US sanctions Eritrean army and ruling party for 'contributing to the violence' in Ethiopia

The United States has sanctioned the Eritrean army and the country's ruling party for their role in the Ethiopian conflict. In a press release , the US Department of the Treasury announced sanctions on four entities and two individuals "that have contributed to the crisis and conflict" in Ethiopia. "The presence of Eritrean forces is an impediment to ending the ongoing fighting and increasing humanitarian access," the press release said. The individuals and entities that have been sanctioned are Eritrean Defense Force, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, Abraha Kassa Nemariam, Hidri...

ICC prosecutor to open investigation into Venezuela

International Criminal Court prosecutor, Karim Khan, said on Wednesday he will open an investigation into possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela. Speaking in a conference alongside Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, Khan said he is "determined that he will proceed to open an investigation to establish the truth" of events that occurred in Venezuela. A memorandum of understanding was signed by both the President and Karim Khan. A preliminary investigation was conducted in 2018 and Khan noted during the press conference that "The preliminary examination that opened in 2018 is nothing...

Protests against Sudan coup as military dissolve civilian government

A coup is currently underway in Sudan, where the military has dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and declared a state of emergency. The coup leader, General Abel Fattah Burhan blamed political infighting. In response to the dissolution of civilian rule, protests have erupted in several cities including the capital Khartoum. Three people are said to have been killed after being shot by armed forces, BBC reports.

Israel proscribes six Palestinian human rights organisations as crackdown on political activism escalates

The Israeli government has effectively outlawed six prominent Palestinian human rights organisations by declaring them terrorist organisations, in what is considered a major escalation of its crackdown on political activism within the occupied territories. The declaration has allowed Israel to raid offices, seize assets, arrest staff and criminalise any public expressions of support for the groups. A majority of the targeted organisations document human rights violations by Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority, "both of which routinely detain Palestinian activists", The Star reports...

Welsh independence to be considered by new commission

Welsh Labour ministers have set up a new body to examine Wales' future relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom, with Welsh independence being one of the options considered. Prof Laura Mcallister and ex-Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will co-chair the new body with all major parties agreeing to participate in it. The full membership of the commission is expected to be released next month, currently, they plan to produce an interim report by 2022, with a full report following in 2023. Leading parties have commented on the new commission, a spokesperson for Plaid Cymru told BBC...

Deporting asylum seekers back to Afghanistan presents 'no real risk of harm' says UK Home Office

Deporting asylum seekers back to Afghanistan presents "no real risk of harm", according to new Home Office guidance that could pave the way for asylum seekers to be sent back to the Taliban controlled country. Updated guidance, states that in order to be granted protection in the UK, Afghan asylum seekers must be able to show that there are " specific reasons over and above simply being a civilian for being affected by the indiscriminate violence" . The Independent reports that campaigners commented on the "perverse and immoral" stance that the government had taken, leaving scope for people...

Canada commemorates first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Canada has commemorated its first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation federally, recognising the painful history caused by residential schools and the ongoing impact it has had on indigenous families and communities. In a statement the Canadian government recognized that the public commemorations of the country's dark history is a vital component of the reconciliation process. The formal recognition of the commemoration was introduced into law last year but yesterday marked the first commemoration.

Human Rights Watch demands full investigation into Congo prison mass rape incident

Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made "no apparent progress" in their investigations into the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said.

India locks down Kashmir following death of top separatist leader

Indian authorities cracked down on public movement and imposed a near-total communications blackout in Kashmir following the death of Syed Ali Geelani, a prominent leader of Kashmir's movement for the right to self-determination. Geelani died last Wednesday aged 91 and as soon as news of his death began to make the rounds in the disputed Himalayan region, authorities blocked the internet and deployed hundreds of troops in the main city of Srinagar to prevent a mass funeral procession or protests against Indian rule. Geelani was buried in a local graveyard organised by the authorities under...

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaves the country as Taliban overruns Kabul

Following a series of military victories in which the Taliban seized one provincial capital after another in little over a week, the Islamist group entered Afghanistan’s capital Kabul earlier today forcing the country’s Western-backed President Ashraf Ghani to flee. Reports suggest that Ghani might have resigned in the face of the Taliban’s advance before he left for neighbouring Tajikistan. The Taliban then entered the Presidential Palace and announced that it would soon impose an Islamic Emirate in the country. Before taking over Kabul, the Taliban overran Jalalabad, the only other city...

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