SYRIANS WILL BE ON UK’S DEPORTATION FLIGHT TO RWANDA
More than a dozen Syrian asylum-seekers are to be deported to Rwanda by the UK government this month, a British refugee charity said. British Home Office says expulsion to East Africa is scheduled for June 14. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) said that 15 Syrians have been served with removal notices by the Home Office and would be deported under what it described as a “despicable” plan. Zoe Gardner, a policy and advocacy adviser at the JCWI, called the plans “cruel and a complete abdication of responsibility”. “These are the people our government wants to send to a dictatorship in one of the poorest countries in the world. A country these refugees have no connection to, no future in,” she wrote on Twitter. “The government is carrying out its despicable plan to deport refugees to Rwanda. This scheme is an abomination. Racist, barbaric and morally bankrupt,” the refugee charity’s Twitter account added.
UKRAINIAN CHILDREN IN TURKEY HEAL SCARS LEFT BY WAR
The Ukrainian children, who along with their parents fled the war in their country and took refuge in Turkey, are trying to heal the scars left by the war. Authorities in the northwestern Kirklareli province offer many opportunities to children of Crimean Tatars and Ahiska Turks living in the dormitory, such as a play area and movie theatre, a cafeteria, and an internet room. Officials of the migration management directorate in Kirklareli spent most of their time during the day with 158 children, who have suffered from the war. They play games such as chess, football, sack race and tug-of-war among other games. At least 243 children have died as a result of Russian attacks, while another 446 children were wounded by Russian forces, the Ukrainian Chief Prosecutor’s Office said last week. According to UN estimates, at least 4,183 civilians have been killed and 5,014 injured in Ukraine since the start of war, with the true toll believed to be much higher.
ANKARA’S SECURITY CONCERNS ON ‘JUST, LEGITIMATE’ GROUNDS
As Sweden and Finland are seeking NATO membership, Turkey’s security concerns are based on “just and legitimate” grounds, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the NATO chief on June 3. In a phone call, President Erdogan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the NATO bids of the two Nordic countries and Ankara’s security concerns about their entry into the military alliance, according to a statement from Turkey’s Communications Directorate. Erdogan told Stoltenberg that Sweden and Finland should prove that they do not support terrorism and are ready to show solidarity of alliance, and sanctions against Turkey are lifted. Stoltenberg, for his part, reiterated that expectations of Turkey, which he called an important NATO ally, to ensure its security must be met.
ANTI-EXTREMISM STRATEGY FAILS TO ENGAGE BRITISH MUSLIMS
The UK’s controversial Prevent anti-extremism programme has failed to engage with Muslim communities and allowed Islamists to dominate perceptions of the scheme, according to a senior government expert. Dame Sara Khan, a UK government adviser on counter-extremism, said a continuing review into Prevent’s work needed to rectify past mistakes. She said the government “left a vacuum” about the purpose of the scheme, which has since been “dominated” by Islamists.
Prevent was launched in 2007 to stop people being lured by extremism and persuaded to become terrorists, but it has also faced criticism from some Muslim groups for what they call an unfair focus on their communities. “The government did not explain to Muslim communities to explain what Prevent is about. They left a vacuum which Islamists dominated and said what Prevent is about. There have clearly been mistakes,” she said.
TUNISIA’S NATIONAL DIALOGUE OPENS AMID MAIN PARTIES BOYCOTT
The first session of Tunisia’s national dialogue invited by President Kais Saied kicked off on June 4 amid a political crisis in the North African nation. Saturday’s session was attended by representatives of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT) and the Tunisian Human Rights League NGO, along with four political parties, including the People’s Movement and the Popular Current. The dialogue is boycotted by the country’s main parties, including Ennahda Party, Social Democratic Path Party and Afek Tounes Party as well as Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labour union. Meanwhile, Tunisian President Kais Saied on June 1 issued a presidential order to dismiss 57 judges. Saied vowed to issue a decree soon to reveal the names of judges. And, five Tunisian parties namely the Republican Party, the Democratic Current, the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties, the Workers’ Party and the Democratic Modernist Pole party have announced the launch of a campaign to abolish the referendum on the new constitution.
AL JALILA UAE’S FIRST CHARITY TO RECEIVE CRYPTO DONATIONS
The Al Jalila Foundation has been granted approval to receive charitable donations in cryptocurrencies, making it the first healthcare charity in the UAE to accept donations in digital money. It announced that it has partnered with a leading cryptocurrency platform. The move aims to expand the Foundation’s donation channels, network and capabilities in line with Dubai’s vision to be a leader in adopting advanced financial technologies and a prominent digital asset hub. Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said in a statement: “As a philanthropic organisation we rely on charitable donations, and we are always seeking innovative ways to expand our donation channels for ease of convenience for donors from all around the world to support our programmes. According to Chainalysis, the Middle East is one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets in the world, making up seven per cent of global trading volumes.
TURKISH ATHLETE WINS GOLD AT WORLD TAEKWONDO GRAND PRIX
Turkish taekwondo athlete Hakan Recber on June 3 clinched gold at the 2022 World Taekwondo Grand Prix. Recber defeated Ali Alian from Sweden to take the top prize in Rome during the men’s 68 kg event final. The 22-year-old is the first Turk to win gold in the Grand Prix’s male category. Gorkem Polat from Turkey took home a bronze medal in the men’s 58 kg category. Action will continue Saturday in the women’s 67 kg and +67kg categories and men’s +80 kg.