New Evidence of State-Perpetrated Sexual Violence Against Rohingya

This report comes on the heels of a report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that came to a very similar conclusion. “Burmese government forces committed rape and other sexual violence against ethnic Rohingya women and girls as young as 13 during security operations in northern Rakhine State in late 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The Burmese government should urgently endorse an independent, international investigation into alleged abuses in northern Rakhine State, including into possible systematic rape against Rohingya women and girls. Burmese army and Border Guard Police personnel took part in rape, gang rape, invasive body searches, and sexual assaults in at least nine villages in Maungdaw district between October 9 and mid-December.” (HRW

Knesset Passes Controversial “Land Grab” Law..“Israel passed a law on Monday retroactively legalising about 4,000 settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, a measure that has drawn international concern.The legislation has been condemned by Palestinians as a blow to their hopes of statehood. But its passage may only be largely symbolic as it contravenes Israeli Supreme Court rulings on property rights. Israel’s attorney-general has said it is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it at the Supreme Court. Though the legislation, passed by a vote of 52 to 60, was backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, it has raised tensions in the government. Political sources have said Netanyahu privately opposes the bill over concerns it could provide grounds for prosecution by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.” (Reuters

Meanwhile, in Africa’s Largest Country…”Hundreds of Nigerians marched Monday to protest poverty and corruption as President Muhammadu Buhari’s prolonged absence abroad for medical tests raises political and economic tensions. “Nigerians are frustrated and tired with this absentee government,” activist Omoyele Sowore said as he marched in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. Protesters carried placards saying: “Unemployed people hungry and angry.” Prices of food and other goods have soared as Nigeria confronts low international prices for oil on which the government depends and a devalued naira currency because of massive foreign currency shortages. Turnout was small in Lagos, a city of 20 million, with just dozens turning out in Abuja, the capital. The protest initially was proposed on social media by hip-hop musician 2Face Tubaba Idibia but he tried to call it off after police said they could not guarantee the safety of marchers. (AP

Meet a Doctor Who Toured with the Grateful Dead. Then He Helped Eradicate Small Pox (UN Dispatch