Headlines from the region

Headlines from the region

Mohamed says tortured in Pakistan, Morocco

A senior British judge’s criticism of the domestic security service MI5 over the case of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee has been published.

The Lord David Neuberger’s highly critical comments, previously kept secret, came in an unexpected ruling of the court of appeal ordering the release of information about MI5’s respect for human rights in the case of Binyam Mohamed.

Lord Neuberger said that some members of the security service “appear to have a dubious record relating to actual involvement, and frankness about any such involvement, with the mistreatment of Mr Mohamed when he was held at the behest of US officials.”

Mohamed says he was tortured in Pakistan and Morocco while held by the US.

Algerian police chief buried amid mystery

The chief of Algeria’s national police has been buried, a day after he was shot in his office by a colleague.

A large crowd made up of residents and Algerian officials attended the funeral of 73-year-old Ali Tounsi amid heavy security Friday. The country’s police forces have been placed on high alert following Tounsi’s murder Thursday.

Tounsi headed Algeria’s police force for 16 years. He was among the most powerful security officials in Algeria and since the 1990s was a key figure in the country’s fight against Islamic militants who tried to overthrow the military-backed government.

Tunisia: March 1 is Arabic Language Day

A growing interest in learning the Arabic language can be noticed in many non -Arabic speaking countries. Consequently, a new initiative designed to promote new methods and approaches to the study of Arabic at higher levels of proficiency, has been the focus of the late efforts aiming at further promote the Arabic language.

Swiss thank European support over Libya row

Switzerland is grateful for European solidarity during its row with Libya, Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said on Saturday.

Speaking before a group of 250 Socialist Party delegates gathered in the Swiss capital, Bern, Calmy-Rey said there was strength in unity and that EU-sceptics should be convinced that Switzerland is strong at Europe’s side.

The foreign minister reiterated that her goal is to free jailed Swiss businessman Max G?ldi as soon as possible. After being forbidden from leaving Libya for more than 500 days, G?ldi recently began serving a four-month prison term for visa violations.

Sudan sees more clashes

A government offensive against a rebel group in central Darfur has intensified in the past few days, a United Nations official said Friday. Samuel Hendricks, a United Nations humanitarian official, said the fighting in a stronghold of the Sudan Liberation Army in Jebel Marra had escalated, with confirmed reports of aerial bombardments in Deribat and two other surrounding areas. The Sudan Liberation Army has rejected the truce signed by the government and another rebel group on Tuesday in Qatar.

Russia to supply Lebanon with helicopters

Russia has agreed to supply Lebanon with Mi-24 helicopter gunships instead of the MIG-29 fighter jets originally agreed, the office of Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said on Saturday. “The Russian authorities agreed to replace the MIG-29 fighters, initially foreseen in their military aid, with Mi-24 helicopters as the Lebanese army urgently needs this type of aircraft equipped with rockets and sophisticated means of defense,” a statement said.

Ahmedinejad meets Nasrallah in Syria

Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah Meet in Syria. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the leader of terrorist organization Hezbollah met in Syria. This is a very important meeting, as Nasrallah typically doesn’t ever appear in public because of Israeli death threats. Even when he addresses his own followers, he does so via video.