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Tear gas grenades kill 3 protesters in Baghdad: medics

Tear gas grenades kill 3 protesters in Baghdad: medics

AFP: Medical sources confirmed the three deaths, as human rights groups called it as a 'gruesome' misuse of the weapon.

The UN had documented 16 deaths from such military-grade canisters, which are up to 10 times heavier than regular ones and can pierce skulls or lungs
AFP: Medical sources confirmed the three deaths, as human rights groups called it as a 'gruesome' misuse of the weapon.

The UN had documented 16 deaths from such military-grade canisters, which are up to 10 times heavier than regular ones and can pierce skulls or lungs

Sowore’s continued detention, Falana fires back at DSS

Sowore’s continued detention, Falana fires back at DSS

He insisted that the secret police was aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties, who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.


Falana

Femi Falana, activist lawyer has charged the Department of State Services, DSS, to release detained Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement and save Nigeria from ridicule.

He said this while faulting DSS latest reason for holding Sowore in custody. DSS had yesterday declared its readiness to release Sowore to his sureties only.

Falana, however, condemned the condition, saying the secret police had constituted itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court for making such demand.

A statement he personally signed and issued in Abuja, on Wednesday reads: “The SSS has now said that it is only appropriate that those who stood surety for Sowore present themselves and have him released to them.

“With respect to Sowore, we wish to state without any fear of contradiction, that the SSS has apparently constituted itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no condition was attached to the order of the court for the release of both detainees.”

He said the DSS never contacted the four lawyers who waited several hours on November 7 for the release of Sowore and Adebayo Bakare as they had promised, adding that the agency was aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.

Falana said: “On November 6, the Bailiff of the Federal High Court wanted to serve the order of court for the immediate release of Messrs Omoyele Sowore and Adebayo Bakare on the State Security Service (SSS). Under the pretext that the management had closed for the day the Court Bailiff was asked to serve the order at 10am on November 7.

“In the company of four members of the defence team the Court Bailiff served the order on that day. After the four lawyers had waited in vain for hours the SSS asked them to go and that they would be contacted on phone to pick up the two detainees after consultations.

“But the SSS never contacted the lawyers. To our utter dismay, the SSS issued an incendiary statement on November 8 wherein it was claimed that no one had shown up to receive both detainees. Yesterday (Tuesday), two members of the defence team, family members and friends of both detainees reported at the headquarters of the SSS. Some journalists were also there to witness the release of both detainees.


“Instead of releasing both detainees to their lawyers and family members the SSS fired teargass and shot into the air. In the process, the lawyers, family members and friends of both detainees were physically attacked by masked security operatives.


“The SSS has now said that “It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for Sowore present themselves and have him released to them.”

He insisted that the secret police was aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties, who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.

Falana added, “On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had been verified by the trial court.

“I demand for nothing less for my clients under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the rule of law.

“From the latest statement it is crystal clear that the SSS has no scores to settle with Mr. Bakare. Hence, the SSS has decided not to invite his own sureties to collect him. It is hoped that the SSS will release him without any further delay.

“With respect to Mr. Sowore, we wish to state, without any fear of contradiction, that the SSS has apparently constituted itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court. For the avoidance of doubt, no condition is attached to the order of court for the release of both detainees.

“Therefore, the SSS is aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.

“In view of the reckless insinuations of the SSS, I am compelled to point out that my colleagues and I did not risk our lives for the purpose of substituting military dictatorship for civilian autocracy. It is pertinent to point out that suspects who were presumed innocent under the defunct military junta were not exposed to the crude intimidation that has become the lot of Sowore and Bakare.

“Even when five of us were charged with treasonable felony in May 1992 we were released after we had met the bail conditions. On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had been verified by the trial court. I demand for nothing less for my clients under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the rule of law.

“Finally, I confirm that I have an official relationship with the DG of SSS. But since the commencement of the case of Sowore and Bakare the DG has refused to pick my calls while I have since become a persona non grata in the office of the SSS.

“With respect to the baseless allegation that I am playing to the gallery by demanding for the release of my clients in line with the valid and subsisting order of a competent law court, I shall take appropriate action under the law. Meanwhile, the SSS should release our clients from illegal custody and should stop exposing the country to unwarranted ridicule.”

He insisted that the secret police was aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties, who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.


Falana

Femi Falana, activist lawyer has charged the Department of State Services, DSS, to release detained Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement and save Nigeria from ridicule.

He said this while faulting DSS latest reason for holding Sowore in custody. DSS had yesterday declared its readiness to release Sowore to his sureties only.

Falana, however, condemned the condition, saying the secret police had constituted itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court for making such demand.

A statement he personally signed and issued in Abuja, on Wednesday reads: “The SSS has now said that it is only appropriate that those who stood surety for Sowore present themselves and have him released to them.

“With respect to Sowore, we wish to state without any fear of contradiction, that the SSS has apparently constituted itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no condition was attached to the order of the court for the release of both detainees.”

He said the DSS never contacted the four lawyers who waited several hours on November 7 for the release of Sowore and Adebayo Bakare as they had promised, adding that the agency was aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.

Falana said: “On November 6, the Bailiff of the Federal High Court wanted to serve the order of court for the immediate release of Messrs Omoyele Sowore and Adebayo Bakare on the State Security Service (SSS). Under the pretext that the management had closed for the day the Court Bailiff was asked to serve the order at 10am on November 7.

“In the company of four members of the defence team the Court Bailiff served the order on that day. After the four lawyers had waited in vain for hours the SSS asked them to go and that they would be contacted on phone to pick up the two detainees after consultations.

“But the SSS never contacted the lawyers. To our utter dismay, the SSS issued an incendiary statement on November 8 wherein it was claimed that no one had shown up to receive both detainees. Yesterday (Tuesday), two members of the defence team, family members and friends of both detainees reported at the headquarters of the SSS. Some journalists were also there to witness the release of both detainees.


“Instead of releasing both detainees to their lawyers and family members the SSS fired teargass and shot into the air. In the process, the lawyers, family members and friends of both detainees were physically attacked by masked security operatives.


“The SSS has now said that “It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for Sowore present themselves and have him released to them.”

He insisted that the secret police was aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties, who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.

Falana added, “On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had been verified by the trial court.

“I demand for nothing less for my clients under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the rule of law.

“From the latest statement it is crystal clear that the SSS has no scores to settle with Mr. Bakare. Hence, the SSS has decided not to invite his own sureties to collect him. It is hoped that the SSS will release him without any further delay.

“With respect to Mr. Sowore, we wish to state, without any fear of contradiction, that the SSS has apparently constituted itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court. For the avoidance of doubt, no condition is attached to the order of court for the release of both detainees.

“Therefore, the SSS is aggravating the felony of contempt of court by asking sureties who had been verified by the trial court to report in its office for an illegal verification.

“In view of the reckless insinuations of the SSS, I am compelled to point out that my colleagues and I did not risk our lives for the purpose of substituting military dictatorship for civilian autocracy. It is pertinent to point out that suspects who were presumed innocent under the defunct military junta were not exposed to the crude intimidation that has become the lot of Sowore and Bakare.

“Even when five of us were charged with treasonable felony in May 1992 we were released after we had met the bail conditions. On that occasion, the SSS never asked our sureties to report after they had been verified by the trial court. I demand for nothing less for my clients under the current political dispensation which ought to be anchored on the rule of law.

“Finally, I confirm that I have an official relationship with the DG of SSS. But since the commencement of the case of Sowore and Bakare the DG has refused to pick my calls while I have since become a persona non grata in the office of the SSS.

“With respect to the baseless allegation that I am playing to the gallery by demanding for the release of my clients in line with the valid and subsisting order of a competent law court, I shall take appropriate action under the law. Meanwhile, the SSS should release our clients from illegal custody and should stop exposing the country to unwarranted ridicule.”

UK tells EU will not name commissioner before election: spokesman

UK tells EU will not name commissioner before election: spokesman

incoming president of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen
AFP, Brussels, The UK government has written to EU chief Ursula von der Leyen to say it will not nominate a British member to her top team before its December 12 election. "We have written to the EU to confirm that pre-election guidance states the UK should not normally make nominations for international appointments during this period," a UK official said Thursday.

The incoming president of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote to the prime minister last week, asking him to propose a British candidate or candidates for EU commissioner “rapidly, in the shortest time possible”.

A spokesman for von der Leyen's European Commission transition team told AFP she had received the letter from British authorities overnight.

Separately, EU sources told AFP von der Leyen has had legal advice that the lack of a British commissioner will not prevent her team from taking office.

President-elect von der Leyen's commission, made up of herself -- a German -- and senior officials from 26 other member states hopes to take office on December 1.

But the 28th EU member state, Britain, plans to leave the bloc on January 31 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting an election campaign on a pro-Brexit ticket.

There had been concern in Brussels that Britain's boycott would hold up the inauguration of the new European Union executive team.

Von der Leyen's target date for taking office, November 1, has already come and gone, after MEPs rejected her French, Hungarian and Romanian nominees.

But three more names have been put forward to replace them and the nominees are going through parliamentary confirmation hearings.

Von der Leyen now hopes to start on December 1.


incoming president of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen
AFP, Brussels, The UK government has written to EU chief Ursula von der Leyen to say it will not nominate a British member to her top team before its December 12 election. "We have written to the EU to confirm that pre-election guidance states the UK should not normally make nominations for international appointments during this period," a UK official said Thursday.

The incoming president of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote to the prime minister last week, asking him to propose a British candidate or candidates for EU commissioner “rapidly, in the shortest time possible”.

A spokesman for von der Leyen's European Commission transition team told AFP she had received the letter from British authorities overnight.

Separately, EU sources told AFP von der Leyen has had legal advice that the lack of a British commissioner will not prevent her team from taking office.

President-elect von der Leyen's commission, made up of herself -- a German -- and senior officials from 26 other member states hopes to take office on December 1.

But the 28th EU member state, Britain, plans to leave the bloc on January 31 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting an election campaign on a pro-Brexit ticket.

There had been concern in Brussels that Britain's boycott would hold up the inauguration of the new European Union executive team.

Von der Leyen's target date for taking office, November 1, has already come and gone, after MEPs rejected her French, Hungarian and Romanian nominees.

But three more names have been put forward to replace them and the nominees are going through parliamentary confirmation hearings.

Von der Leyen now hopes to start on December 1.


US recognizes Bolivia's interim president

US recognizes Bolivia's interim president

The United States  recognize Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez as the interim president of the South American country, Acting Assistant Secretary for US Department of State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Kozak wrote on his official Twitter account on Tuesday.

Also,the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said in a statement: "The United States applauds Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez for stepping up as Interim President of State to lead her nation through this democratic transition, under the constitution of Bolivia."

His statement came a day after Anez declared herself interim president despite failing to garner a majority of the vote due to a boycott by members of former President Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism party.

Anez is expected to take the country to early elections in 90 days.

"Acting Senate Presidetn Anez has assumed responsibilities of Interim Constitutional President of Bolivia," Kozak said. "We look forward to working with her and Bolivia's other civilian authorities as they arrange free and fair elections as soon as possible, in accordance with Bolivia's constitution," he added.

Anez earlier declared herself interim president of Bolivia and pledged to hold new presidential election as soon as possible. Former Bolivian President Evo Morales that this decision was made "without a quorum of legislators, surrounded by supporters and with the help of the armed forces and police who repress people."

On November 10, Morales announced his resignation and characterized the situation in the country as a coup. He was earlier asked to leave his post by the country's armed forces, opposition and labor unions. The Mexican authorities granted political asylum to Morales. Morales arrived in Mexico on Tuesday.
The United States  recognize Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez as the interim president of the South American country, Acting Assistant Secretary for US Department of State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Kozak wrote on his official Twitter account on Tuesday.

Also,the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said in a statement: "The United States applauds Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez for stepping up as Interim President of State to lead her nation through this democratic transition, under the constitution of Bolivia."

His statement came a day after Anez declared herself interim president despite failing to garner a majority of the vote due to a boycott by members of former President Evo Morales’ Movement for Socialism party.

Anez is expected to take the country to early elections in 90 days.

"Acting Senate Presidetn Anez has assumed responsibilities of Interim Constitutional President of Bolivia," Kozak said. "We look forward to working with her and Bolivia's other civilian authorities as they arrange free and fair elections as soon as possible, in accordance with Bolivia's constitution," he added.

Anez earlier declared herself interim president of Bolivia and pledged to hold new presidential election as soon as possible. Former Bolivian President Evo Morales that this decision was made "without a quorum of legislators, surrounded by supporters and with the help of the armed forces and police who repress people."

On November 10, Morales announced his resignation and characterized the situation in the country as a coup. He was earlier asked to leave his post by the country's armed forces, opposition and labor unions. The Mexican authorities granted political asylum to Morales. Morales arrived in Mexico on Tuesday.

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