Turkey says Syrian regime’s actions equal war crimes
Turkey says Syrian regime’s actions equal war crimes
Syria has seen a new rise in violence in recent weeks, including a government rocket attack Wednesday, in a conflict that the UN says has killed more than 60,000 people.
Turkey’s Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday that “Aleppo and many other cities are being bombarded by airplanes indiscriminately.” His country has taken in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said, “this is a criminal act” even at a time of war.
In the latest attack reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, five members of one family — a couple and three children — were killed when a missile hit their village in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo before dawn on Wednesday.
The Britain-based watchdog identified the children as aged seven, nine and 11 and said they were killed in a strike on the village of Abu Taltal near the rebel-held town of Al-Bab.
A video released by activists showed the bodies of the three children, a boy and two small girls, lying on blankets on a hospital bed.
Their brightly colored clothes are stained with blood and their faces are turned away from the camera.
The authenticity of the footage could not be immediately verified.
The Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists on the ground, identified the victims as members of the Hazrouni family from Abu Taltal village.
The Observatory has previously reported more than 3,500 child deaths in Syria’s 22-month conflict.
In Syria’s second city Aleppo, several mortar rounds on Wednesday hit the districts of Aqwil in the center and Marjeh in the south, the Observatory said.
The watchdog also reported fierce fighting overnight on the outskirts of Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus.
On the edge of the capital, loyalist troops bombed the town of Douma to the northeast as clashes erupted around a military vehicle depot between the nearby towns of Irbin and Harasta.
In Ras Al-Ain in the Kurdish northeast, battles raged between Kurdish militia and Islamist rebels, the Observatory said, adding that more than 58 people have been killed in a week of fierce fighting there.
The main opposition Syrian National Coalition, which has been recognized by dozens of states and organizations as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, said it has contacted rebel leaders in the area, urging them to stop the fighting.
The Observatory relies on a nationwide network of activists and medics in civilian and military hospitals to compile its tolls. It said 123 people were killed on Tuesday: 62 civilians, 27 troops, 32 rebels and two Kurdish fighters.
Among the dead were 15 children.
Iran accuses rights lawyer of state security offenses: husband
- Award-winning Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh faces prosecution on state security charges following her arrest in the capital last week, her husband said
- Sotoudeh, who is one of the few outspoken advocates for human rights in Iran, was detained in her Tehran home on June 13
TEHRAN: Award-winning Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh faces prosecution on state security charges following her arrest in the capital last week, her husband said on Saturday.
Sotoudeh, 55, denies the charges but remains in the women’s wing of Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after refusing to post bail of $95,000 (more than 80,000 euros), Reza Khandan told the ISNA news agency.
“My wife is accused of conspiracy, assembly and propaganda against the system” of rule of the Islamic republic, Khandan said.
“My wife considers the accusations against her to be baseless and made up, and the bail demand to be disproportionate,” he added.
Sotoudeh, who is one of the few outspoken advocates for human rights in Iran, was detained in her Tehran home on June 13.
Her arrest has been condemned by the US State Department and human rights group Amnesty International, which both called for her immediate release.
Earlier this year, Sotoudeh represented several women arrested for protesting against the mandatory wearing of headscarves in Iran.
Tehran police said in February that 29 women had been detained for posing in public without their headscarves.
Sotoudeh won the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov rights award in 2012 for her work on high-profile human rights and political cases, including those on death row for offenses committed as minors.
She spent three years in prison between 2010 and 2013 for “actions against national security” and spreading “propaganda against the system” and remains banned from representing political cases or leaving Iran until 2022.
Sotoudeh has defended journalists and activists including Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and several dissidents arrested during mass protests in 2009 against the disputed re-election of hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
She had recently spoken out against a new criminal code that allowed only a small number of lawyers — just 20 in Tehran — to represent individuals charged with state security offenses.
During her previous spell in Evin, Sotoudeh staged two hunger strikes in protest at the conditions and over a ban on seeing her son and daughter.
She was released in September 2013 shortly before Iran’s then newly elected President Hassan Rouhani, who had campaigned on a pledge to improve civil rights, attended the UN General Assembly.