OIC OMBUDSMEN INVESTIGATE ARMENIAN VANDALISM ACTS
Azerbaijani Human Rights Commissioner Sabina Aliyeva and the OIC Ombudsmen Association delegation members visited Shusha liberated from Armenia’s occupation in the last year’s war. As part of the visit, they conducted an on-site investigation of the facts of vandalism against cultural and historical monuments in the city committed during the nearly 30-year policy of aggression, occupation, and terrorism by Armenia against Azerbaijan. The delegation led by the president of the OIC Ombudsmen Association visit the country at Aliyeva’s invitation. The aim of the delegation’s mission is to monitor the cases of vandalism against social facilities, cultural and historical monuments in Shusha, one of Azerbaijan’s important centres of historical, cultural, and socio-political life. Occupied by Armenian forces on May 8, 1992, Shusha was liberated by Azerbaijan on November 8, 2020, during the 44-day war.
UN RIGHTS CHIEF DEPLORES ISRAEL’S USE OF FORCE
The UN human rights chief deplored the use of “excessive or entirely unwarranted” force by Israeli security forces on Palestinians as well as the Palestinian Authority’s “crackdowns on dissent,” in a verbal report at the 48th session of the Human Rights Council. “In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, I deplore continued and increasing instances of excessive or entirely unwarranted use of force against Palestinian civilians by Israeli Security Forces,” said Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, at the start of the session. She said that in 2021 so far, 54 Palestinians, including 12 children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank – more than double of last year’s figure. Over 1,000 people have been injured with live ammunition. The regular resort to lethal force is clearly at odds with international standards.
DEADLY INDONESIA PRISON FIRE HIGHLIGHTS SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS
Overcrowding, mass escapes, protest riots, extremism and corruption: Indonesia’s prisons have long been a hotbed of problems. It was tragedy, as a fire ripped through a block of the Tangerang prison on the outskirts of Jakarta, killing 41 and injuring 80. Authorities say their initial investigation is pointing to an electrical short circuit as the cause of the blaze. Tangerang prison was built to hold 900 prisoners but currently has more than 2,000. Block C, where the fire broke out houses primarily drug offenders. More than half of the inmates in Indonesia’s prison system have been convicted for drug crimes. In an amnesty last year meant to reduce numbers as Covid-19 rampaged through the prisons early in the pandemic, the government released tens of thousands of people who had served at least two-thirds of their sentences.
RELIGIOUS AUSTRALIANS CALL TO DO MORE ON CLIMATE
Over six hundred people of faith from around Australia have penned hand-written letters calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more to protect the climate. After the recent high profile scientific warnings and before the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow, people of faith are pleading with the Prime Minister to act now and act vigorously on a plan to reduce our climate pollution. The letters were collected and sent by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). They are calling on the Morrison Government to submit higher emissions reduction targets to negotiations in Glasgow, re-start contributions to the United Nations Green Climate Fund and abandon a ‘gas-led recovery’ in favour of job creation in low carbon industries.
SINGAPOREAN HELD FOR URGING MALAYSIAN MAN TO JOIN ISS
A Singaporean man was jailed for three years and 10 months after giving money to a Malaysian man who travelled to Syria to join the terrorist group Islamic State. Allegedly, Mohamed Kazali Salleh, 51, provided about S$1,000 to Wan Mohd Aquil Wan Zainal Abidin, also known as “Akel”, a known Islamic State fighter, said court documents. Kazali pleaded guilty to two charges under the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act. Another charge under the same act was taken into consideration for sentences. This is the first prosecution in Singapore for financing the travel of an individual to a foreign country.
KAZAKHSTAN’S ECONOMY RECOVERS TO PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS
Kazakhstan’s economy has reached pre-pandemic levels and continues to recover, achieving a three per cent growth in the first eight months of 2021, said Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin. Growth in the manufacturing sector reached 5.8%, 9.1% in trade, 12.8% in communications, and 11.4% in construction. Construction is progressing at a good pace in Kazakhstan with 8.9 million square metres of housing commissioned since the beginning of 2021. The services sector increased by 2.3% driven by a strong performance in trade and communications. The growth in the manufacturing industry has been underpinned by an increase in production of pharmaceuticals by 40.8%, engineering by 23.9%, oil refining by 9.2%, leather goods production by 8.4%, food processing by 4.8%, and chemicals by 2.2%.
TEACHER FROM KAZAKHSTAN COMPETES FOR $1 MILLION AWARD
Physics teacher Askhat Zhumabekov from the Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics entered the list of finalists of the Global Teacher Prize organised by the Varkey Foundation, reports the Foundation of Public Interest Initiatives Development. The Global Teacher Prize is a US$1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to its profession. The contest, which is equivalent to an Oscar award for teachers, serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. The best teachers on the short list of the Global Teacher Prize 2021 were selected from over 8,000 nominations and applications from 121 countries. He was the only teacher who represents Kazakhstan in an international contest.