‘A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’ - UNSC joint statement on nuclear weapons

Photo Credit: UN Women In a rare joint statement, the five permanent members of the UN Security council (the US, Russia, China, the UK, and France) pledged to address to “create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament” and avoid nuclear conflict. “As the use of nuclear arms would have far-reaching consequences, we also confirm that nuclear arms – as long as they exist – should serve defensive aims, deterrence against aggression and prevention of war” the statement maintained. The five states are also the five nuclear weapons states recognised by the 1968 Nuclear Non-...

Two Save the Children staffers among 35 killed in Myanmar massacre

Save the Children has confirmed that two of its staffers have been killed in a Christmas Eve massacre conducted by Myanmar’s military and killed at least 35 people, including women and children. The massacre occurred on a highway in Kayah state, in eastern Myanmar, where prodemocracy rebels have been confronting the military. “The military forced people from their cars, arrested some, killed many and burnt the bodies,” Save the Children stated. Responding to the attack they told reporters: “We are shaken by the violence carried out against civilians and our staff, who are dedicated...

'A travesty of justice' - Egypt imprisons 3 human rights advocates

Egypt's State Security Emergency Misdemeanor court has issued jail sentences to three prominent human rights activists who engaged in anti-government protests in 2019. The activists detained were Alaa Abd El Fattah, rights lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer, and the blogger Mohamed Ibrahim (also known as Mohamed Oxygen). El Fattah was sentenced to five years whilst the others were sentenced to four years each. The activists have been charged with spreading false news and were among the thousands detained by authorities in protests sparked by allegations of corruption by a former collaborator with the...

UN Secretary-General urges Lebanon's leaders to address the economic crisis

In meetings with Lebanon's religious leaders, President, Prime Minister, and Parliamentary Speaker, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, urged the country's leaders to address the dire economic situation Lebanon finds itself in and to resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout programme. Guterres's visit on Saturday follows more than two months of gridlock during which Lebanon's government refused to meet due to ongoing disagreements over diplomatic disputes, street violence, and investigation into the Beirut Port explosion. Over 200 people were killed and...

'Tortured to death' - BBC investigation reveals Myanmar's mass killings

A BBC investigation has revealed that Myanmar's military carried a mass killing of at least 40 civilians in four separate incidents in Kani Township - an opposition stronghold in Sagaing District in Central Myanmar. Eyewitness accounts detail that boys as young as 17 were tortured first before being buried in shallow graves. The BBC reports that these kills appear "to be a collective punishment for attacks on the military by civilian militia groups in the area, who are demanding that democracy is restored".

Leftist Gabriel Boric wins Chile’s Presidential elections

With historic turnouts, left-wing candidate Gabriel Boric has won the presidency in Chile securing 56% of the votes compared to the 44% secured by his rival Pinochet-admirer, Jose Antonio Kast. In accepting the speech he pledged to be “the president of all Chileans” and was immediately recognised as the victor by Last who phoned him to congratulate him. At 35, Boric is set to become Chile’s youngest-ever President. This election follows as a run of election to a fiercely contested vote in November in which Cast claimed almost 28% whilst Boris secured 26%. Political analysts have noted that...

UNHRC mandates landmark international war crimes probe in Ethiopia

On Friday the UN Human Rights Council voted to establish an international probe to investigate atrocities committed by both sides of the conflict in Ethiopia and prosecute those responsible. The resolution highlighted the atrocities which included "unlawful killings and extrajudicial executions, including wilful killings on the basis of ethnicity, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of civilians and captured combatants, arbitrary detentions, abductions and enforced disappearances, and widespread sexual- and gender-based violence against women, girls, men and...

Human rights campaigners celebrate US sanctions on Bangladesh's elite paramilitary

Human rights campaigners have welcomed the announcements of US sanctions on Bangladesh's notorious paramilitary unit, the Rapid Action Battalion, as well as the country's national police chief, but have called for further action. The sanctions were announced by the US on 10 December, International Human Rights Day and come as part of a raft of sanctions and visa bans targetting human rights abuses in countries such as China, North Korea, Russia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. In their statement the State Department detailed: "Benazir Ahmed, current Inspector General of the Bangladesh Police and...

Faced with growing US pressure, Putin and Xi show a unified front

Faced with the threat of further US sanctions over the aggressive posturing of China and Russia, Chinese President Xi Jingping and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a virtual conference in which they sought to “more effectively safeguard the security interests of both parties”. “A new model of cooperation has been formed between our countries – one based on foundations like non-interference in domestic affairs and respect for each other’s interests,” Putin told reporters. The New York Times writes that both leaders discussed forming an “independent financial infrastructure” to reduce...

'Like Shamima Begum, I could soon be stripped of British citizenship without notice'

Writing in the Guardian, Tamil human rights lawyer at MTC Solicitors, Naga Kandiah, slammed the British government’s proposed Clause 9 to the nationality and borders bill which could see dual nationals stripped of their citizenship without notice. The New Statement’s research, based on the 2011 census, reveals that as many as 5.6 million people living in England and Wales could be affected by the rule change. Kandiah’s piece follows the case of Shamima Begum which has been in the public focus with regards to this rule change. Begum was stripped of her citizenship when she left the UK to join...

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