The European Court of Human Rights has backed an earlier decision by a court in France to allow a 39-year-old paralyzed man to be taken off life support by request of his wife. The man's Roman Catholic parents have strongly opposed the decision, however, stating they are against euthanasia.
BBC News reported that Vincent Lambert has been in a coma for seven years following a motorcycle accident, which left him tetraplegic, or without the use of his limbs and torso.
Although euthanasia is illegal in France, a 2005 passive euthanasia law allows doctors to withdraw care from patients, which effectively ends their life. more >>
WASHINGTON — The wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly three years because he held a Bible study, told Congress on Tuesday that despite being separated from both her husband and her children, Jesus has not abandoned her torn-apart family.
Speaking at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Americans currently imprisoned in Iran, Naghmeh Abedini explained that since her husband was detained in 2012 and sentenced to eight years in Iranian prison in 2013, she has needed to leave their two elementary-aged children at home while she has travelled across the globe to push for her husband's release.
"Most mornings like today, I wake up in a new hotel in a new city or country and am reminded of my new reality — a reality that includes lonely airports and empty hotel rooms," Abedini explained in her testimony. "This pain of this journey without my husband has only increased as I have had to frequently leave my children to advocate for my husband's release. The reality is, we are a family torn apart. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist group is being accused by local government officials of kidnapping over 500 children from the Anbar and Diyala provinces in Iraq, and there is fear that some of the children could be forced to carry out suicide bomb attacks.
Farhan Mohammed, a member of Anbar's Provincial Council, told the Turkish news organization Anadolu Agency on Saturday that the Islamic State abducted approximately 400 children in the Anbar towns of Ar Rutba, Al-Qaim, Anah and Rawa in raids that took place over the course of a week.
Mohammed further added that he believes more children in the area will be recruited to join ISIS and that they could be used to carry out jihadi attacks. more >>
Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo in Syria for the Catholics of the Latin rite, denied reports that a Syrian Christian fighter beheaded an ISIS terrorist for revenge, accusing the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights of spreading rumor based on "unreliable and unverifiable" information.
"The manipulation of information is also one of the means used to multiply the violence and horrors of this conflict," Bishop Abou Khazen told the Catholic Fides news agency. "We know that more than 230 Assyrian Christians abducted in the villages of Khabur are still held hostage by jihadists."
The bishop said British media picked up the story despite it being "unreliable and unverifiable." more >>
Close to 200 civilians in Syria have died from barrel bomb attacks throughout the weekend allegedly carried out by the army of President Bashar al-Assad, activists have said. While Assad has continuously denied responsibility, a U.N. envoy has condemned the bombings as "totally unacceptable."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that at least 184 people were killed in several provinces over the weekend, though the actual death toll is believed to be higher. The activist organization said that 71 civilians, including women and children, were killed by bombs dropped by Assad's helicopters on Saturday in the northern province of Aleppo alone.
"The news of aerial bombing by Syrian helicopters on a civilian area of the Aleppo neighbourhood of Al-Shaar deserves the most strong international condemnation," U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said in a statement in response to the latest attack. more >>
President Barack Obama has promised a Cuban priest that he will defend human rights despite restoring diplomatic relation with Cuba late last year. Obama reportedly spoke with the priest at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami, where the president stopped to pray and light a candle to Cuba's patroness, the Virgin Mary.
"The topic of freedom for Cuba and human rights will always be on the negotiating table with [Cuban President] Raul Castro," Obama told Father Juan Rumin Dominguez in an unexpected visit last week, according to Catholic News Service.
Dominguez was able to speak with Obama in detail about the plight of Cubans in exile, many who have come to the United States seeking refuge. more >>