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NGOs demand release of journalists held by Huthi forces for two years

first_imgNews April 14, 2017 Find out more News June 9, 2017 NGOs demand release of journalists held by Huthi forces for two years Yemen: Call for independent probe into journalist’s poisoning April 12, 2017 Find out more RSF_en YemenMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses Armed conflictsHostages Receive email alerts Organisation Help by sharing this information to go further RSF condemns death sentence passed on journalist held by Houthis Concern about health of journalists held by Houthis in Sanaa The Huthi and allied forces should immediately and unconditionally release ten Yemeni journalists detained arbitrarily without charge or trial, said nine NGOs today, on the second anniversary of their detention. Follow the news on Yemen News YemenMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses Armed conflictsHostages News February 9, 2017 Find out more The organizations remain extremely concerned for the well-being of the journalists. Family members of the journalists told Amnesty International that all ten men are currently held in the Political Security Office (PSO) in Sana’a, after access to their families was further restricted throughout the month of May. Nine of the journalists were also interrogated during this month. To Amnesty International’s knowledge, this was the first time that some of these men had been questioned since their arrest two years ago. Abdelkhaled Amran, Hisham Tarmoom, Tawfiq al-Mansouri, Hareth Hamid, Hasan Anab, Akram al-Walidi, Haytham al-Shihab, Hisham al-Yousefi and Essam Balgheeth have been detained since 9 June 2015 when they were arrested by armed men in a room from where they were working in Qasr Al-Ahlam Hotel, Sana’a. Those who arrested the men were dressed in a mixture of civilian, military and General Security clothing, and some had slogans on their weapons that are associated with the Huthi armed group and its political wing, Ansarullah. According to their families, the men are not aware of the reasons for their continued detention, and have not been formally charged or brought to trial. In the past, family members told Amnesty International that the detainees told them they overheard guards saying that the nine journalists are being held because they are linked to “terrorism” and “tarnishing the image of the Huthi popular committees”, as well as “working for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, America and Israel.” The journalists work for a variety of news outlets, some of which oppose the Huthi armed group, while others are aligned to the al-Islah opposition political party. On 28 August 2015 a tenth journalist, Salah al-Qaedi, was also arrested by members of the Huthi forces at his home, also in Sana’a. Salah al-Qaedi’s family told Amnesty International that he had been tortured during his detention. There are no formal charges against him but his family suspect he is being detained because he worked for the al-Islah aligned Suhayl Channel, which was raided in September 2014 by the Huthi forces and eventually shut down in March 2015.The families of some of the journalists told Amnesty International that they believe increased visiting restrictions were in retaliation for the peaceful campaigning activities some of them undertook around World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May 2017, including an online campaign and vigils in front of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Sana’a, as well in Ma’rib, Ta’iz and Aden. At the time of writing, at least seven families confirmed that they were allowed a visit last week, having had restricted access for over a month.All ten journalists have had illnesses and medical conditions caused or aggravated by their detention conditions or treatment, including abdominal and intestinal pain, hearing problems, hemorrhoids and headaches, their families told Amnesty International. Some have been taken to a hospital outside of the prison for medical treatment but have not been given appropriate medication. Others have been denied medical treatment altogether. According to Essam Balgheeth’s family, when they last visited him at the end of May, he was suffering from dizziness and regular fainting episodes. The prison authorities refused to take him to a hospital and would not allow his family to bring him natural remedies, such as honey, during their visits. Several other families were also not allowed to bring medication to their detained relatives. Tawfiq al-Mansouri has also been suffering from deteriorating health. According to his family, he was diagnosed with a swelling in his prostate and has only received painkillers and topical medications as treatment.The ten journalists must be released immediately and unconditionally, as they are detained solely for their peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and their perceived political opinions. Pending the journalists’ release, the de facto Huthi authorities must ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment and are given, without delay, regular access to their families, lawyers and adequate medical treatment.There has been a surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and enforced disappearances by Huthi and allied forces of their critics and opponents, as well as journalists, human rights defenders and members of the Baha’i community since the beginning of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s aerial campaign in March 2015. Mwatana Organization for Human Rights has documented the arbitrary detention of five other journalists by the Huthi authorities in Sana’a and Dhamar, including one detainee who has been forcibly disappeared since June 2015. Reporters without Borders have documented the arbitrary detention of another additional journalist by Huthi forces.On 12 April 2017, Yemeni journalist Yahia al-Jubaihi, who has been arbitrarily detained since September 2016, was sentenced to death by the de facto Huthi authorities for allegedly communicating with Saudi Arabian-led coalition forces. The death sentence against Yahia al-Jubaihi must immediately be quashed and the Huthi authorities must ensure he is retried in proceedings that conform to international fair trial standards and without the possibility of a death sentence or released. Yemen is ranked 166th (out of 180) in Reporters Without Border’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.***Amnesty InternationalArticle 19Committee to Protect JournalistsGulf Center for Human RightsHuman Rights WatchIndex on CensorshipMwatana Organization for Human RightsPEN InternationalReporters Without Borders last_img read more

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Suarez charged with violent conduct

first_imgThe Football Association has charged Liverpool forward Luis Suarez with violent conduct for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. The incident occurred in the 74th minute of Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Anfield, in which Suarez went on to score a 96th-minute equaliser. Suarez could face an extended ban after the FA claimed the standard three-match ban for violent conduct was “clearly insufficient”. Press Associationcenter_img An FA statement read: “The FA has charged Liverpool forward Luis Suarez with violent conduct. The charge follows an incident with Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in yesterday’s fixture at Anfield [21 April 2013]. The incident was not seen by the match officials and has therefore been retrospectively reviewed. “It is alleged that the conduct of Suarez constitutes violent conduct and it is the FA’s contention that the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient in these circumstances. Suarez has until 6pm on Tuesday 23 April to respond to the charge, thereafter an Independent Regulatory Commission will be convened this Wednesday, 24 April.” Liverpool have pledged not to sell the Uruguay international after his latest transgression, despite many commentators suggesting they should offload a player who had brought more than his fair share of controversy. The 26-year-old has been fined – with the player requesting the money goes to the Hillsborough Family Support Group – but that will be the extent of the club’s discipline. Suarez, however, has been told that there cannot be any repeat offences and that he must change his behaviour on the pitch. Asked whether the incident would have any effect on the player’s future managing director Ian Ayre, who has liaised with owners Fenway Sports Group over the last 24 hours, told liverpoolfc.com: “No, not at all. It affects his future in the sense that we have to work with him on his discipline – but Luis is a very important player to the club. “He signed a new four-year contract last summer and we’d all love to see him here throughout that contract. He’s a fantastic player, top scorer and everything we’d want in a striker, so there’s no change there. “This is more about getting him back on the right track and it’s largely down to (manager) Brendan (Rodgers) now to work with him on that side of his character, Brendan will be working with him further on his discipline.” last_img read more

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SA revamps immigration services

first_img13 April 2005South Africa has launched a specialist immigration branch in order to offer a professional, world-class service to the growing number of foreigners visiting the country.The National Immigration Branch (NIB), launched by the Department of Home Affairs in Cape Town on Tuesday, will professionalise SA’s control over the entry, stay and departure of visitors, offering efficient services at the country’s ports of entry while beefing up the fight against illegal entrants.The makeover includes high-tech equipment such as automated fingerprint scanners at immigration offices across the country; training in service provision and public relations; distinctive new uniforms for officials at border posts and airports; and a new fleet of vehicles.Building a new immigration policySpeaking at the launch, Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the service offered by the NIB would reflect South Africa’s quest for “friendly and co-operative co-existence with our neighbours and other nations globally”.South Africa, she said, was in the process of building an immigration policy that facilitated legal and regulated movement of people, attracted much-needed skills, boosted tourism, encouraged foreign investment – and was responsive to the immigration challenges the country was facing.“Beyond just the capacity issues, we are confronted with problems regarding trafficking, facilitation, xenophobia, irregular and illegal immigration, lack of integration with neighbouring states, a formerly isolated economy, and the porous nature of our borders”, Mapisa-Nqakula said.“South Africa’s newly established democracy 10 years ago created unprecedented levels of interaction with other nations of the world and placed us at the centre of the rebuilding of our continent.“Our immigration regime as designed before the advent of our democracy was obviously not going to be adequate in addressing these new sets of challenges.”Forging a new mindsetPresident Thabo Mbeki, who also attended the launch, said that since 1994 the volumes of people entering South Africa had increased substantially.“Some come because they want to do business with us, while others will come because of political reasons”, Mbeki said. “It became clear that we don’t have the necessary capacity to handle these large volumes.”Mbeki emphasised that it was a new mindset, not a new uniform, that would ensure a better quality of service to ordinary people. South Africa needed officials that were “good, polite and efficient”, and the NIB should ensure that those who entered the country were handled with the necessary sensitivity.At the same time, he said, those who came into the country for wrong reasons would be identified and dealt with.“Some would like to come in our country to use our country as a base from which to attack other countries”, Mbeki said. “There are also some who will come because they want to bring illicit drugs into the country.“It is therefore imperative that we detect them, and that our immigration officials are efficient when dealing with these matters.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Women clean up at cleantech awards

first_imgThe Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for small and medium enterprises aims to train, mentor and give access to participating entrepreneurs annually. This promises to boost job creation in the country.Four South African women-owned companies score big at this year’s Global Cleantech Innovation Programme gala. The event aims to train, mentor and empower SMEs. (Image Supplied)Melissa Javan Three South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will attend the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Francisco, US, in February 2017.Yolandi Schoeman of Baoberry, Pamela Alborough of SanAqua and Martin Ackermann of Thevia won awards at the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) in Johannesburg.At heart, Cleantech is green technology. It refers to any process, product or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities.The Cleantech Open Global Forum will be hosted from 6-10 February 2017.The GCIP-SA is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) with funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In South Africa, Unido partners with the Technology Innovation Agency as the execution and hosting institution for the GCIP. Cleantech Open, based in the US, serves as the main knowledge partner of the global programme.The GCIP-SA focuses on promoting clean technology innovation aimed at addressing the most pressing energy, environmental and economic challenges of our time.At the GCIP-SA gala evening this year, held on 20 October 2016, businesses owned by women dominated the awards: five of the six awards were won by women. Schoeman walked away with two – the overall winner and Most Promising Woman-Led Business. The others were:Pamela Alborough of SanAqua – one of two runners-upSandiswa Qayi of Amahlathi Echo-Tech – winner of Most Promising Youth- Led BusinessLouise Williamson of Sustainability Professionals – winner of Innovation for Social Impact Small business is big businessIn her keynote speech at the GCIP-SA gala and awards, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor explained that by creating a platform to link South African cleantech entrepreneurs with investors and business and commercial partners, the programme aimed to contribute to the commercialisation of new products and services, and ultimately job creation.The intention of her department was “to exploit the creative abilities of the innovators in our country so that they can establish viable businesses and produce globally marketable products that put South African innovation on the world stage… and show that we as South Africans are capable people”.In September, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said: “A total of 47% of our country’s people are employed by the small business sector. That is 7,3-million people.” To him, small business is big business.This means that the GCIP-SA is in line with the National Development Plan 2030, which has as an aim the creation of millions of jobs for South Africans.Sandiswa Qayi (right) of Amahlathi Eco-Tech won Most Promising Youth-Led Business at the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) awards in Johannesburg on 20 October 2016. She shows Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor (left) her company’s innovation, Hot Spot, for geysers. (Image Supplied)The finalistsOut of more than 80 companies, there were 26 semifinalists for the GCIP-SA competition. Nine were in the energy efficiency category, six in water efficiency, five in renewable energy, four in waste beneficiation, and two in the new green buildings category.During the last week of July, the 26 semifinalists attended business clinics in Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria.They had one-on-one consultations with topic specialists in key entrepreneurial concepts at the clinics. The topics discussed included financing, intellectual property, product development, marketing and business modelling, all targeted at tackling specific challenges in their businesses. The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for small and medium enterprises aims to train, mentor and give access to participating entrepreneurs annually. This promises to boost job creation in the country.Gerswynn McKuur, the national project manager of GCIP-SA, said the participants would benefit from the following services:Training through national academies, webinars, regional events and business clinics;Mentoring by local and international experts on business development and subject matter specialists;Access to capital through building relationships with strategic investors, angel groups, pitch panels, networking, and investor connect programmes;Showcasing innovations at regional events, national conferences, and through global media exposure.It was important to note, McKuur said, that GCIP-SA finalists and semifinalists from 2014, 2015 and 2016 were exposed to ongoing opportunities for mentorship and exposure to potential partners, customers and investors, and not only during the year in which they participated in the programme.”This is part of the GCIP-SA’s mandate of building and maintaining a platform and ecosystem for cleantech innovators in South Africa, and connecting them to relevant international networks.”For example, arrangements were being made through Unido for three participants to take part in a side event at CoP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, from 7-18 November this year.Through its extensive training and mentoring programme, McKuur said, the GCIP-SA helped SMEs and start-ups:to de-risk and make their businesses investor-friendly, thus contributing to their success and expansion; and,to introduce innovative new products into the market.In this way it was making a positive contribution to the South African economy.The winners’ projectsYolandi Schoeman of Baoberry is the overall winner of the 2016 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA).Schoeman also won Most Promising Female-Led Business for 2016 for the aWetbox, or “wetland in a box”. The aWetbox is “a cost-effective, low-maintenance, carbon sequestrating solution to assist municipalities (critical infrastructure needs) and low- to high income home owners to improve water quality with downstream business opportunities.“It is an integrated grey water treatment and rainwater harvesting and treatment system for water optimization, availability, re-use and treatment.“Pamela Alborough of the company SanAque HCA is a runner-up. Her innovation, the Hydrochemical Activation Treatment (HAT System) is “a small, electronic water treatment component.“It is modular so is capable of improving treatment of small to large quantities of water (from 1kl/hr up to very large plants). The system uses no chemicals, requires low skills to operate and by disrupting and coagulating harmful pollutants, cleans water more cheaply and effectively than ever before.“Martin Ackermann, another runner-up is team-leader of the company Thevia. It manufactures Thevia roof tiles. The tiles are made from 99% waste materials, including crusher discard.They weigh a quarter of traditional concrete tiles but are twice as strong and not brittle (<0.1% breakage). Compared to the cheapest concrete tile, Thevia tiles provide an 8-15% cost saving on total roof installation.Sandiswa Qayi of Amahlathi Eco-Tech won the award for the Most Promising Youth-Led Business. The company’s innovation is Hot Spot for geysers.According to the Department of Science and Technology, 6.2 million geysers in the country on the grid consume 40% of monthly electricity; the average heating time for these geysers is 1.5 to three hours.The Hot Spot is explained as “a geyser sleeve/conduit that can be retrofitted over any standard geyser element. The Hot Spot’s solution is to push hot water from the bottom to the top of the geyser using thermosiphon.”It provides 50 litres of hot water within 30 minutes at 50 degrees Celsius for use by all households and small commercial users.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Scholarships available to attend 2020 Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Farm Bureau would like to select 10 Young Agricultural Professionals members to attend the American Farm Bureau’s 2020 Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference to enhance their knowledge of and experience with Farm Bureau.Members will travel to Louisville, Ky. March 13-16, 2020 to hear from motivational speakers, network with members and industry leaders, gain new information and skills through breakout sessions and tour local ag and tourism locations.Conference highlightsKeynote speakersLocal tours in KentuckyCollegiate Discussion MeetHands-on learning sessionsEvening entertainmentAnd so much more!Farm Bureau members interested in one of the 10 spots should apply by Nov. 15, 2019. Couples and individuals are welcome to apply (couples should complete separate applications.) Ohio Farm Bureau staff will review applications and select the 10 participants. However, any OFBF YAP member is welcome to attend the AFBF YF&R Conference at his or her own expense.Conference details:Date: March 13-16, 2020Location: Louisville, Ky.Application deadline to Ohio Farm Bureau: Nov 15. All applicants will be notified if they were selected by Dec 6. Selected applicants must confirm by Dec. 14 if they are attending the YF&R Conference. Note: YAP members selected to attend previous years YF&R Conferences are not eligible to apply this year.Selected YAP attendees receive:Registration Fee – $250Flight expenseOvernight accommodations for up to four nights (Arriving on Friday, March 13 and departing Tuesday, March 17)One group meal outside of conference mealsAttendee would cover:Meals not covered at the conferenceBaggage feesCab/Uber faresContact Kelsey Turner, Young Ag Professionals program specialist at 419-603-6796 for more information.Online extraRead about Ryan Matthew’s experience at the 2019 conference.Photo caption: Ohio’s Young Ag Professionals who attended the 2019 conference in Milwaukee.last_img read more

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9 months agoReal Betis defender Bartra blasts Vinicius Jr: He remembered my mother three times…

first_imgReal Betis defender Bartra blasts Vinicius Jr: He remembered my mother three times…by Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Betis defender Marc Bartra has hit out at Real Madrid attacker Vinicius Junior after yesterday’s clash.Madrid won 2-1 with former Barcelona defender Bartra having a running battle with the Brazilian teen.He barked: “Vinícius was on the ground for longer than he was standing, I asked him not to dive and he called me a son of … well, he has remembered my mother three times.”Bartra offered Vinicius some advice: “He has a lot to learn, I do not think they are the right actions for a Real Madrid player.”He added: “The points escaped us, but at the level of sensations we have been very superior, that gives us a lot of confidence, it is a good line for the future.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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a month agoMarseille teammates liken Dario Benedetto to Sergio Aguero

first_imgMarseille teammates liken Dario Benedetto to Sergio Agueroby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveValere Germain has likened Olympique Marseille teammate Dario Benedetto to Sergio Aguero.Benedetto has quickly won over his new OM teammates since arriving from Boca Juniors.”Dario Benedetto? The last time I heard (Sergio) Aguero. It’s not necessarily the same profile, but they are players who are not very tall, who fight, keep the ball very well and finish the opportunities they have,” said Germain. “So maybe he looks a little like Aguero. We hope in any case that he will do as good a season that what Aguero will do with (Manchester) City.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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20 days agoBayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry: These 3 helped me at Arsenal

first_imgBayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry: These 3 helped me at Arsenalby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry has named former three team-mates who helped him during his time with Arsenal.The German international fired himself back into the headlines this week when he scored four times for Bayern Munich during their 7-2 win over Tottenham in north London.Gnabry told The Athletic of Robin van Persie: “He always told me to go for it.“That I could do it when I got my first few minutes on the pitch.“As a young player, his words meant a lot to me.“He was a great help, as were Mesut [Ozil] and Lukas [Podolski]. They encouraged me by telling me about their problems and giving useful advice.“I was lucky that I could learn from them.”“As much as I loved Arsenal and being in London, I realised that I needed to play regularly.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Kishor came with proposal to merge JD(U) and RJD, claims Rabri Devi

first_imgPatna: Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi on Friday claimed that Prashant Kishor had met her husband Lalu Prasad with the proposal that the RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) merge together and the new entity thus formed declare its “prime ministerial candidate” ahead of polls.If Kishor denies having met Prasad with such a proposal, he is speaking a blatant lie, she said. “I got infuriated and asked him to go away as I had no trust left in the Bihar chief minister following his betrayal,” the RJD national vice president, who is also the leader of the opposition in the legislative council, told a regional news channel here. Kumar had last year walked out of the Grand Alliance, which was formed upon his party’s partnership with the RJD and the Congress. He re-joined the BJP-led NDA. “All our staff and the security personnel deployed here are witnesses. He called on us at least five times, mostly here (her 10, Circular Road residence), and one or two times at paanch number (5, Deshratna Marg – the bungalow allotted to her younger son Tejashwi Yadav),” Rabri Devi said. “Kishor was sent by Nitish Kumar with the proposal – let us merge both parties and declare a prime ministerial candidatehe came in broad daylight and not clandestinely in the dark of night,” she asserted. Expressing displeasure over Kumar’s claim that the RJD supremo keeps talking to Kishor from jail, she said, “Even we, (family members), do not get an opportunity for a telephonic talk with him (Lalu Prasad). And what about the claim by Anant Singh that while he was in jail, Lalan Singh (minister) used to arrange his telephonic talks with Nitish”. A mafia don-turned-politician who represents Mokama assembly segment, Anant Singh was earlier considered close to the Bihar chief minister, but fell out with him prior to the 2015 assembly polls. His wife Neelam Devi is contesting the Lok Sabha polls as a Congress candidate from Munger, where she is pitted against JD(U)’s Lalan Singh – a state minister and close aide of the chief minister. Anant Singh made the claim in a recent interview to a local news portal.last_img read more

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Egypt denies mistreatment of Syrian refugees

first_imgCAIRO – Egypt on Thursday denied it was mistreating Syrian refugees following a report by Amnesty International accusing authorities of unlawfully detaining and deporting hundreds of Syrians fleeing civil war.In a statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry said the content of Amnesty’s report was “inaccurate and does not reflect the reality of their situation in the country.”“There are over 300,000 Syrians (in Egypt) and they are treated in a dignified way… and receive the same treatment as Egyptians with regards to health care and education,” the ministry said. It reiterated that Egypt’s policy was to “support the Syrian people … and the Syrian revolution.”“There is no policy of deportation of our Syrian brothers and the vast majority of them live in peace,” the ministry said.Egypt has recently required Syrians and other nationals to acquire visas from Egyptian consulates abroad prior to arrival in the country.“This is related to the security situation in Egypt and as soon as calm returns, this measure will be reviewed,” the ministry said.Earlier on Thursday, Amnesty had accused Egypt of unlawfully detaining and deporting hundreds of Syrian refugees, many of them women and children.“Instead of offering vital help and support to refugees from Syria, the Egyptian authorities are arresting and deporting them, flouting human rights standards,” Sherif Elsayed Ali, Amnesty’s head of refugee and migrants’ rights said in a statement.“Most refugees lost their homes and livelihoods when they fled Syria.Failing to help and protect them is a stain on the reputation of Egypt and could seriously damage its image as a key stakeholder in the region.”Ali said Egypt was failing “abysmally to meet its international obligations to protect even the most vulnerable refugees.”Amnesty said hundreds of refugees who fled Syria, including scores of children, face ongoing detention in poor conditions or deportation.It said the Egyptian navy has intercepted around 13 boats carrying refugees from Syria in their attempt to reach Europe.Quoting the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, it said 946 people have been arrested by Egypt while attempting the crossing, and that 724 remain in detention.Egyptian authorities say the country has taken in around 300,000 Syrian refugees, with some trying to leave for Europe aboard overcrowded ships.The media has often accused refugees of backing the Muslim Brotherhood and of being involved in political violence that erupted in Egypt after the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.last_img read more

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