Doctors sentenced to Prison for Organ Trafficking
Five doctors have been sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in Pristina, Kosovo today for their involvement with international organ trafficking. The EULEX court did however clear Former Kosovo health minister Ilir Rrecaj of all involvment. The doctors were part of an organized ring that offered Eastern Europeans and Central Asians $20,000 to have their organs harvested and subsequently sold those organs to Israelis for more than $100,000. The indictment named Moshe Harel as the leader of the network responsible for finding donors and recipients, while Turkish doctor Yusuf Sonmez is alleged to have performed organ removal surgery at the clinic. These two have evaded arrest and were not among those on trial in Pristina.
Fire at Rana Plaza Wreckage
A fire broke out yesterday in the wreckage of the collapsed garment factory in the industrial Dhaka suburb of Savar, Bangladesh, killing at least one trapped survivor of that collapse. The Rana Plaza building housed five different garment factories, employing over 3,000 people and making clothing for European and American brands. Dozens have been rescued from the debris, but at least 377 people are known to have died, and around 800 are still missing. Two days after the collapse, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ordered the arrest of the owners of the building along with the owners of the factories inside of the building, citing evidence that the both parties were aware of critical structural faults but ordered employees to work anyway. Building owner Sohel Rana appeared in court today after he was arrested yesterday near the Indo-Bangladeshi border. The judge ruled that Rana should be held for 15 days so that he could be properly interrogated by the police.
Kony Given Haven in Sudan
A new report by The Resolve, a Washington D.C.-based group that advocates for the end of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), indicates that Joseph Kony and the bulk of the LRA have been living in the Kafia Kingi enclave of Sudan with tacit or even explicit government approval. The report concludes that “Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) allowed LRA fighters—including Joseph Kony himself–to periodically use the Kafia Kingi enclave as a safe haven from which to avoid pursuing troops.” The enclave is along the Sudan, South Sudan, and Central African Republic (CAR) border, but it is fully controlled by the Sudanese government. African Union forces pursuing Kony have not been allowed to enter the area. The report also indicates that Kony and his army have recently vacated the area, suggesting that Sudanese officials may have disclosed that his location had come to light. Kony is a wanted war criminal for his use of child soldiers as well as crimes against humanity. His army has abducted over 66,000 children and has waged guerrilla war in five separate countries.
Iraqi Internecine Violence Continues; Broadcasters Censored
Five car bombs exploded in Iraq this morning: the latest in a week-long spike in sectarian violence following the Hawija incident on Tuesday that saw government forces fire on protestors. The bombs, all triggered in predominantly Shiite areas throughout Central and South Iraq, killed 36 civilians and wounded scores more. More than 200 have died in internecine violence since last Tuesday. On Sunday, the Shiite-led Iraqi government revoked the operating licenses of ten television channels including Al-Jazeera; all but one of those channels was backed by Sunni financial interests. The government said the networks were guilty of spreading “misinformation, hype and exaggeration,” specifically calling out coverage of the protests in Hawija. This censorship will not bar Al-Jazeera and its ilk from broadcasting in Iraq, as they operate via satellite channeled from bases abroad, but it will prevent those channels’ journalists from reporting inside the country. A letter from the Iraqi Media Commission to the channels stated that security force commanders have been ordered to “do what’s necessary to stop all journalism operations” on the part of the ten channels.