Former army officer hanged for assassination of Bangladesh’s founding president

Abdul Majed, a former Bangladeshi army officer, was hanged in the country’s capital, Dhaka, for the assassination of the country’s founding President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Majed was executed after spending 25 years as a fugitive and having his appeal for presidential clemency. Rahman was killed in 1975, along with much of his family. He was captured after returning to Bangladesh last month. When Mrs Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the founding president and current Prime Minister, was elected to office in 1996, Majed was believed to have fled into India. In 1998 after overturning legislation...

World Bank warns of worst economic slump in South Asia in 40 years

(Photo Credit: World Bank) The World Bank has warned that South Asian countries, such as India and Sri Lanka, will suffer the worst economic slump it has faced in 40 years because of the coronavirus. According to the World Bank, the South Asian countries are projected to make economic growth of 1.8 to 2.8% this year. This is down from the projected 6.3% growth which was made six months ago. South Asia has reported over 130,000 cases so far. The World Bank further warns that if national lockdowns are prolonged the entire region may suffer an economic contraction this year. To reduce the impact...

Amnesty reveals "deplorable prison conditions" in Cambodia

Amnesty International has released footage revealing deplorable conditions in Cambodia's prisons including overcrowding. This comes during the midst of coronavirus where people are encouraged to socially distance to prevent the spread of the disease. Those unable to are viewed at particular risk, leaving Amnesty to describe the Cambodian prisons as a "ticking time bomb" for the spread of this deadly disease. Amnesty reports that as 2 April 2020, Cambodia reported holding 38,890 people in prison despite having a capacity of only 26,593. They further detail that some prisons have been estimated...

HRW condemns Myanmar for not doing enough to protect Rohingya 

HRW has issued a statement condemning Myanmar for not doing enough to prevent the on-going repression of Rohingya which may amount to genocide. This follows two presidential directives which Myanmar aimed to respond to the International Court of Justice’s call for greater protection for Rohingya’s community. The two directives issues ordered the ministries and all regions and state governments to ensure that staff do not commit crimes defined by the Genocide convention and prohibits all Ministries and the Rakhine State from destroying evidence of genocide. HRW warns that it is not simply...

Kashmir separatist leader may be denied fair trial

Human rights advocates have warned that Yasin Malik, leader of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) will be denied a fair trial. According to Khurram Parvez, head of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances and coordinator of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), questions have been raised over the cases brought against Malik. Parvez stated; "Fair trial is a globally recognised right for everyone. If you are suddenly pulling out old cases and not even allowing the accused to properly represent his case, then there would definitely be question marks over it,"...

Overcrowded Assam detention centres spark fears of coronavirus outbreak

The families of more than 800 undocumented migrants – that are being held indefinitely in six detention centres across Assam in India – expressed their concerns about the safety of their loved ones, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Afghanistan releases 100 Taliban prisoners

Afghanistan’s government has confirmed the release of 100 Taliban prisoners following threats from the Taliban that they would walk away from peace negotiations brokered by the United States. Initially, the Afghan government refused to release the prisoners unless the Taliban agreed that the released would not return to the battlefield but the Taliban objected stating that they had not agreed to these preconditions. On 29 February, the US signed a deal with the Taliban agreeing to the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners in return for a 1,000 pro-government captives. It is important to note...

Over 1,700 arrested in Sri Lanka for violating curfew

1,724 people have been arrested within a span of 24 hours for violating curfew. In total 19,441 individuals have been arrested for violating curfew since the restrictions were implemented on 20 March. The Daily Mirror has reported that the police have taken over 5,000 vehicles into custody as a result of these raids. Read more from the Daily Mirror.

Canada faces scrutiny on immigration policies during COVID-19

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is coming under fire for temporarily suspending US border crossings and releasing detained migrants who are exposed to a greater risk of the coronavirus by Canada’s migration policies. Canada continues to detain 64 migrants as of 1 April, many within maximum-security jails, where social distancing is an even greater challenge, reports Human Rights Watch (HRW). It should be noted that the detention of migrants is not based on a criminal conviction but in many cases simply their immigration status. Migrants are often placed in maximum-security prisons...

UN urges for joint action in Mali to curb coronavirus

The UN Security Council held a virtual conference to discuss the peacekeeping mission in Mali where 15,000 UN peacekeepers are stationed, and violence continues to escalate. Al Jazeera reports that in the northern city of Bamba in Mali, 25 soldiers were killed in a single attack this week. Mali has thus far reported 52 positive cases of coronavirus and 5 deaths. The UN is facing difficulties with respects to their peacekeeping operations as their soldiers as normal rotations have frozen and many are stuck in their host countries. There is growing concern over states unilaterally withdrawing...

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