Israel’s plans for annexation endangers ‘lasting peace in the region’ - UN Human Rights Chief

UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet, has warned that Israel’s annexation plans, which have been temporarily suspended, could endanger “lasting peace in the region” and “entrench, perpetuate and further heighten serious human rights violations”. Israel’s proposed annexation of the West Bank and parts of Jordan Valley have come from an emergency coalition government which includes the main opposition party, the Blue and White Party. The international community has widely condemned the annexation of Palestinian territory as illegal. The UN Human Rights Chief warning that it would “likely be...

Nazi guard is convicted in one of the last Nazi trials in history

A former 93-year-old Nazi concentration camp guard was convicted of thousands of counts of being an accessory to murder, in what might be one of the last verdicts to be handed down to a living participant in the Holocaust.

Saudi Arabia limits those allowed to perform hajj pilgrimage to Mecca

Hajj in 2018 Saudi Arabia has announced that it will drastically limit those allowed to perform annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca to help the fight against coronavirus. Hajj is an integral part of the nation’s self-proclaimed identity as the leading Muslim country in the world, with Hajj being a once-in-a-lifetime duty for able-bodied Muslims. In the past decade, Saudi Arabia has seen between 1.9 to 2.3 million pilgrims per year internationally, however, this year’s event will be limited to about 1,000 pilgrims from within Saudi Arabia. Of the 1,000 pilgrims permitted, 70% will be foreign...

California sues Cisco over caste discrimination

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing is suing the technology giant Cisco over a case of caste discrimination - marking the first time in history that a case based on caste discrimination is being taken on in the United States. An Indian American engineer at Cisco is claiming harassment and retaliation based on caste by two co-workers at his company. Since the opening of this case, there have been calls by activists to make caste a federally protected category, like race, in civil rights law. This lawsuit bases its legal argument on the Civil Rights Act, which was a historic...

Greta Thunberg donates 1 million Euro to Green Groups

17-year old Climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, given a prestigious human rights award and promptly pledged the one million Euro prize to various groups fighting the climate crisis. Thunberg was awarded the first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, a Portuguese human rights award, “aimed to recognise people, groups of people and/or organisations from all over the world whose contributions to mitigation and adaptation to climate change stand out for its novelty, innovation and impact.” She announced on her social media, that all the prize money will be donated to those “who are working to help...

US sanctions additional Chinese companies due to human rights abuses

The United States placed new sanctions on 11 Chinese companies, citing involvement or complicity in human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other marginalised groups. Not only do the sanctions place restrictions on the companies’ access to US goods, but the move puts pressure on international companies like Apple, Google, and Ralph Lauren, to sever ties with now-sanctioned suppliers.

Spanish royals’ visit to Catalonia met with independence protests

On Monday, the visit of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia to Catalonia, the northeastern region of Spain, as a part of the nationwide royal tour to boost morale during the coronavirus pandemic, was met with the protest of hundreds of Catalan independence supporters. What had initially been planned for the previous week, covering several towns and Barcelona, was postponed, and curbed to a short visit to the Royal Monastery of Poblet due to recent surges in Covid-19 cases in the region. Allegations of money laundering This visit also comes after the recent shocking allegations of money...

India offers refuge to Afghan Sikhs and Hindus

The Indian government has announced an offer of possible long-term residency for the persecuted Hindu and Sikh community in Afghanistan, following a series of attacks and abductions aimed at the communities in recent years. “India has decided to facilitate the return of Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members facing security threats in Afghanistan to India,” said an Indian Ministry of External Affairs statement on Saturday. Over 700 Afghan Hindus & Sikhs are reported to be the amongst the first to have long-term visas issues by Delhi.

Tributes paid to civil rights legend John Lewis

John Lewis, the venerable congressman of Georgia’s fifth congressional district and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom has died at age 80. Often dubbed “the conscience of the Congress”, Lewis was also a solid component of the Civil Rights Movement. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019. Former President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King III were amongst those who expressed their condolences and their gratitude for Lewis. Obama on Lewis: “He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promises. And through...

UN finds war crimes committed by all sides in Syria

The latest UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria has highlighted war crimes committed by all sides during the pro-government force's efforts in Idlib to recapture territory claimed by Houthi rebels, backed by Iran. According to the Commission’s report, the militant group known as “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham” (HTS) engaged in indiscriminate shelling of densely populated civilian areas, in government-held territory. According to the Commission’s Chair, Paulo Pinheiro; “Children were shelled at school, parents were shelled at the market, patients were shelled at the hospital…entire families were bombarded...

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