Douma safe for press visits, not safe for UN chemical inspectors

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Photo showing people in the streets of Douma during a press visit organized by Assad regime, April 20, 2018. (AFP)
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Photo showing people in the streets of Douma during a press visit organized by Assad regime, April 20, 2018. (AFP)
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Photo showing devastated streets of Douma during a press visit organised by Assad regime, April 20, 2018. (AFP)
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Photo showing a portrait of Syrian president in a devastated street in Douma during a government organised visit to eastern Ghouta, Damascus, 20 April,2018. (AFP)
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Photo showing a regime soldier and a Russian soldier in Douma during a press visit organised by Assad regime, April 20, 2018. (AFP)
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Photo showing a Syrian Flag flying amidst destroyed buildings in Douma, during a press visit organised by Assad regime April 20, 2018. (AFP)
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Photo showing a girl carrying her toddler brother in the devastated town of Douma, during a press visit organised by Assad regime, April 20, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 April 2018
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Douma safe for press visits, not safe for UN chemical inspectors

  • Regime troops accompany journalists on a tour of Douma
  • Chemical weapons inspectors failed to visit scene of chemical attack on April 7

LONDON: Journalists working in Syria’s capital Damascus were treated to an organized visit to the opposition enclave of Douma.
Members of the press toured and photographed deserted areas of Douma which has been held by opposition groups for the last seven years. The government invited international news agencies to tour the devastated neighborhood of Damascus that witnessed the birth of the revolution against Assad’s rule in 2011.
Chemical weapons inspectors meanwhile are still awaiting the green light to access areas where chemical attacks were carried out on the 7th April, and which led to the evacuation of fighters and their families to the north of the country as part of a deal to evacuate the enclave.


Egypt arrests activist Hazem Abdel-Azim, former El-Sisi supporter

Updated 27 May 2018
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Egypt arrests activist Hazem Abdel-Azim, former El-Sisi supporter

  • Egyptian security officials say a prominent activist has been detained

CAIRO: Egyptian security officials say a prominent activist has been detained, the latest in a new wave of arrests since presidential elections earlier this year.
The officials say Hazem Abdel-Azim was taken from his home in a Cairo suburb late Saturday on accusations that include disseminating false news and belonging to an outlawed group.
Abdel-Azim has been known for his harsh criticism of the government since he left President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s campaign in the 2014 elections.
The officials spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to media.
Egypt has arrested a number of secular activists since El-Sisi was re-elected in March in a vote in which he faced no serious challengers.
The latest arrests come amid a wider crackdown on dissent in which thousands of people have been jailed.