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.
Former editor of the electronic newspaper Al-Shura has been captured by members of National Security Forces in the capital Sanaa on 20 June 2007. His life is in grave danger as he suffers from a heart condition, and the authorities have refused to allow him any medical attention.
Ms. Jihan Omar was detained on 17 June 2007. She suffers from health problems and was arrested at her doctor’s clinic in downtown Afrin. DI launched a campaign for her and in January 2008, she was released.