Resources updated between Monday, February 23, 2015 and Sunday, March 01, 2015
March 1, 2015
February 27, 2015
February 25, 2015
"Israel called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and on UN member countries to condemn an international cartoon contest on Holocaust denial hosted by Iran which is set to take place in two months.
'The contest legitimizes Holocaust denial and encourages those who deny the Shoah to continue with their incitement,' Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, wrote in a letter released Saturday.
The competition is organized by Iranian organizations that have said it comes in response to the controversial depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last month.
Iran's House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex are organizing The Second International Holocaust Cartoons Contest, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, the contest's secretary, announced in a press conference earlier this month, according to the Tehran Times.
Shojaei-Tabatabaii, who is also the director of Iran's House of Cartoon, added that contestants will be asked to submit their drawings before April 1.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $12,000, with those in second and third place taking home $8,000 and $5,000, respectively..."
"A federal court in New York this week issued a landmark decision in the case of Sokolow v. PLO, ruling in favor of the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The jury found the PLO guilty of aiding and abetting seven terrorist atrocities that took place in Israel between 2002 and 2004. The attacks killed and wounded nearly 500 individuals, including many Americans.
This decision marks an important milestone in holding Palestinian terrorists and officials accountable for their campaign of atrocities against civilians. It also has unmasked a political and ideological agenda advanced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, belying their claims of promoting universal human rights and ending impunity. The case was aimed at providing redress and compensation for victims of human rights violations.
One would expect human rights and international justice NGOs and activists, who have campaigned on these issues for decades, to support the trial and rejoice at the jury's decision.
Instead, the international and Israeli human rights network has been virtually absent. Since the verdict was announced on Monday afternoon, the leaders of this movement, including HRW's Ken Roth, Reed Brody and Sarah Leah Whitson; Amnesty International; the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR); and many Israeli NGOs like B'Tselem (current and former directors Hagai Elad and Jessica Montell), Gisha and Breaking the Silence have said next to nothing.
In fact, when news of the verdict broke, and although many of them were active on social media such as Twitter at the time, they ignored it completely..."
February 24, 2015
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) - A girl thought to be as young as seven killed herself and seven others in a suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria as President Goodluck Jonathan conceded his government had initially underrated the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.
The attack on a market in the city of Potiskum, the commercial capital of Yobe state, was the latest in a string of suicide strikes in which children have been used.
The initial death toll given by witnesses and hospital sources was six -- the bomber and five others -- but medical sources at the state-run hospital in Potiskum said later two of those injured had also died.
Previous attacks have been blamed on Boko Haram.
Nineteen people injured in the blast were taken to the hospital, a local vigilante leader, Buba Lawan, told AFP.
The bombing highlights the severe security challenges facing Nigeria in the run-up to presidential and parliamentary elections on March 28.
During a swing through neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Sunday urged Nigeria to entirely commit itself to battling Boko Haram.
"It is necessary that there be full commitment from Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram," Fabius told reporters in Niger's capital, Niamey.
On Saturday in the Chadian capital N'Djamena, Fabius visited a coordination cell set up on a French military base to liaise between Cameroon, Chad, Niger and France.
Paris has promised to increase intelligence-sharing and other assistance to the armies of Nigeria and its three neighbours, which banded together to battle Boko Haram after the extremists expanded their campaign across the region's borders.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been in office since 2011, is engaged in a tough re-election campaign against ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.
Voting initially scheduled for February 14 has been delayed for six weeks to give Nigeria's military time to secure the country, despite its failure to beat back Boko Haram in the previous six years.
Jonathan admitted in an interview published on Sunday that early on in their rise he had underestimated the Islamists, who have overrun swathes of the northeast.
"Probably at the beginning, we, and I mean myself and the team, we underrated the capacity of Boko Haram," Jonathan told newspaper ThisDay.
He said the military had recently acquired more arms and ammunition to battle the Islamists, and vowed their defeat was imminent. Sunday's bombing in Potiskum was the second suicide attack in or near the market where new and second-hand phones are sold and repaired.
The first attack occurred January 11, when two suicide bombers -- one of whom appeared to be aged around 15 -- blew themselves up outside the market killing six people and injuring 37 others.
Before Sunday's strike, suspicious security guards and vigilantes said they tried to prevent the girl -- who witnesses said appeared around seven -- from entering the market.
"We sent her back four times, because given her age, she did not have anything to do in the market," Lawan said.
"When we were screening people, she bent and tried to pass under the ropes, some distance from our view. That was when the explosives went off."
In a sign of the distrust generated by the suicide bombings, Lawan said "we have barred women from entering the market to prevent further attacks."
Over 13,000 have been killed while more than one million people have been left homeless since 2009 as the Boko Haram militants try to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria's northeast.
Nigeria's military said Sunday that the offensive against Boko Haram was making progress, claiming soldiers had recovered stocks of weapons abandoned by insurgents fleeing the recaptured town of Baga.
Nigerian military claims to have re-taken Baga from Boko Haram came more than a month after it was overrun in what is feared to be the worst massacre in the six-year insurgency.
There was no independent corroboration that Baga had returned to army control.
Iran Human Rights, February 23, 2015: Iranian state media has reported about execution of 12 prisoners on Sunday 22 February.
According to the Iranian State Broadcasting eight prisoners were hanged in the prison of Bandar Abbas (Southern Iran) on Sunday. One of the prisoners was charged with rape, while the seven others were sentenced to death for drug-related charges. The Young Journalists Club", run by the authorities, quoted Hormozgan prosecutor saying that these prisoners were charged with trafficking of one ton of opium, heroin and hashish.
None of the prisoners were identified by name.
Official website of the Iranian Judiciary in the Markazi Province (South of Tehran) reported about execution of four prisoners convicted of drug-related charges in the prison of Arak.
Tree of the prisoners were identified as "Mohammad M", "Ehsan J." and "Amir Hossein G." charged with participation in production of 59 kilograms and 68 grams of the narcotic drug crystal. "Mohammad M." and "Ehsan J." were in addition charges with selling 2 and 13 kilograms of crystal that they had produced, respectively.
The fourth prisoner was identified as "Reza Z." charged with participation in possession and trafficking of 972 grams of heroin, said the report.
12 Prisoners Executed in Iran Document