2nd Tunisian detainee dies after hunger strike

Updated 18 November 2012
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2nd Tunisian detainee dies after hunger strike

TUNIS, Tunisia: A second suspect in the attack on Tunisia’s US Embassy died yesterday after months on a hunger strike, his lawyer said.
Mohammed Bakhti, a prominent member of the Salafi movement, was admitted to intensive care days earlier following complications resulting from his two-monthlong hunger strike.
Fellow detainee, Bachir Al-Gholi, died on Thursday after a heart attack brought on by his own hunger strike.
The two men had proclaimed their innocence. Abdelbasset Ben Mbarek, their lawyer, accused authorities of responding too late to their grave condition.
Security forces killed four people in the attack, the area around the US Embassy was damaged and an American school was gutted.
Some 425 suspects were rounded up in the aftermath of the attack, with 225 remaining in custody, according to Justice Minister Nourreddine Bhiri.
The minister said he regretted the death of Al-Gholi and deplored the use of hunger strikes as a protest. He said the death would be investigated.
The Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights has called for an independent investigation.


Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

Updated 34 min 14 sec ago
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Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

  • Iran arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad
  • The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd

TEHRAN: Iran on Thursday arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, the judiciary said.
“The head of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance in Mashhad was arrested for undermining public decency and disrespecting the laws,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said quoting a deputy prosecutor.
Islamic law in Iran prohibits public dancing.
The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd. The event took place on Tuesday.
Mohsen Afshar, a spokesman for the shopping center, told the ISNA news agency that a monthly draw is organized and a car given away to the lucky winner to attract customers.
According to Afshar the singer had the necessary “official permits to perform.”
The performance can attract 10,000-12,000 people, he said, including “some individuals whose behavior is contrary to the norms of the Islamic republic.”
But Heydari told Tasnim news agency that the mall was not authorized to organize such events.
Mashhad is a holy and conservative city where in 2016 concerts were banned by the Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Allamolhoda, who also told music-lovers to “Go somewhere else.”
Thursday’s arrest comes days after Tehran’s reformist mayor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, resigned after claims he was threatened with arrest.
Najafi had attracted criticism from hard-liners last month after attending in March a show at City Hall for Iranian Women’s Day in which schoolgirls performed a traditional dance.