Plane flying from UAE to Turkey crashes in Iran, killing 11

In this May 20, 2016 photo, a Bombardier CL604 aircraft descends to land in Istanbul. The Turkish private jet flying from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul carrying a group of young women crashed Sunday night, March 11, 2018 in a mountainous region of Iran, killing all 11 people on board, authorities said. (AP Photo/Yigit Cicekci)
Updated 12 March 2018
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Plane flying from UAE to Turkey crashes in Iran, killing 11

TEHRAN: A Turkish private jet flying from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul carrying a group of young women crashed Sunday night in a mountainous region of Iran during a heavy rain, killing all 11 people on board, authorities said. The doomed aircraft days earlier carried a bachelorette party bound for Dubai.
Iranian state television quoted Mojtaba Khaledi, the spokesman of the country’s emergency management organization, as saying the plane hit a mountain near Shahr-e Kord and burst into flames. Shahr-e Kord is some 370 kilometers (230 miles) south of the capital, Tehran.
Khaledi later told a website associated with state TV that local villagers had reached the site in the Zagros Mountains and found only badly burned bodies and no survivors. He said DNA tests would be needed to identify the dead.
Villagers near the crash earlier said they saw flames coming from the plane’s engine before the crash, according to a report by Iran’s state-run judiciary news agency Mizan.
The plane took off around 4:41 p.m. (1311 GMT) Sunday and reached a cruising altitude of just over 35,000 feet, according to FlightRadar24, a flight-tracking website. At around 6:01 p.m. (1431 GMT), something appears to have gone wrong with the flight as it rapidly gained altitude and then dropped drastically within minutes, data published by the website showed.
 

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The General Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE said the flight took off from Sharjah International Airport on its way to Istanbul. A private company that handles public relations for the Sharjah airfield, the home of low-cost airline Air Arabia, declined to immediately comment. Sharjah is a neighboring emirate of Dubai.
 

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Turkey’s private Dogan News Agency identified the plane as a Bombardier CL604, tail number TC-TRB. Turkey’s Transport Ministry said the plane belongs to a company named Basaran Holding.
Basaran Investment Holding is active in the food, finance, energy, construction, tourism and travel industries, according to the company’s website.
Mina Basaran, the 28-year-old daughter of Basaran’s chairman who is part of the company’s board of managers and is in line to run the business, posted photographs on Instagram of what appeared to be her bachelorette party in Dubai.
Among those photographs was an image of the plane posted three days ago. In it, Basaran poses on the tarmac carrying flowers, wearing a denim jacket reading “Mrs. Bride” and the hashtag “#bettertogether.” In another picture, she holds heart-shaped balloons inside the plane.
 

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One day ago, Basaran posted a picture with seven smiling friends from a Dubai resort. The last videos posted to her account showed her and friends enjoying a concert by the British pop star Rita Ora at a popular Dubai nightclub. There was no further activity on her account after that.
It wasn’t clear who was on the plane at the time of the crash, though Iranian emergency management officials described all the passengers as being young women, according to IRNA.
Sunday’s crash comes after an Iranian ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, crashed in southern Iran, killing all 65 people on board in February.


Tortured, persecuted, deported: a tribe’s ordeal at the hands of Qatar

Updated 48 min 11 sec ago
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Tortured, persecuted, deported: a tribe’s ordeal at the hands of Qatar

  • The tribe’s ordeal began in 1996, when some of their members voiced support for Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani
  • Another member of the tribe twice lost his job at Qatar Petroleum, in 1999 and 2003, simply because he was a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe

GENEVA: Members of a prominent tribe told an audience in Geneva on Thursday how they were stripped of their nationality and suffered torture, forced displacement and deportation in a 22-year campaign of systematic persecution by authorities in Qatar.
“My story is about wanting my rights, and I hope my story reaches your hearts,” said Hamed Al-Ghufrani, whose family was forced to flee Qatar for the UAE in 1996.
Another member of the tribe twice lost his job at Qatar Petroleum, in 1999 and 2003, simply because he was a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, and had his nationality revoked in 2005. 
His 14-year-old son spoke of being a “stateless person” and called on the UN to end the persecution so he could return to Qatar.
The press conference at the Swiss Press Club, organized by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, came two days after the Al-Ghufran delegation staged a protest in front of the UN building in Geneva during the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The tribe’s ordeal began in 1996, when some of their members voiced support for Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani, the Qatari emir deposed the previous year by his son Hamad, father of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim.
About 800 Al-Ghufran families, more than 6,000 people, were stripped of their citizenship and had their property confiscated. Many remain stateless, both in Qatar and in neighboring Gulf countries.
“They have taken away our social, political and economic rights,” said
Jabir bin Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a tribal elder. “The Al-Ghufran tribe has been subjected to unjust treatment.
“I left on a vacation in 1996, and now I can never go back to my country. I can go to any place on this earth, but not my home, not Qatar.”
Members of the delegation produced passports, certificates and other documents to show that their right to Qatari citizenship was being denied.
“I ask for my rights. Our people have been asking for our rights for a very long time now and no one has even explained to us why this is happening to us,” said Hamad Khaled Al-Araq.
Jaber Hamad Al-Araq, the tribe member fired twice by Qatar Petroleum, said: “The consequences of revoking our citizenship came in waves. They took away health care, education and public services. They took away all the tools that would allow us to live in Qatar with dignity, as human beings.”
Many of the tribe have suffered from depression and other medical conditions as a result of their ill-treatment. “I was rejected many times for jobs because of the injustice we face,” said Jaber Mohamed Al-Ghufrani. “They would reject me, the interior ministry office would reject me, just for being from the tribe. We are marginalized, without value, and left on the sidelines in our own country.
“I am responsible for my family, consisting of my wife and children, and we have faced many injustices that led us to have psychological trauma. We have suffered enough.”
Abdul Hadi Jaber Al-Ghufrani, another member of the tribe, told the press conference: “All members of the Al-Ghufran tribe without exception suffered from the decision to revoke their nationality.
“Those who remained in Qatar are unable to work, travel, or act like normal human beings, they cannot trade, they cannot even give their identity.
“Those who were expelled and forcibly displaced live in exile. They cannot apply or work in any job where they can get money for they basic needs, and most of them have no official identity papers. They can no longer see their families and loved ones.
“We are here to demand our rights and we will not stop until we get our rights. From today for the next 20 years, we will not stop.”
The youngest member of the delegation, Mohammed Ali Amer Al-Ghufrani Al-Marri, 14, said: “My nationality was revoked when I was less than one year old.
“I did not have the right to grow up in my own country, I was not given the right to stay there. I wish to return to my country and enjoy my rights as a citizen.”