OVER 60 UYGHUR GROUPS ASK UN TO DISCUSS XINJIANG GENOCIDE
Rights groups urge other countries to follow the lead of the U.S. and several other Western countries that are asking the United Nations Human Rights Council to hold a debate in its next session in 2023 on China’s human rights record in the Xinjiang region. “The international community must remember its obligation to end atrocity crimes like genocide and crimes against humanity,” said Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress. The draft resolution presented on September 26 included the backing of Britain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. More than 60 Uyghur organisations from 20 countries welcomed the draft resolution. In a joint statement, the groups said they will continue to push for further action following last month’s U.N. assessment on China’s treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The report concluded that Beijing may have committed “crimes against humanity” against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim populations.
MUSLIM NGO COALITION HIGHLIGHTS STATE ISLAMOPHOBIA ACROSS EUROPE
A coalition of Muslim NGOs will be highlighting state sponsored Islamophobia across Europe during a conference organised by what is billed as the world’s largest regional security intergovernmental organisation, with 57 participating states. Coalition members will gather at the Human Dimension Conference of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to be held in Warsaw, a report said on September 29. The NGOs will decry what they have identified as endemic state sponsored Islamophobia across Europe and highlight what is being described as systematic suppression of Muslim civil society across the continent. The coalition includes groups from across Europe and elsewhere. Some of them – Perspectives Musulmanes (France), CAGE (UK), Assisting Communities Traumatised by Police (Austria), Lighthouse Advocacy (UK), The Centre for Muslims’ Rights (Denmark), INSAN (Sweden) and Muslim Rights Watch (Netherlands) – are organising a fringe event at the conference to highlight how European states have enabled the targeting of Muslim minorities through an array of discriminatory laws and policies with far-reaching implications for the rule of law and freedom in Europe.
DEATH TOLL IN IRAN PROTESTS HITS 83
Protests continued in several cities across Iran on October 1 against the death of a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini in police custody, as Iran Human Rights said at least 83 people had been killed in over two weeks of demonstrations. Protesters rallied across Iran and strikes were reported throughout the country’s Kurdish region as demonstrations entered their third week. People also demonstrated in London, Rome, Madrid and other Western cities in solidarity with Iranian protesters, holding pictures of Amini. In Iran, social media posts showed rallies in large cities including Tehran, Isfahan, Rasht and Shiraz. Students also demonstrated at numerous universities. A video posted on social media appeared to show protesters giving flowers to members of the riot police in Tehran, a recreation of Iranians winning over the military to their side in the 1979 Islamic revolution.
INT’L RIGHTS GROUPS STRONGLY CONDEMN EU-ISRAELI SUMMIT
International human rights groups have condemned the upcoming EU-Israel summit, saying that it would only legitimise the ongoing “apartheid” against Palestinians. In a statement, Amnesty International warned that “Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians” and that “any cooperation must focus on dismantling Israel’s cruel system of oppression and domination”. “The Israeli authorities are subjecting Palestinians to land seizures, unlawful killings, forcible transfers and severe movement restrictions while denying their humanity, equal nationality and status,” Amnesty International said, regarding the upcoming meeting. Human Rights Watch (HRW) also condemned the upcoming meeting in a statement. The summit, known as the EU-Israel Association Council, was cancelled by Israel in 2013 after the EU issued a bombshell directive that all future agreements with Israel would exclude Israel colonies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
DEATH TOLL FROM INDONESIA FOOTBALL RIOT, STAMPEDE JUMPS TO 174
The death toll from a stampede and riot at a football game in Indonesia rose to 174, a government official said on October 2. After supporters of the losing home team stormed the pitch in the East Java province on October 1, officers fired tear gas to disperse them, triggering the stampede and cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta told reporters. Deputy East Java Governor Emil Dardak told the local Kompas TV that more than 100 people were also injured in the incident and that they are under treatment in eight hospitals. A video shared on social media shows fans, dressed in red and blue, storming the pitch after Arema FC lost 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya and clashing with security forces, who appeared to be wearing riot gear. The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) has suspended next week’s matches because of the tragedy and banned Arema FC from hosting matches for the rest of the season.
ALGERIA INFLATION RATE RISES TO 9.6%
The inflation rate in Algeria increased to 9.6 per cent at the end of August, amid the rise in the prices of basic commodities globally and its impact on local markets. Deputy Director-General of the Algerian National Office of Statistics, Hamid Zaydouni, revealed the rate during a hearing at the Finance Committee of the People’s National Assembly. The Algerian market recorded an inflation rate of 7.23 per cent during 2021, the highest in nearly three years. Algeria is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the prices of various products, some of which have increased by more than 100 per cent, amid warnings by consumer protection associations that the rise would weaken people’s purchasing power. The high prices have affected subsidised goods such as cooking oils, semolina and farina.
LEBANESE PARLIAMENT FAILS TO ELECT NEW PRESIDENT
Meeting in the capital Beirut, Lebanon’s parliament on September 29 failed to elect a new president, threatening to deepen the country’s continuing crises. Candidate Michel Mouawad, backed by the Lebanese Forces Party, failed to get the necessary votes to win the post, and pushed to hold another voting session. Current President Michel Aoun’s six-year term ends on October 31. To win in the first round of voting, two-thirds of lawmakers in the 128-member assembly are needed, after which a simple majority suffices. In Lebanon, the president is limited to a single six-year term. Lebanese MPs have not yet agreed on a successor to Aoun, raising concerns of a political and institutional deadlock in Lebanon, which has been going through a deep economic crisis since 2019. Lebanon has already been without a fully functioning government since May.
MYANMAR’S MILITARY COURT SENTENCES SUU KYI TO 3 YEARS IN JAIL
Pyinmana District Court, a military junta court in Myanmar, sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her Australian economic adviser Professor Sean Turnell to three years in prison on charges of violation of the official secret act after 18 months of hearings, a report said on September 29. The court also handed the same prison sentence to Suu Kyi’s former Cabinet members, including Finance Minister Kyaw Win, his successor Soe Win, and deputy minister Set Aung on same charges. Earlier, a military court sentenced Suu Kyi to three years in prison on charges of election fraud. Suu Kyi has now been facing conviction for 23 years in prison since the military overthrew her government in February last year. In June, the military regime moved her to prison and placed her in solitary confinement. After her ouster in a military coup on Feb. 24, 2021, Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest until April this year, when she was shifted to an unknown location, believed to be Naypyitaw Prison in Myanmar’s capital.