Displaying items by tag: killings

Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:32

Myanmar: murder and airstrikes

On 27 March security forces killed over fifty protesters who defied a warning that they could be shot ‘in the head and back’ if they came out while the country's generals celebrated Armed Forces Day. ‘Today is a day of shame for the armed forces,’ said Dr Sasa, a spokesman for the anti-junta group of deposed lawmakers. Local media reported that around 3,000 people from Karen state have left the country and crossed the border into Thailand to escape the violence. Airstrikes that sent villagers fleeing into the jungle show the Myanmar situation is ‘much worse’, a humanitarian worker said. At least 114 people were killed by security forces on 29 March, including a five-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. Despite the bloodshed, protesters returned to the streets. Citizens are living amid increasing violence. People are being beaten and shot; now they face multiple airstrikes. Myanmar has not had airstrikes there for over twenty years.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 03 December 2020 20:29

Germany: car drives into pedestrians, killing five

Five people have been killed and thirteen seriously injured after a car zig zagged towards pedestrians in the city of Trier. Among those killed was a nine-month-old baby. A 51-year-old man with no fixed address is in custody being questioned about the crash. He had been living in recent days in the Land Rover that was used in the attack. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson said the scene was ‘shocking’. Police said the driver appeared to have hit pedestrians indiscriminately as he drove through the city centre at speed. They urged members of the public to avoid spreading misinformation about the incident.

Published in Europe

Thousands have been killed amid ‘near impunity’ for offenders in the war on illegal drugs since 2016, the UN says. Its report levelled heavy criticism at President Rodrigo Duterte's government. His crackdown has been marked by high-level rhetoric that can be seen as ‘permission to kill’. Official figures show more than 8,000 people killed since he took office: other estimates put the figure three times as high. Most victims are young poor urban males, and police, who do not need search or arrest warrants to conduct house raids, systematically force suspects to make self-incriminating statements or risk facing lethal force. Duterte described the report as ‘a travesty’. Despite the many killings he remains very popular.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 29 November 2019 12:20

Iran protests: 143 Killed

Videos reveal crackdown regime tried to hide from world… One video filmed through a doorway appears to show a woman looking at a teenage boy lying in a pool of blood on a pavement, as a riot policeman swings a baton at people running past him.

Another from the southern city of Shiraz shows a crowd trying to help a motionless man on the ground, as other people retreat along a smoke-filled street amid the sounds of shouting, screaming and gunfire.

In a third. taken from inside a moving car in the capital, Tehran, a woman can be heard screaming as plainclothes security personnel or militiamen detain a man.

It was the fear of such footage reaching the outside world that prompted the authorities in Iran to shut down access to the internet for more than eight days earlier this month, as protests against a sharp rise in the price of petrol spread across the country.

Now the internet has been partially restored, videos have been appearing on social media that paint a picture of a government crackdown more brutal and bloodier than many had feared. The identities and stories of the protesters who lost their lives have also emerged.

The Iranian authorities have not released any official figures about casualties, but Amnesty International has received what it considers credible reports that at least 143 protesters were killed after the protests erupted on 15 November.

The human rights group says the deaths resulted almost entirely from the intentional use of firearms by the security forces - though one man was reported to have died after inhaling tear gas and another after being beaten.  Amnesty believes the death toll is significantly higher, and activists and official sources inside Iran have told BBC Persian that it exceeds 200.

However, the videos filmed by Iranians on their smartphones - many of them graphic and difficult to watch - have cast doubt on the government's claims.  The footage appears to show security personnel and members of the paramilitary Basij force, which is frequently used to help suppress dissent, beating up unarmed protesters in the streets and firing live round into crowds at close range.

Sources inside Iran have told BBC Persian that the number of detainees is in the thousands.  Despite the assertion by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the protesters had "roots outside of the country", the Ministry of Intelligence told parliament that most of those held were unemployed youths from poor families.

Journalists based in Iran were limited in their ability to report on the protests or were too afraid to do so, and those based elsewhere were hampered by the internet shutdown. But BBC Persian, which is banned from Iran, was able to get in touch by telephone and other means with citizen journalists, activists and other trusted sources on the ground.  Their videos showed the protesters targeting symbols of the government, the clerical establishment and the security forces, as well as banks and petrol stations.

The epicentres of the protests were predominantly Kurdish towns on the western border with Iraq, as well as areas on the outskirts of major cities like Tehran, Karaj and Shiraz. All are places with among the highest levels of unemployment in the country.

“The price of petrol is rising, we are poorer,” protesters in Shiraz chanted in one video.

“The supreme leader lives like a God. We, the people live like beggars,” said people in Malard, near Tehran in another.

“No to Gaza, no to Lebanon. We sacrifice our lives for Iran” was a chant heard in Isfahan.

Clearly, there is disquiet about Iran’s activities in the Middle East. The Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has spent billions of dollars arming, training and paying militias in the region, saying that if the force does not fight Iran’s enemies beyond its borders then it will have to face them on the streets of Tehran.

But the protesters in the streets believe the money should have been invested in their country and their future.

US sanctions reinstated by President Donald Trump last year when he abandoned a nuclear deal with Iran have targeted the country’s oil and banking sectors. The sanctions, combined with corruption and mismanagement, have pushed the Iranian economy to the brink of collapse. But the crisis has not persuaded the government to change its policies.

Victims’ stories

State media and newspapers close to the security forces depicted the protesters as hooligans, who they said were seeking to loot and vandalise public property.

But the stories BBC Persian has heard from the families of those killed paint a different picture.

Fatima, a 40-year-old mother of two, was one of the demonstrators killed near Tehran.

Her family said she went out to protest against unemployment and inflation.

Another victim was Armin Qaderi, a 10-year-old boy, from Kermanshah. He died after going out to buy bread, according to his family.

Many families told BBC Persian that their relatives went out to express their anger at the economic crisis but that the authorities answered them with bullets.

More at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50562584

Pray: for the government of Iran to review its international policies and to listen to the concerns of its people.
Pray: for the heavy-handed violence and indiscriminate shooting of peaceful protestors by Government forces to stop.
Pray: for millions of Iranians whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the economic sanctions and corruption that a positive breakthrough will happen soon.
Pray: that the voice of the Iranian people will be heard and these protests will not be in vain.

Thursday, 05 September 2019 21:36

Cameroon: Bible translator killed

Bible translator Angus Abraham Fung, working with the Aghem Bible translation project in Cameroon, was among seven people said to have been killed in an overnight attack. His wife’s arm was cut off, according to a ministry source. The attack was carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Cameroon’s violence-ridden Anglophone region where separatists are fighting for independence. Fung, in his sixties, had worked for years on a New Testament translation in the Aghem language. Although it was completed in 2016 and over 3,000 copies have been published, distribution has not happened because of the war in the region. Pray for the swift recovery of his wife and for God’s comfort to all who mourn the death of the seven men. Pray also for the success of all literacy efforts to bring the word of God to people whose language has never been written down before, both in Cameroon and across the nations.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 22 August 2019 22:57

Mexico: pastor killed during church service

Pastor Cruz Canseco was in the pulpit of his church when he was shot at point-blank range. His attacker was prevented from escaping, and was subsequently handed over to the authorities. The pastor died on the way to hospital. His murder follows a series of attacks targeting religious leaders, including the kidnapping of Pastor Méndez Ruiz, who had prevented Cuban migrants from being abducted from a shelter on 3 August. The expansion of violent criminal groups and the pervading climate of impunity surrounding such crimes has led to increased violence against religious leaders. Criminals view church leaders as a threat to their power, so they are threatened, kidnapped and killed. Lack of proper investigation means perpetrators are not brought to justice. Pray for the family and congregation of Pastor Cruz Canseco and for the wellbeing and return of Pastor Ruiz .

Published in Worldwide

Motorcycle gunmen, suspected to be Islamist militants, sprayed bullets at Christians attending a church service in Burkina Faso, killing a pastor and at least four others, according to local reports. A further two Christians are said to be missing following the early afternoon bloodshed on Sunday 28 April in the small northern town of Silgadji. The attackers fled north towards the country’s border with Mali. A rising tide of Islamic extremism in Mali has produced growing terrorism that is now spilling over into impoverished Burkina Faso, which is over 50% Muslim and about 20% Christian. Two days earlier Islamists were blamed for murdering five teachers and another worker at a school in the east of the country.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 15 March 2019 10:06

New Zealand: 49 killed in terror attack

An ‘extremist, right-wing terrorist’ has been arrested and named as the main suspect in connection with shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March; 49 were killed and at least 20 injured. The shooting was the deadliest in the country's history; prime minister Jacinda Ardern called it one of NZ's ‘darkest days’. One gunman live-streamed footage of his rampage to Facebook, filmed with a head-mounted camera. The footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque. The suspect, who identified himself as Australian, is understood to have published a hate-filled manifesto outlining his intentions and espousing far-right and anti-immigrant ideology. Even though he did this one month ago, he had not been put on any watch list.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 19 October 2018 00:18

Crimea: eighteen students killed

Attacks by disaffected teenagers at schools and colleges have hit the headlines recently in Russia. In January, a student in Siberia attacked a teacher and fellow-students with an axe and set fire to the school. In April, in the Urals, another student stabbed a teacher and a student and set fire to a classroom. But this week’s tragedy of 18 school children killed and 53 injured has led to three days of mourning from 18 October. Speaking to journalists and parents of missing students in the city of Kerch, where the shooting took place, Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov said the death toll stood at eighteen 14- to 16-year-olds, plus the killer Vladislav Roslyakov. Witnesses said they heard shots and ran into the corridor, where they were randomly targeted with a machine gun. Victims were taken away in buses and minibuses: ‘Children and staff, without legs, without arms’.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 18 October 2018 23:20

Nigeria: aid workers killed, hostages held

Hauwa Liman, a midwife with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was killed days after her kidnappers set a deadline. Ms Liman was taken with two others in the northern town of Rann last March. Fellow-midwife Saifura Ahmed Khorsa was killed last month. Ms Loksha remains a hostage. A 15-year-old schoolgirl is also still being held by the same group, which is affiliated to a faction of Boko Haram. Most of the other 110 students who were kidnapped have now been freed but the girl, who reportedly refused to convert to Islam, remains in captivity. The ICRC's regional director said there was no justification for the execution of innocent young healthcare workers, and feared for its implication on their work in the region. The information and culture minister said that the government would ‘keep the negotiations open’ and continue to work to free Ms Loksha and the schoolgirl. Pray for this work.

Published in Worldwide
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