‘Women are not safe in India’ – Latest gang rapes spark nationwide outrage  

The gang rape and murder of two Dalit women in the last recent weeks has sparked outrage across India, with calls for the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to resign. Both murders took place in the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh, with the two women belonging to India’s marginalised Dalit caste. One of the women, a 19-year-old teenager was gang raped on September 14th in the Hathras district by ‘upper-caste’ men, and left ‘naked, bleeding and seriously injured in a field’ affirms her mother. She fought for her life for two weeks before passing away. The police supposedly claimed that she was...

Peace official states US electoral victor will not change peace process in Afghanistan

On Wednesday, Afghanistan’s top peace official, Abdullah Abdullah, stated he does the expect the results of the anticipated US presidential election to change the Afghan peace process or troop withdrawal plans. The Trump administration has brokered peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to end 19 years of war. The US Taliban Agreement negotiated on February 29 2020, concluded that US armed forces would withdraw from Afghanistan under pretences of a truce. Abdullah is not worrying, however. “Nobody can say with certainty what would be the impact of the outcome of the...

No convictions for destruction of Babri mosque and massacre of Muslims

A special court in India has acquitted 32 men, including former deputy prime minister LK Advani, a sitting BJP politician, and three leaders from the party, of the destruction of Babri mosque (masjid) which led to religious riots and the massacre of 2,000 people, mostly Muslims. The court’s decision is seen as yet another “victory for the Hindu nationalist government”. The ruling follows another controversial decision by India’s Supreme Court in November 2019 which overruled the lower courts and granted the land for the development of another Hindu temple. The court further allotted a five-...

Hong Kong police silence expressions of dissent on China’s National Day

China’s National Day has previously been a day of pro-democracy expression in Hong Kong but this year thousands of police officers smothered most forms of protest and free expression. China marks its founding on October 1, but last year saw heavy clashes between protesters and Hong Kong police anti-government violence following the impostition of national security legislation earlier in the year. Thousands of protesters took to the streets to directly challenge China’s increasing leverage over their city. This year, anti-government protests have become smaller as the authorities increased...

Amnesty India ceases operations in response to government witch hunt

Amnesty International announced on Tuesday that it has closed it's Indian offices after the government froze its bank accounts as part of their crackdown on human rights defenders and organisations. Amnesty described the Indian government’s campaign against activist organisations, as a “witch hunt,” adding that fund-raising and operating have been made impossible. The actions, they believe, are in response to “unequivocal calls for transparency in the government.” And exposing human rights violations by publishing reports on the Delhi police’s role in fomenting anti-Muslim violence and torture in Kashmir.

No further prosecutions for Bloody Sunday

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS), the principal prosecution authority in Northern Ireland, has concluded that there is “insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction of any of the 15 soldiers” who were charged with the unlawful murder of 13 civil rights activists in January 1972, during Bloody Sunday. The PPS has only brought charges against one British soldier for his conduct. The soldier has been dubbed “Soldier F” in the case. He is to stand trial for the murder of James Wray and William McKinney in Derry as well as five counts of attempted murder.

Warring parties in Yemen agree to their largest prison swap

Warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a prisoner exchange of 1081 people, the largest exchange since late 2018, as part of a trust-building programme which aims to revive peace negotiations, the UN reports. UN Envoy Martin Griffiths told Reuters; “It’s very rare to have prisoner releases of this scale during the conflict, that they mostly happen after a conflict,”

British parliament passes bill to evade accountability for war crimes

The UK government’s proposed legislation to restrict the ability to hold British soldiers accountable for crimes committed overseas – the Overseas Operations Bill - passed its second reading in Parliament yesterday. The law will provide a “presumption against prosecution” after five yearsfor British soldiers and veterans. The legislation forms part of the Conservative party election manifesto pledge to protect British armed forces from ‘vexatious’ claims. The bill also intends to introduce time limits on submitting civil claims in relation to overseas operations, which could see the...

Protests erupt across US as police not charged for murder of Breonna Taylor

Protests have erupted across the US following the news that the two officers who killed Breonna Taylor were not charged however one officer who fired shots during the incident was indicted for wanton endangerment. Taylor’s case has been central in the recent uprisings led by the movement for Black lives, as it serves as an example of the extreme violence of police and the perceived disposability of the lives of Black women. Breonna Taylor, a Black healthcare worker, was killed in her home whilst she slept by police officers in March. Taylor’s family had advocated for criminal charges against...

Controversial farm bills passed in India

Indian lawmakers approved 2 controversial farming bills on Sunday that the government claims will boost growth in the farming sector, but opposition parties and long-time ally of the ruling party called “anti-farmer.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi fiercely supported the bills saying, the new laws will remove middlemen from agriculture trade, allowing farmers to easily sell their produce to institutional buyers and large retailers. On Thursday, Harsimrat Kaur, Minister of Food Processing, from a party believed to be one of the Modi government’s most trusted allies, resigned in protest of the...

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