Ramallah protesters demand release of Palestinian activist Aug 12, 2020 0 437 12345 AFPRamallahPalestinians rallied in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, urging EU pressure on Israel to free a local leader of the global campaign to boycott the Jewish state. Mahmoud Nawajaa, coordinator of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the occupied Palestinian territories, was arrested at his home in Ramallah on July 30. Several rights groups, including Amnesty International, have called for his release.“He has been detained solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association and is therefore a prisoner of conscience,” Amnesty said in an August 7 press release. More than 100 protesters gathered outside the German delegation office in Ramallah urging the country, which currently holds the European body’s rotating presidency, to lobby Israel. “Our main message to the European Union and to Germany is that you need to intervene with the Israelis, force them to uphold human rights and those who defend them,” said Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of BDS.The movement calls for a wide-ranging embargo of Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.Israeli sources familiar with Nawajaa’s case who requested anonymity told AFP that he was arrested for “security offences”, not over his role in BDS.They did not detail the nature of the allegations against him and Nawajaa has not been charged in court. Israel sees BDS as a strategic threat and accuses it of anti-Semitism.Activists strongly deny the charge, comparing the embargo to the economic isolation that helped bring down apartheid in South Africa.Last year, Israel expelled the country director of Human Rights Watch, Omar Shakir, after accusing him of supporting BDS, a claim he denied. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Virus returns to New Zealand after 102 days Aug 12, 2020 0 419 Traumatised Beirut marks one week since devastating port blast Aug 12, 2020 0 394 Australia’s northern region to face virus measures until 2022 Aug 12, 2020 0 960 Manila welcomes Russia vaccine offer, Duterte volunteers for trial DPA Manila The Philippines said on Tuesday it was ready to work with Russia in testing and producing a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Russian scientists. Russia hopes to start mass production of its vaccine in .. India’s 10 states account for over 80% of active COVID-10 cases DPA New Delhi India can overcome the COVID-19 pandemic if 10 of its worst-hit states defeat it, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told regional leaders on Tuesday, adding that those states account for over 80 per cent of .. Former Indian president critical after surgery, positive virus test DPA New Delhi Former Indian president, Pranab Mukherjee, who has coronavirus, is in a critical condition following surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain, an official broadcaster reported on Tuesday. Mukherjee, .. Niger extends state of emergency after murder of 6 French nationals Niamey/Paris Niger on Tuesday extended a state of emergency after eight people, including six French nationals, were killed by suspected terrorists in the volatile West African nation. Six French humanitarian .. Iraq says two senior officers killed in Turkish drone strike Baghdad Two senior Iraqi border officers were killed in a strike by a Turkish drone in northern Iraq, the Iraqi army said on Tuesday. The drone targeted a military vehicle carrying both officers north of Erbil, the capital ..