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Archive for April 30th, 2014

Switzerland and EU sign an agreement on participation in EUTM Mali

Posted by African Press International on April 30, 2014

BERN, Switzerland, April 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ Today, Switzerland and the European Union have signed an agreement on Switzerland’s participation in the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali). The agreement will enable Switzerland to support EUTM Mali with civilian expertise.

The signing today of the agreement between Switzerland and the EU on Swiss participation in EUTM Mali paves the way for Switzerland to second a civilian expert to EUTM Mali. The secondment of this Swiss expert – a media analyst – is planned for this year and will complement Switzerland’s involvement in peacebuilding in Mali and support the EU’s efforts to stabilise the Sahel region.

EUTM Mali aims to strengthen the Malian army’s capacities in the fields of management, logistics, personnel, human rights and international humanitarian law, and in this way contribute to the stabilisation of Mali and the whole region.

As part of its commitment to multilateral civilian peacebuilding, Switzerland participates in peace missions conducted by both the UN and the EU. Furthermore, Switzerland has been active in Mali for more than 30 years within the framework of its bilateral development cooperation.

Switzerland has a long tradition of seconding civilian experts in the context of its peace, human rights and humanitarian policy. Experts are made available on a needs basis for fixed-term civilian peace projects, for example as election observers, police advisers or specialists in constitutional matters, mediation, the rule of law, human rights and humanitarian law.

SOURCE

Switzerland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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New round of death sentences in Egypt

Posted by African Press International on April 30, 2014

OSLO, Norway, April 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/  “It is shocking and unacceptable that an Egyptian court has once again pronounced a summary judgment – this time passing 683 death sentences. We are now witnessing a situation where Egyptian courts are seriously undermining the country’s reputation internationally,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

On Monday 28 April, 683 people were condemned to death by a court in Minya, including the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie. Nearly 600 were condemned in absentia. The death sentences are not yet final, as they have been referred to the Grand Mufti for consideration. The court will pronounce the final sentence once the Grand Mufti has made his recommendation. The sentence can then be appealed. There are several similarities between this judgment and the judgment in March, under which 529 people were condemned to death. Since then 492 of those sentences have been commuted to long prison sentences, while 37 have been upheld.

“It is unacceptable that death sentences and long prison sentences are pronounced without individual legal safeguards being ensured. The right to a fair trial is a fundamental international principle,” Mr Brende said.

In a court ruling in Cairo today, all activities of the April 6 Youth Movement were prohibited with immediate effect. This movement was one of the main driving forces behind the 2011 revolution, and actively promoted workers’ rights also before 2011. Several of its leaders are already imprisoned. The reasons given for today’s ruling were allegations of espionage and defamation of the Egyptian state.

“This is one of a series of repressive measures against critical voices in Egypt. I am deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for civil society and the increasing restrictions on freedom of expression in the country,” said Mr Brende.

SOURCE

Norway – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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