Hundreds of Belarus protestors demand justice after ‘repeatedly beaten’ by police      

Human rights groups have denounced inhumane conditions in which thousands of protestors were detained and beaten by police, amid huge protests that have weakened Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko’s grip on power. One demonstrator, Arthur Khomenko, said police officers began beating him with their fists and in one instance they pulled down his underwear and threatened to rape him with a truncheon. Khomenko then spent most of the next week with searing pain and partial hearing loss, where doctors diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury, concussion and bruising across his head and body...

Student protestors in Hungary demand academic freedom for top arts University

Several thousand students protested on Sunday for the independence of Hungary’s University of Theatre and Film Arts following what they see as a takeover of their school by the autocratic government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Protestors took to the university’s various buildings holding signs saying, “We stand for the freedom of our university.” On Monday, many members of the school’s management resigned in protest, which included many of Hungary’s most famous directors and filmmakers. One demonstrator, Marta Barbarics commented saying, “if a university cannot teach in a way as its...

Former Mali president seeks medical treatment as discussions of a return to civilian rule begin

Overthrown Mali president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita left the country on Saturday seeking medical treatment in the United Arab Emirates, as talks about a transition back to civilian rule began.

Hundreds arrested in Hong Kong over election postponement protests

Hong Kong police arrested at least 289 protestors on Sunday, as they assembled on the day the local elections were supposed to be held. Elections were postponed for at least a year, and officials pointed to the pandemic as the reason for moving the election date. Police officers used pepper spray against protestors, and some of the arrests were made by plainclothes police officers. One activist was even arrested in his home on Sunday for “uttering seditious words”, whilst footage of officers tackling a 12-year-old girl to the ground also went viral.

Indonesian fishermen rescue Rohingya refugees stranded at sea

Nearly 300 Rohingya refugees who were stranded at sea for months after being denied port in Southeast Asia were rescued by Indonesian fisherman this week. The group included 14 children, and two of the refugees were taken to the hospital for medical care. It has been reported that approximately 30 people died during the months they spent at sea. Since 2017, when a Buddhist nationalist military in Myanmar took power, Rohingya Muslims have been targeted with genocidal intent. This led to an increased number of refugees escaping the genocide in Myanmar, many of whom escaped to refugee camps in...

Human Rights Watch denounces India's firing of metal pellets in Kashmir

Human Rights Watch said India should prohibit firing metal pellets through shotguns to disperse crowds in the restive Kashmir valley, in the wake of violent clashes with security forces when people defied a ban on public gatherings imposed due to reported concerns over the coronavirus pandemic on Muharram, an important date in the Shia calendar.

Facebook enforces new policies to restrict political ads before US election

Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new measures to restrict the spread of misleading comments and politically-biased lies on Facebook before the United States presidential election on 3 rd November 2020. Zuckerberg said that he was “worried” but the election would not “be business as usual”. He added, "With our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalised, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.” Facebook has been heavily criticised for allowing political ads to be "micro-targeted” and for failing to...

IFJ hails repealing of libel law in Sierra Leone

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) celebrated the Sierra Leone parliament’s repealed the criminal libel law on 23 July, completing President Maada Bio’s promise he made on the campaign trail before the 2018 election. In Sierra Leone, libel has been a punishable criminal offence since 1965, which journalists said restricted free speech and expression. “Criminal libel law puts journalists in jail and that’s a major impediment, and it’s repeal is very huge for journalism, freedom of expression in a country that has gone to war, that has seen millions of people die because of one...

Canada and Netherlands intervene in genocide lawsuit against Myanmar

In a joint statement by Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, they expressed their intention to intervene in support of Gambia’s genocide lawsuit against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Indian Supreme Court fines lawyer one rupee for tweets in 'very dangerous' decision

Prashant Bhushan, an Indian public interest lawyer, who was fined one rupee for posting tweets that were critical of the Indian Supreme Court, called the decision “very dangerous”. The Court imposed the fine for having “brought the administration of justice in disrepute and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the institution of Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular, in the eyes of public at large”. Many had feared a much more serious outcome, as Bhushan was facing a six-month sentence in prison. The tweets in question...