Trump denounces ‘brutal and corrupt’ Iranian regime, Iran responds

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron walk across the South Lawn upon return to the White House in Washington, DC on Jan. 1, 2018, after vacationing at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Trump denounces ‘brutal and corrupt’ Iranian regime, Iran responds

Washington: President Donald Trump praised Iranian protesters Tuesday for acting against Tehran’s “brutal and corrupt” regime after days of unrest that have seen 21 people killed and hundreds arrested.
“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime,” Trump tweeted, a day after calling for regime change in the Islamic republic.
“All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets.’ The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The US is watching!“

Iran’s foreign ministry responded to US President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack, saying he should focus on “homeless and hungry people” in his own country rather than insulting Iranians.
“Instead of wasting his time sending useless and insulting tweets regarding other countries, he would be better off seeing to the domestic issues of his own country such as daily killings of dozens of people... and the existence of millions of homeless and hungry people,” said ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.


Trial starts for suspect in tourist killings in Tajikistan

Updated 23 October 2018
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Trial starts for suspect in tourist killings in Tajikistan

  • Man who swore allegiance to Daesh before killing four foreign cyclists in ex-Soviet Tajikistan went on trial
  • Four of Abdusamadov’s accomplices were killed by police during a manhunt

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: A man who swore allegiance to Daesh before killing four foreign cyclists in ex-Soviet Tajikistan went on trial Tuesday in a process closed to the public.
Tajikistan’s Supreme Court spokesperson told AFP Tuesday the trial for the “brutal murder of four foreign cyclists” had begun in the suspect’s high-security detention center.
Hussein Abdusamadov, 33, already confessed to killing American cycling tourists Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin, Dutch citizen Rene Wokke and Swiss citizen Markus Hummel in July.
The victims were struck by a car as they cycled along the remote Pamir Highway, a popular route among adventure tourists, before being set upon with knives and firearms.
Four of Abdusamadov’s accomplices were killed by police during a manhunt.
A video of the five men pledging allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was released by an official Daesh media channel.
Tajik authorities have so far ignored the video evidence, instead blaming a former opposition party — the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan — that was banned by the government in 2015.
The fact the trial is closed has raised concerns about due process in a country with a poor record on political freedoms and human rights.
Abdusamadov implicated the IRPT as the ultimate organizer of the attack in a televised confession, but critics say the government is using the case to tar the opposition.
A dozen senior members of the IRPT are serving long sentences up to life on charges government critics say are trumped up.
In addition to Abdusamadov, 16 other people stand accused of not offering information to the authorities that could have prevented the attack, a source in the police told AFP.