UN report outlines ‘devastating cruelty’ against Rohingya population in Myanmar

A UN report issued on Friday stated that the widespread human rights violations perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces against the Rohingya population is likely to constitute crimes against humanity. The report released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was based on interviews with those who fled Myanmar in early October. According to the UN News Centre, the report documented “mass gang-rape, killings, including of babies and young children, brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by the country's security forces.” “The devastating...

Israel approves settlement homes following Trump’s inauguration

Israel has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in the area of occupied East Jerusalem after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump. "The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump's arrival as president. We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama," said Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Mein Turgeman. President Obama supported the UN resolution against the settlements – which he regarded as a key plank toward a potential “two-state solution.” The UN resolution stated that the development of settlements "has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation...

Israeli MP cancels Belgium trip amid war crimes summons

An Israeli MP who was due to be arrested over war crimes allegations in Belgium has cancelled her trip to the country, citing health reasons. Belgium’s federal prosecutor confirmed the prosecution’s intention to arrest Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister, over allegations filed in 2010 concerning possible war crimes committed during Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009. The Israeli foreign ministry rejected the “cynical abuse of the Belgian legal system to advance a political agenda,” a ministry spokesperson said.

Defeated president agrees to leave The Gambia

The Gambia's defeated president has agreed to step down from office and leave the country after over 12 hours of diplomatic talks. The defeated president, Yahya Jammeh, who was in power for 22 years, appeared on state TV after the talks. “I believe in the importance of dialogue. I have decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of this great nation,” he said. “All the issues we currently face can be resolved peacefully. I believe in the capacity of Africans to decide for themselves all the issues on the way to democracy, social and economic development." Gambia's new president...

Gambia army chief says he recognises new president

Gambian army chief, General Ousman Badjie on Friday told Reuters that he recognised the newly elected Adama Barrow as the country's official president and new commander-in-chief. General Badjie told the news wire that the army would not step in to fight against a regional force that was preparing itself to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh, who has vowed to hold onto the power, rejecting the recent electoral result. "We are going to welcome them with flowers and make them a cup of tea," General Badjie was quoted by Reuters as saying. "This is a political problem. It's a misunderstanding. We...

Nigerian Air Force strike on refugee camp kills 52, says MSF

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said this the Nigerian air force killed at least 52 people in an air strike on a refugee camp. The air strike was intended to target Boko Haram fighters, the Nigerian air force said. "At least 52 people were killed and 120 wounded," Tim Shenk, a spokesperson for MSF told Reuters. "The organisation's medical and surgical teams in the region are preparing to treat evacuated patients," Mr Shank added. A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross said that six of its workers were killed and 13 wounded. See more here .

Sinn Feinn triggers elections in Northern Ireland’s power sharing government

The power-sharing government of Northern Ireland is on the verge of collapse due to a clause in the agreement that will trigger fresh elections as a result of Sinn Fein’s decision to not find a replacement Deputy First Minister. Northern Ireland is expected to hold fresh elections after Sinn Feinn failed to find a replacement Deputy first minister following Martin McGuinness’s resignation over a lack of transparency in the Northern Ireland Government. Sein Finn’s Martin McGuinness resigned citing concerns about the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) “arrogance” at how they handled allegations...

US troubled by freezing of Egyptian human rights defenders' assets

The United States has said that it is troubled by the decision of an Egyptian court to freeze the assets of human rights defenders. “This decision comes against a wider backdrop of restrictions on Egyptian civil society activity and will produce neither stability nor security,” the State Department said in a press release on Wednesday. The full text of the press release is below. The United States is troubled by the decision by an Egyptian court after a judicial process to freeze the assets of additional human rights defenders, including Mozn Hassan of Nazra for Feminist Studies and Mohamed...

Former Chad leader appears war crimes conviction

The former leader of Chad, Hissene Habre this week sought to appeal his conviction for war crimes committed during his rule in the 1980s. Mr Habre was sentenced in Senegal in May 2016 to life imprisonment for instructing torture and mass murder during his time in office. Claiming the composition of the jury was unfair and there were irregularities in the trial, Habre's defence team was quoted by Reuters as saying, "the decisions must be annulled and invalidated." "I am not proud of the conditions in which the accused was tried," said Habre's lawyer Mounir Ballal. See here and here .

‘Impunity on staggering scale in CAR’ – Amnesty International

Amnesty International called on the international community to expedite efforts in setting up a hybrid with international judges will try war crimes suspect in the Central African Republic, warning that “impunity on a staggering scale” exists in the country. In a new report entitled “The long wait for justice: Accountability in Central African Republic”, the human rights organisation stressed the need to radically reform the country’s justice system and witness protection programs. “Thousands of victims of human rights abuses across CAR are still waiting for justice to be served, while...

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