Iraq MPs describe prison overcrowding as a “humanitarian catastrophe”

Following the release of Human Right Watch’s report on the horrific conditions in jails in Iraq, several member’s of Iraq’s parliament alongside the province’s deputy governor visited prisoners near Mosul and described the situation as a “humanitarian catastrophe”. In their initial report, Human Rights Watch documented extreme overcrowding, inhumane conditions, and ill-treatment at the Nineveh pretrial detention centers. These three centers had a combined capacity of 2,500 people but in late June 2019 held an estimated 4,500 people including children. Human Rights Watch reported that: "The...

Turmoil in Kashmir after India revokes special status

File photograph: Kashmir After days of mounting tensions and heightened Indian security presence in Kashmir, the Indian government announced that it would be revoking the region’s special status and splitting the territory in two - a major move that has sparked fears of unrest. India enforced a media blackout in the region from Sunday onwards, with political leaders reportedly kept under house arrest and schools and colleges closed. An extra 25,000 Indian troops were deployed to the region over the weekend before New Delhi announced the move on Monday. Jammu and Kashmir’s former chief...

HRW - Thailand’s Human Rights Commission needs “total revamp”

Following the resignation of two human rights commissioners, Angkhana Neelapaijit and Tuenjai Deetes, from the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT), Human Rights Watch has called for a “total revamp of the flawed and scandal-ridden agency”. In their reporting, Human Rights Watch, notes that Thailand’s commission for human rights had once been a model throughout Southeast Asia, however, in 2015 the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and United Nations Human Rights Council downgraded the commission’s international ranking. This was due to government...

Fresh round of US-Taliban peace talks

A fresh round of US- Taliban peace talks began today in Doha, Qatar, with officials describing it as the “most crucial” phase of negotiations. Senior officials said a peace agreement could be expected at the end of the eighth round of talks, potentially before August 13. In a tweet, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US peace envoy for Afghanistan, wrote, “just got to Doha to resume talks with the Taliban. We are pursuing a peace agreement not a withdrawal agreement.” “A peace agreement that enables withdrawal. Our (US) presence in Afghanistan is conditions-based, and any withdrawal will be conditions...

No-Deal Brexit could lead to referendum on Scottish Independence

There is a very strong case for a second Scottish independence referendum if Britain leaves with a no-deal but there must be a democratic mandate, claims newly re-elected co-leader of Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie.

Sein Fein demand vote on Irish reunification to follow no-deal Brexit

Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sein Fein has said it is “unthinkable” that a no-deal Brexit was not followed by a vote on Irish reunification. Sein Fein’s statement follows bilateral meetings with the new Prime Minister, Borris Johnson and the other five main parties at Storming on Wednesday. The meeting was ostensibly about the deadlock negotiations over Brexit. The Guardian notes that Northern Ireland’s devolved assembly and executive have been suspended since January 2017. The Democratic Union Party’s (DUP) leader, Ariene Foster, has stated that Johnson dismissed the idea of a...

Prominent investigative journalist arrested by Tanzanian police

A prominent investigative journalist, was forcefully arrested by Tanzanian police, who are looking into his citizenship, despite a 2013 government probe which concluded that his citizenship was not an issue. Erick Kabendera, who has written for many international publications, was arrested on Monday by plainclothes police at his home on the outskirts of the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. Photograph: Amnesty International Police spokesperson, Lazaro Mambosasa, said Kabendera was arrested after refusing to heed a summons. “We’re continuing to discuss his case with the office of immigration...

‘Genocide is still happening’ warns Rwandan survivor

A survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide warned that around the world genocides continue to take place, highlighting the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar and calling it a “shame on the world’s conscience”. “I myself saw the first signs of genocide in Rwanda when I was five years old,” said Yolande Mukagasana, who lost her entire family in the Rwanda genocide. “Because I was a Tutsi, I was called a snake and a cockroach.” “Now I am 65 years old and I still see genocide happening. It makes me furious. It shames us all.” Speaking at the launch of her book “Not My Time To Die” in London last week...

US jails Rwandan man for lying over role in genocide

A US court has sentenced a Rwandan man to prison for eight years after it was discovered he had lied about his role in the 1994 genocide, in order to seek asylum. Jean Leonard Teganya committed "the most serious form of immigration fraud" by "lying about his status as a war criminal to win asylum," said US Attorney Andrew E Lelling, after it was revealed he reportedly participated in at least seven murders and five rapes during the genocide. Teganya denies his involvement in the genocide, in which 800,000 people were killed. He was found guilty in April of immigration fraud and perjury,...

All-Party Parliamentary Group urges action to prevent further genocide against Tamils

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG) convened in parliament to “stop the cycle of violence and genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka”. The conference held a round table discussion which was chaired by the British Tamil Forum and had representatives from Sri Lanka Peace and Justice Campaign; International Crisis Group; Together Against Genocide (TAG); and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Alongside these speakers representatives from Widows for Peace and numerous MPs from parliament. Sarmila Varatharaj, a senior representative of BTF, aired a short documentary detailing the long...

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