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Ombud raps officials over Omar Khadr; Amnesty urges judicial review of case

TORONTO - Canadian correctional authorities have unfairly classified former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr even though they lowered his risk rating from maximum to medium security, the federal prisons ombudsman complains. In a letter obtained by The Canadian Press, the Office of the Correctional Investigator urges prison authorities to take into account evidence that Khadr poses minimal threat and should be classified as such.

France's Hollande calls Morocco king to defuse row

French President Francois Hollande has telephoned Morocco's King Mohammed VI to sooth diplomatic tensions raised by civil lawsuits filed in Paris accusing Morocco's intelligence chief of "complicity in torture." Morocco, a close ally with strong commercial and cultural ties to its former colonial ruler, had reacted furiously to the announcement last Thursday of two lawsuits filed by an NGO against Abdellatif Hammouchi, the head of its domestic intelligence agency (DGST).

British police arrest ex-Guantanamo man on Syria 'terror' grounds

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg was among four people arrested in Britain on Tuesday on suspicion of terror offences relating to Syria, police said. Begg, 45, who is now a human rights activist, was detained on suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas, said West Midlands Police. Begg was held in Guantanamo Bay, the detention camp for terror suspects at a US naval base on Cuba, for nearly three years after being arrested in Pakistan in 2002.

Ex UK Guantanamo inmate held for suspected Syria terrorism offences

By Julia Fioretti LONDON (Reuters) - A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner was among four Britons arrested on Tuesday in central England on suspected terrorism offences related to Syria, police said. Moazzam Begg, 45, who was released without charge from Guantanamo Bay in 2005, was detained at his home in Birmingham on suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas.

U.N. human rights chief calls for urgent action on N. Korea

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called for urgent action by the international community after the release of a report suggesting that North Korean leaders could be held accountable for widespread crimes against humanity, warning that the momentum could otherwise fade away. Labeling the report "historical," Navy Pillay said in a press release that "its findings need to be treated with the greatest urgency, as they suggest that crimes against humanity of an unimaginable scale continue to be committed in the DPRK."

U.N. human rights chief calls for urgent action on N. Korea

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called for urgent action by the international community after the release of a report suggesting that North Korean leaders could be held accountable for widespread crimes against humanity, warning that the momentum could otherwise fade away. Labeling the report "historical," Navy Pillay said in a press release that "its findings need to be treated with the greatest urgency, as they suggest that crimes against humanity of an unimaginable scale continue to be committed in the DPRK."

Brainwashing, surveillance, fear: daily fare in N.Korea

Brainwashed from birth, under constant surveillance, cowed by the all-embracing state and facing the spectre of disappearing forever in its vast network of camps if they step out of line. The cruel lot of North Koreans was spotlighted Monday in a landmark report by a UN-mandated human rights panel, which said it was time for regime officials to face international justice. Its 400 pages were filled with shocking testimony from North Koreans who have managed to escape the clutches of the totalitarian, nuclear-armed regime.

EU, France troops pledge over Central Africa violence

The European Union and France pledged to sharply increase troop deployments to the Central African Republic on Friday as concern mounted over a horrific spiral of violence across the country. Speaking at the United Nations, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the bloc planned to double a previously agreed deployment of 500 troops. "I trust that the force will be on the ground very, very soon," she said.

U.S. military in Afghanistan condemn release of 65 detainees

U.S. military on Thursday condemned the release from an Afghan prison of 65 militants who it said still pose a threat to multinational and Afghan forces. "The release of these dangerous individuals poses a threat to U.S., Coalition and Afghan National Security Forces, as well as the Afghan population," U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement issued after Afghanistan's attorney general earlier in the day ordered their release from Bagram prison.

Afghanistan releases 65 'insurgents' despite US protests

Afghanistan released 65 alleged Taliban fighters from jail on Thursday despite fierce condemnation from the United States, which says the men pose a threat to NATO and Afghan forces. "The 65 prisoners were freed and walked out of the Bagram prison compound this morning," Abdul Shukor Dadras, a member of the Afghan government body reviewing the detainees, told AFP. sak/bgs/ia/mtp
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