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China frees cyber dissident after 8 years in jail

Chinese authorities have freed a former newspaper reporter and cyber dissident who was jailed for subversion in 2003, a human rights group said Wednesday. Huang Jinqiu was released from prison in October after serving eight years of a 12-year sentence, US-based Human Rights in Chinasaid in a statement. Huang, who worked as a journalist for…

Syria crackdown gets bloodier amid regime isolation

More than 70 people died in one of the bloodiest days of the eight-month Syrian uprising, activists said on Tuesday, as the growing isolation of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime drew an increasingly angry reaction from his loyalists. More than 100 of his supporters stormed the Jordanian embassy in Damascus overnight — the fourth…

World will rally around 2011 Peace Prize pick: Nobel chief

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize will be seen as a unifying choice and will be less controversial than last year’s award, the head of the prize committee said Thursday, a day before the announcement. “I think (this year’s prize) will be well-received all over the world,”Nobel Committee chief Thorbjoern Jagland told Norwegian public…

Egyptian shot at Israel border dies as ties strain

CAIRO — An Egyptian policemen shot on the border with Israel last month has died of his injuries, a human rights group said Sunday, bringing to six the number of those killed in an incident that has triggered tensions between the two countries. Imad Abdel Malak died at dawn Saturday…

Syria prison deaths show sharp rise in 2011: Amnesty International

GENEVA — The number of deaths in Syrian prisons rose sharply in 2011, Amnesty International said Tuesday, describing it as one of the “most shocking features” of the regime’s crackdown on demonstrations. “No less than 88 such deaths have been reported to Amnesty International as occurring during the period from…

Israel closes probe on Gaza civilian deaths

JERUSALEM — Israel’s military advocate general is to close an investigation into the shooting deaths of four Palestinian civilians who were carrying a white flag, a military spokeswoman told AFP on Tuesday. “Due to lack of evidence, the army advocate general Avishai Mendelblit is to close the inquiry into the…

Executions down in 2010: Amnesty

LONDON (Reuters) – At least 527 people were executed around the world last year, down from 714 in 2009, although China is believed to have put to death thousands more, human rights group Amnesty International said on Monday. It said Beijing was thought to have executed far more people than…

Libya’s Gaddafi denies fleeing as cities overrun

TRIPOLI – Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi denied Monday he had fled his country after protesters overran several cities, as his four-decade rule was under assault amid claims of a “massacre” in Tripoli. “I am going to meet with the youth in Green Square,” in downtown Tripoli, he said, in what…

Bush’s Swiss visit off after complaints on torture

GENEVA (Reuters) – Former U.S. President George W. Bush, under fire from human rights group over allegations of ordering torture, has canceled a visit to Switzerland where he was to address a Jewish charity gala. Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod’s annual dinner on February 12…

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