Rohingya Muslims launch landmark legal case against Facebook

The north district court in San Francisco has received a class action complaint, on behalf of estimated 10,000 Rohingya Muslims, against the social media giant Facebook for enabling and fomenting genocidal violence in Myanmar. In 2018 Facebook admitted that it had not done enough to prevent the incitement of violence and hate speech against the Rohingya; following a brutal military campaign in the Rakhine state which saw over 10,000 Rohingya killed. There are an estimated million Rohingya who continued to be displaced and living in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, in south-eastern Bangladesh. “...

Myanmar’s military halves Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence as criticism continues to mount

Myanmar’s military-ruled court has halved their sentence of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, from four to two years, as international criticism continues to mount. This follows the court’s initial guilty ruling on Monday of inciting dissent and breaking COVID-19 rules. These are the first in a series of charges which are to be levied against the ousted leader; others include corruption, election fraud, and illegally importing and possessing walkie talkies. The court had ruled that she be jailed for four years before lowering the sentence to two. Ousted President Win Myint was also sentenced...

International condemnation of summary execution ex-Afghan security officials

Responding to the reported executions of over 100 former Afghan security officials by the Taliban, the US, EU and 20 other countries have released a joint statement condemning the killings. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report notes that whilst the Taliban had agreed to provide amnesty to surrounding security forces; they had used screening "to detain and summarily execute or forcibly disappear individuals within days of their registration, leaving their bodies for their relatives or communities to find". Their report notes that over 100 former members of the Afghan security forces have been...

US warns of 'severe consequences' if Russia further aggression towards Ukraine

Following a meeting with Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken reaffirmed American support for the "territorial integrity of Ukraine" and warned Russia that it would be held responsible for any aggressive actions it takes towards Ukraine. Blinken has further threatened this week that the US respond to “Russian aggression against Ukraine” with “high-impact economic measures that we’ve refrained from taking in the past”. The announcement comes as US intelligence has revealed potential Russian invasion plans for early next year. The unclassified...

Biden administration delists FARC as a 'terrorist' organisation but peace remains fragile

On Tuesday US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, revoked the designation of the now-defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) rebel group as a "foreign terrorist organisation" but proscribed two splinter organisations of FARC, "FARC-EP and Segunda Marquetalia". The decision follows a resurgence of violence in the rural regions of Colombia where FARC had previously held control. The International Crisis Group has pointed towards the dire economic conditions that are pervasive in Columbia to explain this uptake in arms however Columbia's army has accused the Venezuelan regime of...

US sanctions Eritrean army and ruling party for 'contributing to the violence' in Ethiopia

The United States has sanctioned the Eritrean army and the country's ruling party for their role in the Ethiopian conflict. In a press release , the US Department of the Treasury announced sanctions on four entities and two individuals "that have contributed to the crisis and conflict" in Ethiopia. "The presence of Eritrean forces is an impediment to ending the ongoing fighting and increasing humanitarian access," the press release said. The individuals and entities that have been sanctioned are Eritrean Defense Force, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, Abraha Kassa Nemariam, Hidri...

ICC prosecutor to open investigation into Venezuela

International Criminal Court prosecutor, Karim Khan, said on Wednesday he will open an investigation into possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela. Speaking in a conference alongside Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Khan said he is "determined that he will proceed to open an investigation to establish the truth" of events that occurred in Venezuela. A memorandum of understanding was signed by both the President and Karim Khan. A preliminary investigation was conducted in 2018 and Khan noted during the press conference that "The preliminary examination that opened in 2018 is nothing...

Protests against Sudan coup as military dissolve civilian government

A coup is currently underway in Sudan, where the military has dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and declared a state of emergency. The coup leader, General Abel Fattah Burhan blamed political infighting. In response to the dissolution of civilian rule, protests have erupted in several cities including the capital Khartoum. Three people are said to have been killed after being shot by armed forces, BBC reports.

Israel proscribes six Palestinian human rights organisations as crackdown on political activism escalates

The Israeli government has effectively outlawed six prominent Palestinian human rights organisations by declaring them terrorist organisations, in what is considered a major escalation of its crackdown on political activism within the occupied territories. The declaration has allowed Israel to raid offices, seize assets, arrest staff and criminalise any public expressions of support for the groups. A majority of the targeted organisations document human rights violations by Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority, "both of which routinely detain Palestinian activists", The Star reports...

Welsh independence to be considered by new commission

Welsh Labour ministers have set up a new body to examine Wales' future relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom, with Welsh independence being one of the options considered. Prof Laura Mcallister and ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will co-chair the new body with all major parties agreeing to participate in it. The full membership of the commission is expected to be released next month, currently, they plan to produce an interim report by 2022, with a full report following in 2023. Leading parties have commented on the new commission, a spokesperson for Plaid Cymru told BBC...

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