Saturday, August 23, 2014

Finally USA Realizes Assad is a hero


US Senator thanks Asad: You followed your father by protecting all sects

US Senator thanks Asad: You followed your father by protecting all sects

The Syrian president Bashar al-Assad received a letter from U.S. Senator Richard H. Black in which the latter thanked him for respecting all the sects in Syria.
The Syrian president Bashar al-Assad received a letter from U.S. Senator Richard H. Black in which the latter thanked him for respecting all the sects in Syria, hailed the heroic operations of the Syrian army in Qalamoun and described the militant groups as savage war criminals.
Black wrote, “You have followed the practice of your father by treating with respect all Christians and the small community of Jews in Damascus. You defended their churches and the Jewish synagogue, and you have permitted them to worship freely according to their beliefs. I am grateful for that.”
Virginia Senator also thanked Syrian President Bashar Al Assad for Saving the Lives of Christians
“My personal thanks to the Syrian Arab Army and Air Force for protecting all patriotic Syrians, including religious minorities, raped, tortured, kidnapped and beheaded at the hands of the foreign militants.”
“I cannot explain how Americans, who suffered so grievously at the hands of al-Qaeda, were tricked into supporting the ‘jihadists’.”
But I do know that many U.S. officials disagree with equipping and training the terrorists who penetrate your borders from the Kingdom of Jordan and through Turkey.

Friday, August 22, 2014

An appeal to Justice Minister, Rauf Hakeem Sri Lanka


Dear Sir,
I am Sadia Khan a Pakistani blogger. I wrote about the atrocities of Pakistan security forces. I was attacked and we were threatened. We ( myself my mother & my 9 years old sister) came to Sri Lanka to save our life.
We got registered with UNHCR as asylum seekers. Pakistan ISI traced us here & requested Friendly/brotherly intelligence service of Sri Lanka for our return. We were kept in illegal detention for 1 month. Our passports & all we had was confiscated.
We were told by the detention camp authorities that our case was between the  head of ISI & head of SIS. They told us that we will be deported to Pakistan.
Fearing  death we fled from the detention camp on 8th April 2013.
Ever since we live in hiding. Now we are recognized refugees by UNHCR. We are about to leave Sri Lanka. UNHCR has requested all the departments of Sri Lankan Government to return our passports.
Despite these requests Sri Lankan authorities continue withholding our passports. They don’t answer UNHCR.
I myself have called immigration office a number of times but no help.
We have spent all we had including our expensive gold jewelry brought from Pakistan. Now we are empty handed & want to leave your country. Please help us leave your country in peace. Sri Lanka should not gift us to Pakistan to be killed.
You are the justice minister of Sri Lanka. Where is the justice? Is it the work of a civilized Government to withhold the passports of refugees & plan to hand them over to the state where they will be killed? We need Our passports back and a guarantee from Sri Lankan Government that we will not be targeted to please Pakistan.
We need justice.
Sadia Khan, 
Newspaper Reference:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

US journalist James Foley beheaded by Iraqi Jihadi group

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES. A masked militant claims the murder is in retaliation for American airstrikes against the Islamic State militants in Iraq. Missing since Nov. 22, 2012, Foley appears to be forced to read an anti-American statement before he is beheaded in the gruesome five-minute clip. His family confirmed his death late Tuesday evening.

James Foley (Credit: Nicole Tung) 


 The militants then placed Foley's head on his back after executing him.

In an unspeakable act of savagery, an American photojournalist was beheaded in a video released Tuesday by Islamic State terrorists who claimed the killing was retaliation for U.S. air strikes against the group in Iraq.

In the nearly five-minute video, titled “A Message to America,” a masked executioner is seen severing James Foley’s head with a knife in a sadistic act of revenge.

The barbaric footage was posted on YouTube less than 24 hours after the marauding army of evil, also known as ISIS, vowed: “We will drown all of you in blood.”

Foley, 40, of New Hampshire, a freelance reporter for the Boston-based GlobalPost, was abducted in Syria 22 months ago while covering that country’s civil war.

“We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people,” Foley’s heartbroken mother, Diane, of Rochester, N.H., said in a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday night.

“We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us,” the mother added. “He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person.”

GlobalPost journalist James Foley talks about being captured in Libya and the killing of a photographer in his group

(The Boston Globe) An interview with journalist James Foley, back from Libya (Video by Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff, produced by Lane Turner/Globe Staff)

In the video, the bloodthirsty jihadist group — which invaded Iraq from Syria and now controls a large swath in the northwest part of Iraq — called out President Obama for authorizing air strikes to stop its expanion and desire for genocide.

After killing the handcuffed Foley, a cloaked terrorist left the victim’s head on the small of his back. The menacing executioner, dressed head-to-toe in black, had a chilling message for Obama.

Grabbing another captured U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, 31, of Miami, a contributor for Time magazine, the killer stared into the camera and vowed in what sounded like a British accent, “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.”

Obama was briefed on the video while aboard Air Force One as he jetted from Washington to Martha’s Vineyard to resume his vacation. The President is expected make a public statement about the killing on Wednesday.

The video started off with a clip from Obama’s Aug. 7 televised address in which the commander-in-chief revealed he’d authorized air strikes to stop the slaughter of tens of thousands of members of the Yazidi religious sect who were trapped on a mountain in northwest Iraq.

The footage then shifted to Foley. His head was shaved and he was dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, similar to those worn by Guantanamo Bay detainees. He was kneeling to the right of his killer against the backdrop of a desert. It was not clear where the grisly video was filmed.

Foley was forced to read a letter that castigated America for its involvement in helping the Iraqi Army and Kurdish fighters oppose the Islamic State’s effort to conquer all of Iraq and set up a caliphate.

“I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government,” said Foley, reading the letter. “For what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality. My message to my beloved parents: Save me some dignity, and don’t accept some minor compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with their recent aerial campaign in Iraq.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sri Lanka refuses to comply with UNHCR and continues deporting Pakistani assylum seekers

The Sri Lankan Government today hit back at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) agency and the UN over allegations that it was in breach of its obligations under international law by deporting Pakistani asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Mass Media and Information, Keheliya Rambukwella countered that the government was never in breach of international law as it was not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. He further said UNHCR’s claims that by its actions, Sri Lanka was violating the principle of non-refoulement (no-forced-returns) were irrelevant as there is a treaty that deals with refugees, and Sri Lanka was not a party to it.

He claimed the asylum-seekers were abusing the country’s visa policy by arriving in the country on a 30 day tourist visa and then overstaying. “They come here as tourists and then claim asylum. We are not a party to the treaty that states we are obliged to let them stay here,” the minister stressed.     

“Bottom line is that we have not done anything wrong (in deporting them),” Rambukwella insisted.

He said the External Affairs Ministry Secretary had visited Pakistan and held discussions on the issue with Pakistani officials. Rambukwella also said the two governments did not have any problems with each other when it came to returning the asylum seekers.

The minister said the case of Pakistani asylum seekers making their way to Sri Lanka was similar to Sri Lankan asylum seekers making their way illegally to Australia and claiming asylum based on ‘fabrications’.

However, the UN has been highly critical of the deportations. Earlier today, two UN Human Rights experts expressed their ‘grave concern’ at the situation of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka who are ‘being detained forcefully and forcefully deported to Pakistan without an adequate assessment of their asylum claims’.

“States must guarantee that every single asylum claim is individually assessed with due process and in line with international law,” stressed the UN Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, Rita Izsák, and on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, according to a press release issued by the UN.

At least 108 Pakistani citizens have been deported since the beginning of August, according to the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR).

Most asylum seekers from Pakistan belong to religious minorities, including Ahmadiyya Muslim, Christian and Shia, groups that are often subjected to persecution, discrimination and violence in Pakistan, according to the UN experts. “Many of them are being deported despite being registered with UNHCR and having their first instance interviews still pending.”

“The risks faced by the deportees should never be underestimated but must be adequately assessed” stressed the Special Rapporteurs. “It is our hope that the Government of Sri Lanka will collaborate with the UN Refugees Agency in its work to guarantee the rights of asylum seekers, and avoid any actions that could lead to possible tragic consequences”.
- See more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/breaking-news/item/32266-asylum-seeker-deportations-govt-hits-back-at-un.html#sthash.PLvF05We.dpuf

UN Human rights experts condemn Sri Lanka for the illegal deportion of Pakistani asylum seekers

Sri Lanka: UN experts alarmed at deportations of Pakistani asylum seekers without assessment

GENEVA (14 August 2014) – Two United Nations human rights experts today expressed their grave concern at the situation of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka who are being detained and forcefully deported to Pakistan without an adequate assessment of their asylum claims.
“States must guarantee that every single asylum claim is individually assessed with due process and in line with international law,” stressed the UN Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, Rita Izsák, and on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt.
At least 108 Pakistani citizens have been deported since the beginning of August, according to the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR).
“Most asylum seekers from Pakistan belong to religious minorities, including Ahmadiyya Muslim, Christian and Shia, groups that are often subjected to persecution, discrimination and violence in Pakistan,” Ms. Izsák said. “Many of them are being deported despite being registered with UNHCR and having their first instance interviews still pending.”
Violent attacks against religious minorities have increased significantly in recent years, according to Pakistani sources. Last year, 687 persons belonging to religious minorities were reportedly killed in over 200 separate attacks.
“Such violence is fueled by existing blasphemy legislation particularly targeting minorities and lack of protective measures for them in Pakistan,” Mr. Bielefeldt said.
“The personal security and safety of Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians and Shias who are being returned to Pakistan from Sri Lanka is a matter of serious concern, due to the large number of cases of violent attacks and threats against members of those religious communities by militant extremists in Pakistan,” he highlighted.
The UN human rights experts called on the Government of Sri Lanka to comply with the principle of non-refoulement (no-forced-returns) when there is a credible potential threat against an individual and to stop the deportations immediately in order to allow the completion of the entire asylum claim process.
“The risks faced by the deportees should never be underestimated but must be adequately assessed” stressed the Special Rapporteurs. “It is our hope that the Government of Sri Lanka will collaborate with the UN Refugees Agency in its work to guarantee the rights of asylum seekers, and avoid any actions that could lead to possible tragic consequences.”
(*) The United Nations human rights experts are part of what it is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.
They are charged by the Human Rights Council to monitor, report and advise on human rights issues. Currently, there are 37 thematic mandates and 14 mandates related to countries and territories, with 72 mandate holders. Three new mandates were added in March 2014. The experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx 

Learn more, visit:
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Freedom of religion: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomReligion/Pages/FreedomReligionIndex.aspx
Check the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/Minorities.aspx
For further information and media inquiries, please contact Graham Fox (+41 22 917 9640 / gfox@ohchr.org) or Margarita Lema (+41 22 917 9248 / mlematome@ohchr.org) or write to minorityissues@ohchr.org
For media inquiries related to other UN mandates:
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Al Jazeera Report: Sri Lankan Human Rights defendants and Lawyers rise against the forced deportation of Pakistani Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka

The Supreme Court today fixed for August 26 the fundamental rights petition filed on behalf of the refugees by six human rights defenders in Sri Lanka. 
Six prominent human rights activists Nimalka Fernando, Kurukulasooriya Mariyas Rukshan, Menali Manel Perera, Marimmuththu Saththivelu, Sheila Pear Richards and Prabath Sudharshana had filed this fundamental rights petition before Supreme Court for the protection of foreign refugees and asylum seekers in Sri Lanka.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pakistani asylumseekers Sri Lankan Government and UNHCR

 Colombo Gazette
The Sri Lankan Government today blamed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sri Lanka over the issue surrounding Pakistani asylum seekers in the country.
Sri Lankan authorities have decided to deport asylum seekers arrested despite them having sought asylum through the UN refugee agency.
The Ministry of External Affairs said that in keeping with its obligations under customary international law, the Sri Lankan Government has been engaging consistently with UNHCR to address and manage the asylum seeker population, particularly its increase.
In March 2013, when these numbers began to increase, the Sri Lankan Government authorities requested the UNHCR in Sri Lanka to assist by taking certain measures, which included the establishment of a safe house/welfare centre for those identified as refugees until they are accepted for resettlement in a third country, the regularization of the process of return of asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected, expediting the process of resettlement to ensure its completion within a short period of time and ensuring that asylum seekers are provided with adequate facilities and monetary assistance to live in Sri Lanka until their claims are processed or resettlement is found.
However, the Ministry of External Affairs says UNHCR has not addressed these requirements and neither has UNHCR managed to expedite the twin processes of status determination of asylum seekers and resettlement of those identified as refugees in third countries.
The Government also said that refugee receiving countries have also been slow in processing resettlement applications.
Sri Lanka says its territory has been used by those seeking asylum for over a decade. However, the asylum seeker/refugee population in Sri Lanka witnessed a dramatic 700 per cent increase during the period 2013-14 and as at 30 June 2014, there are 1562 asylum seekers and 308 refugees.
“The influx of asylum seekers and their tendency not to have an established place of residence has resulted in serious law & order, security, as well as health related issues for the authorities,” the External Affairs Ministry said.
The Government says a State cannot be expected to carry a burden of this nature for an indefinite period of time and therefore, these asylum seekers are being encouraged to return, in the vital security interests of Sri Lanka and the region. (Colombo Gazette)