Eritrea must free prize winning journalist, says UN human rights expert

The Government of Eritrea must free journalist Dawit Isaak who has been awarded a prestigious press freedom prize some 15 years after he was detained, a United Nations human rights expert says.

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, is also calling on the authorities in Asmara to release unconditionally all others detained unlawfully.

“The Eritrean authorities should stop the practice of arrests and detention carried out without legal basis instantly,” said Ms. Keetharuth, welcoming the award of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017 to Mr. Isaak.

Dawit Isaak, who is 52 and a playwright, journalist and writer, moved to Sweden in 1987, where he later became a citizen. He returned to Eritrea only after independence in 1993 and was one of the founders and reporters of Setit, the first independent newspaper in the country.

Mr. Isaak was arrested in September 2001 during a political crackdown on the so-called G-15, a group of politicians, and journalists critical of Government policies. Some were detained and tortured, others disappeared. The last known sighting of Mr. Isaak was in 2005. His whereabouts now are unknown.

“The case of Mr. Isaak is emblematic of all those who have been subjected to enforced disappearances by the Government of Eritrea and remain unaccounted for,” said Ms. Keetharuth.

The Special Rapporteur recalled the findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, which concluded that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Eritrean officials had committed crimes against humanity, including the crime of enforced disappearance, in a persistent, widespread and systematic manner since 1991.

“The Government of Eritrea has an obligation to urgently provide information on the fate and whereabouts of all those deprived of physical liberty. This would be a first and long-overdue indication that the Government is committed to rebuilding trust with the Eritrean people,” Ms. Keetharuth said.

“By allowing independent monitors immediate and unhindered access to all places of detention, official and unofficial, the Government would send a strong signal that it acknowledges human rights violations of the past, while taking steps to improve the situation on the ground now.
“The arrests of Dawit Isaak and his fellow journalists remain the most visible sign of repression of freedom of expression. The Eritrean authorities continue to stifle all forms of expression that could be perceived as critical of the Government and its policies,” she said.

Ms. Keetharuth reaffirmed that freedom of expression was a basic human right, and a free press one of the tenets of a democratic society, providing a valuable check on potential excesses by government.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: Eritrea must free prize winning journalist, says UN human rights expert

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President Zuma welcomes delegates to the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban

President Jacob Zuma extends a warm welcome to all delegates to the World Economic Forum on Africa which is scheduled to take place in Durban from 3-5 May.

The delegates include Heads of State and Government from the African continent, global captains of industry and commerce and civil society leadership. They will meet at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, in Durban, under the theme “Achieving inclusive growth: responsive and responsible leadership“.

WEF on Africa will deliberate on important issues relating to the achievement of inclusive economic growth globally and with specific focus on Africa.

“We welcome all the delegates to this important gathering of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban. We believe that WEFA came at an opportune time for South Africa and the continent, when the world economy is beginning to pick up. We hope that the forum will discuss vigorously the issue of the development of Africa especially infrastructure development. We are also happy that leaders will look at youth development because Africa is a very youthful continent. Africa’s large youth population presents the continent with an historic opportunity that must be fully taken advantage of. We will benefit from the youth dividend if young Africans are skilled, healthy, participating in a democracy as active citizens and participating in the productive labour force. We trust that delegates will ensure that opportunities for the youth remain foremost in their discussions,” said President Zuma.

The President also said he was pleased that WEF in Africa 2017 would also focus specifically on issues that include education, skills and employment; entrepreneurship; energy; infrastructure and development finance; combating, adapting to and building resilience against climate change; and science, technology and innovation.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Türkiye Wealth Fund and Catalyst Group cooperate to develop mortgage sector of Turkey

Türkiye Wealth Fund (“TWF”) (, The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (“ICD”) (, the private sector arm of IDB Group, and Catalyst Group (“Catalyst”) have entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to develop the mortgage sector in Turkey. The collaboration will focus on identifying specific primary and secondary market interventions which have multiplying effects on the economy and act as an enabler to home ownership.

Mr. Khalid Al Aboodi, CEO of ICD stated “The growth of the mortgage sector in member countries is an important objective for ICD and is a significant driver for any economy. Strategically, further development of the mortgage sector in Turkey will provide a myriad of positive benefits to the economy notwithstanding the profound impact home ownership has upon individual families.”

Mr. Mehmet Bostan, Chairman and CEO of TWF said, “Development of the mortgage ecosystem is required to meet the growing housing requirements for Turkey. This collaboration is aimed at the identification of specific models to deploy with the assistance of our collaboration partners. Turkey will invest billions of dollars for different industries in the next decade. The housing sector will grow together with these investments. The Fund will contribute to economic growth together with this value increase and contribute to the diversity and depth of the capital markets. Capital markets will continue to expand within this growing ecosystem.”

Mr. Nazih Al Naser, the Vice Chairman of Catalyst, said “We are pleased to provide our collaboration partners our expertise in Islamic mortgage finance”. He added, “The Turkish housing sector is reliant on capital markets for sustained liquidity and growth. Supporting the mortgage sector directly increases liquidity while unlocking significant multiplying effects across the overall economy of Turkey.”

The general framework of the collaboration contemplates TWF as sponsor, the ICD as Lead Arranger, and Catalyst as the Technical Advisor. The initial scope includes a comparative study of mortgage ecosystems globally and the development of a master development plan for the mortgage sector.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

Note for Editors:

About the Türkiye Wealth Fund (TWF)
The TWF was established by Law Number 6741 to help grow the Turkish economy and to address critical initiatives to enable growth and prosperity to Turkey amongst other objectives.
TWF is the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Turkey and it was established in 2016. TWF’s mission is to develop Turkey’s strategic assets, to grow their value and thereby to provide funding for Turkey’s priority investments. TWF aims to be one of the most successful Wealth Funds in the World in terms of its successful investments and in terms of its performance based and transparent corporate governance approach. Further information can be found at

Media Inquiries
Mr. Alpay Alptekin
fax: +90 212 282 1077
tel: +90 212 371 2212

About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector
ICD is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s. For more information visit

Media Inquiries
Mr. Nabil El Alami
Fax: +966 12 6444427
Tel: +966 12 6468192

About Catalyst Group
Catalyst Group was established in 2009 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, member of the Islamic Development Bank Group. The company is a leading provider of technical advisory services for Islamic Financial Institutions & Real Estate Development. For more information visit

Media Inquiries
Mr. Yousef Faris
fax: +966 12 618 2123
tel: +966 12 618 2100 ext 190

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Source:: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Türkiye Wealth Fund and Catalyst Group cooperate to develop mortgage sector of Turkey

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Clitoraid Announces Its First Clitoral Restorative Surgeries for FGM Victims in Kenya

From May 2 to May 13, the U.S.-based, non-profit organization Clitoraid ( will launch its first humanitarian mission in Nairobi, Kenya, offering clitoral restorative surgery to victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).

According to Clitoraid Spokesperson Nadine Gary, this new mission is part of the multiple actions planned during the month of May, the month of Clitoris Awareness.

“Dr. Marci Bowers, Clitoraid’s gynecological surgeon, will operate on 40 women in Kenya. Clitoraid partners with the Kenyan non-governmental organization Garana and Dr. Abdullahi Adan, a plastic reconstructive surgeon in this endeavor.”

“Dr. Bowers will restore sexual pleasure to 40 patients,” Gary said. “But those having surgery next week are only a few of the many FGM survivors who have contacted us, desperately seeking to be made whole again.” (According to a 2013 UNICEF report, a quarter of all Kenyan women are victims of the barbaric custom of FGM, also known as “cutting.”)

Gary said Bowers will also train local surgeons during her stay in Kenya.

“She’ll present the clitoral restorative technique developed by French urologist Dr. Pierre Foldes,” Gary explained. “Clemence Linard, our clinical sexologist in France, will also participate, offering counseling to patients and sharing her expertise with Kenyan sexologist Dr. Tammary Esho, who volunteered to assist.”

Clitoraid’s humanitarian mission began in 2004.

“International spiritual leader Maitreya Rael ( during one of his visits to West Africa in 2003, learned of the gruesome practice of mutilating girls’ genitals,” Gary said. “He launched Clitoraid not just to launch an educational campaign against FGM but to provide the surgery that repairs the damage inflicted on its victims.”

Gary said Clitoraid has already operated on over 250 FGM survivors, mainly in the United States, where 500,000 victims reside today.

“Among our former patients is Jaha Dukereh, a U.S. resident born in the Gambia,” Gary said. “Last year she was named one of Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ in recognition of her anti-FGM activism. She calls her restorative surgery through Clitoraid ‘a life-changing experience’.”

Meanwhile, Clitoraid’s first hospital dedicated to FGM victims and their medical needs in West Africa is still awaiting licensure in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.

“Corrupt male politicians and greedy doctors prevented our 2014 opening, oblivious to the anger and despair of countless local FGM patients,” Gary said.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Clitoraid.

Elijah Mwangi Ndungu

Source:: Clitoraid Announces Its First Clitoral Restorative Surgeries for FGM Victims in Kenya

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