9 Jan 2012 World News Digest #Iran #Yemen #Syria


Börzen Zeitung reports Germany and France kick-off high-level discussions in Berlin today aimed at laying the groundwork for a crunch EU summit on the eurozone debt crisis at the end of the month. It is the first in a series of monthly mini-summits between Merkel and Sarkozy, who want toughen up the rules governing countries which use the single currency. The draft pact, which has been obtained by Sky News, proposes using the European Court of Justice to ensure eurozone countries keep their national debt and budget deficits within agreed limits. The mini-summit will also examine the introduction of a financial transaction tax, which Britain also strongly opposes.

Al Ahram reports that Arab League Foreign Ministers meeting in Cairo have demanded that the Syrian government cease its bloody crackdown on protesters but affirmed its commitment to monitoring the situation in the country, despite criticism that monitors have been ineffectual at stopping violence. The move defied opposition politicians and activists who want to halt the mission and refer the issue to the UN Security Council. Many of them are calling for international military intervention.

Sanaa Radio announces that Yemen’s cabinet has approved a draft law which grants President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution as part of a Gulf-brokered transition deal. The law is still to be approved by the country’s parliament. On Friday, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised the deal, saying those who committed abuses during a crackdown on the civil unrest unrest must face justice.

Akhbar Al Youm reports aid groups were mounting a “major emergency operation” in rural South Sudan after tribe-on-tribe violence sent tens of thousands fleeing and killed an unknown number of people. The UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator in South Sudan, Lise Grande, said aid groups were responding to a call for help from South Sudan’s central government after a column of 6,000 armed men from the Lou Nuer ethnic group marched into Pibor in Jonglei state to target the Murle community in late December and early January.

Manila Times quotes President Benigno Aquino of the Philippine warnng of a possible terrorist attack during today’s annual procession of a centuries-old image of Jesus Christ known as the Black Nazarene. Aquino said several terrorists planning to disrupt the religious procession, that may draw more than a million devotees, had been sighted in the capital. He asked devotees not to take mobile phones or weapons to the event.
Abrar quotes Iran’s top nuclear official announcing that the country was on the verge of starting production at its second major uranium enrichment site – the Fordo plant, near the city of Qum. The new facility, buried deep underground on a well-defended military site, is considered far more resistant to airstrikes than the existing enrichment site at Natanz, limiting what Israeli officials, in particular, consider an important deterrent to Iran’s nuclear aims.

Raw Story reports US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has confirmed that Iran is not developing its nuclear programme to make weapons.

News also from Iran today that former US Marine Amir Hekmati has been sentenced to death on charges of espionage. He has 20 days to appeal.

US Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has come under fire from fellow contenders ahead of Tuesday’s primary vote in the state of New Hampshire. At a nationally televised NBC debate, the former Massachusetts governor’s economic programme was called “timid” and his conservative credentials were also questioned.
New Straits Times reports Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been acquitted of sodomy after a two-year trial. Anwar, 64, had consistently denied the charges and called them a government bid to cripple his political ambitions and influence. He was jailed for sodomy in 1999 but the conviction was overturned. He had faced up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Jerusalem Post says The Bill to Prevent Infiltration, a central tenet of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new policy on illegal immigration, is expected to pass its second and third (final) readings in the Knesset late Monday night. The new law could mean indefinite detention for refugees.

Japan camera maker Olympus is suing it’s president Shuichi Takayama and other senior executives for concealing details of $1.7billion of fraudulent deals over a period of 13 years. The former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford was fired from his post after confronting Takayama.

Voice of Nigeria quotes President Goodluck Jonathan admitting for the first time that sympathisers of the Islamist Boko Haram group were in his government and security agencies. His comments come amid a wave of violence blamed on Boko Haram which has left dozens of people dead in the north, most of them Christians. Boko Haram, wants to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state, has warned southerners, who are mostly Christian and animist, to leave the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria. A senior Christian cleric has warned that the country is sliding towards civil war.

SwissInfo reports the new Libyan government decided on Sunday to lift sanctions against Switzerland and Lebanon, which Moammar Gaddafi had enacted several years ago.

Times of Malta reports that Police in Norway cut in half a traffic fine for a Swedish trucker on the grounds that Swedes earn less than Norwegians. Oslo newspaper VG reports that Ulf Ander Andersson, 61, was driving a lorry for his Norwegian employer in March when he was stopped by police, who found his brakes were not in order. He was fined £857 ($1,323) but last month got a letter saying the sum had been reduced due to his nationality. Mr Andersson told VG he was grateful, though he found it “very strange”.


#Iran Dissident in Malaysia under pressure – Petition


Political Activist & RASA TV Host Ali Jamshidi Summoned to the Office of the Intelligence Ministry in Malaysia

UPDATE: 20:59 7 Jan 2012. A comment here says there is no Ministry of Intelligence in Malaysia, so I tried a Google search and came up empty.

I assume Ali was called to the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Here are the details if you would like to contact them:

Y.B. Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman Minister Of Foreign Affairs.

Tel: 03-88894313 Email: anifah@kln.gov.my
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia
Wisma Putra, No 1, Jalan Wisma Putra, Precint 2, 62602 PUTRAJAYA

Phone: +603-8887 4000, +603-8887 4570 (after working hours)

Fax: 603-8889 1717, 603-8889 2816

January 6th, 2012 – [Jaras] – In an unprecedented move, Ali Jamshidi, political activist, editor of the reformist opposition website Tahavole Sabz and head of the Enghelab Sabz social networks, head of Tahlilgaran Enghelab Sabz [The Green Revolution Analysis Group] and television host for RASA television [the first Green reformist television station] has been summoned to the office of the Intelligence Ministry in Malaysia.

According to received reports, agents of the Malaysian Intelligence Ministry contacted Jamshidi summoning him to their office. It is worth mentioning that a while back Raja News, a website associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a government entity known for exerting pressure on opposition groups, had published a report on Jamshidi filled with false accusations designed to present him as a undesirable and rouge element.

It is noteworthy that in past few months the activities of the media outlets affiliated with security entities inside Iran, aimed at eliminating opposition political figures in Malaysia has increased dramatically. According to the evidence at hand, ever since the personnel at the Iranian embassy in Malaysia were replaced a month ago, Intelligence Ministry forces have strongly sought to persuade the Malaysian government to increase pressure on Iranian political activists.

Translation by Banooye Sabz

تاریخ انتشار: ۱۶ دی ۱۳۹۰, ساع۱۹:۰۸
احضار یک فعال سیاسی به اداره اطلاعات مالزیجرس: علی جمشیدی فعال سیاسی ؛ سرپرست سایت تحول سبز؛ سرپرست مجموعه شبکه های اجتماعی انقلاب سبز و تحلیل گران انقلاب سبز و مجری تلویزیون رسا در اقدامی بی سابقه به اداره اطلاعات مالزی فراخوانده شد.بنا به اخبار رسیده ماموران اداره اطلاعات مالزی با این فعال سیاسی تماس برقرار کرده و وی را به این اداره احضار کرده اند.

لازم به ذکر است که مدتی قبل، سایت رجا نیوز وابسته به سپاه پاسداران با انتشار گزارشی در باره این فعال سیاسی در مالزی، اتهامات سرتاسر کذبی را به وی نسبت داده بود.این سایتِ وابسته به محافل امنیتی و گروههای فشار، در گزارش خود تلاش کرده بود که آقای جمشیدی را به عنوان عنصری نامطلوب معرفی نماید .

شایان توجه است که طی چند ماه گذشته فعالیت رسانه های وابسته به سازمانهای امنیتی ایران برای تخریب چهره فعالین سیاسی در مالزی به شدت گسترش یافته است و بنا بر طبق شواهد موجود؛ از یک ماه گذشته با عوض شدن کادر سفارت ایران در مالزی ؛ نیروهای وزارت اطلاعات به طرز گسترده ای سعی دارند تا دولت مالزی را به برخورد با فعالین سیاسی ترغیب کنند.


Please Sign the Petition:
1) Stop the summoning of Ali Jamshidi, a political activist, editor, and TV Host of green opposition websites and TV programs.

2) Stop the intimidation of Ali Jamshidi and other political activists who are living abroad, who have the right to express their political views.

3) We demand for the protection of Iranians living in Malaysia to help guarantee their right to freedom of speech and expressing their political views without fear of retaliation by Malaysian authorities negotiating with Iranian regime.