Crackdown in India leads to protests
Last Tuesday, police officers raided at least six homes across India and arrested five people known for supporting resistance movements or otherwise speaking out against the government. They’ve been accused of supporting plots to assassinate top government officials, inciting a riot and supporting communist groups.
The accusations mirror those given to other activists arrested last June. Critics claim the charges are only a chance for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to punish opponents.
The opposition politician Prashant Bhushan wrote in The Indian Express, “The arrests and raids are outrageous attempts to stifle voices of dissent and curb peaceful struggles against this government’s anti-people ideology … Democracy is under siege in India.”
Several critics and activists have been killed since Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took over in 2014.
Nicaraguan government orders United Nations team to leave
A United Nations team has been ordered to leave by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega after publishing a critical report. Upward of 300 people were recently killed in political unrest in the country.
The report, published last Wednesday by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, called for the disarming of violent masked gangs and to end the use of excessive force against protesters in Nicaragua.
“Civil servants, including teachers and doctors, have been sacked, and people seen to be critical of the government have been harassed, intimidated and even attacked,” the report says. “The authorities, including at the highest-level, have increasingly stigmatised and discredited protesters and human rights defenders, describing them as ‘terrorists,’ ‘coup-mongers’ or ‘plagues.’”
The U.N. mission’s chief Guillermo Fernandez says his team will continue to monitor from abroad. Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan government claimed the report was biased and that the team overstepped its authority. They also said the report largely ignored the attacks on the governing party, many of which were fatal.
China’s “re-education camps” alarm United Nations
The United Nations called for the release of counter-terrorism pretext last week. The statement came shortly after a committee listened to reports that over one million Muslim Uighurs may have been detained in China’s re-education camps.
In a statement released last Thursday, the U.N. criticized the “broad definition of terrorism and vague references to extremism and unclear definition of separatism in Chinese legislation.”
Beijing acknowledged that some religious extremists were detained but denied further allegations. Prisoners of the camps are reportedly forced to shout communist slogans and swear their loyalty to President Xi Jinping. Reports also suggest prisoners are held without charges and indefinitely, and that they often face torture.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said evidence suggested China had turned the region “into something that resembles a massive internment camp.”
Xinjiang, an autonomous region in China, has seen violence and crackdowns in the past. Beijing blames radical Islam for the region’s unrest.