Over 20 NGOs call to lift internet restriction in Rakhine and Chin States

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and 27 other non-government organisations have called upon the Government of Myanmar to lift the restrictions on the internet in eight townships in Rakhine State and one in Chin State. HRW notes that the 8-month internet blackout in Kyauktaw, Minbya, Mrauk-U, and Ponnagyun are one of the world’s longest-running government-imposed blackouts. The blackouts were in June 2019 and were in response to the brutal conflict in the Rakhine and Chin states between the majority Buddhist Myanmar military and the secessionist ethnic Rakhine Arakan Army. This...

Former SriLankan Airlines chief arrested after Airbus bribery scandal

The former chief executive officer of the debt riddled SriLankan Airlines and his wife have been arrested, after a corruption scandal involving the French aerospace company Airbus revealed the couple may have accepted millions of dollars in bribes. The arrests come after Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) found alleged corruption in dealings between Airbus and Sri Lankan Airlines date back to between July 2011 and June 2015. SFO found that Airbus had paid $2 million to Priyanka Wijenayakathe, the wife of the then Sri Lankan Airlines executive Kapila Chandrasena. It is alleged these bribes...

Sudan will fully cooperate with the ICC

Sudan’s Sovereign Council and government have announced that they will be fully operating with the International Criminal Court (ICC), who will charge former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir with charges of genocide for his role in the Darfur. The announcement came earlier this week as the government maintained that the ICC would be one among four mechanisms dedicated to achieving transition justice in Darfur. Human Rights Watch (HRW) notes that this includes “a special criminal court and truth and reconciliation in Sudan”. Former President Al-Bashir has been accused by the ICC of three...

UN lists 112 companies complicit in Israel’s illegal occupations

For the first time, the UN has released a list of over 100 companies involved in the violation of Palestinian rights and illegal occupation of the West Bank. The New York Times, notes that the UNHRC has never requested a list of corporations which will face public scrutiny. The list is predominate of Israeli organisations but also include international companies such as Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and Opodo. These travel and vacation companies offer rental opportunities in the occupied West Bank. The list also includes companies involved in the construction of settlement and...

Northern Irish independence party surges in polls

Northern Irish independence party, Sinn Féin, has seen a recent surge of support, particularly among young rural voters, which has raised its polling numbers 14% support in October to over 25% in the last week. This follows the UK withdrawal from the European Union at the end of January. Whilst Northern Ireland was largely opposed to Brexit, this division was largely formed on factional lines. Unionists, who are primarily British and Protestant, mainly (60%) voted for the UK to leave the European Union, whereas nationalists (Irish and Catholic) predominately (85%) voted to oppose Brexit...

India continues to detain Kashmiri independence leaders

India has continued its detention of four Kashmiri independence leaders and a prominent lawyer under India’s Public Safety Act (PSA) which permits detention without trial for up to two years. Reuters reports that the four arrested include former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti as well as regional party leaders Ali Mohmmad Sagar and Sartaj Madni. Kashmir’s Bar Associate President, Mian Abdul Qayoom was also arrested. His appeal has been recently rejected by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Under India’s law the police can only detain people for a maximum of a six-month...

"We will be independent” – Catalonia leader

Following talks with Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Catalonian separatist leader Quim Torra announced that he would be pushing for an agreed date for a Catalonian independence referendum. During his press conference, he stated that the path to Catalonian independence was “irreversible” despite Prime Minister Sanchez’s rejections of any move towards independence. The Catalonia independence movement gained strong support since the October 2017 referendum which was not recognised by Spanish courts. Following this election, 9 Catalonian leaders have been imprisoned in October for holding...

UN refuses to take action to protect Rohingya Muslims

The UN Security Council discussed the recent judgement by the International Court of Justice’s order to Myanmar which maintained that they must protect the Rohingya Muslim but failed to reach an agreed-upon statement. EU members have insisted that Myanmar has to comply with the ICJ’s judgement. In a joint statement, Germany, France, Belgium, Estonia and Poland stated; 'Myanmar must address the root causes of its conflicts, in Rakhine State, but also in Kachin and Shan States [...] Accountability of perpetrators of human rights and humanitarian law violations is a necessary part of this...

Palestinians plan to take their cause to the UN

Following the US-Israel proposal to grant Israel, Jerusalem and territories in the West Bank, Palestinian authorities have responded by rejecting the deal and stating that they will present their case to the UN. Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas was reported to have responded to the proposed deal with “a thousand no’s”. For more information on the proposed deal read: Palestinians protest Trumps Middle East plan Riyad Mansour, a Palestinian envoy to the UN, will place a draft resolution to the 15-member Security Council where it is likely to be vetoed by the United States. The resolution...

Palestinians protest Trumps Middle East plan 

Following the announcement of US President’s Middle East plan, which aims to grant Jerusalem to Israel as well as recognising Israeli sovereignty over Palestinian territory in the occupied West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians have taken to the streets in Ramallah and the Gaza strip. US President, Donald Trump, made the announcement accompanied with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where he described it as the ‘Deal of the Century’. Aljazeera has described the deal as ‘a new Balfour’, invoking the initial British pledge in 1917 which established Israel. The declaration also led to the...

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