Desperate to pacify tempers, Iraq frees 11 female detainees

Updated 04 January 2013
0

Desperate to pacify tempers, Iraq frees 11 female detainees

BAGHDAD: Iraqi authorities yesterday ordered the release of 11 female detainees facing criminal charges and vowed to transfer women prisoners to jails in their home provinces, in a move that addresses one of the main demands of a wave of protests by the country’s Sunni minority against the Shiite-led government.
The demonstrations erupted nearly two weeks ago following the arrest of bodyguards assigned to Finance Minister Rafia Al-Issawi, one of the central government’s most senior Sunni officials. The protests, however, tap into deeper Sunni grievances of discrimination by Shiite Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s government.
Justice Ministry spokesman Haider Al-Saadi said the female detainees’ families can secure their relative’s release by paying bail.
He added that 13 Sunni women convicted of criminal charges will be transferred from a Baghdad jail to other prisons in their home provinces of Anbar, Salahuddin and Ninevah to complete their sentences there.
A day earlier, Al-Maliki said he asked the judicial authorities to accelerate efforts to resolve the cases of the detainees, adding that a special committee was formed to end the issue of female prisoners.
The demonstrations are also driven by Sunni grievances of perceived second-class treatment by the central government and what they see as the unfair application of laws against their sect.
Vice President Tariq Al-Hashemi, another high-ranking Sunni official, is now living in exile in Turkey after being handed multiple death sentences for allegedly running death squads— a charge he dismisses as politically motivated.
Meanwhile, a car bomb killed 17 worshippers south of Baghdad yesterday as Shiites from around the world thronged Karbala.


Palestinian President Abbas hospitalized: Palestinian official

Updated 20 May 2018
0

Palestinian President Abbas hospitalized: Palestinian official

RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been hospitalized in the West Bank due to complications after minor surgery last week, a Palestinian official said on Sunday.
It was the third time Abbas, 82, had been hospitalized in a week. He underwent minor ear surgery on Tuesday and was hospitalized again briefly overnight on Saturday/Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
A Palestinian official in Ramallah said Abbas went back into hospital again later on Sunday because his temperature was high “so doctors advised that he go back into hospital.”
Two statements were issued by Wafa on Sunday. The first, half an hour after midnight, said Abbas had gone into hospital “for a checkup to review the surgery that he had in his middle ear a few days ago at Al-Istishari hospital in Ramallah. At the end of the tests, the results turned out to be excellent,” the statement said, and Abbas left hospital.
A second statement carried by Wafa on Sunday afternoon reported the medical manager of Al-Istishari hospital, Dr. Saed Sarahneh, said the results of the medical tests were “good” and that his medical condition was “reassuring.”
A Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the high temperature may have resulted from a failure of an ear inflammation to heal completely.
In February, Abbas was hospitalized in the United States for medical checks during a trip to address the UN Security Council in New York.
Abbas became Palestinian president after the death in 2004 of Yasser Arafat. He pursued US-led peace talks with Israel but the negotiations broke down in 2014.
He is also chairman of the executive committee of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, a position to which he was re-elected unopposed on May 4.