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accused Pakistani

Pakistani man accused of insulting Islam shot dead in courtroom – CBS News

A young Pakistani Muslim walked into a courtroom in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday and shot and killed a fellow Muslim who was on trial for blasphemy, a police officer said. It was not immediately clear how the assailant, identified as Khalid Khan, managed to get into the court amid tight security. 

The attacker was subsequently arrested.

The man on trial, Tahir Shamim Ahmad, had claimed he was Islam’s prophet and was arrested two years ago on blasphemy charges, according to Azmat Khan, the police officer. Ahmad died before he could be transported to hospital.

Pakistan Blasphemy
Police officers gather at an entry gate of district court following the killing of Tahir Shamim Ahmad, who was in court accused of insulting Islam, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

Muhammad Sajjad / AP


Blasphemy is an extremely controversial issue in Pakistan, where people convicted of the crime can be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty. But crowds and individuals in Pakistan often take the law into their own hands.

While authorities have yet to carry out a death sentence for blasphemy, even the mere accusation can cause riots. Domestic and international human rights groups say blasphemy allegations have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores.

A Punjab governor was killed by his own guard in 2011 after he defended a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy. She was acquitted after spending eight years on death row in a case that drew international media attention. Faced with death threats from Islamic extremists upon her release, she flew to Canada to join her daughters last year.

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accused activism

CNN accused of activism by former staffer after ‘appalling’ report on Facebook advertisers – Fox News

CNN was ridiculed and labeled “activists” Wednesday after publishing a story about brands continuing to advertise on Facebook amid a protest launched by a civil-rights group – and a former CNN reporter even blasted the network, saying the piece felt “closer to activism than reporting.”

The story, headlined, “These are the big brands that haven’t pulled ads from Facebook yet,” essentially served as a list of companies still doing business with the tech giant, amid calls for businesses to boycott Facebook advertising for its treatment of hateful or racist content. CNN reporters Brian Fung and Kaya Yurieff penned the story that quickly sparked mockery.

CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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“Even as a steady drumbeat of household names like The North Face (VFC), Pfizer (PFE) and Levi Strauss (LEVI) have joined the pressure campaign over the social network’s handling of hate speech and misinformation, the vast majority of Facebook (FB)’s biggest advertisers — the ones with presumably the most leverage — have stayed quiet,” Fung and Yurieff wrote. “A CNN Business analysis of Facebook’s top advertisers, based on data from market research firm Pathmatics, reveals that most of the 100 biggest ad spenders on the platform have not joined the boycott.”

CNN then listed many of the companies that have not joined the boycott, prompting significant backlash on social media.

NBC News’ Dylan Byers, who used to work as a media reporter for CNN, scolded his former employer.

“So this feels closer to activism than reporting,” Byers wrote to accompany CNN’s tweet promoting the article.

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Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The article about companies still advertising with Facebook came one day after the network’s far-left media critic Brian Stelter noted a campaign called “#StopHateForProfit” in his nightly newsletter.

“The activist groups behind the campaign asked businesses to ‘not advertise on Facebook’s services in July.’ Wednesday is July 1,” Stelter wrote before noting Target and MassMutual were taking part.

Many critics took to Twitter to echo Byers and label CNN as activists once the list was published:

The backlash came as the once-proud CNN has continued to shift further to the left. The network has attacked conservatives on a regular basis and mocked President Trump from its official communications department Twitter account earlier Wednesday.

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CNN’s Chris Cuomo was accused of siding with the “mob” during a contentious interview Tuesday evening with Mark McCloskey, the man who went viral for brandishing a gun alongside his wife as the couple protected their home from protesters. Cuomo, the younger brother of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., regularly has faced criticism for softball interviews with his sibling and he recently admitted he hasn’t been objective when covering his brother.

Meanwhile, popular columnist Betsy Rothstein – who most recently worked for the conservative Daily Caller – lost a long battle with cancer earlier this week. While the media industry mourned her death, one CNN reporter oddly pointed out that almost “everyone mourning her online” was white. CNN didn’t comment on the widely panned observation.

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accused officer

NYPD Officer Accused Of Using Chokehold Charged With Strangulation – NPR

The NYPD says officer David Afanador was arrested Thursday on charges of strangulation and attempted strangulation over the incident last weekend on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk.

NYPD via AP


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NYPD via AP

The NYPD says officer David Afanador was arrested Thursday on charges of strangulation and attempted strangulation over the incident last weekend on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk.

NYPD via AP

The New York police officer accused of using a chokehold in an incident captured on video Sunday has been charged with strangulation.

The officer, 39-year-old David Afanador, was suspended the same day the cellphone video appeared to show him choking a Black man on a Queens boardwalk. Now he’s been arrested and charged with felony strangulation and attempted strangulation. Afanador pleaded not guilty and was released Thursday afternoon without bail.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz noted that New York state had criminalized chokeholds just days earlier.

“The ink from the pen Gov. Cuomo used to sign this legislation was barely dry before this officer allegedly employed the very tactic the new law was designed to prohibit,” Katz said in a statement. “Police officers are entrusted to serve and protect — and the conduct alleged here cannot be tolerated.”

Afanador could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Sunday’s incident began when police responded to complaints about three men shouting at passersby in Rockaway, Queens. Police body-camera footage appears to show officers talking calmly for about 11 minutes while the men shout obscenities and slurs at them. Then one of the men, 35-year-old Ricky Bellevue, seems to retrieve a bag and ask the police, “Are you scared?”

The video shows several officers tackling Bellevue, and Afanador appears to press his arm against Bellevue’s neck as he lies on the ground. Another policeman is seen tapping Afanador and a voice is heard saying, “He’s out.” Bellevue is later seen walking away in handcuffs with police.

Afanador was previously suspended from duty in 2014 when surveillance video appeared to show him hitting a teenager in the face with his pistol during a marijuana bust and his partner hitting the teen repeatedly once he was on the ground. Both men were later acquitted, but that incident made news at the time because it took place only weeks after the death of Eric Garner, who was put in a chokehold and died in police custody.

The New York state law criminalizing chokeholds, signed this month, is named for Eric Garner.

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accused Fugitive

Fugitive accused of supplying machetes used in 1994 Rwandan genocide is arrested outside Paris – Fox News

Rwandan businessman Felicien Kabuga was arrested outside of Paris on Saturday, more than 20 years after being accused of allegedly supplying machetes and broadcasting violent propaganda during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

He was accused of supplying machetes and training the Hutu Interahamwe militia, which was responsible for leading mass killings that resulted in the deaths of more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutu moderates who tried to protect Tutsis.

The 84-year-old was also accused of establishing the station Radio Television Mille Collines (RTMC) that propagated hate speech and played a key role in the start of the violence in Rwanda.

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The U.N.’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted Kabuga in 1997 after financial documents were found in the capital city of Kigali showing that he used dozens of his companies to import and supply machetes — the key weapons used by Hutu militias during the genocide.

Kabuga was reportedly close to then-President Juvenal Habyarimana, who was killed after his plane was shot down by a missile in April 1994. Kabuga’s daughter also married Hayarimana’s son.

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At the time, RTMC blamed Tutsi rebels for the president’s assassination and urged violent acts that encouraged the 100-day genocide.

Kabaga’s arrest was the result of a joint investigation led by the United Nation’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and French police forces. He was found living under a different name in Asnieres-Sur-Seine, an area north of Paris.

U.N. Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said his arrest “sends a powerful message that those who are alleged to have committed such crimes cannot evade justice and will eventually be held accountable, even more than a quarter of a century later.”

Kabuga will stand trial at the U.N. mechanism in The Hauge, a city in the Netherlands.

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“The arrest of Kabuga today is a reminder that those responsible for genocide can be brought to account, even 26 years after their crimes,” the mechanism’s chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement Saturday.

“Our first thoughts must be with the victims and survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Advocating on their behalf is an immense professional honor for my entire Office.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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accused White

White men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery won’t face Georgia hate crime charges. Here’s why. – USA TODAY

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Police announced the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery following a storm of public outcry.

USA TODAY

Two white men accused of fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery in what his family is calling a modern-day lynching will not face hate crime charges in Georgia, according to state investigators.

That’s because Georgia is one of four states in the U.S. that doesn’t have a hate crimes prevention law, according to the Department of Justice. If someone commits a crime motivated by bias, statewide authorities are unable to pursue additional charges or enhanced penalties for the perpetrator.  

“There’s no hate crime in Georgia,” Georgia Bureau of Investigations Director Vic Reynolds said in a press conference Friday when asked whether the men would face those charges.

Retired police officer Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis, 34, were arrested by Glynn County police and charged with murder and aggravated assault Thursday night. The arrest came just 36 hours after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation began assisting in the probe, which began more than 10 weeks ago.

Arbery’s death: Why it took more than 2 months for murder charges and arrests

Reynolds said the video of the incident that has been spread widely on social media was a key piece of evidence in the case. 

He also said the department will be investigating William Bryan, the man who filmed the incident, to determine whether he should be arrested too. 

“We are going to go wherever the evidence takes us,” Reynolds said. “In a perfect world, we would have preferred to have been asked to become involved in February, of course.”

Arbery, who was black, was killed Feb. 23 on a residential street about 2 miles from his home outside Brunswick, Georgia. Gregory McMichael told police they saw him running and believed he was a burglary suspect, so they armed themselves, got in a truck and followed him. They told police Arbery attacked them after one of the men got out of the truck with a shotgun. 

Bryan, who joined the father and son in “hot pursuit” of Arbery, recorded the killing on video, according to an internal memo obtained by USA TODAY.

But Arbery’s family and their attorneys say Arbery was out for a jog when he was killed and believe he was the victim of racial profiling.

The latest: Man who took video of shooting will also be investigated

Why Georgia doesn’t have a hate crimes law

A bill that would have penalized crimes committed out of bias against race, color, religion or sexual orientation passed the Georgia House last year, but the bill failed in the state Senate.

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement Thursday encouraging the Senate to take up the bill when it reconvenes in June.

“In 2020, our state and our country have yet to reconcile with the vestiges of racism. At a time when we are uniting to fight against a global pandemic, another disease rears its head to again take an innocent life,” the caucus said.

Georgia passed a hate crime bill in 2000, but it did not list specific protected groups, and the Georgia Supreme Court threw it out because it was “unconstitutionally vague.”

Arkansas, South Carolina and Wyoming also do not have hate crimes laws, along with American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the DOJ. Seventeen states and Puerto Rico have hate crimes laws but don’t require data collection on hate crimes.

Lawyers and proponents of hate crimes laws note that while Indiana technically has a hate crimes law on the books, the law is too vague to be implemented.

“It’s an atrocious law,” said Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the southern division of the Anti-Defamation League. “The DOJ may say yes, they checked the box and got a law passed, but most groups in the know do not qualify them a state that has a hate crimes law.”

The Rev. James Woodall, president of the Georgia NAACP, said in a press conference Friday that the organization was in support of hate crimes legislation but had not endorsed a particular bill. The NAACP is more concerned about ensuring justice within the existing legal framework, he said.

“We still have to make sure that the laws already on the books are enforced,” Woodall said. “We already have a murder statute.”

Asked about whether he would support a hate crimes prevention bill, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement that “we know conversations about legislation are already underway, and we will work through the process when the General Assembly reconvenes.”

Federal hate crime charge may still be an option

Even if a state or territory does not have a hate crimes law, hate crimes can still be reported to the FBI, according to the DOJ.

“If after the (Arbery) investigation is completed, and it was a hate crime, there’s still the opportunity to bring federal hate crime charges,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a press conference Friday.

In South Carolina, for example, which does not have a state hate crimes law, the white supremacist who fatally shot nine African Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015 later faced federal hate crime charges.

Xavier Persad, senior legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, said his organization has called on Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the incident under federal hate crime law.

“Hate crimes are different from a regular crime. It’s doesn’t just affect an individual and their families, but the entire community,” Padilla-Goodman said. “We’ve been through many high-profile, just devastating hate crimes in this country over the last few years, between Pittsburgh and El Paso, and I think there’s a lot more understanding of the necessity of a hate crimes bill.”

The DOJ says that is enforces federal hate crimes laws that cover crimes motivated by bias against race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

There were an average of about 204,000 hate crime victimizations each year between 2013 and 2017, according to the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Both the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the FBI found that a majority of hate crimes were motivated by a bias against race or ethnicity. Of those motivated by bias against race or ethnicity, most were anti-black or anti-African American, the FBI reported in 2018.

“Year after year, the largest target of hate crimes is race-motivated hate crimes, and year after year, the most targeted group is African Americans,” Padilla-Goodman said. “Addressing hate crimes is crucial for everyone, but we cannot ignore the role of race.”

Persad said that FBI statistics fail to reflect the full extent of the problem due to underreporting.

“State legislators must stop turning a blind eye to the persistent scourge of bias-motivated crimes and work swiftly to enact fully-inclusive hate crime protections,” Persad said.

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