Four more deaths in Bolivia protests: rights commission

Police launch tear gas to disperse the supporters of former President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. (AP)
Updated 17 November 2019

Four more deaths in Bolivia protests: rights commission

  • The new deaths were announced after five protesters were killed in clashes with security forces on Friday in central Bolivia
  • The Washington-based IACHR, a part of the Organization of American States, also recorded 122 wounded since Friday

LA PAZ, Bolivia: Four more people have died in protests in Bolivia, raising the total number killed in the political unrest to 23, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said Saturday.

The new deaths were announced after five protesters were killed in clashes with security forces on Friday in central Bolivia, a political stronghold of exiled ex-president Evo Morales.

The Washington-based IACHR, a part of the Organization of American States, also recorded 122 wounded since Friday.

While the rights commission counts nine dead over the past two days, the official government tally remains at five.

Interim leader Jeanine Anez’s cabinet chief Jerjes Justiniano told reporters Saturday night that he would ask for “forensic doctors to speed up their work,” but did not confirm a higher toll.

Fierce clashes between Morales’ supporters and police forces have been ongoing since Anez, 52, declared herself acting president on Tuesday.

The former deputy senate speaker took over the top job to avoid a power vacuum — a move endorsed by the Constitutional Court.

The IACHR said it considers as “serious” her Thursday decree authorizing the armed forces to participate in maintaining order and exempting them from any criminal responsibility.

Morales, 60, said on Twitter that the measure gave “carte blanche and impunity to massacre people.”

Unrest in Bolivia first erupted when Morales — the country’s first indigenous president — was accused of rigging the results of October 20 polls to gain re-election for a fourth term.

He eventually resigned and fled to Mexico after losing the support of Bolivia’s security forces following weeks of protests.


Afghans honor Japanese aid worker killed in ambush

Updated 45 min 29 sec ago

Afghans honor Japanese aid worker killed in ambush

  • On Saturday, in a memorial ceremony after accompanying the body to Kabul airport, Ghani called Nakamura a hero
  • “Nakamura was a great personality who dedicated his life to the goodness and strengthening of Afghanistan’s deprived people,” Ghani said

KABUL: A 73-year-old Japanese aid worker killed in an ambush outside Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan has been described as a “hero” by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Testu Nakamura and five fellow aid workers died when gunmen attacked their car on Wednesday.
Tributes to the popular aid worker continued to pour in on Saturday with candlelight vigils held in different areas of the country. Schools erected posters of the aid worker while the national airline displayed images of him on its aircraft. 
“The level of grief and respect expressed by Afghans show how much people loved him. None of our current leaders would receive so much respect and attention should any of them die like this Japanese aid worker,” Rasoul Dad, a civil servant, told Arab News on Saturday.
Nakamura’s wife, daughter and three of his colleagues, including a childhood friend, arrived in Kabul on Friday as the Afghan government prepared to return his body to Japan.
The Afghan leader met them at the presidential palace and described Nakamura as a “hardworking personality.”
On Saturday, in a memorial ceremony after accompanying the body to Kabul airport, Ghani called Nakamura a hero.
“Nakamura was a great personality who dedicated his life to the goodness and strengthening of Afghanistan’s deprived people,” Ghani said.
The Afghan national flag was placed on Nakamura’s coffin as his family, accompanied by Japanese Ambassador Mitsuji Suzuka, left for Japan.
Nakamura, who spent more than half his life helping Afghan refugees as a doctor in Peshawar and later worked on several projects in the country, has become a national hero for many Afghans.
He was granted honorary citizenship several years ago after deciding to remain in the country despite the attempted abduction and murder of one of his colleagues.