Iran summons Danish ambassador over attack allegations

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen previously recalled its ambassador to Iran after it accused Tehran of plotting a foiled 'attack' in Demark. (AFP)
Updated 31 October 2018

Iran summons Danish ambassador over attack allegations

  • Denmark accused Iran of a political assassination plot on its soil
  • The Danish ambassador met with a senior official for European affairs at the Iranian foreign ministry

DUBAI: Iran's foreign ministry summoned the Danish ambassador on Wednesday, following the arrest of an Iranian-Norwegian national for allegedly plotting an attack in Denmark.

According to statement from the ministry, the Danish ambassador met with a senior official for European affairs at the foreign ministry Wednesday morning.

“In this meeting the official strongly denied the biased reports on a foiled attack plot on an Iranian dissident in Denmark and its attribution to the Islamic republic of Iran,” spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, warning against “hasty and controversial actions.”

Meanwhile, the British government has also expressed deep concern over recent reports of Iranian assassination attempts abroad.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday that his country fully supported Denmark’s move in the face of illegal Iranian intelligence activities.

The statement came after Denmark’s foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Iran for consultations in response to an alleged plot from Tehran which targeted to assassinate the leader of the Danish branch of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz. Iran’s ambassador to Denmark Morteza Muradine was also summoned for a meeting

A Norwegian citizen of Iranian background was arrested on Oct. 21, Denmark’s security service chief Finn Borch Andersen said, on suspicion he was aiding an unknown Iranian intelligence service “to act in Denmark” and for involvement in planning to kill an opposition member.

“We are dealing with an Iranian intelligence agency planning an attack on Danish soil. Obviously, we can't and won't accept that,” Andersen told a news conference.

The unidentified suspect denied wrongdoing in a court appearance and is now in pre-trial custody until Nov. 8.

(With AFP)

 


Democracy books disappear from Hong Kong libraries

Updated 04 July 2020

Democracy books disappear from Hong Kong libraries

  • Among the authors whose titles are no longer available are Joshua Wong, one of the city’s most prominent young activists, and Tanya Chan, a well known pro-democracy lawmaker
  • China’s authoritarian leaders say the powers will restore stability after a year of pro-democracy protests, will not stifle freedoms and will only target a “very small minority”

HONG KONG: Books written by prominent Hong Kong democracy activists have started to disappear from the city’s libraries, online records show, days after Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the finance hub.
Among the authors whose titles are no longer available are Joshua Wong, one of the city’s most prominent young activists, and Tanya Chan, a well known pro-democracy lawmaker.
Beijing’s new national security law was imposed on Tuesday and is the most radical shift in how the semi-autonomous city is run since it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.
China’s authoritarian leaders say the powers will restore stability after a year of pro-democracy protests, will not stifle freedoms and will only target a “very small minority.”
But it has already sent fear coursing through a city used to speaking openly, with police arresting people for possessing slogans pushing independence or greater autonomy and businesses scrambling to remove protest displays.
Wong said he believed the removal of the books was sparked by the security law.
“White terror continues to spread, the national security law is fundamentally a tool to incriminate speech,” he wrote on Facebook, using a phrase that refers to political persecution.
Searches on the public library website showed at least three titles by Wong, Chan and local scholar Chin Wan are no longer available for lending at any of dozens of outlets across the city.
An AFP reporter was unable to find the titles at a public library in the district of Wong Tai Sin on Saturday afternoon.
The city’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which runs libraries, said books had been removed while it is determined whether they violate the national security law.
“In the process of the review the books will not be available for borrowing and reference,” it said.
The law targets acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.
China says it will have jurisdiction in some cases and empowered its security apparatus to set up shop openly in Hong Kong for the first time, ending the legal firewall between the two.
Rights groups and legal analysts say the broad wording of the law — which was kept secret until it was enacted — outlaws certain political views, even if expressed peacefully.
Any promotion of independence or greater autonomy appears to be banned by the legislation. Another vaguely worded provision bans inciting hatred toward the Chinese or Hong Kong government.
On the authoritarian mainland, similar national security laws are routinely used to crush dissent.
The new security law and the removal of books raises questions of whether academic freedom still exists.
Hong Kong has some of Asia’s best universities and a campus culture where topics that would be taboo on the mainland are still discussed and written about.
But Beijing has made clear it wants education in the city to become more “patriotic” especially after a year of huge, often violent and largely youth-led pro-democracy protests.