Thousands march in Inverness for Scottish independence

Thousands of Scots marched in Inverness yesterday to show their support for independence. The march was part of a series of pro-independence rallies across Scotland organised by 'All Under One Banner'. “Scotland will be free," protesters shouted.

BAP becomes largest parliamentary party in Balochistan

The Balochistan Awami Party garnered the most number of seats in Balochistan's assembly elections, which took place across four administrative provinces on Wednesday, and secured the support of three independent candidates, thereby becoming the region's largest parliamentary party. “As the largest parliamentary political party, we have to be allowed to form the government in Balochistan,” said the BAP leader, Jam Kamal said. Following the BAP, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, independents, and the Balochistan National Party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was able to secure 4 seats in the...

UN welcomes Spain plans for Franco-era Truth Commission

A group of UN human rights experts has welcomed an announcement by the Spanish Government that it intends to set up a Truth Commission to investigate violations that occurred during the civil war and the era of dictatorship under General Francisco Franco that followed. Earlier this month, Spain’s Minister of Justice announced a series of initiatives in Congress to revise the Historical Memory Law, which would make it possible to create a new commission to examine abuse allegations buried for decades. “We welcome the government’s initiative and celebrate the opening of the dialogue on what...

Former lawyer for Milosevic shot dead in Belgrade

A high profile Serbian lawyer who served in the defending legal team at the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic was shot dead in front of his home in Belgrade on Saturday. Dragoslav Ognjanovic, 57, was gunned down in front of his apartment building and his 26-year-old son was wounded in the right arm, Serbia’s Interior Ministry said in a statement. As a prominent criminal lawyer, Ognjanovic served in the early 2000s on a legal team that helped to defend Milosevic at his war crimes trial before the U.N. tribunal for former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Milosevic died in the tribunal's detention...

Serbia stalling on domestic war crimes prosecutions

Serbia is stalling on prosecuting war crimes and seems to have set a strategy of “waiting for time to do its work”, the NGO Humanitarian Law Centre said in a report. "Time is passing and victims, witnesses and culprits alike are passing away, while memories become less reliable," Jelena Krstic, from the HLC, said. She added that Serbia seems to have decided on a strategy of "waiting for time to do its work", instead of implementing its own war-crimes prosecution strategy. The HLC report on the implementation of the national strategy for war crimes prosecution noted no notable progress in the...

UNHRC appoints panel to investigate war crimes during Gaza protests

The UN Human Rights Council this week appointed a three member commission of inquiry “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018.” David Michael Crane (United States), Sara Hossain (Bangladesh) and Kaari Betty Murungi (Kenya) we’re appointed to the panel with Mr Crane serving as the chair. The UNHRC mandated the...

Imran Khan’s claims victory amid accusations of election rigging

The former cricket player, Imran Khan declared victory yesterday in Pakistan’s election, which has been marred by both violence and claims of election rigging. On the day of the election a suicide bomber killed 31 people at a polling station. The human rights commission had previously warned of “blatant, aggressive and unabashed attempts to manipulate” the outcome of the election. Opponents of Mr Khan have seized upon this and maintain that this electoral victory is illegitimate.They maintain that he had won the “general’s selection” not the general election, referring to what they describe...

US launches Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program

The United States has launched a Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program, the country’s Vice President announced on Thursday. Under the new program, which will begin in Iraq, the US State Department and USAID will partner with local faith and community leaders to rapidly deliver aid to persecuted communities, Vice President Mike Pence said. Describing the atrocities against Yezidis by Islamic State as genocide, and also mentioning the persecution of other groups in Iraq including Christians and Muslims, the Vice President said that America would help victims “reclaim their lands,...

Kurdistan and Saudi Arabia launch joint economic cooperation committee

Saudi Arabia and Kurdistan launched a joint economic cooperation committee this month, aimed at expanding investment between the two regions, Asharq Al-Awsat reported. “The investment law in Kurdistan provides good opportunities for Saudi businessmen to invest in the region and we are all trying to enable the private sector to play an active role in this field and to form task forces to activate investments in the near future,” the chairman of the Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, Sami bin Abdullah al-Obeidi told the paper. Dara Al-Khayat, president of the Federation of Chambers of...

United Liberation Movement opens offices across West Papua

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua is set to have seven new offices across the country, its chairman, Benny Wenda told Vanuatu Daily Post. Three offices have already been opened and another four are planned. Mr Wenda expressed concern that the new offices could be attacked by the Indonesian military. Offices in Wamena and Fak Fak have previously been attacked, he added.

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