59 killed and 57 injured in a train accident in Amritsar, Northern Punjab

Punjab’s chief minister, Amarinder Singh has confirmed the deaths of 59 people and the injuries of 57 in a railway incident on Friday. On that day a train ran over a large crowd which had gathered to celebrate a major Hindu holiday. Chief Minister Singh has thus far declined to comment on the reasons behind the accident and has told reporters on Saturday that an official inquiry would be undertaken and completed within four weeks.

Saudi Arabia claims Jamal Khashoggi died during a “fist-fight”

For the first time Saudi Arabia has confirmed the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after initially providing strenuous denials. Khashoggi, a journalist for the Washington Post and US resident, initially arrived in Saudi Arabia’s consulate to file in documents certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife so that he could remarry. Saudi Arabia initially, stated that he left the consulate building from the back but Turkish intelligence notes that this was not the case. They report that a 15-man team, including senior forensic experts and a man carrying a bone saw, were sent from Riyadh to the...

ICC warns Israel over demolition of Bedoiun village

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has warned the Israeli government over the “imminent” planned eviction of the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, in the West Bank. “I have been following with concern the planned eviction of the Bedouin community,” said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. “Evacuation by force now appears imminent, and with it the prospects for further escalation and violence.” “It bears recalling, as a general matter, that extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes...

Swedish oil executives face charges for war crimes in Sudan

The Chief Executive and chairman of Swedish group Lundin Oil may face charges of war crimes, after the Swedish government paved the way for an indictment to be issued this week. Alex Schneiter, the current CE of Lundin Oil and Ian Lundin, the chairman of the board, may be indicted, for war crimes committed in Sudan. Lundin Oil is accused of bankrolling the Sudanese army and several paramilitary groups that drove away locals from areas where the company planned to carry out oil exploration, and are accused of committing human rights abuses. “Given the severity of the crime, justice must be...

US requests UN Security Council briefing on Rohingya

The United States and either other governments have requested the United Nations fact-finding mission that investigated atrocities committed by Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims brief the UN Security Council this week. The UN's Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar was set up in March 2017 and headed by Marzuki Darusman who also co-authored the 2011 report produced by a panel of experts on mass atrocities in Sri Lanka. The report calls for an investigation into the genocide of the Rohingya people and for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The...

Three top Afghan officials killed in Taliban attack that narrowly misses US commander

Three senior Afghan officials have been killed and two American officials injured, in a Taliban attack in Kandahar on Thursday that narrowly missed the top US commander in Afghanistan. Police Chief, General Abdul Raziq; the provincial governor of Kandahar, Zalmai Wesa; and, intelligence chief General Abdul Mominera were killed in the attack. Two American officials were injured but US General Austin Miller, commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, managed to survive without injuries. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes two days before parliamentary elections,...

Anti-Indian protests reignite in Kashmir following shootout in Srinagar

Thousands participated in an anti-Indian protest in the city of Srinagar in Kashmir, following a joint funeral commemorating those who died during the shootout with the Indian security forces. During the protest most shops and businesses closed in solidarity with the protest and civilians marched the streets chanting “Go India, go back” and “Long live Pakistan”. Police officials reported incidents of protestors throwing stones at security forces. In response Indian authorities deployed paramilitary soldiers and heavily armed police to monitor the protest as well as imposing a curfew. The...

At least 26 protestors arrested in Nicaraguan anti-government demonstration

Police have arrested at least 26 people during anti-government protests in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua on Sunday. These protests were organised by an alliance of 40 opposition groups calling on President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, to resign. The current demonstrations began in April of this year and demanded that proposed changes to the nation’s pensions schemes be scrapped. However following heavy handed and sometimes violent state repression of the protests, the situation has escalated. The protestors are now demanding that Ortega step down. Al Jazeera notes...

US Senate rules Stalin committed genocide in Ukraine

The United States Senate passed a resolution this week, recognising the Ukraine famine of 1932-33 as a genocide, committed by Soviet leader Josef Stalin. Millions of people were killed in the famine, also known as the Holodomor famine, in which the Soviet regime is thought to have engineered conditions leading to devastating shortages of food. The Senate "recognizes the findings of the Commission on the Ukraine Famine as submitted to Congress on April 22, 1988, including that...'Stalin and those around him committed genocide against the Ukrainians in 1932–1933,'" said the adopted resolution...

UNHRC appointments criticised for human rights records

The election of human rights abusing countries to the UN Human Rights Council, where the likes of Saudi Arabia and Egypt already have seats, has drawn criticism from human rights groups. The Philippines and Eritrea were elected to the council on Friday, despite campaigners urging UN members to oppose their candidacy. Bahrain and Cameroon were also elected. The council was established in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights, with a purpose to promote and protect human rights around the world. The council’s has had Sri Lanka’s human rights violations on its agenda since 2012. Read...

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