24 February 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

Coup in Myanmar: growing protest movement defies the military
Financial Times, 24 Feb 2021

On Monday, crowds of government employees, workers, tradespeople and others that local media said exceeded 1m nationwide joined a self-described “five twos revolution”, meant to mark the date 22/2/2021 and to echo the 8888 uprising against the former military regime of Ne Win that ruled what was then Burma. Crowds carrying placards saying “Free our leader” or “We don’t accept military coup” gathered across Myanmar, from Myitkyina in the northern Kachin state to the military-built capital Naypyidaw in the centre and Dawei in the south.

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Biden to call Saudi Arabia’s King Salman about Khashoggi report
Al Jazeera, 24 Feb 2021

President Joe Biden is expected to call Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Wednesday, ahead of the scheduled release of a US intelligence report detailing the disappearance and murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Citing a source, the news website Axios reported late on Tuesday that the “imminent release of the explosive report” could entangle one of the king’s sons without mentioning any names.

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Sri Lanka at 'tipping point’ with risk of return to past atrocities, activists warn
The Guardian , 24 Feb 2021

Sri Lanka could descend swiftly back into violence and human rights abuses unless decisive international action is taken, the UN high commissioner for human rights and civil rights groups warned. In a speech to the human rights council on Wednesday, Michelle Bachelet is expected to issue a stark warning that the Sri Lankan government has “closed the door” on ending impunity for past abuses and is facing a return to state repression of civil society and a militarisation of public institutions.

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Virginia lawmakers vote to abolish the death penalty
Associated Press , 23 Feb 2021

State lawmakers gave final approval Monday to legislation that will end capital punishment in Virginia, a dramatic turnaround for a state that has executed more people in its long history than any other.The legislation repealing the death penalty now heads to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign it into law, making Virginia the 23rd state to stop executions.

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German court set to issue landmark verdict in Syrian torture case
The Independant , 23 Feb 2021

A decade after Bashar al-Assad launched his brutal war on the Syrian people, a court in Germany on Wednesday may bring a small but potentially groundbreaking measure of justice and accountability. Over the last 10 months in the small riverside city of Koblenz, German prosecutors have pursued a case against Anwar al-Raslan, a former Syrian intelligence directorate colonel, and a lower ranked official named Eyad al-Gharib. Both allegedly oversaw or participated in the torture and murder of Assad regime opponents inside the notorious Branch 251 detention centre on al-Khatib Street in Damascus. The verdict scheduled tomorrow is for the lower ranked Mr Gharib, who was born in 1976, and is scheduled to appear in court.

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EU, US step up pressure on Myanmar junta as protests go on
Euractiv, 23 Feb 2021

The European Union warned it is considering sanctions on Myanmar while the United States penalised two more generals for links to the military coup, as Western countries sought to press the junta to avoid a violent crackdown after weeks of protests.

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‘Disturbing spike’ in Afghan civilian casualties after peace talks began: UN report
UN News, 23 Feb 2021

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan witnessed a sharp rise since peace negotiations started in September last year, even though overall deaths and injuries dropped in 2020, compared to the previous year, according to a UN human rights report launched Tuesday. 

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