Hundreds of protestors arrested in Hong Kong New Year's march

Some 400 protestors were arrested by police in Hong Kong after hundreds of thousands of people reportedly attended a New Year’s Day march in the city, in the latest round of anti-government demonstrations. Riot police were deployed and tear gas fired after police officials blamed radical protestors for “hijacking” the march, which was initially permitted by authorities before they attempted to shut it down. “The government is not willing to back down at this moment,” protestor Grace Ng told the New York Times. “I want the government to compromise, but I think there isn’t enough international...

Mother of convicted British woman calls for tourism boycott of Cyprus

A mother of a British woman who was convicted in Cyprus after authorities claimed she had lied about being raped, has called for a tourism boycott of the country. Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office expressed “serious concern” over the case of the 19-year-old woman who has convinced of causing “public mischief” in a widely criticised trial. The woman had recanted a claim that she had been raped in a hotel room in Ayia Napa in July. Her lawyers state she had no legal representation or translators present when she recanted the claim, which was done during interrogation by police officers...

Nicaragua releases dozens of political prisoners after hunger strikes from mothers and US sanctions 

Dozens of political prisoners have been released form Nicaragua, following the strengthening of US sanctions on the country and hunger strikes from the mothers of those being detained. The Nicaraguan government said that at least 91 prisoners had been released, but the New York Times reported that it remained unclear whether their sentences have been converted to a form of house arrest or if the charges had been dropped. Many of those arrested were detained after taking part in anti-government protests in the country in April 2018. “I had been sentenced to five years for supposedly stealing a...

India announces third moon mission

The Indian government announced it will begin plans for a third lunar mission this year, named “Chandrayaan-3”. The head of India’s space agency K Sivan made the announcement on Wednesday, stating the project “may spill over” into 2021. Only Russia, the United States and China have managed to make soft moon landings, with India striving to be the fourth country to do so. The previous Indian attempt - Chandrayaan-2 - failed in September when the module crashed onto the lunar surface. Sivan added that India plans to launch at least 25 space missions in 202 alone, as it looks to grow it’s...

Sudan court rules 29 to death for killing detained teacher

A Sudanese court has sentenced 29 intelligence officers to death by hanging for torturing and killing a teacher. Ahmad al-Khair, 36, was arrested and kept in custody due to taking part in the protests against former president Omar al-Bashir in February this year. His family were told by security officials that Ahmed al-Khair died from food poisoning but a state investigation later revealed he had died due to injuries sustained through beating. Judge al-Sadik al-Amin al-Fek ruled that Ahmad al-Khair was beaten and tortured to death by detention centre officers in the Eastern state of Kassala...

UN condemns human rights abuses against Rohingya

The UN has passed a non-binding resolution calling on Myanmar to stop the incitement of violence and hatred against Rohingya and other communities. During a brutal military crackdown in the northern state of Rakhine over 700,000 Rohingya were forced to flee and thousands were killed in 2017. This resolution follows Aung San Suu Kyi’s denial of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague earlier this month. Read more here: The resolution called on Myanmar to provide protection to all ethnic groups. It was passed with 134 countries voting in favour of the measure out of...

Guam demands vote on self-determination

› Guam, which is a US territory, has filed an appeal against a court decision which denied the right of Guam to hold a vote on independence based on the principal of self-determination. The court ruled that such a vote would violate the constitution as it is ‘race-based’ and contradicts the Fifteenth Amendment. Guam specified that those eligible to vote be native inhabitants of Guam, which is defined as people who became U.S. citizens on Guam by the Organic Act, or their descendants. The Fifteenth amendment specifies that federal governments cannot deny citizens a right to vote based on “race...

Egyptian human rights activist attacked again

Human Rights Watch has reported that human rights activist and lawyer, Gamal Eid, the executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANRHI), was attacked for the second time since October by what appears to be the Egyptian security force. Eid had told Human Rights Watch that when he left his residence in Cairo Maadi, three cars without license plates awaited him. Around ten men came and beat him to the ground, threw paint on him and threatened him with pistols. When neighbours tried to intervene to stop the attack, the assailants threatened them. Eid is 55-year-old...

Uttar Pradesh chief minister defends excessive force against protesters

Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and hardline Hindu priest within the BJP, has defended the use of excessive force against protesters. Protests against India’s Citizenship amendment have persisted across the country. In Uttar Pradesh, there have been the most deaths. Since the bill passed in May at least 23 people have been killed. The citizenship provides a pathway to citizenship for refugees of three Muslim majority countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh) except for Muslim groups who are fleeing persecution. According to Reuters, human rights groups have criticised the...

Mauritius accuses UK of ‘crimes against humanity’ over Chagos Islands

Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, has accused the UK of committing "crimes against humanity" for refusing to allow people to return to their former homes on the Chagos Islands. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Jugnauth said that he is considering bringing charges of crimes against humanity against individual British officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC). "It is a violation of the basic principle of human rights. I fail to understand why Britain, this government, is being so stubborn. Britain has been professing, for years, respect for the rule of law, respect for...

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