China must stop arbitrary detentions of religious and ethnics minorities, said Members of European Parliament in a resolution adopted during April Strasbourg Plenary.
Parliament is concerned about the increasingly repressive regime that many religious and ethnic minorities, such as Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Tibetans and Christians, are facing in China. The situation is rapidly deteriorating, placing additional restraints on their fundamental rights. It calls on the Chinese Government to put an end to arbitrary detentions, without any charge, trial or conviction for criminal offence, of members of the Uyghur and Kazakh minority and Tibetans.
“Continuing to negotiate with China over investment and trade issues while ignoring reports of human rights abuses, means the international community is failing to respect its own set of values”, Thomas Mann MEP said. (pictured above).
According to the United Nations estimates, China has put in place an extrajudicial detention programme, currently detaining “from tens of thousands to upwards of a million Uyghurs’” who are forced to undergo political “re-education”. MEPs are also concerned about the information that the Xinjiang camp system has expanded into other parts of China and, in this regard, urge China to close all detention centres and to release the detained persons immediately and unconditionally. The full resolution will be available here (18.04.2019).
The resolution on China was adopted by 505 votes in favour, 18 against, with 47 abstentions.
Washington’s political take on a number of Latin American countries is unacceptable, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the 27th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (SWAP) on April 13. (Image: archive).
“The Americans openly interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Everyone knows about Venezuela, the blitzkrieg change failed, but the Americans do not refuse the goal of overthrowing the legitimate president. This is directly evidenced by Michael Pompeo’s recent interview, in which he said that military intervention has not been excluded,” Lavrov underlined.
“The Americans even dragged out the notorious Monroe doctrine out of the woodwork, threatening that the next in line are Cuba and Nicaragua. They do not seem to understand that they are opposing themselves to the entire Latin American world and not only to the Latin American world. I think that such behavior is simply unacceptable,” Russia‘s top diplomat concluded.
The Japanese public opinion reacted favorably to announcement of “Reiwa” as the country’s new era name, with many welcoming the use of a character meaning peace, calmness and harmony.
The new era name is comprised of two Chinese characters derived from the Japanese classic “Manyoshu,” an eighth-century collection of Japanese poetry.
Japan‘s new era beginning May 1 has been named “Reiwa,” with Crown Prince Naruhito due to ascend to the throne that day to succeed his father Emperor Akihito.
Kyodo News published is a photo collection of various scenes around Japan after the announcement of the new era name on April 1.
Regarding concerns ocured over the procedure of the changeover from Showa to Heisei era the government will officially record the process of selecting the new era name to follow Heisei which will be announced April 1, Japanese government sources indicated.
Among a set of documents to be kept for a maximum 30 years under the law will be calligraphy of the gengō (era name) that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is expected to demonstrate in an announcement April 1.
The era name change will come on May 1 when Crown Prince Naruhito is due to ascend the throne, taking over from his father, Emperor Akihito, who is set to abdicate on April 30.
A panel of representatives from the business world, academia and media organizations will review proposed names in the morning April 1, and an outline of their discussions will be documented.
Following the announcement by the top government spokesman, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to explain its meaning and detail the literary work from which it is derived. But the government is unlikely to reveal further details that day, including other names that were discussed.
The speaker of the Senate, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (65) will become an acting head of state in Kazakhstan until next presidential elections scheduled for December 2020. The shift of power to the speaker has been done in accordance with the Constitution, declared by resigning President Nazarbayev, who ruled the country for three decades.
“Tokayev is the very person that we can trust to govern Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev said. “I know him well. He is an honest, responsible and reliable person.”
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is a career diplomat, and a political scientist, who hold prominent positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ascending to the top, and leading the foreign policy of the country for a decade. He is fluent in Russian, English, and Chinese languages.
As Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, Tokayev was elected in 2008 Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
“Strong President, authoritative Parliament, accountable Government” said Tokayev , while describing his vision of Kazakh state model.
The appointment of the acting President coincided with the Kazakh traditional spring celebrations of Nowruz, marking the beginning of a new cycle of life (21 March).
Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev (78) will step down.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in office since 1990.
President Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since the fall of the Soviet Union, announced on March 19 that he would resign his office.
“I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency,” he said in a televised address.
A few weeks ago he dismissed the government as it struggles with low oil prices and domestic discontent. Sanctions against Russia, the country’s major trading partner, have also damaged the economy and fomented wide-spread discontent with the government blamed incapacity to ensure adequate living standards.
The President said that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the speaker of the upper house of parliament and a Nazarbayev’s loyalist, will take over as the country’s acting leader until the end of his term, as regulated by the Kazakh Constitution. This term ends in March 2020.
“In view of today’s US announcement, the European Union expresses its serious concern about the measures adopted and reiterates its strong support to the International Criminal Court.
“As the world’s first and only permanent international criminal court for the investigation and prosecution of the most serious crimes, the ICC demonstrates the international community’s resolve to end impunity and to foster a culture of accountability”, the European External Actions Service (EEAS) says.
“An effective Court is an indispensable instrument of the international community to combat impunity and promote a rules-based international order.State cooperation is vital to achieving accountability for the most serious crimes. The European Union and its Member States remain committed to the full cooperation with the ICC to guarantee its full effectiveness and efficiency and expect States to lend the necessary assistance to the Court.”
“Along with our international partners, we will continue to work towards a shared rules-based global order, with multilateralism as its key principle, and to promote the universality and preserve the integrity of the Rome Statute. We are ready to further engage with both States Parties and non-state parties on these important issues.”
The decision it taken to deter a potential investigation by the judicial body into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US troops in Afghanistan.
Mr. Pompeo, speaking from the State Department said the restrictions include “persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation.” Secretary Pompeo said the policy had already taken effect, but declined to name who had been restricted or would face future restrictions.
Pompeo also warned about potential economic sanctions “if the ICC does not change its course.”
ICC spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah said that the court was aware of Pompeo‘s statement. In a comment he said that the Court is “non-political and an independent and impartial judicial institution crucial for ensuring accountability for the gravest crimes under international law.”
“The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its independent work, undeterred, in accordance with its mandate and the overarching principle of the rule of law,” he added.
In November 2017, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda sought authorization to open an investigation into crimes connected to the conflict in Afghanistan. According to an announcement from the time, Bensouda‘s office “determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe” that members of the US armed forces and the CIA committed “war crimes.” The ICC has not yet made a decision on whether to authorize that investigation.