2 March 2006 Edition

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International News in Brief

ETA prisoner found dead

An ETA prisoner Igor Miguel Angulo Iturrarte has been found dead at the Spanish prison of Cuenca this week. According to prison sources, he was found hanging from a window.

Angulo (32) had been imprisoned since 1996 and was an inmate at Cuenca since 3 March 2001.

Spanish Civil Guards arrested Angulo in Pamplona/Iruña in November 1996 together with Pedro Zubizarreta Balboa for ETA membership. He alleged he was tortured when arrested.

The prisoner was alone in his cell. Two friends had paid him a visit last Saturday.

Afghanistan

A US-run prison in Afghanistan holds about 500 political suspects indefinitely without charges and in poorer conditions than in the better-known camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The New York Times has reported.

Pentagon officials have described the former machine shop at Bagram Air Base, 65 kilomeeters north of Kabul, as a screening centre, the Times said on Sunday 26 February.

"Bagram was never meant to be a long-term facility, and now it's a long-term facility without the money or resources," an unnamed Pentagon official, who knows the facility and compared it to the one at Guantanamo, was quoted as saying in the daily.

Sahara

"Despite the adversity, we will overcome" is the slogan marking the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the declaration of an independent Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic taking place in the liberated city of Tifariti.

Celebrations started on Saturday, 25 February in the refugee camp of El Aaiún, in the Algerian desert, where the Saharawis have been forced to live since Morroco's occupation of their territory.

The anniversary coincides with the beginning of the First Conference of International Solidarity with the Saharawi people, reuniting up to 800 delegates from Africa, Europe and America.

Philippines

Four senior police officers have been detained and 16 leading opposition figures charged with rebellion, in a crackdown against those allegedly plotting to topple the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the Philippines. Another 100 people were arrested on the same day, Friday 24 February, when taking part in a demonstration asking for Arroyo to step down. The actions of the police and the president, who also ordered the closure of two opposition newspapers, have created suspicions that Arroyo is using the alleged plot to attack any opposition to her policies.

Uganda

Uganda's newly re-elected President Yoweri Museveni said on Sunday, 26 February that his opponents had no right to challenge his election victory and that they should obey the country's democratic choice. On Saturday, the Electoral Commission declared Museveni winner. The president, who has held power for more than 20 years, won with 59% of the votes counted from 99% of polling stations.

Museveni last year lifted a presidential two-term limit so he could run again. A European Union observers' mission criticised him for using all the resources of the government to win. It also said that the vote was an improvement on past ballots but still had flaws.


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