Thai activist sentenced to four years for 'insulting' the monarchy
Today's news: further tragedy in the escape of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabach, at least 20 dead in the explosion of a fuel depot. 20 years later, there is still no compensation for the Iraqi victims of torture in US prisons, including Abu Grahib. North Korean athletes refuse photos with South Korean rivals at Asian Games. Manila removes in a "special operation" the floating barrier positioned by Beijing in a disputed area of the South China Sea.
A prominent Thai activist and lawyer, famous for his campaign to reform the monarchy, was sentenced today to four years in prison for "insulting" the royal family. In his interventions, particularly in 2020, Arnon Nampa broke a taboo by calling for public debates on the role of the king and always declared himself innocent. The country has one of the most repressive laws for treason.
ARMENIA - AZERBAIJAN
At least 20 people were killed and nearly 300 injured in a powerful explosion at a fuel depot in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, as thousands of Armenians continue their exodus from the separatist enclave which has returned to Azerbaijani control. Meanwhile, 142 people were arrested in the protests in Yerevan in recent days. Demonstrators demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pašinyan for accepting Baku's conditions in the ceasefire.
IRAQ - UNITED STATES
Washington has never compensated - despite promises dating back to the administration of US President George W. Bush - the Iraqi victims of torture at Abu Ghraib and in other prisons in the Arab country under American control. This is denounced in a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, according to which the US wants to shelve the issue, although "the effects of torture are still a daily reality for many Iraqis and their families".
North Korean athletes are the protagonists of a "diplomatic incident" at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. At the awards ceremony, the three shooters, who came second, refused to join their southern rivals in the group photo, winners of the team competition. Furthermore, at the time of the national anthem the trio (Kwon Kwang-il, Pak Myong-won and Songjun Yu) did not turn in the direction of the flags. The attempt of an athlete from the South to greet them was in vain.
The court ordered the transfer of former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday to a prison that has a better facility and is closer to the capital, Islamabad. From the colonial-era prison in the north-western district of Attock, he will move to Adyala prison, in Rawalpindi, where he will have access to bathrooms in his cell, television, books and food delivered by his family.
PHILIPPINES - CHINA
Yesterday afternoon, the Philippines carried out a "special operation" to remove a floating barrier positioned by Beijing in an area disputed with Manila, and strategic for fishing, in the South China Sea. A decision that risks fueling new tensions between the two countries, while the Chinese Foreign Ministry had defended the action taken previously by defining it as a "necessary measure" after the trespassing of a Philippine vessel.
The Russian Minister of Economic Development, Maksim Rešetnikov, proposed to the economic committee of the Federation Council to adopt the "Chinese membrane" model to manage the price of the ruble. This would be a "control zone" between the external and internal markets concerning the national currency, to be agreed with the Central Bank.
The Council of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan has introduced a ban on the export of wheat and cereal mixtures, including corn flour, for the next six months. The objective is to guarantee food safety and the stability of market prices of these products, while there is a sudden increase in the prices of imported flour.