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Weekly update: 17 July – 24 July 2023

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 17July to 24 July 2023.


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 nenadv@guernica37.com for consideration.



South Africa - 21 July 2023


South African high court orders government to arrest Vladimir Putin on arrival for war crimes


The South African government has been ordered by the high court to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he ever sets foot in the country, in compliance with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) directive. The confirmation came after the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, to issue an arrest warrant for Putin. Read the full article here.


Iraq - 18 July 2023


Iraq: Draft laws threaten rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly


The Iraqi government has re-introduced two draft laws to the Parliament which, if passed, would severely curtail the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly of the people of Iraq, Amnesty International and INSM Foundation for Digital Rights in Iraq said today. The reintroduction of these draft laws coincides with a spate of prosecutions targeting people who are critical of government figures, as well as a Ministry of Interior-led campaign to crack down on “indecent content” online. Between January and June this year, the authorities prosecuted at least 20 individuals over the peaceful exercise of their human right to free expression. Six people were sentenced to prison terms but have since been released. The full article can be found here.


Democratic Republic of the Congo - 24 July 2023


DR Congo: Deadly Militia Raid on Ituri’s Displaced. Congolese Army, UN Peacekeepers Should Increase Protection.


Militia fighters killed at least 46 civilians, half of them children, and pillaged and burned a displaced people’s camp on June 12, 2023, in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern Ituri province, Human Rights Watch said today. The Cooperative for the Development of Congo (Coopérative pour le développement du Congo, CODECO), a predominantly ethnic Lendu militia, has repeatedly attacked displaced people’s camps in Ituri over the past two years. Read the full article here.


St Vincent and the Grenadines - 20 July 2023


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: LGBT People Face Bias


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines face bias-motivated violence and discrimination in their daily life, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The authorities should repeal the country’s colonial-era laws that criminalize consensual same-sex conduct and pass comprehensive civil legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Read the full article here.


Thailand - 21 July 2023


Thailand: Bogus Charges Keep Candidate from Top Post


The Thai Constitutional Court’s decision to suspend from parliament the leading candidate for prime minister on politically motivated charges is a serious blow to democracy in Thailand, Human Rights Watch said today. The reformist Move Forward Party, led by Pita Limjaroenrat, 42, had secured 151 parliamentary seats, the most votes of any party in the May 14, 2023 election, giving it the right to lead efforts to form a new government. Read the full article here.


Syria - 19 July 2023


Syria: UN General Assembly must back cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism into north-west


UN member states should unequivocally condemn Russia’s abuse of its veto power and the body should affirm the legality, impartiality, neutrality, and independence of the cross-border aid mechanism for north-west Syria, Amnesty International said today, ahead of a General Assembly meeting on 19 July to discuss Russia’s veto.


The General Assembly meeting follows the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) failure on 11 July to renew the UN cross-border aid mechanism for north-west Syria, where four million people rely on UN aid for survival, after Russia vetoed the renewal of the mechanism, which expired on 10 July after neither of two competing resolutions were adopted. The full article can be found here.


India - 21 July 2023


Indian Government Finally Responds to Violence in Manipur. Video of Sexual Assault Leads Prime Minister Modi to Break Silence. For more than two months, India’s Manipur state has been wracked by ethnic violence between Kuki tribal groups and the majority Meitei community. More than 100 lives have been lost and tens of thousands displaced. The full article can be found here.


Georgia - 21 July 2023


Georgia’s Labor Oversight Body Has Backtracked on Transparency.


Against a backdrop of pervasive labour violations and poor protection of workers’ rights, the decision by Georgia’s Labour Inspectorate to cease naming and shaming employers who violate their employees’ rights is a step backwards. The full article can be found here.


Bangladesh - 19 July 2023


Bangladesh: Authorities must exercise restraint in use of force to police protests


Responding to the death of one activist while hundreds of others were injured in clashes during the Opposition led protests across Bangladesh, Yasasmin Kaviratne, Regional Campaigner for South Asia at Amnesty International, said: “It is alarming to note the escalating tensions, use of force to police widespread protests and increasing crackdown on any dissenting voices in the run up to elections in Bangladesh.


“It is the duty of the authorities to facilitate and protect the right to peaceful assembly and ensure that police exhaust non-violent means before resorting to force. Amnesty International strongly urges Bangladeshi authorities to ensure law enforcement officials exercise restraint. Any use of force must be strictly necessary and proportionate in pursuit of a legitimate law enforcement purpose. The investigation of the death of the activist should be conducted promptly and impartially to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable and brought to justice without resorting to the death penalty.”


The full article can be found here.


USA - 20 July 2023


US: Texas Officials Put Migrants in Danger. Pushed Into Razor Wire, Dangerous Waters; Cut US Funds to Operation Lone Star.


Reports that migrants and asylum seekers, including children, have been pushed back by Texas officials, stranded in sweltering heat, and wounded by razor wire installed under Operation Lone Star should be investigated and all federal support to the operation ended, Human Rights Watch said today.


The full article can be found here.

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