Stone throwers face different fates around the globe

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to throw a stone toward Israeli forces during clashes in Gaza strip. (AFP/file photo)
Updated 06 November 2018
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Stone throwers face different fates around the globe

  • In Greece, firebombs and stone-throwing are routine occurrences at anarchist demonstrations held on most weekends

JERUSALEM: US President Donald Trump’s recent assertion that US troops should respond to rock-throwing migrants — a hypothetical scenario — as if they were armed has sparked a debate about the appropriate use of force.
Nigerian troops swiftly used Trump’s comments about the migrants as justification for a deadly crackdown on demonstrators over the weekend.
From the Gaza Strip to Africa and Europe, security forces have faced stone throwers in very different ways, from firing live rounds to limiting themselves to non-lethal means.
A 1990 UN document calls on law enforcement officials to show maximum restraint and to use firearms only in cases in which an “imminent threat of death or serious injury” is identified. These standards have been interpreted differently around the world.
Here is a look at how countries around the world respond to stone throwers:
Israeli forces have been confronting Palestinian stone throwers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for decades. Israeli tactics have evolved over the years, particularly with the increased use of what are presented as non-lethal crowd-dispersal tools such as tear gas and rubber bullets.
Israeli officials say that live fire is used only as a last resort, when soldiers’ lives are threatened. But critics accuse Israel of unnecessarily, and perhaps illegally, using deadly force.
In Indian-administered Kashmir, a disputed territory divided between India and Pakistan, protesters have long viewed stone throwing as legitimate protest against Indian rule.
India has often responded with tough measures, including live fire and metal pellets that have killed, maimed or blinded hundreds of people over the last decade.
In Greece, firebombs and stone-throwing are routine occurrences at anarchist demonstrations held on most weekends. Police typically respond with tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowds.
In 2008, a policeman fired his gun at a group of youths in central Athens, killing a 15-year-old protester.


Egyptian court adds radical group to terrorism list

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya was added to a list of terrorist groups. (File/AFP)
Updated 37 min 26 sec ago
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Egyptian court adds radical group to terrorism list

CAIRO: A Cairo criminal court has added radical group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya as well as 164 of its leaders and members to a list of terrorist entities, Egypt’s official gazette said on Sunday.

The group waged a bloody campaign against Egypt’s security forces in the 1990s but later gave up violence and entered mainstream politics.

Previous rulings adding individuals to the terrorism list have focused on the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been subject to a far-reaching crackdown since the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi was ousted as president in 2013.

In an Oct. 28 ruling, the Cairo court said that following the 2011 uprising that toppled former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, “many leaders and members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya renounced their previous initiatives to stop violence,” according to the official gazette. Travel bans and asset freezes are automatically imposed on those included on the terrorist list. Criminal court rulings can be appealed against at the court of cassation, Egypt’s highest court.