Qatari sheikh calls for national meeting to end crisis

Sheikh Abdullah bin Al-Thani
Updated 18 September 2017
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Qatari sheikh calls for national meeting to end crisis

JEDDAH: A member of the Qatari royal family has urged the people of Qatar to be “the messengers of peace” in the dispute with its Gulf neighbors. 
“To my family, the children, the businessmen, and all the people of Qatar. I invite you to meet to be messengers of wisdom and peace, and advocates for the uniting of the hearts,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani said on Sunday. 
Sheikh Abdullah said he felt pain at seeing the dispute going from bad to worse, and called for a meeting at Qatari national level to discuss a crisis “which we can no longer remain silent in.”
The dispute began in June, when the Anti-Terror Quartet comprising Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations and imposed a trade and travel boycott over Qatar’s financing of terrorist groups and interference in its neighbors’ internal affairs. 
Sheikh Abdullah said the situation was deteriorating, and “pushing us to a fate we do not want to reach.”
He said King Salman of Saudi Arabia was committed to the safety of Qatar and its people. Sheikh Abdullah called on the people of Qatar to communicate with him and set a date for a national meeting.


Iran detains British-Iranian academic, New York-based rights group says

Updated 26 April 2018
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Iran detains British-Iranian academic, New York-based rights group says

BEIRUT: A British-Iranian academic was detained in Iran by the country’s Revolutionary Guards in mid-April, the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported on Wednesday.
Britain’s Foreign Office (FCO) said it was urgently seeking information from Iran about the reported arrest of Abbas Edalat, a dual British-Iranian national who is a professor of computer science at Imperial College in London.
CHRI said Edalat had traveled to Iran from his home in London at an unknown date for academic purposes. Quoting an unnamed source, it said the Guards had confiscated a computer, CDs and notebooks from Edalat when he was arrested.
A CHRI statement said Edalat’s family posted bail for him on April 21 but the Revolutionary Court in Tehran did not release him, citing problems with documentation.
CHRI did not specify what charges may have been brought against Edalat. The Iranian judiciary could not be reached for comment.
At least three other British-Iranian dual citizens are known to be held in the Islamic Republic.
“Iran’s continued arbitrary arrests of dual nationals without transparency and the denial of due process is extremely concerning,” CHRI executive director Hadi Ghaemi said in the release.
Edalat is a founder of the US-based Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), an advocacy group that opposes foreign intervention in the Islamic Republic, according to CHRI.
The Revolutionary Guards have arrested at least 30 dual nationals since 2015, most for alleged espionage, Reuters reported in November.