Weekly update: 10 October – 16 October 2022 The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 10 October to 16 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.
Tigray – 10 October 2022
Tigrayan rebel forces have killed dozens of civilians during their latest occupation of a town in the Amhara region, survivors claim, after fighting resumed last month in the northern area of Ethiopia. The alleged killings took place in the town of Kobo, located along the highway to the capital, Addis Ababa. Between 13-15 September, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters shot dead unarmed civilians they suspected of supporting federal forces and local militias, survivors have told the Guardian. In one district of Kobo alone, witnesses counted 17 bodies of people killed over two days.
United Kingdom (UK) – 10 October 2022
Criminal barristers have voted to accept the government’s pay deal on legal aid fees and end their indefinite strike.The offer by the justice secretary, Brandon Lewis, included a 15% increase in legal aid fees to “the vast majority of cases currently in the crown court”, £3m of funding for case preparation and £4m for pre-recorded cross-examinations of vulnerable victims and witnesses.
United States (US) / Saudi Arabia – 11 October 2022
The congressional backlash against Saudi Arabia escalated sharply as a powerful Democratic senator threatened to freeze weapons sales and security cooperation with the kingdom after its decision to support Russia over the interests of the US. Washington’s anger with its Saudi allies has intensified since last week’s Opec+ decision to cut oil production by 2m barrels, which was seen as a slight to the Biden administration weeks ahead of critical midterm elections, and an important boost to Russia.
United Kingdom (UK) / China – 11 October 2022
The head of GCHQ has said that Chinese technology poses a major risk to the UK’s security and prosperity. In a lecture, Sir Jeremy Fleming said China's leadership was using technology to secure control at home and abroad. He argued that this was an urgent problem that needed to be addressed by the UK and allies. He also said Russia's military was exhausted but there were no signs yet of nuclear weapons use.
Ukraine – 11 October 2022
Russia has been widely condemned after bombarding cities across Ukraine, including launching missile strikes on the centre of Kyiv for the first time. The US said the "brutal" attacks had hit non-military targets, including a university and children's playground, and promised further military aid. United Nations chief António Guterres said he was "deeply shocked".
Ukraine – 12 October 2022
President Zelensky has urged countries to hit Russia with more sanctions in response to "a new wave of terror" after Monday's attacks on Ukraine. At least 19 people were killed and scores more injured as Russian missiles hit regions across the country. Defiant, he said the attacks will only "delay our recovery a little". Following more strikes on Tuesday, Mr Zelensky called on the West to find new ways to apply political pressure to Russia and support Ukraine.
United Kingdom (UK) – 13 October 2022
The Home Office has taken the modern slavery brief away from the minister responsible for safeguarding and classed it as an “illegal immigration and asylum” issue, updated online ministerial profiles show. The move is seen as a clear sign that the department is doubling down on Suella Braverman’s suggestion that people are “gaming” the modern slavery system and that victims of the crime are no longer being prioritised.
Venezuela – 13 October 2022
On 11 October, 193 UN member states cast their secret ballots at the UN General Assembly to select members for the UN’s top rights body, the Human Rights Council. Venezuela was kicked out from the council. Seventeen countries ran for 14 spots on the 47-nation council for 2023-2025. Venezuela, a country where UN independent experts found evidence that high-level authorities are implicated in crimes against humanity, was one of three candidates for two seats for the Latin America and Caribbean group, running against Chile and Costa Rica.
United Kingdom (UK) – 14 October 2022
The Home Office has apologised to a pregnant rape survivor from Eritrea who was sent a letter threatening her with forced removal to Rwanda, saying it was sent by mistake. Guardian and ITV News revealed on Thursday that the woman was distraught after receiving the Home Office letter, which has now been withdrawn.
Russia – 14 October 2022
Western officials are engaged in “prudent planning” behind the scenes to prevent chaos and panic in their home countries in the event Russia was to detonate a nuclear bomb in or near Ukraine. Although a nuclear crisis is considered highly unlikely, the insider said officials internationally were re-examining plans to provide emergency support and reassurance to populations fearful of nuclear escalation.