Polish parliament expands government surveillance powers ahead of major international events
- The lower house passed legislation expanding the government’s surveillance and detention capabilities, subjecting foreigners to increased monitoring in the country.
- Drafted in the wake of the Brussels attacks, the new law allows intelligence agencies the ability to conduct surveillance for three months without court approval, detain suspects for two weeks without charges, and expedite deportation of suspects.
- In July, Poland will host a NATO summit and World Youth Day, a Catholic event attended by the Pope.
“Poland approves closer surveillance of foreigners ahead of NATO summit, pope visit” (Reuters)
“Panel: Poland’s New Police Law Allows Privacy Infringement” (AP via ABC News)
“Watchdog says surveillance powers in Poland too broad” (Radio Poland)
South African woman slapped with $10,000 fine for racist remarks
- The woman faced charges from the African National Congress (ANC) for comparing black South Africans to “wild monkeys” in a Facebook rant about beaches in the country.
- The Umizito Equality Court ordered her to pay the 150,000-rand fine to charity within 60 days.
- South African hate speech laws stem from constitutionally guaranteed protections against the incitement of hatred and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000.
“South African woman fined $10,000 for racist comments” (Reuters)
“Racism: Penny Sparrow fined R150K, community service for Theunissen” (News24)
“SA’s laws are set against hate speech” (Times Live, January 2016)
The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000
IS to be tried for crimes against Yazidi women in international court
- Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney will prosecute the Islamic State for crimes against the Yazidi community including sexual slavery, rape, and genocide.
- The prosecution follows a campaign by Yazidi advocates like Nadia Murad Basee Taha, who petitioned the U.N. Security Council and the international community to take action.
- IS has accused Yazidis of being devil-worshippers, driven more than 700,000 from their homes in northern Iraq, and enslaved more than 7,000 women and girls.
“Exclusive: Amal Clooney to represent ISIS survivor Nadia Murad and victims of Yazidi genocide” (The New York Times)
“Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney to defend Yazidi women, ISIS sex slaves” (Reuters)
“Amal Clooney to represent Yazidi sex slaves and demand Isis genocide investigation at The Hague” (International Business Times)
(Image Credit: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images, via The New York Times)
Israel revokes travel permits for tens of thousands of Palestinians following Tel Aviv killings
- Four Israelis were killed and six wounded after two Palestinian gunmen opened fire in a Tel Aviv market.
- In response, the government cancelled entry permits for some 83,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza for three days, revoked work permits for more than 200 of the attackers’ relatives, and increased its security presence in the occupied West Bank.
- Following a condemnation of the homicides, the U.N. warned Israel that their response could be classified as collective punishment, illegal under the Geneva Conventions.
“Tel Aviv Terror: What We Know So Far About the Sarona Shooting” (Haaretz)
“Palestinian Gunmen Open Fire in Tel Aviv, Leaving Four Dead” (The New York Times)
“Palestinians barred from entering Israel after Tel Aviv killings” (The Guardian)
“U.N. says Israeli move on Palestinian permits may be collective punishment” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: Tomer Appelbaum/Haaretz)
Turkish-German lawmakers receive death threats following Armenian Genocide resolution
- Germany’s 11 MPs of Turkish descent received the threats following the passage of a resolution to recognize the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Turkey as genocide.
- Targets included Cem Oezdemir, the leader of Germany’s Greens Party who had pushed for the resolution.
- Officials have been advised against travel to Turkey after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan publicly accused them of betraying their Turkish heritage.
“After threats, security concerns for German MPs with Turkish roots” (Reuters)
“Report: German MPs advised not to visit Turkey” (Deutsche Welle)
“German-Turkish war of words intensifies after ‘genocide’ vote” (euronews)
(Image Credit: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters)