Saudi Arabia arrests dozens of senior sheikhs
Saudi Arabia has arrested dozens of prominent religious figures, intellectuals and activists this week as “a coordinated crackdown on dissent”.
The arrests were made as activists online called for protests against the government after Friday prayers, which did not materialise, following a heavy security presence.
“In recent years, we cannot recall a week in which so many prominent Saudi Arabian figures have been targeted in such a short space of time,” Amnesty’s Samah Hadid said.
Many of the sheikhs have been accused of links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia has blacklisted as a “terror group”.
The organisation said the rights situation in the Gulf state had “deteriorated markedly” since Prince Mohammed bin Salman took over as crown prince and heir to the throne on June 21, and dominates economic, diplomatic and domestic policy.
2. Terror attack on London Underground
The UK terror threat has been increased to its highest level after a device was detonated on the London Underground, injuring some 36 passengers on Friday.
Witnesses described seeing people with burns from the blast and other wounds caused when passengers rushed to escape the station.
On Saturday morning, police arrested an 18-year-old man in the port area of Dover in connection with an attack. ISIS has claimed involvement in the train blast but has offered no evidence to support the claim.
3. Landmines on border to injure Rohingya
Myanmar’s military has been accused of planting landmines in the path of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in western Rakhine state.
A boy of 15 is one of numerous being treated in Bangladesh lost both legs while a woman at the same hospital said she had trodden on a landmine after being fired on. More than 300,000 Rohingya have fled a brutal security crackdown in Myanmar.
The area was mined in the 1990s but Bangladeshi sources say Myanmar’s army recently planted new mines – an allegation denied by Myanmar officials. Myanmar has one of the few militaries, along with North Korea and Syria, which has openly used anti-personnel mines in recent years.
4. UN peacekeepers accused of sexually abusing refugees in Central African Republic
The UN has been hit by a new set of accusations that it mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR).
On Thursday, Code Blue, a campaign by a US-based NGO seeking greater accountability for UN troops, said it had received 14 internal UN reports that detailed fact-finding inquiries into complaints made against troops within the UN peacekeeper mission in CAR.
According to a recent investigation by the Associated Press, between 2004 and 2016, the United Nations received almost 2,000 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against its peacekeepers.
The UN says it has a zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, but survivors, activists, lawyers and human rights organisations say such crimes have been allowed to continue with impunity.
5. Pakistan court rejects ex-PM Sharif appeal against removal
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal from former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif against his disqualification from the premiership over corruption allegations tied to the Panama Papers leak.
The court removed Sharif in July following a probe into the allegations against him and his family, making him the 15th minister in Pakistan’s 70-year history to be ousted before completing a full term.