01/24/2024, 10.46
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Vietnam: 3-year to life sentences for 100 ethnic minority defendants

Today's news: progress on the ceasefire in Gaza and the release of hostages, but Hamas wants an end to the war; In Islamabad, a Belucian garrison was removed and protesters were booked; As Beijing forges alliances in the Pacific, Taiwan asks Biden to join the US-led 'Indo-Pacific economic framework'; Modi's India expels French journalist Vanessa Dougnac, correspondent of the Catholic newspaper La Croix.


After a trial that lasted just four days, 10 defendants - belonging to ethical minorities - were sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of terrorism for the attacks on the headquarters of two municipalities in the Dak Lak highlands where 30 indigenous tribes have never accepted the Hanoi authorities. In this case, another 90 people were tried and given sentences ranging from three to 20 years in prison. “They didn't produce any evidence, but they condemned them,” said the co-founder of Montagnards Stand for Justice, an organization that defends the religious freedom of ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands.


Israel and Hamas are nearing an agreement on a 30-day ceasefire in Gaza during which Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners will be released. This is as Israel continues its attack on Khan Younis, the main city in southern Gaza. Qatar, the United States and Egypt have been trying to bridge the gap between Israel and the Palestinian militant group since December 28. However, Hamas refuses to move forward with negotiations without a plan to definitively end the war in Gaza.


Baloch protesters, who despite the cold weather had been camping outside the National Press Club (NPC) in Islamabad since December 22, were removed by police from their sit-in on Tuesday. Promoted by the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC), it called for justice for the disappearances and extrajudicial killings taking place in Balochistan. The announcement came the day after the letter written by the journalistic organization to the police asking for its removal. The club's choice was also strongly criticized by the press themselves. Organizers accused police of harassing their supporters and profiling them.


China and Nauru have established diplomatic ties, after the small Pacific island nation unexpectedly severed relations with its now former ally Taiwan, in a move the US described as "unfortunate". The Pacific is increasingly a source of competition for influence between Washington and Beijing, which has “targeted Taiwanese diplomatic allies.” This is also why the new president of Taiwan, Lai Ching-te, today expressed the desire for the island to soon join the "Indo-Pacific economic framework" led by the United States, considering the island's key role in the global economy.


After withdrawing her work permit as a journalist in September 2022, Vanessa Dougnac is about to be expelled from the country. The correspondent of the French newspaper La Croix is preparing to leave India, where she has lived and worked for twenty-three years. "India is my country," she said after the New Delhi authorities gave her fifteen days to leave Indian territory on January 18. Dougnac, which also collaborates with Le Point, Le Temps and Le Soir, is accused of carrying out "harmful and critical activities", which could "create unrest and disturb the peace" in India. Her accusations have already landed journalists and local opponents in prison.


A new bill amending the Code of Criminal Procedure was presented to the Moscow Duma, which allows the property of those guilty of fake news and discrediting the Russian armed forces to be confiscated, announced by speaker Vjačeslav Volodin , underlining the importance of “defending the country's security”.


Malaysia will launch an investigation into cases involving disputed islets in the Singapore Strait. In fact, Malaysia has established, at the request of the government, a commission of inquiry to study the management of cases involving three islands disputed between the two countries in the Singapore Strait.


The Belarusian volunteer battalion "Kastus Kalinovsky", formed in February 2022 to help the Ukrainians defend against the Russian invasion, began a ten-day tour of Europe, presenting itself as a political and not just military force, meeting in Lodz, Poland together with the opposition leader and exile Svetlana Tikhanovskaja and the heads of state of Poland and Lithuania to remember the 1863 uprising against Russia, led by Kalinovsky.

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