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Arabic press review: Parental violence against children on the rise in Iraq

Meanwhile, a US diplomat says Washington has failed Syria, Egypt appoints convicted security director as senior state official, and Kuwait investigates entire embassy staff in Cuba over house-storming incident
Iraqi pupils wearing masks attend class on the first day of the new academic year the northern city of Mosul, on 29 November 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic (AFP)

Parental violence against children on the rise in Iraq

While rates of murder and violence against children in Iraq have increased in line with the outbreak of multiple crises in the country, reported Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, crimes committed by parents against their children have also dramatically risen.

Figures obtained by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed from two officials in the Iraqi Ministry of Health, who spoke on condition of anonymity, show that 23 children had been killed in Iraq in 2020 by their parents.

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The data also revealed that about 50 other children had been admitted to hospitals due to severe beatings during the previous year.

Baghdad, Diyala and Basra ranked highest in the statistics of violence committed against children, amid the continued efforts of religious blocs and parties in the Iraqi parliament to obstruct passing a law to combat domestic violence.

Religious blocs in parliament justify their opposition to the law by saying that the bill constituted "a reproduction of western laws that encourage girls, women and children to disobey their families”.

Their main objection is to a paragraph in the draft that stipulates the establishment of shelters for the victims of domestic violence, which would help victims carry on with their lives as they desire and choose.

American diplomat says US has failed in Syria

An American diplomat and former UN official, Jeffrey Feltman, said in an interview with the Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the US had failed in Syria and that the administrations of former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama had not achieved any of their goals in the Middle Eastern country.

Feltman called for a new approach based on Bashar Al-Assad's endeavour to take "real, specific, transparent and irreversible steps toward achieving political reform", in exchange for Washington's commitment to lift some sanctions on Damascus, among other measures. However, the US diplomat questioned Assad's readiness to make this initiative work.

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Feltman had negotiated with the Syrian government several times in the past. He also held the position of under secretary-general of the United Nations for political affairs and assistant secretary of state for Middle East affairs.

"Assad's rule has become threatened not for military reasons and not because of the popular uprising, but rather because of the economic decline," he said.

Feltman continued: “It is unrealistic for politics to be centred on replacing the regime in the short term. Yes, US policy should be based on an attempt to encourage handling major issues related to the regime’s policies and conduct, but I do not think that Assad’s rule is guaranteed in the long term.”

Convicted Egyptian security director appointed as senior official

A prominent judicial source revealed that a senior Egyptian state official had been convicted in a murder case and sentenced to prison. However, he is still working in the same position in a violation of the provisions of the law, Arabi21 reported.

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The source said in an exclusive statement to the news website that the official was in a police brigade and currently held the position of assistant minister of the interior and director of security in an Egyptian governorate. The source added that the state official had been accused for years of torturing a citizen to death, after being interrogated at a police station.

The source said that the official had been convicted of murder and sentenced by the criminal court to a prison sentence, but that the sentence had been suspended. Despite the conviction, the official had continued working in the same position.

According to the source, the crime for which the security officer was convicted dates back to the mid-2000s, when he was charged with other officers of torturing a citizen inside a police station in  order to make him confess to a crime he had not committed. The victim had died from his injuries.

Kuwait refers entire embassy staff in Cuba to investigation

Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened an extensive investigation against its embassy staff in Cuba, following an incident there where the house of a Kuwaiti diplomat had been stormed, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai.

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A source in the ministry told the newspaper that officials were probing reports about the house-storming, pointing out that "the case is related to a problem that happened in the past”.

The source added that the ministry had referred the entire embassy staff to an investigation, including the ambassador, while pointing to "the existence of a commercial dispute concerning the owner of the property”.

The ministry revealed decisions and measures taken based on the investigation, such as "the transfer of some of the embassy employees to the general office of the ministry", indicating that "there is an internal dispute between parties in the embassy”.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye

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