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Grisly executions rival only populous China

By Guy Taylor - The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2015

Many in Iran's political hierarchy are hoping that a nuclear deal with the U.S. and other world powers will pave the way for the Islamic republic's full return to the international community, ending years of political isolation and economic sanctions.

But at least on one big issue Iran remains an outlier. After China, Iran is the world's biggest practitioner of capital punishment, executing hundreds of prisoners annually through an opaque legal system that human rights groups say also puts scores of political prisoners behind bars.

Most rights groups agree that Iran is on pace to hang more than 1,000 people this year, many of them from construction cranes in public squares. When coupled with the heavily criticized nature of the nation's judiciary, the executions present fodder for critics of the Obama administration's drive to strike a deal with Tehran and transform Iran into a more "normal" nation.

Read more: Iran’s record of human rights appalls international community

According to reports from Nigeria, Boko Haram Islamists have kidnapped dozens of women and girls. The events throw further doubt on talks supposed to result in the freedom of 200 other young women taken in April.

Duetsche Welle - According to media reports, Boko Haram militants have kidnapped girls and women in new attacks in Nigeria's northeast.

The Reuters news agency interviewed residents in a town in Adamawa state, where at least 25 girls were taken. Parents who lost their children said the kidnappers came late in the night, forcing all the women to go with them and then later releasing the older ones.

Nigeria's The Punch news website reported that dozens of women and girls were taken from two villages on Saturday by suspected members of Boko Haram.

Read more: Nigeria media: Boko Haram kidnaps more women and girls

The Malala interview: Send books, not guns  

MSNBC - The 17-year-old Pakistani advocate for female education, Malala Yousafzai, is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Watch her incredible story right here.
 
BBC - One year ago schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen - her "crime", to have spoken up for the right of girls to be educated. The world reacted in horror, but after weeks in intensive care Malala survived. Her full story can now be told.
 
She is the teenager who marked her 16th birthday with a live address from UN headquarters, is known around the world by her first name alone, and has been lauded by a former British prime minister as "an icon of courage and hope".
 
She is also a Birmingham schoolgirl trying to settle into a new class, worrying about homework and reading lists, missing friends from her old school, and squabbling with her two younger brothers.

 She is Malala Yousafzai, whose life was forever changed at age 15 by a Taliban bullet on 9 October 2012.

Read more: Malala: The girl who was shot for going to school

New York Times – HONG KONG — The police in Beijing have detained one of China’s most prominent rights advocates, the latest in a series of arrests that critics said showed the Communist Party’s determination to silence campaigners who have challenged the party to act on its vows to expose official corruption and respect rule of law.

The rights advocate, Xu Zhiyong, was held by the public transportation police on Tuesday on charges of “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place,” although he has been under informal house arrest for more than three months, his wife, Cui Zheng, confirmed by telephone on Wednesday. Liu Weiguo, a lawyer whom Mr. Xu had earlier asked to represent him, said he was baffled that Mr. Xu, a legal scholar accustomed to police pressure, could be accused of thwarting his guards and starting a public ruckus.

Read more: A Leading Chinese Human Rights Advocate is detained in Beijing

Human Rights - The Jihad to convert Hindu girls is continued unabated under the indifferent attitude of Pakistani authorities. In recent months, seven Hindu girls have been targeted in the conversion to Islam campaign. Of the seven, five have been abducted and converted by Muslim goons. One Hindu girl was abducted and forced to convert to Islam, but she has been subsequently recovered by the police. In one case, the attempted abduction was foiled by the passer-byes.

The Muslim abductors have also begun using new modus operandi. In one case, a Muslim man first became the ‘brother’ of a Hindu girl, and also observed the Rakhi Bandhan, a custom cementing the bond between brothers and sisters. Later, the same ‘brother’ abducted his ‘sister’. After the abduction, he married her. Perhaps, as the prevailing understanding goes, he will be extra pleased with the idea that he will be rewarded after death for converting one Hindu girl to Islam.

Incidents of abduction of teenage Hindu girls are of no concern to the Sindh provincial government. And, such abductions are music to the ears of Muslim fundamentalists and powerful local elements that operate freely within and around the local administration.

Read more: Pakistan: Jihad to convert Hindu girls to Islam rages on

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