At least six Pakistanis among New Zealand terror attack victims

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Relatives and neighbors pray for Pakistani citizens Rashid Naeem, and his son Talha Naeem, who were reportedly killed in the Christchurch mosque shooting, at their native home in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP)
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Relatives and neighbors gather at the native home of Pakistani citizens Rashid Naeem, and his son Talha Naeem, who were reportedly killed in the Christchurch mosque shooting, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP)
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Relatives talk to Nadeem Rashid, second left, bother of Pakistani citizen Rashid Naeem, who was reportedly killed along with his son Talha Naeem in the Christchurch mosque shooting, at their home in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP)
Updated 17 March 2019

At least six Pakistanis among New Zealand terror attack victims

  • The six confirmed dead include 48-year-old Naeem Rashid and his 21-year-old son, Talha Naeem
  • Naeem migrated to New Zealand with his family in 2009 and was a teacher

CHRISTCHURCH: Pakistan's foreign minister says at least six Pakistanis were killed in the New Zealand mosque shootings.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi says authorities in Christchurch, where the shootings took place, are trying to determine whether three other Pakistanis who have been missing since Friday's attack were among the fatalities.
He said Saturday that the six confirmed dead include 48-year-old Naeem Rashid and his 21-year-old son, Talha Naeem.
Naeem migrated to New Zealand with his family in 2009 and was a teacher.
A total of at least 49 people were killed on the attacks on two mosques.


Protester flees Russia as two others tie the knot in jail

Updated 15 min 37 sec ago

Protester flees Russia as two others tie the knot in jail

  • The protester faces up to five years in prison for throwing a plastic bottle at police
  • Gubaidulin fled the country this week after realizing he could soon be given a lengthy jail term amid an unrelenting crackdown on the opposition

MOSCOW: A protester has fled Russia fearing imprisonment, his lawyer said Thursday, as a jailed demonstrator married a young woman accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
Aidar Gubaidulin, a 26-year-old programmer who faces up to five years in prison for throwing a plastic bottle at police, was among more than a dozen people who were arrested following anti-government protests demanding fair elections this summer.
Gubaidulin fled the country this week after realizing he could soon be given a lengthy jail term amid an unrelenting crackdown on the opposition, his lawyer Maxim Pashkov told AFP.
“This decision did not come easily to me but the events of the last few days left me no choice,” Gubaidulin said on Facebook.
“I’ve left the country and will not return anytime soon.”
Gubaidulin, who tossed an empty plastic bottle toward police at a July rally but did not hit anyone, was arrested and charged with mass unrest.
He was later released from pre-trial detention and eventually charged with threatening to use violence against police.
Pashkov said Gubaidulin decided to leave Russia after a court this week upheld the conviction of fellow protester Konstantin Kotov, who had been jailed for four years over peaceful protests.
“This affected him very much,” Pashkov said.
Meanwhile in a bittersweet development, Kotov, 34, married a 19-year-old suspected extremist, Anna Pavlikova, at Moscow’s infamous Matrosskaya Tishina jail, said Kotov’s friend and fellow activist Alexei Minyailo.
Along with several other people Pavlikova, then aged 17, was arrested last year and charged with creating an extremist organization and seeking to overthrow President Vladimir Putin’s government.
Her health deteriorated in jail and she was later placed under house arrest.
“Justice failed them, Kostya will soon be sent to a penal colony but love will triumph anyway,” Minyailo, who attended the wedding, told AFP, using a diminutive to refer to his friend.
Minyailo himself spent two months in pre-trial detention after the protests but was released after a solidarity campaign.
Overall six people including Kotov received jail terms of between two and five years over the opposition protests over elections in Moscow which were seen as unfair.
Under pressure from supporters the authorities made a few concessions, including releasing from prison actor Pavel Ustinov after he was jailed for three-and-a-half years and giving him a suspended sentence instead.
But as the wave of protests for the most part died down, the authorities once again began to tighten the screws.
This week, investigators announced five more detentions of protesters.
The latest arrests brought the number of people awaiting trial in jail to seven.
Tens of thousands of people rallied in Moscow this summer after authorities refused to allow allies of opposition leader Alexei Navalny to stand for city parliament in September elections.
Scores of Kremlin critics have fled Russia in recent years amid an increasing crackdown on dissent.