News from the Frontlines

Monday July 27, 2015

Attorneys for South Sudanese Pastors Facing Execution Make Final Appeal for Justice

Charges stem from 'political motives,' source says.By Our Sudan Correspondent
JUBA, South Sudan, July 24, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Attorneys for two South Sudanese pastors facing the death penalty made their closing arguments on Thursday(July 23) before a judge who appears to favor the prosecution, sources said.
Defense lawyers concluded their case at Khartoum Bahri Court with the assertion that agents from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) illegally arrested the Rev. Yat Michael on Dec. 14, 2014 and the Rev. Peter Yein Reith on Jan. 11.

“Justice requires that you don’t judge [arrest] simply because you doubt [suspect] them without any concrete evidence,” one lawyer said. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Monday July 27, 2015

Christian Family Awaits Word on Copt Kidnapped in Libya by Islamic State Affiliate

Militants also seize Christians from Nigeria, Ghana. By Our Middle East Correspondent
ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 23, 2015 (Morning Star News) – As unconfirmed reports and rumors about the status of three Christians kidnapped in Libya by the Islamic State (IS) continue to spread in Egyptian media, a Coptic family waits in fear over the fate of their loved one.
On Friday (July 17), an IS affiliate in Libya known as Islamic State, Barqa Province, announced that it had kidnapped three men, all of them Christians. As evidence of their claims, they released photographs of the three men and photographs of their passport cover pages.

Bakhit Nageh Efrank Ebeid, 21, was traveling on July 10 in a 14-seat van from Alexandria, Egypt to Tripoli with a group of men, most of them Muslims from his hometown of Kom Badar, when IS militants stopped them in Sirte, Libya, according to Ezz Tawfik, a Coptic activist and journalist in Upper Egypt. Two other Christians, Adeola Ibrahim from Nigeria and Sekyere Kofi Frimpong from Ghana, were also in the van.

“ISIS soldiers were there to search their car and check their passports,” said Tawfik, who is in close contact with the victim’s family. “They took all their passports, and saw his, and asked if he was a Christian, and he said ‘Yes.’ So they asked him to stand aside and released the Muslims who were in the same van.” [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Thursday July 23, 2015

Supreme Court of Pakistan Agrees to Hear Appeal of Christian Mother on Death Row

Execution of Asia Bibi suspended until final ruling.By Our Pakistan Correspondent
LAHORE, Pakistan, July 22, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Pakistan’s Supreme Court today agreed to review the case of a Christian mother sentenced to death on a blasphemy charge, temporarily suspending her execution.
Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, is the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan. The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court at the Lahore Registry admitted for hearing her petition challenging the sentence.

Attorney Saif-ul-Malook told Morning Star News that he had a strong case for demanding Noreen’s acquittal. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Wednesday July 22, 2015

Two Young Christian Women in Sudan Fined for 'Indecent' Dress

Remaining eight await verdict.By Our Sudan Correspondent
JUBA, South Sudan, July 21, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Two of 10 young Christian women charged with wearing indecent clothing in North Khartoum, Sudan were fined 500 Sudanese pounds (US$85) on Wednesday (July 15), a Christian leader said.
Ferdoos Eltoum, 19, and 18-year-old Rehab Omer Kalkom were arrested on June 25 along with 10 other women; two of the 12 were released without charges the next day. The remaining eight young women, released on bail after spending a night in custody, remain charged.

The 12 women arrested, some of whom may have been minors, were forced to remove their clothing for Sudan’s notorious Public Order Police to “inspect” the clothes, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). The women were all wearing standard blouses with either skirts or pants, the source told Morning Star News.

“They have targeted these girls because of their faith and their race,” the Christian leader said. [READ MORE]

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