Archive for June 11, 2016


June 11, 2016

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A prominent activist in Bahrain said early Saturday she left the tiny island kingdom after recently being freed from prison, the latest protester to go into exile five years after its Arab Spring demonstrations.

Zainab al-Khawaja is the daughter of well-known activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who himself is serving a life sentence over his role in the protests that saw the island’s Shiite majority and others demand more political freedom from its Sunni rulers.

In a series of messages on Twitter, al-Khawaja said she had left the country. Her family confirmed she left with two children to Denmark, where she also has citizenship. The “regime that thinks exile means moving us away from our land should know, we carry (hashtag)Bahrain in our hearts wherever we go,” she wrote.

Al-Khawaja was detained March 14 and faced three years in prison on charges related to her participation in anti-government protests, including tearing up pictures of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. She was in prison with her infant son, Abdulhadi, prior to her release.

Al-Khawaja said Bahrain was preparing to file new charges against her that would have made her detention “indefinite.” Bahrain’s government and its state-run news agency did not immediately comment on al-Khawaja leaving the country.

Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, crushed the 2011 protests after several weeks with the help of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In the time since, the island has faced low-level unrest, protests and attacks on police.

Other prominent opposition figures and human-rights activists remain imprisoned. Some have had their citizenship stripped by the government and been deported.

June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali, one of the most influential sports figures in the 20th century, has passed at the age of 74 in Phoenix, U.S., a family spokesman has confirmed to media.

A boxing legend, Ali won the heavyweight title three times and was known for his unorthodox fighting style merging power and agility. Off the ring, he was famous throughout the globe for his charismatic personality, as well as social and political activism.

“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell told NBC News.

In 1967, three years after he won his first title, Ali refused to be drafted during the Vietnam War even though he registered for military service, presenting himself as a conscientious objector. Ali was stripped of his title, had his boxing license suspended, and a court found him guilty of draft evasion. His conviction was eventually reversed by the Supreme Court.

As the tide turned and public opinion shifted on the war, Ali became a spokesman for the anti-war sentiment, giving speeches at universities across the United States, even as he became increasingly active in the Civil Rights movement.

A convert to Islam, Ali advocated religious freedom. Initially a member of the Nation of Islam movement, which combined elements of religion and African American political activism, Ali converted to Sunni Islam after falling out with the group in 1975.

Ali leaves behind his wife Lonnie, seven daughters and two sons, as well as a legacy likely to remain unmatched as a boxer and world-renowned public figure.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160604-boxing-legend-muhammad-ali-dies-at-74/.