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Posts Tagged ‘Jailed

No Update On Khaled al-Johani.

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Been asked to produce an update on Khaled al-Johani, but sadly I can find very little on the web that is current, the best is BBC News from 24 May 2011:

“The only man to protest on Saudi Arabia’s day of rage has suffered in prison, his family say.

Khaled al-Johani was arrested minutes after going to the courthouse in Riyadh and giving a BBC interview in which he called for democracy and described the country as a big jail.

His family have now told the BBC that they were not allowed to see him for the first 58 days of his incarceration. And when they did see him, says his brother, Abdullah al-Johani, their concerns increased.

“He has lost a lot of weight. The situation is sad and he is depressed. He doesn’t have any of his own clothes and we can’t give him food or money.”

Khaled al-Johani is one of more than 160 dissidents who have been arrested by the Saudi authorities since February, according to Human Rights Watch.

On Tuesday a judge in Jeddah sent 40 people, charged with instigation and calling for protests against the ruler, to face a court that specialises in security and terrorism cases.

The interior ministry spokesman, General Mansour Sultan al-Turki is unapologetic.

“Saudis…do not have anything to demonstrate for. The Grand Mufti has talked about this and [protesting] is un-Islamic behaviour.” “

Meanwhile In Iran.

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Just as a popular revolt in Egypt succeeded in removing Mubarak events are moving on apace in Iran.

Like Mubarak, the dictators in Tehran resorted to brutality and teargas to stay in power, as the BBC reports:

“Thousands of opposition supporters have clashed with security forces in the centre of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Police used tear gas and detained dozens rallying in solidarity with uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. There was one report of a death in Tehran.

The BBC also received reports of similar protests being held in the cities of Isfahan, Mashhad and Shiraz.

Earlier, the police placed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi under house arrest, according to his website.

It said the move was intended to prevent the former prime minister attending the march in Tehran, which the authorities had prohibited. The road leading to Mr Mousavi’s house was also blocked by police vans.

Fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament and a senior cleric, is also reportedly under de facto house arrest. “

Meanwhile in Syria, the dictatorship there are clamping down on everybody, including bloggers:

“Lawyers allowed into the closed session of the court in Damascus said Ms Mallohi was motionless after hearing her sentence. Her mother, who was waiting outside the court building, burst out crying after being told.

The judge did not give evidence or details as to why she was convicted, they added. However, when she was charged, one official claimed that “her spying led to an attack against a Syrian army officer”.

“Trumping up charges that imply treason as a lesson for others is quite old fashioned,” one human rights activist told the Reuters news agency. “Sadly, the regime has not learnt any lessons from Tunisia or Egypt.”

There has so far been no comment from the Syrian authorities.

Ms Mallohi, the granddaughter of a former minister, has already served one year of her sentence, as she has been in custody since late December 2009. She was held without charge for the first nine months.

Last month, the state security court sentenced Abbas Abbas, a 69-year-old left-wing activist, to seven years in jail.

The BBC’s Lina Sinjab in Damascus says Ms Mallohi’s conviction comes at a time of political upheaval in the region, with popular protests in Tunisia and Egypt which were largely organised through social networking websites and blogs.”

She was jailed for five years, without any evidence.

Update 1: Over in Bahrain there were protests too:

Update 2: Also Hamas are none too keen on election, as Haaretz relates:

” But Hamas, which holds power in the Gaza Strip, immediately said it would move to prevent such a vote from taking place in the coastal territory.”

Update 3: Not forgetting Algeria:

“Hundreds of youths have clashed with security forces during protests in the northern Algerian town of Akbou.

Police reportedly used tear gas and batons to drive back crowds protesting over unemployment. About 30 people, most of them protesters, were hurt.

In January Algeria was the first in a string of countries to see street protests, as people rallied against high food prices and unemployment.

Several people were killed as unrest spread across the country.

The sporadic protests have been continuing since early January.

On Saturday, thousands of people took part in protests in the capital, Algiers, demanding the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, but were dispersed by riot police.”

Written by modernityblog

14/02/2011 at 22:10

Weakening National Morale.

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Can you imagine being jailed for “weakening national morale”?

Can you imagine how many people might be caught up with such a spurious charge?

Can you imagine the outcry if that were to occur in the West?

No, instead a human right’s lawyer in Syria is being jailed for that most tendentious of charges. The BBC has a little more:

“An award-winning lawyer and activist has been jailed for three years in Syria, human rights groups say.

Mohannad al-Hassani, head of the Syrian Organisation for Human Rights, was tried for spreading false information and “weakening national morale”.

He was arrested in July last year after being repeatedly summoned by the security police for questioning.

Hassani has defended a number of pro-democracy activists and campaigned for the repeal of the law used to jail him.

In May he won the Martin Ennals Award, named after the first head of Amnesty International, for his work in defending Syrian political prisoners and the rule of law.

Crackdown

The Damascus Criminal Court sentenced Hassani, 44, to three years in prison after convicting him of “weakening national morale” and “conveying within Syria false news that could debilitate the morale of the nation” .

That term is often used against those who challenge the Syrian government.

The Syrian Human Rights League (SHRL) expressed grave concern over Mr Hassani’s sentencing, saying “none of the minimum conditions and criteria for a fair trail” were met.

The organisation called for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Syria.

Arrests of pro-democracy activists are common in Syria, where several prominent political activists and writers remain imprisoned.”

Amnesty International covers it too:

“The charges were brought against Muhannad al-Hassani after he drew public attention to unfair trials of political prisoners before the notorious Supreme State Security Court (SSSC) and a death that may have been caused by torture or other ill-treatment in detention, and met foreign embassy officials to discuss human rights.

He also played a leading role in Sawasiyah, a local human rights organization which, like others, has not been legally authorised by the authorities. He was arrested on 28 July 2009, days after he observed a trial before the SSSC during which an official seized and destroyed his notes.

“Muhannad al-Hassani’s contribution to human rights has been internationally recognized,” said Malcolm Smart. “Yet, in Syria he has been prosecuted and jailed as if he were an enemy of the state.”

FIDH has a piece on his disbarment last year.

Written by modernityblog

24/06/2010 at 10:28

Locked Up Lawyers.

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The repressive state in Iran made a preemptive move against Human Right’s lawyers according to HRW:

“(New York, July 26, 2009) – Iranian authorities continue to arrest prominent human rights lawyers in an attempt to prevent them from representing reform supporters detained following Iran’s disputed presidential election, Human Rights Watch said today. Other lawyers have been threatened.

“Iranian authorities are trying to create an atmosphere of fear among all lawyers who agree to defend political prisoners,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division. “Many reform supporters arrested after the presidential elections have been denied access to their lawyers, and now they’re finding the lawyers imprisoned with them.”

On July 15, 2009, plainclothes security forces seized human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr on the street while she was walking to attend Friday prayers. On July 21, security forces telephoned Mohammad Seifzadeh, another leading human rights defense lawyer, and threatened to take steps (which they did not specify) to prevent him from continuing his human rights activities.

Hadi Esmaielzadeh and Manijeh Mohammadi were among other human rights lawyers who were questioned by the security section of the Tehran prosecutor’s office a few days after the June 12 election. Seifzadeh, Esmaielzadeh, and Mohammadi are all members of the Human Rights Defenders Center (HRDC), a prominent human rights organization led by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, which security forces have threatened to close on a number of occasions in recent years.

“They told me not to cooperate with Shirin Ebadi,” Seifzadeh, who is a board member of HRDC, told Human Rights Watch.”

Written by modernityblog

28/07/2009 at 21:10