Former Kosovo PM arrested in France

Ramush Haradinaj, former Prime Minister of Kosovo and guerilla commander during the Kosovo war, has been arrested in France on Serbian warrant. “He was stopped by French authorities based on an arrest warrant issued by Serbia in 2004, which for us is unacceptable,” stated Kosovo’s foreign ministry. The ministry further stated that action is being taken to secure Haradinaj’s release. Haradinaj is considered by Serbia to be a war criminal for leading an insurgency during the conflict in 1998-1999. He was tried and acquitted twice of war crimes at the UN court in The Hague. Sources from the...

Myanmar govt commission says no evidence of Rohingya genocide

A commission carried out by the Myanmar government rejected allegations of genocide against the Rohingya population in its interim report, published this week. The report described reports of human rights violations as "external allegations". Warning readers against believing "fabricated news and rumours", it said there was “insufficient evidence of mass rape”. Human Rights Watch expressed concern over the report. HRW's deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson, said, "this commission is looking more and more like the Myanmar government whitewash mechanism that we feared it would be." "This...

Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter, PM calls for pardon

An Israeli soldier was on Wednesday convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead an injured Palestinian. Sergeant Elor Azaria was found guilty by a three judge panel in a military court in Tel Aviv and will be sentenced on Sunday. The incident, which was captured on film by a Palestinian human rights activist, took place in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank on March 24. The case has sparked protests in Israeli, with many Israelis demonstrating against the conviction. Responding to the verdict on his Facebook page, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said "I support giving Elor...

Record number of demolitions in occupied Palestinian territory in 2016

A United Nations study shows that Israeli authorities demolished or seized 1809 Palestinian owned structures in the West Bank in 2016. Data collected by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicates that this is the highest since the collection of such data in 2009. 1593 Palestinians have been displaced and 7101 have had their livelihoods impacted. The majority of the properties were demolished or seized because of the lack of Israeli issued building permits. The study also includes data on checkpoints and other barriers to movement, the movement of goods and statistics...

Spanish PM rejects Catalan referendum

The Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday rejected the notion of a referendum on independence for Catalonia, responding to the Catalan's government's proposal to hold a referendum before September 2017. "It is not possible to hold a referendum that will do away with national sovereignty and the equality of Spaniards," he was quoted by Reuters as saying at a news conference. "This is not going anywhere, I'm offering something which is a lot more reasonable - dialogue," Mr Rajoy he added. "I ask that no more steps are taken in the opposite direction." Catalan's regional government held...

Bosnia police commander charged with war crimes

A former Bosnian police commander and then interior minister, Dragan Vikic has been charged for war crimes committed in 1992. Mr Vikic, along with three former officers is accused of killing eith Yugoslav People's Army prisoners of war who were captured after their vehicle broke down in Sarajevo in April 1992. “After that, the prisoners were taken to the Great Park, near the police headquarters building in the centre of Sarajevo, where they were killed with a burst of gunfire,” the indictment states. Mr Vikic has denied all the allegations. See here , here and here .

Germany discusses possible reparations over Namibia genocide

Germany is to hold discussions with the Namibia government regarding an official apology and possible reparations for the genocide of the Herero and Namaqua people by German troops at the beginning of the 20th century, The Guardian Tens of thousands of Herero and Namaqua men, women and children were shot dead by troops or starved to death in camps. The genocide is considered the first of the century. An official apology is expected to be finalisted before June 2017, the paper reported. See more here .

US authorities arrest Serbian man for lying over war crimes

US federal authorities have arrested a Serbian man, after it was reported he lied about his involvement in war crimes to immigration officials. Alexander Kneginich was arrested in Michigan this week after he failed to inform authorities about both the time he served in the Bosnian Serb military and his subsequent conviction for the killing of two Muslim civilians in 1994. Mr Kneginich faces up to 10 years imprisonment as well as deportation to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

EU trade deal with Morocco does not cover Western Sahara - ECJ

The European Court of Justice ruled that a recently signed trade deal with Morocco would not cover Western Sahara, in a ruling that has been hailed by pro-independence activists. The court ruling, related to two trade deals from 2000 and 2012, said that for the purposes of the trade agreement the term "territory of the Kingdom of Morocco" did not include Western Sahara. "It does not appear that this people has consented to the agreement being applied to Western Sahara," the court said. The Polisario Front claimed the ruling as a victory, with their representative to Europe, Mohamed Sidati,...

UN Security Council resolution demands end to Israeli settlements

UN Security Council votes affirmatively towards resolution demanding the halt of settlement activity by Israel on occupied Palestinian territory – with 14 votes in favor of the resolution and the United States abstaining. The resolution is the first adopted on Israel and Palestine in approximately eight years. While the US’s decision to abstain serves a great rebuke against Israel in recent history. "This is not a resolution against settlements, it is an anti-Israel resolution, against the Jewish people and the state of the Jews. The United States tonight has simply abandoned its only friend...

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