Reader’s links for June 9 – 2015

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Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

63 Replies to “Reader’s links for June 9 – 2015”

  1. Egypt summons U.S. ambassador over Muslim Brotherhood

    Egypt summoned the U.S. ambassador in Cairo to show displeasure at Muslim Brotherhood figures coming to Washington for a private conference, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

    One source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.S. officials did not intend to meet the group although they had met some Brotherhood figures that came to Washington in January.

    The tensions reflect a clash between U.S. diplomats’ desire to deal with the whole political spectrum in Egypt and a fear of alienating Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who, as army chief, toppled a Muslim Brotherhood-led government in 2013.

    The sources declined to say precisely when U.S. Ambassador Stephen Beecroft was call in by the Egyptian government, though one said it was in recent days. Egypt sought the meeting to make clear its unhappiness at U.S. dealings with the Brotherhood.

    State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke declined to say whether Beecroft was summoned by the Egyptian authorities or whether U.S. officials would meet Brotherhood figures visiting Washington, telling reporters he was aware of media reports of such a visit but that “I don’t have any meetings to announce.”

    He said it continued to be U.S. policy to engage with people from across the political spectrum in Egypt.

    The United States has had ambivalent dealings with Sisi, prizing the stability has brought to Egypt while cautiously criticizing Egypt’s human rights record and the authorities’ crackdown on the Brotherhood.

    Sisi, who was elected president in a 2014 landslide but with lower-than-expected turnout that raised questions about his mandate, regards the Brotherhood as part of a terrorist network that poses a threat to the Arab and Western world.

    The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement.

    The fall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, a long-time U.S. ally ultimately abandoned by Washington, paved the way for the Brotherhood to rule the most populous Arab country, something that was unthinkable for decades.

    Mohamed Mursi, who rose through the Brotherhood’s ranks before winning the presidency in 2012, was a polarizing figure during his troubled year in office. His policies alienated secular and liberal Egyptians, who feared the Brotherhood was abusing power.

    In January, the State Department said its officials met a group of visiting Egyptian former parliamentarians, including former members of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political wing. The Brotherhood was banned by an Egyptian court in 2013 after Mursi was ousted.

  2. Egyptian government slams HRW ‘abuses’ statement as “politicised”

    Human Rights Watch on Monday published a statement condemning “human rights abuses” over the past year in Egypt

    Egypt’s foreign ministry on Tuesday condemned a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on human rights in Egypt, describing it as “politicised” and lacking in “accuracy and objectivity”.

    HRW released a statement on Monday titled “Egypt: Year of Abuses Under El-Sisi” saying Egypt had witnessed “flagrant abuse of human rights” in the name of restoring stability since Abd El-Fattah El-Sisi assumed presidential office in June 2014.

    The rights watchdog called on the US and Europe to “stop overlooking Egyptian government abuses, including a lack of accountability for many killings of protesters by security forces, mass detentions, military trials of civilians, hundreds of death sentences, and the forced eviction of thousands of families in the Sinai Peninsula.”

    An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson has said in a statement that HRW does not have “credibility” among Egyptians, as it has been “determined to promote lies and false information based on inaccurate undocumented data”.

    It also said that the organisation’s reports since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 have “targeted the Egyptian people and their will to achieve their aspirations”.

    Reports of police abuse have made headlines in recent months, with human rights advocates reporting an increasing number of cases in which detainees and prisoners are tortured.

    But Egypt’s interior ministry has repeatedly maintained that it remains committed to upholding human rights values.

  3. LIBYA – Islamic state seizes power plant near Libyan city of Sirte: Military source

    Islamic State militants have seized a power plant west of the Libyan city of Sirte which supplies central and western parts of the country with electricity, the group and a military source said on Tuesday.

    “The plant … was taken,” Islamic State said in a message on social media, adding that the capture of the plant meant that the militants had driven their enemies out of the entire city.

    Forces loyal to the self-declared government that controls the capital Tripoli pulled out of the plant after Islamic State attacked it on Tuesday morning. Three soldiers were killed in the attack, the military source said.

    Islamic State has exploited the general turmoil and security vacuum in Libya, where two governments are vying for power four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, to build up a presence in several cities.

    The militants earlier this year captured most of Sirte, Gaddafi’s home town, seizing the airport and driving a force loyal to the Tripoli government out to the city suburbs.

    Since the start of the year militants in Libya loyal to Islamic State have claimed responsibility for killing dozens of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians, as well attacks on Tripoli’s luxury Corinthia hotel, embassies and oilfields.

    Libya’s internationally recognized government has been working out of the east of the country since losing control of Tripoli and western Libya in August.

  4. Spain in the Eye of the Storm of Jihad

    The Islamists are especially interested in converts who have not yet taken on Muslim names and whose official IDs still have their Christian names, so they can purchase weapons without drawing the attention of police.

    At least 50,000 Muslim converts are currently living in Spain. Police say that converts are especially susceptible to radicalization because they are facing increasing pressure from Islamists who are calling on them to carry out attacks to “demonstrate their commitment” to their new faith.

    Spain has also become a key entry point for human trafficking mafias being used by jihadist veterans seeking to return to Europe after fighting in the Middle East.

  5. Rebels in Syria say they have captured a major army base in the south of the country.

    The Southern Front, an alliance of rebel groups, announced that the base, known as Brigade 52, was “liberated” in an attack on Tuesday morning.

    The base, outside the town of Harak, is one of the largest in Deraa province.

    Officials have not commented, but if confirmed its fall would be the latest in a string of defeats suffered by the government in the past three months.

    At the start of April, the Southern Front captured the Nasib border crossing with Jordan, days after another rebel alliance seized the capital of the north-western province of Idlib.

    The jihadist group Islamic State meanwhile took the strategically important central town of Tadmur and the neighbouring ancient ruins of Palmyra last month.
    ‘Quick assault’

    A spokesman for the Southern Front, Maj Essam al-Rayes, told the AFP news agency that at least 2,000 rebel fighters had overrun Brigade 52 in a “short and quick” assault launched at dawn on Tuesday.

    “This base was one of the main lines of defence for the regime forces. It was a nightmare, because they used it to shell all the areas to the east of the province,” he said.

    The base also lies near a main road running from the capital, Damascus, to the Jordanian border.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said the battle had killed 20 troops and pro-government militiamen, as well as 14 rebels.

    Government forces had now withdrawn to the nearby village of al-Dara, it added.

    Ahmed al-Masalmeh, an opposition activist in Deraa, told the Associated Press that the rebels had also captured the nearby village of Mleiha al-Sharqiya on Tuesday.

    There were no reports about the status of Brigade 52 on state media.

    However, the Sana news agency earlier said air strikes in the area had killed at least 40 members of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front.

    Rebel positions in Mleiha al-Sharqiya, Karak and Harak were targeted, and attacks elsewhere in Deraa province were repelled, a military source was quoted as saying.

  6. State Dept Struggles to Answer Whether They Have Complete Strategy Against Islamic State

    State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke struggled Monday to answer whether the State Department has a complete strategy against the Islamic State.

    The State Department was asked about its strategy after President Obama said that the U.S. doesn’t yet have a complete strategy against the Islamic State at the G-7 summit press conference.

    Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked, “Can you, speaking for the State Department, say whether the State Department believes its strategy is complete?”

    Rathke avoided a direct answer to the question.

    “Well, I think if you watched and if you read the transcript of what the president said, I think it should be clear that he was speaking about how to accelerate and optimize the training and equipping of Iraqi forces, including the integration of Sunni fighters and not the overall strategy to fight [the Islamic State].”

    Lee said that wasn’t an answer to his question. Lee again asked Rathke whether the State Department had completed their portion of the strategy against the Islamic State.

    “We have a strategy,” Rathke said. “It’s agreed with our international partners with the Iraqi government, and we are working hard to implement it across all lines of effort.”

  7. CNN – Hillary Clinton’s real Libya problem

    […]”We haven’t gotten the full story yet, but from everything we do know, it appears that without her advocacy for this intervention, it wouldn’t have happened,” said Alan Kuperman of the Lyndon B. Johnson school of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, who has studied the causes and outcome of the Libya operation.

    Some critics now question whether the administration, presumably working from intelligence provided by rebels, miscalculated on Gadhafi’s intentions. And they say that the administration did not do enough to consider the consequences of an operation that ended up toppling Gadhafi.

    “If you were going to break this place, it was going to require enormous resources to keep it together,” Kuperman said. “It would have required an occupation force, and it was clear that the U.S. did not have the stomach for that.”

    He concluded: “Did she screw up? Yes, she screwed up.”

    But one U.S. official involved with the planning of the Libya engagement defended Clinton’s position.

    “I think that it is tempting always in hindsight to say Libya would be better somehow if we had not intervened,” said Derek Chollet, a close national security adviser to Clinton and Obama at the time of the Libya operation.

    “I think that is a highly dubious proposition. It is one where, had we not intervened, the conversation we would be having is thousands and thousands of people died and Libya looks like Syria.”

    But it is always hard in political campaigns to prove that but for a specific course of action, things could have turned out worse than they actually did. And Clinton’s opponents, especially Republicans who want to dismantle her credentials as a potential commander in chief, are already signaling that Libya will be a significant political battleground in 2016.

    on this page :
    barf bag needed

  8. CANADA – Muslim civil rights group to launch online hate-crime tracker

    Online map will track anti-Muslim incidents and hate crimes in real-time in an effort to raise awareness and encourage people to come forward with their experiences.

    A Muslim national civil rights organization is launching an online map to track anti-Muslim incidents and hate crimes in real-time in an effort to raise awareness and encourage people to come forward with their experiences.

    The National Council of Canadian Muslims [ ex CAIR-CAN ] says it believes many Muslims face discrimination and hate, but are reluctant to report it or don’t know how to go about it.

    “Hate crime is one of the most under-reported crimes in Canada,” said Amira Elghawaby, the group’s human rights co-ordinator. “There is often reluctance to go public or go to the police, because people don’t want to bring attention to themselves or don’t think anything will come out it.”

    Muslims who believe they have faced a hate crime or incident can go to the group’s website to document the event, and will be contacted by the group to verify the nature of the incident. The group will automatically update information that has been documented in police reports or in the media.

    Elghawaby says the online map will differentiate between hate crimes and hate incidents. In Canada, hate crimes include advocating genocide, public incitement of hatred, wilful promotion of hatred and mischief motivated by hate in relation to religious property.

    Data on hate incidents, such as being called a “terrorist” or a “stupid Muslim,” is not often captured or seen anywhere, so “we don’t necessarily know what’s going on or what people are experiencing,” said Elghawaby.

    She says the group often receives calls from people who report having anti-Muslim slurs yelled at them — but are told there’s little recourse and not much for the police to investigate.

    On Tuesday, Statistics Canada will be releasing the annual hate crime data for 2013, compiling police data from across the country. According to data from 2012, there were 45 hate crimes against Muslims and 242 against the Jewish community. Most of the crimes were non-violent and included mischief, such as vandalism.

    Elghawaby says because of the diversity of the Muslim community, hate crimes against Muslims can be classified under race instead of religion, even when the motivating factor is unknown.

    “Often for Muslims, it seems like it is an ethnic hate crime, but there might be an intersection of religion and race that is not accurately being reported,” she said.

    The National Council of Canadian Muslims will be launching the map and an educational awareness campaign around hate crime at a press conference Tuesday.

    More information can be found on the group’s website at

  9. LIBYA – Tobruk parliament halts UN-led Libya talks in Morocco

    SKHIRAT, Morocco – Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament decided on Tuesday to halt UN-supervised talks held in Morocco.

    The two-day Libyan talks had resumed on Monday with the participation of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and the General National Congress that convenes in the capital, Tripoli.

    The Libya talks aim to reach a political solution to establish a united national government.

    A source told Anadolu Agency, on condition of anonymity, that the parliament also halted participation in sessions that are supposed to take place in Germany in the coming days.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Bernardino Leon, special representative to the Secretary-General on Libya, said that there was a possibility of reaching a final deal to solve the Libyan crisis in the upcoming days and said that he will head to Berlin Tuesday for a meeting on the same issue.

    Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.

    Since then, the country’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government, each with its own institutions and military capacities.


    Libya parliament ‘very unhappy’ over draft peace proposal

    Skhirat (Morocco) (AFP) – Libya’s internationally recognised parliament is “very unhappy” over a proposed peace deal for the conflict-wracked country, its spokesman said Tuesday, throwing a damper on enthusiasm expressed by the UN envoy.

    Libya descended into chaos after a 2011 NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi, with heavily armed former rebels carving out fiefdoms across the country.

    The quest for a deal seeks to prevent the oil-rich and strategic North African nation from crumbling into a failed state.

    The shaky security situation was underlined Tuesday with the Islamic State group reportedly saying it had captured Sirte, the Mediterranean hometown of the late dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

    Bernardino Leon, chief of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, said Tuesday warring factions had reacted positively to the draft, as they were said to be heading for talks in Berlin with world powers anxious for an end to the conflict.

    But Fradj Abou Hachem, spokesman for the parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk, said anyone from his delegation who goes to Berlin would be doing so on a personal basis only.

    He said parliament was “very unhappy over the draft accord,” particularly the proposal to give wide powers to the rival General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, and “we have called the… team home for consultations.”

    Leon presented the draft to delegations from the rival sides at talks in Morocco late Monday.

    “We have distributed, as you will have seen, a new proposed agreement. All I can tell you for now is that the reaction is positive,” he told journalists.

    There was “sense of optimism” emerging from the talks, he said, but warned that no agreement would work without the backing of armed groups.

    Leon had spent Tuesday morning shuttling between the negotiators to gauge their response, and mission spokesman Samir Ghattas said the sides would now go to Berlin for talks with European and UN Security Council officials.

    Abou Hachem said the proposal over formation of a high council of state was the sticking point.

    The 69-article plan provides for the formation of a transitional government of national unity for a period of one year.

    It stipulates that the parliament elected last June, most of whose members back the government in Tobruk, should be the legislative authority in the interim.

    But the high council of state, most of whose members would be drawn from the GNC, would be able to “express binding opinion with a qualified majority on draft laws”.

    Unhappy with prerogatives’ –

    Abou Hachem said his side was unhappy with the “prerogatives given to the council”.

    Under the proposed deal, the sides would also commit to integrating their militias into a reformed military under direct government control, with former rebel fighters offered the opportunity to join up or be reintegrated into civilian life.

    The agreement sets out interim security arrangements for the withdrawal of armed formations from towns and cities and a timetable for disarming.

    G7 leaders have thrown their support behind Leon’s efforts to persuade the factions to forge a united administration to replace the rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk.

    After a summit in Germany, the G7 called on Libyan leaders to take “bold political decisions” to end four years of devastating conflict.

    It said it would “provide significant support” to help a new government rebuild infrastructure, including restoring public services and strengthening the economy.

    Jihadist groups have exploited the lawlessness, which has also prompted a huge influx of migrants trying to make the dangerous crossing to Europe, with shipwrecks leaving hundreds dead and the European Union straining to respond.

    Both administrations have been fighting IS loyalists, who have taken several coastal towns to the alarm of an international community fearful of a jihadist foothold on Europe’s doorstep.

    IS claimed to have seized full control Tuesday of Sirte from the Fajr Libya militia, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group reported.

    SITE quoted a report in which an IS division that calls itself “Tripoli Province” said “soldiers of the caliphate” seized control of the last locations of Fajr Libya gunmen in Sirte.

    The report said Sirte would now “be the coastal city linking the east and west of Libya under full control of the Islamic State (group) fighters.”

    IS, which controls swathes of Syria and Iraq, has won the loyalty of several Islamist groups in Libya and claimed responsibility for a series of attacks and atrocities, including the killings of dozens of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians.

    video – Libya rivals ‘positive’ on draft peace deal UN envoy said

    Libya’s warring factions have reacted positively to a draft peace agreement, the UN envoy said, as they head for talks in Berlin with world powers anxious for an end to the conflict.

  10. West partly to blame for Islamic State: top Muslim cleric

    Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo, criticizes Western powers, the US

    The West has an interest in the fragmentation” of the Islamic world and is partly to blame for the rise of Islamic State, one of the world’s top Muslim clerics told AFP in an interview on Tuesday.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar in Florence, Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo, strongly criticized Western powers and particularly the United States.

    Describing himself as “an ordinary citizen” as the Sunni Muslim seat of learning has no political role, the imam said: “The emergence of Daesh (an Arabic term for IS) in such a spontaneous manner leads us to ask what are the deep causes.

    “And the man in the Arab street thinks that the West has something to do with it. The arms Daesh has are American, they are not made in the Arab world.

    “IS developed so quickly and that required enormous amounts of capital. Where did these enormous sums of money come from. The man in the street says the West is not serious about taking on Daesh.”

    In support of this theory, Tayeb cited three parachute drops of arms which ended up in the arms of IS fighters.

    “They said it was a mistake,” he said, while sidestepping a question about the role of some Arab states, notably in the Gulf, in the development and financing of IS.

    “If the world order, otherwise said America and the world, had wanted Arab cooperation in dismantling IS and its sisters and daughters, they could have done it in a single day.

    “The world order wants chaos, it seems it has the intention of fragmenting our region and IS is a very effective instrument. The IS performs a function for the great powers who do not want to see this region develop alongside Israel.

    – Egypt ‘convalescing’ –

    The imam said he would be happy to meet the pope but played down the importance of such an encounter. “If everything was in the hands of the pope or other religious leaders the thing could be resolved very quickly.

    But the question is not about the pope or Al-Azhar, it depends on the political regimes which plan military, economic and financial policy. It is the powers that have military bases and fleets in Arab waters.”

    Asked about death sentences issued to members of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt, Tayeb declined to offer any criticism of the military-backed government.

    “I see that Egypt has overcome the problem. It is a stable country with a fundamental law under which a president was elected, and that was a democratic choice, completely democratic.

    “Egypt is convalescing but we are are seeing an influx of investors who are returning,” he said.

    Asked about the Syrian and Iraqi Christians forced to flee their homes at the hands of IS, the imam replied: “IS has killed more Muslims than Christians.

    “If you look at the percentages of victims, you will see that IS is an enemy of the Arab and Muslim world, and is perhaps working in secret coordination to fragment the Arab world.”

    • After Yitzhak Rabin shook hands with Arafat in the Rose Garden, my father noted that Rabin rushed to the toilet as fast as he could for “a full-scrub”.

      So much for rose gardens. Arabs go for the Strong Horse. That’s Israel, or so it seems. At least that fits with the ‘myth of Judaic centrality’ that’s survived like the poisonous spider of Jew-haters’ fantasies.

      These guys are strictly business and will keep their hands in full sight at all times. I’m betting Israeli security will keep an eye on the Saudi team so the guy survives long enough for us to see how this’ll play out.

      But I bet this bodes ill for the House of Saud.

      The world’s teaming with hordes who pray for our death five times a day, and the Keeper of their Idols – the very heart of their darkness – shakes hands with the Devil.

      This can’t end well, I’m so sorry to say.

      • It sure does spell bad news for the House of Saud.

        No it can’t end well, we are all going to get hurt.

        Rudyard Kipling
        Ford o’ Kabul River

        Kabul town’s by Kabul river —
        Blow the trumpet, draw the sword —
        There I lef’ my mate for ever,
        Wet an’ drippin’ by the ford.
        Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
        Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
        There’s the river up and brimmin’, an’ there’s ‘arf a squadron swimmin’
        ‘Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.

        Kabul town’s a blasted place —
        Blow the trumpet, draw the sword —
        ‘Strewth I shan’t forget ‘is face
        Wet an’ drippin’ by the ford!
        Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
        Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
        Keep the crossing-stakes beside you, an’ they will surely guide you
        ‘Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.

        Kabul town is sun and dust —
        Blow the trumpet, draw the sword —
        I’d ha’ sooner drownded fust
        ‘Stead of ‘im beside the ford.
        Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
        Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
        You can ‘ear the ‘orses threshin’, you can ‘ear the men a-splashin’,
        ‘Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.

        Kabul town was ours to take —
        Blow the trumpet, draw the sword —
        I’d ha’ left it for ‘is sake —
        ‘Im that left me by the ford.
        Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
        Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
        It’s none so bloomin’ dry there; ain’t you never comin’ nigh there,
        ‘Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark?

        Kabul town’ll go to hell —
        Blow the trumpet, draw the sword —
        ‘Fore I see him ‘live an’ well —
        ‘Im the best beside the ford.
        Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
        Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
        Gawd ‘elp ’em if they blunder, for their boots’ll pull ’em under,
        By the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.

        Turn your ‘orse from Kabul town —
        Blow the trumpet, draw the sword —
        ‘Im an’ ‘arf my troop is down,
        Down an’ drownded by the ford.
        Ford, ford, ford o’ Kabul river,
        Ford o’ Kabul river in the dark!
        There’s the river low an’ fallin’, but it ain’t no use o’ callin’
        ‘Cross the ford o’ Kabul river in the dark.

        • This one is closer to what you are looking for.

          Hymn Before Action

          The earth is full of anger,
          The seas are dark with wrath,
          The Nations in their harness
          Go up against our path:
          Ere yet we loose the legions —
          Ere yet we draw the blade,
          Jehovah of the Thunders,
          Lord God of Battles, aid!

          High lust and froward bearing,
          Proud heart, rebellious brow —
          Deaf ear and soul uncaring,
          We seek Thy mercy now!
          The sinner that forswore Thee,
          The fool that passed Thee by,
          Our times are known before Thee —
          Lord, grant us strength to die!

          For those who kneel beside us
          At altars not Thine own,
          Who lack the lights that guide us,
          Lord, let their faith atone!
          If wrong we did to call them,
          By honour bound they came;
          Let not Thy Wrath befall them,
          But deal to us the blame.

          From panic, pride, and terror
          Revenge that knows no rein —
          Light haste and lawless error,
          Protect us yet again,
          Cloke Thou our undeserving,
          Make firm the shuddering breath,
          In silence and unswerving
          To taste Thy lesser death.

          Ah, Mary pierced with sorrow,
          Remember, reach and save
          The soul that comes to-morrow
          Before the God that gave!
          Since each was born of woman,
          For each at utter need —
          True comrade and true foeman —
          Madonna, intercede!

          E’en now their vanguard gathers,
          E’en now we face the fray —
          As Thou didst help our fathers,
          Help Thou our host to-day.
          Fulfilled of signs and wonders,
          In life, in death made clear —
          Jehovah of the Thunders,
          Lord God of Battles, hear!

  11. DAILY MAIL – Britons who want to fight for ISIS in Syria are travelling via CANADA to avoid detection by security services

    Philip Hammond says tactics are becoming ‘increasingly sophisticated’
    Foreign Secretary warned it was a ‘continuing struggle’ for spy agencies
    700 British citizens are thought to have travelled to fight in Syria and Iraq

  12. Pakistan performs 150 executions in six months, more than Saudi Arabia (independent, June 9, 2015)

    “The Pakistani government has carried out 150 executions in the last six months and has become one of the world’s most prolific executioners, amidst concerns that many of those set to be executed gave false confessions under torture.

    The figure means that the number of executions in Pakistan in the last six months has far surpassed the figure in nations like Saudi Arabia.

    Pakistan previously had a moratorium on the death penalty which began in March 2008, but it was lifted at the end of 2014, in the wake of the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, when terrorists murdered 132 children.

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium only on executions linked to terrorism offences, meaning around 50 prisoners convicted of these offences were once again facing execution.

    On 10 March this year, the moratorium was lifted completely, meaning around 8,500 people sentenced to death, members of the world’s largest death row population, were up for execution.

    Since then, executions have proceeded at a high rate. According to human rights organisation Reprieve, last Thursday marked the 150th execution since the moratorium was lifted.

    Ministers in Pakistan have said they they plan to execute hundreds more inmates on death row, despite major concerns internationally over the use of torture to extract forced ‘confessions’.

    Many facing death are also thought to have been sentenced by juveniles , a breach of both Pakistani and international law.

    Pakistan, along with the majority of nations, is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which forbids the execution or sentencing to death of those under 18….”

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