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Black Lives Matter’s Hawk Newsome appalled by lack of coverage of Houthi massacre of Ethiopians NEW YORK CITY: The horrific deaths of scores of Ethiopian migrants in a detention center in Sanaa run by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia is further proof that anti-black racism exists on every continent, according to Hawk Newsome, a founding member…

Black Lives Matter’s Hawk Newsome appalled by lack of coverage of Houthi massacre of Ethiopians

NEW YORK CITY: The horrific deaths of scores of Ethiopian migrants in a detention center in Sanaa run by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia is further proof that anti-black racism exists on every continent, according to Hawk Newsome, a founding member of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Greater New York.

Racial tensions and the deaths of black people in police custody have provoked repeated bouts of protest and unrest in the US and Europe in recent years.

Newsome played a key role in the worldwide movement that has rocked US cities since the police killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.

During an exclusive interview with Arab News, Newsome said the tragedy in Yemen demonstrates the need for global, pan-African solidarity — the kind espoused by the early-20th-century New York-based black nationalist Marcus Garvey.

 

 

“Racism is a worldwide practice. The demonization and vilification of black people takes place on every single continent,” Newsome said.

“So when we start talking about racism and anti-blackness, I tend to lean on the philosophies of Marcus Garvey, and I believe all black people should be unified in this struggle. Secondly, we should fight for all oppressed people.”

Hundreds of African migrants at a camp in the Houthi-occupied Yemeni capital were staging a hunger strike over maltreatment and poor conditions on March 7 when armed militiamen set their accommodation on fire, causing the deaths.

Newsome said he is shocked but not at all surprised that there has been so little outcry over the Houthi outrage. In his opinion, the response would have been entirely different had the victims been white.

“This is an issue that needs attention. This is something that can’t be ignored. This is something I won’t ignore. There are 44 people murdered and the news isn’t paying attention,” he said.

“I have strong reason to believe that the news isn’t paying attention because they’re black people. It’s my duty to fight for black people across the world.”

Newly arrived Somali migrants rest in the shade on the beach of Hasn Beleid village, 230 kms east of the Red Sea port of Aden. (AFP/File Photo)

Five migrants who spoke to Human Rights Watch described the conditions in the Houthis’ Immigration, Passport and Naturalization Authority Holding Facility in Sanaa as “cramped and unsanitary, with up to 550 migrants in a hangar in the facility compound.”

According to these witness testimonies, Houthi guards told the migrants to say their “final prayers” before firing tear gas and what they suspect was a flashbang into the hangar where the migrants were sheltered. The resulting fire tore through the makeshift camp, killing scores and injuring many more.

Before the fire broke out, the protest ringleaders were identified by the Houthi guards, who then beat them with wooden sticks and rifle butts, according to witness testimonies.

The Houthis later returned to the hangar wearing their signature black, green and grey uniforms, equipped with military-grade weapons. One of them then climbed onto the roof and launched two projectiles into the room.

African migrants who were reportedly smuggled by sea into Yemen, sit on the back of a vehicle on the outskirts of the city of Aden. (AFP/File Photo)

Witnesses inside the hangar say the first projectile produced a lot of smoke and made their eyes water and sting.

The second, which the witnesses referred to as a “bomb,” went off with a loud bang, igniting the fire.

Newsome said he is appalled by the lack of public outrage, even among the ranks of BLM chapters in the US and UK.

“I strongly contend that if this were a group of white people who were placed inside a hangar and there were missiles and projectiles fired into that building and 44 people died and people who were trying to escape were stepping over dead bodies, this would be a matter of international concern,” he said.

“But the racism in the news media and on the world stage renders this a non-issue. Where is the national attention?”

African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. (AFP/File Photo)

Newsome, who is a lawyer by training, draws a direct parallel between the racist attitudes that have allowed US policemen and Houthi militiamen alike to kill black people in their custody.

“Innocent black people seeking asylum, innocent black people who are simply looking for work, are being murdered … for asking for better treatment. That is what I have a problem with, and that’s what the world should have a problem with too,” he said.

“When I think of people in a small space being attacked with military-grade weapons and having the inability to fight back and struggling to survive, that breaks my heart. That should break anyone’s heart.”

The BLM movement first emerged as a Twitter hashtag in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

African illegal immigrants sit on a boat in the southern port city of Aden on September 26, 2016, before being deported to Somalia. (AFP/File Photo)

Since then, local chapters of the group have sprung up worldwide to monitor police violence against black communities and to support grassroots empowerment.

Among its achievements, the Greater New York chapter has opened a new school in the Bronx, fed thousands of needy people during the coronavirus pandemic, and introduced five bills that became state law supporting the rights of black people and minorities.

The group is also crafting an educational curriculum to showcase the advances of black people in America and around the world.

The movement found fresh impetus in 2020 after Floyd’s death. Former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest, is currently standing trial. Chauvin denies charges of murder and manslaughter.

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Twitter: @rayhanania

@saeedalBatati

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Hostage policemen released by TLP religious party after government negotiations

PARIS: France is imposing entry restrictions on travelers from four countries — Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Brazil — in hopes of keeping out especially contagious coronavirus variants, the government has announced. The restrictions include mandatory 10-day quarantines with police checks to ensure people arriving in France observe the requirement.  Travelers from all four countries will…

PARIS: France is imposing entry restrictions on travelers from four countries — Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Brazil — in hopes of keeping out especially contagious coronavirus variants, the government has announced.

The restrictions include mandatory 10-day quarantines with police checks to ensure people arriving in France observe the requirement.  Travelers from all four countries will be restricted to French nationals and their families, EU citizens and others with a permanent home in France.

France previously suspended all flights from Brazil. The suspension will be lifted next Saturday, after 10 days, and the new restrictions “progressively” put in place by then, the government said. 

The flight suspension for Brazil will be lifted followed by “drastic measures” for entering France from all four countries, plus the French territory of Guiana, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

The four countries “are the most dangerous in terms of the number of variants that exist and in the evolution of the pandemic in these countries,” Le Drian said Saturday on the France 3 television station.

The list of countries subject to tougher border checks could be extended, he said.

Under the new restrictions, travelers must provide an address for where they plan to observe the 10-day confinement period and police will make visits and fine those who are found in violation, the government said.

Along with the mandatory quarantine, France is requiring more stringent testing for the coronavirus. 

Travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test taken less than 36 hours instead of 72 hours before they boarded a flight, or a negative antigen test less than 24 hours

France has reported the deaths of 100,00 people in the COVID-19 pandemic.

A variant first identified in England spread to continental Europe and is now responsible for about 80 percent of the virus cases in France, while the variants first seen in Brazil and South Africa make up less than 4% of French infections, Health Minister Olivier Veran said last week.

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UEFA says will ban clubs who take part in breakaway ‘European Super League’

LONDON: Chelsea ended Manchester City’s quest for a historic quadruple of trophies as Hakim Ziyech’s goal earned a 1-0 win to take the Blues into the FA Cup final on Saturday. A damaging day for City also saw them lose Kevin De Bruyne to an ankle injury just over a week away from the League Cup…

LONDON: Chelsea ended Manchester City’s quest for a historic quadruple of trophies as Hakim Ziyech’s goal earned a 1-0 win to take the Blues into the FA Cup final on Saturday.

A damaging day for City also saw them lose Kevin De Bruyne to an ankle injury just over a week away from the League Cup final, where they face Tottenham, and the first leg of their Champions League semifinal against Paris Saint-Germain.

Chelsea were good value for another impressive win under Thomas Tuchel and will be favorites for the German’s first silverware in English football when they face Leicester or Southampton May 15.

Tuchel could land an even bigger prize in the Champions League just months after replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

His side showed they can get the better of City in what could be a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final should the English clubs see off PSG and Real Madrid in the last four.

The physical demands of City’s bid for a clean sweep of trophies was shown as Pep Guardiola made eight changes from the side that beat Borussia Dortmund in midweek with goalscorers Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez among those rotated.

Tuchel made just three changes and Chelsea looked the far less disjointed side in a bright start.

Timo Werner’s cross was swept home by Ziyech after just six minutes, but the goal was ruled out for offside against the German international.

That proved to be the only shot on target of a cagey first 45 minutes that did little to whet the appetite of a potential reunion in Istanbul for European club football’s greatest prize on May 29.

Despite the number of changes, the ease with which Chelsea were able to spring quick counter-attacks will be of concern to Guardiola with the fearsome duo of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to come.

From one slick break, Chelsea’s wing backs combined but Ben Chilwell could only slice Reece James’s cross wide.

City got to half-time without any damage on the score line, but suffered a potentially huge blow to their hopes of still clinching a treble of trophies early in the second half.

Just 11 days before the first leg of the PSG tie, De Bruyne appeared to roll his ankle in a challenge with N’Golo Kante and was replaced by Foden.

City were still reeling from the loss of the Belgium attacker when they were finally caught out by the Chelsea counterattack.

Guardiola’s decision to retain Zack Steffen in goal for domestic cup competitions backfired as the American was caught in no man’s land when Werner raced in behind and once again squared for Ziyech to roll into an empty net.

Steffen made some measure of amends moments later to deny Ziyech a second when the Moroccan was clean through.

City took until the final 20 minutes to get going, but their best chance of sending the game to extra time came from a corner as Ruben Dias headed over from close range.

Instead, it was Chelsea who found the net again through Christian Pulisic in stoppage time only for the offside flag to again come to City’s rescue.

But there was no saving a bid for history for Guardiola’s men as they cannot now better Manchester United’s treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup from 1998/99.

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Gaza man winning hearts by donating traditional food to the poor

BEIRUT: Controversial Lebanese judge and Mount Lebanon state prosecutor Ghada Aoun carried out a second raid on a money exchange in northern Lebanon on Saturday in defiance of a senior judiciary decision dismissing her from an investigation into possible currency export breaches. Aoun was accompanied by several activists from the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) during…

BEIRUT: Controversial Lebanese judge and Mount Lebanon state prosecutor Ghada Aoun carried out a second raid on a money exchange in northern Lebanon on Saturday in defiance of a senior judiciary decision dismissing her from an investigation into possible currency export breaches.

Aoun was accompanied by several activists from the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) during the raid on the money exchange in the Awkar district in northern Lebanon.

Less than 24 hours earlier she raided the office with members of the security services.

Aoun remained in the money exchange for several hours on Friday in protest at her dismissal by the the discriminatory Public Prosecutor, Judge Ghassan Oweidat, a decision that caused widespread anger among the Lebanese public.

Caretaker Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm held an emergency meeting on Saturday with Oweidat as well as Supreme Judicial Council head Judge Suhail Abboud and Judicial Inspection Authority head Judge Borkan Saad.

After the meeting Najm voiced her anger at the situation regarding the judiciary, saying that she refuses to be “a false witness to the decay of the judiciary and the fall of the fig leaf in this state.”

Najm said the events involving Aoun are an indication of “the failure of state institutions.”

Lebanon is facing a political and economic crisis amid disputes between state officials, a deadlock that has led to the collapse of the national currency.

However, critics accuse Aoun of a lack of respect for due process.

HIGHLIGHT

Caretaker Justice Minister Marie-Claude Najm held an emergency meeting on Saturday with Oweidat as well as Supreme Judicial Council head Judge Suhail Abboud and Judicial Inspection Authority head Judge Borkan Saad.

There are six criminal cases and 28 complaints against her before the Judicial Inspection Authority — the largest number of cases filed against any judge in the history of the Lebanese judiciary.

Aoun was investigating the Mecattaf money exchange company and Societe Generale Bank for allegedly withdrawing dollars from the market and shipping the funds abroad.

The Supreme Judicial Council dismissed Aoun along with two other judges who had previously been suspended by the Disciplinary Council for Judges.

Judge Oweidat on Friday asked the Director-General of State Security, Maj. Gen. Antoine Saliba, to suspend the officers who accompanied Aoun on the exchange office raid.

People in Lebanon on Friday watched on TV as Aoun requested that the money exchange office be sealed because the owner, Michel Mecattaf, refused to provide her with details of currency transfers on behalf of banks.

Earlier, Mecattaf’s agents informed Aoun that she had been dismissed from the case.

Aoun remained alone for hours inside the office after state security personnel left. A medical team checked on her after her blood pressure rose, and she left the premises soon after. Later she stepped on to the balcony of her home to wave to FPM supporters, who gathered outside to offer support.

After Aoun’s second raid on Saturday, the head of the Mecattaf financial company accused her supporters of “breaking into private property by force.”

Mecattaf described the case as “eminently political,” saying that he is “a witness and not a convict.”

Najm described the events as “unacceptable.”

“I am not in a position to please this political party or that team. We want an effective and independent judiciary. The problem is not the laws — oversight and accountability have been absent for years,” she said.

Najm also said that “the judiciary is incapable of fighting corruption,” and called on judges to “rise up against this reality.”

She added: “There is a lack of confidence in the judiciary, and this is a major insult.”

Retired General Prosecutor Hatem Madi told Arab News: “Judge Oweidat’s decision shows that some judges are working independently, but things must be put to rights. Regardless of whether Oweidat’s decision was right or wrong, the public prosecution offices in Lebanon must be an integrated unit.”

The decision to dismiss Aoun revived a political dispute between the FPM and the Future Movement, the two parties in conflict over the formation of the government.

The FPM, headed by MP Gebran Bassil, said that it will “continue to expose every file related to the fight against corruption,” saluting “every judge who rightfully performs their duties despite the injustice to which they are sometimes exposed.”

The Future Movement said that “mourning for judges after encouraging them to violate laws and asking them to open discretionary files for opponents is a matter that no longer fools any of the Lebanese people.”

 

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