Weekly update: 3 October – 9 October 2022
The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 3 October to 9 October 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.
Burkina Faso – 3 October 2022
Russian mercenaries may be poised for further expansion in Africa’s strategically important Sahel region after the latest coup d’état in the region, western officials and analysts fear. Over the weekend, hundreds of protesters, some waving Russian flags, lit fires, tore down barbed wire and threw stones at the French embassy in the capital, Ouagadougou, and attacked a French cultural centre in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso. The coup comes amid a new push by Russia to win influence and gain access to valuable raw materials in sub-Saharan Africa in recent months, after years of careful if opportunistic efforts across the continent.
Ukraine – 4 October 2022
Human Rights Watch said that Russian-affiliated forces unlawfully detained and apparently killed at least three civilian men, then dumped their bodies in a forest, during Russia’s partial occupation of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. This is one among many cases involving alleged war crimes that Human Rights Watch is investigating in the region.
Ukraine / Russia – 4 October 2022
Ukrainian troops have retaken more territory in regions illegally annexed by Russia, with Kyiv's forces advancing near the southern city of Kherson and consolidating gains in the east. Russian-installed officials in Kherson confirmed the advance, but said Moscow's forces were digging in. Ukrainian troops also moved towards Russian-held Luhansk in the east. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said "there are new liberated settlements in several regions".
United Kingdom (UK) – 5 October 2022
A woman is suing the Crown Prosecution Service after it admitted her rape case should not have been dropped because of claims she had an episode of a rare sleep condition called sexsomnia. Jade McCrossen-Nethercott spent months investigating the condition and challenged the decision, forcing the CPS to apologise and admit it was wrong not to take her case to trial.
United Kingdom (UK) – 5 October 2022
The court of appeal has reduced the jail sentence of a serial cyberstalker who harassed women by creating fake social media accounts to spread fake claims about them. Matthew Hardy was jailed for nine years last January at Chester crown court after pleading guilty to stalking involving fear of violence and harassment after breaching a restraining order. Three judges sitting in the court of appeal reduced the sentence to eight years because of a legal oversight in the original sentencing.
Russia – 6 October 2022
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has signed the final papers to annex four regions of Ukraine - even as his military suffered further setbacks. The Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions are "accepted into the Russian Federation" the documents say. But in two of those areas - Luhansk and Kherson - Ukraine said it has been retaking more villages. Mr Putin also signed a decree to formalise Russia's seizure of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia.
United States (US) / Russia – 6 October 2022
The United States has accused Russian mercenaries of exploiting natural resources in Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and elsewhere to help fund Moscow’s war in Ukraine, a charge Russia rejected as “anti-Russian rage”. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the Wagner Group of mercenaries are exploiting natural resources and “these ill-gotten gains are used to fund Moscow’s war machine in Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine”.
China – 6 October 2022
In the case of Liu v. Poland, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there would be a violation of Article 3 of the Convention if the applicant were extradited to China, and that there had been a violation of Article 5(1) of the Convention. The Court found in particular that the situation within the Chinese prison system could be equated to a “general situation of violence”, and Mr Liu could thus be exposed to a real risk of ill-treatment if extradited to China. Furthermore, it held that the Polish Government had failed to act with the necessary expedition to ensure that the length of his detention had not been overly long.
United States (US) – 7 October 2022
US President Joe Biden said that the risk of a nuclear "Armageddon" is at its highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Mr Biden said Russia's President Vladimir Putin was "not joking" when he spoke of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering setbacks in Ukraine. The US was "trying to figure out" Mr Putin's way out of the war, he added. The US and the EU have previously said Mr Putin's nuclear sabre-rattling should be taken seriously. However, the US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan last week said that, despite Moscow's nuclear hints, the US had seen no signs that Russia was imminently preparing to use a nuclear weapon.