UN to host talks for political solution between Polisario Front and Morocco

The United Nations will host the first political talks between Morocco and separatist Polisario Front in 6 years, reports the National. Last month the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). The talks under the auspices of the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterre commence tomorrow. Morocco originally claimed Western Sahara after European colonisers withdrew from the region in 1975. Their claims to the region were disputed by the Sahrawi population who declared the region the Sahrawi Arab...

Israeli police issue third recommendation for indictment of Prime Minister Netanyahu

Israel police have for the third time this year recommended that the country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on charges including bribery and fraud. Netanyahu must now wait for the decision of the attorney general, whom he appointed, on whether he will be indicted on all three charges. In the latest case, police accuse the prime minister of trading regulatory favours for favourable media coverage. See more from the New York Times.

Imprisoned Catalan leaders begin hunger strike

Two imprisoned Catalan leaders began a hunger strike this week to protest against what they described as unfair treatment by Spain. Jordi Sanchez, the head of the grassroots independence movement Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) and Jordi Turull, former minister in Catalan’s regional government, condemned the Spanish government's treatment of them. A lawyer representing them, Jordi Pina told reporters that the pair accused Spain’s Constitutional Court of preventing their appeals from being heard by the European Court of Human Rights. Spain’s central government has rejected claims of unfair...

Afghan commander accused of rights abuses released after days of protest

An anti-Taliban Shia Hazara militant commander has been released by Afghanistan’s government after two days of violent protests, following his arrest earlier this month. Alipur, known as “Commander Sword”, has been accused of conducting human rights abuses against the ethnic Pashtuns in the Maidan Wardak region, west of Kabul. Afghan police accuse him of several crimes and arrested him following an earlier failed attempted that ended in a shootout killing 12 people. Violent protests erupted soon after his arrest, with one demonstrator telling Al Jazeera "Alipur stands against the Taliban and...

Argentina 'proceeds with prosecution' of Saudi Crown Prince over war crimes in Yemen

A senior Argentinian prosecutor is to launch a case against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia over war crimes committed by the country's military in Yemen. The decision comes as the Crown Prince arrived in Buenos Aires to attend the G20 summit and follows a petition by Human Rights Watch urging action. The case will start with an Argentinian judge requesting information from Saudi and Yemeni authorities regarding the war crimes committed and will likely lead to a formal investigation. However, the case is unlikely to lead to an actual prosecution as under Argentinian law and...

Canada imposes sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals over killing of journalist

Canada imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals today over the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi almost one month ago. The affected nationals will not be allowed entrance into Canada and will have any of their assets within Canada frozen. All of the nationals are at present imprisoned however, making travel not possible. Stating that the government was also reassessing its arms trade with Saudi Arabia, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland told reporters "during this period of review, no new arms export permits are being issued". Freeland did not rule out suspending...

SNP MP states independence is 'the only option'

Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) MP Ian Blackford called for independence earlier this month, calling on Westminster to “show respect for Scotland”. “Scotland voted to remain in the EU,” Blackford tweeted. “Our rights as EU citizens and rights to free movement throughout the EU must not be taken away. Westminster has to show respect for Scotland and our sovereign rights as defined by the claim of right. Ultimately independence the only option”. This followed an earlier confirmation by the UK and 27 EU nations on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration. During the conference EU...

Ugandan police use tear gas and arrest opposition supporters

Uganda police used tear gas and live rounds to break up a gathering of opposition supporters in the southwestern town of Rukungiri on Monday reports Reuters. Patrick Onyango, a spokesman for the police, reported that they had arrested 15 people from the Forum For Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda’s largest opposition party, for allegedly staging an illegal meeting. He further stated: “we used force that was necessary to match the level of resistance from the offenders”. Ronald Muhinda, an aide to opposition leader Kizza Besigye, released footage on Facebook during which he stated that the FDC...

Guatemalan war criminal sentenced to 5,160 years in prison, decades after massacre

Santos Lopez Alonzo, 66, a former soldier during the Guatemalan civil war has been tried and sentenced to 5,160 years in prison, more than three decades after the crimes he is accused of took place. The Guatemalan civil war came to an end on 2nd December 1996 after 36-years of a bloody conflict, with high civilian casualties, several counts of alleged human rights abuses and genocide. The conflict was between the Guatemalan government, which was receiving support from the US government against left-wing indigenous Mayan guerrillas, with estimates of up to 200,000 casualties during the conflict. Alonzo is accused of being a combatant in the US trained elite special forces group named ‘Kaibiles’ in the Guatemalan military during the war. He allegedly partook in a large civilian massacre in the village of Dos Erres in 1982, which saw over 200 fatal casualties – 171 of which have been attributed to Alonzo himself. The civilians in the village, which was sympathetic to the Mayan insurgency, are reported to have been unarmed and no combatants present.

Bermuda's top court reverses government’s ban on gay marriage

Bermuda's top court ruled legislation banning same-sex marriage violated the 1968 constitution which included protection on freedom of conscience. The Bermuda’s Domestic Partnership Act which prohibited same-sex marriage in favour of domestic partnerships was passed in June of this year. Lawyers contesting the ban have argued the government had only passed it to appease a religious lobby in their small island. Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban said: “In considering whether to appeal this case, we must weigh the significant implications for the expectation of Bermudians that laws passed by...

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