Turkey condemns UN report on its state of emergency

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, salutes before addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party members at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, March 6, 2018.(Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)
Updated 20 March 2018
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Turkey condemns UN report on its state of emergency

ISTANBUL: Turkey on Tuesday slammed a United Nations rights report on its state of emegency as rife with unfounded allegations and said the criticism chimed with propaganda efforts of terrorist organizations.
The report called on Turkey on Tuesday to end the state of emergency that it said had led to massive human rights violations including the arrest of 160,000 people and dismissal of nearly the same number of civil servants, often arbitrarily.
President Tayyip Erdogan declared the emergency after a failed July 2016 coup and issued more than 20 decrees which have often led to torture of detainees, impunity and interference with the judiciary, the UN human rights office said.
Turkey should “promptly end the state of emergency and restore the normal functioning of institutions and the rule of law,” it said in a report.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement, however claimed the report “contains unfounded allegations matching up perfectly with the propaganda efforts of terrorist organizations.”


US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

Updated 35 min 50 sec ago
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US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

  • The money is for anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways

WASHINGTON: The US on Monday offered a $10 million reward for information that would disrupt the finances of Lebanon’s Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.
The State Department said it would give the money to anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways.
The areas include information on Hezbollah’s donors, on financial institutions that assist its transactions and on businesses controlled by the movement.
President Donald Trump’s administration has put a top priority on reducing the influence of Iran, the primary backer of Hezbollah.
The State Department listed three alleged Hezbollah financiers as examples of activities it was seeking to stop, with one, Ali Youssef Charara, allegedly funding the group by investing millions of dollars from Hezbollah in the telecommunications industry in West Africa.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pointed to a recent appeal by Hezbollah for donations as a sign of US success in curbing Iran.
On a visit last month to Beirut, Pompeo urged Lebanon to counter the “dark ambitions” of Iran and Hezbollah but was rebuffed by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who said Hezbollah was not a terrorist group and enjoyed a wide base.
The United States has vowed for decades to fight Shiite militants in Lebanon, with memories still bitter over the 1983 attack on a military barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans.
Hezbollah, however, also functions as a political party, with posts in the current cabinet, and enjoys support among some Lebanese who recall its guerrilla campaign that led Israel to withdraw from the country in 2000.