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Kushner ally Crown Prince Salman led a brutal campaign of torture against Saudi dissidents: report

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Jared Kushner holds a news conference on government efficiency (Screen cap).

A New York Times report from over the weekend claims that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a major crackdown of his political foes that includes multiple instances of kidnapping and torturing dissidents.

The report, which was based on the accounts of two U.S. officials who have read U.S. intelligence analyses of the Saudi government, claims that the kingdom has taken on at least a dozen operations against dissidents over the past two years, and that most of them took place before the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.

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In many cases, Saudi operatives kidnapped Saudi women’s rights activists who were living abroad and brought them back to the kingdom so they could be tortured and threatened with rape.

Saudi Arabia has denied that the crown prince ordered any such operations and it has told the New York Times that it “takes any allegations of ill-treatment of defendants awaiting trial or prisoners serving their sentences very seriously.”

The crown prince is an ally of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has worked to cultivate ties with the Saudi government ever since becoming a top White House adviser in 2017.


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Groups plan vigil outside Supreme Court and national solidarity events to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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National advocacy groups joined together Saturday to organize a candlelight vigil outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.—and encourage solidarity events across the country—to honor the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday after a long battle with cancer at the age of 87.

"She gave all she could, with literally all she had. Now it's our turn," says a Facebook event for the D.C. gathering, hosted by Women's March, Planned Parenthood Action, Demand Justice, and UltraViolet. "Tonight, join us in front of the U.S. Supreme Court at 8 pm ET" or "in solidarity at your local courthouse."

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Belarus opposition to march after police crackdown

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Belarusian authorities on Sunday brought military trucks and barbed wire into central Minsk ahead of a planned opposition march, a day after police detained hundreds of women demonstrators.

The opposition movement calling for an end to the regime of authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko has kept up a wave of large-scale demonstrations every Sunday since his disputed win in August 9 polls.

The latest opposition protests were set to begin at 2 pm local time (1100 GMT), with opposition social media calling for demonstrators to gather in central Minsk as well as in other cities.

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Activists accuse Italy of halting ship rescue mission

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Rights activists on Sunday accused Italian authorities of blocking migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 4 from leaving port and resuming its emergency mission in the Mediterranean.

After an inspection on the safety of the vessel to operate in high seas, Italian authorities placed the ship under an administrative blockade, said the German activist groups Sea-Watch and United4Rescue, as well as Doctors without Borders.

It is currently docked in Palermo in southern Italy.

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