November 2021: Issue 3

International Human Rights

Global Outcry Against the Arrest of Khurram Parvez

Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez was arrested by the National Investigation Agency for allegedly funding terrorist activities. Parvez is a coordinator of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition Civil Society and is the chairperson of the Asian Federation of the Involuntary Disappearances. Human rights organizations in India and abroad have condemned the government’s action of intimidating and silencing non-violent dissenters. To read more click here, here and here.

Troubling Report of the Human Rights Crisis in Nicaragua

A report submitted to the Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council highlights the dire situation in Nicaragua. The report highlights the role played by the Ortega regime in nullifying democratic functioning by imposing arbitrary restrictions on the opposition thereby falsifying the November election results. The report denounced the Ortega regime for consolidating a dictatorship with no check on its executive powers. To read more click here and here

Trial of Abderraouf Arslane

Abderraouf Arsalane was arrested on 26th May after defending three activists who were jailed earlier in the day, his trial will proceed on 30th November. Algerian authorities claim that Arsalane has ties to an unregistered political movement. Amnesty has stated that the prosecution of Arsalane is intended to instil fear for lawyers in Algeria who wish to defend activists. For more click here and here

Repeal of Farm Laws in India

UN experts welcome the Indian government’s decision to repeal the controversial farm laws that were scheduled for implementation. The proposed farm laws sparked nationwide protests due to the lack of consultation with the relevant stakeholders and its proposal of deregulating the agricultural market. The UN has expressed concern that the laws could potentially affect the right to food and that the government had taken extreme steps to curtail the largely peaceful protests. To read more click here and here.

International Trade

The indefinite postponement of MC 12

The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC 12) which was scheduled to be held on 30th November in Geneva has been postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of the new variant of Covid 19. This marks the second time MC 12 has been postponed due to the pandemic, the first being the original date of June 2020. To read more click here

Draft Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

Ambassador Santiago Willis from Columbia who chaired the negotiations on the fisheries subsidies agreement has submitted a draft report ahead of MC 12. The negotiations are a culmination of 20 years of discussions on the topic and the desire to fulfil its promise to the UN SDG target 14.6. However, several developing countries like India expressed concern that the agreement will place developing countries at a disadvantage. To read more click here, here and here

Turkmenistan Application for WTO Membership

On 24th November, Director-General Okonjo-Iweala received an application from Turkmenistan to join the WTO under Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement. The application was supposed to be scheduled for hearing at MC 12. To read more click here and here

Panel Report on US duties on Spanish Olives

A complaint was filed by the EU when the US imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on ripe olives from Spain. Exports of Spanish Olives fell by 60% after the tariffs were imposed. The panel pointed out the procedural issues in US’s measures and recommended that they bring it into conformity with the GATT, Anti Dumping Agreement and SCM. To read more click here and here.

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