Libyans protest against US air strike in southern Libya

“Africom attacked civilians,” and “Africom is killing our sons,” witnesses and participants told Reuters. (REUTERS)
Updated 05 December 2018
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Libyans protest against US air strike in southern Libya

BENGHAZI, Libya: Dozens of Libyans protested on Tuesday against a US air strike on suspected Al-Qaeda militants in the country’s southwestern desert, saying civilians had been targeted, witnesses said.
The US Africa Command (Africom) on Thursday said it had killed 11 Al-Qaeda militants near the town of al Uwaynat in its third strike since March on the militant group’s North African branch — Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The strike close to the Algerian border, destroyed three vehicles, Africom had said in its statement last week, adding that at the time, they had assessed “no civilians were injured or killed.”
Members of the ethnic Tuareg tribe living in the area staged a protest on Tuesday, calling on the Tripoli-based government to launch an investigation into the strike.
The protesters, among them women and children, held up pamphlets saying “Africom attacked civilians,” and “Africom is killing our sons,” witnesses and participants told Reuters.
Militants linked to Al-Qaeda and Daesh have sought refuge in Libya’s vast southern desert as the country struggles to restore stability seven years after the uprising that toppled Muammar Qaddafi.


Iran sentences 3 rights lawyers to prison

Updated 40 min 16 sec ago
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Iran sentences 3 rights lawyers to prison

  • The two were arrested in August when they took part in a protest outside parliament calling for free elections
  • The Hamshari daily meanwhile reported that a court in the central city of Arak sentenced another lawyer to 13 years in prison

TEHRAN: Iran has sentenced two human rights lawyers to six years in prison and a third to 13 years, newspapers reported Tuesday.
The Arman daily said Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Keikhosravi were sentenced to five years in prison for taking part in an “illegal gathering” and one year for “propaganda” against the ruling system. It says they can appeal the verdict.
The two were arrested in August when they took part in a protest outside parliament calling for free elections. They were released on bail last week.
Sholeh-Saadi, 64, a longtime critic of the political establishment, was barred from running for president in 2017.
Iran holds regular presidential and parliamentary elections, but a council of clerics vets candidates. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final word on all major policies.
The Hamshari daily meanwhile reported that a court in the central city of Arak sentenced another lawyer to 13 years in prison.
It said Mohammad Najafi was sentenced to 10 years for “conveying information to a hostile country” through interviews with foreign media, two years for insulting the supreme leader and one year for publicity in support of opposition groups.
Najafi was jailed in January when he voiced support for people detained that month during anti-government protests. The demonstrations, which focused on economic grievances, lasted for days and resulted in the deaths of dozens and the arrest of hundreds more.