Protests over Indian citizenship continue for the fourth day

Protests have erupted throughout India in response to a controversial citizenship bill which would grant persecuted religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, a pathway to citizenship. In the east of India, dozens of buses were set on fire and vandalised in at least six railway stations on Saturday. In West Bengal, 15 buses were burned. Peaceful protests were also held at Utter Pradesh by the students of the Aligarh Muslim University. India’s police responded to student protests in Utter Pradesh by using tear gas and batons. The bill has been criticised for attacking...

US imposes visa restrictions of South Sudan peace process ‘spoilers’

The United States will implement visa restrictions against South Sudan leaders who “undermine or impede the peace process” in the country, the Secretary of State has said. The restrictions would apply to individuals and family members of individuals deemed to be: violating a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities agreement; violating the UN arms embargo; engaging in corruption that fuels the conflict; suppressing freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, or other abuses or violations; or failing to abide by signed peace agreements. “The people of South Sudan have suffered enough...

Boris pledges to repay trust of voters after Conservative victory

Boris Johnson has pledged to repay the trust of all those that voted for him after he was re-elected Prime Minister of Britain, with the Conservative Party winning a heavy majority in the UK’s General Election. “I, and we, will never take your support for granted,” said Johnson in his victory speech. “I will make it my mission to work night and day, to work flat-out to prove you right in voting for me this time, and to earn your support in the future.” The Conservative Party won 364 seats to the Labour Party’s 203, giving them the biggest Conservative majority since the 1980s, added Johnson...

SNP gains are ‘clear message’ for second independence referendum, says Sturgeon

The performance of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Britain’s General Election has sent a "clear message" on a second independence referendum, said leader Nicola Sturgeon, after the party made wide gains across Scotland. The SNP won 48 seats with 45% of the vote, thirteen seats more than it did in 2017. Amongst the key victories was the unseating of Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire. Sturgeon said the results were a "clear endorsement Scotland should get to decide our future and not have it decided for us". "The results across the rest of the UK are grim but...

Human rights groups condemn Kenya for blocking justice and reconciliation for victims

A joint statement by a group of human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, International Centre for Transitional Justice, and the Kenya Human Rights Commission, condemns the Kenyan National Assembly for blocking justice and reparations for victims of human rights abuses. In 2007 Kenya’s transitional justice project began after presidential violence claimed the lives of at least 1,133 people. During this violence there were reported acts of sexual violence, destruction of property and thousands were displaced. Agnes Odhiambo, senior Africa women’s rights researcher for Human...

Britain’s exit polls predict Conservative majority

As voting closed in the United Kingdom today, exit polls predict a Conservative Party majority in the 2019 General Election. Votes are currently being counted across Britain with results being declared throughout the night. All of the country’s major parties have campaigned for British Tamil votes this election, with Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson releasing a video message praising the Tamil community in the early hours of the morning. “I want to thank the Tamil community for everything they do for our country,” he said.

Indian Parliament passes heavily disputed Citizenship Amendment Bill

The Upper House of the Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) approved the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Wednesday with 125 votes in favour and 105 against. This contentious bill, which had already cleared the lower house on Monday, will grant citizenship to persecuted immigrants of six non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955, and will allow non-Muslims from the three countries, who entered India before December 31, 2014, to apply for Indian citizenship. Protests erupted across the country with the religiously polarising bill set to...

ICC accuses CAR militia leaders with war crimes

Two alleged leaders of a mostly Christian militia operating in the Central African Republic will face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity against the nation’s Muslim community. The individuals who will face trial are senior officials of an anti-Balaka militia, Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona and Alfred Yekatom. These individuals are accused of crimes against civilians including “murder, rape, forcible displacement, pillaging, cruel treatment, torture and persecution”.The individuals named have not entered into pleas as of yet. In an earlier...

US imposes sanctions on Myanmar on Human Rights Day

The United States has agreed to impose sanctions on senior commanders of the Myanmar military who are accused of overseeing mass human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. This decision to impose sanctions follows Aung San Suu Kyi appearance at the International Criminal Court tribunal where she contested charges of genocide against the Rohingya people. Myanmar’s military is accused of grotesques violations surrounding a brutal military crackdown in 2017. This includes forced exile of thousands of Rohingya, systematic mass rape, torture and arson, as well as summary...

EU to blacklist human rights abusers

Following an agreement between European foreign ministers, the EU has agreed to freeze assets and issue travel bans to those who have violated human rights as part of a new sanctions model. This measure was pushed by the Netherlands which has consistently campaigned for a European-wide 'Magnitsky Act’. Speaking on the matter, British hedge fund manager, Bill Browder, stated; "It took us 10 years to get here, but it's a decisive victory in the global Magnitsky justice campaign”. The EU Observer reports that the Dutch have removed the magnitsky name from the legislation to make it appear that...

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