Wednesday, March 26, 2014

  • Egypt’s Courts Further Repression with Journos on Trial & Mass Death Sentence for Morsi Supporters

    Brotherhood-courtroom

    Egypt is facing international criticism after the largest mass sentencing in its modern history. On Monday, 529 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi were ordered killed over the death of a single police officer in protests last summer. The trial lasted just over two days, with the majority tried in absentia. The exceptionally swift trial and harsh sentences mark a new escalation of the Egyptian military regime’s crackdown on Morsi supporters, which has led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests. In another closely watched trial, Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy have been denied bail after nearly three months in prison. They are accused of belonging to or aiding a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, two leading Egyptian activists have been freed after over 100 days behind bars. Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Ahmed Abdel Rahman are among a group of activists charged with violating the military regime’s anti-protest law. They and 23 others have been released on bail but still face a trial that resumes next month. We go to Cairo to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.

  • Obama to Visit Saudi Arabia, Key Source of Funding for Growing Jihadi Militarism in Middle East

    Barackobamakingabdullah

    Despite Saudi Arabia’s funding and arming of militants in Syria, Iraq and beyond, President Obama is set to visit the kingdom this week to meet with King Abdullah. It’s the only Middle Eastern or Gulf nation on Obama’s overseas itinerary. Many analysts say the conflict in Syria has grown into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia’s links to jihadist groups go back decades. Fifteen of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudi. The 9/11 Commission Report identified Saudi Arabia as the main source of al-Qaeda financing. And in 2010, WikiLeaks published U.S. diplomatic cables which identified Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups. Members of Congress and human rights organizations have also been calling on Obama to address the kingdom’s treatment of women, religious minorities and political activists. We are joined by Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent. Cockburn wrote The Independent’s recent five-part series examining the resurgence of jihadists across the Middle East, "Al-Qa’ida’s Second Act: Why the Global 'War on Terror' Went Wrong."

  • The Right to Heal: 11 Years After Iraq Invasion, U.S. Urged on Reparations for War’s Enduring Wounds

    Iraq11yearsguest

    Eleven years ago this month, the U.S. invaded Iraq. Today, a group of Iraq civilians and U.S. veterans of the war are coming together in Washington to demand the U.S. government be held accountable for the lasting effects of war at home and abroad. We are joined by two members of the Right to Heal Initiative: Joyce Wagner, co-director of Iraq Veterans Against the War, who served two tours in Iraq, and Yanar Mohammed, president of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq. She recently gathered thousands of signatures in Baghdad to request a hearing before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights — a request that was denied.

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