DANISH SIDDIQUI’S PARENTS MOVE WORLD COURT AGAINST TALIBAN

The family of Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui has lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court to probe his killing and to bring to book those responsible, including high-level commanders and leaders of the Taliban, their lawyer Avi Singh said on March 22. Siddiqui, 38, was on assignment in Afghanistan when he was killed on July 16 last year. The journalist was covering clashes between Afghan troops and the Taliban in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar city. Addressing a press conference, Singh said the formal complaint has been sent and filed against Taliban commanders, including acting prime minister of Afghanistan Mohammad Hassan Akhund and acting first deputy prime minister Abdul Ghani Baradar. “We have just filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) a complaint with regard to the condition of war crimes and crimes against humanity on and about July 16 in the context of Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui’s murder,” he said.

HAMAS WELCOMES UNHRC REPORT ON ISRAEL APARTHEID

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, on March 24 welcomed the report issued by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Michael Lynk, concluding that Israel practises “apartheid” against the Palestinian people. A spokesman for the Hamas Movement, Jihad Taha, said the Movement values Lynk’s call to the international community to take immediate action to help end the [Israeli] occupation’s crimes and protect the rights of our Palestinian people. Taha considered the report as a new and important addition to the series of positions and reports issued by international and human rights organisations, the latest being the Amnesty International report, which documented the crimes and violations against the Palestinian people, their land and holy sites. He stressed on the need to hold Israeli leaders accountable for their crimes. Hamas renewed its call to the United Nations and the international community to take deterrent measures against Israel.

OIC APPROVES APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL ENVOY FOR AFRICA

The Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have endorsed the appointment of a Special Envoy for Africa. Meeting on 22-23 March in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers passed a resolution endorsing the bloc’s appointing Nassirou Bako Arifari as Special Envoy, the 57-nation Muslim bloc said in a statement on March 24. A former Foreign Minister for Benin, West Africa, Arifari has also taught at various universities, according to the statement. “This decision is driven by the Council’s belief in the importance of the African continent and its issues – the more so as a large number of OIC member states are from the African continent,” the statement said. “The decision is also in response to the (2019) Makkah Al-Mukarramah Summit’s urge for greater attention to be given by the OIC to Africa and African issues.”

RUSSIA THREATENS TO STOP AID ENTRY TO NORTHERN SYRIA

Russia has threatened to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid into north-western Syria through the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey. The Russian deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), Dmitry Polyanskiy, stated that his country: “Will not turn a blind eye to the failure of Western countries to comply with the resolution on cross-border humanitarian aid in Syria.” “The mechanism for cross-border aid ends this summer, and among the provisions of the resolution, only one is being implemented today,” Polyanskiy added. He pointed out: “It does not seem that anyone will fulfil all the other provisions, and at the same time, Damascus has proven that deliveries to Idlib across the lines of contact are completely possible.” At the same time, he denounced the West’s attempts to link commitments under Resolution 2585 to political preconditions.

HIJABI WOMAN BECOMES STUDENT UNION LEADER IN UK UNIVERSITY

Sabahat Khan, a hijab-wearing woman who is from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India, has been elected president of the students’ union of Sheffield Hallam University in UK. Khan, who is pursuing her post-graduation in public health, won with more than 2,500 votes out of a total of 6,900 votes. “People saw me as a person and my potential to represent them as a student leader, not my attire. And that’s most important,” said Sabahat. But she also insists on pointing to the inclusive and supportive culture of the society at Sheffield Hallam University. “Irrespective of gender, ethnicity and religion, everybody deserves the same treatment,” said Sabahat.

MOROCCO, ISRAEL SIGN MOU ON MILITARY COOPERATION

During an official visit of a senior Israeli military delegation, Morocco and Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on military cooperation, the Israeli army’s spokesperson Avichay Adraee tweeted on March 25. Senior Israeli military officials met with Moroccan military chief Belkhir El-Farouk in Rabat, according to Adraee, and agreed on convening a joint military commission to sign a joint action plan. “The officials discussed the historical and cultural connection between the countries and mutual interests in the Middle East, and expressed their desire to promote extensive military cooperation,” Adraee posted. The MoU includes cooperation on military drills, intelligence and military training. Morocco and Israel agreed to re-establish official ties in December 2020, joining the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Sudan. In a statement, the Moroccan Front for Supporting Palestine and against Normalisation condemned normalisation and signing agreements with the “Zionist entity,” stressing: “This is against the will of the Moroccans and their strategic interests.”

ARSENAL FOOTBALL PLAYER THOMAS PARTEY REVERTS TO ISLAM

Ghanaian player Thomas Partey, who plays for the Arsenal football club, announced that he has reverted to Islam. Sheikh Muhammad Al-Azhari, an imam, preacher and researcher in Shari’ah Sciences in London, announced that the Ghanaian player took his Shahadah at a mosque in London and declared his reversion to Islam. Partey joined Arsenal about two years ago from Atletico Madrid for a sum of £45 million. The 29-year-old footballer previously played on loan from Atletico Madrid to Mallorca and Almeria. He is known for intercepting balls from his opponents and his powerful long-range shots. Partey has played 188 matches with Atletico Madrid, during which he scored 16 goals and 12 assists. He has played about 40 international matches with Ghana and participated in three Africa Cup of Nations.

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