US calls for de-escalation in Hong Kong following pro-democracy protests

The United States has called for a de-escalation of violence in Hong Kong following a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. During the protests, a Hong Kong shot and critically wounded a protester and another man was set on fire. Carrie Lam, leader of Hong Kong, responded to this by denouncing protesters as “enemies of the people”. Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, insisted that Being needed to respect its commitments to Hong Kong, that the region should ‘enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ and that the people of Hong Kong will enjoy human rights the freedoms...

Genocide lawsuit against Myanmar filed at UN court

A lawsuit accusing Myanmar of genocide for its treatment of the Rohingya people has been filed at the International Court of Justice. The case was filed at the highest UN court by Gambia on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation. “It is clear that Myanmar has no intention of ending these genocidal acts and continues to pursue the destruction of the group within its territory,” the lawsuit said, adding that the government “is deliberately destroying evidence of its wrongdoings to cover up the crimes.’’ Read more on the New York Times.

Catalan separatists protests block major Spain-France road

Hundreds of pro-independence Catalonian protesters gathered on the AP-7 highway, a major traffic link between Spain and France, which could cost the Spanish economy 15 million euros on a daily basis, reports the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport. According to the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport, spokesperson, Dulse Diaz, approximately said 20,000 trucks cross the border at La Jonquera every day in both directions. Following this protest, they have been diverted into smaller roads whilst protesters set up concrete barriers as well as stages for concerts. This protest follows...

Ex-Congolese rebel chief appeals ICC’s jail sentence

Former Congolese rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, will appeal the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) 30-year sentence, issued on Thursday, for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ntaganda was leading figure for the Union of Congolese Patriots and its militia, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) during the conflict in the early 2000s. Specifically, his charges related to his conduct from 2002-2003, in the mineral-rich region of Ituri. Ntaganda is subject to 18 charges includes crimes of sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers. He is also charged with...

Amnesty denounces Turkey’s imprisonment of journalists

Amnesty International has denounced the imprisonment of journalists in Turkey under charges of “assisting a terrorist organisation”. Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan were sentenced to 10 and a half years and 8 years and 9 months respectively after having spent three years detained pre-trial. Their legal representatives are currently having their cases retried following the decision against them by the Supreme Court of Appeals in July 2019. Amnesty has condemned what they describe as a “politically motivated prosecution”. Sara Hall, Deputy Regional Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International,...

Chile pulls out of hosting international summits amidst mass uprisings

Chile has been forced to withdraw from hosting two international summits as the government is rocked by mass uprisings and mounting allegations of human rights violations. With at least 18 people dead and 7000 arrested and allegations of police torture, Chile’s president Sebastian Piñera, who is facing legal action by civil society groups who accuse him of crimes against humanity, announced that he had taken the “painful” decision to cancel two high profile summits due to take place in the capital Santiago. The first of the two summits, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting was...

Netherlands admits air strike killed civilians in 2015

The Dutch government has admitted that a bomb dropped by a Dutch -16 fighter killed 70 civilians in an airstrike in Northern Iraq. In a letter to parliament, the Dutch Defense Ministry wrote that an airstrike targeting an alleged Islamic State (IS) bomb factory in northern Iraq killed about 70 people, including IS fighters and civilians. On June 2 2015, a bomb dropped by a Dutch F-16 fighter hit the bomb factory in Hawija, near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, on the night of June 2, 2015. Defense Minister, Anna Bijleveld-Schouten, wrote that "intelligence available to the Netherlands did...

“A new Welsh spirit of independence” - Adam Price

Speaking at a campaign launch, Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, has said in the run-up to the UK general election, Dec 12, that Wales may forge its own independence from the United Kingdom and remain a member of the European Union. When Plaid Cymru was initially formed in 2017, a call for independence was very much in the backdrop with the primary focus being on defeating the dominant Conservative and Labour parties. Since then, however, a greater focus has been on independence with the current instability in British politics. Price also drew inspiration from the Scottish National party...

Israel’s court backs deportation of HRW official

The highest court in Israel has authorised the deportation of Human Rights Watch (HRW) official Omar Shakir, a US citizen, for allegedly supporting BDS, the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement. In 2017 Israel passed legislation criminalising support for BDS and blocking entry to those who have supported a boycott of Israel or its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Shakir has denied supporting any boycotts on Israel during his work for HRW but it assumed that he has been deliberately targeted because of HRW’s opposition to the settlements in the West Bank and calls for private...

OPCW refuses to investigate Turkey’s phosphorus use, whilst UK’s trade continues

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has reportedly refuse to investigate the alleged use of white phosphorus against Kurds by Turkey, reports The Times, whilst Britain also continues its sales of phosphorus products to Ankara. “The OPCW has not initiated an investigation regarding recent developments in northern Syria,” a statement sent to The Times from the international body read. Investigators reportedly refused to test tissue samples from injured Kurdish civilians from suspected Turkish white phosphorus attacks. Meanwhile The Times also revealed that Britain...

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