Turkey: Ex-Kurdish party leader sentenced on terror charge

A Turkish court on September 7, 2018 gave Selahattin Demirtas four years and eight months in jail for making terror propaganda. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Turkey: Ex-Kurdish party leader sentenced on terror charge

ANKARA: A court in Istanbul has convicted a former co-chairman of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish political party of “engaging in terror propaganda.”
The court sentenced Selahattin Demirtas to more than four years in prison after finding him guilty on Friday.
The trial is one of several faced by Demirtas, who has been in pre-trial detention since November 2016.
He ran as the People’s Democratic Party candidate in Turkey’s presidential election from prison and garnered 8.4 percent of the vote.
The court also convicted former legislator Sirri Sureyya Onder of the same charge and gave him a prison sentence of more than three years.
The two men were accused of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in speeches they delivered in 2013 during festivities marking a Kurdish spring festival.
They denied the accusation and were expected to appeal.


Arab group at UN condemn Israel’s decision to destroy Palestinian village

Updated 11 min 4 sec ago
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Arab group at UN condemn Israel’s decision to destroy Palestinian village

  • The Arab group at the UN thanked the 8 EU nations that opposed Israel’s planned demolition
  • UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace also condemned the continued demolition and confiscation of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israel

DUBAI: The Permanent Representative of Oman to the United Nations, Khalifa Al-Harthy, has rejected and condemned Israel’s decision to demolish the Palestinian village in East Jerusalem.

“I would like to say that we in the Arab Group reject and condemn the Israeli plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Khan Al-Ahmar,” Al-Harthy said.

Al-Harthy, who also holds the rotating presidency of the Arab group, also thanked the eight European Union nations that opposed Israel’s planned demolition of the village and urged its government to reconsider the decision.

“We would like to express our gratitude for the statement read out by the Dutch ambassador on behalf of the European Community and the support from the international community in these difficult days,” he added.

Ambassador Riyad Mansour also expressed the Palestinian government and Palestinians’ appreciation to the European community.

“Their principled stance on their position against the Israeli government’s decision to demolish or attempt to demolish the homes of the Bedouin community in Khan Al-Ahmar is very good and commendable,” Ambassador Mansour, who is Palestine’s envoy to the UN, said.

“We hope that the international community will stand with them in their position and that of the Secretary-General to stop Israel, the occupying power, from demolishing Khan Al-Ahmar,” he added.  

Kuwait’s ambassador to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi has reiterated that Israel must comply with Security Council Resolution 2334 and stressed that the Kuwaiti delegation was doing its utmost to ensure that the Security Council, of which Al-Otaibi is a member, would continue to pressure Israel to comply with all its resolutions.

Meanwhile, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolai Mladenov condemned the continued demolition and confiscation of Palestinian-owned buildings by Israeli occupation authorities throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Mladenov told the UN Security Council on Thursday that 117 buildings have been destroyed and confiscated in East Jerusalem and Area C, displacing 145 Palestinians including 82 children, and affected the livelihoods of 950 people. Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected several petitions from the residents to prevent demolition.

Mladenov stressed that all settlement activities violate international laws and constitute a major obstacle to peace.

The international official also expressed concern over the continued deterioration of the humanitarian, security and political situation in Gaza.

The UN has exhausted its funding for emergency fuel, threatening the closure of vital health, water and sanitation facilities, while the levels of essential medicines have been critically reduced.