China and Russia election to the UN Human Rights Council causes outrage

China and Russia's appointment as members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has caused outrage amongst human rights campaigners. It "is like making a gang of arsonists into the fire brigade”, commented UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitoring group. Fifteen countries were elected to the 47-member state council. Each country had to gain 97 affirmative votes by secret ballot by the majority of the UN General Assembly to secure a three-year term seat at the UNHRC starting on 1 st January. The elected members are Bolivia, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, France, Gabon, Malawi, Mexico,...

British company sued over alleged systematic human rights abuses in Kenyan avocado farm

Allegations of systematic violence against a local community in Kenya by guards working for an avocado farm, Kakuzi, that supplies UK supermarkets have resulted in a lawsuit against the farm’s British parent company, Camellia. 79 claims of “extreme violence”, dating from 2009 to January 2020 were found. Claimants include former employees of Kakuzi. It is reported that the alleged violence, include the rapes of 10 women, and attacks on villagers walking on paths through the farm. Among the victims is a 28-year-old man who was battered to death by the farm’s security guards for allegedly...

Nigeria to abolish notorious Special Anti-Robbery Police Squad but continues their deployment

Following days of violent protest against the alleged killing of a man by the Nigerian police’s notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Nigeria’s government has announced that all SARS with be abolished and officers will be redeployed to other roles. SARS is a branch of the Nigeria Police Force founded in 1992 that was meant to deal with crimes related to armed robbery. However, SARS has since been accused of many human rights violations that have been documented and circulated on social media with the hashtag #EndSARS. These crimes include kidnapping, extortion, torture, and murder. In...

Taiwan to modernize its defence capabilities as pressure from China increases

On Taiwan’s National Day president Tsai Ing-wen promised to strengthen Taiwan’s defence and alliances with regions partners as China tensions heighten. During her speech, she called for ‘meaningful dialogue’ with China however she added that “this is not something Taiwan can shoulder alone; it is the joint responsibility of both sides.” Tsai Ing-wen further said Taiwan would continue to modernize its defence capabilities and enhance its capacity for asymmetric warfare, designed to make any Chinese attack difficult and costly. While also reaffirming the island's commitment to democracy and...

Nine arrested for assisting 12 activists escape Hong Kong

Nine people have been arrested by Hong Kong police under suspicion of assisting 12 activists that attempted to escape Hong Kong in August.

Child dead, after being held on Italian quarantine ship

15-year-old, Abou died in a hospital this week, after being evacuated from an Italian quarantine ship used to isolate refugees amidst the coronavirus. ­­Italian officials are investigating the death after several witnesses reported Abou, who travelled from the Ivory Coast, as very ill, dehydrated, malnourished and with evident signs of torture on his body. However, he wasn’t transferred to a hospital until 30 September where he tested negative for Covid-19 and fell into a coma. In April, the Italian government mandated the use of ferries to hold rescued refugees under quarantine for 14 days...

India considers creating an app store to compete with Googles 98% market share

Technology entrepreneurs have petitioned the Indian government seeking support to create an Indian app store which would rival Google's market dominance in India, which government officials claims stands at 98% of Indian Android operating systems. In response to the issue of overseas tech giants dominating India’s digital app sector, India's government has stated that it would enforce a 30% commission on in-app purchases. Government officials note that whilst the company's market share stands at 98% in India it is much lower in other countries including the US. As a result, the Indian...

Algeria expels thousands of asylum seekers to Niger

Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers were expelled to Niger by Algerian authorities during roundups of mostly sub-Saharan Africans across at least nine cities, said Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday. Migrants were pulled from streets, homes, and work sites before being crammed into trucks and buses before being expelled to Niger. Rokia Tamara, a 23 year old from the Ivory Coast, said she and her two children were apprehended in July. “The police forced their way into our house, grabbed us, didn’t explain why, didn’t ask for documents,” she said. “I explained that I was recovering from a...

Why Australia needs a permanent war crimes investigation unit – Rawan Arraf

Writing in the Australian paper, The Age, Rawan Arraf, Director of the Australian Centre for International Justice, argues that Australia needs a “dedicated and permanent program” to investigate and prosecute war criminals in Australia. This call follows Australia’s Brereton inquiry, an inquiry lead by Major-General Paul Brereton, who has been investigating unlawful killings by Australia’s Special Air Force, since 2016. The inquiry has thus far investigated more than 55 incidents of alleged unlawful killings and cruel treatment of Afghan civilians and captured combatants. Australia’s Federal...

For the past decade, the UK has been the second-largest arms dealer

According to government statistics, the UK has ranked as the second-largest arms dealer in the world for the past decade, second only to the US. In 2019, UK arms deals made up 16 per cent of the global sale of arms and secured £11bn worth of contracts for military equipment and services. This is down from 2018 when £14bn worth of deals were made, this was the second-highest year for the UK in arms sales since 1983.

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