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International Legal News - 10 June 2024

Updated: Jun 17

The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 4 June to 10 June 2024.

 

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.

Round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world
Guernica 37 International Legal News

Yemen – 8 June 2024

United Nations staff and civil society members were detained in Yemen. On 6 June 2024, Houthi authorities in Yemen raided the homes and offices of at least a dozen UN and NGO employees, including at least nine UN workers, detaining them in various cities. Some of these detentions could amount to enforced disappearance. The Houthis are accused of arbitrarily detaining individuals based on their employment and have a history of disappearing, detaining, and torturing civilians, including humanitarian workers, since the conflict began in 2014. Family members report that detainees' locations are undisclosed, and in one instance, the Houthis also detained the husband and two young children of a female civil society worker.

 

 

Mexico - 8 June 2024

 

Mexico elected its first female president, Claudia Sheinbaum, a former student activist and climate scientist. Former Mexico City mayor Sheinbaum, who won nearly 60% of the vote, pledged a relationship of "friendship, mutual respect, and equality" with the US and promised to defend Mexicans across the border. Despite advocating for more humane migration policies, experts predict she will use migration control as a key bargaining chip with Washington.

 

 

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - 8 June 2024

 

The 17th Conference of States Parties (COSP17) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons that starts on 11 June 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York’s main theme is "Rethinking disability inclusion in the current international juncture and ahead of the Summit of the Future," with sub-themes focusing on international cooperation in technology, rights in humanitarian emergencies, and promoting decent work for persons with disabilities.

 

 

Netherlands – 7 June 2024

 

On 7 June 2024, the Dutch financial crime agency FIOD announced the arrest of two individuals suspected of violating EU sanctions by purchasing and importing Russian timber through Chinese suppliers. Authorities have searched their homes and businesses, and seized their bank accounts and timber.

 

 

Madagascar – 7 June 2024

 

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of Malagasy MP Marie Jeanne d’Arc Masy Goulamaly, who was arrested after alleging voting irregularities in the May 2024 elections. Goulamaly has been detained without a warrant since 31 May, with authorities accusing her of orchestrating protests, Amnesty reporting that her arrest violates her rights to freedom of expression and association.

 

 

Hong Kong – 7 June 2024

 

Three people were arrested in Hong Kong accused of “insulting” China’s national anthem by turning their backs to the field and failing to stand up when it was played at a football match. Plainclothes police officers were reportedly observing and filming spectators during the Chinese national anthem at Hong Kong Stadium in a match against Iran. The National Anthem Law, criminalizing insults to the anthem, has led to recent arrests, including individuals commemorating the Tiananmen crackdown. Despite international human rights law protecting peaceful criticism and offensive speech, Hong Kong authorities continue to detain activists under sedition charges and other security laws.

 

International Criminal Court -7 June 2024

 

Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) remained seized of the Prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants in the Palestine Situation. Scrutinising the ongoing proceedings for Opinio Juris, Toby Cadman and Dr Tomas Hamilton of Guernica 37 Chambers analysed the legal implications of alleged Israeli spying, intimidation, and pressuring of the ICC Prosecutor. They argued that Article 70 “offences against the administration of justice” would seriously impact the assessment of complementarity in ICC arrest warrants against Netanyahu, Gallant or other senior officials. If Israel had waged an “intelligence war” on the ICC over the last decade, it would be difficult to argue it was “willing” genuinely to conduct investigations at the national level.

 

 

Myanmar - 6 June 2024

 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the escalating violence and civilian attacks in Myanmar, particularly by the Myanmar military in Rakhine State and Sagaing Region, which have resulted in numerous civilian casualties. He called for maximum restraint, protection of civilians, and accountability for those responsible, while urging international support for the newly appointed Special Envoy Julie Bishop in fostering sustainable peace through cooperation with ASEAN and neighbouring countries.

 

 

Thailand – 6 June 2024

 

During his visit to Bangkok, UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk was shunned by Thailand's prime minister and other senior officials, who refused to meet him, downgrading his visit to a mere "stopover." This avoidance highlights Thailand's ongoing human rights issues and reluctance to address international concerns about free expression and democratic rule, especially amidst the prosecution of protesters and critics under strict lèse-majesté laws.

 

 

Israel/Palestine – 5 June 2024

 

US lawmakers passed the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, aiming to sanction the International Criminal Court (ICC) due to its prosecutor's efforts to seek arrest warrants for top Israeli officials for alleged war crimes in Gaza. The House of Representatives voted 247-155 to bar US entry and restrict property transactions for ICC officials involved in the warrants, reflecting strong bipartisan support for Israel. Despite the vote, significant procedural steps remain, and President Biden, while expressing concerns about the ICC's actions, opposes the sanctions, deeming them excessive.

 

 

Ukraine – 4 June 2024

 

Extradition was ordered from Ukraine for an ex-US soldier for murder. Craig Austin Lang, a US Army veteran turned volunteer fighter, is being extradited from Ukraine to the US to face charges of murder and robbery related to a 2018 double homicide and armed robbery in Florida. Lang, who has a history of military desertion and fighting with paramilitary forces in Ukraine and Africa, is accused of killing Serafin and Deana Lorenzo and stealing from them to fund a planned expedition to Venezuela.

 


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