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Turkey sentences detained judge who won human rights award to 10…

ANKARA ( ) – A Turkish court sentenced a judge who previously won an award for human rights to 10 years in prison over links to the network Ankara says orchestrated an attempted coup in 2016, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Friday.

Murat Arslan, who has been detained for 22 months, was convicted of membership in an armed terrorist organization, after prosecutors charged him with use of the encrypted messaging app ByLock, Anadolu said.

Arslan has denied the charges and said any evidence that he had used the app was “fabri,上海晚上耍女人的地方Rae,cated”, Anadolu said.

The government says the outlaw上海夜生活ed app was widely used by followers of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it blames for the attempted coup that saw rogue soldiers commandeer tanks and aircraft, attacking parliament and killing some 250 unarmed civilians.

Gulen, a former ally of President Tayyip Erdogan who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has condemned the coup and denied any involvement with it.

The Council of Europe human rights body in 2017 gave Arslan, who was detained at the time, the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, a decision that prompted Turkey to say it would cut back its funding to the body.

Arslan was the former head of Turkey’s Judges and Prosecutors Union, a civil legal association that was shut down by government decree in the wide crackdown that followed the coup attempt.

Since the failed coup, authorities have formally arrested some 77,000 people and sacked or suspended more than 150,000 soldiers, civil servants and more over alleged links to the coup attempt, including alleged users of ByLock.

Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern over the scale of th,上海夜网官方网站Cade,e crackdown, saying President Tayyip Erdogan was usi,上海夜生活Rae,ng the putsch as a pretext to quash dissent.

The government, however, says the security measures are necessary due to the gravity of the threat it faces from Gulen’s network.

U.S. committed to bringing American hostages home -Obama

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States remains committed to bringing home Americans held captive overseas and helping their families, a year after the administration promised to overhaul its handling of hostage situations.

“We will not stop until we can bring our fellow citizens back to their families,” Obama said in a statement on the anniversary of the White House’s policy review.

Obama specifically named journalist Austin Tice who disappeared in Syria in 2012, Caitlan Coleman held in Afghanistan, and retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in Iran more than nine years ago.

Earlier this week, the families of four Americans killed by Islamic State urged Obama to do everything possible to bring home Tice, the only U.S. journalist known to be held in war-torn Syria.

The parents of the slain hostages criticized Obama for not personally naming Tice in his remarks at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner when Obama said that he would “fight for the release of American hostages held against their will.”

They said Tice’s re,上海夜生活男人好去处Nala,turn would b,上海夜生活Barrett,e a test of the of the success of the administration’s new policy.

The White House undertook a six-month review of its hostage policies after complaints from families that their initiatives to free relatives captured abroad had been discouraged and sometimes blocked by government officials.

As part o,上海夜生活上海夜生活论坛桑拿会所Kailani,f the overhaul, Obama named James O’Brien special presidential envoy for hostage affairs at the State Department to help coordinate the efforts of law enforcement and diplomats.

“But I know our work will not be done until our fellow Americans who are held against their will, and whose families mark their calendars by the days since they’ve held their loved ones, are reunited,” Obama said.

China detains students, labor activists in deepening crackdown

BEIJING/SHENZHEN ( ) – About a dozen Chinese labor activists and university students have either gone missing or been detained by police this week, sources told , amid a deepening crackdown on activists seeking improved rights for factory workers.

A loose but active coalition of workers, activists and students across China has since July 2018 faced off against police, with dozens detained over their support for workers who protested after being blocked from forming a labor union with leaders of their choice.

The clampdown has spre上海夜生活网ad to top universities, with some students being detained and, they say, threatened by police.

Three students and two recent graduates of Peking University, known informally as Beida, and a student from Renmin University have been missing for more than 24 hours, according to a post from a solidarity group, released online late on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Beida declined to comment.

In the southern province of Guangdong, two labor activists went missing and three were detained on suspicion of “disrupting public order” or “picking quarrels”, according to Geoff Crothall of China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based labor rights group.

It was unclear if the two sets of detentions were related. The Public Security Ministry did not respond to a faxed request for comment.

The students, all member,上海夜生活群Landon,s of a group that has been calling for the release of those detained, had been hiding out after releasing statements on Monday decrying police use of “confession” videos from some of those detained, according to a source who had been in contact with the students.

Friends of those featured in the videos told that the versions of events given by the activists were radically different from how they recalled the incidents, and called some of the claims an attempt to “,上海夜网Lark,invert black and white”.

Police have previously detained some students for a few hours before releasing them, but some of those who have been picked up have not been released, the source added, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the situation.

A Beida student Zh,上海夜网邀请码Caitlin,an Zhenzhen, for example, has been missing since early January, after the school said he had been expelled for taking part in “unapproved” events, the source said.

(This story has been refiled to fix month of detention to January in last paragraph)

Russia takes wraps off new missile to try to save U.S. nuclear pact

MOSCOW ( ) – Russia showed foreign military attaches on Wednesday a new cruise missile that the United States says breaches a landmark arms control pact, billing it as an exercise in transparency it hoped would persuade Washington to stay in the treaty.

Washington has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), alleging that the new Russian missile, the Novator 9M729 (called SSC-8 by NATO), violates the pact, which bans either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

Russia denies that. It says the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty and has accused the United States of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty it wants to leave anyway so as to develop new missiles.

The Russian lobbying effort c,上海夜生活男人好去处Barrett,omes as the clock ticks down toward Feb. 2, the date when Washington has said it will begin the process of pulling out of the pact unless Russia verifiably destroys the new missile system altogether, something it has refused to do.

Russia displayed the new missile system at a military theme park outside Moscow to foreign military attaches and journalists. A senior defense ministry official explained the weapon’s characteristics in detail 上海夜生活网as a soldier highlighted different parts with a laser pointer.

T,上海夜生活Gabriella,he missile has a maximum range of 480 kilometers (298 miles), which meant it was fully compli,上海夜网推油Naia,ant with the INF treaty, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Matveyevsky, head of Russia’s Missile Troops and Artillery, said.

The United States had previously rejected a Russian offer to look at the contested missile, in what is known as a ‘static display’, because it said such an exercise would not allow it to verify the true range of its warheads.

The Russian Defence Ministry said diplomats from the United States, Britain, France and Germany had been invited to attend the static display, but declined to attend.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told a news briefing before the display that the United States had made clear through diplomatic channels that its decision to exit the pact was final and that it was not open to dialogue.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later said that Russia had suggested the two nations hold talks on the issue on the sidelines of a meeting of the P5 nuclear powers in Beijing later this month, but had not received “a concrete reply”.

She said Russia remained open to talks anyway. Western diplomats have played down the chances of the two countries resolving their differences at that meeting if it takes place.