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Weekly update: 10 July – 16 July 2023

The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 10 July to 16 July 2023.

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 for consideration.

Mali - 13 July 2023

Mounting Islamist Armed Group Killings, Rape UN Peacekeepers’ Departure Complicates Efforts for Security; Provide Aid

Islamist armed groups have carried out widespread killings, rapes, and lootings of villages in northeast Mali since January 2023 forcing thousands of people to flee. Security has deteriorated sharply amid clashes between two armed Islamist groups as they seek to control supply routes and increase their influence. The UN peacekeepers’ departure makes things worse. The Malian authorities need to ramp up efforts to protect civilians and work closely with international partners to ensure that displaced people have access to aid and basic services. The full article can be found here.

Thailand - 17 July 2023

Thailand: Drop ‘insulting the monarchy’ charge against child protester involved in mock fashion show.

Ahead of the expected verdict on Thursday (20 July) against Noppasin ‘Sainam’ Treelayapewat, a young activist who faces up to 15 years imprisonment, accused of lèse-majesté – or insulting the monarchy – for taking part in a mock fashion show when he was 16 years old, Amnesty International’s Regional Researcher for Thailand Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong said: “Sainam should not be facing any charges or punishment, yet these proceedings could result in years of his freedom stolen, simply for taking part in a satirical fashion show during a peaceful protest when he was under 18 years old. The multiple criminal charges against Sainam yet again highlight how Thai authorities are robbing many children of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.” Read the full article here.

Sudan - 17 July 2023

Thousands killed, millions displaced – the conflict in Sudan, three months in.

In today’s newsletter: In April, fighting broke out between two rival factions – with no end in sight, the UN is investigating. Last week the United Nations discovered a mass grave in Sudan’s West Darfur in which 87 people were buried, prompting the UN high commissioner for Human Rights to demand a “thorough and independent investigation” into activity in the region. The full article can be found here.

Nicaragua - 14 July 2023

Rights Abuses Need Stronger International Efforts. Prominent Voices Call for Concerted Approach

Governments from the Americas and Europe should prioritize the human rights situation in Nicaragua during the upcoming European Union – Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (EU-CELAC) summit, 160 Nicaraguan victims said today in a letter co-signed with 29 national, regional, and international human rights organizations. Governments should establish a Group of Friends of the Nicaraguan People to ensure cross-regional, high-level efforts to restore democracy in the country. The full article can be found here.

Bangladesh - 13 July 2023

Bangladesh: Spiraling Violence Against Rohingya Refugees. Protect Community From Killings, Abductions, Torture.

Bangladesh authorities are failing to adequately protect Rohingya refugees from surging violence by armed groups and criminal gangs, with layers of barriers to police, legal, and medical assistance. Authorities have been forcing Rohingya leaders to serve as informants, putting them at grave risk of being abducted or killed, without access to protection. The government should create a rights-respecting security policy in consultation with refugees and the United Nations. Donor governments should press Bangladesh to remove barriers to justice. The full article can be found here.

Russia - 12 July 2023

Trans advocates in Russia brace for proposed gender surgery ban

Elle Solomina is 36, but she says her life truly began in 2021, when she changed her gender to female in her official Russian identification documents. The IT worker is now watching the path she took to self-acceptance crumble, as Russia is poised to outlaw gender changes in IDs and gender-affirming medical care, including surgery. "This is in its purest form a fascist law," Solomina told Reuters from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where she fled after Russia invaded Ukraine last year. "I have not found any explanation for it, except that in a totalitarian system, the population must live in fear.” The full article can be found here.

Guinea - 13 July 2023

Guinea’s Landmark 2009 Stadium Massacre Trial Back On. Accused Recants Prior Testimony.

The landmark trial of Guinea’s former president and 10 others, including former ministers, accused of responsibility for a massacre and rapes in a stadium, resumed on Monday, July 10, 2023, after being suspended for a month and a half.

In one of the most brutal incidents in Guinea’s history, Guinean security forces opened fire on protestors during a peaceful political rally at a stadium in the capital, Conakry on September 28, 2009. More than 150 were killed and more than 100 women were raped, after which security forces engaged in a coverup, moving bodies to mass graves. The full article can be found here.

Sri Lanka - 13 July 2023

Sri Lanka: Government must ensure access to adequate nutrition for all pregnant and breastfeeding women

The briefing, Foregoing Meals to Make-Do, examines the impact of the economic crisis on access to nutrition for pregnant and breastfeeding women, with a particular focus on women living below the poverty line in Colombo. Falling incomes, loss of livelihoods and inflation have reduced women’s purchasing power while government-funded programs aimed at increasing maternal nutrition have also been affected by the crisis. The full article can be found here.

Zimbabwe - 13 July 2023

Zimbabwe: Commute death sentence to prison terms in Tapiwa Makore murder case.

On 12 July 2023, Tafadzwa Shamba and Tapiwa Makore Senior were sentenced to death following a trial at the Harare High Court over the murder of Tapiwa Makore. Tapiwa, who was murdered on 17 September 2020, was found disfigured and dismembered, sparking widespread outrage. The full article can be found here.


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