Egyptian court orders release of prominent blogger — judicial source

Wael Abbas was arrested in March on charges including involvement with an illegal organization and publishing false news. (Courtesy: Facebook account)
Updated 03 December 2018
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Egyptian court orders release of prominent blogger — judicial source

  • Abbas was arrested in March on charges including involvement with an illegal organization and publishing false news

CAIRO: An Egyptian criminal court has ordered the conditional release of prominent blogger and journalist Wael Abbas, a judicial source said on Monday, rejecting an appeal by state security prosecutors to keep him in detention.
Abbas, an award-winning journalist and rights activist, was arrested in March on charges including involvement with an illegal organization and publishing false news.
The source said the precise conditions of his release were not yet known but could include him not being allowed to leave home without police permission, subjecting himself to police supervision and presenting himself every 45 days in court.
“The question is why was he arrested in the first place? He is a prisoner because of his opinions and he has lost seven months of his life,” his lawyer Gamal Eid said.
Eid said his client denied the charges presented by state security prosecutors.
Abbas first became known in activist circles after posting videos showing police brutality. One such video, published in 2006, caused such uproar that it prompted an investigation resulting in a rare conviction of two policemen.


Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

Updated 19 July 2019
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Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

  • Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil
  • Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is suspected to be involved in the killing

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday launched an air attack on Iraqi Kurdistan in response to the killing of a Turkish diplomat in the region, the country’s defense minister said.
The Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil. Police sources said two other people were also killed.
There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting, but many Iraqi experts have pointed to the probability that the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, was behind the attack.
“Following the evil attack in Irbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terror organization,” defense minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Targets such as “armaments positions, lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists” were destroyed.
“Our fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last terrorist is neutralized and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged,” he added.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which now leads the regional government, enjoys good political and trade relations with Turkey.
But Turkey has been conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign since May in the mountainous northern region to root out the PKK which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
Earlier this month, the PKK announced that one of those raids killed senior PKK leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed along with two other fighters.
A spokesman for the PKK’s armed branch denied the group was involved in Wednesday’s shooting.