Award-winning Kurdish journalist released after six years incarcerated in Australia off-shore detention centre

Photograph: @BehrouzBoochani Behrouz Boochani, the Kurdish journalist who gained prominence for his correspondence from Manus Island, the Papua New Guinea immigration detention centre where he was incarcerated by Australia, has been released after six years, upon being granted asylum by New Zealand. Earlier this year Boochani won one of Australia’s most prestigious literary awards for his book No Friend But the Mountains which was composed one text message a time from Manus Island. A Sri Lankan guy is close to deportation. They took him into custody 2 days ago & to POM yesterday. So...

Norwegian wealth fund blacklists British security firm accused of abuses against asylum seekers

Shares in the British security firm G4S have been blacklisted by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund over concerns about the firm’s human rights violations against its workforce in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Norway’s Council of Ethics, which monitors investments in the country’s £860bn Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), said there was an “unacceptable risk of the company contributing to systematic human rights violations”. Up to 30,000 staff, mostly working in security and construction, could be affected. G4S has come under fire in the UK for alleged abuses at an immigration detention...

Hamas calls on the ICC to investigate Israel for committing a war crime

Hamas has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel for committing a war crime in an airstrike that killed eight people. On Wednesday, a family of eight were killed in an Israeli airstrike which were aimed at ‘terror targets’. Israel has denied knowledge of any civilian presence. Ghazi Hamad, Hamas spokesperson said, “ the Israeli occupation forces attacked they house with previous knowledge that civilians are living there, even Israel did not alert them before attacking, so they could leave the house, in which caused the killing of innocent children and women.”...

Catalan parliament passes defiant self-determination motion

Catalonia’s parliament has passed a non-binding motion expressing the will to exercise self-determination despite previously warning from Spain’s Constitutional Court. Spain’s Constitutional Court had warned that there will be legal consequences if the motion passes. This follows the imprisonment of several pro-independence Catalan leaders who staged a referendum in October 2017 on Catalan independence, which the Spanish court’s deemed to be illegal. They were sentenced to 15 years under charges of sedition. Read more here: Catalan separatist leaders get up to 15 years in jail This...

US calls for de-escalation in Hong Kong following pro-democracy protests

The United States has called for a de-escalation of violence in Hong Kong following a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. During the protests, a Hong Kong shot and critically wounded a protester and another man was set on fire. Carrie Lam, leader of Hong Kong, responded to this by denouncing protesters as “enemies of the people”. Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, insisted that Being needed to respect its commitments to Hong Kong, that the region should ‘enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ and that the people of Hong Kong will enjoy human rights the freedoms...

Genocide lawsuit against Myanmar filed at UN court

A lawsuit accusing Myanmar of genocide for its treatment of the Rohingya people has been filed at the International Court of Justice. The case was filed at the highest UN court by Gambia on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation. “It is clear that Myanmar has no intention of ending these genocidal acts and continues to pursue the destruction of the group within its territory,” the lawsuit said, adding that the government “is deliberately destroying evidence of its wrongdoings to cover up the crimes.’’ Read more on the New York Times.

Catalan separatists protests block major Spain-France road

Hundreds of pro-independence Catalonian protesters gathered on the AP-7 highway, a major traffic link between Spain and France, which could cost the Spanish economy 15 million euros on a daily basis, reports the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport. According to the Spanish Confederation of Goods Transport, spokesperson, Dulse Diaz, approximately said 20,000 trucks cross the border at La Jonquera every day in both directions. Following this protest, they have been diverted into smaller roads whilst protesters set up concrete barriers as well as stages for concerts. This protest follows...

Ex-Congolese rebel chief appeals ICC’s jail sentence

Former Congolese rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, will appeal the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) 30-year sentence, issued on Thursday, for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ntaganda was leading figure for the Union of Congolese Patriots and its militia, the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) during the conflict in the early 2000s. Specifically, his charges related to his conduct from 2002-2003, in the mineral-rich region of Ituri. Ntaganda is subject to 18 charges includes crimes of sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers. He is also charged with...

Amnesty denounces Turkey’s imprisonment of journalists

Amnesty International has denounced the imprisonment of journalists in Turkey under charges of “assisting a terrorist organisation”. Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan were sentenced to 10 and a half years and 8 years and 9 months respectively after having spent three years detained pre-trial. Their legal representatives are currently having their cases retried following the decision against them by the Supreme Court of Appeals in July 2019. Amnesty has condemned what they describe as a “politically motivated prosecution”. Sara Hall, Deputy Regional Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International,...

Chile pulls out of hosting international summits amidst mass uprisings

Chile has been forced to withdraw from hosting two international summits as the government is rocked by mass uprisings and mounting allegations of human rights violations. With at least 18 people dead and 7000 arrested and allegations of police torture, Chile’s president Sebastian Piñera, who is facing legal action by civil society groups who accuse him of crimes against humanity, announced that he had taken the “painful” decision to cancel two high profile summits due to take place in the capital Santiago. The first of the two summits, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting was...

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