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...

WHO warns against easing COVID-19 measures too early

The World Health Organisation, whilst not issuing a blanket policy, has warned against easing measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus stating the importance of preventing a fall back again. This follows reversal from US President, Donald J. Trump, who previously pledged to get the country back to work by Easter, 12 April. Trump’s demands had been met with criticism given that a member of his own coronavirus task force, Dr Anthony Fauci, who warns that additional waves of the coronavirus are to be expected. The Guardian reports that US intelligence has shown that up to 1.2 million...

Taliban withdraw negotiators from prisoner exchange talks

Discussions between the Afghan government and the Taliban over a possible prisoner exchange have broken down following the withdraw of Taliban negotiators. Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for Taliban told reporters that this withdrawal was caused by “intentional delays in the release of our prisoners”. As part of these discussions, both the Taliban and Afghanistan were set to release an approximate 6,000 prisoners in total. The on-going difficulties over peace negotiations follow the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, statement that the US would cut aid to Afghanistan by $1 billion dollars. He...

Brazil to pass war budget in response to COVID19

Brazil’s lower house of Congress has pushed forwards a “war budget” in response to the COVID 19 pandemic which aims to distinguish spending on the government’s response to the coronavirus from their main budget. The announcement of a war budget follows the rising number of confirmed cases in Brazil which has surpassed 10,000. In the lower house, the bill passed with two rounds of voting, both times gain the majority of support. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate by a three-fifths vote in two rounds. Reuters reports that in addition to easing fiscal and budgetary constraints it...

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