December 7, 2023

Globetrotter Submission: Global News Dispatches: 4 Stories

By Global News Service

Credit Line: from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service


  • Activists Mohamed Adel and Mahmoud Hussein Jailed in Egypt
  • Palestinian Prisoners to Launch Hunger Strike Against Increasing Israeli Restrictions
  • ‘Imperialism Has Nothing to Offer Us, Only Threats’: Dilemmas of Humanity Conference Held in Santiago
  • JetBlue Suspends All Flights to Cuba

Activists Mohamed Adel and Mahmoud Hussein Jailed in Egypt

The Egyptian government continues its persecution of activists and critics despite the so-called national dialogue initiated earlier this year to address the political and economic issues raised by the opposition. On September 3, political activist Mohamed Adel, one of the founders of the April 6 movement, was sentenced to four years in prison by an Egyptian court on charges of spreading “false news.”

The Abdel Fattah el-Sisi regime first came to power in Egypt through a military coup in 2013 and has since unleashed large-scale persecution of human rights activists, political opponents, journalists, and lawyers for being critical of its policies. According to estimates, more than 50,000 activists have been imprisoned in various Egyptian jails since the coup.

Adel has already spent years in prison in pretrial detention and faced security surveillance, his friend and activist Mahmoud Hashem told Peoples Dispatch.

Adel faces two more charges dating back to 2018 in similar cases. He has been targeted by the state for criticizing the government’s policies related to a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as the provision of death penalty in the country.

As part of their conditions for participating in the national dialogue, the Civic Democratic Movement had included Adel’s name in a list of activists facing state persecution and demanded its end.

Adel’s family members launched a signature campaign on September 2 demanding his release from prison. The petition has already garnered hundreds of signatures.

Another activist, Mahmoud Hussein, was re-arrested on his return to Cairo on August 30 on the basis of a judgment delivered against him in absentia. He is called “the T-shirt detainee” as he was detained by authorities for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “A Nation Without Torture” on the third anniversary of the 2011 popular uprising in Egypt. At the time, Hussein was just 19 years old.

According to his lawyer, activist Khaled Ali, Hussein was first taken to the October Garden Police Station after his arrest in Cairo and then moved to the Ayat Police Station in Giza, after which his friends and families lost contact with him.


Palestinian Prisoners to Launch Hunger Strike Against Increasing Israeli Restrictions

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israel will go on an open-ended hunger strike on September 14 to protest against the recent restrictions imposed by Israel. According to the Supreme Emergency Committee of the Prisoner National Movement, the prisoners will continue with the collective strike until their human rights are fully restored.

Far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir recently restricted family visits for prisoners to once every two months from the current practice of once a month. Under Ben-Gvir, the number of prisoners in solitary confinement has increased, as have arbitrary raids in prison cells, the practice of separating and abruptly transferring prisoners has also seen a rise, along with the use of the illegal administrative detention policy, among other forms of mistreatment. His actions have been condemned by rights activists and prisoners’ rights groups, as well as the United Nations.

Responding to the latest restriction on family visits, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) once again called on Israel to respect the rights of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with international law. The ICRC stated, “Under international humanitarian law (IHL), Palestinian detainees are protected persons and have a right to family contact. This includes family visits while in detention.”

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) also denounced the move. PPS chairman Qaddura Fares declared that it was part of a “racist and retaliatory approach aimed at harming the prisoners and their families. This decision infringes upon the basic rights of the Palestinian prisoners, in clear violation of both Israeli laws and international legal standards.”


Imperialism Has Nothing to Offer Us, Only Threats’: Dilemmas of Humanity Conference Held in Santiago

“Today, the countries of the South do not have to submit to the dynamics of the world economy organized by the North,” declared Peruvian political scientist Monica Bruckmann at the opening panel of the Regional Dilemmas of Humanity Conference in the Recoleta municipality of Santiago, Chile, which took place from September 2 to September 4. Referring to the recent expansion of the BRICS block, Bruckmann added, “At this moment, the emerging powers and countries are in a position to modify the world economy and geopolitical power relations.”

The concluding date of the conference, September 4, marked the 53rd anniversary of the victory of the Popular Unity alliance led by former Chilean President Salvador Allende.

Veteran communist militant and thinker Héctor Béjar, who spoke at the first panel of the conference highlighted the importance of the date, stating, “On this anniversary, we must also celebrate the failure of the policy of extermination [of the left]. We are here, they tried to exterminate us, but we are here, the sons and daughters are here, and that shows that this policy failed.”

He added that in today’s new geopolitical scenario, “Imperialism has nothing to offer us, only threats, they tell us not to trade with China and not to associate with any Russians.”

The conference in Chile is one of several conferences being held ahead of the III International Conference of Dilemmas of Humanity in Johannesburg, South Africa, from October 14-19. The debates and deliberations of these regional spaces will be systematized and integrated into the discussions in Johannesburg.

The event, which brought together more than 230 representatives of social movements, trade unions, and left parties from 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, took place amid tectonic geopolitical shifts. In the last year, tensions between imperialist powers of the Global North and emerging Global South economies have intensified significantly. This was evident in the context of the recent BRICS Summit that was met with alarm by Washington and the European Union, which continue their campaign of aggression against Russia and China, and all those that work with them.


JetBlue Suspends All Flights to Cuba

On August 31, U.S.-based airline JetBlue announced that it has decided to suspend all flights to Cuba, effective September 17. In 2016, when U.S.-Cuba relations began to thaw, JetBlue flew the first direct commercial flight to Cuba from the United States in 50 years. American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest, and Delta will still provide direct flights to Cuba from the United States, however, United will cut its direct flights from Newark, New Jersey in October.

“Demand for travel to the island has been significantly affected by changes to the regulatory landscape and restrictions on our customers’ ability to enter Cuba,” stated the airline.

U.S.-Cuba relations began to thaw during Barack Obama’s presidency. Obama announced that the United States would normalize relations with Cuba and took the island off of the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) list in May 2015. His successor, former President Donald Trump, essentially reversed this entire process, once again adding Cuba to the SSOT list right before he left office and piling on an additional 243 sanctions against the socialist nation. President Joe Biden has left these Trump-era sanctions largely untouched, despite protests against the heightened U.S. blockade against Cuba.

U.S.-based Cuba solidarity group the National Network on Cuba stated, “Airlines suspending their flights to Cuba is a huge hit to the Cuban tourism industry, which is Cuba’s biggest source of income. The Biden administration is continuing Trump’s course of reversing U.S.-Cuba normalization and tightening the economic stranglehold of the island.”

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