Indonesian fishermen rescue Rohingya refugees stranded at sea

Nearly 300 Rohingya refugees who were stranded at sea for months after being denied port in Southeast Asia were rescued by Indonesian fisherman this week. The group included 14 children, and two of the refugees were taken to the hospital for medical care. It has been reported that approximately 30 people died during the months they spent at sea. Since 2017, when a Buddhist nationalist military in Myanmar took power, Rohingya Muslims have been targeted with genocidal intent. This led to an increased number of refugees escaping the genocide in Myanmar, many of whom escaped to refugee camps in...

Human Rights Watch denounces India's firing of metal pellets in Kashmir

Human Rights Watch said India should prohibit firing metal pellets through shotguns to disperse crowds in the restive Kashmir valley, in the wake of violent clashes with security forces when people defied a ban on public gatherings imposed due to reported concerns over the coronavirus pandemic on Muharram, an important date in the Shia calendar.

Facebook enforces new policies to restrict political ads before US election

Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled new measures to restrict the spread of misleading comments and politically-biased lies on Facebook before the United States presidential election on 3 rd November 2020. Zuckerberg said that he was “worried” but the election would not “be business as usual”. He added, "With our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or even weeks to be finalised, there could be an increased risk of civil unrest across the country.” Facebook has been heavily criticised for allowing political ads to be "micro-targeted” and for failing to...

IFJ hails repealing of libel law in Sierra Leone

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) celebrated the Sierra Leone parliament’s repealed the criminal libel law on 23 July, completing President Maada Bio’s promise he made on the campaign trail before the 2018 election. In Sierra Leone, libel has been a punishable criminal offence since 1965, which journalists said restricted free speech and expression. “Criminal libel law puts journalists in jail and that’s a major impediment, and it’s repeal is very huge for journalism, freedom of expression in a country that has gone to war, that has seen millions of people die because of one...

Canada and Netherlands intervene in genocide lawsuit against Myanmar

In a joint statement by Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, they expressed their intention to intervene in support of Gambia’s genocide lawsuit against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Indian Supreme Court fines lawyer one rupee for tweets in 'very dangerous' decision

Prashant Bhushan, an Indian public interest lawyer, who was fined one rupee for posting tweets that were critical of the Indian Supreme Court, called the decision “very dangerous”. The Court imposed the fine for having “brought the administration of justice in disrepute and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the institution of Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular, in the eyes of public at large”. Many had feared a much more serious outcome, as Bhushan was facing a six-month sentence in prison. The tweets in question...

Builder arrested after Maharashtra building collapse kills 16

The builder who contracted a five-storey building in Maharashtra has been arrested following a collapse last month that saw at least 16 people killed. The building collapsed during heavy monsoon rains in Mahad in the Raigad district, south of Mumbai. The office of the chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, tweeted about his contact with local representatives: “He has assured them that all possible support will be extended for speedy rescue and relief works.” It is undetermined what exactly caused the collapse, but many collapses of this sort happen during the monsoon season. Monsoon...

Leaders behind Mali coup promise democratic elections

The leaders behind the coup in Mali said during an address to the nation that they will hold democratic elections, as talks on the transition to civilian rule begin in the country this weekend. The talks come after former president Ibraham Boubacar Keïta, who was arrested last month, was moved to a private hospital overnight, and at least 10 soldiers were killed in an attack overnight. Ismaël Wague, a spokesperson for the coup leaders, claimed “political patronage, the family management of state affairs, have ended up killing and opportunity for development in what little remains of this...

Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer and war criminal dies  

Photo of Kaing Guek Eav at his 2009 trial Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, has died after admitting to overseeing torture and killings as many as 16,000 Cambodians whilst running the regime’s most notorious prison. Duch died in the Cambodian Soviet Friendship Hospital at the age of 77. He was serving a life prison term for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was the first senior Khmer Rouge figure to face the U.N. backed tribunal in 2009 for massacres which killed approximately 1.7 million people, roughly a quarter of Cambodia’s population at the time,...

UK claims the pay-outs for Iraq abuses are ‘too many to count’

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has claimed the number of complaints it has received from Iraq relating to unlawful detention and mistreatment by British soldiers is too numerous and that a full disclosure of the sum paid to settle claims would not be possible. The MoD insists that they cannot provide the full figure as it would take weeks for civil servants to collate all the figures however claim that they are able to provide approximate figures for the thousands of complaints lodged against British troops during their involvement in the 2003 US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. This statement comes as British parliament is set to debate a controversial bill, “the Overseas which would provide partial amnesty for troops who have committed serious crimes - including murder and torture - while serving outside the country.

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