News March 17, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Free Key Rights Defenders News Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria News Government Arbitrarily Holds Darwish, Colleagues Despite UN Demands(Geneva, March 17, 2014) – The government of Syria should immediately and unconditionally release the arbitrarily detained human rights defender Mazen Darwish and his colleagues Hani Al-Zitani and Hussein Ghareer, 55 human rights organizations said today. The United Nations Security Council demanded the release of all arbitrarily detained people in Syria on February 22, 2014.Darwish and his colleagues, held in violation of international standards by government authorities for over two years, are in the Adra central prison in Damascus pending trial before the Anti-Terrorism Court.On March 10, the head of the Anti-Terrorism Court postponed the men’s trial for the seventh consecutive time, to March 24. The latest postponement was reportedly because a trial judge was sick but previous postponements were due to the government’s failure to present evidence against the three men. The trial has failed to comply with international fair trial standards, the organizations said. The detainees have not seen the evidence against them, and fear that evidence extracted under torture may be used against them. There have also been excessive delays. Syrian Air Force Intelligence arrested the three men on February 16, 2012, in Damascus, when officers raided the offices of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), a key local nongovernmental organization working to disseminate information regarding the human rights situation in Syria. The government has brought terrorism charges against the three men for their work at SCM, and despite credible reports that security forces subjected them to torture while in detention, there has been no investigation into the abuses. Their ongoing detention is a part of a wider campaign of threats and harassment against human rights defenders in Syria which appears intended to prevent them from carrying out their legitimate and peaceful human rights work, the organizations said.Despite repeated calls by the international community, including the United Nations, for the release of the three human rights defenders, the authorities have refused to release them. A May 15, 2013 UN General Assembly resolution included a demand for their immediate release and on January 14, 2014, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found their detention to be arbitrary and called for their release.The Syrian authorities should immediately carry out UN Security Council Resolution 2139 adopted on February 22, 2014, the organizations said. The resolution demands the immediate end of arbitrary detention, torture, kidnappings, abductions, and forced disappearances and the release of all arbitrarily detained persons. In so doing, the government should immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against Darwish, Ghareer, and Al-Zitani.The UN Security Council and the international community, in particular countries supportive of the Syrian government, should press for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently arbitrarily detained, the organizations said.The 61 organizations are:· Albadeel for studies and research/ Jordan· Amnesty International· Ana Press· Arab Foundation for Development and Citizenship· Arab Working Group for Media Monitoring· Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)· Article 19· Asharq Center (Saudi Arabia)· Assyrian Human Rights Network· Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR)· Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS)· Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights ( BYSHR )· Cairo Institute for Human rights Studies (CIHRS)· Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)· Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria· Cham Center For Democratic and Human Rights Studies· CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation· Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS)· Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA)· Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN)· Freedom Foundation (Yemen)· Front Line Defenders· Gathered Lawyers Kobani· Gulf Centre for Human rights (GCHR)· Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos)· Human Rights Watch (HRW)· Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR)· International Center For Supporting Rights and Freedoms· International Media Support (IMS)· International Institute for Nonviolent Action· Iraqi Institution for Development· Iraqi Intuition for the Civil Development· Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association (IJRDA)· Iraqi Network for Social Media· Itana for Documentation· Jordanian Commission for Democratic Culture (JCDC)· Kurdish Organization for Human Rights and General Freedom in Syria (DAD)· L’Association Saharaouie des Victimes des Graves Violations des Droits de l’Hommes Commises par l’Etat Marocain (ASVDH)· Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L)· Maharat· Media International Support (IMS)· Monitor of Human Rights in Oman· Monitor of Human Rights on Saudi Arabia· My Right Syrian Organization for Woman And Children· Nooraldine Zaza Cutural Centre- Iraqi Kurdistan· Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)· Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)· Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA)· PAX for Peace· PEN International· Reporters Without Borders (RSF)· Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom· Syrian Al Karama Media Center· Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research· Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)· Syrian Network for Human Rights· Syrian Observer· Syrian Women for Development· The Day After Association· Violation Documentation Center in Syria (VDC)· Yemen Organization for Defending Rights & Democratic Freedoms March 12, 2021 Find out more to go further Follow the news on Syria Help by sharing this information March 8, 2021 Find out more News SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists Organisation Receive email alerts RSF_en SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law February 3, 2021 Find out more
Pursuant to the Decision on the distribution of funds from the Program for co-financing capital projects in the maritime domain in the Split-Dalmatia County (SDŽ) for 2019, today SDŽ County Prefect Blaženko Boban signed contracts worth 8,5 million kuna with the Mayor of Omis Ivo Tomasović, Deputy Mayor Trogir, Ruža Kovačević Bilić, Deputy Mayor of Kaštela Grgica Benutić and Mayor of Tučepi, Ante Čobrnić. “Poznato je kako naša Županija upravlja trećinom ukupnog pomorskog dobra Republike Hrvatske. Nije bilo lako odraditi sve pripremne radnje jer se financiraju samo projekti koji su dovedeni do građevinske dozvole, a projekti se sufinanciraju u omjeru pola SDŽ, pola jedinica lokalne samouprave. Na ovaj način zajednički s jedinicama lokalne samouprave mijenjamo ukupnu vizuru naših primorskih mjesta. Stoga, neka danas potpisani ugovori budu poticaj i drugim lokalnim zajednicama da se jave na ovakve županijske natječaje” said SDŽ prefect Blaženko Boban. Photo: Tucepi, Pixabay.com The city of Omis received 1,5 million kuna for the arrangement of the beach Brzet, the city of Trogir for the construction of the breakwater of the sports port Brigi Lokvice three million kuna, and the city of Kastela for the arrangement of the beach Glavica bay in Kastel Luksic 2 million kuna. The municipality of Tucepi also receives 2 million kuna for the arrangement of the coastal zone from the marina to Gospina potok, all with the aim of strengthening the competitiveness of Split-Dalmatia County through the development of coastal and marine infrastructure, and strengthening the tourist and economic resource base. Stipe Čogelja, pročelnik UO za pomorstvo i turizam istaknuo je kako je Županija već izradila sve bitne strateške dokumente vezane za upravljanje plažama, od Plana nosivosti kapaciteta u turizmu do Plana upravljanja plažama, te je najavio izradu Integralnog Plana upravljanja obalnim pojasom koji je predviđen europskim Direktivama i kojega do sada ima samo Šibensko-kninska županija. “Spremni smo za novu financijsku perspektivu EU od 2021. godine, kako bismo aplicirali za još više sredstava za održivo upravljanje obalnim pojasom” izjavio je Čogelja.
Bank Indonesia’s (BI) policy measures and a narrowing current account deficit (CAD) will likely support the rupiah amid unfavorable financial market conditions, however risks remain as Indonesia continues to record new COVID-19 cases while facing limited healthcare capacity, experts warn.Fitch Solutions has revised it outlook for the rupiah for 2020 to 15,500 per US dollar from its earlier projection of Rp 16,750 after the recent gains the currency booked. The rupiah appreciated 13 percent from a recent low of Rp 16,575, a level unseen since the 1998 financial crisis, to Rp 14,610 on Monday, Bloomberg data show.“We believe that BI’s policy measures will continue to cushion the rupiah in the short-term,” the researchers said. “Moreover, a forecast narrowing in CAD in 2020 due to slightly cheaper imports, will also add to investors’ confidence in Indonesia’s fundamentals.” The central bank has taken several measures to stabilize the rupiah, including by direct intervention in foreign exchange markets, purchase of government bonds in the secondary market worth Rp 166.2 trillion (US$11.34 billion) and strike currency swap lines with major central banks including a $60 billion repurchase agreement with the US’ Federal Reserve.“Dollar liquidity and BI’s bond market activity will help attract foreign investors back to the bond market in the short-term horizon, which will provide support to the currency,” Fitch said.The country recorded a CAD of US$3.9 billion, or 1.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in this year’s first three months, down from 2.8 percent of GDP in the previous quarter. Fitch Solutions expects the CAD to reach 2 percent of GDP this year, much lower than the 3.4 percent in a previous forecast, providing a lift to foreign exchange reserves that will help support the rupiah.Fitch Solutions, however, warned that the downside risks from COVID-19 could further erode the rupiah’s recent gains if the situation spiraled out of control, adding that downside risks remained elevated over the long-term due to a widened budget deficit. “The Indonesian government’s initial mismanagement of the COVID-19 outbreak led to a collapse in investors’ confidence in the country’s assets, including the rupiah,” it said.“Downside risks will continue to emerge from the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia. As we have noted, cases across Indonesia continue to rise at a rapid pace and the country has limited healthcare and financial resources to deal with a widespread outbreak.”The central bank now expects the currency to further gain against the greenback to “pre-pandemic levels” at around Rp 13,600 to Rp 13,800 per US dollar, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said. It decided to hold its benchmark interest rate last week at 4.5 percent to maintain financial market stability.“We maintain our view that the rupiah remains fundamentally undervalued and will strengthen to reflect its fundamentals,” Perry told reporters in a streamed news conference on May 28.BI recorded a net outflow of $5.7 billion in the first quarter as foreign investors dumped Indonesian assets. From April 1 to May 14, however, the central bank booked $4.1 billion in net inflows, mainly in sovereign debt papers.The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the stability of Indonesia’s financial system, as it has weakened the country’s financial industry and macroeconomic outlook, as well as brought economic activity to a standstill, the Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) said earlier this month.Economists have warned that nationwide loan restructuring programs and economic risks caused by the pandemic may tighten liquidity in several small banks and lead to higher non-performing loan ratios in the medium term, leaving banks in need of additional liquidity.Bank Central Asia (BCA) chief economist David Sumual said the central bank should aim to stabilize the currency to support the country’s weakening economic activity, adding that the rupiah’s fundamentals were currently around Rp 15,000 per US dollar.“The rupiah’s stability is the priority right now as the currency should be favorable for importers and exporters,” David told The Jakarta Post. “An over-strengthened rupiah may discourage economic recovery in the real sector.”Topics :
The very polarizing Age Restriction Rule that David Stern and the NBA employed several years ago is great, not only for young athletes, but also the NCAA itself, and it would be a huge mistake to change things back to the way they were.Many talking heads argue that forcing players to go to college, a choice usually favored to the alternative (a year in Europe a la Brandon Jennings or the NBA’s Developmental League), only puts an unnecessary yearlong moratorium on the inevitable move to the professional level. Well, those who believe that idea are very wrong. The rule is necessary and incredibly beneficial to all parties involved.In terms of the NCAA, with the current age limit rule in place, programs have the opportunity to offer scholarships to great players that would normally bypass college and enter the professional ranks. Imagine LeBron James in Tar Heel powder blue or Kobe Bryant posting up in Rupp Arena. A program can gain more exposure with players who are forced to attend at least one year of college like, say, John Wall and Michael Beasley, even if the players only stay for that year (which can only do good things for recruiting). Also, as the presence of such talent vastly improves the school’s chances for success, they stand to make even more money, which is another plus.Money, as in most things in life, is important because it goes towards building and maintaining a successful college basketball program. And the schools that reach the Final Four stand to make a lot of it.The schools are rumored to front a big chunk of money for a mandatory Final Four party that costs around $32,000 and for hotel rooms for fans and the players. However, the money they receive on the back end from TV revenue, merchandise sales and contributions from alumni who have confidence in their programs more than likely make up for what they must dish out.But if you once again allow high school athletes to bypass the NCAA, the pool of players that colleges can pick from diminishes, which will reduce the amount of teams that have a legitimate shot to make a splash in the NCAA tournament and do well for their schools and conferences.In terms of the athletes themselves, the experience that the majority of young basketball players garner in college is essential to their future success.One year of college can do a lot for a burgeoning basketball talent. Two of the top young players in the NBA, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant, can attest to that, as their No. 1 overall selections likely would not have occurred if they had entered the draft straight from high school.Granted, there are exceptions to this rule. LeBron James, for one, was probably ready for the NBA after grammar school. Kobe Bryant was such an incredible talent that a year or two of college basketball likely wouldn’t have better prepared him for the professional level.But those are arguably two of the best players ever to step on a basketball court. There are certainly a lot more Kwame Browns and Leon Smiths than LeBron James.Aside from what players learn and how they can improve on the court, a year of college experience allows young athletes to mature before reaching the confusing and pressure-filled lifestyle of a celebrity.Everyone should agree that avoiding situations like the one that befell Leon Smith, who was drafted out of high school in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs in 1999, would be best. After failing to achieve any type of success with the Spurs and then the Dallas Mavericks, Smith tried to commit suicide, obviously succumbing to the pressures forced upon him by the NBA.College programs are filled with people ready to impart advice about how to handle life as a public figure. Kids are also able to take finance classes in order to learn how to manage their money once they become high-paid athletes.These are essential skills for a young player to have a successful career on and off the court.Recently, the NBA has instituted a new program for rookies called the Rookie Transition Program. The program consists of a six-day crash course dedicated to teaching the incoming athletes the ins-and-outs of life as a professional basketball player.There are mandatory courses offered, among a spate of other subjects, in finance, character building and media training that the rookies can take. But are six days enough for players to fully grasp their new lifestyles?Let the debate ensue. However, it seems that a year of basketball-ability and character-driven maturation, under the guidance of knowledgeable head coaches and other university officials, likely better serves the athletes.In an interview last week, Kentucky head coach John Calipari explained that he gives a speech to all of his players who decide to make the jump to the NBA. He explained that he sits each one of them down and gives them the “money” talk, which includes a demand that they save the very first million they make, no matter what, in place of buying inane material possessions.As simple as the plan may sound, it’s possible that these athletes may have not thought of such an idea, and it’s that type of guidance the young players who stand to face these inscrutable pressures absolutely need.
Three hundred and sixty four days ago, Camp Randall roared.The normally solid red bowl was freckled black. Nebraska was finally in town. But little to its knowledge, Nebraska was about to receive one of the worst welcomes to the Big Ten it could have feared.It was highly touted as one of the biggest matchups in the Big Ten last year, but when the final score flashed on the scoreboards, the 48-17 decision seemed more like an ass-kicking rather than a battle of epic proportions.After quarterback Taylor Martinez threw three interceptions and Montee Ball scored four touchdowns, the Cornhuskers faced embarrassment as they were largely expected to run the conference slate in their move from the Big 12.With Nebraska playing host to the rematch this season, the Badgers are excited to get their first chance to play in Lincoln in an atmosphere that’s said to rival Madison’s.“I’ve heard there’s a really great atmosphere there,” junior center Travis Frederick said. “I hear they do things a little bit different than other teams, but I’m excited to get down there. I heard it’s a great stadium, a great atmosphere, a great crowd. Obviously they’re going to be loud and its kind of fun to play road games.”After a solid 210-yard passing performance last week, redshirt freshman Joel Stave will start under center in the conference opener. Senior running back Ball also said there was “no doubt” he will play this week despite sitting out most of the UTEP game after sustaining a concussion near the beginning of the second quarter.“I know I don’t want to sit out of the game,” Ball said.With 213 yards on the ground against UTEP, the offensive line and the running game finally looked like they were starting to gel – elements that had been missing in the previous three weeks.With a stronger looking offense in its final nonconference game, Frederick feels the O-line – despite all its drama previously this season – is ready for what lies ahead.“I think that we’ve taken several good steps and I think we’re working in the correct direction,” Frederick said of the offensive line. “If we continue to take those steps – I think we are going to take a step this week – we’re definitely going to be ready for the Big Ten season.”While the Badgers hope their new-found offensive vibe finds its way to Lincoln, the Huskers are optimistic quarterback Taylor Martinez will continue his stellar season.Martinez, a dual-threat quarterback, reworked his throwing motion in the offseason and has seen it pay dividends through the nonconference season. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior has thrown for 878 yards and nine touchdowns, with only one interception, this season.Wisconsin’s defense is aware of Martinez’s revamped game but still remains confident it will be able to test him.“We just have to keep our eyes on him and know whether it’s a pass, and if it’s a pass he could take off and run and get our eyes back on him,” senior linebacker Mike Taylor said. “If he breaks out, breaks contain, we’ve got to have good pursuit and get to the ball.”While Martinez has overhauled his game, Wisconsin is also keying in on Nebraska’s run game, which has scored 14 touchdowns this season.Central to that running game is senior Rex Burkhead. Burkhead has missed a few games this season, but on 11 rushing attempts this season, he’s racked up 187 yards and three touchdowns.“You’ve got to play sound,” junior linebacker Chris Borland said of UW’s rush defense, which has allowed only one touchdown in 2012. “You’ve got to be in the right place when you’re supposed to be there and then you’ve got to tackle. … They’re a great group of players so you’re going to have to do both your scheme and play well.”For the first time this season, Wisconsin hits the road as a true underdog. From the short history between both teams and Wisconsin’s recent stumbles, odds are against the Badgers as they travel to Nebraska.“For us it just comes [down to] doing what we do,” Frederick said. “Coming out and practicing the way that we do all week and hopefully going out and playing the game as well as we have played – obviously taking a step forward. I think it comes down to just being who we are.”Follow Kelly on Twitter
Chilean football faithful’s have launched an extraordinary campaign to protest against Alexis Sanchez relationship with actress girlfriend Mayte Rodriguez.The supporters believe Sanchez’s poor run of form, which has badly affected the country’s hopes of reaching next year World Cup in Russia, is because of the forwards girlfriend Mayte Rodriguez.The fans opened a Facebook page called “March so that Alexis ends it with Mayte and returns to his level to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia”, with 9,000 people already interested in attending the protest march scheduled for October 5 near the Chile’s national stadium.Chile lost two consecutive World Cup qualifier matches to Paraguay and Bolivia respectively last weekend, a result that dampens the country’s chances of appearing in Russia 2018.Former Chile Under-20 coach, Jose Sulantay has also echoed the frustrations of the fans saying Sanchez now looks “fatter than normal”.Alexis Sanchez and actress Mayte Rodriguez started dating each other this year.Related