02/17/2024, 13.14
Send to a friend

Terminally ill pro-democracy activist jailed in Hong Kong

Today's headlines: Thousands of young men try to leave Myanmar after conscription is introduced. A few weeks before India’s elections, the opposition Congress party has its bank accounts frozen. Satellite photos show Egypt is building a wall next to the Rafah crossing. Japan successfully launched the new H3 space rocket. US and China agree to hold follow-up talks on North Korea and the Middle East.


Hong Kong activist Koo Sze-yiu, 78, who suffers from terminal cancer, was jailed for organising a peaceful protest with a prop coffin against China's political crackdown in Hong Kong. Chief Magistrate Victor So sentenced Koo on Friday to nine months in prison for "attempted sedition" under the National Security Act. Koo planned a demonstration last December against local elections, which excluded pro-democracy candidates.


More than a thousand young people lined up outside the Thai embassy in Yangon to get a tourist visa to leave Myanmar after the junta imposed military service. The army wants to enforce a law that allows it to recall men aged 18 to 35 and women aged 18 to 27 to serve for at least two years as it struggles to crack down on opposition to the 2021 coup.


India's main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, said that its bank accounts have been frozen for an income tax assessment amounting to 2.1 billion rupees (US$ 25.3 million) in connection with a dispute over tax dues. The party called the action, just weeks before the election, “a deep attack on Indian democracy", noting, however, that the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal allowed the party to partially operate its accounts until next Wednesday, when it will hear the case.


Egypt is building a buffer zone near the border with the Gaza Strip as fears grow in Cairo of an imminent Israeli ground invasion of the southern city of Rafah, which could force hundreds of thousands of Palestinians across the border. Several satellite images support this. Footage of the site in the Sinai Desert shows that an area is being built that could offer a basic shelter for tens of thousands of Palestinians with concrete walls erected on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, the only non-Israeli crossing to and from Gaza.


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has held talks with China's top diplomat Wang Yi to start talks on two "hot issues”: North Korea and the Middle East. During a “candid and constructive discussion” in Munich, Blinken also expressed concern about China's support for Russia's aggression against Ukraine and stressed the importance of working to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, as well as in the South China Sea, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.


Japan successfully launched its new H3 rocket on Saturday morning, nearly a year after the failed attempt that cast doubt on the country's space aspirations. The spacecraft will likely be used to deliver supplies and materials to the International Space Station and the Gateway, a moon-orbiting outpost planned as part of the US-led Artemis space program.


Like in Russia, Belorussian authorities have seized government opponents' assets without due process and auctioned them off, including flats owned by anti-Lukashenko candidates, as well as those of Veronika Tsepkalo, wife of politician Valery, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and her assistant Pavel Latushko, all now in exile.


In Georgia, controversy continues between President Salome Zourabichvili and representatives of the country’s ruling Georgian Dream party, including Parliamentary Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, according to whom "the president's participation in the Munich Security Conference has the sole purpose of damaging our country's international reputation.”

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
White House to stop Beijing's "imperialist" policy in the South China Sea
24/01/2017 15:55
New Bishop Ante Jozić thanks the Church in China, Hong Kong and Macau
17/09/2020 13:30
Palestinian Catholic: Trump's 'deal of the century' is a plan by the Israeli right
29/01/2020 18:53
Bennett, al Sisi and bin Zayed in Sharm el-Sheikh to counter Iran
23/03/2022 17:34


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”