- The Washington Times - Monday, May 10, 2004


Hard-line ruling body passes ban on torture

TEHRAN — The hard-line Guardian Council has passed a law banning the use of torture, effective immediately, a judiciary official said yesterday.

The council, which had rejected at least three similar proposals, approved the law on Thursday. “For courts, it’s obligatory to implement the law after it is approved by the Guardian Council,” the official said.

Human rights groups have long complained about the use of torture against detainees in Iran, including intellectuals and political activists.


Police kill one in bullet mix-up

WARSAW — Police in the central city of Lodz said they mistakenly fired live ammunition, not rubber bullets, to quell a campus riot Saturday, killing one and seriously injuring several.

Several top police officials resigned after a night of clashes involving an armed gang, students and police that left about 70 people injured and led to 19 arrests.

Police say the disturbance erupted when about 100 men armed with chains, bricks and metal rods crashed university celebrations marking the end of the academic year.

“Never in the history of Lodz has there been a hooligan incident with so many victims,” Mayor Jerzy Kropiwnicki said.


Arab militias accused of cross-border raids

N’DJAMENA — Chad said yesterday that Arab militias backed by neighboring Sudan had carried out fresh incursions into its territory, and it warned Khartoum to stop such attacks or face the consequences.

Chad’s acting defense minister said the latest raid occurred yesterday and was the third attack on Chadian territory by the horse-riding militia from Sudan’s western Darfur region in less than a week.

He said Chadian troops had clashed at least twice with the Janjaweed militia in the past few days and killed 60 of their fighters on Wednesday.

He also said Sudanese combat helicopters had flown over Chadian territory, where Sudanese refugees have sought shelter.


U.S. forces detain 35 Taliban suspects

KANDAHAR — U.S. forces swept through an insurgency-hit province in southeastern Afghanistan, detaining 35 Taliban suspects, including a rebel commander, a senior Afghan official said.

Hundreds of American soldiers began combing three districts of Zabul province, about 240 miles southeast of the capital, Kabul, on Friday, said Gov. Khial Muhammad.

“There was no resistance,” Mr. Muhammad said. “All the suspected Taliban are in U.S. custody.”

American troops also found weapons during the raids, which continued yesterday, Mr. Mohammed said.


Women demonstrate for jailed relatives

HAVANA — Thirty-three female relatives of imprisoned Cuban dissidents marked Mother’s Day yesterday by marching in an upscale area of Havana to demand release of their loved ones.

The protest, although small, was unusual for communist-run Cuba, where demonstrating often results in arrest and imprisonment.

The women, who have staged other actions since their relatives were jailed in a crackdown on dissent last year, filed out of a church in the district of Miramar after Mass, then marched 14 blocks down posh Fifth Avenue before returning and rallying in a nearby park.

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