Views on the News – 15 Jan 2020


  • Demonstrations Returns to Iran’s Streets
  • Russia-Turkey Libya Talks Fail
  • Musharraf Court Ruling Overturned

Demonstrations Returns to Irans Streets

Iran ended 2019 with waves of protests against the clerical regime and whilst the beginning of 2020 has seen the outpouring of support a wave of anti-government protests have taken place in Iran after leaders in Tehran finally admitted what most everyone already knew: that the Iranian military accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing everyone on board. Iranian protesters have since demanded that government officials apologise and resign over the “lies” they told during the investigation. Others have lashed out against Iranian escalation with the United States. All eyes have turned on the Iranian government in anticipation of a second crackdown on citizens. Security forces have dispersed demonstrations, sometimes with tear gas, while the government has called protesters’ actions “destructive.” It would seem after decades of mismanagement Iran clerical regime will not be able to hind behind the assassination of Solemani.


Russia-Turkey Libya Talks Fail

The diplomatic effort in Moscow to produce a cease-fire in Libya has floundered, as the leader of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, departed Russia without having signed the proposed truce. The head of the Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, signed the agreement, but Haftar requested more time to consider it. Al-Sarraj was in Istanbul, where he met with the US ambassador to Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia was now responsible for continuing the failed talks and that Turkey had “done its job.” Turkey and Russia have now entered the grey in Libya, whilst Russia has aided Haftar who has also been backed by the US it remains to be seen if Turkey will use its Syria role in infiltrating the opposition.


Musharraf Court Ruling Overturned

A court in Pakistan has overturned the death sentence handed down to former president Pervez Musharraf by declaring the legal process unconstitutional.

Gen Musharraf had challenged the formation of special court which found him guilty of treason in December 2019. On Monday, the Lahore High Court sided with the exiled general, who seized power in a 1999 coup and was president from 2001 to 2008. The decision meant Gen Musharraf was “a free man”, one prosecutor said.

The three judges, in the eastern city of Lahore, said that the case against Mr. Musharraf was politically motivated and that the crimes he was accused of committing — high treason and subverting the Constitution — were “a joint offense” that “cannot be undertaken by a single person.” The irony of the episode is that the very constitution Musharraf ripped up 2007, is the once he is using to defend himself.