- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 2, 2004

CUBA

Jailed dissidents moved to hospital

HAVANA — As many as 18 jailed dissidents have been transferred from provincial penitentiaries to the main prison hospital in Havana, raising hopes that they will be freed soon, relatives of the dissidents said yesterday.

Activist physician Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet and veteran opposition politician Hector Palacios were among those transferred late Tuesday to the hospital at Combinado del Este Prison, their wives said.

Fidel Castro’s communist government released five dissidents in the past week. They included one of Cuba’s best-known dissidents, journalist and poet Raul Rivero.

NETHERLANDS

Prince Bernhard dead at 93

AMSTERDAM — Prince Bernhard, the German-born father of the Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix whose service as a pilot for the Allies earned him the respect of his adopted country, died yesterday. He was 93.

The prince was diagnosed with cancer in mid-November, and last week the Royal House said tumors had spread to his stomach and lungs, causing difficulty breathing. He was moved yesterday to Utrecht University Medical Hospital, where he died.

The prince was living at the royal palace in Soestdijk, which he shared for six decades with his wife, the former Queen Juliana, who died in March at 94.

IRAQ

Mutilated body not Hassan’s

LONDON — A mutilated body found in Iraq is not that of kidnapped aid worker Margaret Hassan, the British government said yesterday. But the Foreign Office said it continued to think that Mrs. Hassan had been slain, although the evidence was not conclusive.

The Foreign Office said dental tests conducted in the United States showed that the body of a woman of Western appearance, found in Fallujah last month by U.S. Marines, was not Mrs. Hassan.

The Iraq director of the aid group CARE International, Mrs. Hassan, 59, was abducted in Baghdad on Oct. 19. On Nov. 16, the Arab satellite station Al Jazeera said it had received a video showing the execution of a female hostage identified as Mrs. Hassan.

SAUDI ARABIA

Reformists’ trial sent to lower court

JIDDA — The trial of the three Saudi reformists jailed for calling for a constitutional monarchy was sent to a one-judge lower court in Riyadh yesterday after one of the three judges on the panel ruled that the court was not competent to try the case.

“This is a good indication that the penalty won’t be so great,” Essam Basrawi, a member of a group of lawyers providing legal advice to the jailed reformists, told The Washington Times.

The reformists — Ali Al-Demaini, Matruk Al-Faleh and Abdullah Al-Hamed — were arrested March 16 after calling for an independent judiciary and limits on the power of the Saudi monarchy by adopting a constitution.

EGYPT

Arafat’s brother dies of cancer at 67

CAIRO — Fathi Arafat, the brother of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and founder of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, died yesterday. He was 67.

Mr. Arafat died at the Palestine Hospital in suburban Cairo, where he had been receiving treatment for stomach cancer.

He quit his position as chairman of the Palestinian Red Crescent three years ago, but has served as honorable chairman. He was also a senior member of Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political movement headed by Yasser Arafat, who died Nov. 11 in Paris at 75.

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