Friday, 14 August 2020 Talks to end Syria’s civil war are due to begin in Geneva on Wednesday, but serious problems now threaten the peace talks. Human rights groups estimate 130,000 Syrians have died since an uprising broke out against the Assad regime nearly three years ago. Margaret Brennan reports.
Every year, Syrian housewife and mother of two, Janette Elias, buys enough aubergines to make a year's supply of the famous local dish 'Makdous'. But this year, as economic burdens pile and sanctions drive prices up, Elias's family was only able to afford around half of their usual supply.
A protest was organised against China outside the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. The 3-day long demonstration, consisting of a photo exhibition, was organised by a group called the World Uyghur Congress. It was titled 'Made In China = Uyghur Forced Labour'. The protestors accused the Chinese government of forcing the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group in the country's northwest Xinjiang province, into forced labour and even attempting a genocide. Beijing has allegedly been trying to stamp out the community's religious and cultural identity in order to assimilate it more fully into the majority Han Chinese community. Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, sought international pressure on China to stop the Uyghurs' persecution and boycott by international companies to prevent forced labour. Watch the full video for more.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 02:14Published
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Europe organised a protest in front of UNHRC headquarters in Geneva to condemn gross human rights violations in Pakistan. The Pashtuns were joined by Sindhis, Baloch and activists from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) who jointly raised a voice against atrocities committed by Pakistan Army and spy agencies, the ISI and Military Intelligence. Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmir, exiled PoK leader, said in his address, "The democratic forces in Pakistan are victims of state run forces, who are committing enforced disappearances, killings of the Pashtuns, Baloch, Sindhis and other persecuted people." "The situation in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan is very grim as people are put behind bars for more than 50 years", said Shaukat. Baseer Naveed, a Sindhi human rights activist, said, "Sindhis have been struggling for the past many decades. With an intention to marginalise Sindhis, people from other parts of Pakistan are being settled in Sindh." "Trend of enforced disappearances started from Sindh and now extended to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This is the most heinous crime as law does not allow enforcement agencies to keep a person for over 24 hours", said Naveed. Pashtuns are holding massive protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as incidents of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings are on the rise in the province.
India described Pak as 'epicenter of terrorism' at the 45th Session of Human Rights Council. It exercised the Right of Reply to statements made by Pakistan and Turkey at UNHRC. India said no one deserves an unsolicited lecture on human rights from Islamabad. India also added that Islamabad has consistently persecuted Hindus, Sikhs and Christians. “It has become a habit for Pakistan to malign my country with false and fabricated narratives for its self-serving malicious purposes. Neither India nor others deserve this unsolicited lecture on human rights from a country that has consistently persecuted its ethnic and religious minorities, is an epicenter of terrorism, has the distinction of providing pensions to individuals on UN Sanctions list and has a Prime Minister who proudly admits training tens of thousands of terrorists to fight in Jammu and Kashmir. It is not surprising that other relevant multilateral institutions have been raising serious concerns on its failure to stop terror financing and lack of effective actions against all terror entities in Pakistan,” said Pawan Kumar Badhe, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of India in Geneva.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 03:34Published