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...

Mediterranean storm sweeps through Greece leaving three dead

A rare Mediterranean hurricane, known as a medicane, swept through western Greece on Friday, flooding streets and homes. The storm, named Ianos, uprooted trees, flooded highways and caused power cuts in the Ionian islands of Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca. The body of one man was found under the collapsed roof of his house; another 63-year-old man was found dead in the same area; and, the body of an elderly woman was found nearby Farsala, as reported by brigade officials. Officials are still searching for a woman reported missing in Karditsa. Experts report that about 5,000 houses were...

India attempts to censor tweets commemorating ‘1984 Genocide of Sikhs’

India’s government has requested Twitter to delete a trending post by The World Sikh Organization (WSO) which commemorated the 1984 Genocide of Sikhs. India’s government has claimed that it “violates the law(s) of India.” Twitter’s legal department has responded stating that it was notifying WSO in the interests of transparency but was not taking any action “at this time.” The specific tweet addressed by India, states “abduction, torture and extra-judicial killing” of Sikhs, “#neverforget1984” and refers to Jaswant Singh Khalra, a human-rights activist who was abducted and murdered by the...

Netherlands vows to hold Syria responsible for 'gross human rights violations and torture'

The Netherlands has announced that it is preparing a case against Syria at the UN’s International Court of Justice and is seeking to hold President Bashar al-Assad accountable for human rights violations, including torture and the use of chemical weapons.