Police arrest leading gay activist in crackdown on Tunisia rally | Protests News

Tunis, Tunisia – Police have arrested a number one homosexual rights campaigner in a violent pushback in opposition to younger folks throughout a rally in opposition to the upcoming referendum on the Tunisian president’s newly proposed structure.

Police violently shoved protesters marching on Friday in a vocal however peaceable demonstration as they headed in direction of the Ministry of Inside within the centre of Tunis to exhibit in opposition to President Kais Saied’s newly-penned structure and demand an finish to the referendum course of.

Al Jazeera witnessed beatings and different violent abuses of protesters, and likewise noticed police use pepper spray.

President Saied printed his new draft structure on the finish of final month, forward of a referendum scheduled for July 25 the place Tunisians will vote to simply accept or reject the doc.

July 25 marks a yr since Saied sacked Tunisia’s prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed govt authority, citing a nationwide emergency in a transfer critics have referred to as a coup.

Two months later he introduced he would rule by decree, and dismantled lots of the nation’s democratic state establishments together with the Superior Judicial Council. In June, he fired dozens of judges accusing them of corruption and “terrorism”, additional consolidating his energy.

Scuffles between protesters and police in Tunis
The police scuffled with protesters who accuse President Kais Saied of an influence seize and concern the brand new structure will result in dictatorship [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

Saied says he has carried out a interval of outstanding measures to save lots of the nation from an imminent hazard however his critics say his actions have solely exacerbated the political and financial crises dealing with Tunisians who’re struggling amid excessive inflation and unemployment, and declining public providers.

‘I’m so indignant’

 

On Friday, police launched a variety of aggressive costs in opposition to what was a comparatively small though vocal group of protesters.

As they charged in opposition to protesters they attacked chief of the left wing Entrance Fashionable Hama Hemami, a feminine journalist was slapped whereas attempting to {photograph} police arresting a protester and Al Jazeera noticed many individuals struggling the painful results of gasoline and pepper spray.

Police dragged protesters to the bottom as they arrested them, and held them in stress holds as they marched a few of them away.

Amongst these arrested was a number one LGBTQI+ activist Saif Ayadi. Avocats sans Frontiers informed Al Jazeera he’s at present being held at Gorjani detention centre however ASF say they’re involved for his security as he has beforehand been arrested and crushed by police.

Riot police pushed again the group with their shields earlier than fellow officers charged forcefully in opposition to the group chasing protesters down facet streets.

Khalil Ayari, a 23 yr previous nursing scholar, informed Al Jazeera: “I noticed 10 folks arrested, and (they) have been simply protesting peacefully. I noticed them assault a lady, they have been pulling her arm so onerous I might see the bruises rising.”

Ayari stated he took to the streets as a result of he was livid on the president’s actions.

“I’m so indignant,” he stated. “I learn the structure, it’s solely concerning the president, it’s all for him, he’s going to make all the choices and take all the pieces.”

He added: “After as we speak I not longer really feel protected in Tunisia.”

Below the brand new structure, Saied would have the ability to proceed to rule by decree till a brand new parliament is fashioned after an election set for December. He would even have final authority over the federal government and judiciary, with the federal government answering to the president and to not parliament.

Protesters and police jostle at barriers erected in Tunis with an officer spraying tear gas into their faces
A Tunisian policeman sprays tear gasoline at a protester attempting to take away metallic boundaries throughout Friday’s protest in opposition to the proposed new structure [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

The face of Ayla Salemi, who works in civil society, was vibrant purple after being caught within the pepper spray.

“The police have been shouting and insisting that we go dwelling, then they charged at us,” she informed Al Jazeera. “They battered the feminine activist Waen Nawal with a stick and so they used pepper spray on me and others.”

The 35-year-old tried to catch her breath. “I used to be in opposition to what occurred final yr within the parliament, however I’m additionally in opposition to this president, issues are a lot worse now than they have been earlier than.”

For a lot of younger folks, Saied’s actions are a betrayal.

“We’re in opposition to Saied’s structure as a result of this may carry us to dictatorship, we can’t tolerate this; we’re right here to say no!” 23-year-old regulation scholar Malak Ben Amane informed Al Jazeera.

Half means by means of the interview a policeman got here to berate Ben Amane, however she stood coolly and refused to maneuver. Because the officer moved away she stated: “This violence will not be uncommon it occurs day-after-day, it is a police state.”

Till Friday, protests in opposition to the president had largely concerned middle-aged folks, however the younger at the moment are popping out in opposition to him too.

“Sure, we’re depressed, however we’re right here to defend our revolution and our democracy, so I’ll march once more tomorrow,” Ben Amane stated.

Myanmar military says activist, lawmaker to face death sentence | News

Activist Kyaw Min Yu and Nationwide League for Democracy lawmaker Phyo Zeya Thaw had appeals towards sentence rejected.

Myanmar’s navy authorities stated that appeals by two distinguished democracy activists towards their loss of life sentences had been rejected, paving the best way for the nation’s first executions in many years.

Veteran democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu and Phyo Zeya Thaw, a lawmaker for the previous governing Nationwide League for Democracy occasion, have been sentenced to loss of life by a navy tribunal in January on fees of treason and terrorism, based on a navy assertion on the time.

A spokesperson for the navy authorities stated on Friday that their appeals towards the loss of life sentence have been rejected.

“Beforehand, the convicts sentenced to loss of life may enchantment and if no choice was made, then their loss of life sentences wouldn’t be applied,” spokesperson Zaw Min Tun advised the BBC’s Burmese language service.

“At the moment, that enchantment was rejected so the loss of life sentences are going to be applied,” he stated.

No particulars have been offered as to when the executions would happen.

Representatives of the 2 activists couldn’t be reached for remark and it was unclear whether or not or not the 2 had denied the costs towards them. The navy didn’t point out how the 2 activists had pleaded.

Although the navy has sentenced dozens of anti-coup activists to loss of life as a part of its crackdown on dissent after seizing energy final yr, Myanmar has not carried out an execution for many years.

Phil Robertson, a deputy director at Human Rights Watch, stated the choice to “transfer in the direction of executing two distinguished political leaders will probably be like pouring gasoline on the hearth of in style anti-military resistance within the nation”.

“Such a transfer may also result in international condemnation and cement the junta’s repute as among the many worst of the worst human rights abusers in Asia.”

The Myanmar navy has acquired widespread condemnation overseas for ousting an elected authorities in a coup greater than a yr in the past, and for the brutal crackdown that it has since unleashed on critics, opposition members and activists.

The UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated in a brand new report that the variety of folks displaced inside strife-torn Myanmar has for the primary time exceeded a million, with nicely over half the entire dropping their properties after the navy takeover in 2021.

The report stated that greater than 694,300 folks have turn out to be displaced from their properties because the takeover, and an estimated 346,000 folks have been displaced by combating earlier than final yr’s coup.

Roughly 40,200 folks have fled to neighbouring nations and greater than 12,700 “civilian properties”, together with homes, church buildings, monasteries and faculties are estimated to have been destroyed, based on the UN.

Turkey: Activist Osman Kavala makes final appeal before verdict | Protests News

Osman Kavala made his remaining attraction for freedom on Friday, on the fruits of a years-long trial.

One in all Turkey’s most well-known prisoners made his remaining attraction for freedom on Friday, on the fruits of a years-long trial that has come to outline Ankara’s tense ties with Western allies.

Paris-born activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala, 64, was a relative unknown when he was detained on his arrival at Istanbul’s airport in October 2017. Kavala’s imprisonment and not using a conviction has turn out to be a spotlight of Western worries concerning the Turkish authorities’s crackdown on dissent.

“The truth that I’ve spent 4.5 years of my life in jail is a loss that can’t be compensated,” Kavala informed the court docket on Friday talking through a video hyperlink from jail.

“The one factor that might console me is the likelihood that what I’ve gone by way of helps to place an finish to grave judicial errors,” he mentioned.

The courtroom was filled with some 200 folks, together with opposition members, rights teams and Western diplomats.

The prosecution desires Kavala discovered responsible of “making an attempt to overthrow” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authorities by financing a wave of 2013 protests after which being immediately concerned in a 2016 coup plot.

Kavala was acquitted of the primary rely linked to the 2013 protests in February 2020. However he was detained earlier than he had an opportunity to return residence after which charged with the coup try the identical night time.

Prosecutor Edip Sahiner has mentioned Kavala and co-accused architect Mucella Yapici must be convicted for making an attempt to overthrow the federal government by way of violence, which might carry a sentence of as much as life in jail with out parole.

Kavala has denied the fees.

A responsible verdict may see Kavala jailed for all times with out the potential of parole.

A verdict had been anticipated on Friday, however the court docket postponed its resolution till Monday to offer time for defence legal professionals to complete their statements.

Erdogan has made no secret of his private enmity for Kavala, calling him a communist agent of the Hungarian-born US philanthropist George Soros who’s allegedly utilizing overseas cash to try to topple the Turkish state.

“We will by no means be along with folks like Kavala,” Erdogan declared in 2020.

The case has strained Ankara’s ties with Western allies.

Human rights advocates say that if Kavala had been to be launched by the court docket, it might ship a sign to Turkey’s Western allies that its justice system is free from Erdogan’s strain.

“His unconditional launch might mark a turning level in de-politicisation of judicial prosecutions in Turkey,” Amnesty Worldwide’s Turkey researcher Guney Yildiz  mentioned.

“That’s why the results of the emblematic case is kind of severe.”