians trucks which were coming  from Thall, in order  to besiege Parachinar, while the convoy was going from Thall to Parachinar escorted by security forces under the command of a Col rank officer and dozens of Armed security Personnel .The truck driver who escaped from scene by saving his life told the media that Taliban attacked just the civilian trucks while they did not hurt the security forces nor attacked them which is surprising for him that is why he escaped in fear of being killed by Taliban. It is worth mentioning that in same place of Pirquym and Shasoo convoys were attacked earlier twice before as well and it exposed the tall claims of authorities of clearing the area from terrorists. Turi and Bangash tribes elders after this incident in reaction told that  military establishment want to put pressure on Turi & Bangash tribes of Parachinar & Kurram Agency to give shelter to taliban of haqani network by prolonging the siege of the Parachinar , but they emphasized that these coward action will not do so.

They further added that It is the worse kind of  state terrorisim against its own people by military establishment in support of Taliban .They told that with this incident  the LEA have done the hatrick of sponsoring the Terrorism , which is done  in the  presence of Officer of Col Rank of Security forces , which reminds the brutality in the presence Col Majeed at same spot in year 2008 when Taliban militants burnt the trucks along with four civilian truck drivers and slaughtered the rest of eight after kidnapping them belonging to Turi bangash tribes while Col Majeed and security forces did not took any action , for which video evidence is also  present,  they add. Tribal elders also criticized the Main Stream media for not covering these acts of brutality and blamed that media was just focusing on single High Profile murder and did not give coverage to these acts of Taliban and security forces joint brutality , on same Tuseday, when the terrorist under the sponsorship of the LEAs , are trying to Anhilate the whole population of the Parachinar ,which is continuing till this day.

At last they issued a combine resolution by demanding the Civil Society and International humanitarian Organizations to highlight the state sponsored terrorism, in shape of siege of Parachinar for the Last four years , as what they call this area now  is Pakistani Gaza , where the conditions are  worse then the state or  terror in Kashmir & GAZA.

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US soldier to face court-martial in Afghan Civilians killing


JNN 08 Jan 2011 SEATTLE: A US Army staff sergeant was ordered on Friday to be tried by a military court to face charges that include murdering three unarmed Afghan civilians, keeping body parts as grisly war trophies and beating a whistle-blower who told superiors about widespread hashish use in his unit.

Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, 25, is one of five soldiers from the Stryker Brigade charged with murder. Twelve soldiers in all face charges in the most serious prosecutions of alleged war atrocities by US military deployed in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001.

JNN has learned the Army is also re-examining a 2004 shooting that involved Gibbs in Iraq in which three members of a family were killed.

After his May 11 arrest in Afghanistan, Gibbs showed investigators a tattoo on his lower left leg depicting crossed pistols and six skulls. He told investigators the skulls were a way to keep track of his kills in both Iraq and Afghanistan, according to investigative interview notes shown to JNN.

And a soldier under his command told investigators Gibbs “associates with skinheads online,” the investigative notes show. The soldier, who is not charged, told investigators the skinheads “are worse than most gang members I have ever met.”

Gibbs, of Billings, Montana, was ordered to stand trial by Major General Curtis Scaparrotti, commanding officer of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. No date was set.

The Stryker Brigade cases, with some 4,000 photographs sealed from public view including some reportedly of soldiers posing with Afghan casualties, have drawn comparisons to the inflammatory Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq in 2004.

According to investigative documents made available to JNN, Gibbs collected human fingers from his victims. Also, the Army has accused members of Gibbs’ platoon of possessing photographs of victims.

And JNN has learned the Army is now re-examining Gibbs’ record in Iraq, where he was involved in the killing of an Iraqi family in the summer of 2004.

Gibbs faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment without parole for charges that include premeditated murder in the deaths of three unarmed Afghan civilians, including a cleric, in the Afghan villages of La Muhammad Kalay in January 2010, Khari Kleyl in February 2010 and Qualaday in May 2010, according to court documents.

Gibbs allegedly kept fingers, severed with medical shears, and displayed them at platoon mates to intimidate them.

He faces a dozen other charges that include keeping body parts such as teeth, finger and leg bones as war trophies.

The cases began as an investigation into hashish use by members of what was then known as the 5th Stryker Brigade, but grew into a probe of what prosecutors described as an infantry unit run amok.

Phillip Stackhouse, a civilian attorney defending Gibbs, has described Gibbs’ involvement as legitimate combat killings, He was not immediately available for comment on the order.

2 Bahraini Shia Children Aged 10, Sentenced to Imprisonment


JNN 07 Jan 2011 : Bahrain’s Court convicted 3  Bahraini’s on the grounds of taking part in anti-regime activities. Bahraini court imposed a jail sentence on two children for their pro-democracy activities. The two children each aged 10 years old are said to be the youngest political prisoners in the world . While The whole trial took less than one hour to issue the verdict and sentence.

In one of the most outrageous miscarriages of justice in the world, a Bahraini court imposed a jail sentence on two children for their pro-democracy activities. The two children each aged 10 years old are said to be the youngest political prisoners in the world and their continued detention has led to an outcry among local and international human rights activists.

The court also imposed a sentence of ten years imprisonment on three Bahrainis: Fadhel Abbas, his brother, Mohammad and Sayyed Ali Omran. They were also fined 4000 Bahraini Dinars (11,000 US dollars). Three other detainees in the same case, Jaffar Abdul Hamid, Fadhel Hubail and Abbas Ramadhan, had to wait for their sentence until 16th January. They were sentenced on the basis of confessions extracted under torture for allegedly taking part in anti-regime activities. The whole trial took less than one hour to issue the verdict and sentence. It is clear that the sentences came from high authorities who control the judiciary from the royal court. Despite pleas to allow the two brothers to see their seriously ill mother, Al Zayed refused the request.

The judge, Ibrahim Al Zayed, is the main official who presides over the courts sentencing the pro-democracy activists and has, himself, approved the practice of torture and refused to investigate any allegation of ill-treatment. With his two aides, Ali Al Dhahrani and Haitham Al Musaifer, they have become the judicial mouthpiece of the ruling family and have relied on their verdicts on “confessions” extracted under torture. Lord Avebury hinted that they may be implicated in those crimes for acting on those confessions.

Meanwhile more Bahrainis have been arrested and dumped in the underground cellars of the notorious National Security Agency (NSA) run by Khalifa bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the former Ambassador to UK. Imad Ali Al Uraibi, 27, from the town of Musalla was arrested on Thursday 30th December.

The regime’s militias, riot police and Death Squads are continuing their iron-fist tactics with round-the-clock presence in hotspots. In Nuwaidrat, Sitra, Zinj and Al Adliya the activist youth were pursued relentlessly in the past few days ad they continued to write on walls and burn tyres in the streets. On 30th December they raided homes in Daih and Sanabis also. Mouse-and-cats games are continuing in several areas at the public anger mounts at what the Bahrainis perceive as an all-out attacks by the ruling junta on the native Bahrainis. The industrial areas in Sitra were the scene of frantic activities by the pro-regime’s militias especially near the roundabout separating the villages of Wadyan and Mhazza and inside Ql Giryah and Al Kharijiyah in Sitra where checkpoints were established. A family from the town of Daih has lodged an official complaint against those militias as they have wreaked havoc in the area. The family said that these militias would come in the early hours of the morning, ring the bell and stay outside their door, intimidate their children and create an atmosphere of fear for no real reason. The family’s complaint is unlikely to be heeded.

On another level, the political prisoners in the web allegedly involved in sedition and plots against the Al Khalifa, have continued to insist on re-instating their original team of lawyers who had demanded investigation of torture and called for re-investigation of the defendants under the jurisdiction of the court. They have now been subjected to more torture and abuse to force them to accept the new team of lawyers. In their recent family visits they have complained of beatings, deprivation of sleep, denial of religious books, the use of one syringe to extract blood from all of them and electric shocks. This outrageous behaviour is being witnessed by officials from Western embassies in Manama who have not moved one finger in protest.

Iraq's Top Brass Maliki, Allawi meet at Jafri’s house


JNN 07 Jan 2011 : Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki started a meeting with former premier Iyad Allawi, the leader of the al-Iraqiya bloc, at the house of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the head of the National Alliance bloc, according to a source from Jaafari’s media office on Friday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki started a meeting with former premier Iyad Allawi, the leader of the al-Iraqiya bloc, at the house of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the head of the National Alliance bloc, according to a source from Jaafari’s media office on Friday.

“A Maliki-Allawi meeting started at Jaafari’s house to discuss the law on strategic policy council as well as the completion of the Iraqi government lineup,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

He did not give further details.

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Iraq’s Top Brass Maliki, Allawi meet at Jafri’s house


JNN 07 Jan 2011 : Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki started a meeting with former premier Iyad Allawi, the leader of the al-Iraqiya bloc, at the house of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the head of the National Alliance bloc, according to a source from Jaafari’s media office on Friday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki started a meeting with former premier Iyad Allawi, the leader of the al-Iraqiya bloc, at the house of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the head of the National Alliance bloc, according to a source from Jaafari’s media office on Friday.

“A Maliki-Allawi meeting started at Jaafari’s house to discuss the law on strategic policy council as well as the completion of the Iraqi government lineup,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

He did not give further details.

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Chile recognize Palestine as an Independent State


JNN 07 Jan 2011 : Friday, Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno announced that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera’s government has officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders.

“The government of Chile has adopted the resolution today (Friday) recognizing the existence of the state of Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state,” he said, reading a Foreign Ministry declaration.

He added that President Pinera plans to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories on March 4 and 5.

Over 130 countries have officially recognized Palestine as a state based on the 1967 borders, the boundaries that existed before Israel occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

In December 2010, Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia recognized Palestine as an independent state.

The United States and Israel have criticized the move and have so far refused to recognize an independent Palestinian state.

Last month, Uruguay announced that it would recognize Palestine in March 2011.

On December 31, Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas said that the recognition of the Palestinian state by several Latin American nations would force the US and Israel to return to negotiations.

The latest round of talks collapsed in late September after Tel Aviv refused to extend a partial freeze on its illegal settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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Muslims Protect Egypt Copts on Xmas


JNN 06 Jan 2011 : Muslims of all walks of life are planning to be on guard to defend churches across Egypt during Copts’ celebrations of Christmas on January 7, following a deadly bombing on New Year’s eve.

“I want all of us to gather as Muslim human shields to protect all Christian congregations at churches, schools and other places,” Mohamed Abdel-Moneim El-Sawy, the head of the El-Sawy Cultural Wheel, said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Wednesday, January 5.

“I will join my colleagues in standing guard in front of churches in Zamalek,” he added, referring to an upmarket Cairo district, where the Cultural Wheel is located.

“We want to abort attempts of those who want to harm our Christian brothers and fuel sedition that would harm all Egyptians.”

The initiative follows a deadly bombing attack outside a church in the northern coastal city of Alexandria on New Year’s eve, which killed at least 23 people.

The attack came after a threat by an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, to attack Egypt’s Copts.

The bombing drew widespread condemnations, with Al-Azhar, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world, denouncing it as running against the true spirits of Islam.

The initiative by El-Sawy Culture Wheel, one of the most important cultural venues in Egypt, followed similar calls from different Egyptian intellectuals and writers.

Last Saturday, Dr. Abdel Moneim Abou el-Fotouh, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and secretary general of the Arab Doctors’ Union, called on Egyptians to gather in front of churches on January ۷, against any possible attacks.

Other Egyptian intellectuals also echoed similar calls.

“Every Egyptian Muslim has a duty to offer condolences to his fellow Christians for the killing of innocent Christians,” Egyptian writer Salah Issa said.

“January 7 should be a day of national mourning to protest Western plans to affect the unity of the Egyptian Muslims and Copts.”

According to the CIA World Fact Book, Muslims make up 90 percent of the country’s 80 million people, Copts 9 and other Christians 1 percent.

Massive Support

The Muslim initiative has won widespread support across Egypt.

“I will go to defend my brothers, neighbors and family among whom I was raised,” Ahmed Talaat Mekki wrote on Facebook.

“I’m a Muslim, and I will protect Churches with my blood on the Christmas day.”

“At school, army and club, we used to fast together and eat together.”

Shortly after last week’s attack, Muslim youth launched a Facebook group titled “On January 7, we will go to the churches to celebrate with our Christian brothers or die with them”.

The group has attracted more than 13.000 members.

Another group titled “Silence stand in black to mourn victims of terrorism” drew more than 6.000 participants.

Other activists on Twitter called for initiating websites grouping Muslims and Copts to promote national unity.

The church bombing has already sparked marches for cementing national unity between Muslims and Copts in the country.

Hundreds of Muslims and Christians took to the streets in Cairo’s district of Shobra on Saturday to denounce the church attack.

The Muslim initiative has won plaudits from many Coptic Egyptians.

“This is so much appreciated,” Simon Wafeek, a Christian, wrote on the Facebook group titled “Human shields of Egyptians to protect churches on Jesus birthday.”

“Your overwhelming feelings are much more valuable than all treasures of the world.

“We have always been brothers who cheer together and mourn together.”

These feelings, Wafeek says, were a big disappointment for those behind the church attack.

“Whatever happens, we will never be separated,” he said.

“If they targeted a mosque, we would also gather in solidarity with our Muslim brothers.”

 

'US plotting new coup in Venezuela'


JNN 02 Jan 2o11 : The appointment of an ambassador by the US “who was really discussing Venezuelan military loyalty and morale … is really a discussion of the potential of a new coup in Venezuela,” said Sara Flounders, Co-Director of International Action Center in New York.

In an interview with Press TV, Flounders noted that “Venezuela has been a victim of US coup d’état and attempted coups. President [Hugo] Chavez himself [was a victim] of a direct US sponsored coup in 2002.”

Tensions have flared up between the United States and Venezuela since August after US President Barack Obama nominated Larry Palmer as the US ambassador to Caracas.

However, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez insisted that Palmer was not welcomed after the diplomat leveled harsh criticism against Venezuela during his US Senate confirmation hearings months ago.

At the time, Palmer had claimed that morale is low in Venezuela’s military and also linked the government to leftist rebels in neighboring Colombia.

On Wednesday, the US revoked the visa of Venezuelan Ambassador to Washington Bernardo Alvarez.

Flounders referred to the US’ “policy of making threats and counter-threats,” and insisted that “Venezuela quite rightly rejected [Palmer] and has insisted on relations of mutual respect.”

‘US plotting new coup in Venezuela’


JNN 02 Jan 2o11 : The appointment of an ambassador by the US “who was really discussing Venezuelan military loyalty and morale … is really a discussion of the potential of a new coup in Venezuela,” said Sara Flounders, Co-Director of International Action Center in New York.

In an interview with Press TV, Flounders noted that “Venezuela has been a victim of US coup d’état and attempted coups. President [Hugo] Chavez himself [was a victim] of a direct US sponsored coup in 2002.”

Tensions have flared up between the United States and Venezuela since August after US President Barack Obama nominated Larry Palmer as the US ambassador to Caracas.

However, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez insisted that Palmer was not welcomed after the diplomat leveled harsh criticism against Venezuela during his US Senate confirmation hearings months ago.

At the time, Palmer had claimed that morale is low in Venezuela’s military and also linked the government to leftist rebels in neighboring Colombia.

On Wednesday, the US revoked the visa of Venezuelan Ambassador to Washington Bernardo Alvarez.

Flounders referred to the US’ “policy of making threats and counter-threats,” and insisted that “Venezuela quite rightly rejected [Palmer] and has insisted on relations of mutual respect.”

Anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr returns to Iraq


JNN o5 Jan 2011 NAJAF: Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led several Shia uprisings against American forces in Iraq before going into exile in neighbouring Iran almost four years ago, returned to Iraq on Wednesday.

Al-Sadr`s return caps another dramatic rise to prominence for him and his followers after being routed by Iraqi and US forces and appearing to fade from power just a few years ago. The strong showing by his bloc in last year`s parliamentary elections and his key support for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki paved the way for Wednesday`s return.

His mere presence in the country he has not publicly visited for years was cause for jubilation among his supporters in his hometown of Najaf and around the country.

Al-Sadr visited the holy shrine of Imam Ali wearing a black turban distinguishing him as one of the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed and surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards who attempted to hold back a throng of supporters.

He also visited the grave of his father, who was assassinated during Saddam Hussein`s regime, before heading to his house.

Sadrist supporters from Baghdad including top-ranking officials in his political faction streamed to Najaf for the occasion and his followers chanted “Imam Ali is with you” through the streets of the southern city.

“He is our hero. We sacrificed for him. He said `No` to the Americans and fought the Americans, and he is brave,” said Mohammed Ali, one of al-Sadr`s followers.

It was not immediately clear how long al-Sadr would stay in Iraq or whether the return marked a permanent decision to remain in the country, where his presence would mark a seismic shift in Iraqi politics. But at least one official from the Sadrist office in Najaf said he would remain in Iraq. The official did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media. An official with al-Maliki`s office confirmed a plane carrying al-Sadr flew into the southern city earlier Wednesday afternoon. He did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Al-Sadr has not been seen publicly in Iraq since 2007, and at one point an arrest warrant even hung over al-Sadr`s head for his alleged role in assassinating a fellow Shia cleric seen as a rival shortly after the US invasion in 2003.

He has been living in Iran, studying in Qom, and rarely makes public visits abroad. Last fall, he travelled to Syria for a meeting with former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi, who was challenging al-Maliki for the premiership.

His militia, called the Mahdi Army, once led bloody uprisings against American forces, and al-Sadr has made opposition to any continued American military presence in Iraq a cornerstone of his ideology.

Al-Maliki in 2008 launched an offensive against al-Sadr`s followers in their Baghdad stronghold of Sadr City and the southern city of Basra. The show of force infuriated many of his Shia allies but also demonstrated al-Maliki`s willingness to go after all militias, even those representing his own sect.

Hundreds of al-Sadr`s followers were jailed during those operations.

Enmity between al-Sadr and al-Maliki runs deep, but after months of vowing to never allow al-Maliki to return for a second term, al-Sadr and his followers eventually backed him.

The decision is believed to have been taken after intense pressure from neighbouring Iran, which would like to solidify Shia control of Iraq. But questions have also been raised about what al-Sadr and his followers received for their support. Iraqi officials have said that hundreds of his followers have been released from jail, a key Sadrist demand.

Iraqis in many southern provinces and parts of eastern Baghdad where the Sadrists dominate have reported intimidation by Sadrist members who are feeling more powerful in light of their alliance with their one-time enemy and their triumphant return to Iraqi politics.

Iraqi political analyst Hadi Jalo told The Associated Press that the return of the man reviled by American forces also underscores the US`s waning political influence in Iraq as American forces prepare to leave the country entirely by the end of this year.