Category Archives: Terrorism

Bombings Kill Dozens in Pakistan on Eve of Contentious Elections

As Pakistanis prepare to head to the polls with the country’s most popular politician behind bars on dubious charges, human rights groups sounded the alarm on a wide range of election-related repression.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-7-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

Dozens of Pakistanis were killed Wednesday in two bombings targeting political offices on the eve of highly contentious parliamentary elections from which the country’s most popular leader—who is jailed on what critics say are politically motivated charges—is banned.

The blasts both occurred in the southwestern province of Balochistan, homeland of the nomadic Baloch people, who also inhabit a large swath of southeastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. Government officials said the first bombing, which targeted independent candidate Asfandyar Khan’s office in the Pashin district, killed 18 people. A second blast approximately 80 miles away then killed at least 12 people at the Qilla Saifullah office of the Sunni fundamentalist Jamiat Ulema Islam party, which has close ties to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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‘Dangerous’: Pelosi Calls for FBI to Investigate Cease-Fire Supporters

“She is calling for effectively more surveillance and potential criminalization of protestors by suggesting (falsely) that they have foreign links,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley Published 128-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

As The New York Times reported Sunday that more than 1,000 Black American pastors have joined the widespread call for a cease-fire in Gaza, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi suggested the demand was “Putin’s message” and said the FBI should investigate groups that are speaking out about Biden’s pro-Israel policies.

On CNN, the former House speaker, a California Democrat, told Dana Bash that the “call for a cease-fire is [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s message” and said she thinks some of the protests that have erupted across the U.S. since October to demand the U.S. push for an end to Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza “are connected to Russia.”

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‘Dear Children of Gaza,’ Says Viral Letter, ‘I Am Sorry’

“You may ask the world why there was swift action when trade routes and economic interests were at risk but deafening silence when 10,000 children were killed,” wrote a British lawmaker. “The world might not like your questions, but you deserve your answers.”

By Julia Conley. Published 1=27-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Libertinus/CC

In a viral video released Friday, British member of Parliament Naz Shah, who represents the Labour Party, issued an apology to the roughly 1 million children of Gaza on behalf of world leaders who—despite Palestinian journalists’ live-streaming of Israel’s assault on the enclave and an international court’s finding that Israel is plausibly committing genocidal acts—refuse to see the impact the bombardment is having on civilians, including its youngest residents.

The video shows Shah writing a letter addressed to the “children of Gaza,” along with images of children being treated in hospitals, buried under rubble, and living in shelters since Israel began bombarding the enclave in retaliation for Hamas’ attack on October 7. Children are also seen gathered on a playground prior to the air and ground assaults that have so far killed more than 13,000 children.

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‘India Lurches Toward Full-Fledged Fascism’ as Modi Opens Contentious Hindu Temple

“The people of India have struggled for decades to secure a democracy that is secular, just, and equal. Modi must not be permitted to rob them of it now,” admonished Progressive International’s cabinet.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-22-2024 by Common Dreams

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the center of attention during the January 22, 2024 concescration of the Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. (Photo: Narendra Modi/X)

The executive body of Progressive International warned Monday of the accelerating erosion of Indian democracy as right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially consecrated a highly controversial Hindu temple on the former site of a 16th-century Muslim mosque destroyed a generation ago by a Hindu nationalist mob.

Modi heralded the “advent of a new era” as he spoke outside Ram Mandir, a temple to the Hindu deity figure Ram—who epitomizes the triumph of good over evil—in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The small city of approximately 55,000 inhabitants is known for its religious diversity and long history of peaceful coexistence between Hindus and Muslims.

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22 Years, 4 Presidents, and Just 1 Conviction Later, Dozens Still Jailed at Guantánamo

“The Biden administration needs no new authority or ideas” to close the notorious torture prison, one rights group argues. “All it needs is the political will and a willingness to do the work.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Protest in front of the White House on the 17th anniversary of Guantanamo Bay, 1/11/19. Photo: Victoria Pickering/flickr/CC

Human rights defenders marked 22 years since the opening of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba with renewed calls for President Joe Biden to fulfill his stated intention to close the notorious torture camp, where 30 men—16 of them cleared for release—remain behind bars.

Like most of the roughly 750 prisoners released from Guantánamo, the majority of remaining detainees have never been charged with any crime. Only one—Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al-Bahlul, a Yemeni national—has ever been convicted of terrorism-related charges under the highly controversial military commission regime established by the George W. Bush administration in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

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As Death Toll in Gaza Rises, Israeli Officials Fear Possible Genocide Charges at ICJ

“In general, it’s hard to prove an intention of genocide because no public statements to that effect are made during the fighting,” said one expert. “But these irresponsible statements about erasing Gaza will require Israel to explain why they don’t reflect such an intention.”

By Julia Conley Published 1-1-2024 by Common Dreams

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: U.S. Department of State/CC

Top officials in the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli government have reportedly been warned by a top legal expert that the International Court of Justice could issue an injunction requiring the country to halt its bombardment of Gaza, following a motion filed by South Africa last week.

Haaretz reported that the Israeli “security establishment and the state attorney’s office are concerned” that the court could soon take action to force a cease-fire to protect civilian lives.

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Rights Monitor Demands Probe of Israel’s ‘Guantánamo-Like’ Prison

Detainees at Israel’s Sde Teman camp were “blindfolded and bound, with both their hands and feet handcuffed, and if they tried to ask for anything, were met with abuse and threats,” said Euro-Med Monitor.

By Julia Conley. Published 12-19-2023 by Common Dreams

Sde Teman camp. Photo: Palestine Captives/X

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor on Monday demanded an independent investigation into Israel’s alleged “torture and murder of Palestinian civilians” who have been captured and detained by the Israel Defense Forces—particularly those who have been held in the Sde Teman army camp, located between the Israeli city of Beersheba and Gaza.

Sde Teman has been turned into “a new Guantánamo-like prison,” the monitor said, comparing it to the U.S. prison where inmates accused by the U.S. of being terrorists have been held indefinitely, many without being charged, and subjected to torture for more than two decades.

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UN Members Support Gaza Cease-Fire in Overwhelming 153-10 Vote

“Humanity has prevailed,” said Egyptian Ambassador Osama Abdel Khalek. “The Israeli aggression on Gaza must end. This bloodshed must stop.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 12-12-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Aloominati/X

The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire” in Israel’s two-month war on Gaza after the U.S. last week used its permanent member status to veto a similar Security Council measure.

The resolution also demands “that all parties comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians,” as well as “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access.”

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‘Horrifying Precedent’: Penn President Resigns Amid Right-Wing Campus Speech Uproar

“She was coerced into resigning for defending her students’ right to political free speech,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 12-10-2023 by Common Dreams

Liz Magill, president of University of Pennsylvania, testifies before the House Education and Workforce Committee on December 5, 2023 in Washington, DC. Screenshot: CBS News

Professors at the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday were joined by rights advocates in condemning the attacks that forced university president Liz Magill to resign days after she testified before the U.S. Congress.

Magill had angered lawmakers from both parties by refusing to say students should be punished for hypothetically “calling for the genocide of Jews.”

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UN Chief Invokes Article 99 to Spur Security Council Action on Gaza

“Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe and appeal for a humanitarian cease-fire to be declared.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 12-6-2023 by Common Dreams

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations during opening session of the High Level Segment at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council. 27 February 2023. UN Photo / Jean Marc Ferré

With over 16,000 Palestinians dead just two months into Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday demanded immediate action by the U.N. Security Council.

For the first time since becoming secretary-general nearly seven years ago, Guterres invoked Article 99, a rarely used section of the U.N. Charter empowering him to bring to the attention of the council “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

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