Egypt engages in child detention and torture - HRW

Human Rights Watch in a joint report with the right group, “Belady: An Island For Humanity” have issued a report detailing worry horrifying abuses from Egypt’s security forces including but not limited to engaging in arbitrary detention and torture of children as young as 12. In a statement, Aya Hijazi, co-director of Belady, stated; “Egypt’s criminal justice system has failed to protect children from ill-treatment and could cause lasting harm […] Ending this routine detention and abuse is in the common interest of society as well as the child.” HRW has called on Egypt’s international allies...

UN calls for a global ceasefire to fight COVID-19

UN Secretary-General, Antonia Guterres has called on a global ceasefire in order to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). In a statement, he said; “the fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. That is why I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict in lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives”. So far 18,605 individuals have died from the deadly virus. In an effort to support the global fight against COVID-19, Cuba has deployed over 50 doctors and nurses to Lombardy, one of the worst-affected regions...

Ethiopia’s refusal to restore communication threatens public health

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned Ethiopia’s government-imposed shutdown of internet and phone services in western Oromia as it has caused significant difficulty in monitoring outbreaks of the disease and providing adequate support. In their statement they note; “The government’s refusal to restore phone and network access makes it likely that key information is not reaching everyone, including those vital to control efforts in western Oromia —health care workers and humanitarian organisations". Ethiopia had its first outbreak of coronavirus on 13 March in Western Oromia; prior to this,...

Liberian war crimes trial postponed due to coronavirus

The war crimes tribunal of Alieu Kosiah, the former commander of the United Liberation has Movement of Liberia for Democracy, has been postponed from April till June-July due to concerns over the Coronavirus. Kosiah was initially arrested in November 2014 whilst in Switzerland. He has been charged with killing and raping civilians as well as recruiting child soldiers, and ordering for cruel treatment of civilians during the period of 1993-5, during the first Liberian civil war (1989-1996). Hassan Bility, director of the GJRP (Global Justice and Research Project) claimed that this trial was “...

Egypt arrests activists protesting detention over coronavirus concerns

Egypt has arrested four leading intellectual female activists who have been campaigning for the release of prisoners during the midst of the coronavirus; they were arrested on charges of spreading false news and violating Egypt’s protest ban. The activists arrested were all part of the same family. Mona Seif is a prominent activist; as is her professor mother Laila Soueif; novelist aunt Ahdaf Soueif and professor aunt Rabab al-Mahdi; all of whom have been arrested for protesting outside the cabinet building. In a live stream for Facebook, Mona Seif was recorded saying; "We are in front of the...

Australian soldier caught killing unarmed Afghan civilian

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has released footage of an Australian soldier, from the Special Air Service (SAS), killing an unarmed Afghan civilian during a raid on a village. The attack has been described as a “straight-up execution”. The footage shows the soldier fire at an unarmed man at close range, three times, in the head and chest. The man died whilst holding on to red prayer beads. Australian forces have been implicated in 55 separate incidents of unlawfully killing non-combatants which the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force is currently examining. One of...

Two DRC war criminals released

Two former Congolese warlords have been released after serving sentences for war crimes which were issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The two warlords, Germain Katanga and Thomas Lubanga were found guilty of war crimes. Lubanga was found to have enlisted child soldiers under the age of 15 during a conflict in the Congo’s northeastern Ituri region which lasted from 1993 to 2003 and killed thousands of people. He was placed on trial in 2009 and sentenced in 2012 being was the first person arrested under the ICC. Katanga was sentenced to 12 years in prison for war crimes in an...

UN suspends refugee resettlement due to coronavirus

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR), as well as the International Organisation for migration, has suspended resettling refugees in permanent homes as coronavirus has caused significant travel disruptions. This suspension would take effect within the next few days however the UHCR has also called on the international community to enable movement where it is a matter of critical emergency. The UN children’s fund, UNICEF, has stated that European border restrictions have posed a severe impact on plans to transfer hundreds of children, which will put those in refugee camps in Greece in a “dire and...

UN and African Union plan fails Darfur – Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a statement criticising the United Nations and the African Union’s plan to limit the UN’s role in protecting civilians in Sudan, stating it will threaten civilians in Darfur. HRW has reported that Darfur continues to threaten civilians as government and rebel fighting continues in the Jebel Marra region when the UN peacekeeping force (UNAMID) had focused on protecting civilians since 2018. In this region, civilians are forced to flee for their lives, there are continued violence and heightened risks of sexual assault. UNAMID has proven effective in...

Taliban prisoner exchange delayed

A prisoner exchange in advance of peace negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan government have been delayed due to disagreements over the number of detainees to be freed and guarantees that they will not return to the battlefield. Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, agreed to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners on Saturday with further releases to follow as conditions were met. In total 5,000 prisoners were set to be released so that peace negotiations could occur and an end to the 18-year conflict could come about. Read more here: Afghanistan government and Taliban engage in prisoner exchange...

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