Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.
Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.
A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.
Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.
Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”
In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.
“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”
He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.
According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.
The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.
Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)
Oct 2, 2017: The Sharia-ruled monarchy of the Middle-East, Saudi Arabia decided to lift the ban on women drivers on September 26, much to the elation of Women’s Rights Activists throughout the world. King Salman issued a royal decree on Tuesday granting Saudi women the right to drive thereby ending the kingdom’s notorious reputation of being the only country that prohibits women from driving. The law will come into effect on June 24, 2018.
While the pronouncement signifies a “positive step” towards women-empowerment, the conclusion of whether such laws can be turned into practice in a patriarchal society like Saudi Arabia can be drawn only with the unfolding of time.
Apart from relaxing the ban on women drivers, the Gulf Kingdom also terminated a series of interdicts forced upon the women. A handful of loosened bans included that women will no longer require approval from their guardian to work.
Another significant statute blessed upon women the freedom to enter the sports stadiums albeit exclusively for the Saudi National Day besides the compulsory edict of being seated only in a family section far away from single men.
The Government has also passed laws allowing girls in public schools to play sports and have access to physical education.
While everyone is busy celebrating women drivers in Saudi Arabia, there is still a myriad of bans inflicted on women. These are:
1. Following the divorce, Saudi women are permitted to keep their children with them only till they reach the age limit of 7years (for girls) and 9years (for boys).
2. Saudi women cannot marry and divorce without the due consent of their male guardian. The male head dominates everything in a Saudi family.
3. The women of Saudi Arabia do not have the permission to get a passport without the prior assent of their male guardian.
4. The approval of the male guardian is also required during any medical emergency. Women cannot take a voluntary decision regarding issues that concern the question of their life and death!
5. Women do not possess the right to socialize with men except for immediate family members. Consequently, all the restaurants and places of public entertainment in Saudi Arabia maintain two sections, one for the men where women cannot enter and the other for families.
6. Under Sharia laws, daughters can inherit property but only half of what is received by their male counterparts.
7. Saudi women cannot even start a work unless two male members testify about her character in a law court before she can be granted a loan or a license.
Prepared by Mohima Haque of Newsgram. Twitter @mohimahaque26
Saudi Arabia, September 22, 2017: A Saudi writer, atheist, activist and the founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website Raif Badawi, who has been a prey to brutal punishment of Saudi Arabia law, reveals his agony in a book “1000 Lashes, Because I Say What I Think”.
Badawi, through his book expressed one’s life in the autocratic Islamic state under ‘Sharia’, insights about freedom of expression, separation of religion and state, human and civil rights and tolerance.
It was in 2012 when Badawi was taken into imprisonment in Saudi Arabia and was sentenced to 10 years torture with 1000 lashes. The reason stated for his imprisonment was his act of showing disrespect towards Islam and produced before the court charges including apostasy.
His punishment was partly enforced due to ‘parental disobedience’ when the debate over freedom of speech and Islam continued to rage. The punishment was in context to the disobedience shown towards one’s father, as follows in Saudi Arabia. Reportedly, Badawi’s father also renounced his son on television.
There are facts that left Raif Badawi to live a life of torture and trauma and you should know these.
Raif Badawi had to face 50 lashes in his first session in front of the crowd gathering near the mosque in Jeddah on January 9, 2015.
After his first session, the medical committee advised not to flog Raid Badawi as his wound had not healed sufficiently, because of high blood pressure. Whereas, another prison doctor objected to that and said that he is fine to take more lashes.
Nevertheless, the flogs were not carried out due to some unknown reason.
He was sentenced with seven years’ imprisonment and 600 lashes, but was extended to 10 years and 1000 lashes later.
He was arrested against his rights to freedom of speech, expression, association and assembly. He was being suppressed with his rights to be democratic.
The case was being dropped twice. The district court passed on the case to high court, saying “could not give a verdict in a case of apostasy.” Also, the higher court refused to hear the case and referred it to the lower court.
His family said that they have learned of judicial attempts to have Badawi retried for apostasy and that it may end up beheading his head for renouncing his religion. Though the human rights are not sure of the claim.
Raif’s wife, Ensaf Haidar was forced to leave Saudi Arabia and move to Canada along with her children after she received anonymous threats.
Badawi expressed his sentiment towards living in a democratic society through his website Free Saudi Liberals until it was shut down by the Saudi authorities. He writes in one of his posts, “You have the right to express and think whatever you want as you have the right to declare what you think about it, it is your right to believe or think, have the right to love and to hate, from your right to be a liberal or Islamist.”
There have been several international awards accorded to Badawi. He was a nominee for 2015 Nobel Peace Prize and for Human Rights and Democracy he was also awarded the Courage award in 2015 in Geneva Summit.
Many people around the world are showing their support to Raif Badawi through different campaigns and protest. The Canadian government also expressed him gratitude with their concern towards his wife and children.
It was not just Badawi, who was victimized for raising his voice. His lawyer, Waleed Abu al-Khair, in July 2014 was also sentenced 15 years in prison for denouncing the human rights abuses of Saudi during his media interviews and in social media. Khair also had an organization that monitored the human rights in Saudi Arabia.
– Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_Desire