'I prosecuted Srebrenica war criminals, but I know others are still walking free' – chief UN prosecutor

Writing for the Guardian, Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Bosnian genocide in which over 7,000 Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered and more than 35,000 were forcibly displaced. In his statement, he remarked upon his ten-year service as chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), where they made a clear judgement that genocide was committed. Brammertz notes that this genocide “was planned at the highest political and...

UK to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite ‘possible’ war crimes

The UK is set to resuming selling arms to Saudi Arabia, despite evidence that the country has committed war crimes in Yemen; the government has defended the decision stating that said crimes were “isolated incidents”. Liz Truss, the government’s International trade secretary, has stated that they have completed a review of how arm export licences were granted and whilst there were some “credible incidents of concern" related to Saudi forces, these were “isolated incidents". In a statement released, Liz Truss stated: "The incidents which have been assessed to be possible violations of IHL [...

UK announces sanctions against human rights abusers

The UK is imposing sanctions against 49 individuals and organisations involved in notorious human rights abuses in recent years. UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, announced that the measures will target individuals and organisations, rather than nations and will include asset freezes and travel bans. Raab said that the first wave of sanctions would target the 25 Russian nationals involved in the mistreatment and death of Sergei Magnitsky, 20 Saudi nationals involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 2 high ranking Myanmar military generals involved in the systematic killings of...

Belgian king expresses 'deepest regrets' for colonial rule

In a letter sent to President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the 60 th anniversary of its independence, King Philippe of Belgium has expressed his “deepest regrets” for the “acts of violence and cruelty” committed under Belgian occupation, but stopped short of offering a full apology and reparations for colonial rule. For several decades, King Philippe’s ancestor, King Leopold II, brutally exploited the DRC in his pursuit of rubber and ivory resources. According to historians, millions of Congolese people were killed, mutilated or died of famine and disease under his rule. These acts had a devastating human and financial toll on the country, with their effects still being felt today.

US sanctions and UK condemnation of Hong Kong security law

The United States has enacted a new set of Hong Kong-related sanctions on China and the United Kingdom has offered citizenship to the territory’s residents after Beijing passed a new highly criticised national security law. The law, which includes 66 articles and harsh penalties, covers a wide range of alleged offences including on “secession” and “terrorism”. Other articles give Chinese mainland security operatives the right to investigate cases that are vaguely described as "complex", "serious" or “difficult”, as well as trials being held in secret, without a jury, and without guaranteeing bail.

Kosovo’s president vows to resign if brought to court for war crimes

Kosovo’s president Hashim Thaçi announced he would resign from his presidency if war crimes charges are filed against him by prosecutors at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague. His announcement comes after the Special Prosecutor’s Office with Kosovo Specialist Chambers publicly filed a 10-count indictment against Thaçi, accusing him of crimes against humanity, war crime including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture. The indictment, filed without confirmation from a pre-trial judge, was an unusual move by prosecutors. However they state the indictment was made public due to the “repeated efforts” to “undermine” the work of Kosovo Specialist Chambers by Kosovan president.

'Shocking' report reveals China's mass sterilisation of Uighur women in Xinjiang

China has forcibly used birth control and sterilisation in an attempt to restrict the Uighur population in Xinjiang, says a newly released report, which has sparked widespread condemnation of Beijing from around the globe. China has previously been accused of detaining over a million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps without trial. The report by German researcher Adrian Zenz claims that detained women are involuntarily being given injections which have stopped their periods and/or caused unusual bleeding - common side effects of birth control drugs. Likewise, women are reportedly being coerced into sterilisation surgeries, despite having fewer children than the legal limit, and those who have exceeded the limit, have been threatened imprisonment if they refuse to abort their child.

‘She was covered with blood’ – Kurdish family recall Turkish air strike

Zharo Baxtiar and his family had taken a day trip to Kuna Masi, a village in the Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah, last Thursday, when their visit was abruptly cut short by a deafening Turkish missile strike into the water near the children. Almost 100 people were at the riverbank that day, said Baxtiar. Sulaymaniyah is located in the Kurdistan’s autonomous region in northern parts of Iraq. Footage recorded by his sister-in-law show children paddling in the water with their parents joyfully encouraging them, speaking in the Kurdish dialect Sorani. Seconds later, a Turkish missile strike lands...

Yemen 'hanging on by a thread' warns UN Secretary-General

Yemen is currently facing the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the population in desperate need of humanitarian aid, and those figures set to worsen according to a UNICEF report which appealed for urgent ]humanitarian assistance. The report, released last week , warned that the number of malnourished children in the country could reach 2.4 million - a 20 percent increase - by the end of the year. The report comes as the foreign ministers of Germany, Sweden and the UK wrote in the Financial Times that they have “a global responsibility to ease the suffering of the Yemeni people”.

UN Human Rights Chief reports “as many as 10,000” flee Myanmar due to military crackdown

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has report that as many as 10,000 people fled their homes in the northern state of Rakhine, in Myanmar, after a military crackdown against insurgents in recent weeks. Bachelet’s statement follows the announcement that three Myanmar military officers have been found guilty of atrocities by a court-martial investigation. Myanmar’s military stands accused by the UN’s top court of genocide against the Rohingya population for their military crackdown in 2017 which led to 750,000 mostly Muslim Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh. The military...

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