Palestinian Authority arrest campaign ‘one of the worst in years’ | Palestinian Authority News

Ramallah, occupied West Financial institution – The Palestinian Authority (PA) is finishing up one of many largest political arrest campaigns in years towards Palestinians within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, with a minimum of 94 folks arrested over the previous two months.

These arrested embody college college students and journalists, with a minimum of 20 nonetheless in detention, in line with the Ramallah-based Legal professionals for Justice group. None had been charged with any offences, and most had been launched after 10 days in jail.

“This is likely one of the most main campaigns since a minimum of 2012,” Muhannad Karajeh, the pinnacle of Legal professionals for Justice, informed Al Jazeera, including {that a} “sizeable variety of detainees reported maltreatment and torture in detention”.

Karajeh mentioned the vast majority of these arrested had been Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) activists in addition to, to a lesser extent, people affiliated with the PA’s governing occasion Fatah, and the left-wing Palestinian Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

“We obtain new circumstances every single day,” Karajeh, whose agency represents political detainees, mentioned.

The lawyer additionally famous that a big portion of the folks being arrested had been imprisoned in Israeli jails prior to now, making their detention by the PA extra controversial for Palestinians.

“The bulk had been interrogated about their political activism, for instance about their participation in elections – whether or not as candidates or as supporters of sure lists – and others, like college students, about their pupil union actions,” mentioned Karajeh.

The PA and its safety forces are continuously criticised by rights teams over what they confer with because the “systematic arrest and torture” of dissidents, together with college students, journalists and political activists.

In a joint United Nations submission by Legal professionals for Justice and Human Rights Watch earlier this month, the teams mentioned such practices “quantity to authorities coverage” and are used “to punish and intimidate critics and opponents, together with these detained for social media posts, vital journalism, or membership in rival political motion or pupil teams”.

Talal Dweikat, spokesman for the Palestinian safety companies, acknowledged that the PA has been conducting a marketing campaign of arrests just lately, and justified it as essential.

“There are robust directions from the president Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] on the safety degree, for all the safety companies of their completely different branches, on the significance of exerting all of the strain doable to handle all manifestations of chaos and dysfunction within the Palestinian road,” he informed Al Jazeera.

Dweikat added that the safety companies intend to proceed their work, the “principal purpose of which is to offer safety and security for each Palestinian citizen”.

Torture in detention

The case of 1 present detainee, Ahmad Hreish, made headlines after he reported that he had been tortured in detention.

The 28-year-old has been held in a solitary cell for greater than 50 days in Jericho jail, dubbed regionally because the “slaughterhouse” – infamous for being the place the place political detainees are despatched and tortured.

He has but to be charged with any offences.

His sister, Asmaa, was current on the Jericho Justice of the Peace’s Courtroom listening to for Hreish on June 13.

She mentioned her brother appeared extraordinarily drained and broke down in tears when he spoke concerning the torture he was uncovered to, together with shabeh (strappado) and beatings with sticks and rubber ropes. Al Jazeera additionally acquired a transcript of the court docket listening to.

Hreish, who was beforehand imprisoned by Israel, informed the court docket a number of instances that he had not been interrogated, regardless of his detention being extendedseveral instances.

“There’s something you can’t comprehend, that your countryman is imprisoning a fellow countryman, and never simply that, that they’re torturing him,” 29-year-old Asmaa informed Al Jazeera.

“It’s troublesome to elucidate the ache we’re going by,” she continued, including that it had been significantly nerve-racking for his spouse, who’s nearing the complete time period of her being pregnant.

Inside division

Karajeh mentioned he believes this newest marketing campaign of arrests is “mainly a message despatched by the facility of the safety grip that the PA enjoys, towards its enemies”.

The PA has lengthy persecuted members and supporters of its principal rival political group, Hamas, which has been the de facto ruler within the besieged Gaza Strip since 2007 when it defeated Fatah in parliamentary elections. Fatah was pushed out of the Strip because it tried a preemptive takeover, which resulted in a number of weeks of violent combating.

The 2 events have ruled the occupied Gaza Strip and West Financial institution respectively ever since, with inner division deeply plaguing Palestinian politics.

In June, Hamas, which has additionally been accused of arresting and torturing critics, mentioned in a press release that it “strongly condemns the political arrests carried out by the PA safety companies,” which, it mentioned, “serves the pursuits of the [Israeli] occupation and doesn’t contribute to the unity of the nationwide entrance”.

Quite a lot of Hamas-affiliated pupil teams have launched comparable condemnations of the concentrating on of scholars at completely different universities just lately.

A number of developments point out that the PA is tightening its clampdown on rising opposition within the occupied West Financial institution, significantly after the beating to dying of a distinguished critic by the safety companies final 12 months.

‘Mushy coup’

In Could, the primary pupil elections to be held since 2019 at Birzeit College close to Ramallah, the Hamas-affiliated al-Wafaa Islamic Bloc gained in a landslide victory, securing 28 out of 51 seats within the pupil union, beating the Fatah-affiliated Martyr Yasser Arafat Bloc (known as Shabiba), which gained 18.

The outcomes of the election, which have traditionally been considered reflective of wider Palestinian public opinion, had been unprecedented. In 2019, the Hamas and Fatah-affiliated teams had secured an equal variety of seats.

Earlier this month, the previous head of the PA’s intelligence, and present member of the Fatah govt committee, Tawfiq Tirawi, mentioned Fatah had appointed him to look into the explanations behind the Shabiba’s loss.

Tirawi mentioned on Palestine TV that “Hamas’s plan right this moment is a gentle coup within the West Financial institution, to take management of establishments and universities”.

In June, plain-clothed Palestinian safety officers attacked a peaceable protest by the Hamas-affiliated pupil motion at Najah College in Nablus. Officers beat college students and professors, inflicting a number of critical accidents, used pepper spray on them and fired pictures into the air, inflicting outrage.

With inner division persevering with to develop, and authorities utilizing ever extra forceful means to remain in energy, many Palestinians really feel they’re being made to pay having differing views.

“They’re concentrating on freed political prisoners on this newest marketing campaign – honourable and liberated males,” mentioned Asmaa. “You’re feeling injustice. It is rather troublesome.”

Saudi police arrest man who helped Israeli sneak into Mecca | Religion News

Mecca regional police have arrested an unnamed Saudi nationwide who helped sneak the Israeli reporter into Mecca.

A Saudi man who allegedly helped a Jewish Israeli journalist enter the holy metropolis of Mecca has been arrested, police within the kingdom have stated, after a backlash on social media.

The journalist, Gil Tamary of Israel’s Channel 13, posted on Twitter a video of himself on Monday sneaking into Mecca, Islam’s holiest metropolis, in defiance of a ban on non-Muslims.

Mecca regional police have “referred a citizen” to prosecutors for alleged complicity in “transferring and facilitating the entry of a (non-Muslim) journalist”, a police spokesperson stated in feedback reported by the official Saudi Press Company late on Friday.

SPA didn’t identify Tamary however stated he’s an American citizen, implying he had entered the nation utilizing his American passport because the kingdom has no formal ties with Israel.

His case has additionally been referred to prosecutors “to take the mandatory procedures in opposition to him in accordance with the utilized legal guidelines”, regardless of the Israeli nationwide now not being within the kingdom.

Whereas Muslims of any nationality and background can enter Mecca, non-Muslims aren’t permitted as a result of a really particular code of conduct and behavior is required of all individuals inside its boundaries, together with sure types of modesty, ritual cleaning and prayers.

In his roughly 10-minute clip, Tamary visits Mount Arafat, the place robed Muslim pilgrims collect to hope throughout the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage annually.

He makes clear he is aware of that what he’s doing is outlawed however says he needed to showcase “a spot that’s so necessary to our Muslim brothers and sisters”.

Tamary left the mount after he stated the non secular police started asking him questions to ensure he was a Muslim.

The general public backlash over Tamary’s go to was fast on social media, with Muslims and Saudis expressing their anger over his deception and obvious disregard for the sanctity of the location.

Translation: If he’s a Muslim, he’s welcome no matter his nationality. But when he’s not a Muslim, I hope that he shall be investigated and with those that cooperated with him and understand how he entered the Holy Sanctuary. What God has forbidden within the Holy Quran can’t be tolerated and ignored. 

Translation: The Saudi media insists on ignoring what we all know. I do know he’s an Israeli journalist with an American passport, and also you all comprehend it, and the [Saudi] authorities itself is aware of that, and gave him particular permission to work as a reporter for an Israeli media firm. The journalist himself within the video boasted that he was the primary Israeli to enter Mecca.

The incident comes as Saudi-Israeli ties have been quietly rising amid shared issues over Iran. Publicly, the dominion insists its coverage is that full ties can solely occur when Palestinian statehood and rights are assured.

The reporter and Channel 13 responded on Twitter after the report aired. The information channel, in each Hebrew and Arabic, stated Tamary’s report was pushed by “journalistic curiosity” and a need to witness and see issues first hand.

Police known as on guests to respect Saudi Arabia’s legal guidelines, notably relating to Mecca and Islam’s holiest websites within the kingdom.

Police arrest leading gay activist in crackdown on Tunisia rally | Protests News

Tunis, Tunisia – Police have arrested a number one homosexual rights campaigner in a violent pushback towards younger folks throughout a rally towards the upcoming referendum on the Tunisian president’s newly proposed structure.

Police violently shoved protesters marching on Friday in a vocal however peaceable demonstration as they headed in direction of the Ministry of Inside within the centre of Tunis to reveal towards President Kais Saied’s newly-penned structure and demand an finish to the referendum course of.

Al Jazeera witnessed beatings and different violent abuses of protesters, and likewise noticed police use pepper spray.

President Saied printed his new draft structure on the finish of final month, forward of a referendum scheduled for July 25 the place Tunisians will vote to simply accept or reject the doc.

July 25 marks a 12 months since Saied sacked Tunisia’s prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed govt authority, citing a nationwide emergency in a transfer critics have referred to as a coup.

Two months later he introduced he would rule by decree, and dismantled most of the nation’s democratic state establishments together with the Superior Judicial Council. In June, he fired dozens of judges accusing them of corruption and “terrorism”, additional consolidating his energy.

Scuffles between protesters and police in Tunis
The police scuffled with protesters who accuse President Kais Saied of an influence seize and worry the brand new structure will result in dictatorship [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

Saied says he has carried out a interval of outstanding measures to save lots of the nation from an imminent hazard however his critics say his actions have solely exacerbated the political and financial crises going through Tunisians who’re struggling amid excessive inflation and unemployment, and declining public providers.

‘I’m so indignant’

 

On Friday, police launched plenty of aggressive expenses towards what was a comparatively small though vocal group of protesters.

As they charged towards protesters they attacked chief of the left wing Entrance Common Hama Hemami, a feminine journalist was slapped whereas attempting to {photograph} police arresting a protester and Al Jazeera noticed many individuals struggling the painful results of fuel and pepper spray.

Police dragged protesters to the bottom as they arrested them, and held them in stress holds as they marched a few of them away.

Amongst these arrested was a number one LGBTQI+ activist Saif Ayadi. Avocats sans Frontiers instructed Al Jazeera he’s at the moment being held at Gorjani detention centre however ASF say they’re involved for his security as he has beforehand been arrested and overwhelmed by police.

Riot police pushed again the group with their shields earlier than fellow officers charged forcefully towards the group chasing protesters down facet streets.

Khalil Ayari, a 23 12 months previous nursing scholar, instructed Al Jazeera: “I noticed 10 folks arrested, and (they) have been simply protesting peacefully. I noticed them assault a lady, they have been pulling her arm so onerous I may see the bruises rising.”

Ayari stated he took to the streets as a result of he was livid on the president’s actions.

“I’m so indignant,” he stated. “I learn the structure, it’s solely concerning the president, it’s all for him, he’s going to make all the choices and take the whole lot.”

He added: “After right this moment I not longer really feel secure in Tunisia.”

Beneath the brand new structure, Saied would have the ability to proceed to rule by decree till a brand new parliament is fashioned after an election set for December. He would even have final authority over the federal government and judiciary, with the federal government answering to the president and to not parliament.

Protesters and police jostle at barriers erected in Tunis with an officer spraying tear gas into their faces
A Tunisian policeman sprays tear fuel at a protester attempting to take away metallic limitations throughout Friday’s protest towards the proposed new structure [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

The face of Ayla Salemi, who works in civil society, was shiny crimson after being caught within the pepper spray.

“The police have been shouting and insisting that we go dwelling, then they charged at us,” she instructed Al Jazeera. “They battered the feminine activist Waen Nawal with a stick and so they used pepper spray on me and others.”

The 35-year-old tried to catch her breath. “I used to be towards what occurred final 12 months within the parliament, however I’m additionally towards this president, issues are a lot worse now than they have been earlier than.”

For a lot of younger folks, Saied’s actions are a betrayal.

“We’re towards Saied’s structure as a result of this can deliver us to dictatorship, we can not tolerate this; we’re right here to say no!” 23-year-old regulation scholar Malak Ben Amane instructed Al Jazeera.

Half method by the interview a policeman got here to berate Ben Amane, however she stood coolly and refused to maneuver. Because the officer moved away she stated: “This violence shouldn’t be uncommon it occurs day by day, it is a police state.”

Till Friday, protests towards the president had largely concerned middle-aged folks, however the younger are actually popping out towards him too.

“Sure, we’re depressed, however we’re right here to defend our revolution and our democracy, so I’ll march once more tomorrow,” Ben Amane stated.

S Africa: Opposition calls for prosecution of Guptas after arrest | Corruption News

SA politicians have been reacting to the arrest of the Guptas, who’re enmeshed in a longrunning corruption scandal.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s main opposition get together, has welcomed the arrest of the controversial Gupta brothers by police within the United Arab Emirates and known as for his or her prosecution.

Atul and Rajesh Gupta, two of the main members of the Gupta household, have been arrested in Dubai on Tuesday.

They fled there in April 2016, shortly after investigations into their position in utilizing their affiliation with former president Jacob Zuma, to affect contracts and appointments, intensified.

Zuma, who was president from 2009 to 2018, is on trial for misappropriation of state funds throughout his tenure in collusion with the brothers, amongst others. He and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

In a press release on Tuesday, the DA known as for extra arrests in reference to the theft of state funds, “We hope that that is certainly the start of arrests and prosecution of those that have – domestically and overseas – looted our nation for years and are straight chargeable for the hardships that hundreds of thousands of South Africans face at the moment.”

The Dubai Police mentioned that it obtained a “purple discover” alert from Interpol following efforts by the South African Division of Justice and Correctional Providers to arrest the brothers who’re “amongst South Africa’s most wished suspects, in reference to cash laundering and prison prices in South Africa”.

The fees relate to a $1.6m authorities contract awarded to a Gupta-owned firm, Islandsite, by means of an funding agency owned by a Gupta affiliate Iqbal Sharma, by the Division of Agriculture within the Free State province, based on the Nationwide Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Vuyo Zungula, chief of the smaller opposition get together African Transformation Motion (ATM), additionally commented, saying, “The legislation should run its course, and we hope that the nation will probably be saved abreast of all developments till the finalisation of the court docket processes.”

The governing African Nationwide Congress (ANC) additionally launched a press release on Tuesday urging the authorities in South Africa and the UAE “to expedite the extradition of Messrs Gupta to South Africa in order that the costs towards them might be adjudicated by a court docket of legislation.”

However different politicians appear to be cautious of the newest developments.

Julus Malema, the outspoken chief of the Financial Freedom Fighters (EFF) mentioned the story could be “a diversion to remove consideration from President Cyril Ramaphosa”, who has additionally been on the receiving finish of great accusations of corruption just lately.

“Present me an image of the Guptas in jail,” he instructed the media throughout a information convention on Tuesday, “There’s a big risk that this story is getting used as a diversion.”

A fee was set as much as examine corruption by prime authorities officers and Zuma associates, particularly the Guptas, all through his presidency.

Lots of of witnesses testified earlier than the fee which value $65m in its three years of operation. The primary a part of the “state seize report” was delivered in January 2022. In response to the report, the Guptas allegedly funnelled hundreds of thousands by means of authorities contracts into their very own corporations.

The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Providers mentioned, “Discussions between numerous legislation enforcement businesses within the UAE and South Africa on the best way ahead are ongoing. The South African authorities will proceed to co-operate with the UAE.”

Chrispin Phiri, a spokesperson for the ministry declined to touch upon the following phases within the extradition of the Gupta brothers or the form of transparency the general public will probably be granted.

“We won’t make any further feedback; we will solely affirm arrests presently,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

Court orders probe into former Pakistan minister’s arrest | News

Shireen Mazari, who served underneath former PM Imran Khan, was arrested by police close to her Islamabad dwelling on Friday.

A courtroom in Pakistan’s capital has ordered an investigation into the controversial arrest of a former human rights minister over a decades-old land dispute.

Chief Justice Ather Minallah of the Islamabad Excessive Court docket late Saturday ordered the probe in response to a petition from the daughter of ex-minister Shireen Mazari.

Mazari, who served within the cabinet-level place underneath former Prime Minister Imran Khan, was arrested by police close to her Islamabad dwelling on Friday.

Minallah questioned the choice by officers in Islamabad to permit police from a Punjab provincial district to make the arrest within the capital.

Fawad Chaudhry, former info minister in Khan’s administration, alleged Mazari – the senior chief in Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf celebration – had been politically focused by the brand new administration of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif underneath the guise of a land dispute relationship again to 1972.

Hours after Mazari’s arrest, Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz of Punjab province ordered her launch and late Saturday she was dropped at the Islamabad courtroom for a listening to.

After she was launched, Mazari in a sequence of tweets stated her cell phone was taken and her driver overwhelmed and blindfolded.

“I wish to thank the Chief Justice Islamabad Excessive Court docket for taking well timed discover. I’ve at all times opposed enforced disappearances and now I do know personally what the households of the disappeared undergo,” she stated.

‘Fascist regime’

Former Prime Minister Khan condemned Mazari’s arrest, accusing the Sharif-led authorities of being a “fascist regime”.

“Shireen is robust and fearless, if the imported govt thinks it could possibly coerce her by this fascism, they’ve miscalculated!” he stated on Twitter.

 

Mazari has been vital of Sharif’s authorities on social media since Khan’s authorities was toppled in a no-confidence vote in parliament final month.

Khan, 69, who led the nuclear-armed South Asian nation of 220 million individuals for 3 and a half years, had accused the USA of backing a conspiracy to take away him.

Lots of PTI’s legislators resigned from the physique’s decrease home in protest and Khan is mobilising supporters via big public rallies throughout the nation to strain the federal government into an early election.