8 Iran convicts face ‘imminent’ finger amputation

8 Iran convicts face ‘imminent’ finger amputation
Robbers had taken advantage of June 5 public holiday to break into a Tehran bank. (TASNIM NEWS / AFP)
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Updated 11 June 2022

8 Iran convicts face ‘imminent’ finger amputation

8 Iran convicts face ‘imminent’ finger amputation
  • 13 suspected robbers accused of making off with contents of 160 safe boxes from a bank in Tehran arrested
  • 10 arrested in Iran, 3 others detained in unidentified country

TEHRAN: Eight Iranian men convicted of theft and held outside Tehran are in imminent risk of having their fingers cut off, an NGO warned on Friday, decrying the punishment as “inhuman.”
The men are being held in the Greater Tehran prison waiting for their fingers on one hand to be amputated, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran said in a statement.
Three of them had been transferred from Orumiyeh prison in northwestern Iran specifically for the amputation.
It added they had been told that their punishment would be implemented once a guillotine-like device for the purpose was operational in Evin Prison in Tehran.
On June 8, all eight were summoned for transfer to Evin for the amputation which was postponed for unknown reasons.
In a joint statement with the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, the ABC said it was concerned by “credible reports” that the device had now been installed in a clinic in Evin and had already been used for at least one amputation in recent days.
“Carrying out such a cruel and inhuman punishment violates the minimum standards of humanity and decency,” said ABC executive director Roya Boroumand.
“The international community can and should react urgently to stop the implementation of these amputations,” she added.
Finger amputations are permitted in the country, but have been rarely carried out until now.
The ABC said it had collected reports on at least 356 sentences of amputation issued since the Islamic revolution in 1979, but added the real number is believed to be much higher. If the sentences are carried out, the men will have four fingers of their right hand cut off, according to Iran’s penal code.
The concern over their pending punishment comes as rights groups also raise alarm over surging numbers of executions in Iran at a time of protests over price rises.
According to Norway-based Iran Human Rights, at least 168 people were executed by Iran authorities in the first five months of 2022, 50 percent more than in the same period last year.
Separately, Iran has arrested 13 suspected robbers accused of making off with the contents of more than 160 safe boxes from a bank branch in the capital, the judiciary said. “Thirteen suspects in the robbery of Bank Melli were arrested, and large quantities of stolen property have been discovered,” Tehran’s chief prosecutor Ali Salehi said, quoted by the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency.
The state-owned lender said thieves had taken advantage of a public holiday on Sunday to break into the branch on Enghelab Street, a major artery in Tehran.
They forced the lock of a rear door and seized the contents of 168 rented safe boxes before escaping the same way, locking the door behind them. Salehi said 10 suspects had been arrested in Tehran and the north of Iran, while three others were detained in a neighboring country, which he did not identify.
“Large quantities of stolen property were discovered in a vehicle at Imam Khomeini International Airport,” he said.
The fugitives who fled abroad had been detained thanks to “good cooperation” with Interpol and were in the process of being transferred back to the Islamic republic, said Tehran’s police chief, Gen. Hossein Rahimi.
“None of the bank’s employees participated in the robbery,” he told state television, adding the bank had been notified of security weaknesses about a month ago.
The broadcaster aired footage of those it said had been detained in Iran, dressed in prison outfits and facing a wall. Other news outlets in Iran published images of what they said were recovered stolen items, including jewelry, gold coins and cash.


Market blast in north Syria kills at least 9, injures dozens

Market blast in north Syria kills at least 9, injures dozens
Updated 11 sec ago

Market blast in north Syria kills at least 9, injures dozens

Market blast in north Syria kills at least 9, injures dozens
BEIRUT: A rocket attack on a crowded market in a town held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria Friday killed at least nine people and wounded dozens, an opposition war monitor and a paramedic group reported.
The attack on the town of Al-Bab came days after a Turkish airstrike killed at least 11 Syrian troops and US-backed Kurdish fighters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, blamed Syrian government forces for the shelling, saying it was in retaliation for the Turkish airstrike.
The Observatory said the attack killed at least 10 and wounded more than 30.
The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, had a lower death toll, saying nine people, including children, were killed and 28 were wounded. The paramedic group said its members evacuated some of the wounded and the dead bodies.
Discrepancies in casualty figures immediately after attacks are not uncommon in Syria.
Turkey has launched three major cross-border operations into Syria since 2016 and controls some territories in the north.
Although the fighting has waned over the past few years, shelling and airstrikes are not uncommon in northern Syria that is home to the last major rebel stronghold in the country.
Syria’s conflict that began in March 2011, has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.
President Bashar Assad’s forces now control most parts of Syria with the help of their allies, Russia and Iran.

Palestinian killed in Israeli West Bank raid: Palestinian ministry

Palestinian killed in Israeli West Bank raid: Palestinian ministry
Updated 27 min 23 sec ago

Palestinian killed in Israeli West Bank raid: Palestinian ministry

Palestinian killed in Israeli West Bank raid: Palestinian ministry
  • Israeli military say soldiers came under fire during a raid in the town
  • Israel has occupied the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories Presse: A Palestinian man was killed Friday by Israeli forces during a raid in the north of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Salah Sawafta, 58, “died of critical wounds, sustained by live bullets from the occupation (Israeli military) in the head, in Tubas this morning,” a ministry statement said.
The Israeli military said soldiers came under fire during a raid in the town.
During an operation in “Tubas, several suspects hurled Molotov cocktails and opened fire at (Israeli) troops, who responded with fire,” the army said in a statement, adding “hits were identified.”
The mayor of Tubas, Hossam Daraghmeh, said Sawafta had been leaving dawn prayers when he was shot.
“He left the mosque and was heading to his house wearing a prayer robe. There was a vengeful soldier stationed in a building near the municipality who shot him in the head,” he said.
Daraghmeh said Sawafta had been unarmed when he was hit.
“This man did not have a stone or anything in his hand,” he said.
The Israeli military said five people were detained in overnight raids across the West Bank.
On Thursday, a 20-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli troops during clashes in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967, when it seized the territory from Jordan.


Algeria wildfires ‘all under control’: civil defense

Algeria wildfires ‘all under control’: civil defense
Updated 29 min 40 sec ago

Algeria wildfires ‘all under control’: civil defense

Algeria wildfires ‘all under control’: civil defense
  • Since the beginning of August, almost 150 blazes have destroyed hundreds of hectares (acres) of forest in Africa’s largest country

Algiers: Wildfires, which killed at least 38 people and left a trail of destruction in eastern Algeria this week, are now under control, a civil defense official told AFP on Friday.
“All of the fires have been completely brought under control,” said fire brigade Col. Farouk Achour, of the civil defense department.
Since the beginning of August, almost 150 blazes have destroyed hundreds of hectares (acres) of forest in Africa’s largest country.
Deadly fires have become an annual scourge in Algeria, where climate change has turned large areas of forest into a tinderbox in the blistering summer months.
The justice ministry launched an inquiry after Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud suggested some of the fires were started deliberately, and authorities on Thursday announced four arrests of suspected arsonists.
Authorities have been accused of being ill-prepared, with few firefighting aircraft available despite record casualties in last year’s blazes and a cash windfall from gas exports with global energy prices soaring.


UAE’s foreign aid over past year totalled $3.5 billion

UAE’s foreign aid over past year totalled $3.5 billion
Updated 19 August 2022

UAE’s foreign aid over past year totalled $3.5 billion

UAE’s foreign aid over past year totalled $3.5 billion

DUBAI: The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), said on Thursday that the total value of foreign aid provided by the UAE from the start of 2021 to mid-August 2022 amounted to some $3.5 billion.
While Yemen accounted for most of the Emirati foreign aid with over $315 million, the list also included several Arab, Asian and Western countries, state news agency WAM reported.
A range of sectors and programmes received aid from the UAE, including public and health sectors, social services, and education.
Programmes aimed at supporting peace and security received over $74 million, and the water and public health services sectors received $72 million, government and civil society initiatives received nearly $60 million, and services that support the energy sector received some $57 million, and initiatives aimed at supporting the agriculture sector received over $50 million.


Iraq security forces thwart Daesh attack in Kirkuk

Iraq security forces thwart Daesh attack in Kirkuk
Updated 19 August 2022

Iraq security forces thwart Daesh attack in Kirkuk

Iraq security forces thwart Daesh attack in Kirkuk

DUBAI: Security forces have thwarted a Daesh attack in the northern Iraqi region of Kirkuk.

“A group of ISIS remnants attacked a security point in the village of Khabaza, affiliated to Hawija district, southwest of Kirkuk, before they were confronted by a force from the 61st Brigade of the Popular Mobilization,” the Popular Mobilization Forces said in a statement carried by state media Iraqi News Agency.

“One of the brigade’s fighters was shot during the attack, and the point was reinforced strongly from the brigade’s headquarters and from its third regiment,” the statement added.

Iraqi security forces have undertaken extensive operations against Daesh to prevent their resurgence since declaring their defeat in 2017.

Iraqi anti-terror resistance groups have repeatedly warned that remnants of Daesh active in Syria’s east may find unhindered access to the Iraqi border and infiltrate the country to conduct militant activities.