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International Legal News

Weekly update: 12 - 17 August.

The following media round up of international legal and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period 12 - 17 August.

The Guernica Group 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 Nenad Vucijak for consideration.

Ivory Coast – 12 August

Simone Gbagbo, the former first lady of the Ivory Coast, has requested that President Alassane Ouattara give her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, amnesty ahead of the upcoming presidential elections in October. Ms. Gbagbo has requested that her husband be considered eligible to run in the presidential election and be given a diplomatic passport.

Belarus – 12 August

On 12 August, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned the violent response of the Belarusian authorities to the peaceful demonstrations held across the country in the aftermath of the presidential election and called for people’s grievances to be heard.

Haiti – 14 August

Witnesses and sexual abuse survivors who could provide evidence in an investigation of the Haitian Football Federation president, Yves Jean-Bart, have reported efforts to intimidate them in Haiti and the United States, according to Human Rights Watch. The NGO calls on The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), football’s world governing body, and the authorities in Haiti and the United States to adopt prompt and effective measures to protect them.

India – 14 August

Human Rights Watch calls on the Indian authorities to immediately order an independent, impartial investigation into the killings by security forces of three people in July 2020 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Colombia – 15 August

The Colombian government should urgently exhaust all legal avenues to secure the extradition of a former paramilitary commander, Salvatore Mancuso, from the United States, according to Human Rights Watch.

Belarus – 17 August

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said he would be willing to share power and change the constitution, but that he was not prepared to do so under pressure from protesters, according to Belta news agency.

On 17 August Lukashenko said work was already under way on possible changes to the constitution that could redistribute power, Belta reported.

Venezuela – 17 August

On 17 August, 85 national and international human rights organisations have launched a call on states at the UN Human Rights Council to renew and strengthen the important mandate of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela during the upcoming Council session in September. States should ensure that the Fact-Finding Mission has sufficient funding and is empowered to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence for future prosecution s or other accountability purposes, including international justice mechanisms, in order to avoid impunity for crimes under international law and gross human rights violations committed in Venezuela.

Spain – 17 August

Spain’s former king Juan Carlos has been living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 3 August, the Spanish royal palace has confirmed, putting an end to speculation over his whereabouts.

On 03 August, the ex-king made the shock announcement that he was leaving Spain amid a corruption investigation.

Fiji – 17 August

Eight Fijian-born soldiers who served with the British army in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeking a judicial review against the Ministry of Defence and Home Office, saying bureaucratic errors have made them illegal immigrants in the country for which they once served.

UAE-Israel – 17 August

The United Arab Emirates’ agreement to normalise ties with Israel is a “sovereign decision” that was not directed at Iran, according to UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash.

Israel and the UAE announced they were establishing full diplomatic relations in a US-brokered deal that will see Israel delay plans for annexation of land it already illegally occupies that is sought by the Palestinians for their future state.


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