Issuu on Google+

IO N IPT SC R SU B SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 2011 JAMADA ALAWWAL 6, 1432 AH No: 15053 Porto, Benfica and Villarreal in Europa goal feast 150 Fils 48 ‘Friday protests’ erupt across the Arab world 22 Syrian protesters killed Max 34 Min 22 Bahrain ‘touted ties with Israel’ JERUSALEM: Bahrain’s King Hamad boasted of his ties with Israel’s intelligence services and told his government to stop referring to the Jewish state as the “Zionist enemy,” a leaked US cable from 2005 showed. The cable, which was given exclusively to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, was written after talks between the king and Washington’s ambassador to Bahrain, William Monroe, in February of that year. “He revealed that Bahrain already has contacts with Israel at the intelligence/security level (i.e. with Mossad) and indicated that Bahrain will be willing to move forward in other areas,” Monroe wrote, referring to Israel’s spy agency. The cable also indicated King Hamad had ordered his public information minister to stop referring to Israel as the “Zionist entity” or “enemy” in official statements, Haaretz quoted the cable as saying. — AFP US blasts Bahrain DUBAI: Sunni-ruled Bahrain was guilty of human rights abuses including arbitrary detentions, censorship and discrimination against majority Shiites before its violent crackdown on street protests, the United States said yesterday. Bahrain last month saw the worst sectarian clashes since the 1990s after protesters, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, took to the streets, prompting the government to impose martial law and invite in troops from Sunni-ruled neighbors. “Discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, nationality, and sect, especially against the Shiite majority population, persisted,” the US State Department said in its Human Rights Report for 2010. “Authorities arbitrarily arrested activists, journalists, and other citizens and detained some individuals incommunicado... The government restricted civil liberties, including freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and some religious practices,” it said. The report cited allegations of mistreatment and torture, especially of activists and said Shiites were under-represented in the civil service, police and security forces. The government censored stories especially those related to sectarianism, national security, or criticism of the royal family, the Saudi royal family, or the judiciary, it said. “According to some members of the media, government officials contacted editors directly and asked them to stop writing about certain subjects or asked them not to publish a press release or a story,” the US report said. — Agencies CAIRO: Egyptian protesters hold a giant Syrian flag with the slogan “God, Syria and freedom only” in support of Syrian anti-regime protesters as tens of thousands Egyptians gathered for a demonstration at Cairo’s Tahrir Square yesterday. — AFP CAIRO: Protests erupted across much of the Arab world yesterday, the Muslim day of prayer, with demonstrators dying in Syria and Yemen while Egyptians staged one of the biggest rallies since President Hosni Mubarak’s fall. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, perhaps the spiritual home of the Arab protest movement, crowds demanded Mubarak’s prosecution as discontent with military rule grows, but in Oman heavy security prevented a planned demonstration after Friday prayers. Friday has become a peak day of protest for many Arabs since popular demands for freedom, democracy and an end to corruption began in Tunisia late last year and spread across the region. At least 22 protesters were killed yesterday as anti-regime demonstrations and clashes with security forces raged around Syria, the head of the National Organization for Human Rights said. “We have the names of 17 demonstrators killed in Daraa, and we have been told of the deaths of two protesters in Homs and three in Harasta,” Qurabi said by telephone from Cairo, where he lives in exile. “We are aware that live bullets, tear gas and another gas that causes fainting were used,” he added. Qurabi’s report was more or less in line with other activists, who earlier said 13 protesters had been killed in the flashpoint southern town of Daraa, a number of people wounded in the central industrial city of Homs and also spoke of fighting in Harasta. After an earlier toll of seven was given for the number of deaths in Daraa, the authorities said only two people were killed. An activist asking not to be named for security reasons said the people in Daraa were killed when security forces opened fire with rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse stone-throwing protesters. “Thousands of demonstrators leaving from three mosques marched to the courthouse but security forces dressed in civilian clothing fired tear gas to disperse them,” said the activist. “Demonstrators threw stones and clashes ensued,” the activist said, adding that “the situation is very tense” in Daraa, some 100 kilometers south of Damascus. Protesters angered by the deaths set fire to the ruling Baath party’s headquarters in Daraa, he added. State television said “saboteurs and conspirators opened fire on residents and security forces” alike in the town, killing two people-an officer and an ambulance man. The official SANA news agency said dozens of civilians, security and police were wounded. State television broadcast footage showing young men in keffiyehs standing behind trees while the sound of automatic weapons fire could be heard. The agricultural city of Daraa has been the focal point of anti-government protests marred by deadly violence that human rights activists blame on the security services and the government has attributed to an “armed” group. President Bashar Al-Assad, under popular pressure to introduce major political reforms and end emergency powers which give security services great leeway to crush dissent, had ordered a probe into previous protest casualties in Daraa. Abdel Karim Rihawi, who heads the Syrian League for the Defense of Human rights, said a number of people were injured in clashes in the industrial city of Homs and that there had also been fighting in Harasta, north of the capital. Rihawi also said several thousand people demonstrated in the port city of Banias and Tal, 20 kilometers north of Damascus. — Agencies

9 April

Related publications