Time to Rein in #Bahrain

Bahrain Journalist Nazeeha Saeed [pic: BHR]
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The Kingdom of Bahrain is not presented to the world as a major power, or a serious threat to peace and stability. Quite the opposite. So why is it continually allowed to get away with human rights abuses? Those responsible should be charged and tried, along with the chain of command. Countries which are entitled to pride themselves on their human rights record – I am aware this is a shrinking list – should be ashamed to have any dealings with Bahrain until it changes its policies and adjusts its attitude. Citizens of countries which pretend towards any form of democratic government should use their right to speak out against these abuses.

This is the story of just one of Bahrain’s many victims. On 22 October, a court in Manama cleared a policewoman of torture and ill-treatment in the course of her duties when a female Bahraini journalist, Nazeeha Saeed, was assaulted and beaten in custody during anti-government protests last year.

Lieutenant Sarah al-Musa was the first female officer to be prosecuted before a civilian court for abuses carried out by the police during the crackdown on the popular uprising that began in February last year. Her trial opened on 6 June. In April of this year, The High Criminal Court sent  the case back to the public prosecution.

Nazeeha has announced she intends to appeal against the verdict. The journalist also made a complaint against another policewoman and a male officer, Fahad Ali Abdulla Khalifa, alleging torture and ill-treatment, but so far no action has been taken against them. As well as being a co-accused in the case, Khalifa was also cited as a witness and gave evidence at a hearing on 7 September.

Bahrain Journalist Nazeeha Saeed [pic: BHR]

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is outraged at the officer’s acquittal, declaring it “a verdict that illustrates the Bahrain’s judicial system’s lack of independence.” The kingdom’s authorities, mindful of their international image, pride themselves on having accepted 158 of the 176 recommendations — 13 partially – made by the Bahrain Universal Periodic Review at the 21st session of the UN Human rights Council in September 2012. However, these undertakings were trampled underfoot as soon as the television cameras left. This verdict raises many questions as to the seriousness of the Bahraini judiciary to truly implement the recommendations contained in Bassiouni’s report, especially in what relates to bringing to justice those responsible for torture as well as the calls released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Boarders (RWB), and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) pertaining to opening an investigation into the torturing of Nazeeha Saeed and putting the torturers on trial.

Saeed, a correspondent for France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, had been summoned to a police station for questioning in the city of Rifa’a at midday on 22 May 2011. She expected to be back home two hours later and had no inkling of the nightmare awaiting her.

On arriving at the police station, she took a seat and waited calmly. Other women, mainly nurses, were also waiting, sitting on the floor.

An hour later, she was called. She entered an office where there was a male officer. In a quiet but unsettling voice, he told her to answer the questions that would be put to her. He then left her with a female officer, who accusing her of “lying” in her reports and told her to admit her links with the Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar and the Iranian Arabic-language TV station Al-Alam. “You must confess,” the woman kept repeating, going on to accuse her of participating in the pro-democracy demonstrations that have taking place in Bahrain since March.

Another hour passed, and she was taken to another office. There, a woman police officer mocked and insulted her. When Nazeeha ignored her, the policewoman grabbed her by the chin, held it hard, and slapped her with the other hand. “You must tell me the truth,” she screamed, continuing to slap her and then seizing her by the hair and throwing her to the ground. Four policewomen proceeded to slap, punch and kick her repeatedly. One of the women took her shoe and forced it into her mouth. “You are worth less than this shoe,” she said.

With the shoe still in her mouth, she was dragged to yet another office, where she was blindfolded and was initially made to stand. Then she was forced to kneel on a chair, facing the back of the chair, exposing her back and the soles of her feet, which were now beaten repeatedly with a piece of flexible black plastic tubing. As she cried out with pain, a police officer kept shouting “Shut up and answer my questions” without asking any questions or without giving her time to say anything.

She continued to be accused of lying and of “harming Bahrain’s image.” The blows kept on coming. The blindfold finally fell from her eyes and she noticed the male officer, the one who had spoken to her initially, coldly observing the scene.

Nazeeha was then taken to a room where there were other women, nurses, who were awaiting their turn to be interrogated.

After a while, she was taken back for another interrogation session. The nightmare resumed. Blindfolded again, she was told to bray like a donkey and to walk like an animal. A new humiliation. And she was beaten again. At one point, a woman held a plastic bottle against her mouth. “Drink, it’s urine,” the woman cried, pressing her lips against the mouth of the bottle. Nazeeha managed to knock the bottle out of the policewoman’s hand, but the policewoman picked it up and poured part of its contents over her face. Nazeeha did not know what it was, but it stung her face.

She was taken to another office and was forced to kneel on a chair again. The soles of her feet, her back, her arms and her head were again beaten with the plastic tube.

Nazeeha was taken back to the room where other women were waiting and the blindfold was removed. When she recovered the use of her eyes, she saw that it was past midnight. All the women, including Nazeeha, were now allowed to go to the toilet and were brought food. They were also brought documents to sign, without being able to read them. Nazeeha signed.

The policewoman who had initially received her at the police station checked all the women with a stethoscope and told them they would be sent to prison for 45 days, pending trial.

The head of the police station nonetheless asked to see Nazeeha. He told her he was very surprised to find her there and pretended not to know she had been interrogated. She was allowed to phone her mother and was finally allowed to return home. But she has not yet recovered from the ordeal. She continues to suffer physical and psychological after-effects.

The interior ministry subsequently announced proceedings against those responsible for the mistreatment. Nazeeha gave an account of her ordeal to the military prosecutor in charge of the investigation. She spent some time in France receiving medical care before returning to Bahrain.

 

Bahraini media professionals including journalists, photographers, and bloggers were subjected to mass arrests after the declaration of the martial laws in March 15, 2011. This was followed by the murdering of publisher Kareem Fakrawi and blogger Zakariya Al Asheeri along with the arrest and torture of more than 140 media professionals. Likewise, tens of foreign correspondents were temporarily detained, forcefully deported, or denied entry to Bahrain.

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Des nouvelles d’Iran – Semaine 37-2012

Mohammad Tavassoli
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Nouvelles des Prisonniers

A-   Transferts

Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour

Ø  Ahmad Reza Ahmadpour, religieux défroqué, transféré à la prison de Yazd.

Ø  Le militant des droits humains Navid Khandjani transféré d’Evine à la prison de Redjaï Shahr.

Ø  Issa Saharkhiz transféré de la prison d’Evine à celle de Redjaï Shahr.

Ø  6 des volontaires qui aidaient les victimes du tremblement de terre arrêtés en Azerbaïdjan ont été transférés au bloc 350 d’Evin :

o   Navid Khandjani

o   Sepehr Saheban

o   Esmaïl Salmanpour

o   Saïd Shirzad

o   Houman Taheri

o   Massoud Vafabakhsh.

B- Arrestations/Incarcérations

Ø  Samine Ehsani convoquée à Evine pour purger ses 5 ans de prison

Ø  Rashid Esmaïli membre de la direction politique d’Advar Tahkim (association d’étudiants) a été arrêté par des gardes révolutionnaires.

Ø  Soleiman Mahmoudian arrêté à Saqqez et envoyé à la prison de Saqqez.

Ø  Mehran Malaveisi arrêté à Marivan et envoyé à la prison de Saqqez.

Ø  La journaliste et militante des droits humains Shiva Nazarahari, condamnée à 4 ans + 74 coups de fouet, s’est rendue à Evine pour commencer à purger sa peine.

Ø  Djamal et Hamed Sheikhi arrêtés à Marivan et envoyés à la prison de Saqqez.

 

C-Libérations

Ø  Le poète populaire Mohammad-Reza Ali-Payam (Halou) libéré sous une caution de 100 million de tomans.

Ø  Après 3 ans d’emprisonnement, le journaliste Massoud Bastani bénéficie d’une permission.

Ø  Le pasteur Youssef Nadarkhani libéré, acquitté de ses charges d’apostasie.

Ø  Le militant National-Religieux Alireza Redjaï en liberté provisoire sous caution pendant 3 jours.

Ø  Abdollah Shahbazi, historien iranien, libéré.

Ø  Ali Tasseh libéré de la prison de Marivan après 2 mois de détention.

Ø  Obeed Zareï libéré de la prison de Marivan après 2 mois de détention.

Ø  Ces volontaires qui aidaient les victimes du tremblement de terre ont été libérés :

o   Morteza Esmaïlpour

o   Danial Hassani

o   Esmaïl Salmanpour

o   Saïd Shirzad

o   Bahram Shojaï

D-Autres Nouvelles

Ø  Après avoir écrit au chef de la justice, l’ancien maire de Téhéran Mohammad Tavassoli est convoqué au tribunal pour une affaire déjà jugée il y a 3 ans.

Mohammad Tavassoli

Nouvelles de l’injustice en Iran

Ø  Farzad Ahmadi, tailleur syndicaliste, condamné à 4 mois de prison à Sanandaj.

Ø  La cour d’appel a confirmé la peine de 3 ans de Maryam Alangui. Son mari, Mohsen Dogmetchi, est mort en prison l’année dernière.

Ø  Samine Ehsani condamnée en appel à 5 ans de prison.

Ø  La cour d’appel a condamné Zahra Mansouri à 2 ans de prison et 5 avec sursis.

Ø  Amanollah Mostaghim voit sa peine de 5 ans confirmée en appel.

Ø  Shahnaz Sagvand, épouse du syndicaliste emprisonné Ali Nedjati a été condamnée pour propagande contre le système par le biais d’interview avec des medias étrangers.

Ø  Le derviche Gonabadi, Nosrat Tabassi, condamné à 5 ans de prison.

Ø  Les 11 personnes qui avaient été transférées de la prison de Ghezel Hesar au bloc 240 d’Evine, ont été pendues, parmi eux, 5 Afghans.

Ø  Un homme a été pendu en public lundi à Shahrood.

Ø  Les verdicts ont été prononcés pour les 40 personnes impliquées dans le scandale de la fraude bancaire : 4 sont condamnés à mort et 2 à perpétuité.

L’université – la Culture

Ø  La ségrégation des sexes oblige les filles à abandonner leurs études à cause du manque d’établissements les acceptant dans les villages autour de Yassoudj.

Ø  Ghara’ati : Les universités iraniennes devraient s’équiper de centre de « mariages temporaires ».

Ø  L’Iran censure les SMS contenant le mot “dollar” suite à la chute de sa monnaie.

L’economie de l’Iran

Ø  $1 = 2305 tomans samedi, 2430 dimanche, 2600 lundi, 2500 mardi et l’euro à 3250 tomans le même jour.

Ø  Le marché noir représente 21% de l’économie iranienne.

Ø  Deux usines, à Arak et à Ispahan, ferment en une semaine, 600 ouvriers ont perdu leur boulot.

Ø  Le secrétaire d’Etat à l’industrie, au commerce et aux mines: 38% de réduction dans la production de véhicules Durant les 5 premiers mois de l’année.

Ø  La banque centrale fait banqueroute.

Ø  L’Iran surpasse la Bolivie et devient le numéro 1 pour l’inégalité de la distribution des richesses dans le monde.

Ø  Le bureau des statistiques confirme l’augmentation des loyers de 60%.

L’Iran à l’étranger

Ø  La Sierra Leone retire 10 bateaux iraniens de son registre maritime.

Ø  L’Iran cherche à rouvrir son ambassade en Grande Bretagne qui le lui refuse.

Ø  L’Egypte réfute toute discussion avec l’Iran sur l’achat de pétrole brut.

Ø  Le porte-parole du ministère des affaires étrangères, Ramin Mehmanparast, condamne le royaume de Bahreïn pour avoir condamné 13 membres dirigeants de l’opposition à de la prison.

La politique en Iran

Ø  Le parlement a mis en place un groupe spécial d’amitié pour resserrer les liens parlementaires avec la Syrie, l’Egypte, la Palestine et le Maroc.

Ø  La milice bassidj manifeste contre le film qui caricature Mahomet devant l’ambassade suisse.

Ø  100 enseignants de Hamadan ont manifesté contre la fausse annonce du ministère de l’Education prétendant qu’une augmentation de 15% avait été appliquée.

Nouvelles en vrac

Ø  Les ambulanciers iraniens sont désormais équipés de gaz lacrymogène.

Ø  24 médailles aux jeux paralympiques pour l’Iran.

News from Iran – Week 36 – 2012

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki: From Threat of Execution to Reduced Sentence of 15yrs
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Prisoners’ News

A. Transfers

  • Dr. Nader Babaei transferred handcuffed and shackled to hospital with internal bleeding.
  • Massoud Bastani and Keyvan Samimi were transferred to solitary confinement at Rajaei Shahr Prison.
  • Iran’s oldest political prisoner, Abbas Amir-Entezam, discharged from hospital and allowed to go home.
  • On day 17 of hunger strike, political prisoner Rasoul Herdani has been moved to Evin clinic in poor health.

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Critic and blogger Ahmad Nourmohammadi Abadchi was arrested in Ahvaz and transferred to Isfahan Intel detention
  • Five days after release, political prisoner Hadi Amini re-arrested.
  • Journalist Zhila Baniyaghoub arrived at Evin Prison to begin serving her one-year sentence.
  • Ebrahim Fakhri arrested in Maku for attending a session of poetry in Turkish language.
  • Hashem Hosseinpanahi, Kurdish activist, arrested.
  • Babak Mohsennezhad, photographer, arrested when taking pictures in Maku.
  • Professor at online Baha’i University, Keyvan Rahimian, summoned to serve his 5-year sentence.
  • Mohammad-Hasan Yousef-Pourseifi, human rights activist, reported to Evin to start serving his 5.5 year sentence.

C-Liberations

Akbar Amini

  • Vahdat Dana, Baha’i from Shiraz, freed after serving his sentence.
  • Akbar Amini released on bail.
  • Iman Rashidi, Fariba Ashtari, Farhanaz Misaghian, Shabnam Motahed, and Nategh Naeemi, Baha’i from Yazd, freed on 50 million Toman bail each.
  • Fariborz Baghi, Baha’i from Yazd, freed on 80 million Toman bail.
  • Sina Aghdaszadeh and Shayan Tafazoli,Baha’i from Mashhad, freed on 100 million Toman bail each.
  • Hossein Yazdi, reformist politician arrested last week released.

D-Other News

  • Muzaffar Dadi, ‎‎24, who had been incarcerated in Bandar Abbas Prison, died after being violently beaten by guards.
  • Wife of political activist and former prisoner Mohammad Esmail-Zadeh beaten by security forces commander, her teeth and jaw broken.
  • Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki suffering from internal bleeding in his kidneys after beatings and hunger strike

News of injustice in Iran

Behzad Nabavi

 

  • Human Rights activist and Zanjan Payame Noor University student Davoud Khodakarami has been sentenced to 4 months suspended for 4 years.
  • Journalist and political activist Mohammadsafar Lafoti has been sentenced to 5 years suspended sentence and a 5 year ban from political or journalism activities
  • New charges have been pressed against senior reformist Behzad Nabavi, imprisoned in IRGC’s ward 2A.
  • 3 executions in Rajaei Shahr prison.


University – Culture

  • First phase of the national internet has been installed in 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces.
  • Tehran Times Managing Director, Reza Moghaddasi, and Isaac Chipampe, Managing Director of Zambia’s Daily Mail, signed a cooperation agreement with the goal of improving socio-cultural relations between Iran and Zambia.


Iran Economics

  • Isfahan Petrochemical Complex shut down due to oil shortages.
  • Iran suspends $2.6B gas project with Chinese consortium.
  • 5 million day laborers deprived of benefits of the labor law.
  • Workers protesting the bankruptcy verdict of Avangaan manufacturer of transmission towers: 100 workers laid off.
  • $ 1 = 2,200 Toman on Wednesday, 2,250 on Thursday
  • Russia has taken over the market for Iranian oil in Turkey.


Iran  abroad

  • Iran and North Korea sign technological cooperation agreement, deepening ties.
  • Bahrain demands apologies from Iran further to translation of Morsi speech during NAM.
  • Alleged spy ring for Iran revealed by visual records in Turkey.
  • Iran Supplying Syrian Military via Iraqi Airspace.
  • Canada lists Iran as “state sponsor of terrorism” for support of Assad regime in Syria. Canada has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada.
  • Ahmadinejad appoints Reza Nazar-Ahari, former ambassador to Finland, as Iran’‎s new ambassador to Japan.


Politics in Iran

  • Revolutionary Guards killed a member of the PDKI, Esmail Kargar, in Shno.
  • Khamenei’s rep in IRGC: Regime’s legitimacy does NOT lie in people’s vote – while admitting that thousands of protesters and dissidents had been arrested after the 2009 election.
  • 7 Ayatollahs in Qom call execution of political opponents legally indefensible.
  • IRGC wants to establish seminary schools.
  • Security forcibly closes 15 businesses in Qazvin for not strictly observing the rules and values of Islam.
  • Iran’s next presidential election set for June 14 2013.


Miscellaneous

  • 21 medals, of which 9 gold for Iran during the London 2012 Paralympics.

Des Nouvelles d’Iran – Semaine 35 – 2012

Issa Saharkhiz
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Nouvelles des Prisonniers

A-   Transferts

Ø  Le journaliste Issa Saharkhiz transféré de l’hôpital au bloc 209 de la prison d’Evine, commence une grève de la faim pour protester.

B- Arrestations/Incarcérations

Akbar Amini ( qui avait grimpé en haut d’une grue pour manifester symboliquement le 14 février 2011 ) convoqué et arrêté.

Ø  Issa Faridi convoqué pour purger sa peine de prison.

Ø  La militante étudiante Nassim Soltanbeigui convoquée à Evine pour purger sa peine.

Ø  Amin Tchalaki directeur de la campagne présidentielle de Moussavi à Saveh, s’est rendu à Evine pour commencer à purger ses 4 ans de prison.

Ø  Hossein Yazdi arrêté a Ispahan pour avoir posté des informations ; il est libéré le lendemain.

Ø  Un groupe de musique clandestin arrêté à Téhéran.

 

C-Libérations

Ø  Ali Moslehi, membre de la campagne de Karroubi, a été libéré sous caution.

D-Autres Nouvelles

Ø  Mohammad Nazari en grève de la faim s’est cousu les lèvres ; il a été arrêté à l’âge de 22 ans et a passé 20 ans en prison.

Ø  Mohammad Tavakoli secrétaire du syndicat des enseignants de Kermanshah a été sévèrement battu.

Ø  Plus de 15.000 prisonniers incarcérés dans les prisons de la province du Khouzestan, surpeuplées et mal entretenues.

Ø  Certaines personnes arrêtées la semaine dernière alors qu’elles aidaient les victimes du tremblement de terre ont lancé une grève de la faim pour protester contre les arrestations :

o   Navid Khanjani

o   Vahed Kholousi

o   Milad Panahipour

o   Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

Nouvelles de l’injustice en Iran

Ø  Meysam et Siamak Azadi, qui avaient manifesté contre l’assèchement du lac Oroumieh, condamnés à 100 jours de prison chacun avec sursis.

Ø  Le prisonnier politique Hassan Ashtiani a été condamné à 15 ans pour Moharebeh. Le juge a récusé son avocat et l’a remplacé par un avocat commis d’office. Son procès a duré 11 minutes Il a été condamné pour avoir vendu la maison de sa sœur et lui avoir envoyé l’argent. Le tribunal a prétendu qu’elle était membre de l’OMPI. Hassan Ashtiani a nié en disant qu’il ne savait pas que sa soeur était membre de l’OMPI.

 

L’université – la Culture

Ø  La semaine dernière, 1400 antennes satellites ont été confisquées à Bokan, 29.000 à Boushehr.

Ø  Les Iraniennes battent les Emiratis 4-0 aux Olympiades d’échecs d’Istanbul.

Ø  Le site Vert Kalameh sous cyber-attaque intense après avoir publié l’appel du peuple iranien au Secrétaire Général de l’Onu, signé par plus de 11.000 personnes en deux jours.

L’economie de l’Iran

Ø  Le Japon imports n’importe pas de brut iranien pour la premiere fois depuis 1981.

Ø  Mazandaran Textile, qui comptait 7000 ouvriers, n’en a plus que 700 qui attendent tous leurs salaires depuis 26 mois..

L’Iran à l’étranger

Ø  L’Iran retire son invitation au Hamas de participer au sommet des non-alignés.

Ø  10 personnes arrêtées pour espionnage au profit de l’Iran dans la province turque d’Igdir. Deux d’entre elles, Mohammed Reza Esmaılpour et Shahram Zargham sont accuses d’avoir transmis des informations sur l’opposition syrienne.

Ø  Ban Ki Moon nie avoir été contacté par les familles des scientifiques nucléaires iraniens assassinés pour lui demander un entretien.

Ø  Le président égyptien Morsi fait un discours très critique contre la répression en Syrie ; le premier ministre syrien quitte la salle pendant le discours, la radiotélévision iranienne censure les paroles de Morsi, remplaçant révolution par sédition. Morsi quitte la réunions juste après son discours, sans attendre celui d’Ahmadinejad.

L’Economie de l’Iran

Ø  Deux lignes de production de la plus grande compagnie pharmaceutique a l’arret a cause des sanctions qui ne lui permettent pas d’importer les matieres premieres.

La politique en Iran

Ø  L’Iran va déployer 850 unités de sécurité et 110.000 hommes pour assurer la « sécurité » durant le sommetdes non-alignés qui coutera au total USD 600 millions.

Ø  Les habitants du Nord de Téhéran souffrent de restriction de circulation à cause du sommet des non-alignés. La circulation est interdite dans plusieurs autoroutes et rues du nord de Teheran.

Ø  La police embarque 1.400 mendiants des rues de Téhéran avant de début du sommet.

Ø  Mehr News fait état de 1.600 enterrements organisés par le croissant rouge iranien suite au tremblement de terre.

Gulf states sideline Arab League in Syria talks

Leaders of the Gulf Arab States pose for a photo before the opening session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh May 10, 2011. (Ho New/Courtesy Reuters)
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The meeting of Arab foreign ministers scheduled to be held in the Saudi city of Jeddah over the Syrian crisis has been postponed indefinitely without explanation by the Arab League. This “emergency meeting” was to discuss the conflict and the replacement of the UN and international mediator Kofi Annan, who resigned last week after the failure of his peace efforts. The Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi was tipped to succeed him .

However, the foreign ministers of the six Gulf monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain) held last night in Jeddah a meeting about the Syrian crisis. Now, this session is expected to take place Tuesday during an Islamic summit in the kingdom following the initiative of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who seeks to mobilize the Muslim world in favor of the uprising in Syria.

Syria, a member of the OIC, “will not be represented at this summit,” according to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization Islamic Cooperation (OIC), adding that a preparatory meeting of Foreign Ministers would be held Monday and should “decide on a suspension of Syria, recommended by representatives of member countries. ” The organization of this summit, which promises very sharp clashes between Iran, unwavering supporter of Syria, and the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, comes as the UN could not take a firm stand on this issue after the differences arising among members of the Security Council.

It would seem that those parties who declined Iran’s invitation to last Thursday’s “Friends of Syria” summit in Tehran have been forced by that event to step up their own efforts.

Leaders of the Gulf Arab States pose for a photo before the opening session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh May 10, 2011. (Ho New/Courtesy Reuters)

Four days after launching its ground offensive to cleanse the rebels from Aleppo, tanks and warplanes of the regime of Bashar al-Assad continue to pound several districts of this metropolis in the North of the country. According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), the neighborhoods Shaar, Tariq al-Bab, Hanano, Bustan al-Qasr and Salaheddin are the target of violent firing of artillery by the army.

Shots were also heard in Damascus while the nearby towns of Al-Tal and Harsata were bombed, according to the SOHR.

In Homs, soldiers assisted by militiamen “executed” ten young people in the Shams neighborhood, according to the Syrian National Council, the main opposition coalition. The victims were selected from a crowd of 350 people gathered in one place, said SNC.

Clashes took place elsewhere in the province of Deraa (south), birthplace of the insurgency launched in March 2011 against the Assad regime.

In Beirut, a judicial source said that the Syrian security chief, General Ali Mamluk, is suspected of plotting attacks in Lebanon. Last week, the former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha was arrested . Samaha is a pro-Syrian figure.

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