Amnesty International has appointed global human rights expert Agnes Callamard as its new secretary-general with immediate effect.
The London-based rights group said it chose Callamard, who led the recent high-profile UN probe into the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, following an extensive global search.
It added that the Frenchwoman, who is in her mid-50s and previously worked for Amnesty from 1995 to 2001, will serve an initial four-year term.
“I am honoured to take up the post of secretary- general and work alongside Amnesty’s supporters around the world so that together we defend and demand respect for all human rights for all,” she said in a statement.
Callamard’s lengthy career has seen her lead human rights investigations in more than 30 countries and her work has been published extensively.
She had held the role of director of the Global Freedom of Expression initiative at Columbia University since 2013.
READ ALSO: Obama’s Grandmother Dies At 99
In 2017 she was appointed as the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, and headed the investigation into the gruesome killing of Khashoggi.
A Saudi insider-turned-critic who wrote for The Washington Post newspaper, he was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Callamard’s report, published in June 2019, concluded there was “credible evidence” that top Saudi officials, including Prince Mohammed, were liable for the killing.
Last week she accused Saudi Arabia of bullying after a top official allegedly threatened her life following the probe.
As secretary-general Callamard becomes the principal spokesperson for Amnesty, which has 10 million supporters and offices in more than 70 countries.
She was appointed by the organisation’s international board, and succeeds acting head Julie Verhaar.
“At a time when human rights are under unprecedented threat around the world, Dr. Callamard will lead, excite and rally the entire Amnesty movement to meet these challenges head-on,” said Sarah Beamish, the board’s chair.
Read more authentic news on our social media platforms
Israel-Hamas Truce To Begin At 7am On Friday With First Hostages To Be Freed, Says Qatar
Thirteen women and children being held hostage by fighters in Gaza will be the first to be released – as the temporary truce in Gaza between Israel and Hamas begins at 7am local time (5am UK time) on Friday, Qatar has said.
Dr Majed al Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s foreign ministry, said it had received a list of the civilians to be freed around 4pm local time (2pm UK time) tomorrow – and families would be given priority.
He said it was expected Israel would release Palestinian prisoners in return as part of the deal.
“We are hoping that we don’t see any further delays,” he said.
“I think we have reached a point now where everything is in place, we are ready to go on the ground.”
The deal, agreed following talks mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the US, will include the Red Cross visiting the hostages and bringing medicines to them.
It would also mean hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical and fuel supplies would be allowed to enter Gaza, while Israel would halt all air missions over southern Gaza and maintain a daily six-hour daytime no-fly window in the north.
Dr al Ansari said humanitarian aid would start flowing into Gaza as soon as the truce begins, adding it was “a fraction” of what it needs.
The ceasefire had been set to take effect at 10am local time on Thursday (8am UK time) – after six weeks of fighting.
The structured agreement was reached and confirmed on Wednesday morning, but more than a day later an expected announcement of the official start time had yet to materialise.
Asked about the delay by reporters at a news conference in Doha, Dr al Ansari said discussions had been “very difficult and detailed”.
“We wanted to make sure that nothing would cause harm in the process of getting the hostages out, and the perimeters of the agreement are agreed upon in the operational sense, on both sides,” he said.
He added the temporary truce includes a comprehensive ceasefire in both north and southern Gaza – and it was hoped it will lead to a permanent truce.
Hamas has agreed to free 50 Israeli women and child hostages held by fighters in Gaza, in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails.
Israel had said the truce could last beyond the initial four days as long as the fighters free at least 10 hostages per day.
A Palestinian source has told the Reuters news agency a second wave of releases could see as many as 100 hostages freed by the end of the month.
Both sides have said they will go back to fighting once the truce is over.
Wife Of Gabon’s Deposed Leader Ali Bongo Jailed
Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin, the wife of Gabon’s deposed leader Ali Bongo has been jailed, the AFP news agency said in a post on social media platform X on Thursday, citing a lawyer.
Gabon army officers seized power on Aug. 30, annulling an election minutes after an announcement that President Ali Bongo had won, which they said was not credible. Bongo, in power since 2009, had succeeded his father Omar Bongo, who ruled for 42 years.
AUC Chairperson Seeks Truce In Israeli-Palestinian War
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has expressed his utmost concern at the outbreak of the current Israeli-Palestinian hostilities, causing grave consequences for the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians in particular, and for peace in the region, in general.
In a statement in Addis Ababa, the chairperson recalled that denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign State, is the main cause of the permanent Israeli-Palestinian tension.
The chairperson urgently appealed to both parties to put an end to military hostilities and to return, without conditions, to the negotiating table to implement the principle of two States living side by side, to safeguard the interests of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people.
The chairperson further called on the international community, and the major world powers in particular, to assume their responsibilities to impose peace and guarantee the rights of the two peoples.
NEW TIMES CULTURE
NNPCL Board: Club 66 Idanre, Commends Tinubu On Akinyelure’s Appointment
Abiodun Approves Constituency Projects For 236 Councillors
Ogun, Aviation Ministry, Others Meet Tuesday On Concessioning Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport
Why GOFAMINT General Overseer Demoted His Deputy
Woman Sues Man After Rescuing Her From Drowning
BREAKING: UK Suspends Work, Study, Family Visas For Nigerians Over Ukraine War
Opinion3 days ago
Breaking The Cycle Of Gender-based Violence In Nigeria
Business2 days ago
Oye To Speak At 2023 ADR Conference In Abuja
Opinion3 days ago
Professor Yetunde Makinde (1954-2023): Good Night
Opinion3 days ago
Resilient Whispers: Voices From A Troubled Home
Opinion2 days ago
End Of Progressive Politics