Tag Archives: elections

Myanmar says to amnesty prisoners before elections

in.reuters.com

Myanmar says to amnesty prisoners before elections

UNITED NATIONS – july 14 – Myanmar is planning to amnesty prisoners to enable them to take part in national elections next year, at the request of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the country’s U.N. envoy said on Monday.

But, addressing the U.N. Security Council, Ambassador Than Swe did not say how many political prisoners would be released, or when, or whether they would include key figures like opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

During a July 3-4 visit to Myanmar, Ban pressed the ruling military junta to free all political prisoners, including Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi, who is on trial on charges of breaking the conditions of her house arrest.

“At the request of the secretary-general, the Myanmar government is processing to grant amnesty to prisoners on humanitarian ground and with a view to enabling them to participate in the 2010 general elections,” Than Swe said, speaking in English.

He said the Myanmar government “intends to implement all appropriate recommendations that (the) secretary-general had proposed.” But during Ban’s visit the junta refused to allow him to meet Suu Kyi, saying this could influence her trial.

Rights groups say there are more than 2,000 political prisoners in Myanmar. If the government releases a significant number of them, the move could be seen as justifying Ban’s trip, which many analysts have so far portrayed as a failure.

Ban himself reacted cautiously to Than Swe’s comments. The U.N. chief, who earlier briefed the Security Council on his visit, told reporters: “This is encouraging, but I will have to continue to follow up how they will implement all the issues raised during my visit in Myanmar.”

“I am not quite sure … who will be included in this amnesty,” he added.

DELIVER ON PROMISES

The Myanmar government has amnestied prisoners before. It freed 19 political detainees in February as part of a release of 6,000 prisoners after a visit by a U.N. human rights envoy.

Critics say next year’s elections, the final part of a seven-step “road map” to democracy, will be a sham designed to give legitimacy to the current authorities and entrench nearly half a century of army rule in the former Burma.

In his report to the Security Council, Ban said the Myanmar government needed to deliver on promises to make next year’s elections free and fair, to release prisoners and to start a dialogue with the opposition “in the very near future.”

“The choice for Myanmar’s leaders in the coming days and weeks will be between meeting that responsibility … or failing their own people and each one of you,” he told the 15 council members.

Most council envoys supported Ban and deplored the Myanmar junta’s refusal to let him see Suu Kyi, who is accused of breaching her house arrest terms by letting an American intruder stay at her lakeside home in Yangon in May.

British envoy Philip Parham said the move demonstrated “the regime’s fear of a free and fair political process.” If there was an “unjust outcome” in Suu Kyi’s trial, “the international community will need to … respond robustly,” he said.

U.S. envoy Rosemary DiCarlo said Suu Kyi faced “spurious charges of violating a house arrest that was illegitimate to begin with.” French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert said that without the prior release of Suu Kyi “any electoral process would be just a parody of democracy.”

But in a strongly pro-Myanmar speech, Chinese envoy Liu Zhenmin said the junta’s refusal to let Ban see Suu Kyi was “totally understandable.” The international community should treat Myanmar with “less arrogance and prejudice,” he said.

Liu said China remained opposed to any sanctions, making clear that Beijing will pursue its policy of blocking any substantive council action on Myanmar through its veto.

prisoners, prisoners news, prisoners world, prisoners sport, prisoners technology, prisoners us, prisoners malaysia, prisoners prisoners, prisoners entertaiment, prisoners video, prisoners photo, prisoners bf1,  world news, sport news, technology news, us news, malaysia news, prisoners news, entertaiment news , video news, photo news, bf1 news, news, world, sport, technology, us, malaysia, prisoners, entertaiment, video, photo, bf1, news channel, news web, news gallery, news space, channel news, channel, web news, web, gallery news, gallery, gay news, lesbian news, french news, japan news, thai news, vietnam news, nasa news, nasa, prisoners, prisoners news, korea news, un news, un, middle east news, bf1 news, deadline, deadline news, free news, newspaper, news paper, healine news, headline, interantional, international news

UK’s Brown calls on Afghan army to pull its weight

in.reuters.com

UK’s Brown calls on Afghan army to pull its weight

LONDON – Afghanistan needs to do far more to make its troops available on the ground if a U.S.-British offensive to secure territory ahead of elections is to succeed, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Thursday.

Answering questions before a parliamentary committee, Brown repeatedly made the point that he did not think Afghanistan was pulling its weight and said he had spoken to President Hamid Karzai to try to address the situation.

Karzai told Brown this week he would increase the number, but did not say when or by how many.

“I’m very clear that the Afghan army has got to do more,” Brown said, arguing that any strategy to clear and hold large swathes of territory in the south ahead of a presidential election in August would hinge on Afghan forces.

“I’m very clear that where we are in Helmand, we need the complement of more Afghan troops and police. And I’m also clear that we have a role to play, and it will be a continuing role after the election, for some of our troops to mentor and train the Afghan security forces.”

He said Britain, which has about 9,000 troops in Helmand, having boosted the number for a pre-election offensive, would review its numbers after the poll, and possibly in October, if the vote goes to a second round.

But more immediately, he said there was not enough support from Afghanistan’s side to back up the efforts being made by Britain and the United States. If Afghan communities were to be kept safe, it meant Afghanistan stepping up to the plate.

It is a point U.S. military commanders have also made in recent weeks, but which Brown has taken up on a political level at a time when he is under pressure at home to justify why Britain is still fighting in Afghanistan after eight years.

“We have been asking the Afghan national army through President Karzai to make available more Afghan troops on the ground,” he said.

“It would be by far the best way of moving forward if once ground is taken by our troops, then local Afghan troops and police are there on the ground … There are troops available and I believe they should be in Helmand for this campaign.”

The prime minister was also dismissive of the size of the Afghan forces, saying they would have to be substantially expanded if they were ever going to be capable of keeping control in a country the size of Afghanistan.

“Our ability to defeat a terrorist threat depends not only on what we can contribute militarily, but on what we can achieve by civilian as well as military effort in training the Afghan army,” he said.

“Which will have to be higher than 130,000 (soldiers), by the way. I mean, it’s 80,000 at the moment, and the plan is 130,000, but I think everybody is in no doubt that for a territory that is as big as Afghanistan, we will have to train any army to a higher number than that.”

Afghan, Afghan news, Afghan world, Afghan sport, Afghan technology, Afghan us, Afghan malaysia, Afghan Afghan, Afghan entertaiment, Afghan video, Afghan photo, Afghan bf1,  world news, sport news, technology news, us news, malaysia news, Afghan news, entertaiment news , video news, photo news, bf1 news, news, world, sport, technology, us, malaysia, Afghan, entertaiment, video, photo, bf1, news channel, news web, news gallery, news space, channel news, channel, web news, web, gallery news, gallery, gay news, lesbian news, french news, japan news, thai news, vietnam news, nasa news, nasa, Afghan, Afghan news, korea news, un news, un, middle east news, bf1 news, deadline, deadline news, free news, newspaper, news paper, healine news, headline, interantional, international news

Prosecutors to resume their case in Hosni Mubarak’s trial

 Cairo (CNN) — Prosecutors are scheduled to continue their case Wednesday in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is accused of ordering protesters killed during the country’s uprising last year.

The former president also faces corruption charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors started presenting their case Tuesday with their opening statements.
“Mubarak is a tyrant who aimed to hand the rule to his younger son Gamal, who promoted corruption in Egypt, allowing his friends and relatives to destroy the country without accountability,” Suleiman told the court, according to Khaled Abu Bakr, a civil rights lawyer involved in the trial.
As during his previous appearances, Mubarak was wheeled into the courtroom on a stretcher, with a green blanket draped over him.
After hearing Suleiman speak for an hour Tuesday, the judge adjourned the court until Wednesday.
Abu Bakr said he expected a verdict “before January 25, the anniversary of the revolution,” referring to the beginning of the uprising that ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule in February.
Many Egyptians are critical of the court proceedings and some worry that Mubarak may be acquitted of the murder charges. Five police officers accused of killing protesters were acquitted last week.
Mubarak’s health has been in question since his detention began in April after reports of his cancer and heart problems surfaced in the media.
Former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib El Adly, six of his aides and two of Mubarak’s sons are also on trial on a variety of charges.Sons Gamal and Alaa have also pleaded not guilty.

About 840 people died and more than 6,000 were wounded in the 18 days of uprising that toppled Mubarak, according to Amnesty International.

 mubarak, trial, mubarak trial, their, hosni, hosni mubarak, prosecutors, case, their case, resume, prosecutors resume, resume their, case hosni, international, egypt, africa, from, world, video, neck, news, 2012, from international, london, world africa, headlines, news headlines, headlines video, video from, egypt mubarak, index, html, 2012 world, africa egypt, trial index, index html, romney, iowa, santorum, this, over, murder, iran, egyptian, comment, edition, former, president, international africa, share, post, updated, 2011, most, president hosni, protesters, story, with, share this, cairo, 2011 updated, popular, most popular, will, year, mohamed, fadel, mohamed fadel, fahmy, fadel fahmy, business, ireport, your, court, wednesday, former egyptian, egyptian president, accused, ordering, last, content, arabic, entertainment, facebook, like, january, former president, also, corruption, charges, that, have, what, comments, november, november 2011, continue, continue their, case wednesday, wednesday trial, trial former, mubarak accused, accused ordering, ordering protesters, killed, protesters killed, last year, méxico, sign, breaking, home, asia, europe, latin, america, latin america, middle, east, middle east, sport, world sport, travel, votes, according, stretcher, killing, uprising, rule, suleiman, after, revolution, first, elections, stories, military, follow, prosecutors will, will continue, killed last, turner, world business, home video, videos, video world, world news, international world, africa asia, asia europe, europe latin, america middle, business world, sport entertainment, tech, tech travel, travel ireport, share your, issues, with ireport, results, this facebook, twitter, facebook twitter, digg, twitter digg, delicious, digg delicious, reddit, delicious reddit, myspace, reddit myspace, stumbleupon, myspace stumbleupon, linkedin, stumbleupon linkedin, viadeo, linkedin viadeo, viadeo like, like this, this content, content facebook, lies, mubarak lies, lies stretcher, leaves, stretcher leaves, leaves court, court cairo, cairo january, could, before, lawyer, says, charged, killing protesters, president also, faces, also faces, faces corruption, corruption charges, during, country, pleaded, guilty, pleaded guilty, tuesday, gamal, without, bakr, rights, arab, uprising that, mubarak year, year rule, many, egyptians, acquitted, five, were, since, sons, about, more, days, nigeria, thousands, these, things, army, sign comment, profile, advertisement, coverage, mean, countries, december, december 2011, help, them, egyptian elections, interactive, unrest, today, regime