Category: Europe Written by Rudi and Edited by Syarif Hidayat
Sanliurfa, Turki, 20 Jumadil Akhir 1435/20 April 2014 (MINA) - Four French journalists held in Syria since they were abducted in June were released and brought to Turkey on Saturday.
An Anadolu Agency correspondent in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa saw Edouard Elias, 22, Didier Francois, 54, Pierre Torres, 29 and Nicolas Henin, 38, welcomed by Turkish soldiers.
It is not clear whom or what groups kidnapped the journalists, Anadolu quoted by Mi’raj islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
French President Francois Hollande said in a statement that the men were in good health, "in spite of the very grueling conditions of their captivity."
Didier Francois, a senior war correspondent working for Europe 1 radio, and Edouard Elias, a photographer, were kidnapped in early June on their way to the Syrian city of Aleppo. Nicolas Henin, who was working for Le Point magazine and Pierre Torres, reporting for French-German television channel Arte, were taken later that month.
AA Correspondent for Thailand Arnaud Dubus, who worked with Francois at French news agency Agence Centrale de Presse, called Francois "a war reporter in the true sense."
"I have known him for 25 years, and during this whole time he has covered conflicts, from the Iran-Iraq war to the wars in Afghanistan and Africa," Dubus said. "He is mentally solid and I think he was well equipped to cope with this situation."
"He is a reporter who works on the ground, more comfortable on battlefields and with guerilla groups than in a press room behind a computer," added Dubus. "Maybe this experience will make him a bit more cautious, but I don't think fundamentally it will alter his way of working," Dubus said.
French President Hollande said that the men will be taken home in the coming hours after a medical check-up. (T/P09/E01).
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 April 2014 08:24
Category: Africa Written by Rudi and Edited by Syarif Hidayat
Nairobi, 19 Jumadil Akhir 1435/19 April 2014 (MINA) - A Human Rights Watch (HRW) representative has accused Sudan and South Sudan of committing grave human rights violations amid reports about ill-treatment and torture of detainees
"The government [of North Sudan] has a lot of blood on its hands," Jehanne Henry, HRW's representative in South and North Sudan, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview in Nairobi, Kenya, quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Henry said that the Khartoum government has violently cracked down on anti-government protests that rocked several Sudanese cities in September.
"Our research shows that there is strong evidence, strong indication that Sudan's government security forces were responsible for the shooting of protesters, killing 170 of them," Henry said.
Protests had flared up in different Sudanese cities in September after the government had lifted fuel subsidies as part of a raft of controversial austerity measures.
According to the Sudanese government, around 34 people, including police, had been killed in the recent wave of protests.
Global rights watchdog Amnesty International, however, had put the death toll at some 200.
The HRW representative said that many of the protesters were "shot in the back, in the head and even a two-month-old infant was killed and also elderly people".
Heny said that the Sudanese authorities had rounded up hundreds of people, including opposition party members, journalists and students.
"Some were released but dozens still remain in detention," Henry said. "They are being ill-treated and tortured in detention. This is something Sudan is known for."
She went on to say that many of the detainees are being held at National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)-run detention facilities.
"The NISS is widely known as the organ that detains people for political reasons because of their real or perceived political positions and is widely known as being very abusive," Henry said.
When asked to compare Sudan's human rights record with that of other African countries, Henry said that "It is very pervasive repression and violent tactics."
"The government is still bombing civilian areas. This is a huge violation of international humanitarian law that we have emphasized over and over again," she said.
"It is really and truly a very bad human rights situation in Sudan that I have spent year-in year-out watching. It remains worse. There is no meaningful improvement in recent years."
South Sudan abuse
The HRW representative has also documented massive human rights abuses in neighboring South Sudan.
"We have seen some really horrific abuses of civilian human rights," Henry told AA.
"We have seen ethnic targeting throughout the country, sometime it is retaliatory where you have the opposition forces and their so-called White Army launching large attacks on innocent civilians."
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of trying to overthrow his regime.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the recent violence.
Following weeks of peace talks mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa, the two sides signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in January.
They have yet to reach an agreement, however, to resolve the ongoing conflict.
"The situation in South Sudan is very fluid now. We have documented massacres in Juba," Henry said.
"Now the situation in Juba appears to be more normal. However, there are tens of thousands of mostly ethnic Nuer people in IDP camps in UN compounds in Juba and in Bor [Jonglei State] and Bentiu [Unity State] and elsewhere," she said.
"The fighting is continuing even though there was a cessation of hostilities agreement made."
The HRW representative blamed South Sudan's warring parties for the human rights abuses in the world's newest state.
"Both sides must pass the message and instructions to their commanders to stop targeting civilians," she said.
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA).
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 April 2014 07:13
Category: Palestine Written by Rudi H and edited by Widi Kusnadi
Al-Quds, 18 Jumadil Akhir 1435/18 April 2014 (MINA) - Hundreds of Palestinian youths performed Friday prayers on the streets outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after Israeli police barred Muslim worshippers from entering the holy site.
Hundreds of Israeli policemen were deployed in the vicinity of the compound, erecting barricades at the entries of the Old City of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) and denying access to people under 50, an Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene said.
Earlier in the day, Israeli police said they would only allow men over 50 and holders of blue ID cards (issued to residents of Al-Quds and Israel) into the compound, Israeli Channel 7 reported.
Israeli police said the decision had followed an intelligence tipoff that Palestinians were planning to stage demonstrations following prayers, Anadolu quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
On Thursday, Palestinians marked Palestinian Prisoners' Day, which is commemorated by Palestinians on April 17 of every year to demand the release of nearly 5000 prisoners long-detained by Israel.
Tension has mounted in Al-Quds over recent threats to Al-Aqsa by extremist Jewish groups, which have called on supporters to force their way into the holy compound during the current Jewish Passover holiday (April 14 to 22).
On Wednesday, clashes broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after Israeli security personnel stormed the holy site in an apparent bid to disperse Palestinians who have been camped out there for days.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have repeatedly forced their way into the Al-Aqsa complex. The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied Al-Quds during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state. (T/P09/P04).
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
Last Updated on Friday, 18 April 2014 23:10
Category: Indonesia Written by Fauziah and edited by Widi Kusnadi
Jakarta, 16 Jumadil Akhir 1435/ 16 April 2014 (MINA) - A Korean new Muslim converter, Dr Ali An Sun Geun, MA launched a book antitled “ Carilah Ilmu ke Negeri Korea" (find out the knowledge to the land of Korea” Wednesday (16/4) in the Indonesia cpital Jakarta.
Sun Geun quoted a Prophet Mohamad's hadith which Stated “ find out the knowledge to the land of Korea.” He claimed the land of Korea incleded China's terrirotial as mentioned in the hadith.
He said, Korea has a lot of things that can be learned by Muslims, particularly indonesians. “Korea is well known of their cultural richness, disciplint and highly work ethic. Muslims also need to learn how the Koreans build their civilication which now many youngsters imitate the lifestyle," he added.
In his "Indonesian version" book, Sun Geun stated that Korea has many similarities with Indonesian cultural . “ As the nation's East, Indonesia and Korea have a lot in common, from the habits of its people, to a range of cultural,” he added.
Currently, Korea is one of the countries in East Asia that are actively promoting Islamic tour program.
Nowadays, Sun Geun actively guides the Korean expats (foreign workers) who re staying in Indonesia. He is also developing bilateral relations between Indonesia and the Gingseng country.
Ali An Sun Geun is a Muslim. He was born in Seoul, 28 February 1964. His curiosity about islam has brought him to indonesia. He became Muslim in 1979 when he was still a high school student. Sun Geun was being fascinated by the beauty of adzan (Muslim call prayer) from a musalla (small mosque) not so far from his home in the District of Kwangju, 45 kilometers from Seoul. Sun geun completed his master and doctoral degrees in Indonesia, taking Islamic studies department.
Sun Geun is now becomes one of a spokesman for for the Government of South Korea. He is also as consultant for the prospective Korean investors if they want to know more information about Indonesia.
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
Last Updated on Friday, 18 April 2014 23:04