Tag Archives: violence

EU: concerns about sexual violence

Brussels 18.06.2021 “One year ago, the UN Secretary-General called for a cessation of violence both on battlefields and in homes. Yet his latest report shows that conflict-related sexual violence has continued unabated during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains a cruel and widespread tactic of war, torture, terror and political repression,

reads the Joint Statement by EU High Representative, Josep Borrell and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten. The statement is issued on June 18, referring to the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

(Image: illustration).

“The report records cases of sexual violence against women detained for alleged violations of curfews and quarantines, as well as violations by armed groups that have taken advantage of the pandemic to intensify their operations and gain ground. The pandemic has also laid bare the intersecting inequalities that plague our societies, as compounded by conflict, displacement, and institutional fragility.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact on women and girls of recent events, including the use of sexual violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and the persistent threat and occurrence of sexual violence in many countries affected by conflict, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as documented in the UN Secretary-General’s report.

“The level of compliance by all parties to conflict with international obligations, including relevant Security Council resolutions, remains low. Yet this does not deter us. We continue our work to implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda, to prevent conflict, and to uphold women’s rights, agency and safety.

“We urge all state and non-state parties to conflict to adopt specific commitments to address conflict-related sexual violence, which must include peacekeeping missions receiving the necessary budgetary allocations to properly implement their Women, Peace and Security mandates. The protection of survivors and a survivor-centred approach, including in terms of justice and reparations, is essential, particularly in fragile conflict-affected settings, and when survivors face multiple forms of stigma and discrimination.

“We are committed to keep strengthening our partnerships with civil society, women’s rights organisations, human rights defenders, peace builders and local and religious leaders. We look forward to the high-level meeting of the Generation Equality Forum in Paris on 30 June to 2 July, which provides an opportunity to accelerate the work to end sexual violence in peacetime, as well as during conflict by mobilising states and other stakeholders.

“Building back better in the wake of this pandemic requires political resolve and resources equal to the scale of the challenge. A gender-responsive and inclusive global recovery from COVID-19 should promote a new social contract in which no one in power is above the law, and no one rendered powerless is beneath its protection. Responses must be comprehensive, multisectoral, age-appropriate and survivor-centred, Survivors’ rights, needs and voices should inform national COVID-19 response and recovery plans.

“On this day, we call on all parties involved in armed conflicts to heed the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire and immediately end all acts of conflict-related sexual violence. We call on the international community to put the safety of women and girls first in the response to COVID-19. The goal of achieving safer, fairer, more secure and more peaceful societies will require the international community to demonstrate sustained vigilance and dedication”.

Turkmen Ambassador denies domestic violence

Brussels 13.05.2021 Contacted by radio Sputnik, the Turkmen Embassy in Paris denied and described as “absolutely incorrect” the information published in Le Parisien, according to which the ambassador of this country is suspected of violence against his wife and daughter.

Turkmenistan’s diplomatic mission in France responded to reports in Le Parisien about alleged violence by Chokhrat Djoumaïev, Turkmen ambassador to France, against his wife and daughter.

According to a police source, Le Parisien wrote on May 13 that the wife of Turkmenistan’s ambassador to France had contacted the police to denounce violence inflicted on herself and her 19-year-old daughter by her husband.
The wife of Ambassador has contacted the police at around 5.30 p.m. to denounce the violence that this 46-year-old senior diplomat allegedly inflicted on her, as well as on her 19-year-old daughter. .

The facts would have occurred on May 12 in the XXVIth arrondissement of Paris, the daily said. The Turkmenistan Embassy in France is also located in this district.

According to Le Parisien, when the police arrived, the diplomat was not present at his home. The women have been relocated, again according to the daily.

Due to the diplomatic immunity of the alleged perpetrator and his victims, no investigation could be initiated.

The Paris prosecutor’s office told the daily that they had no “information to communicate at this stage” on the subject.

The Turkmen diplomat, who was not present at the family home when the police arrived, has diplomatic immunity as an ambassador, as does his family, which explains why, according to our information, the prosecution requested that no act or writing is carried out within the framework of the appeal of his wife.

Violence against women at rise

Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the European Commission and the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, issued the following statement:

Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights, and has no place in the European Union, or anywhere else in the world.

The scale of the problem remains alarming: one in three women in the European Union have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Violence against women exists in every country, culture and community. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown once more that for some women not even their home is a safe place.

Figures show that violence against women and children has increased since COVID-19 lockdown measures started. Some Member States have introduced gender-sensitive response measures, such as special alert mechanisms in pharmacies, to protect women and children from all forms of violence. We urge all Member States to develop and implement such measures.

Change is possible, but it requires action, commitment and determination. The EU is committed to continue to work tirelessly with its partners to investigate and punish acts of violence, ensure support for victims, and at the same time to address the root causes and reinforce the legal framework. Through our Spotlight Initiative we are already fighting violence against women and girls, in 26 countries across the globe. This week we will present a new Action Plan on gender equality and women and girl’s empowerment in our external actions. We also call on Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention – the first legally binding instrument at the international level to combat violence against women and domestic violence.

“Our goal is very clear: to end all forms of violence against women and girls. We owe it to all the victims.”

EU diplomacy extraordinary Council on Belarus

EU foreign ministers will convene via teleconference on Friday, August 14, to discuss the situation in Belarus following the announced re-election of Alexander Lukashenko with 80% of ballots, and immediatley following accusations of fraud.

The Swedish top diplomat Ann Linde said she had received an invitation to participate in an extraordinary ministerial meeting with the EU foreign ministers where, she added, the question of possible sanctions against Minsk will be debated.

The European Commission said on August 11 it was reviewing its relations with Belarus following the disputed re-election of the Belarusian president, declared the triumphant winner.

August 10 Germany called on EU member countries to discuss sanctions, and Poland proposed an immediate action to defend Belarus citiezens against violent crachdown of the peaceful protests undertaken by the authorities in the aftermath of the disputed elections.

Image: social media

Borrell condemns violence in Belarus

The Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Belarus on 9 August. The European Union had repeatedly expressed its expectations on the proper conduct of these elections.

“The election night was marred with disproportionate and unacceptable state violence against peaceful protesters. This reportedly resulted in the loss of life of one citizen and many others have been injured. We condemn the violence and call for the immediate release of all detained during last night. The Belarusian authorities must ensure that the fundamental right of peaceful assembly is respected” reads the Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi on the Presidential elections in Belarus.

“Following their unprecedented mobilisation for free elections and democracy, the Belarusian people now expect their votes to be counted accurately. It is essential that the Central Electoral Commission publishes the results reflecting the choice of the Belarusian people.

“Only upholding human rights, democracy, and free and fair elections will guarantee stability and sovereignty in Belarus. We will continue to closely follow the developments in order to assess how to further shape the EU’s response and relations with Belarus in view of the developing situation”.

Protesters and riot police have clashed in Minsk and other cities, after a state TV exit poll said long-time leader Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner in Sunday’s election.

Police used stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon. A human rights group said one protester was killed and the are hundreds of arrested, however due to the internet disruptions there are significant difficultes to obtain full information about the police actions.

According to the state media Mr Lukashenko won 80% of the vote, based on the preliminary count.
But the main opposition leader has Svetlana Tikhanovskaya refused to recognise the results.
“We have already won, because we have overcome our fear, our apathy and our indifference,” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said.

The preliminary results give her 9.9% of the vote, but her campaign said she had been polling 70-80% in some areas.
Ms Tikhanovskaya entered the election in place of her jailed husband and went on to lead large opposition rallies.

Mr Lukashenko, 65, has been in power since 1994.

Image above: BelsatTV

EU calls Haiti to avoid violence

“The grave deterioration of the living conditions of the Haitian population and profound worsening of the security situation together with a slowdown of economic activity and challenges the Haitians face on a daily basis have provoked serious, long-lasting and violent social unrest.

https://youtu.be/6X-u1sDH9nI

“The right to demonstrate freely and peacefully needs to be ensured while violence by both sides must be avoided under all circumstances to prevent further instability and suffering of the population.

“The engagement of all actors in a frank, open and inclusive inter-Haitian dialogue should lead to an urgent consensus to better respond to the basic needs of the population and should identify realistic and lasting solutions to the current political, economic and humanitarian crisis.

“The European Union is committed to support the Haitian people on their path to stability, development and democracy, including the rule of law, and will cooperate closely with its international partners to this end.

Journalist killed in terrorist incident in N.Ireland

An journalist was killed after shots were fired during a “terrorist incident”in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry overnight. As soon as the violence erupted police said it was likely the act of militant nationalists opposed to the British region’s 1998 peace deal.

Rioting broke out in the Irish nationalist Creggan area of the city late night on April 18 following a raid by police, who said they were intended to prevent militant attacks planned for the weekend. Nevertheless At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars set on fire.

“Unfortunately at 11 o’clock last night a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots toward the police and a young woman, Lyra McKee 29 year old was wounded” and later succumbed to injuries, Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told press on April 19.

AMENDED: Late Lyra McKee lived in Belfast, she replaced Mediagazer’s founding editor at age of 21. McKee was passionate about journalism, and  venturing new ways of producing information in digital age, then she worked from her home and sometimes from the Sinammon Coffee Shop on Botanic Avenue struggling  to make living out of journalism. In Skype Video below McKee explains her vision of profession (published on March 20, 2018).

AMENDED: The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani expressed his sorrow, and demanded investigation on death of Lyra McKee.  During his mandate Tajani has attributed names of three journalists slain in terrorist acts to EP press-center auditoriums in Strasbourg.

 

#Christchurch: EU expresses solidarity

The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the two terrorist attacks that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier today. We stand in full solidarity with the people and authorities of New Zealand at this extremely difficult time and stand ready to support in any way, including by strengthening our cooperation on counter-terrorism.

“Attacks on places of worship are attacks on all of us who value diversity and freedom of religion and expression, which are the fabric of New Zealand’s society and shared by the European Union. Such acts strengthen our resolve to tackle, together with the whole international community, the global challenges of terrorism, extremism and hatred.”

Business refuses operations in Sweden ‘no-go’ zones

The U.S. shipping company UPS has refused delivering goods to a notorious neighborhood Rosengård (Rose Garden) in
Malmo, Sweden, nowadays often called “no-go zone.” The decision to stop operations in the area came after a wave of attacks on the company drivers.

The UPS company experience in the area, including robberies and related crimes, resulted in a responsible decision to stop the exposure of the personnel to dangers of ‘no-go” zone by avoiding  it.

Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan refered to an employee of the company who confirmed: “Our drivers have been attacked and therefore we have decided not to hand out packages at Rosengård.”

Sweden welcomed more refugees per capita than any other European Union member-state. In the past five years, the country of 10 million hosted more than 400,000 asylum-seekers and their relatives.

The city of Malmo, just across the Oresund Strait from the Danish capital Copenhagen, has experienced the biggest influx of  migrants per capita. 

Previously known for its ethnic mono culture with only 1% of the population foreign born, half from neighboring Nordic countries—Sweden has become a top destination for economic migrants and asylum seekers, who are attracted to the stability, wealth and strong social welfare system.

Today the foreign-born Swedish population stands close to 20% out of 10.1 million inhabitants, not including asylum seekers—of whom there were over 160,000 in 2015, reaching the climax of the demand, with the majority of arrivals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Turkey and Afghanistan.

Malmö and the area experienced  the steep rise of сrime reflecting in the  most deadly shootings in Sweden last year, with the city’s ongoing migrant gang war leaving 14 dead and 28 wounded, according to police statistics.

EU supports Nobel Prize winners projects

The European Commission has announced an additional €5 million in support of concrete projects of the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege maintaining its commitment to women who are victims of sexual violence.

This new support was announced  in Brussels as the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Development, Neven Mimica, met with Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. The two winners were invited to discuss the eradication of violence against women and its impact on development, together with EU development Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council.

“As the European Union, we admire the immense courage and tireless work of Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege, who often put their own lives at risk. We have a duty to support their work and all the people they represent, as we are doing, and this is also the best way to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” Mogherini said.

“Violence against women and girls is one of the most horrendous crimes, one of the greatest injustices of our time, and an obstacle to the development of any society. I am very pleased to be able to strengthen our support for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates. This is how the European Union can help put an end to sexual violence, once and for all, everywhere in the world”, Commissioner Neven Mimica added

The EU plans to strengthen its ongoing stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in the Sinjar region in Iraq through a €1 million contribution to Nadia Murad’sSinjar Action Fund” initiative. European development cooperation in the liberated areas of Da’esh in the country supports in particular the needs of displaced populations, vulnerable groups and local communities.

A further €4 million will support Dr Mukweges work to ensure the continuity of support programmes for victims of sexual violence and women suffering from gynecological conditions at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This initiative for the reconstruction of Sinjar will create infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and encourage the return of displaced populations to their homeland.

Since 2014, the European Union’s development cooperation in Iraq amounts to approximately €310 million. Part of this funding is specifically dedicated to the stabilisation and the socio-economic reconstruction of the areas liberated from Da’esh. EU support helps create the conditions for sustainable return of displaced people, including by clearing contaminated sites, restoring basic services and providing livelihoods. Since the beginning of the crisis, more than 1.7 million displaced people have returned to their homes.

The European support for the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates is part of its broader commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment globally. The EU has established an ambitious partnership with the United Nations by launching the “Spotlight Initiative” in September 2017. This programme is supported by €500 million to fight all forms of violence against women and girls.

Following the South-East Asia programme of the Spotlight initiative launched in November 2017 and the Latin America programme launched in September 2018, the Africa programme will be officially launched in early 2019. With €250 million in funding, the Africa programme will focus on combating harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation and forced child marriage.

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