February 20, 2024

Global News Dispatches: 4 Stories

  • Palestinian-Italian Researcher Khaled El Qaisi Released on Bail Pending Further Hearings By Israeli Court
  • Government Report on Ayotzinapa Disappearances Links Ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto to the Crime
  • On International Safe Abortion Day, Women Across Latin America March Demanding Reproductive Rights
  • Over 2,500 Migrants Died or Went Missing While Trying to Reach Europe via the Mediterranean This Year: UNHCR

Credit Line: from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Servic

By Global News Service

Palestinian-Italian Researcher Khaled El Qaisi Released on Bail Pending Further Hearings By Israeli Court

Palestinian-Italian activist and researcher Khaled el Qaisi has been released from prison a month after being detained by Israeli authorities. The 27-year-old was arrested on August 31 at the Allenby crossing which connects the Occupied West Bank and Jordan.

El Qaisi, who is of Palestinian and Italian heritage and holds dual citizenship, is a student at the Department of Oriental Languages and Civilizations at Sapienza University in Rome. He works with the activist group Palestinian Youth of Italy and is also one of the founders of the Palestinian Documentation Center.

El Qaisi was seized by Israeli occupation forces while he was making his way to Amman after a family trip to Bethlehem. The Israeli authorities also seized the family’s luggage and cell phones. El Qaisi’s wife was also subjected to questioning before being expelled to Jordan with their son.

Meanwhile, el Qaisi was held in solitary confinement at the notorious Petah Tikva detention center, and subjected to daily interrogations in the absence of a lawyer. His detention was renewed twice in hearings held on September 7 and 14 without any charges being detailed. His brother and two cousins were also arrested by occupation forces, Middle East Eye reported.

In a hearing on September 21, his detention was extended for another 11 days. According to a press release issued by his lawyer, that court had also determined that three days after the latest extension would lapse on October 1, the Israeli investigators would have to file charges against el Qaisi.

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Government Report on Ayotzinapa Disappearances Links Ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto to the Crime

On September 28, parents of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College who disappeared in 2014 lifted the sit-in protests that they had held for eight days in front of the Military Camp No. 1 in the capital Mexico City. The decision came after the presentation of a new report by the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa case, which revealed that a meeting of authorities had taken place in October 2014 to construct the so-called historic truth, the official government version of the events, and that it was attended by then-president Enrique Peña Nieto and other officials.

During a press conference held outside the military facilities, the parents demanded that a criminal investigation be opened against former president Nieto and other high-ranking officials who participated in the meeting and colluded in covering up the crime nine years ago.

“We believe that all the authorities that appear in [Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez’s] report as architects of the truth must be criminally investigated, an investigation must be opened and it must be exhaustive”, said Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer of the families of the missing students.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador committed to continuing the investigations. “We have not abandoned the case, we are going to continue investigating it for the mothers and the fathers, for justice and also for our convictions,” he said.

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On International Safe Abortion Day, Women Across Latin America March Demanding Reproductive Rights

On September 28, hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets across Latin America to commemorate the International Safe Abortion Day and to demand decriminalization and legalization of abortion in the region. Wearing green scarves, the women campaigned for legal, safe, and free abortions.

Of the 33 countries in Latin America, only Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Guyana, some states in Mexico, and Uruguay allow elective abortion. Countries such as Chile, Ecuador, and Venezuela allow abortion in circumstances such as rape or health risks to the mother. In nations such as the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Suriname, abortion is completely banned and criminalized.

Feminist movements in the region have been struggling for decades for reproductive rights. Thousands of women in Latin America—generally the marginalized—access unsafe and clandestine abortions.

In Argentina, women took to the streets in defense of the right to abortion, achieved in 2020 after over 20 years of organizing. In the case of a victory by far-right libertarian Javier Milei in the October presidential elections, there could be a setback in abortion rights.

In Brazil, feminists marched to demand abortion rights. Currently, the country’s Supreme Court is debating the decriminalization of abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In Chile, women mobilized for abortion rights, which are at risk of being overturned if the current constitutional draft is approved in the December referendum.

In Mexico, women hit the streets to celebrate the recent decision by the Supreme Court to decriminalize abortions at the national level.

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Over 2,500 Migrants Died or Went Missing While Trying to Reach Europe via the Mediterranean This Year: UNHCR

Over 2,500 people died or went missing while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe by September, stated the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a huge jump from 2022’s figure of 1,680 from the same period.

UNHCR New York office director Ruven Menikdiwela told the UN Security Council in a briefing on Thursday, September 28, that despite the increased number of deaths and accidents, migrants inflow into Europe did not slow down and there is no reason to believe that it will in the near future.

Menikdiwela claimed that at least 186,000 reached Europe through the Mediterranean in the same period.

Almost 130,000 of all those that landed in Europe landed in Italy, with the rest distributed between various other coastal European countries such as Greece and Spain.

The UNHCR reiterated how the land route usually taken by migrants and refugees to reach the sea through sub-Saharan Africa and the sea crossing points in Libya and Tunisia remain extremely dangerous due to wars and local conflicts in the region.

According to Pär Liljert, director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the total number of dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea from January to September 2023 was 2,778, slightly higher than the UNHCR figure. IOM claims that of the total, 2,093 died in the central Mediterranean alone, the world’s deadliest sea route.

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