09/25/2023, 09.37
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Over 120,000 Armenians flee Nagorno-Karabakh

Today's news: Riyadh sets18-year jail term for high school student for tweets supporting political prisoners; At least 1400 migrant workers enter China every day from Myanmar through the Muse trade hub; Turkish, along with Arabic and Kurdish, is the third official language in Kirkuk; The Indian judiciary confiscates the property of a Sikh separatist leader; Taiwan wants to produce two new submarines by 2027 and equip subsequent ones with missiles; Seoul against the alliance between Pyongyang and Moscow.

From Nagorno-Karabakh, a mass exodus by car is underway towards Armenia via the Lachin corridor, which has been closed for months. The exodus follows Baku's defeat of fighters in the separatist region. The more than 120 thousand Armenians on the run have clearly rejected the proposal to live as part of Azerbaijan due to fears of persecution and ethnic cleansing.

Riyadh has imposed 18 years in prison and a travel ban on a high school student for posting messages on social media in support of political prisoners. According to what the activist group Alqst reports, Manal al-Gafiri was a minor at the time of the events (she was 17 years old) and it is the latest in a long series of convictions related to cyberactivism and the use of social media to criticize the government.

Around 1,400 migrant workers enter China from Myanmar every day from the commercial hub of Muse in northern Shan State. Most come from villages in the Sagaing, Magway, Mandalay and Shan areas, towns devastated by civil war and in desperate need of money. The temporary single-use border pass (green card) was introduced for workers on 4 September. China had sealed the area in 2021 in the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Turkish, together with Arabic and Kurdish, has become the third official language in Kirkuk, a multi-ethnic city in northern Iraq and rich in oil, where the first signs can already be seen. In March, Baghdad declared Turkish to be the official administrative language. Unlike Arabic and Kurdish, official languages, Turkish and Syriac for the Constitution are used at an administrative level.

The Indian judiciary has confiscated the properties of a Sikh separatist leader and ally of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose killing sparked a diplomatic war between Delhi and Ottawa. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was designated a terrorist by Indian authorities in 2020 and is wanted on charges of terrorism and sedition. He is also the founder of the group Sikhs For Justice, which fights for the creation of an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan.

Taiwan wants to deploy two new domestically produced submarines by 2027 and equip subsequent ones with missiles, with a view to deterring the Chinese navy and the prospect of an attack, as well as protecting key supply lines. The program is part of an ambitious project to modernize the armed forces, in the face of daily Chinese military exercises.

In his speech at the UN general assembly and in further statements, South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol repeated that any help from Russia to North Korea in military supply programs will be considered "an explicit provocation". In this case Seoul - with its allies - will not be able to "stand by" because it would be a threat to the entire world.

Kyrgyzstan could soon find itself with a shortage of flour, and consequent price increases, due to the limitations imposed by Kazakhstan on the transit of cargoes of Russian cereals headed for Bishkek, which may have to draw from state reserves. Moscow and Astana are competing to control the Kyrgyz market, in the new conditions created by Russian economic shifts.

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