Amnesty denounces Turkey’s imprisonment of journalists

Amnesty International has denounced the imprisonment of journalists in Turkey under charges of “assisting a terrorist organisation”. Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan were sentenced to 10 and a half years and 8 years and 9 months respectively after having spent three years detained pre-trial. Their legal representatives are currently having their cases retried following the decision against them by the Supreme Court of Appeals in July 2019. Amnesty has condemned what they describe as a “politically motivated prosecution”. Sara Hall, Deputy Regional Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International,...

Chile pulls out of hosting international summits amidst mass uprisings

Chile has been forced to withdraw from hosting two international summits as the government is rocked by mass uprisings and mounting allegations of human rights violations. With at least 18 people dead and 7000 arrested and allegations of police torture, Chile’s president Sebastian Piñera, who is facing legal action by civil society groups who accuse him of crimes against humanity, announced that he had taken the “painful” decision to cancel two high profile summits due to take place in the capital Santiago. The first of the two summits, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting was...

Netherlands admits air strike killed civilians in 2015

The Dutch government has admitted that a bomb dropped by a Dutch -16 fighter killed 70 civilians in an airstrike in Northern Iraq. In a letter to parliament, the Dutch Defense Ministry wrote that an airstrike targeting an alleged Islamic State (IS) bomb factory in northern Iraq killed about 70 people, including IS fighters and civilians. On June 2 2015, a bomb dropped by a Dutch F-16 fighter hit the bomb factory in Hawija, near the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, on the night of June 2, 2015. Defense Minister, Anna Bijleveld-Schouten, wrote that "intelligence available to the Netherlands did...

“A new Welsh spirit of independence” - Adam Price

Speaking at a campaign launch, Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, has said in the run-up to the UK general election, Dec 12, that Wales may forge its own independence from the United Kingdom and remain a member of the European Union. When Plaid Cymru was initially formed in 2017, a call for independence was very much in the backdrop with the primary focus being on defeating the dominant Conservative and Labour parties. Since then, however, a greater focus has been on independence with the current instability in British politics. Price also drew inspiration from the Scottish National party...

Israel’s court backs deportation of HRW official

The highest court in Israel has authorised the deportation of Human Rights Watch (HRW) official Omar Shakir, a US citizen, for allegedly supporting BDS, the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement. In 2017 Israel passed legislation criminalising support for BDS and blocking entry to those who have supported a boycott of Israel or its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Shakir has denied supporting any boycotts on Israel during his work for HRW but it assumed that he has been deliberately targeted because of HRW’s opposition to the settlements in the West Bank and calls for private...

OPCW refuses to investigate Turkey’s phosphorus use, whilst UK’s trade continues

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has reportedly refuse to investigate the alleged use of white phosphorus against Kurds by Turkey, reports The Times, whilst Britain also continues its sales of phosphorus products to Ankara. “The OPCW has not initiated an investigation regarding recent developments in northern Syria,” a statement sent to The Times from the international body read. Investigators reportedly refused to test tissue samples from injured Kurdish civilians from suspected Turkish white phosphorus attacks. Meanwhile The Times also revealed that Britain...

Catalan separatists set fire to an effigies of Spain’s monarch

Photo Credit: SBA73 Catalan separatists have protested on the streets of Barcelona during a visit by Spanish King Felipe VI, where they burned effigies of the monarch. This protest follows weeks of unrest caused by the jailing of Catalan separatists leaders last month. They also come in the lead up to Spain’s second general election of this year. This coming election hopes to resolve the political deadlock Spain has been trapped in. The three main separatists political parties attended the rallies on Monday whilst Catalan’s administrative government reemphasised to protesters the need to...

Syrian Kurds criticise Turkey’s attempt to shift demographics

Syrian Kurds have criticised UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, meeting with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where they discussed the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. During the meeting between the UN official and Turkey’s president, Erdogan outlined his plans to return an approximate 2 million of the roughly 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey to northeastern Syria. This has fuelled concerns amongst Kurds over a deliberate attempt to shift demographics as these refugees are predominately from northwest Syria. Kurdish authorities claim that Turkey is...

Protests shut down Iraqi capital

Anti-government protests have continued in Iraq this weekend, with tens of thousands of demonstrators shutting down the capital of Baghdad and a reported attack on the Iranian embassy in Karbala. Political rallies staged in the capital and across the south of the country have charged the government with corruption and called for the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. At least 250 protestors have been killed so far in clashes with security forces. This weekend, demonstrators shut down the main roads of the capital and reportedly clashed once more with security forces close to the...

“It is time for Scotland to be an independent country” – Nicola Sturgeon

With an upcoming general election in the UK, Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, told thousands gathered in Glasgow that she would demand a second independence referendum in the next year. During the rally, Ms Sturgeon insisted on the importance of a large turnout at the upcoming general election. In her speech she stated; "Over the next few weeks, it is our job to convince everyone we know to come out on December the 12th and send the biggest, loudest most resounding message to Westminster". "That it is time for Scotland to choose our own...

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