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Hariri accepts verdict in father’s case, wants ‘just punishment’ | News

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Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says his family accepted a United Nations-backed tribunal’s verdict in the case of his father’s assassination 15 years ago in Lebanon’s capital.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Tuesday found Salim Ayyash, a member of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, guilty of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri along with 21 others in a massive bomb blast in Beirut.

Three other Hezbollah suspects were cleared.

Ayyash, along with Assad Sabra, Hassan Oneissi and Hassan Habib Merhi, was tried in absentia as Hezbollah has refused to disclose their whereabouts.

The international court near The Hague, Netherlands, found the February 14, 2005 attack was politically motivated in an “act of terrorism designed to cause fear in the Lebanese population”.

“We accept the verdict of the tribunal and want justice to be implemented,” Hariri told reporters after the verdict and called for “just punishment” for the criminals.

“I think that today the court has shown high credibility, showing that this court is not politicised.” 

Hariri further said his father was assassinated “because he was against the policy of the regime in Syria and he wanted to take this regime out of Lebanon”.

“We all said this, right? But when it comes from a court, that shows that what we’ve said before in the past, is true.”

The four members of Hezbollah were accused of organising and carrying out the attack, although the Iran-backed group was not formally charged and denied any involvement.

Hariri said those who assassinated his father aimed to “change the face of Lebanon and its system and its civilised identity” and said there will be “no compromise” on this matter.

Hariri added that if the Lebanese “want coexistence”, everyone must admit to their mistakes.

“Hezbollah must cooperate in this matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, the premier’s brother, Bahaa Hariri, criticised Hezbollah in a statement also made after the verdict.

“The court was clear about the political background of those involved,” the slain politician’s eldest son said, adding that the “malign influence of Hezbollah” hangs over the country “like a dark cloud”.

“We must blow that dark cloud away if we are to shine as a country,” he said.

The assassination plunged Lebanon into what was then its worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war, setting the stage for years of confrontation between rival political factions.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Gov’t Promises to Mend Relationship with NGOs

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The Minister for Internal Affairs General Jeje Odongo has dismissed claims that Government is currently not at the best of terms with Non-Governmental Organizations and embarked on policies aimed at suppressing them.

Speaking at the launch of a book titled ‘Uganda’s Civil Society’ in Kampala, Odongo noted that while some things might not have moved on well between Government and some NGOs, the former is willing to address these issues so that the two parties can continue operating hand in hand.

“I would like to assure you that Government in the process of regulating this field through the NGO bureau. Government doesn’t have any sinister motives but is focused on improving the sector.”

As the line minister, Odongo vowed to ensure that the relationship between Government and these Organizations is improved to the extent that where there is a need, government will be ready to come in and support them.

The new book, which contains crucial information about these bodies, Odongo said, will be of great importance to various stake holders.

Stephen Okello the head of the NGO Bureau applauded the author and financer of this publication, saying it had come at a time when the country lacks a one stop center as far as operations of NGOs in the country is concerned.

“This book is very important because it’s going to spark off discussions on issues affecting CSOs; therefore, I ask everyone to spare time and read it.”

Joel Senyonyi the spokesperson for National Unity Platform (NUP) asked Government to stop referring to its critiques as enemies of the state or Agents of Europeans because they do all this as a result of love for their nation.

Sarah Bireete the Executive Director for Center for Constitutional Governance (CCG) noted that the Government is more comfortable with them sensitizing people on Sanitation matters than issue of Governance issues.

The post Gov’t Promises to Mend Relationship with NGOs first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Taking a knee, lifting fist to be punished at Tokyo 2020 Olympics | Black Lives Matter News

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Against the backdrop of the BLM movement protesting racial injustice, calls increased for change to IOC rule.

Taking a knee during the Tokyo Olympics or lifting a fist in support of racial equality will be punished as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) maintained its ban on athletes’ protests inside stadiums, at ceremonies and on podiums.

The IOC’s Rule 50 forbids any kind of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in venues and any other Olympic area and the Games body concluded the rule should be maintained following an athlete consultation.

Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement against racial injustice, calls have increased in recent months for a change to that rule that would allow athletes to protest.

Some international federation chiefs, including World Athletics’ President Sebastian Coe, have said athletes should have the right to make gestures of political protest during the Games.

The IOC’s Athletes’ Commission chief Kirsty Coventry, who led a review of the rule, said 70 percent of the athletes consulted were against any protests within the fields of play or the podiums.

“I would not want something to distract from my competition and take away from that. That is how I still feel today,” Coventry, a former Olympic swimming champion for Zimbabwe, said in an online presentation of the Rule 50 consultation results.

Coventry said there were a series of recommendations approved by the IOC’s Executive Board on Wednesday, including providing clarity on sanctions, more information about Rule 50, a change of wording of the Olympic Oath with messages on inclusion, and producing athlete apparel with inclusive messaging.

The IOC’s recommendations are the result of a consultation process that started in June 2020 and involved more than 3,500 athletes.

The Tokyo Olympics, delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, kicks off on July 23.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Terego headteacher arrested over defiling own daughter

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The headteacher of Yole primary school in Tergo district, northern Uganda has been arrested on allegations of defiling and battering his own daughter. 

Tom Amayo was arrested on Tuesday by officers from Katrini police post following a tip-off by the victim’s uncles where she had sought refuge. 

According to preliminary police findings, the suspect committed the offence several times at his residence in the staff quarters where has been living with the victim. Agnes Anyu, the Terego district police commander, says that they have charged the suspect rape, defilement and torture.

Geoffrey Aziz, a member of Yole primary school management committee told URN that they are in the process of holding an emergency meeting following the arrest of the headteacher to forge away forward to allow the school to run normally. 



Source – observer.ug

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