The United States on Monday called on Iran to release Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was imprisoned in 2009 and condemned to death for converting from Islam to Christianity.
"Pastor Nadarkhani still faces the threat of execution for simply following his faith, and we repeat our call for Iranian authorities to release him immediately," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.Full Story
Egypt's military on Monday said the constitution and the law must be upheld concerning the dissolution of parliament, raising tension after President Mohammed Morsi decided to reinstate the assembly.
The Supreme Council of the Armed forces (SCAF), which ruled Egypt until Morsi's election last month, underlined the "importance of the constitution in light of the latest developments," the official MENA news agency reported.Full Story
Moroccan rapper Mouad Belghouat, who was jailed for insulting police, began a 48-hour hunger strike on Monday to protest against the conditions of his detention, a friend told Agence France Presse.
Belghouat's decision came as an appeals court delayed for a third time a review of his one-year jail sentence, with a new hearing postponed from Monday until July 23.Full Story
A Bahraini court on Monday ordered the disbanding of a Shiite opposition group, the Islamic Action Association, judicial officials told Agence France Presse.
The group was found guilty of "several violations" including following a "religious ideology that calls for violence" and "not holding the association's convention for more than four years," according to the sources.Full Story
Egypt's top court on Monday rejected a decree by President Mohammed Morsi to reinstate the parliament it ruled invalid, setting the president on a collision course with the judiciary and the military that enforced the ruling.
"All the rulings and decisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court are final and not subject to appeal... and are binding for all state institutions," the court said in a statement.Full Story
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Syria needed dialogue between the regime and opposition rather than foreign intervention to ensure a lasting peace.Full Story
Egypt's parliament speaker has invited the lower house to convene on Tuesday, MENA state news agency reported, following a presidential decree to reinstate the assembly dissolved by the military.
Saad al-Katatni "has called on parliament to convene at 2:00 pm (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday," MENA said.Full Story
International envoy Kofi Annan said on Monday he had agreed with President Bashar Assad on a new political "approach" to end Syria's nearly 16-month-old conflict that he would put to the rebels.
Stepping up efforts to halt the carnage which monitors say has cost more than 17,000 lives, the U.N.-Arab League envoy then travelled to Iran, Syria's closest regional ally, in his quest to broker a solution.Full Story
A Bahraini court on Monday handed leading Shiite activist Nabil Rajab a three month jail sentence after convicting him of posting tweets deemed insulting to Sunnis, one of his lawyer said.
"Nabil Rajab has been sentenced to three months in prison," in the Muharaq case, Mohammed al-Jishi told Agence France Presse, adding that the defense would appeal the verdict.Full Story
Saudi authorities arrested four members of the notorious religious police who allegedly caused the death of a man and the injury of his wife and two children in a car chase, local media reported on Monday.
"Security services arrested four members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice after they were interrogated (on Sunday) over the chase that killed a man and injured his wife and two children in al-Baha" in the southwest, Okaz daily reported.Full Story