Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced by Iranian Regime to 38 Years in Prison

Posted by Tip Staff - March 13, 2019

Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced by Iranian Regime to 38 Years in Prison
Tensions Rise in Jerusalem as Rioters Firebomb Temple Mount Police Station
Belgium Jewish History Museum Terrorist Sentenced to Life for Killing Four
NVIDIA Acquiring Israel's Mellanox for $6.9 Billion

Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced by Iranian Regime to 38 Years in Prison

A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to an extra 10 years in jail on top of the five-year term she is already serving for defending protesters against the Islamic Republic’s mandatory hijab laws, the BBC reported Monday.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an award-winning women’s rights activist, was arrest last June, together with at least seven other human rights lawyers. Sotoudeh was told at the time that she would be serving a five-year sentence after being convicted in absentia on espionage-related charges. She was later given two additional years for “insulting” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“The sentence, reported on her husband Reza Khandan’s Facebook page on 11 March, brings her total sentence after two grossly unfair trials to 38 years in prison,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

“It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing nearly four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defence of women protesting against Iran’s degrading forced hijab (veiling) laws,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.

Luther added: “Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to defending women’s rights and speaking out against the death penalty - it is utterly outrageous that Iran’s authorities are punishing her for her human rights work. Her conviction and sentence consolidate Iran’s reputation as a cruel oppressor of women’s rights.”

There was no immediate comment from authorities about the sentence.

The judgment came just days after Iran appointed hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi to serve as the new head of the judiciary. Raisi has been implicated for his role in mass executions in the 1980s and is a protege of Khamenei.

Read more at The Tower.

Tensions Rise in Jerusalem as Rioters Firebomb Temple Mount Police Station

Israel has closed the Temple Mount following a firebomb attack on the police station there, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

The riots took place after Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that there would be "no second mosque on the Temple Mount" and expressed hope that Jews would be able to pray freely in the area in the future.

Scuffles have broken out, and Israeli authorities have made several arrests, The Times of Israel reported. One officer was treated for minor injuries from the firebomb.

“Jerusalem Police Commissioner Doron Yadid visited the Temple Mount and held a situational assessment there. He ordered it evacuated and closed in order to conduct searches for other weapons,” according to a police statement.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas characterized the situation as a "dangerous Israeli escalation" and warned of "serious repercussions."

At issue is a compound at the Gate of Mercy.

Israeli and Jordanian authorities have been meeting to resolve the crisis over the disputed compound. The area was shut in 2003 because the group overseeing it was tied to Hamas. It has been kept closed to prevent Muslim authorities from carrying on illegal construction in the area.

The Waqf has recently been attempting to turn the Gate of Mercy compound into a second mosque on the Temple Mount. After the Six Day War there was only the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. (The Dome of the Rock is not a mosque, though it is regularly used for Friday prayers.)

While the Palestinians have frequently accused Israel of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, in a recent paper, Nadav Haetzni and Lenny Ben David pointed out that it is the Waqf that has changed the status quo repeatedly.

Read more at The Tower.

Belgium Jewish History Museum Terrorist Sentenced to Life for Killing Four

A French jihadist, who shot dead four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014 in the first terror attack on European soil by a returning foreign fighter from Syria, has been sentenced to life in prison, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

Mehdi Nemmouche was convicted last week of “terrorist murder” for the vicious attack, which saw him open fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle in the center of the Belgian capital.

Nemmouche shot the first two people he saw – Emanuel and Miriam Riva, tourists from Israel – before turning to the ticket desk, killing museum workers Dominque Sabrier and Alexandre Strens. He was apprehended in Marseille a week later during a routine travel check.

“Mr Nemmouche, you are just a coward, you kill people by shooting them from behind, you kill old women by shooting them with an assault rifle, you kill because it gives you pleasure to kill,” said prosecutor Yves Moreau. Before jurors retired to consider the sentence on Monday, Nemmouche had smirked and told the Brussels criminal court “life goes on.”

“In the case of Nemmouche, there were no circumstances that would suggest leniency,” read the court’s decision. “He was the mastermind and the one who carried out the crime. The attack had an anti-Semitic character and struck the very heart of the Jewish community.” In addition, read the decision, “Nemmouche has shown himself to be egocentric and narcissistic.”

Nemmouche spent a year fighting in Syria for the Islamic State before returning to Europe to carry out the attack. An accomplice who helped plan the shooting and supply weapons, Nacer Bendrer, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In an op-ed published in The Algemeiner on Monday, TIP Senior Fellow Julie Lenarz observed that Nemmouche was not a “lone wolf” terrorist.

Read more at The Tower.

NVIDIA Acquiring Israel's Mellanox for $6.9 Billion

On March 11, Santa Clara-based NVIDIA announced that it will acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Mellanox of Yokne’am, Israel, in a deal representing a total enterprise value of approximately $6.9 billion.

Founded in 1999, Mellanox pioneered the InfiniBand interconnect technology, which along with its high-speed Ethernet products is now used in over half of the world’s fastest supercomputers and in many leading hyperscale data centers. The company employs nearly 3,000 people in Israel and in Sunnyvale, California.

“The acquisition will unite two of the world’s leading companies in high performance computing (HPC). Together, NVIDIA’s computing platform and Mellanox’s interconnects power over 250 of the world’s TOP500 supercomputers and have as customers every major cloud service provider and computer maker,” NVIDIA said in its statement.

“The data and compute intensity of modern workloads in AI, scientific computing and data analytics is growing exponentially and has put enormous performance demands on hyperscale and enterprise datacenters. While computing demand is surging, CPU performance advances are slowing as Moore’s law has ended. This has led to the adoption of accelerated computing with NVIDIA GPUs and Mellanox’s intelligent networking solutions.”

The companies have a long history of collaboration and joint innovation, reflected in their recent contributions in building the world’s two fastest supercomputers, Sierra and Summit, operated by the US Department of Energy.

The corporate statement concluded: “Once the combination is complete, NVIDIA intends to continue investing in local excellence and talent in Israel, one of the world’s most important technology centers.”

NVIDIA opened a design center in Israel in 2016, and an AI research center last October.

(via Israel21c)

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