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ICRD Analysis: Syrian Refugees Need Safe and Legal Pathways for Resettlement

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Syria remains a deadly and hostile country while its civil war is underway. This means civilians continue to require protection and refugees will need assistance in terms of resettlement and safe passage to third countries.

From its pre-conflict population of 20.5 million, 6.15 million people are internally displaced and 13.5 million people need humanitarian assistance.

By the end of October 2017 there were 5.31 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.

Conditions for refugees remain precarious and there are a number of risks for those who reside in camp settings, including:

Lack of access to psychological support.
Protection concerns for unaccompanied minors.
Sexual and gender-based violence.
Poor health and bad hygiene.
Lack of protection to harsh weather conditions.
Limited financial resources.
While funding from donors to help humanitarian organisations is still vital and allows for much needed protection and assistance mechanisms to be put in place, there can be no alternative to asylum and resettlement to allow refugees to continue their lives and enjoy their full entitlement to rights in as safe an environment as possible.

In 2015, the EU asked 27 countries to take 160,000 refugees but by September 2017 only 29,162 had been taken in. The UK, who was not part of this scheme eventually agreed to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 through its own national Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme (VPRP).

However, many refugees are still making dangerous journeys from their country of origin, which exacerbates their suffering.

That’s why more safe and legal pathways are needed to ensure protection of Syrian refugees.

The UK position
The UK government settled on accepting 20,000 Syrian refugees. There has been opinion that the UK should accept more. The UK government has made clear though that it prefers to provide humanitarian funding to support those within the country believing that offering resettlement would encourage people to make the dangerous journey to the UK.

While aid can help attend to urgent needs there are many hard to reach areas in Syria, including those that are besieged. That means that humanitarian convoys can be denied entry. And so-called safe zones cannot truly protect the civilian population who have suffered disproportionately from the conflict. In addition Syrians are at risk of sexual violence, enforced disappearances and forced conscription as well as the recruitment of child soldiers. Evidence of torture and extra-judicial executions have also been uncovered.

Statement by Sameh Habeeb on the allegations of AntiSemitism by right wing writer on Sunday Telegraph

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I, Sameh Habeeb, was a co-founder and former co-editor of the Palestine Telegraph website, an open source platform; as with all open source platforms, this unfortunately includes people who may submit anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and racist comments and views. But allegations of anti-Semitism have to be proved, rather than asserted.

I totally reject that criticism of Israeli policy is anti-Semitic. The accusations against me fall within the wider context of the anti-Labour campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. The Sunday Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/anti-semitic-activist-select…/“) article is yet another attempt to silence any effective voices in the #Labour Party that are critical of Israel and its supporting organisations in the UK.

The #Palestine Telegraph was founded by a group of Palestinians living in Gaza, in response to the ongoing Israeli siege and the 2008-2009 Israeli war against Palestinians living in in Gaza. During the war, Israel committed war crimes. The website was volunteer-run and an open public platform, such as WordPress.com, Blogspot.com and Medium.com, open to citizen journalists and the public to publish their views. Whenever I was notified or came to know about any content that was racist, including anything anti-Semitic, I took immediate action, removing the articles and banning the publication of any submissions by writers who publish such hate and conspiracy stories. In other words, I was on the forefront in the fight against anti-Semitism.

This is in contrast to the #Telegraph newspaper, which continues to publish anti-Semitic and Islamophobic content online.

Regarding questions about anti-Semitism, I will not let proponents of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism determine what is deemed acceptable and what is not. I am open to any fair investigation by the Labour Party or any other side to scrutinise the accusations against me. I am committed to the Labour Party and its ideas and principles that stand for justice for all oppressed peoples. And I am confident that my name will be cleared. There must be due process; this trial by media and trial by hysteria is not conducive to democracy and British values.

-End-

[contfnewc]

List of Arabic Media Outlets

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Online Arabic Newspapers Throughout the Arab World

Popular World Arabic Newspapers
Algeria Online Newspapers
Bahrain Online Newspapers
Egypt Online Newspapers
Iraq Online Newspapers
Jordan Online Newspapers
Kuwait Online Newspapers
Lebanon Online Newspapers
Libya Online Newspapers
Mauritania Online Newspapers
Morocco Online Newspapers
Oman Online Newspapers
Palestine Online Newspapers
Qatar Online Newspapers
Saudi Arabia Online Newspapers
Somalia Online Newspapers
Sudan Online Newspapers
Syria Online Newspapers
Tunisia Online Newspapers
UAE Online Newspapers
Yemen Online Newspapers

Popular Arabic News Sites:[hhmc]

Algeria Online Newspapers[hhmc]

Bahrain Online Newspapers[hhmc]

Egypt Online Newspapers[hhmc]

Iraq Online Newspapers[hhmc]

Jordan Online Newspapers[hhmc]

Kuwait Online Newspapers[hhmc]

Lebanon Online Newspapers[hhmc]

War on Want: ISRAEL MUST END ITS ILLEGAL DETENTION POLICIES

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Israel is holding over 6,000 Palestinians as political prisoners.

  • 356 of the political prisoners are children under the age of 18.
  • 427 of the political prisoners are being held in administrative detention, without being charged or standing trial.
  • Human rights defenders, including journalists, lawyers, and NGO workers, are targeted with arrest and detention.

Israels detention policies and practices violate international law.

  • Israeli authorities routinely transfer political prisoners from occupied territory into Israel, a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Ill-treatment and torture are systematic and widespread in Israeli detention and interrogation centres, a violation of the universally binding prohibition on torture.
  • The UK government has an obligation under international law to ensure that the Fourth Geneva Convention is respected by other signatories, including Israel. The UK also has third state responsibility to take action when a state breaches the universally binding principles of international law.

The UK government must press Israel to end its illegal detention policies.

PSC and Other UK Human Rights Organisations Banned From Israel

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According to a list released by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry on Sunday, high profile members and officers of 20 global human rights organisations will be banned from entering Israel or Palestine. The list includes three UK organisations – the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Friends of Al Aqsa and War on Want.

In March 2017, Hugh Lanning, Chair of PSC, became the first high profile human rights campaigner to be denied access to Israel under the so called anti-boycott law passed in 2016.

Since then Israel has also, under this and other laws, denied entry to representatives of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Jewish Voice for Peace. Israeli civil society organisations and human rights activists have also been subject to restrictions on their rights to campaign, freedom of movement and speech.

The release by Israel of a list of banned organisations is not a surprise, given the erosion of democratic norms by the Israeli government in recent years. Alongside this law, Israel has passed a series of measures though the Knesset that seek to limit the freedoms of groups inside and outside Israel to campaign on behalf of the rights of Palestinians.

Hugh Lanning, PSC Chair, said:

“This latest announcement should be a wakeup call for the UK government and all those who continue to describe Israel as a normal liberal democracy. Liberal democracies do not prevent entry to individuals whose only offence is to draw attention to human rights abuses and to call for non-violent action to address them. Only states that wish to protect their ability to act unjustly behave in this way.

Boris Johnson must take robust action to protect the rights of UK citizens to protest peacefully and to cross borders without illegitimate restriction. He should make clear that the UK Government will not cooperate with these measures.

Neither the PSC nor any of its members will be intimidated by such measures; they are a mark of Israel’s increasing desperation in the face of the growth in global support for the tactic of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. BDS is a non-violent means of holding Israel to account for its violations of international law and its denial of the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said:

“Through this measure, Israel not only seeks to prevent peaceful human rights activists from entering Israel, but also from entering Palestine. This includes members of PSC and other organisations who, like myself, are of Palestinian origin and who have family and friends in Palestine. In April 2017, PSC’s Vice Chair, senior academic Kamel Hawwash, was separated from his family at the airport, whilst visiting family in Jerusalem.

Ahed Tamimi Offers Israelis a Lesson Worthy of Gandhi

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By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticised Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.

Eventually, colonized peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task.

She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral.

Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him.

Western commentators have largely denied Ahed the kind of effusive support offered to democracy protesters in places such as China and Iran. Nevertheless, this Palestinian schoolgirl – possibly facing a long jail term for defying her oppressors – has quickly become a social media icon.

While Ahed might have been previously unknown to most Israelis, she is a familiar face to Palestinians and campaigners around the world.

For years, she and other villagers have held a weekly confrontation with the Israeli army as it enforces the rule of Jewish settlers over Nabi Saleh. These settlers have forcibly taken over the village’s lands and ancient spring, a vital water source for a community that depends on farming.

Distinctive for her irrepressible blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, Ahed has been filmed regularly since she was a small girl confronting soldiers who tower above her. Such scenes inspired one veteran Israeli peace activist to anoint her Palestine’s Joan of Arc.

But few Israelis are so enamored.

London Digital Divides Discussion Show on World’s Biggest news

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Digital Divides is Nedka Babliku’s weekly discussion show that delves deep into the world’s biggest news stories without mercy or restraint.

The show explores the key global events with an emphasis on heavy hitting geo-political analysis that is not afraid to expose the absurdity, injustice and macabre humour implicit in a world on edge.

Frequent topics on the show include: the new political alignments of the Middle East, Syria and Iraq’s war against Takfiri terrorism, China and the emergence of One Belt—One Road, the shifting dynamics in South Asian alliances, South East Asia’s political and economic revolution, the Palestinian campaign for justice, Russia’s role as a Eurasian superpower, the decline of the US Dollar and much more.

Each week, Nedka welcomes Adam Garrie of Eurasia Future to run down the most important world developments in a fast paced style that leaves no stone unturned.

Be sure to subscribe to Nedka Babliku’s YouTube channel to see the latest episodes and more!

The post London Digital Divides Discussion Show on World’s Biggest news appeared first on News Wire Now.

‘You have no idea of damage he caused’: Colorado child sex trafficker gets record 472-year sentence

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A child sex trafficker in Colorado has been sentenced to 472 years in prison. It’s been said to be the longest sentence in a human trafficking case in US history, with prosecutors originally seeking 600 years.
Brock Franklin, 31, was sentenced Tuesday by Arapahoe County Judge Peter Michaelson. In March, an Arapahoe County jury found Franklin guilty of 30 counts of operating a prostitution ring that preyed on young girls and women. Among the counts were violations of Colorado’s organized crime control act, charges of pimping a child, human trafficking and sexual assault.

“A 400-year sentence sends a strong message across the country that we’re not going to tolerate this kind of violence to women and vulnerable populations,” Janet Drake of the Colorado Attorney General’s office told Fox News.

View image on Twitter

The post ‘You have no idea of damage he caused’: Colorado child sex trafficker gets record 472-year sentence appeared first on News Wire Now.

WAR ON WANT’S COMMITMENT TO SAFEGUARDING AND CODE OF CONDUCT

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The recent reports regarding the conduct of staff working for international humanitarian and development charities, focusing on Oxfam, is a crucial reminder of the importance that charities should place on ensuring effective policies and practices in safeguarding, including commitments to recognise and uphold the dignity of local communities that the sector works with.

It is also a lesson on how unequal power relations can permeate the charity sector and replicate the kind of discriminatory and harmful behaviours that we see present in other sectors and in broader society.

Part of this picture is the very methodology of the traditional charitable approach to humanitarian crises and development in the global South – an approach where workers are brought in from largely Western countries to carry out and oversee humanitarian and development projects in communities that are very often living in extreme poverty, marginalised and seen as beneficiaries, as opposed to equal partners with agency, power and the ability to bring about their own change.

Throughout its history War on Want has focused on the structural causes of poverty and inequality rather than traditional aid projects. Our work with partners is what shapes the work that we do. These long-term partnerships ground our work in the aspirations of democratic social movements, ensuring that War on Want’s politics remain true to the hopes of those on the front line in the struggle. Our programmes are partnerships of equals, based on full respect for the ambitions and politics of all we work with.

Violence against women is a fundamental and systematic abuse of women’s human rights. It is an issue that War on Want works on together with women’s rights organisations, as part of our ongoing work to address the root causes of poverty and human rights abuses. Many of War on Want’s programme partnerships are directly focused on the empowerment of women as agents of change. We work in support of women challenging the dominance of male workers in national labour movements, striving to enable a new generation of women to break through the barriers of social and economic exploitation and take their place as leaders in the struggle. We work with women in the informal economy, fighting for equal recognition of their rights in the face of threats and violence at work and in the home.

We understand clearly our responsibility to ensure best practice from staff, trustees and volunteers alike in the work that we do, which includes exposing the ways in which traditional approaches to international development and aid reinforce unequal power relations. This applies to all of our relationships, including as trusted partners working with women’s groups, who have been at the forefront of fighting for justice on these issues for many years, often with very few resources.

We have in place policies and procedures regarding staff and trustee conduct including whistle-blowing, fraud and safeguarding policies, and we operate a zero tolerance approach. This is the case whether our staff are working in the office or elsewhere, including on overseas trips. We regularly review our policies to ensure that they are consistent with best practice and are clear with our staff, trustees and partners of the values, principles and conduct that we expect from them.

This issue should be a priority for the charity sector, and we commit to ensuring that for our part, we endeavour to model best practice policies, approaches and behaviour.

By War on Want

Palestine: IFJ demands justice following the killing of a journalist in Gaza

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The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined its affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), in condemning the killing of Palestinian photojournalist Yasir Murtaja and the wounding of at least 7 more journalists in Gaza.

The IFJ has also demanded the investigation being carried out by the Israeli army in to the killing and other targeted attacks is open and transparent.

Murtaja, 31, who was working for the Gaza-based news agency Ain Media, was killed on 6 April in the east of Gaza from wounds sustained by an Israeli sniper while covering the March of Return rally.

“We stand by our affiliate and Palestinian colleagues who have been unlawfully targeted for simply doing their job,” said IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger. “The IFJ strongly condemns this inadmissible targeting of journalists and press freedom in Gaza by the Israeli forces and we demand that the Israeli army investigation is open and transparent. A failure to do so will make the Israeli government complicit in the targeted killing of journalists while doing their job, which is considered a war crime under international laws¨.

As well as that investigation the international community must carry out an independent investigation and all those responsible must be brought to justice”.

In a statement, the PJS confirmed that they will pursue action against Murtajas murderers in the international forums and courts and that they will intensify their efforts to bring the murderers of Palestinian journalists to international justice. The PJS also called on the UN and all its bodies to act immediately and to implement its decisions, specifically the International Security Councils decision no. 2222, and to take concrete steps to provide immediate protection to Palestinian journalists on the ground.

In 2017, the PJS recorded 909 media violations in West Bank and Gaza, 37% more than the previous year. The media violations included the closure of media offices and production companies, financial penalties, websites being blocked and journalists´ being arrested and physically attacked. According to the PJS report, 81% of these media violations (740) were committed by Israeli forces while 19% (169) were attributed to Palestinian authorities.

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