Six In The Morning Sunday 21 January 2024


Gaza activist tells of beating and abuse in Israeli detention

Human rights worker Ayman Lubbad is among the Palestinian prisoners claiming abuse in Israeli custody, where six have died

The Gaza-based human rights activist Ayman Lubbad has not seen his wife and three children for more than a month, since he was ordered to strip to his underwear in the street outside his home, then driven away with other Palestinian men for a week of abuse and detention.

He was tortured and humiliated, he said, giving one of various accounts of recent Israeli abuse of Palestinians in detention; at least six have died, and one autopsy report showed serious injuries, Haaretz newspaper reported.

Hundreds of Gaza residents detained in Israel’s military campaign have faced torture methods including electric shocks, cigarette and lighter burns, stress positions and deprivation of sleep, food and toilet facilities, investigations by Reuters and +972 magazine found.

Mine Clearing in Ukraine“Dead Soldiers Lay Everywhere in the Fields, Ours and Russian”

Ukraine has been heavily mined. Hundreds of civilians have already fallen victim to the explosives, and the economic damage has been enormous. How do you liberate an entire country from Russia’s treacherous legacy?

By Alexander EppOliver Imhof und Max Heber in Lypivka, Ukraine, and Hamburg, Germany

On a cold and sunny late autumn day in Lypivka, the non-governmental organization HALO is handing out bulky protective clothing. Here, to the west of Kyiv, the men are preparing to clear mines. All they have left to do is to go through a short safety briefing before they set about their task. The fields and farmland in the region are covered with all kinds of explosives, including booby traps, mines and unexploded ordnance. Indeed, even HALO isn’t totally sure about what is lurking beneath the surface.

An elderly woman who goes by the nickname Baba Katja (“Grandmother Katja”) is here to greet the mine-removing personnel. Everyone here knows her. With a smile, she explains how, each day, she brings the mine sweepers walnuts and apples from her garden. Or she bakes something to thank them for their work.

Diana Salazar, the prosecutor spearheading Ecuador’s fight against ‘narcopolitics’

Attorney General Diana Salazar is the leading figure in Ecuador’s fight against “narcopolitics”. As the country’s top prosecutor, her revelations have already led to the arrest of several high-level officials, including judges and other prosecutors accused of involvement in organised crime linked to drug trafficking.

Ecuador is waging a war against the rise of narcopolitics and the powerful drug gangs who have infiltrated the country’s political system. Leading the fight is Attorney General Diana Salazar, who has launched what she described as the country’s “largest operation against corruption and drug trafficking in history”.

Nicknamed the “Ecuadorian Loretta Lynch” after the US attorney general who served under Barack Obama, Salazar launched “Caso Metastasis” – a vast investigation into collusion between drug traffickers and government officials – following the October 2022 death in prison of powerful drug lord Leandro Norero.

Germany sees second day of large anti far-right protests

The weekend of protests against right-wing extremism continued in Germany, as tens of thousands took to the streets on Sunday, with the largest protests likely to be in Berlin.

After two days of mass protests, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of German cities on Sunday to demonstrate against the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and its anti-immigration agenda.

From Friday through the weekend, demonstrations were called in about 100 locations across Germany. On Sunday, rallies were held in major cities such as Cologne, Munich and Berlin. Several other German cities, including Cottbus, Dresden and Chemnitz in the east, also planned to hold demonstrations.

Police in Munich said that some 80,000 people participated in the march, while organizers put the figure at 200,000. The march had to be called off due to overcrowding.

Japanese journalist brings lonely #MeToo battle to Sundance


When Japanese journalist Shiori Ito accused a prominent TV reporter of rape, becoming a rare high-profile #MeToo voice in her homeland, she was initially ignored by police, prosecutors and even much of the media.

Defying taboos, she investigated her own case, secretly recording phone calls and meetings, and compiling enough evidence to eventually win 3.3 million yen ($30,000) in damages in a civil case that made headlines around the world.

That remarkable victory, which was followed last year by a toughening in Japan’s antiquated rape laws, is the subject of “Black Box Diaries,” a new film premiering at the Sundance festival, directed by Ito herself.

Ayodhya’s Muslims confront grief and anxiety as Ram Temple inauguration nears

Saffron flags are flying in the majority Hindu town of Ayodhya as excited locals prepare to host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of a new multimillion-dollar temple.

But like many of the town’s 500,000 Muslims, 65-year-old Maulana Badshah Khan says he’ll be staying at home.

He fears a repeat of the religious violence that erupted more than 30 years ago, when Hindu nationalists destroyed the Babri Masjid, a 16th century mosque, triggering riots across the country.