Author: Raadi Noori

Brussels (12/03 – 55.56) Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said that the dissolution of human rights NGOs signals a deteriorating environment for civil society and human rights defence in Tajikistan. She reiterated that Tajikistan must reconsider its attitudes towards civil society and view human rights defenders as allies instead of enemies. Earlier in November 2023, Tajikistan Minister of Justice announced that 700 NGOs in the country had been liquidated over an 18-month period. “Human rights defenders working on so-called sensitive issues, including freedom from torture, the right to housing and compensation for requisitioned land, minority rights, freedom of belief and good governance, political rights, and…

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Berlin (29/2 – 30) Ukrainian officials are concerned that Russian advances could gain significant momentum by the summer unless their allies can increase the supply of ammunition, according to a person familiar with their analysis. Internal assessments of the situation on the battlefield from Kyiv are growing increasingly bleak as Ukrainian forces struggle to hold off Russian attacks while rationing the number of shells they can fire. Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said Thursday that mistakes by frontline commanders had compounded the problems facing Ukraine’s defense around Avdiivka, which was captured by Russian forces this month. Syrskyi said he’d sent in more…

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Tashkent 24/2/ (50). In Tajikistan, over 20% of the population lives in poverty, and millions of citizens have emigrated to Russia to find work. Meanwhile, a feudal elite under President Emomali Rahmon has ravaged the country with corruption, nepotism, and massive drug smuggling of Afghan heroin to Russia and Europe. Although Rahmon’s successor and son, Rustam Emomali, has been increasingly in the headlines, adopting a presidential look, his stiff and awkward appearance reveals a man seemingly afraid of his shadow. Sources inside the country’s security apparatus report that he is in conflict with his powerful sisters, including Ozada, the head…

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KANAZAWA, Japan (Kyodo) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea agreed Thursday to launch an emergency financing program to deal with future pandemics and natural disasters, in their latest attempt to ensure financial stability in the region. The envisaged launch of the Rapid Financing Facility comes as the ASEAN+3 group is seeking to boost the safety net under the Chiang Mai Initiative, created in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, to provide liquidity of up to $240 billion in times of emergency. The agreement was reached at a meeting of senior finance officials…

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Much like its ideological counterparts at HispanTV (Iranian-owned) and Actualidad RT (Russian-owned), Telesur wraps its incitement into a sophisticated and slick twenty-four-hour news platform through its website, broadcasts, and social media presence. Though it is difficult to gauge its influence, numbers suggest that Telesur’s message is impactful. Telesur has two million followers on its Spanish X account, 117,500 on its English X account, and more than half a million on Instagram. Its YouTube account has over 1.7 million subscribers, with 100,000 new subscribers and almost 7.4 million video views since October 7 (It also posts its videos on the Daily Motion). The network traditionally pushes out conspiracy theories, fake news, “whataboutism,”…

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been commended by the Asian Vision Institute (AVI) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Cambodia for its vital role in advancing economic integration, regional peace, and mutual understanding and trust among its member states. AVI Executive Vice-President Chheng Kimlong said, “I would like to stress the importance of ASEAN as a testament to the power of multilateralism and regional cooperation in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.” “During the last decade, the international landscape underwent a rapid change, from power rivalry to economic fragmentation, climate crisis, global pandemics and other non-traditional security issues.…

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Leaders to work jointly on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation: draft SINGAPORE/JAKARTA — Japanese and ASEAN leaders are likely to agree to pursue a world without nuclear weapons and deepen their cooperation on supply chains and digitalization at a summit later this month, according to a draft joint vision statement seen by Nikkei. The joint statement will be issued at a special summit from Dec. 16 to 18 in Tokyo, and it will underline three pillars of cooperation: people exchanges, co-creation of economy and society, and peace and stability. Supply chains and digitalization will be priority areas. With Japan and ASEAN…

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Brussels (16/11 – 83) Sri Lanka is still dealing with the aftermath of its most devastating economic crisis since independence, a government without popular support and intensifying geopolitical competition in its neighborhood, a year after the Sri Lanka’s massive unrest. Known as the Aragalaya protests which were spurred by the economic crisis, the protests led to mass resignations across the government with former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country in July 2022. In the year since, the country has secured an IMF agreement, and its economy has ambled toward a slow path of recovery. However, there have still been concerns on the human rights front as the current government of Ranil Wickremesinghe has…

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The Philippines has expressed concern to China over incidents between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the South China Sea. The leaders of the two countries have discussed possible ways to ease tensions. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco on Friday. In October, a Chinese Coast Guard vessel collided with a Philippine military supply boat near the Spratly Islands. The Philippine presidential office said that Marcos had brought up the plight of Filipino fishermen who have complained of Chinese vessels preventing them from fishing in the area.…

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JAPAN and ASEAN have pledged to accelerate the growth of regional tourism by strengthening collaboration in the sector and agreed upon the direction for further cooperation. The pledge came during the October 28 ASEAN-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue, held in the Japanese capital Tokyo to commemorate the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation. The dialogue was held under the theme “The next 50 years of ASEAN and Japan: designing the path to sustainable tourism together”. “The meeting acknowledged the immense tourism potential of the region, as well as the importance of concerted efforts by ASEAN and Japan, two of…

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