ICYMI | #153

Israel ignores ICJ | Ghana passes anti-LGBTQ+ bill | Iran's 'sham' election

By Staff

Our weekly roundup of stories you may have missed.

Israeli forces kill hundreds awaiting aid convoy

More than 100 Palestinians were killed and a further 750 wounded last week when Israeli forces fired at a crowd of Palestinians gathering around an aid convoy (pictured). 26 February marked one month since the ICJ demanded that Israel to do everything in its power to ‘prevent genocide’ in Gaza – and the deadline for Israel to submit its report to the court. Human Rights Watch accused Israel of completely ignoring the ICJ by continuing to kill Palestinians, blocking aid and giving officials free reign to incite war crimes. 

Also at the ICJ, Nicaragua has accused Germany of facilitating genocide and called on the court to demand that Germany stop exporting arms to Israel.

New York Times faces scandal over 7 October reporting

The New York Times has come under fire for a heavily criticised report which claimed that Hamas systematically weaponised sexual violence on 7 October. Co-written by Anat Schwartz, a filmmaker and former member of the Israeli airforce with a history of anti-Palestinian hate speech, the piece has been refuted for relying on unsubstantiated claims and sources. NYT podcast ‘The Daily’ attempted to turn the article into an episode, but it didn’t manage to get through a fact check, the Intercept reports.

Ghana anti-LGBTQI+ bill passes

Ghana’s parliament has put one of the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ+ bills into effect. Once signed by President Nana Akufo-Addo, the bill will make identifying as LGBTQ+ and supporting LGBTQ+ rights punishable by up to 5 years in prison. The Christian majority of the country claims homosexuality is a “foreign concept” when in fact it was homophobia that was first brought to the region by colonial laws. Queer people are subject to widespread discrimination and violence in Ghana, and this bill with further endanger their lives and livelihoods.

Record low turnout in Iran's election

Voter turnout hit a historic low of around 40% in Iran’s parliamentary and religious assembly elections on Friday. Millions chose to boycott the election, the first since the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini and subsequent nationwide uprising, in protest of the regime. The country’s former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, was among those who chose not to vote, while imprisoned activist Narges Mohammadi called the election a ‘sham’. In the capital Tehran as little as 25% of eligible voters took part.

Biden considers extreme measures to stop border crossings

The Biden White House is considering using an executive order to prevent people from claiming asylum after crossing the border from Mexico into the US. An attempt by Biden to prove his ‘tough on migration’ credentials as the US prepares for elections, the move would mirror Donald Trump’s controversial anti-migration legislation that was deemed illegal by courts back in 2018.

Haiti declares state of emergency after mass jailbreak

Violent gang revolts led to two major prison breaks and gunfire at Haiti’s international airport last week, fear rises among the civilian population facing a humanitarian crisis. As security fears rise among a civilian population facing a growing humanitarian crisis, Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a state of emergency and implemented a night-time curfew to regain control. Henry has also been to Kenya to garner international support for the domestic crisis, reaching an agreement last month that will see Kenyan police deployed to Haiti. Although international involvement is meant to support Haiti, many fear that as in the past, UN interventions could further destabilise the country.

Wildfires Central America

Wildfires are wreaking havoc across the Americas, destroying countless hectares of land, damaging wildlife and vegetation, and endangering inhabitants. In early February, at least 131 people died and another 300 were reported missing in Chile’s Valparaíso region due to fires. Made more frequent by the advancing climate crisis, these fires affect indigenous, Afro-indigenous, and economically marginalised communities disproportionately.

Ramadan starts this week

This upcoming Sunday 10 March marks the first day of Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection in Islam. As anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racism is on the rise again, we call on everyone to support their Muslim friends and community who are observing Ramadan until 9 April.