Weekly update: 4 July – 10 July 2022
The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 4 July to 10 July 2022.
Guernica 37 will provide weekly media updates from the International Criminal Court, European Court of Human Rights, United Nations, European Union and other sources. Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at email@example.com for consideration.
Myanmar – 4 July 2022
Shocking footage has recently emerged on social media of brutal killings allegedly in Myanmar’s Sagaing Region where a United Nations investigator has documented apparent war crimes by the Myanmar military. The images are further damning evidence of the brutal military operation underway in Sagaing Region. They reinforce a pattern of killings that Human Rights Watch and other human rights groups have documented that bear the hallmarks of the military’s atrocities.
United Kingdom (UK) – 4 July 2022
A senior Council of Europe official has warned the UK government against weakening protections for its citizens by repealing the Human Rights Act. Dunja Mijatović, the council’s commissioner for human rights, said that replacing the act with a British bill of rights would send the “wrong signal”.
Egypt / United Kingdom (UK) – 4 July 2022
The family of a British national jailed in Egypt and the British wife of an Egyptian rights defender under a travel ban are demanding that Liz Truss do more to pressure her Egyptian counterpart when they meet this week. The foreign secretary is expected to meet Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, in London after telling parliament in June that she would seek a meeting with him and raise the case of detained British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah.
India – 5 July 2022
At the G7 summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to defend freedom of expression, civil society, and religious freedom. Yet back at home, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government, which has long promoted majoritarian Hindu nationalism at the expense of the rights of Muslims and other minorities, was renewing its crackdown on rights defenders. Officials in several BJP-governed states have demolished property owned by Muslims in response to protests or communal clashes provoked by Hindu religious processions, often led by BJP supporters. There is little effort, however, to prosecute government supporters who commit abuses.
European Union (EU) – 5 July 2022
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved a Recommendation to strengthen INTERPOL’s ability to stop authoritarian regimes abusing its tools. The Recommendation, which sets out the Parliament’s positions on the EU’s cooperation agreement with INTERPOL, received overwhelming support from MEPs with 607 voting in favour. It highlights the need for more transparency and effective procedures to prevent Red Notice abuse. Fair Trials welcomes this Recommendation, having consistently called out this abuse and urged INTERPOL to improve transparency and due diligence.
United Kingdom (UK) / Rwanda – 5 July 2022
A woman in immigration detention has been targeted for removal to Rwanda, a UK refugee charity has said. Women for Refugee Women said it was in touch with a survivor of trafficking who was recently issued with a notice of intent that she was being considered for removal to Rwanda. Charity workers say that instead of offering the woman protection and the chance to rebuild her life in the UK, the government is proposing to force her against her will to Rwanda.
Turkey – 6 July 2022
Turkey should face charges in front of the international court of justice for being complicit in acts of genocide against the Yazidi people, while Syria and Iraq failed in their duty to prevent the killings, an investigation endorsed by British human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy has said.
United Kingdom (UK) – 6 July 2022
The UK Supreme Court has ruled that diplomats cannot hide behind immunity to exploit workers, in a victory for campaigners against modern slavery. Diplomats are normally protected from both criminal charges and civil cases in the countries where they are posted. But the court found a Saudi diplomat accused of exploiting a Filipina domestic worker in London did not have immunity in relation to the allegation. The decision paves the way for the woman to seek compensation. Lawyers said it was the first ruling of its kind in the world.
Interpol – 6 July 2022
Rocco Morabito, a convicted Italian drug lord linked to the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, has been successfully extradited from Brazil to Italy, accompanied by Italian law enforcement officers belonging to the INTERPOL Cooperation Against ‘Ndrangheta (I-CAN) project. Morabito is considered a top international drug broker and one of the most wanted fugitives in the world, according to the Italian Ministry of Interior. The extradition follows intensive cooperation between the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Brazil and Italy.
Argentina – 7 July 2022
A court in Argentina has sentenced 19 former military officers to long prison terms for crimes against humanity during the country's military dictatorships in 1976-83. The crimes included forced disappearances, murder, torture and kidnapping of children. Among those sentenced was Gen Santiago Riveros, 98, previously convicted for other human rights violations. He received a life sentence after being found guilty of more than 100 crimes.
Ukraine – 7 July 2022
Ukraine says it is investigating more than 21,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression allegedly committed by Russia since the start of its invasion. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova told the BBC she was receiving reports of between 200 to 300 war crimes a day. She admitted that many trials would be held in absentia, but stressed that it was "a question of justice" to continue with the prosecutions.
Syria / Russia – 8 July 2022
Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended cross-border aid to Syria by one year without Damascus’s backing. The aid is a lifeline for more than 2.4 million people in the northwestern Idlib region of Syria, under the control of rebels. Thirteen of the 15 council members voted in favour of the text. China, which often votes the same way as Russia, chose to abstain, while Russia’s preferred option of a six-month extension with the option of another six months is opposed by other states. The opposing members believe Russia’s proposal creates significant organisational challenges for NGOs on the front line. The UN has been aiding millions of Syrians through multiple border crossings since 2014, but from 2020, the council reduced the entry points to just one, leaving Bab al-Hawa as the only option.