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Entries in Hamit Coskun (3)


Syria and Iran Feature: 2130 Civilian Prisoners To Be Released in Exchange for 48 Iranian "Pilgrims"

UPDATE 1230 GMT: A photograph of the freed Iranians:

Turkey's State news agency Anatolia reports that Syria will release 2130 civilian prisoners, including "many Turkish nationals", in exchange for 48 Iranian men seized by the Syrian opposition last August.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: An Uneasy Frontline

A video from the Syrian frontline: a regime soldier defects in Armanaz in Idlib Province --- his surprised colleagues cannot attack him because of the presence of observers

See also Syria Snap Analysis: Who Is Behind Thursday's Damascus Bombs?
Bahrain Live Coverage: Marches and US Arms Sales
Syria Wired: The Latest from Social Media and EA's Readers
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Uncertainties After the Damascus Bombs

1722 GMT: Syria. Human rights lawyer Anwar Bunni has said that a military court has released eight activists, including blogger Razan Ghazzawi, until their 29 May trial on charges of "possession of banned publications".

1720 GMT: Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah has dismissed a senior cleric, Sheikh Abdulmohsen al-Obeikan, who criticised a measure that allowed women to mix with unmarried men.

The firing of the royal advisor fits a pattern of recent years in which senior clerics who oppose limited reforms have been dismissed.

Earlier this year, the head of the religious police was replaced by a cleric who was seen to be more liberal, and in 2010 King Abdullah fired the judiciary head, Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, for attacking a new university that was the centrepiece of government education reforms.

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Surge of Protest

Protesting women greet armoured personnel carriers with peace signs; police respond with sound grenades

See also Palestine Opinion: The Hunger Strike of Hana Shalabi --- "Will Anyone See It?"
Middle East Feature: Why are Arab Journalists The "Unknown Soldiers" in Battle for Truth?
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: This is "Peace" --- Another 90 Die

1818 GMT: The Local Co-ordination Committees of Syria claims that 45 people have died today, including three women and four children. Twenty-four of the deaths were in Homs, where several neighbourhoods are being shelled, and 13 in Idlib, where regime forces have moved into the Saraqeb district.

1641 GMT: Andrew Hammond of Reuters writes, amidst reports of widespread use of tear gas by Bahrain's security forces:

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