Casablanca Police Arrest Woman for Kidnapping 5YearOld Girl

Rabat – The judicial police of Casablanca arrested a 46-year-old woman today who allegedly kidnapped and locked up a minor girl.The statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said a missing 5-year-old girl was found in good health after four days of searching. The communique added that her parents had filed a complaint about their daughter’s disappearance under suspicious circumstances. The police determined the identity of the suspect and arrested her at her home in Hay Rahma in Casablanca.The girl had been kidnapped from a market in Al-Wifaq in the Hay Al Hassani area of Casablanca.The suspect has been placed in custody for further investigation  of the criminal act and the possibility of the suspect’s involvement in other crimes. DGSN statement said the arrest was carried out in cooperation with Morocco’s General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DGST). read more

Sri Lanka commended for ending authoritarian rule

In the 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of refugees spawned by repression and conflict led many Governments to curtail rights in misguided efforts to protect their security. At the same time, authoritarian Governments throughout the world, fearful of peaceful dissent that is often magnified by social media, embarked on the most intense crackdown on independent groups in recent times. The Government of President Maithripala Sirisena promptly initiated a series of constitutional reforms, including establishing a constitutional council and restoring the independence of the judiciary, police, and human rights commissions. Civil society groups are once again able to speak out safely on issues of concern. In December, the government signed the United Nations Convention against Enforced Disappearance, a step toward tackling a massive decades-long problem.The Government has yet to fulfill its pledge to abolish the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Authorities agreed to release some PTA detainees on bail, “rehabilitate” others, and prosecute the remainder, but arrests under the PTA continued throughout the year. Inadequate information from the security forces means there are no reliable numbers on those detained under the law. Moreover, many imprisoned PTA detainees were convicted after being tortured to confess. The government has still not put forth a plan to provide redress for those unjustly detained under the PTA. Sri Lanka’s Government, elected in January 2015, ended the pervasive culture of surveillance and censorship and embarked on reforms aimed to undo years of increasingly authoritarian rule, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016.However the report notes that the Government still faces key concerns, including wartime accountability and prolonged detention without trial. “Sri Lanka’s new Government has begun to address some of the country’s chronic human rights problems, but much remains to be done,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The pervasive culture of fear is largely gone and positive measures have been adopted, but the previous government’s disastrous restructuring of independent state institutions needs to be fully dismantled.” In August, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a scathing report on unlawful attacks, killings, torture, sexual violence, and attacks on relief aid by both sides during the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that ended in 2009. At the Human Rights Council in October 2015, member states including Sri Lanka endorsed a consensus resolution calling on the Sri Lankan Government to implement the report’s many recommendations, including to establish a special counsel to investigate and prosecute alleged wartime abuses, and to include foreign judges and prosecutors in a Sri Lankan tribunal.Soon after the council resolution passed, the Government began the process of public consultations on accountability and truth mechanisms. The Government also began to investigate some emblematic rights violations during the conflict, including the killing and enforced disappearance of journalists, but progress remained slow. Chronic abuses distinct from the civil war, such as police abuse and security sector reform, also need to be addressed, Human Rights Watch said.“For years Sri Lanka was sinking deeper into human rights despair, so the changed atmosphere under the new Government has given hope to many victims of past abuses, civil society activists, and international observers,” Adams said. “It’s now time for the Sirisena government to turn its positive words and initial actions into institutional changes that will have a lasting impact on the country.” read more