Weekly update: 31 October – 6 November 2022
The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 31 October to 6 November 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.
United Kingdom (UK) – 31 October 2022
Lawyers and charities have called for controversial electronic tagging of migrants to be scrapped, describing it in a new report as a form of “psychological torture”. Tagging of people in the criminal justice system has been in place for years but it was only since August 2021 that a duty to monitor those on immigration bail facing deportation was introduced. GPS tagging, a more invasive form that can track people’s every move including where they shop, worship and who they spend time with, was introduced in January.
Malawi / Ethiopia – 1 November 2022
Dozens of Ethiopian people whose remains were found in mass graves in northern Malawi last month most likely suffocated to death while being secretly transported, investigators and campaigners believe. Authorities in Malawi discovered 29 bodies in two graves in the remote Mtangatanga forest reserve in the northern district of Mzimba last month. These have now been tentatively identified as the remains of migrants aged between 25 and 40 on their way to South Africa from Ethiopia.
Ukraine / Russia – 1 November 2022
Three more vessels left Ukrainian ports, the UN-led centre co-ordinating the Black Sea grain export deal said, despite a Russian decision to suspend its backing of the scheme. The centre said the ships' movement had been agreed by Ukraine, Turkey and the UN, while Russia "has been informed". Russia halted its backing for the deal on Saturday, accusing Ukraine of using a safety corridor to attack its fleet. The UN says there were no ships inside the corridor that night.
Egypt – 2 November 2022
The arrest of an Indian climate activist by Egyptian security forces has renewed alarm about the regime’s dire human rights record as it prepares to host the Cop27 UN climate summit. Ajit Rajagopal, an architect and activist from Kerala in south India, was arrested on Sunday afternoon shortly after setting off on an eight-day walk from Cairo to Sharm el-Sheikh as part of a global campaign to raise awareness about the climate crisis. The arrest was described as “illegal” by a local human rights group who reported that at least 67 people had been arrested in Cairo and other cities in recent days as authorities try to quell any planned protests.
Ethiopia – 2 November 2022
Ethiopia’s warring sides have formally agreed to a permanent cessation of hostilities, bringing hope of an imminent end to a two-year war that has displaced millions and threatened to destabilise a swath of the continent. Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo, in the first briefing on the peace talks in Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital, also said Ethiopia’s government and Tigray authorities had agreed on an “orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament”.
Egypt – 3 November 2022
A British-Egyptian pro-democracy activist has said he will escalate his hunger strike inside a desert prison, raising concerns he could die while British officials attend the Cop27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. Alaa Abd El-Fattah, a figurehead of Egypt’s 2011 uprising and one of the Middle East’s best-known political prisoners, has spent most of the past decade behind bars. Shortly after gaining British citizenship while in detention last year, he was sentenced to a further five years in a high-security prison on charges of “spreading false news” for sharing a social media post about torture.
European Court of Human Rights – 3 November 2022
In the case of Sanchez-Sanchez v. the United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that Mr. Sanchez-Sanchez’s extradition to the United States would not be in violation of Article 3 of the Convention. This case concerned the requested extradition of Mr Sanchez-Sanchez, a Mexican national, to the United States of America to face trial for drug dealing and trafficking, where he alleged that there was a possibility that he might, if convicted, be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Ukraine – 4 November 2022
The UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed it found no sign of undeclared nuclear activity after inspecting three sites at Ukraine’s request in response to Russian allegations that work was being done on a “dirty bomb”. Moscow has accused Ukraine of planning to use such a bomb – a conventional explosive device laced with radioactive material – and said institutes linked to the nuclear industry were involved in preparations, without presenting evidence. Ukraine’s government denies the accusation.
Ukraine / Russia – 4 November 2022
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused the Kremlin of resorting to "energy terrorism" as Russian troops make few gains on the battlefield. Mr Zelensky said 4.5 million people were without power following Russian attacks on its energy network. In recent weeks, Russia has carried out large-scale missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian power facilities. The strikes come as officials say Russian troops are likely to withdraw from the key southern city of Kherson.