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Pakistan Passes Tough Anti-terrorism Law

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Pakistan has passed a law giving security forces sweeping powers to clamp down on terrorism, but many activists and politicians have described the provisions as draconian.

The new legislation adopted on Wednesday grants police officers the powers to shoot and kill alleged terrorists and detain suspects for questioning for up to 60 days without charge.

It also allows prisoners to be held at secret facilities, and the police to carry out warrantless searches.

The legislation, known as the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, must now be signed into law by the president.

Tahrira Abdullah, a human-rights activist, told Al Jazeera: “The government of Nawaz Sharif managed to sneak this bill through parliament.

“The police and armed forces are now able to shoot people if they see them commiting a crime, or suspect them of wanting to commit a crime in the future. This has huge implications for human rights.”

The debate over the law follows months of deadly Pakistani Taliban attacks and this month’s offensive by the Pakistani military against sanctuaries in the remote border region of North Waziristan.

Nearly half a million people have fled North Waziristan since the military launched a ground offensive against the Pakistani Taliban late last month.

The new legislation is intended to replace Pakistan’s outdated 1997 law, which has been the main piece of legislation used to counter armed grouos in the country.

But Fawad Chaudhry, a media adviser for the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, told Reuters news agency the old law had not been used properly and he doubted that this one would be either.

Hundreds of Pakistanis have been held for years in secret prisons without being charged. Extra-judicial killings by the security forces are also common.

“The passing of legislation is hardly a problem. The problem is the implementation,” Chaudhry said. [Al Jazeera]

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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