Afghanistan peace negotiations must include women and rights activists- Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called upon authorities negotiating an Afghanistan peace agreement to centre discussions on human rights and in particular to be inclusive of women and activists. This discussion follows a signed agreement between the Taliban and the US, on 29 February, to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in exchange for the Taliban agree not to attack said troops or allies in the region. This agreement coincides with broader peace discussions with the Afghan government, other political parties in the country and Taliban leaders. These negotiations will set the future for...

Human Rights Watch demands UN keep pressure on South Sudan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the UN Human Rights Council to renew pressure on South Sudan. This follows the Human Rights most recent report on the situation in South Sudan which details continuing human rights abuses such as the forceful recruitment of children for combat as well as gender-based violence, abductions and deliberate starvation of civilian populations. Despite promises of the Unity government, there continues to be no accountability for previous human rights abuses. The government has also made little progress to have a hybrid court with the African Union operating,...

Arab party make historic gains in Israeli election

The Joint Arab List, representing Israeli Palestinians, made historic gains in Israel’s election securing 15 out of 120 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, preventing Prime Minister Netanyahu from gaining a majority. The Joint Arab List has secured its position as the third-largest party in response an overtly racist campaign waged by Netanyahu’s campaign which was flagged by Facebook for hate speech. There are approximately 2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel and one in five Israeli’s are of Arab ethnicity however they have had historically low turnout however this changed on...

UN calls for ceasefire in Yemen

UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has called for an “immediate and unconditional” ceasefire in the region as tens of thousands of civilians have been forced to flee from the northern province of Al-Jawf after violent clashes. This follows the Houthi rebels capturing the provincial capital of Al-Hazm which sparked further violence in the region during a month in which both sides felt hope for a permanent de-escalation of the conflict. Griffiths told reporters that Yemen was “at a critical juncture: we will either silence the guns and resume the political process, or we will slip...

Over 20 human rights NGOs call for UN to maintain scrutiny on Nicaragua

Over 20 human rights organisation have called on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to adopt a resolution renewing a their commitment to monitor and repair on the dire situation in Nicaragua. In a statement cosigned by all of these organisations, they maintain that the Human Rights Council has played a vital role in reporting on the crimes committed during the 2018 protests, which include murder, torture and rape. This reporting is important not only in providing accountability for these crimes but also in preventing further crimes, in particular with concerns over the 2021 presidential...

ICC authorises investigation into Afghanistan war crimes

The ICC has ruled to launch an investigation examining the war crimes committed by US, Afghan and Taliban troops during the Afghanistan war, overturning a previous rejection of the inquiry. The ICC’s appeal chamber stated on Thursday, that the lower court had misinterpreted the court’s rules and maintained that the investigation should go ahead. The investigators are permitted to examine the war dating back to 2003 as well as other crimes which relate to Afghanistan. The ICC judges are also permitted to investigate CIA black sites which operated in Poland, Lithuania and Romania. They will...

India restores some internet access in Kashmir

India has restored some internet access in Kashmir for the first time since the region had its autonomy revoked and was placed in a lockdown in August. The measure will allow limited access to social media and may provide better reporting on what is going on in Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, withdrew the regional autonomy and special rights of Jammu and Kashmir on grounds of furthering regional development. Reuters notes that whilst this occurred, New Delhi flooded the region with additional troops, detaining scores of people and imposing harsh restrictions on movement and...

Kenya accuses Somalia of “unwarranted attack”

Kenya has accused Somalia’s army of launching an unwarranted attack on Mandera, following conflict breaking out on the Somali border town of Bulohawo between the Somali government and semi-autonomous region of Jubaland on Monday. It is believed that the violence between Somalia’s central state and regional territories crossed into Mandera which lead the Kenyan government to issue a statement maintain that this amounted to a violation of “territorial integrity and sovereignty”. The government further stated: “Foreign soldiers - in flagrant breach and total disregard of international laws and...

India defends controversial citizenship bill despite UN complaint

India has defended its controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which is accused of being discriminatory to Muslims, from the UN Human Rights Council which have lodged an intervention application requesting that India’s Supreme Court register their opposition to the bill. Since the bill's passage on 11 December, there have been widespread protests across India lead mostly by Muslims and students. These protests have been met with brutal violence and since the passage of this bill over 75 people have been killed. Last week, 47 people were killed and many mosques and Muslim homes and...

UN reports possible war crimes by Russia and Turkey in Syria

UN investigators have reported that Russia and Turkey have committed attacks in Syria which may amount to war crimes; this includes attacks on Kurdish held territories. The UN report details that Russia has engaged in airstrikes on civilian targets including a popular market and camp for those displaced. These attacks have resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians in July and August. The UN report states; “In both incidents, the Russian Air Force did not direct the attacks at a specific military objective, amounting to the war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas”...

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