- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Police kill Sudanese at Israeli border

EL-ARISH — Egyptian police yesterday fatally shot a Sudanese woman and arrested a second one who was with an infant as they tried to cross into Israel, a security official said.

The shooting took place a few miles north of the Rafah border crossing point when the women from the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan refused to surrender to police, the official said.

The police failed to capture the traffickers, whom the women paid about $500 each for shelter and passage from Cairo across Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the Israeli border.

Hundreds of African refugees hope to make it to Israel to seek political asylum and jobs there. Dozens of African migrants, many of them Sudanese, have been detained over the past year and at least six have been killed this year by Egyptian border guards.

On Monday, a Sudanese man was shot in the stomach also near the Rafah crossing.


Writer among 5 Kurds arrested

DAMASCUS — Syrian authorities have arrested five Kurds, including writer Ahmad Mustapha Mohammed, human rights groups said this week.

The security services in Aleppo in northern Syria arrested Mr. Mohammed, also known as Pierre Rustom, on Saturday and confiscated his cell phone, books and personal papers, the groups said. The writer is a member of the banned Kurdish Democratic Party.

Four other Syrian Kurds, all brothers, were arrested at a Damascus dress shop.


Woman facing stoning for adultery freed

TEHRAN — Iran has freed a woman convicted of adultery who faced death by stoning like her male partner, whose execution last year caused international outrage, her attorney said yesterday.

Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, who had spent a total of 11 years behind bars, was released from a prison in the city of Qazvin on Monday night on the orders of Iranian judiciary’s amnesty commission, attorney Shadi Sadr told Agence France-Presse.

She was freed along with the son she conceived with her partner, Jafar Kiani, whose stoning in July was carried out by local authorities in apparent defiance of the central judiciary.

The punishment calls for the public to hurl stones at a convict buried up to the waist.

Adultery is punishable by stoning under Iran’s Islamic law, but a 2002 directive by judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi imposed a moratorium on such executions. Mr. Kiani’s stoning in a village in the northwestern Qazvin province was the first such execution to be confirmed in years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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