Turkey ends 2-year state of emergency

Turkey has ended its 2 year state of emergency, which was first imposed after a failed coup on July 20, 2016. The measure normally lasts three months but was extended seven times by the President Erdogan. The state of emergency saw the detention of around 80,000 people and double the number sacked from public jobs. Although alleged supporters of the coup were targeted, the Turkish government used emergency laws to crackdown particularly on Kurdish activists. See more from AFP.

UN Human Rights Chief 'disappointed' with India's reaction to human rights report on Kashmir

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is deeply disappointed by India’s reaction to the publication of the first ever UN human rights report on Kashmir last month. “Since the report was published, we have been deeply disappointed by the reaction of the Indian authorities, who dismissed the report as “fallacious, tendentious and motivated” without examining it and responding to the very serious concerns about the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir as laid out in the report,” a spokesperson for the High Commissioner said on Tuesday...

Spain's Constitutional Court blocks Catalan independence bid

Spain’s Constitutional Court said it had blocked a motion passed in Catalonia’s parliament to resume steps to declare independence, following an appeal against the move filed by Spain’s central government. The Catalan parliament can appeal against the decision within the next 20 days. Both the court and the Spanish government have said that Catalonia cannot hold a referendum on independence under Spain’s constitution. See more from Reuters.

US prepared to have direct talks with Taliban in Afghanistan

A senior US commander has confirmed that the United States is prepared to have direct talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, in an effort to reach a peace deal in the country. General John Nicholson, who leads the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, said that, "Our secretary of state, Mr [Mike] Pompeo, has said that we, the United States, are ready to talk to the Taliban and discuss the role of international forces". "We hope that they realise this and that this will help to move the peace process forward," he added. The Taliban have long sought direct talks with the Americans...

At least 8 killed in Southern Iraq protests

In Southern Iraq protests have spread over issues of corruption and a failure to provide basic services for people, including electricity and water shortages. The protests initially erupted in Basra on July 8th, to which security forces cracked down on protestors and killed one person. Following this protests have continued to spread to the eastern province of Diyala and southern city of Nasiriyah. During the protests, demonstrators marched outside the headquarters of political parties across the south and some set fire and tore up political posters. Protestors say that leaders and public...

Iraq govt approves plans for Yezidi genocide museum

The government of Iraq has approved a proposal by Yezidi activists to convert a village school in to a museum commemorating the genocide of Yezidis by ISIS. In 2014 ISIS launched an attack on Shingal, Kurdistan and its surrounding areas, kidnapping more than 6500 Yezidis. 1202 residents of Kocho, a village near Shingal, were gathered in the village school. 395 were shot and buried in 22 mass graves. 600 residents of the village remain missing. Many of the women are believed to have been sold into sexual slavery. The Iraqi government approved the proposal to convert that school into a genocide...

Spanish government to set up truth commission for Franco crimes

The new Spanish government is to set up a truth commission to investigate crimes against humanity committed under the former dictator, Francisco Franco. The government has pledged to search for those disappeared during his rule, including carrying out public exhumations every year and recording the number of people found. The commission is part of a new historical memory law, which also seeks to prohibit support for Franco and annul the convictions of those accused of committing crimes against his regime. Those seeking justice remain sceptical however, stressing that those who committed the...

Connecticut to officially mark Sikh Genocide Day

The US State of Connecticut will officially mark ‘Sikh Genocide Day’ on November 30 to commemorate the anti-Sikh pogrom in 1984 which saw around 3000 Sikhs in Delhi killed by Hindu mobs, aided by Indian law enforcement and government officials. The bill declaring Sikh genocide day was signed in to law by the Governor of Connecticut. Last year the government of the Canadian province of Ontario also recognised the pogrom as genocide.

Indian police arrest 32 after Muslim man lynched

As many as 32 people have been arrested in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, after the murder a Muslim man on Friday – reportedly sparked by rumors circulating on WhatsApp. Mohammad Azam, a 27 year old Google employee, was lynched by villagers, who accused him of abducting children. This follows a worrying trend in India in which more than 20 people, mostly non-local, have been killed due to accusations of child abduction in the last two months. The killings have taken place amidst a backdrop of growing nationalism across the country, which will go to the polls next year. Police Chief...

Iceland replaces USA at UN Human Rights Council

Iceland has been elected to replace the USA on the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The UN General Assembly elected Iceland as the replacement effective immediately until the end of next year. The US announced its decision to withdraw from the UNHRC last month, citing anti-Israel bias and hypocrisy. The US was a key partner in passing the Resolution 30/1 on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, which Sri Lanka co-sponsored. Despite pulling out of the council, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka has stressed that the US government is still committed to holding Sri Lanka to its obligations...

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