In the News

 News Update

October 18, 2017

Sarah L.S. Erickson, J.D., News Associate

The Trump administration announced the United States withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO promotes education in low-income regions, advancements in science and technology, freedom of the press, and designates world heritage sites. The Trump administration cited UNESCO’s anti-Israel bias as the reason for withdrawing from the agency. The U.S. government has consistently opposed designation of Palestinian world heritage sites since Palestine joined UNESCO in 2011.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released a report revealing Kenyan police killed up to 50 people after the country’s elections in August. Protesters were beaten, shot, or asphyxiated by police officers. The NGOs are urging Kenya’s security forces to hold perpetrating members responsible and ensure compliance with international and national laws during the upcoming election.

Nigerian courts began the first trials of 1,600 Boko Haram members, marking an important step in the nation’s healing for hundreds of victims. However, the trials will take place in secret, raising concerns about fairness and due process rights of the accused. All 1,600 trials will also be divided between just four judges, raising questions about the judiciary’s actual capacity to prosecute all the individuals.

Reports document that Turkish officials tortured detainees for involvement in the 2016 attempted coup. Eleven instances of torture have been reported involving numerous individuals and at least five cases of forced disappearance. Over 150,000 Turks have been detained by Turkish officials and accused of involvement in terrorist activity since the coup.