Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympic over Uighur genocide

On Wednesday Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that Australia would join the US in its diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022, over concerns of the genocidal treatment of Uighur Muslims. The announcement comes as China continues to face criticism over their detention of over one million Uighurs in “re-education camps”. Detainees have reported being tortured, sexually abused, and forcibly sterilised whilst in detention. Human rights campaigners have charged the Chinese government with genocide against the Uighur population. Akin to the US, whilst...

French police arrest suspected murderer of Jamal Khashoggi

French police announced on Monday that they had arrested a suspect in the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and former member of the Saudi royal guard, Khalid Alotaibi. Alotaibi was detained as he prepared to board a flight for Riyadh at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. He is alleged to be part of a 16-member team involved in Khashoggi's execution and is the first alleged member to have been arrested. French officials have noted that Alotaibi was travelling under his own name but could not explain how he managed to enter France undetected. Turkish...

US rejects calls for regulating 'killer robots'

Photo Credit: Stop Killer Robots Following calls from the government of New Zealand for the adoption of international laws to prohibit and limit autonomous weapons systems, the United States has opposed such regulations. Speaking at a meeting in Geneva, US official Josh Dorosin maintained that America saw "the best way to make progress ... would be through the development of a non-binding code of conduct”. Autonomous weapons systems would enable military equipment which could deploy lethal force without a human overseeing the process. A report by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s...

India pursue Russian arms deal despite the threat of US sanctions

On Monday India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a $5.4 billion dollar missile defence system sale to India despite warnings from the United States of sanctions. The sale of Russia's S-400 missile defence system was also accompanied by a $600 million deal to manufacture hundreds of thousands of Russia's AK-203 rifles in Uttar Pradesh. These rifles will replace the older Kalashnikov-style rifles currently used by Indian troops. Both Modi and Putin further agreed to extend cooperation between their countries on military technology over the next decade...

US diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic over Uighur genocide

Speaking at the White House press briefing, US Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, announced that “the Biden administration would not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses”. The announcement comes as China continues to face criticism over their detention of over one million Uighurs in “re-education camps”. Detainees have reported being tortured, sexually abused, and forcibly sterilised whilst in detention. US diplomatic or official...

Rohingya Muslims launch landmark legal case against Facebook

The north district court in San Francisco has received a class action complaint, on behalf of estimated 10,000 Rohingya Muslims, against the social media giant Facebook for enabling and fomenting genocidal violence in Myanmar. In 2018 Facebook admitted that it had not done enough to prevent the incitement of violence and hate speech against the Rohingya; following a brutal military campaign in the Rakhine state which saw over 10,000 Rohingya killed. There are an estimated million Rohingya who continued to be displaced and living in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, in south-eastern Bangladesh. “...

Myanmar’s military halves Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence as criticism continues to mount

Myanmar’s military-ruled court has halved their sentence of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, from four to two years, as international criticism continues to mount. This follows the court’s initial guilty ruling on Monday of inciting dissent and breaking COVID-19 rules. These are the first in a series of charges which are to be levied against the ousted leader; others include corruption, election fraud, and illegally importing and possessing walkie talkies. The court had ruled that she be jailed for four years before lowering the sentence to two. Ousted President Win Myint was also sentenced...

International condemnation of summary execution ex-Afghan security officials

Responding to the reported executions of over 100 former Afghan security officials by the Taliban, the US, EU and 20 other countries have released a joint statement condemning the killings. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report notes that whilst the Taliban had agreed to provide amnesty to surrounding security forces; they had used screening "to detain and summarily execute or forcibly disappear individuals within days of their registration, leaving their bodies for their relatives or communities to find". Their report notes that over 100 former members of the Afghan security forces have been...

US warns of 'severe consequences' if Russia further aggression towards Ukraine

Following a meeting with Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken reaffirmed American support for the "territorial integrity of Ukraine" and warned Russia that it would be held responsible for any aggressive actions it takes towards Ukraine. Blinken has further threatened this week that the US respond to “Russian aggression against Ukraine” with “high-impact economic measures that we’ve refrained from taking in the past”. The announcement comes as US intelligence has revealed potential Russian invasion plans for early next year. The unclassified...

Biden administration delists FARC as a 'terrorist' organisation but peace remains fragile

On Tuesday US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, revoked the designation of the now-defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) rebel group as a "foreign terrorist organisation" but proscribed two splinter organisations of FARC, "FARC-EP and Segunda Marquetalia". The decision follows a resurgence of violence in the rural regions of Colombia where FARC had previously held control. The International Crisis Group has pointed towards the dire economic conditions that are pervasive in Columbia to explain this uptake in arms however Columbia's army has accused the Venezuelan regime of...

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