Weekly update: 7 November – 13 November 2022
The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 7 November to 13 November 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
United Nations (UN) – 7 November 2022
Although the global cost-of-living crisis will be an obstacle to eradicating poverty by 2030, countries can still make significant progress towards this Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), UN-appointed human rights expert Olivier de Schutter has said. Recently, he told the General Assembly that “people are stereotyped and discriminated against purely because they are poor. This is frankly sickening and a stain on our society”.
United Kingdom (UK) – 7 November 2022
Lord chancellor Dominic Raab’s Bill of Rights Bill will resume its parliamentary passage within weeks, according to media reports. Raab told ITV news that the measure, shelved by Liz Truss when she became prime minister in September, would 'reinject a healthy dose of common sense to the system and end abuse of our laws'. Raab introduced the measure under his first spell as lord chancellor in Boris Johnson’s administration. The bill is currently awaiting a second reading in the House of Commons. The measure would explicitly give UK courts supremacy over rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, such as the interim ruling by a Strasbourg judge last June which blocked flights carrying cross-channel migrants to Rwanda. The measure would also create a higher threshold for foreign national offenders seeking to challenge deportations based on the right to a private life and introduce a new permission stage for human rights challenges.
European Court of Human Rights – 8 November 2022
In the case of Saure v. Germany, the European Court of Human Rights held, by 4 votes to 3, that there had been no violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the Convention. The case concerned the refusal to allow Mr Saure, a journalist, to have physical access to the files held by the German Foreign Intelligence Service on U.B., a former Prime Minister of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein who had died in a hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1987. Mr Saure was interested, in particular, in the Service’s findings and investigations regarding the circumstances of U.B.’s death and rumours that U.B. had collaborated with the intelligence service of an Eastern European country. However, he was refused access to the files in person.
United States (US) / Russia – 8 November 2022
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has confirmed communication channels between Washington and Moscow remain open. It comes as the White House refuses to deny reports that Mr Sullivan has been leading talks with Russia to prevent a nuclear escalation in Ukraine. Speaking in New York, Mr Sullivan said it was "in the interests" of the US to maintain contact with the Kremlin. But he insisted officials were "clear-eyed about who we are dealing with".
Germany – 8 November 2022
Germany has become the latest country to question the legality of evidence obtained from the EncroChat hack. A judge at the Berlin Regional Court has lodged a preliminary reference request with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to verify whether the sharing and use of the evidence complies with EU law. Courts in a number of other countries have recently raised similar questions about the admissibility of evidence from the EncroChat and SkyECC hacks. Fair Trials welcomes this scrutiny and urges countries to ensure that all evidence can be effectively examined and challenged.
France – 8 November 2022
The French Court of Cassation has ruled that people who are suspected or accused of a crime are obliged to reveal the passcode of their mobile phone to the investigative authorities. The Court found that a mobile phone passcode can be considered a “secret decryption agreement of a means of cryptology” (convention de déchiffrement d’un moyen de cryptologie). Refusing to hand over the passcode of a mobile phone is punishable by a fine of up to 270,000 EUR or three years’ imprisonment. This punishment is increased to a fine of 450,000 EUR or five years’ imprisonment where revealing a passcode and giving access to the content of the mobile device could have prevented a criminal offence or reduced its impact.
India – 9 November 2022
Ahead of India’s fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council on 10 November, Aakar Patel, chair of board of Amnesty International India, said: “India’s fourth UPR arrives at a time when human rights and critical institutions, independent media houses and civil society are facing systematic attacks in the country. This assessment presents a crucial opportunity for UN Member States to peer review India’s human rights records and to hold the country accountable for its abuses and violations.”
Russia / Ukraine – 10 November 2022
Amnesty International stated in a new report that Russian authorities forcibly transferred and deported civilians from occupied areas of Ukraine in what amounted to war crimes and likely crimes against humanity. The report, “Like a Prison Convoy”: Russia’s Unlawful Transfer of Civilians in Ukraine and Abuses During ‘Filtration’, details how Russian and Russian-controlled forces forcibly transferred civilians from occupied Ukraine further into Russian-controlled areas or into Russia. Children have been separated from their families during the process, in violation of international humanitarian law.
Iran / Russia – 10 November 2022
Ukraine’s military has shown evidence that at least some of the Iranian-made drones used by Russia in its war were probably supplied after Moscow’s full-scale invasion in February. Ukraine said it first noticed that Russia was using Iranian-supplied weapons in September. Since then, Russia has successfully used them to target Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure, causing serious power shortages. Last week Iran acknowledged for the first time that it had given Russia drones, but said they were sent before the war in Ukraine broke out.
Ukraine / Russia – 11 November 2022
The Ukrainian army says it has made major gains over the last day around Kherson, after Russia said it was withdrawing from the southern city. Ukrainian troops say they have taken back the key town of Snihurivka, 50km (30 miles) to the north of Kherson. Kyiv has also claimed big pushes on two fronts near Kherson, including advances of 7km in some places. Russia says it has started to exit the city - its top gain in the invasion - but the process could take weeks.