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Weekly update: 4 July – 9 July 2023

The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 4 July to 9 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.



NEPAL - 5 JULY 2023

HRW, ‘Nepal’s Historic Achievement on Marriage Equality’


‘Hundreds of same-sex couples in Nepal will soon be able to legally register their marriages following a landmark Supreme Court ruling on June 28 which cleared the way for marriage equality in the country.


Although Nepal’s civil code currently describes marriage as being between a man and a woman, Justice Til Pradad Shrestha ordered the government to immediately begin registering same-sex marriages while it prepares legislation to amend the law.’


See here: https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/07/05/nepals-historic-achievement-marriage-equality#:~:text=Hundreds%20of%20same%2Dsex%20couples,marriage%20equality%20in%20the%20country.


UKRAINE - 7 JULY 2023

Amnesty International, ‘Ukraine: US transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine undermines international efforts to safeguard civilians from indiscriminate weapons.’


‘Responding to news that the US is to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine, Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Military, Security and Policing issues said:


“Amnesty International has long stressed that cluster munitions are inherently indiscriminate weapons which have caused untold harm to civilians across the world – in some cases decades after conflicts have ended. Russia’s war of aggression has brought profound suffering to the people of Ukraine. It is the humanitarian considerations, and concern for civilians in countries torn by war and its aftermath – which has driven 111 states, including many of Ukraine’s allies, to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions and ban the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of such weapons.”


“The Biden Administration’s plan to transfer cluster munitions to Ukraine is a retrograde step, which undermines the considerable advances made by the international community in its attempts to protect civilians from such dangers both during and after armed conflicts.”



FRANCE - 8 JULY 2023

Al Jazeera, ‘Thousands defy bans in France to rally against police violence’


‘French police have come under renewed scrutiny following the June 27 shooting of a teenager of Arab descent. Thousands of French protesters have defied a ban to march in central Paris against police violence, a week after riots sparked by the killing of a teenager in a Parisian suburb broke out.


Police dispersed the 2,000 protesters from Paris’s huge Place de la Republique on Saturday, sending several hundred people towards the wide Boulevard Magenta where they were seen marching peacefully.’


See here: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/7/8/paris-memorial-march-banned-as-fresh-protests-planned-in-france


UZBEKISTAN - 7 JULY 2023

HRW, ‘Uzbekistan’s Election Highlights Lost Hopes for Reform’


‘There have been some areas of progress on human rights under Mirziyoyev but the country’s international partners should recognize that these gains have no halted and gone into reverse.

It turns out the “New Uzbekistan” declared by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is looking increasingly like the old version many Uzbeks had hoped had been left behind.


Mirziyoyev is running for re-election on July 9 and is sure to win. He still presents himself as a reformer and has indeed whetted the appetite for change in the country of 35 million people, the most populous in Central Asia. But this Sunday’s election is a barometer of the reversal in hopes that were earlier pinned on Mirziyoyev.’



LEBANON - 5 JULY 2023

HRW, ‘Lebanon: Armed Forces Summarily Deporting Syrians’


‘Donors Should Ensure Funding Doesn’t Contribute to Rights Violations. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have arbitrarily arrested and summarily deported thousands of Syrians, including unaccompanied children, to Syria between April and May 2023, Human Rights Watch said today.


Deported Syrians said the LAF gave no consideration to their refugee status or fears of persecution if returned. One man said the Syrian military arbitrarily detained, tortured, and forcibly conscripted him into the Syrian military’s reserve force after he was deported in April. The summary deportations, which have intensified since January 1, have generally targeted Syrians without legal status across Lebanon. Donor governments supporting Lebanon’s military should urge Lebanese authorities to halt such deportations and ensure that provided funds do not contribute to or perpetuate rights violations.’



PHILIPPINES - 29 JUNE 2023

HRW, ‘Killing of Family Sparks Inquiry in PhilippineS. Massacre on Negros Island Latest in Series of Abuses’


The killing of a family on June 14 on Negros in the central Philippines is the latest in a decades-long cycle of violence, human rights abuses, and impunity on the island.

That night, unidentified armed men raided a hut in Buenavista village, Negros Occidental province. The next morning, neighbors found the bodies of Roly Fausto, 55, his wife Emelda, 50, and their children Ben, 15, and Ravin, 12.


No one has claimed responsibility for the killings. But both government forces and the communist New People’s Army (NPA), who have been fighting each other for more than 50 years, have a history of committing abuses on the island.



BURUNDI - 4 JULY 2023

Reuters, ‘Rights group raise alarm after Burundi walkout from UN review’


‘Civil society groups on Tuesday decried Burundi's decision to walk out of a review of its human rights record and voiced concerns about a perceived slide in countries' cooperation with U.N. bodies.


States' compliance with legally-binding human rights treaties that guarantee important freedoms are reviewed regularly by the United Nations. But in a rare move, Burundi's 15-member delegation walked out of a U.N. Human Rights Committee meeting on Monday in Geneva because of the presence of what it called "criminals" posing as civil society members.’



IRAQ - 6 JULY 2023

HRW, ‘Kurdistan Region of Iraq: LGBT Rights Group Shuttered. Rainbow-Colored Logo Cited as Evidence’


A court in the Kurdistan region of Iraq dealt independent civil society a blow on May 31, 2023, by ordering the closure of Rasan Organization over “its activities in the field of homosexuality,” Human Rights Watch said today. Rasan is the only human rights organization willing to vocally support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), in addition to its work on women’s rights and domestic violence.


“Shuttering Rasan is not only an attack on civil society in Kurdistan but is also a direct threat to the lives and wellbeing of the vulnerable people they support,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “By closing Rasan, the government has sent a clear message that it does not respect freedom of association.”


See here: https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/07/06/kurdistan-region-iraq-lgbt-rights-group-shuttered#:~:text(Beirut)%20%E2%80%93%20A%20court%20in,Human%20Rights%20Watch%20said%20today.

INDIA/USA - 3 JULY 2023

Just Security, ‘Hate Speech from Modi Supporters Belies His Claims of Indian Democracy During US Visit’


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United States included yoga at the United Nations, an address to the U.S. Congress that promised strides in the bilateral partnership, and a lavish state dinner at the White House with 400 guests. President Joe Biden spoke of the “unlimited potential” of ties between India and the United States.


What might have been a moment of pride for India, however, was marred by comments made by his ministers and party leaders that only reinforce the lamentable record of the Modi government’s abusive and discriminatory policies at home. A litany of reports, including many by the U.S. government itself, document intensifying attacks, discrimination, and persecution of groups targeted due to their religion, caste, ethnicity and public opinion.’


See here: https://www.justsecurity.org/87115/hate-speech-from-modi-supporters-belies-his-claims-of-indian-democracy-during-us-visit/


NETHERLANDS - 4 JULY 2023

Amnesty International, ‘Netherlands: ‘Historic victory’ as law amended to recognize that sex without consent is rape .’


‘Responding to the news that the Netherlands’ House of Representatives has voted to amend the Sexual Offences Act by introducing a consent-based definition of rape, Dagmar Oudshoorn, Director of Amnesty International Netherlands, said:


“By amending our outdated law and recognizing that sex without consent is rape, the Netherlands has taken an important step towards combatting widespread sexual violence and improving access to justice for survivors.’


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