Three Christian clergymen, each facing six years in prison in Iran for their faith, attended a second appeal hearing on Tuesday. Reports noted that yet another Christian, a house church leader in Shiraz, was recently arrested.
"The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas in a news release.
"Their only 'crime' is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution." more >>
Terror group ISIS has reportedly released a series of photographs on social media showing children around 10 years of age in soldier uniforms being trained to use assault rifles and kill people. The jihadist group has been using child soldiers in its battle for territories in Iraq and Syria.
The Daily Mail published a number of the photos, where several of the children are seen using weapons such as AK47s. The photos apparently were taken at a training school near the Syrian capital of Damascus, which ISIS has set its sights on.
The children are also seen performing military drills, and marching before ISIS' black flag. more >>
As the Islamic State has risen to become a yearly $2 billion terrorist outfit, it has found various methods to reel in its revenue such as oil production, human trafficking, and drug smuggling. However, it has been revealed that there is yet another lucrative source for ISIS funding: trafficking human organs.
According to a recent Al Monitor report addressing the various revenue sources of the Islamic State, a doctor from Mosul named Siruwan al-Mosuli is claiming that ISIS hired foreign doctors to run an extensive organ trafficking system that has the potential to generate great profits.
Mosuli, who is an ear, nose and throat doctor by trade, said he noticed something fishy when ISIS leaders hired new Arab and foreign doctors to work in their hospitals in Mosul and did not allow the foreign doctors to interact with the local doctors. Mosuli said that soon after, information was leaked to him about organ selling. more >>
President Barack Obama has "strongly condemned the barbaric murder" of U.S. hostage Luke Somers, a photojournalist, by al Qaeda terrorists during a secret rescue operation by American commandos and the Yemeni government. A South African hostage, Pierre Korkie, was also fatally shot during the operation.
Korkie, a teacher, was to be freed Sunday, as the relief group Gift of the Givers was helping secure his release. However, the U.S. wasn't aware of the ongoing negotiations for his release, and Washington was given three days by the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to comply with unspecified demand, according to CNN.
President Obama ordered Friday's mission because "there were compelling reasons to believe Mr. Somers' life was in imminent danger," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was quoted as explaining. more >>
Jordan's King Abdullah II, who is in Washington to meet with President Barack Obama, described the battle against the Islamic State, or ISIS, terror group in Iraq and Syria as "a third world war" and "a Muslim problem," they need to take ownership of.
"This is a Muslim problem," Abdullah said in an interview with "CBS This Morning." "We need to take ownership of this."
The Muslim world needs to stand up and say what is right and what is wrong, he added. "This is no reflection of our religion. This is evil and all of us have got to make that decision," he said, of the Sunni ISIS group, an al-Qaeda offshoot which has gained control over large territories in Iraq and Syria and seeks to form an Islamic emirate in the Levant region through "jihad." more >>
Terror group ISIS reportedly killed at least 30 soldiers on Friday on its way to capture the last remaining military air base in Syria. The major battle took place at al-Jafra village near the military airport, where 37 ISIS fighters were also killed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the jihadists, who have captured a number of cities across Iraq and Syria, have now reached the gates of the airport, despite a number of ground battles with local forces and airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.
The death count in the battle against the Islamic militants has been rising day by day, with SOHR reporting that at least 129 people were killed in Syria on Wednesday alone. Airstrikes on ISIS on its way to the military airport in Der-Ezzor province have also injured a number of civilians, though exact numbers on the wounded were not available. more >>