Defend International has received sad news about the shocking event in which the 13-year-old Ntombi was wounded in South Africa. DI sends best wishes for Ntombi’s speedy recovery.
About 6,000 Palestinians were stranded in dusty Egyptian towns not able to return to Gaza after the main border crossings were shut down. Defend International called on the concerned parties to agree on how to allow the civilians return back to their homes. DI is glad to hear that an agreement has been reached and it commends its members tireless work for and dedication to justice and peace.
Thousands of civilians were unable to return to their homes in Gaza strip. Defend International urged the Israeli, Palestinian and the Egyptian authorities, as well as Hamas leadership in Gaza to do whatever it took to spare civilian lives. In July 2007, an agreement was reached and soon Rafah crossing was re-opened.
The Syrian Minister of Agriculture has issued a decree to distribute around 14.000 decares of agricultural land, located in the predominantly Kurdish areas to 150 families from South Abdulaziz Mountains. This “Ethnic belt” is a real humanitarian catastrophe and will have disastrous consequences.
Mr. Mahmoud Salehi was detained on 9 April 2007. Mr. Salehi has only one kidney, suffers from kidney stones, and requires chronic dialysis treatment. DI urged the authorities to release him immediately, noting that he was arrested solely for his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and association. In 2008, he was released on bail.
Kurdish Journalists Adnan Hasanpoor and Abdel Wahd (Hiwa) Butimar have allegedly been tortured and have reportedly received death penalties on July 17, 2007. According to the Iranian Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj their writings were aimed to topple the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Defend International welcomes the decision of the Specialised Criminal Court in Yemen today on the release of prisoners of opinion Mr. Abdel Karim Al-Khaiwani.