Jamaican leaders find no traction on reparations issue with U.K. PM
British PM David Cameron rejected calls from Jamaican PM Portia Simpson Miller and other Caribbean leaders for reparations and an unconditional apology during his recent visit to Jamaica, the first by a British PM in 14 years.
Caribbean leaders have chronicled the long-term economic damages that the lack of reparations following Britain’s 1833 emancipation of the enslaved has inflicted on their national economies.
The call for reparations in the Caribbean has been particularly strong in the region because of the significant financial compensation offered to slave owners at the time of emancipation.
Violence in the C.A.R. capital of Bangui fuels fears of return of religious violence
Dozens were killed in fighting that showed signs of the religious divisions between the country’s Muslims and Christians responsible for the deaths of thousands and displacement of nearly a million from 2012 to 2014.
An estimated 27,000 fled the recent violence for a camp for the internally displaced near Bangui’s airport.
Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza denounced the violence as an attempted coup meant to disrupt elections set to be held in mid-October and late November.
Japan PM shuts down prospect of Japan taking in refugees after announcing humanitarian aid
Following his speech at the U.N. General Assembly, PM Shinzo Abe stated that Japan would be focusing on domestic issues in lieu of taking in refugees.
Citing the need to focus on the birthrate, gender inclusiveness, and the elderly, Abe framed the issue as one of “demography.”
At the General Assembly, Abe announced that Japan would provide $810 million in assistance for those affected by the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts, with an additional $750 million going to infrastructure and other peace-building projects.
Germany prints constitution in Arabic for new arrivals
Germany has printed an initial 10,000 copies of an Arabic translation of the first 20 articles of its constitution to help support the integration of the more than 800,000 expected to find refuge in the country by year’s end.
Adopted in 1949, the “Basic Law” outlines the most critical political and social features of Germany’s democracy, including secular governance, freedom of religion, and other basic individual freedoms.
German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel also noted refugees would have to accept the sexual and gender equality and the prohibition on anti-Semitism in the country.
Muslim man killed, son injured by mob outside New Delhi over alleged beef consumption
Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, was beaten to death by a crowd in Dadri after rumors of his family’s storing and eating beef spread.
After police arrested six from the mob, protests erupted between hundreds of Muslim and Hindu residents, leading to riot intervention by the police.
Recent incidents of violence against Muslims in rural villages fueled by suspicions of cow-slaughtering highlight tensions over bovine protection in the country, with cows occupying a sacred space according to the theology of the India’s majority Hindus.
Syrian Christians who immigrated to the U.S. before Syria descended into chaos have watched from the sidelines as their families, churches, and hometowns have been demolished in the fight between pro-government and Islamist militant forces, including the Islamic State. BuzzFeed News profiles three in New York who relate the tragedy of watching the world they previously knew as home fall apart.
Yemeni students who traveled to Lebanon on scholarship for advanced study confronted conditions far less hospitable to their intellectual growth than they had imagined. A Middle East Eye short film features interviews with the students, who describe persecution at the hands of Lebanese authorities as well as mental distress and financial difficulty stemming from the war back home, which has cut many off from their families.
Indigenous lawyer earns Australia’s most prestigious legal title
Having just been announced among the new class of silks, Australian barrister Anthony McAvoy is believed to be the only Indigenous lawyer with the title in a country with an estimated 15 Indigenous barristers.
Taking silk is a merit-driven process allowing lawyers to add the initials SC (Senior Counsel) or QC (Queen’s Counsel, a Commonwealth title) after their name, designating senior authority.
One of 26 who were awarded the status in New South Wales, McAvoy specializes in native title rights.
“For many years there were hardly any practitioners coming through and unless you have practised as a solicitor, making it at the Bar is very difficult. …Without the number of law graduates coming into the practice of law, the numbers would always be low.”
Iraqi Yazidis in Georgia commemorate anniversary of genocide at hands of IS, but find little opportunity in new home
Yazidis near the Georgian capital of Tbilisi commemorated the first anniversary of the Islamic State’s massacre of 3,000 Yazidi men and abduction of 5,000 women and children in Sinjar, Iraq.
Yazidis began arriving in Georgia seeking asylum soon after the August violence, but faced a host of issues ranging from the expiration of Georgia’s visa-free agreement with Iraq to the low ($113/month) stipend for families.
The community has faced persecution not only from IS, but from the Iraqi and Kurdistan governments, who often refuse to acknowledge a Yazidi culture and identity distinct from Kurds.
“It’s a tragedy, but it has united us, made us wake up and shown us what we can do.”
Indigenous Colombian communities condemn arrest of leader Feliciano Valencia as blow to autonomy
In a blow to Indigenous criminal justice autonomy, Valencia was arrested for the alleged 2008 kidnapping of a Colombian soldier, which community members say involved the soldier’s detention and sentencing to 20 lashes for espionage in Indigenous territory.
Delegates from multiple of Colombia’s 84 registered Indigenous communities arrived at the Indigenous Intercultural University of Popayan to organize the Symbolic March for the Freedom of Feliciano Valencia.
Valencia had faced the same charges in 2010 but released after the defense argued that Indigenous communities’ right to administer justice in their own territories, guaranteed in the Colombian Constitution, was administered collectively and not just by Valencia.
“They want to delegitimize (a right) that is inscribed in the Constitution and that should prevail over ordinary legal norms.”