Californian cities recognise massacre of Sikhs as genocide

The cities of Fowler and Madera in California have recognised the 1984 killings of Sikhs in India as genocide, last week. The total number of American cities that have labelled the killings as genocide now stands at eight. Kerman City Council member Bill Nijjer posted on social media: “I’m very proud to announce that the City of Madera has passed a Resolution recognizing the 1984 Anti-Sikh Violence as GENOCIDE. Thank you to the Madera citizens who showed great leadership on this great accomplishment.” See more here .

Gambia announces withdrawal from the International Criminal Court

Gambia announced its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) after accusing the tribunal of acting towards the “persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans”. The announcement follows the withdrawal of South Africa and Burundi earlier this month. Allegations of bias against Africa have been a common criticism presented against the body, with Gambia’s information minister Sheriff Bojang stating, “there are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation...

Venezuela's opposition rallies against incumbent president

Opposition supporters rallied throughout Venezuela against the incumbent socialist President Nicolas Madura, reports Reuters The rally was led by a coalition of opposition leaders who criticise Mr Maduro of preventing a change in leadership and resorting to dictatorship/ Maduro said he was convening a special Committee for the Defence of the Nation at his presidential palace on Wednesday. The opposition have been calling for a recall referendum, alleging that the president won the most recent elections on fraud.

UN report denounces global assault on freedom of expression

The UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye has released a report on the violations of freedom of expression globally. The report includes a survey of official communications with governments that have reportedly violated international human rights law in the area of freedom of expression. Trends show that governments utilize national security and public order justifications to restrict media, activists and critical voices. He states, “Many times governments provide not even the barest demonstration that such restrictions meet the legal tests of necessity and...

Violence in Aleppo "constitutes crimes of historic proportions"

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said that violence in the Syrian city of Aleppo “constitutes crimes of historic proportions” and should be immediately brought before the International Criminal Court, in a statement released his week. The statement reads, Well over 300,000 Syrians have been killed, and countless others wounded and traumatised in the course of this civil war – now also a proxy conflict, fuelled by cynical regional and international interests. Tens of thousands of people have been abducted, summarily executed or arbitrarily detained and tortured. Broken, uprooted and...

Genocide denier elected as Srebrenica mayor

The town of Srebrenica, which saw the genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Serbian forces in 1995, has seen a Serb nationalist who denies the killings were a genocide elected as its mayor. Mladen Grujicic was elected to the post earlier this month to the dismay of Bosnian Muslims in the town. Mr Grujicic continues to deny that the massacre constitutes genocide, despite international criminal rulings. “When they prove it to be the truth, I’ll be the first to accept it,” he said. The town, which previously had a Muslim majority population, is now 55% Serbian. Local politician Zulfo...

South Africa begins formal withdrawal from ICC

The South African government has begun a formal withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, after beginning official proceedings according to media reports. An "Instrument of Withdrawal" document has been signed by South Africa's foreign minister and sent to the United Nations, report several media outlets, who have obtained copies of the document. "The Republic of South Africa has found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the International Criminal Court," it says. The move has been...

Burundi signs decree to leave International Criminal Court jurisdiction

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza signed a decree on Tuesday for Burundi to undertake proceedings to leave the International Criminal Court , reports Reuters. The decision to remove the country from the ICC came after a parliamentary vote saw 94 parliamentarians vote to leave the ICC whilst 2 voted to remain within its jurisdiction. Last month, a United Nations report named officials accused of orchestrating the torture and killing of political opponents in a damming report. In response, Burundi’s government banned three UN investigators from its territory, condemning the UN decision to...

Russia and Syria announce airstrike halt to allow for civilian evacuation

The Russian and Syrian forces have halted all air strikes on Aleppo two days ahead of the planned pause to allow rebels and civilians to leave the city reports Reuters. The Russian Defence Minister Sergei Soigu, in an announcement made on Tuesday, said strikes had been halted from 1000 local time (0700 GMT) to guarantee the safety of six corridors for civilian evacuation and to prepare for the removal of sick and wounded people from eastern Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, said Russian warplanes had launched heavy raids on Aleppo early on Tuesday, however...

Saudi Arabia open to Houthi ceasefire says Foreign Minister

Saudi Arabia has agreed to a ceasefire if the Houthi militants agree said the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday. Speaking to reporters in London , the Saudi Foreign Minister said, “We are prepared, the Yemeni government is prepared, to agree to a cessation of hostilities if the Houthis agree to it. The coalition countries will respect the desire of the Yemeni government.” The Saudi government received heavy criticism this month, after an air strike on a funeral gathering in Yemen killed over 100 people according to the United Nations. The United States and Britain, both which...

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