Monday, November 30, 2015

​If you keep saying Saudi Arabia is like ISIS, you might get sued


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If you keep saying Saudi Arabia is like ISIS, you might get sued

   

In this undated photo posted on the Instagram account of Ashraf Fayadh, the Palestinian artist poses for a picture. (Instagram account of Ashraf Fayadh via AP)

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have long been annoyed that everyone keeps suggesting they are anything like the Islamic State. Sure, they say, perhaps some of the laws on the books may look similar to the punishments in the extremist organization, but the Saudi kingdom is a sovereign state that abides by the rule of law and uses these punishments with discretion.

Now, reports in the Saudi press suggest that authorities have a new tactic for those who compare them to the Islamic State: taking them to court. According to a report in pro-government newspaper Al Riyadh, the Saudi justice ministry is planning to sue a Twitter user who suggested that a death sentence recently handed out to a Palestinian artist for apostasy was "ISIS-like."

"Questioning the fairness of the courts is to question the justice of the Kingdom and its judicial system based on Islamic law, which guarantees rights and ensures human dignity," a source in the justice ministry told the newspaper, according to a translation by Reuters. The ministry would not hesitate to sue "any media that slandered the religious judiciary of the Kingdom," the source added.

It is unclear who the Twitter user in question is, though his or her comments would have referred to the case of Ashraf Fayadh. According to Human Rights Watch, documents show that Fayadh was investigated for blasphemy, spreading atheism and having an illicit relationship with women, based on pictures found on his phone. After initially being sentenced to 800 lashes and four years in prison, he was retried and on Nov. 17 was sentenced to death.

Fayadh's case is just the latest Saudi punishment to draw international condemnation. There have been some signs that the Saudi kingdom has been willing to halt or even cancel punishments that draw significant condemnation. Raif Badawi, a Saudi writer and dissident who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for blasphemy last year, has only had 50 of those lashes administered since he became an international cause celebre, though he remains in prison.

However, the comparison to the Islamic State appears to be a particular bone of contention for the Saudi kingdom. Speaking to NBC News earlier this year, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki justified the use of capital punishments such as beheadings in the kingdom by saying the country's Shariah-based legal system ensures fairness. "ISIS has no legitimate way to decide to decide to kill people," Al-Turki said, adding that "the difference is clear."

More on WorldViews

The facts — and a few myths — about Saudi Arabia and human rights

What Saudi Arabia is (and isn't) doing in the fight against the Islamic State

Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.

​Minutes from slaughter: Joyous crowd wave and smile as they enjoy Eagles Of Death Metal concert... before 89 of them were murdered by ISIS gunmen PICTURES


Sent: Mon, Nov 23, 2015 2:29 am
Subject: ​Minutes from slaughter: Joyous crowd wave and smile as they enjoy Eagles Of Death Metal concert... before 89 of them were murdered by ISIS gunmen


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Minutes from slaughter: Joyous crowd wave and smile as they enjoy Eagles Of Death Metal concert... before 89 of them were murdered by ISIS gunmen

  • Dozens of rock fans smile and gesture at the camera minutes before the Bataclan Concert Hall massacre
  • Became scene of horror when jihadis mercilessly gunned down their victims, even targeting people in wheelchairs
  • Shocking pictures later emerged showing bodies littered across the floor where those happy fans had once stood
  • Mourners gathered outside the venue today to observe minute's silence held in France around the world for victims
  • See full coverage of the ISIS Paris attacks at www.dailymail.co.uk/isis
PUBLISHED: 07:57 EST, 16 November 2015 UPDATED: 13:36 EST, 17 November 2015
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These poignant photographs show jubilant fans at the Eagles Of Death Metal gig moments before they were massacred by ISIS gunmen in Paris.
The pictures are clear enough to pick out individual faces in the crowd, some of whom were among the 89 victims slaughtered at the Bataclan Concert Hall on Friday night.
Some fans can been seen making the horn hand gesture that is popular within the heavy metal culture. Others are smiling for camera, raising their glasses or simply enjoying the music. 
Scroll down for video 
Jubilant fans are seen smiling and waving at the Eagles Of Death Metal concert moments before 89 of them were massacred by ISIS gunmen
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Jubilant fans are seen smiling and waving at the Eagles Of Death Metal concert moments before 89 of them were massacred by ISIS gunmen
The pictures are understood to have been taken just a few minutes before three gunmen burst into the venue at 9.40pm (8.40pm GMT) as the Californian rock band were launching into one of their favourites, Kiss The Devil
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The pictures are understood to have been taken just a few minutes before three gunmen burst into the venue at 9.40pm (8.40pm GMT) as the Californian rock band were launching into one of their favourites, Kiss The Devil
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While all members of the band escaped the massacre, their merchandise manager Nick Alexander was one of the first Britons to have been confirmed dead in the attacks
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Eagles of Death Metal fans have launched a campaign to get the band to Number One in a show of solidarity in the wake of the attack
Minutes later, at 9.40pm (8.40pm GMT), three gunmen burst into the venue as the Californian rock band were launching into one of their favourites called Kiss The Devil.
Despite the men brandishing semi-automatic weapons and bristling with magazines of ammunition, some thought they were part of the spectacle.
But it quickly became a scene of horror as the militants mercilessly gunned down their victims one by one, even targeting people in wheelchairs.
Those fortunate enough to escape the massacre later described scenes of chaos as Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen told people trying to flee: 'If you move, we'll kill you'.
The jihadists paused briefly to move up to the balcony, where they reloaded and opened fire at concert-goers in the pit downstairs. 
Shocking pictures later emerged showing bodies littered across the floor where those happy fans had once stood. 
New pictures emerged on Tuesday showing the Eagles Of Death Metal playing at the Bataclan shortly before the massacre 
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New pictures emerged on Tuesday showing the Eagles Of Death Metal playing at the Bataclan shortly before the massacre 
More than 6,200 fans have backed the Facebook campaign, which hopes to take the band's cover of Duran Duran's Save a Prayer to top spot
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More than 6,200 fans have backed the Facebook campaign, which hopes to take the band's cover of Duran Duran's Save a Prayer to top spot
Shocking pictures emerged after the massacre showing bodies littered across the floor where those happy fans had once stood
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Shocking pictures emerged after the massacre showing bodies littered across the floor where those happy fans had once stood
Drummer ducks for cover as shots fired inside Bataclan Theatre
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While all members of the band escaped the massacre, their merchandise manager Nick Alexander was one of the first Britons to have been confirmed dead in the attacks. 
Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney yesterday paid tribute to Nick, who also worked for his band. 
'I spent a lot of time with Nick, but the thing about the touring merch job, it's one of the more thankless jobs. You do it because you just want to travel and you're interested in meeting new people and it's really hard work.
'It's not the job you take if you're into partying. He was just a sweetheart, that guy.'  
France and other countries in Europe today observed a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the worst-ever terror attacks on French soil, with a large crowd gathering by the Bataclan. 
Moments before the attack: The massacre happened as the Californian band were launching into one of their favourites, Kiss The Devil
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Moments before the attack: The massacre happened as the Californian band were launching into one of their favourites, Kiss The Devil
Fated concert: Eagles of Death Metal playing onstage at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, just moments before ISIS gunmen burst into the venue
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Fated concert: Eagles of Death Metal playing onstage at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, just moments before ISIS gunmen burst into the venue
Video shows the moment the gunfire erupts inside the theatre and the band's drummer dives down behind his drum kit for cover
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Moment of horror: The Eagles of Death Metal drummer dives for cover behind his drum kit as terrorists burst into the venue and begin shooting
Photographer captures gunfight outside Bataclan in Paris
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In Paris, President Francois Hollande and his cabinet, all dressed in black, bowed their heads at the Sorbonne University, surrounded by scores of students.
And at Place de la Republique near the site of many of Friday's attacks, hundreds more stood still to remember the 132 people who were killed in the bloodbath. 
This morning French police identified one of the Bataclan bombers as homegrown terrorist Samy Amimour, 28, who was known to anti-terror officers in 2012 when he was prosecuted for trying to flee France to join Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen. 
A year later he slipped out of France to join ISIS in Syria. 
French police have said another homegrown terrorist, Omar IsmaĆ«l Mostefai , 29, from Courcouronnes, Paris, was also one of the Bataclan suicide bombers. 
Meanwhile, Paris terrorist fugitive Salah Abdeslam - dubbed the world's most wanted man - appears to have escaped police for a second time in three days. 
A woman is evacuated from the scene of the massacre, where witnesses said gunmen threatened to kill anyone who moved
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A woman is evacuated from the scene of the massacre, where witnesses said gunmen threatened to kill anyone who moved
A member of the French special forces evacuates people, including one man with an injury to his head, from near the Bataclan theatre on Friday night following the shootings
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A member of the French special forces evacuates people, including one man with an injury to his head, from near the Bataclan theatre on Friday night following the shootings
Belgian special forces stormed a Brussels apartment in a district known as the 'jihadi capital of Europe' believing the 26-year-old was hiding inside.
In a scene similar to the famous Iranian embassy siege in London in 1980, soldiers clambered across the roof and were seen firing tear gas through a Velux-style window to flush out a suspect who witnesses claimed came out on to a balcony with his arms up. 
A hooded man was handcuffed and put in a car by plain-clothes police but the Mayor of Molenbeek has insisted that there were no arrests and the wanted man is still on the run.
Abdeslam is one of three 'blood brothers' believed to be at the heart of French massacres where 132 people died on Friday and incredibly he was stopped and then released by French police guarding the Belgian border hours after the attacks.
It appears the terror suspect, believed to be a getaway driver and potential shooter, may be hiding in Molenbeek, where the eight-strong ISIS terror cell may have met before the Paris raids to gather automatic weapons and suicide vests.  
It came as police in Turin appealed for witnesses who may have seen a black Seat drive into Italy from France at Ventimiglia near Nice on Saturday because they believe it may be linked to the Paris attacks. 
Tribute: Nick Alexander's girlfriend Polina Buckley posted this heartbreaking message after she learned of his death
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Victim: Nick Alexander
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Tribute: Nick Alexander's girlfriend Polina Buckley posted this heartbreaking message (left) after she learned of his death at the Bataclan
Photographer captures gunfight outside Bataclan in Paris
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The car had a number plate containing GUT 18053 and it may have had three potential suspects inside the car, including a 32-year-old believed to be a gunman. 
French police also carried more than 168 raids the country, seizing a rocket launcher, a huge cache of weapons and arresting 23 suspects. 
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 104 people have also been placed under house arrest.
He said: 'It's just a start, these operations are going to continue, the response of the Republic will be huge, will be total. The one who targets the Republic, the Republic will catch him, will be implacable.' 
The raids come just hours after French fighter jets carried out a series of 'massive' air strikes on Raqqa, destroying a key ISIS command centre and a training camp in Syria. 
Valentin Ribet
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Mathieu Hoche
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Marie Lausch
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Victims: Former LSE student Valentin Ribet, left, Mathieu Hoche, centre, and Marie Lausch, right, all died in the attacks
Marie Mosser
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Francois-Xavier Prevost
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Lola Salines
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Dead: Marie Mosser, left, Francois-Xavier Prevost, centre, and Lola Salines, right, were named as three of the victims of the attacks in Paris
Elodie Breuil
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Thomas Ayad
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Guillaume B. Decherf
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Elodie Breuil (left), 23, Thomas Ayad (centre), 32, and Guillaume B. Decherf, 43, (right) - all from France - were among the many victims
Djamila Houd
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Elsa DelPlace
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Caroline Prenat, 24, was killed on a night out with friends
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Djamila Houd, 41, from Paris (left) and Elsa DelPlace San Martin (centre), also from France, were also among those killed. Caroline Prenat, (right) 24, was also killed on a night out with friends
Meanwhile, Eagles of Death Metal fans have launched a campaign to get the band to Number One in a show of solidarity in the wake of the attack which killed 132 people and left hundreds more injured.
More than 6,200 people have backed the Facebook campaign, which hopes to take the Californian band's cover of Duran Duran's Save a Prayer to the top spot.
In less than 24 hours, the song has already reached Number One on the iTunes UK rock chart. 
Fans insist the campaign is 'a respectful united demonstration of support for the band and those affected by the horrific ordeal in Paris this week'. 
Flushed out: Special forces climbed across a roof before they fired tear gas (pictured) through a Velux-type window to flush out a suspect who came out on to a balcony with his arms up. Belgian media claimed this man was Salah Abdeslam
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Flushed out: Special forces climbed across a roof before they fired tear gas (pictured) through a Velux-type window to flush out a suspect who came out on to a balcony with his arms up. Belgian media claimed this man was Salah Abdeslam
Witnesses said they also heard explosions in the street
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after the gas was fired in troops used a thermal camera to watch the results
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Operations: Witnesses said they also heard explosions and sounds like gunfire during the operation to surround the top floor flat in Brussels today. One soldier, left, appeared to be in charge and after the gas was fired in troops used a thermal camera to watch the results


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3320420/Joyous-crowd-wave-smile-enjoy-Eagles-Death-Metal-concert-just-moments-89-murdered-ISIS-gunmen.html#ixzz3sIV6IUlw