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International Legal News

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Weekly update: 24 - 30 December 2019

The following media round up of international legal and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period 24 - 30 December 2019.

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.

India: 24 December 2019

The Indian authorities should cease using unnecessary lethal force against demonstrators protesting a law that discriminates against Muslims. Since protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act began, at least 25 people have been killed and hundreds have been arrested.


Russia: 24 December 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, Russian authorities have spent the holiday season harassing environmental defenders taking part in protests across the country. On 16 December, police dispersed a protest camp near the city of Kazan, dragging people by their arms and legs. At least 16 people were fined or received 7 days detention for disobeying police orders and taking part in a “mass simultaneous presence of movement in public spaces”. The next day, in Saint Petersburg, authorities detained a Greenpeace Russia staffer, Rashid Alimov, for standing in a solo picket to protest Russia’s import of German nuclear waste. He is now awaiting trial on squatting charges.


Mexico: 27 December 2019

Mexico says that it will appeal to the international court to mediate a dispute over nine Bolivians in the Mexican Embassy. Mexico has urged Bolivia’s new conservative to respect its right to grant asylum to nine people at its embassy in La Paz, days after complaining that Bolivian government surveillance there has grown excessive.


United States of America: 27 December 2019

A Congolese woman seeking asylum died on Christmas Day shortly after she entered a border station in South Texas. The woman arrived early Tuesday afternoon with her husband and two children, despite holding paperwork that documented a “previous medical condition” the agency’s medical personnel cleared her to be detained overnight.


Somalia: 28 December 2019

Perpetrators behind the deadly terrorist attack in Somalia on Saturday must be brought to justice, the UN Secretary- General has said. At least 79 people died and scores more were wounded when a car bomb exploded at a busy checkpoint in the capital. Many of the victims were students. The top humanitarian official in Somalia also joined the Secretary-General in condemning the attack.


Yemen: 29 December 2019

At least five people died after an explosion at a military graduation parade in Yemen’s southern town of al-Dhalea. Responsibility is yet to be taken for the attack, however, the media office of the Southern forces say that the blast was caused by a Houthi missile.


Afghanistan: 29 December 2019

An overnight Taliban attack killed at least 17 local fighters in Afghanistan’s northern Takhar province, even as a temporary nationwide ceasefire may be in the works. The attack on Sunday apparently targeted a local militia commander who escaped unharmed. The attack came as Taliban officials told The Associated Press news agency that a ceasefire might be implemented in the country.


Libya: 29 December 2019

The top United Nations official in Libya has condemned recent airstrikes targeting civilian installations that left at least three people dead and several others injured. Ghassan Salamé, head of the UN Support Mission in the country, called for greater civilian protection following the incidents, which occurred in three locations in the West.


China: 30 December 2019

A court in China has sentenced the scientist who created the world’s first “gene-edited” babies to three years in prison having found him guilty on charges of illegally practising medicine. He Jiankui, than an associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, said in November 2018 that he had used gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 to change the genes of twin girls to protect them from getting infected with the AIDS virus in the future.


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