Category Archives: Human Rights

Downed Russian Aircraft

The United States expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members of the Russian plane that was downed by Syrian regime anti-aircraft fire. Yesterday’s unfortunate incident reminds us of the need to find permanent, peaceful, and political resolutions to the many overlapping conflicts in the region and the danger of tragic miscalculation in Syria’s crowded theater of operations. It underlines the urgent need to resolve the Syrian conflict in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2254 and to end Iran’s provocative transit of dangerous weapon systems through Syria, which are a threat to the region.

Source: U.S. Department of State

Libyan Presidential Council chairman meets US officials in Tunis

Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Al-Sarraj met here on Thursday with Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) Gen. Thomas Waldhauser and Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Libya Ambassador Donald Blum.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the latest political and security developments in the north African country, particularly the recent events in the capital Tripoli and its environs, as well as the US-Libya cooperation.

Ambassador Blum welcomed the ceasefire in Tripoli and called on all parties to abide by the truce. He stressed the US commitment to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord in facing terrorism, pointing in this regard, to the latest terrorist attack on the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli.

The ambassador also stressed the US strong support for the democratic process in Libya and for the efforts of UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salame and every endeavor aimed at achieving security and stability in the country.

The meeting also reviewed the joint effort between the two countries in combating ISIS and Al-Qaeda, where Gen. Waldhauser noted the importance of strategic cooperation in this aspect, spelling out the efforts of AFRICOM forces in combating the remnants of these terrorist groups in coordination with the GNA.

For his part, Al-Sarraj welcomed the US commitment to support his government and its effective assistance in defeating the terrorist and extremist organizations within the strategic partnership between the two countries. He added that his government is willing to expand the US-Libya strategic cooperation to include the fields of investment and development.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

Austrian government for debate on headscarf ban plan

Austrians have reacted to a plan by the education minister to expand the headscarf ban for students and teachers to secondary schools.

Education Minister Heinz Fassmann said on Monday that the issue should be discussed throughout the country, especially in the parliament.

Speaking on Austrian state television ORF about a draft law to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in kindergartens and primary schools, Fassmann said it is not yet known how many girls are wearing headscarves in the institutions in question.

However the ban is not related to the number, it is related to its content, he said.

The ban should be put in force for free education and protection of girls, Fassmann added.

“It is not just me and the ministry,” Fassmann said, adding political parties, especially the parliament, must express their view on the headscarf ban for

secondary schools and build a social consensus.

According to Anadolu Agency, journalist and writer Wilhelm Lagthaler said that systematically misguided politics over the decade have produced a racist and discriminative attitude against Muslims who have been living for a long time in Austria.

Immigrants, refugees, and Muslims have been blamed for all problems in the country, Lagthaler said.

Choosing what to wear is a basic human right, he said. I am against wherever there is a pressure to wear or remove the headscarf.

Lagthaler also said that teachers are civil servants representing the government. Teachers working with a Muslim identity belong to the Islamic religion, which is part of this country, he added.

Naturally, it is normal for them to work with their own identities at any stage of the state, he said, giving the example of Sikh police officers working in India with a turban.

He added that this attitude against Muslims is an approach that violates fundamental rights and shakes the foundations of harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country.

Austrian activist Markuz Schulz said that the far-right government in the country is trying to cover up the real problems of the society with such issues as the headscarf ban, imams, political Islam.

Schulz said that teachers and students are excluded from education and training under the pretext of a headscarf ban. This has nothing to do with adaptation, he added.

Another activist Michael Probsting blamed the far-right government of having a racist and Islamophobic attitude towards Muslims, which is an important minority group in the country.

A headscarf ban is a violation of human rights, religious rights, and free-thinking, he said.

I am not a Muslim, but the issue is not related to who has which religious view. The question here is the freedom of people to live in the direction of their beliefs and a headscarf ban means trampling on this right, he added.

Austria’s new coalition government, consisting of the far-right Freedom Party and center-right Austrian People’s Party, is aiming to create a draft law to ban young Muslim girls to wear headscarves in kindergartens and primary schools; a culture which they say is alien to the country.

The headscarf ban on public servants was drafted by Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz.

More than 600,000 Muslims live in Austria, where Islam has been one of the officially recognized religions since 1912, making up seven percent of the population, according to figures obtained from the Vienna Islamic Federation.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

Police, LEAs render valuable services in war on terror: Sarwar

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that the government is set to make police a powerful force, devoid of any political pressure in accordance with the vision of the Prime Minister.

Addressing Punjab Police Gallantry Awards at the Governor’s House in Lahore, he said that the Police is responsible to maintain law and order while keeping impartial.

He said that the police and law enforcing agencies have rendered valuable services in the war against terrorism and the heirs of the martyrs are extremely respectable for us.

Later, he distributed medals to the heirs and bereaved families of 103 martyrs and ghazis. Thirty seven shaheeds were conferred Quaid-e-Azam Police medal while 12 martyrs were awarded Pakistan police medals.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Moon wants ‘irrevocable progress on nuke diplomacy

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said that he is pushing for irrevocable progress on efforts to rid North Korea of its nukes by end of this year.

In an interview with Indonesian newspaper, Moon said he wants to see such a declaration made this year as part of trust-building measures.

Meanwhile, North Korean leader kim Jong un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in would meet in Pyongyang from 18th to 20th of this month in their third summit since April.

South Korean officials say the summit will focus on how to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Radio Pakistan

PCB appoints Grant Bradburn as fielding coach

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed Grant Bradburn as fielding coach of the national team on a full-time basis for a period of three years.

Bradburn will be with the national team from the Asia Cup 2018 scheduled in the United Arab Emirates.

The newly appointed fielding coach said, It is a great honor to be joining Pakistan Cricket Team and their high-quality coaching staff.

Bradburn was earlier serving as the head coach of Scotland national team.

He said that he looks forward to adding my experience to the players and staff, while being an integral part of the exciting and dominant team, Team Pakistan is becoming.

Source: Radio Pakistan