India’s opposition party speaks out against Delhi violence

In response to violent anti-Muslim riots in New Delhi, which killed 52 people, mostly Muslims, India’s opposition party’s have called for the resignation of the Interior Minister. The violent riots coincided with a visit from US President Donald Trump, during the 24-25 February. The violence was preceded by weeks of peaceful demonstrations against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act which provides a pathway to citizenship for all minorities in South Asia except Muslims. Read more here: 42 killed during anti-Muslim riots in Delhi Kapil Mishra, a senior BJP leader, issued a stark...

India frees Kashmir independence leader

After being detained for 7 months, Kashmiri independence leader, Farooq Abdullah, has been released by Indian authorities. Abdullah had served as the chief minister three times and had a seat in parliament. He was detained on 5 August following the implementation of Article 370, which revoked the autonomy of Kashmir and Jammu. Abdullah was initially detained under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) which permits India to detain a person for up to two years without bail. He was released on Friday following an order from Kashmir’s home secretary, Shaleen Kabra. Speaking to reporters...

Zambia cracks down on human rights activists

Zambia has arrested two human rights activists who protest against the arrest and harassment of hip-hop artist, Pilato. The two activists, Laura Miti and Bornwell Mwewa, have been charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting police officers and were arrested on the 21 December. This was after they travelled to Livingstone (also known as Fumba Chama), to protest the arrest of Pilato who was arrested for “unlawful assembly”. Amnesty International authorities have maintained that the criminal justice system cannot be used for partisan reasons or to silence dissent. Speaking on the matter,...

Human Rights Watch calls on UN to address Xinjiang abuses

Human Rights Watch (HRW), along with the International Service for Human Rights, (ISHR), to address continuing human rights abuses in Xinjiang by China’s government. This follows widespread international concern over China’s treatment of Xinjiang Muslim population which is routinely subject to harsh levels of surveillance and there have been reports of forced “re-education” camps and forced labour. This evidence is supported by leaked documents, including the November 2019 “China Cables” and “Karakax List” which was released in February 2020. These documents showed deliberate intent for...

Afghanistan government and Taliban engage in prisoner exchange

Afghanistan’s government has agreed to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners in the coming days on the condition that all prisoners will not return to the battlefield and the Taliban will return 1,000 government troops. The move is aimed at bringing to a close the 18 years conflict as the US begins to withdraw its troops from the regions. Despite the on-going peace negotiations, there has been continued violence in Afghanistan, which the US has warned the Taliban is “not conducive to advancing the peace process”. According to a statement released by the Afghan government; “The process of releasing...

Myanmar’s parliament prevents Suu Kyi from reducing army’s influence

Myanmar’s parliament vetoed constitutional amendments proposed by Aung San Suu Kyi to reduce the influence of Myanmar’s military in politics. The proposed amendment would gradually reduce the number of military MPs across a period of 15 years as well as removing part of the constitution which names the military commander-in-chief as the “supreme commander of all armed forces”. Aung Suu Kyi has faced increasing pressure from the international community following a brutal military crackdown on the Rohingya community which lead to accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice. In...

Criminalising solidarity for the Rojava struggle: An epitome of failure to stand up to Turkey's dictatorship and ethnic cleansing

Paul Newey and his son, Dan Newey were both charged for terrorism-related offences in a pretrial hearing last month, as the British government continues to clamp down on people involved with and in support of the Rojava revolution.

US in talks with NATO to provide military aid to Turkey despite possible war crimes

The US is currently in discussion with NATO countries to assess what military aid can be delivered to Turkey despite UN reports of possible war crimes being committed by both Turkey and Russia. Speaking to reporters, US Special Envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, stated that “Everything is on the table” but David Satterfield, U.S. ambassador to Turkey, later clarified that, should the ceasefire breakdown, they will not commit US troops to the region. UN investigators have detailed possible war crimes committed by both Turkey and Russia noting that approximately one million civilians have been...

UK calls on Myanmar to cooperate with UN and protect free speech

Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today, a UK delegate, representing the British government called on Myanmar to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur; end the internet blackout in the Rakhine and Chin states; as well as, “reform laws to ensure they are not used to limit freedom of expression”. The internet blackouts in the provinces of Kyauktaw, Minbya, Mrauk-U, and Ponnagyun are among the longest in global history and have been widely condemned by human rights groups. They began in June 2019, in response to the brutal suppression of the Arakan Army, Rakhine separatists, by...

US begins withdrawing troops from Afghanistan

The US has started withdrawing troops from Afghanistan after signing a historic peace agreement with the Taliban. The US agreed to withdraw its troops from about 12,000 to 8,600 within 135 days of signing the agreement. US officials signed the peace agreement with Taliban representatives on February 29, aiming to bring an end to the 19 year conflict. In a statement, Col Leggett said that despite the reduction in troops, the US retains “all the military means and authorities to accomplish our objectives.” Agreement details - The US and NATO allies are expected to withdraw all troops from...

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