Daily Archives: December 30, 2016

PPF urges Bahrain to end prosecution of rights’ activist

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) has written a letter to His HM Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain to express its concern over the continued persecution of human rights and free speech defender Najeeb Rajab.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali, in his letter, urged the king of Bahrain to end the continued detention of Najeeb Rajab, president for Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

According to Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), a Bahraini court ordered the provisional release of Rajab on bail on December 28. However, the Public Prosecution subsequently ordered his continued detention for seven days, citing further investigation into another case in which Rajab is accused of “spreading false news,” likely to be related to letters published in the New York Times and most recently in Le Monde newspapers.

Bahraini authorities arrested Rajab on 13 June, 2016, on charges of “spreading false news and rumors about the internal situation in a bid to discredit Bahrain.”

Since his arrest, multiple charges have been brought against him, each following the publication of his columns in international media like the New York Times and Le Monde.

PPF urged the authorities in Bahrain to end the prosecution of Rajab and to allow him to perform his professional duties without threat or intimidation. This, PPF added, would help create a thriving climate for free expression.

China Opens World’s Highest Bridge

Beijing, China has opened the Beipan River Bridge that links Southwest China’s Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, Xinhua news agency reported.

The bridge is the world’s highest, standing at 565 meters and extending for 1.34 km as it crosses a gorge between the two provinces.

The four-lane bridge reportedly cost over 1 billion yuan to build and took four years to complete.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Turkey’s Constitutional Amendment Bill Headed for Parliament Vote

Ankara, The Turkish parliament’s constitutional committee has approved a bill proposing a set of constitutional amendments, including a switch to a presidential system of governance in Turkey.

Backed by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s 316 lawmakers, the bill is now expected to be put to vote in the parliament.

The proposed amendments “give executive powers to the president and vice presidents while abolishing the post of prime minister, lowering the age of candidacy for parliament from 25 to 18, and increasing the number of parliamentarians from 550 to 600 in accordance with the country’s growing population,” Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.

The bill also proposes to hold general elections every five years instead of four, with the presidential vote taking place on the same day.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Notice to Subscribers

Dear subscribers, Due to Qatar News Agency’s impending move to its new premises on Sunday, January 1, 2017, kindly be informed that you might experience some delays in accessing QNA services. All these services shall be back to normal after the move process is complete.

Source: Qatar News Agency