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International Legal News

Weekly update: 02 July – 06 July 2020.

The following media round up of international legal and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period 02 July – 06 July 2020.

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.

Syria – 03 July

A controversial terror trial of three Britons accused of helping a fourth to travel to Syria to fight with the Kurdish YPG has collapsed at the Old Bailey after the Crown Prosecution Service abandoned the case.

Ethiopia – 03 July

A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement expressing deep concern at violent events in Ethiopia this week where a prominent singer and activist from Oromia Region, Hachalu Hundessa, was shot and killed in the capital, Addis Ababa on 29 June.

Myanmar – 03 July

Myanmar’s court-martial conviction of three military personnel for crimes against ethnic Rohingya reflects ongoing government efforts to evade meaningful accountability, according to Human Rights Watch. Myanmar authorities have repeatedly failed to adequately investigate and prosecute grave abuses against Rohingya in Rakhine State, including crimes against humanity.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – 06 July

The armed group known as Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) has intensified its attacks against civilians in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the last 18 months, expanding its actions beyond areas in which it previously operated. These attacks, which have left more than 1,000 people dead and dozens of others injured, may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, according to a UN investigation.

China – 06 July

Chinese authorities have arrested a law professor who published essays strongly criticising President Xi Jinping over the coronavirus pandemic and accusing him of ruling “tyrannically,” according to his friends and colleagues.

Russia – 06 July

A Russian court has imposed a hefty fine on Svetlana Prokopyeva, a Radio Liberty journalist and contributor to Echo of Moscow radio station, for “justifying terrorism.” Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Russia Director, said: “Using vaguely defined anti-terrorism legislation to prosecute a journalist for her comments on the radio shows the authorities’ clear intent to repress freedom of expression and further erode journalistic freedoms in Russia.

UK – 06 July

Long-awaited UK government sanctions against human rights abusers, including a close aide to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, have been unveiled by the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab.

Hong Kong – 06 July

China has warned the UK not to interfere with Hon g Kong following the imposition of a new national security law, as one pro-democracy campaigner begged for international support. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said the UK’s offer of a path to citizenship for up to three million Hong Kongers amounted to “gross interference”.

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