EU launches disciplinary action against Poland over judicial reforms

The European Union has launched disciplinary action against Poland over a series of judicial reforms that it claims threatens the rule of law. A series of 13 new laws introduced by the Polish government have allowed it to "interfere significantly" in the judiciary says the EU. Vice president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, told reporters that the new laws” put in serious risk the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers”. “Judicial reforms in Poland mean that the country’s judiciary is now under the political control of the ruling majority,” he added. “In the...

US vetoes US Security council resolution calling for reversal of Jerusalem foreign policy decision

The UN Security Council voted 14-1 in favour of a resolution calling on the US to rescind its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The resolution, which was vetoed by the US, stated “any decisions and action which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.” British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said, “The status of Jerusalem should be determined through a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and should ultimately be...

Cyril Ramaphosa elected leader of South Africa’s ANC

South Africa’s African National Congress announced that Cyril Ramaphosa, has been elected leader of the party The 65 year old veteran ANC activist ran on an anti-corruption platform against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former wife of current leader Jacob Zuma. He won by a margin of just 179 votes out of the more than 4,700 total ballots cast on Monday. Mr Zuma had been leader of the party since 2007. The move sees Mr Ramaphosa likely to become South Africa’s next president, as the country gears towards elections scheduled for 2019. As Deputy President of the ANC, Mr Ramaphosa was appointed...

Genocide prosecutions cannot be ruled out in Myanmar says UN Rights Chief

The United Nations Human Rights Chief said future prosecutions for genocide could not be ruled out in assessing the mass atrocities in Myanmar. The rights chief criticised Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi's inaction on the situation and refusal to use the term “Rohingya,” adding “to strip their name from them is dehumanising to the point where you begin to believe anything is possible.” Speaking to the BBC Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, said, “The elements suggest you cannot rule out the possibility that acts of genocide have been committed. It’s very hard to establish the thresholds are high. But it...

Former UN general slams inaction over ‘very deliberate Rohingya genocide’

The former commander of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide warned that the same crime is taking place in Myanmar, and called on the international community to intervene. "You’re into the mist of a very slow moving and very deliberate genocide,” Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire told Sky News. “There is no doubt in my military mind that the way they’re operating, the way they’re conducting, the way they’re using their forces. The way the government is camouflaging it… They want to wipe them out and they’ve said that’s what they operating to do”. The...

Rwandan government report accuses France of complicity in genocide

A new report commissioned by the Rwandan government accuses France of being complicit in the 1994 genocide, which saw more than 800,000 people killed. The Muse Report, written by US law firm Cunningham Levy Muse, was commissioned by the Rwandan government to explore France’s role in the massacres. Published this week, the report states that French officials attempted “to conceal their own role in the genocide and to undermine attempts to prosecute genocide suspects”. The report accuses French officials of training Rwanda’s Hutu military and of preparing lists of Tutsis that were to be...

Court in Netherlands convicts man of war crimes in Ethiopia in 1970s

A court in the Netherlands on Friday convicted a man of war crimes in Ethiopia during the Marxist regime of the 1970s. The 63 year old man, Eshetu Alemu was deemed by the court to have been in charge of the Dergue regime in Gojam province. "It was in this context that he had a large group of mainly teenagers arrested, tortured and killed on the pretext of their affiliation with the EPRP, the main opposition movement in Gojam at the time," the court said in a statement. He was convicted of ordering the killing of 75 political opponents, failing to prevent the torture of 6 people, and ordering...

US calls on Myanmar to release disappeared journalists

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for the “immediate release of two Reuters reporters arrested in Myanmar. Speaking on Friday, Mr Tillerson further called for “information as to the circumstances around their disappearances.” The journalists, Wa Lone 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo 37, went missing on Tuesday after being invited to meet police officials over dinner in the northern outskirts of the city of Yangon. The journalists had been working on stories about military crackdowns in the Rakhine state, reports Reuters. The UN, UK, Sweden and Bangladesh amongst others also denounced the...

British police arrest distributors of Kurdish newspaper

Two Kurdish women and two teenagers have been arrested to be questioned about the sale and distribution of Kurdish newspaper Yeni Ozgur Politika (New Free Politics),” reports the BBC. The Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign described the arrests as “an attack on freedom of expression.” The organisation added, “The paper reports on political developments in Turkey and cultural aspects of Kurdish people’s lives. It has an important role for Kurds living across Europe, as Kurdish newspapers and radio stations in Turkey have been shut down due to sustained suppression by the Turkish state. The police...

ICC prosecutor urges action over outstanding warrants by UN Security Council

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor this week urged the UN Security Council to take action over a number of outstanding arrest warrants. “I call on this Council to prioritise action on the outstanding warrants of arrest issued by the Court,” Fatou Bensouda told the Security Council in New York. "There can be no justification for States Parties to fail to arrest a suspect against whom an ICC warrant of arrest has been issued, irrespective of that person's official status," she added. Her comments came a day after the Pre-Trial Chamber II deemed that Japan had been non-compliant...

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