At least 6 killed in Afghanistan food distribution protests

At least 6 people have been killed by Afghan police during protests in the western Ghor province over the distribution of food. The protests were over the allegations that food was being distributed in a manner that favoured those with political connections. The police were reported to have opened fire on around 300 protesters who had thrown stones on them. Human Rights organisations such as Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into the Afghan police’s conduct. Those reported to die during the protest includes four civilians and two police officers. A further ten...

India kills senior Kashmiri separatist leader

Riyaz Naikoo, a senior commander of the Kashmiri separatist group Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed by Indian troops alongside three others in the Indian-administrated region of Kashmir. The attack occurred as Indian troops received intelligence confirming that Riyaz Naikoo was hiding in south Kashmiri Pulwama district. Al Jazeera notes that during the attack two civilian homes were also blasted. Naikoo's death is seen as a major victory for India’s forces and will likely spur further tension in the region. Following his death large protests broke out across Kashmir with have been met with...

Indian police crackdown on migrant workers

In the western state of Gujarat, India’s police crackdown on migrant workers using tear gas after authorities had relaxed the coronavirus lockdown. India imposed a nationwide lockdown on the 25 March but will continue till the 17 May. In India, 42,500 have been identified with coronavirus and 1,300 have been identified to have died from the virus. Officials reported that the approximate 1,000 workers who were stranded in Gujarat threw stones at the police. 47 Roots have noted that those most vulnerable to the virus are India’s poor. Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has announced $2.2...

Why India’s poorest are starving during lockdown - 47 Roots

47 Roots have released a video detailing how India's 800 million poor will be the hardest hit by the state-imposed lockdown. India’s lockdown which was originally introduced on 24 March, for a 3 week period, was imposed with only 4 hours notice and has a dramatic impact on workers in the informal sector. 47 Roots notes that the informal sector accounts for 81% of employment and includes roles such as drivers, milkmen and construction workers. These workers are only paid for their daily labour can earn as little as two dollars a day. With the lock-down still in place, these workers find themselves without these meagre wages. India’s unemployment rate has risen from 6 - 23%.

Palestine welcomes ICC report as a pathway to war crimes inquiries

Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has issued a statement welcoming Fatou Bensouda, the ICC Chief Prosecutor, report which recognised Palestinian statehood with respects to transferring criminal jurisdiction over its territory to the Hague. The territory under its jurisdiction includes East Jerusalem which is currently threatened by annexation with respects to the US Middle East plan. The recognition of a right of jurisdiction granted to the state of Palestine may lead to inquiries into alleged war crimes which took place in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Such an...

Labour party shifts position on Kashmiri’s right to self-determination

(Photo Credit: Chatham House) Newly appointed leader of the UK Labour Party, Kier Starmer, has shifted the Labour Party’s position concerning the Kashmir dispute, describing it as a bilateral issue for India and Pakistan. This details a shift from his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, who maintained that: “The situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing. Human rights abuses taking place are unacceptable. The rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected, and UN resolutions implemented”. In 2019 Corbyn had passed a motion mandating that the “people of Kashmir be given the right of self-determination...

Over 40 killed in Afrin, Syria

Turkey’s government has claimed that at least 40 people have been killed in an attack in a crowded market in the Syrian city of Afrin, which included 11 children. The governor of Hatay, a neighbouring province, stated that the deaths were trigged due to a fuel tanker exploding due to a hand grenade. Turkey has placed blame on the Kurdish separatist militant group, the YPG. Turkey maintains strong opposition to the YPG which they claim is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has banned by Turkey and designated a terrorist organisation. The YPG and PKK deny this affiliation...

Libya’s government accuses military commander of a coup

(Photo Credit: Magharebia ) Libyan military commander, Khalifa Haftar, has been accused of seeking to undertake a coup against the UN-recognised Libyan government, the Government of National Accord (GNA). The GNA condemned Haftar’s actions stating; "What the war criminal Haftar said was a coup on the democratic path, not new but a continuation of his failed coups and to cover up his repeated defeats". Haftar controls a great deal of land in eastern Libya and launched an offensive last April to capture Tripoli. He maintains that his army has the support of the people. The army has not...

US to recognise Israel’s occupied territory in West Bank and Jordan Valley

The US has stated that it was willing to recognise Israel’s annexation of much of the occupation of the West Banks despite concerns that this will end the possibility for a two-state solution. This follows the unveiling in January of a US Middle East plan which aimed to recognise much of the illegally occupied territory by Israel. The proposed agreement has been widely panned by the European Union. The EU foreign policy chief has described the annexation as a violation of international law. A US State Department stated on the matter: "As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to...

UN urges Bangladesh to accept Rohingya refugees

The UN has urged Bangladesh to allow two boats carrying Rohingya refugees to land in Bangladesh. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has warned that unless these refugees from Rohingya are supported there will be a "human tragedy of terrible proportions”. In a letter, Bachelet stated: "In a spirit of solidarity and at the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan, I appeal to you in the strongest terms to open your ports and allow the boats to land”. There are approximately over 500 people including children on board these boats. This letter follows a statement from Foreign...

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