ICC authorises investigation into Afghanistan war crimes

The ICC has ruled to launch an investigation examining the war crimes committed by US, Afghan and Taliban troops during the Afghanistan war, overturning a previous rejection of the inquiry. The ICC’s appeal chamber stated on Thursday, that the lower court had misinterpreted the court’s rules and maintained that the investigation should go ahead. The investigators are permitted to examine the war dating back to 2003 as well as other crimes which relate to Afghanistan. The ICC judges are also permitted to investigate CIA black sites which operated in Poland, Lithuania and Romania. They will...

India restores some internet access in Kashmir

India has restored some internet access in Kashmir for the first time since the region had its autonomy revoked and was placed in a lockdown in August. The measure will allow limited access to social media and may provide better reporting on what is going on in Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, withdrew the regional autonomy and special rights of Jammu and Kashmir on grounds of furthering regional development. Reuters notes that whilst this occurred, New Delhi flooded the region with additional troops, detaining scores of people and imposing harsh restrictions on movement and...

Kenya accuses Somalia of “unwarranted attack”

Kenya has accused Somalia’s army of launching an unwarranted attack on Mandera, following conflict breaking out on the Somali border town of Bulohawo between the Somali government and semi-autonomous region of Jubaland on Monday. It is believed that the violence between Somalia’s central state and regional territories crossed into Mandera which lead the Kenyan government to issue a statement maintain that this amounted to a violation of “territorial integrity and sovereignty”. The government further stated: “Foreign soldiers - in flagrant breach and total disregard of international laws and...

India defends controversial citizenship bill despite UN complaint

India has defended its controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which is accused of being discriminatory to Muslims, from the UN Human Rights Council which have lodged an intervention application requesting that India’s Supreme Court register their opposition to the bill. Since the bill's passage on 11 December, there have been widespread protests across India lead mostly by Muslims and students. These protests have been met with brutal violence and since the passage of this bill over 75 people have been killed. Last week, 47 people were killed and many mosques and Muslim homes and...

UN reports possible war crimes by Russia and Turkey in Syria

UN investigators have reported that Russia and Turkey have committed attacks in Syria which may amount to war crimes; this includes attacks on Kurdish held territories. The UN report details that Russia has engaged in airstrikes on civilian targets including a popular market and camp for those displaced. These attacks have resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians in July and August. The UN report states; “In both incidents, the Russian Air Force did not direct the attacks at a specific military objective, amounting to the war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas”...

Canada opposes ICC’s investigation into Israeli war crimes

Canada has joined 6 other countries in requesting that the International Criminal Court (ICC) not continue with hearings on Israeli war crimes, claiming that the Court did not hold a right of jurisdiction as Canada does not recognise a Palestinian state. Canada’s letter to the ICC, which also made reference to its own contribution to the ICC that year, $10.6 million this year, was submitted on the 14 February. 6 other countries have maintained clear opposition to the investigation including, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Uganda and Brazil. The ICC is permitted the submission...

El Salvador’s President vetoes reconciliation bill

El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele, has vetoed a national reconciliation bill on the grounds that such a bill would grant impunity to those who committed crimes against humanity during the El Salvadorian civil war, from 1980-1992. The bill fell short of the 56 required to override the President’s veto securing only 44 seats in an 84 Legislative Assembly. 11 voted against the bill and legislator abstained. Bukele claimed that the bill would force prosecutors to close cases on war crimes without yielding accountability for the crimes committed or compensation for victims. Bukele has...

US and Taliban sign peace agreement to end 18-year old war in Afghanistan

US officials signed a historic peace agreement with Taliban representatives yesterday in Qatar, aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in Afghanistan that the US has been fighting since 2001. The 'Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan' was signed by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban's chief negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

42 killed during anti-Muslim riots in Delhi

During the US President, Donald J Trump’s, visit India to meet with Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, anti-Muslim mobs rioted throughout Delhi, leaving an approximate 42 dead, the majority of whom are Muslim. The riots in Delhi are reported to be the most deadly since the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984. During the riots at least 4 mosques were set on fire as well as Muslim owned shops, homes and places of business. The New York Times notes that many of the victims had been killed by gunfire. The riots which were led by hardline Hindu-nationalists were in response to a...

UN Secretary General raises concerns over CAA in India

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, recently raised concerns over the impending fate of the minorities in India, following the passing of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). During his four-day visit to Pakistan, the Secretary General said that "there is a risk of statelessness" with regards to the two million people that are now facing the danger of exclusion due to the much contested CAA.

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