Half brother of Yemen's slain ex-president to head forces

Yemeni army forces can be seen in this file photo. (Reuters)
Updated 17 March 2018

Half brother of Yemen's slain ex-president to head forces

SANAA: Yemen's president has appointed the half brother of the country's slain ex-president to head a military force.
Saturday's decision by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi assigns Ali Saleh Al-Ahmar, the half brother of ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, as commander of the country's reserve force.
Al-Ahmar fled the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, to Saudi Arabia following Saleh's death in December at the hands of Shiite Houthi rebels, Saleh's onetime allies.
The Houthis and Saleh's forces joined ranks in 2014, sweeping the capital and forcing Hadi's internationally recognized government to flee. Months later, a Saudi-led coalition backed Hadi's government and waged a campaign against the Houthis and Saleh's forces.
Saleh was killed after he expressed readiness to negotiate with the coalition, a move the Houthis saw as betrayal.

Palestinian journalist wins appeal over Gaza graft report

Updated 25 March 2019

Palestinian journalist wins appeal over Gaza graft report

  • The appeals court in Gaza “acquitted journalist Hajar Harb of all charges and closed her file”

GAZA CITY: A Palestinian journalist was acquitted on appeal over an investigative report about corruption in the Gaza Strip Monday, according to Amnesty International and a campaign group.

In a 2016 report for Al-Araby TV, Hajar Harb alleged that doctors were writing false medical reports to let people leave Gaza for treatment, one of the few reasons Israel allows Palestinians out of the blockaded strip run by Hamas.

In October that year, two doctors launched legal proceedings accusing her of defamation and “publishing false information,” according to Amnesty International.

The 34-year-old had been sentenced to six months in prison and fined, but the appeals court overruled the decision, said Fathi Sabah, head of a group supporting Harb.

The appeals court in Gaza “acquitted journalist Hajjar Harb of all charges and closed her file,” he said.

“This represents not just a victory for Hajjar but for freedom of the press,” he added.

Amnesty said Harb had been questioned by police at least four times following her report, but welcomed the decision of the court.

“It is really good news that Hajjar Harb was acquitted today, she was standing a trial that should not have taken place to begin with,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“We hope that the Gaza authorities take this opportunity to signal that they are serious about freedom of expression and the press.”

In 2018, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms recorded 77 violations of press freedom in the Palestinian Authority-run West Bank and 37 such cases in Gaza.

Hamas have controlled Gaza for more than a decade and have recently cracked down violently on street protests.