Thousands of Tibetan protestors mourn self immolator

The death of a farmer, who self immolated in protest against Chinese rule, sparked a protest with thousands of Tibetans gathering for his funeral, with tensions in Tibetan areas continuing to grow. 43-year old Sonam Dargye died on Saturday after setting himself alight in the province of Qinghai, becoming the third Tibetan to immolate in the past three days, and almost the 30th in the past year. Radio Free Asia commented that as many as 7,000 people gathered at his funeral. The London-based Free Tibet organisation quoted an eyewitness as saying , "[Sunday's protest] is the biggest gathering of...

NATO has failed to investigate civilian deaths in Libya – Amnesty

Amnesty International has accused NATO forces of failing to investigate sufficiently civilian deaths caused by air strikes during attacks on Colonel Gaddafi’s forces. "Nato officials repeatedly stressed their commitment to protecting civilians," said Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis adviser at Amnesty. "They cannot now brush aside the deaths of scores of civilians with some vague statement of regret without properly investigating these deadly incidents." Amnesty says an inquiry should be held into the deaths and if those resulted from a breach of international law, those responsible have to...

Democracy 'cannot be held back' - Chinese Premier

Addressing his successors, Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, stressed the need for political reform, warning against a second Cultural revolution. “Without successful political structural reform . . . new problems that have arisen in Chinese society will not be fundamentally resolved and such historical tragedies as the Cultural Revolution may happen again,” said Jiabao. Drawing on recent events in the Arab Springs, Jiabao said, “ The Arab demands for democracy must be respected. It is a force that cannot be held back .”

Brazil blocks attempt to prosecute former colonel

A Brazilian judge has blocked attempts by prosecutors to try former army colonel Sebastiao de Moura for human rights abuses committed in the 1970s. The judge ruled the move would go against Brazil’s amnesty laws. Judge Matos, the federal judge in Maraba in the northern state of Para, said in his ruling: "To try after more than three decades to dodge the amnesty law and reopen the debate on crimes committed during the military dictatorship is a mistake." The amnesty laws were passed in 1979, during the military dictatorship which ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. Under the law, any officials...

Kurds stage hunger strike in Trafalgar Square against Turkey crackdown

Twenty Kurdish activists in London began a four-day hunger strike Wednesday (14th) protesting against repression in Turkey. The event, staged by the Kurdish Federation UK, is taking place in parallel with similar actions within Turkey and across Europe. Hundreds of prisoners in Turkish jails, including imprisoned members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party and other elected officials, have been on hunger strike since the end of February. “The hunger strikes are a desperate plea to the Turkish government to halt the latest clampdown on Kurdish political organising and protest,” the...

Taliban suspend talks with US

The Taliban have suspended talks with the US in Qatar, accusing the Americans of changing their position on the dialogue. In a statement posted on their website the Taliban said, "It was due to their alternating and ever-changing position that the Islamic Emirate was compelled to suspend all dialogue with the Americans,"

Lubanga convicted in first ICC war crimes verdict

The head of the armed wing of the Union of Congolese Patriots, Thomas Lubanga, was charged Wednesday at the International Criminal Court (ICC), in the ICC's first conviction. Lubanga was charged for his part in the killing of thousands during the Democratic Republic of Congo's civil war (2002-2003). Theo Boutrouche, DRC researcher at Amnesty International, said, “This is a significant moment because it is the first ever verdict of the ICC since its establishment in 2002,” “It is also significant because it will be one of the first cases to be adjudicated on crimes of conscripting children...

Former Guatemalan soldier sentenced to 6,060 years for massacre

A former soldier has been sentenced to 6,060 years in prison for his role in the massacre of Mayan villagers in Guatemala in the early 1980s during the country's civil war. 201 Mayans were killed by Guatemalan soldiers in the village of Dos Erres over 3 days in 1982, with men, women and children shot and beaten to death. Pedro Pimentel Rios, 55, who is the fifth soldier to be convicted for his role in the massacre, lived in California until his arrest in 2010 and was extradited from the US the following year. Pimentel was given 30 years for each killing and another 30 years for crimes against...

Clinton addresses Security Council on Syria

Speaking to the 15-member UN Security Council, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on all nations to come together on Syria, as she clashed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday. Addressing the Security Council, Clinton said , "We believe that now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach." "We do not believe that sovereignty demands that this council stand silent when governments massacre their own people." "And we reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a...

US to deport former Salvadoran defence minister

A US judge has ruled that the former Salvadoran Defence Minister, General Eugenio Vides Casanova, can be deported due to his alleged involvement in war crimes. General Casanova is accused of taking part in the killing of 6 Americans and several Salvadorans during the civil war in the 1980s. The US supported then Defence Minister Casanova’s forces against leftist rebels; he retired and moved to Florida in 1989. This is the first time a senior foreign military commander has been held responsible in a US court for abuses committed under his command, said human rights lawyers on Thursday...

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