China is tightening the noose
China’s security law for Hong Kong, which was passed in a second attempt after a first attempt failed in 2003, contains a lot of what a dictatorship needs: the power to take harsh actions against protesters and a focus on “activities supported from abroad” that allegedly want to undermine the government. Of course, every country has the right and even the duty to defend itself against attacks on public security and order, but we should not forget that the People’s Republic of China is still a dictatorship. The security law seems to be aimed much more against enemies inside than outside Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong are justifiably afraid. The West should start thinking now about how it wants to position itself diplomatically on human rights violations there.
Warm greetings from
– Editor Defensio Briefing –
European security policy: US President Donald Trump wants to withdraw some of the US forces from Germany due to the country’s lack of defense spending. But opinions about a possible US troop withdrawal differ. Since the Ramstein base is an important linchpin for the transport of troops and weapons to conflict areas, many see the provision of military bases in such conflicts as unacceptable. Others believe that Putin’s annexation of Crimea, his infiltration of eastern Ukraine, military action in Syria, or cooperation with the Iranian terrorist regime are the new enemy that must be fought.
2.3 billion euros for Syria: The EU and dozens of donor nations have pledged a total of $7.7 billion to help tackle the humanitarian crisis deepening in Syria and neighboring countries hosting millions of Syrian refugees as the coronavirus pandemic and economic crises compound the misery of nearly a decade of civil war. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced that EU institutions would donate 2.3 billion euros for this year and next. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas pledged 1.584 billion euros on Germany’s behalf as he, too, warned that the global pandemic was exacerbating the grim realities of life in war-shattered Syria.
Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump: Iran has issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump over the drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in January, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Monday. Trump is one of 36 people Iran has issued arrest warrants for in relation to the death of General Qasem Soleimani, according to Fars, but the Tehran attorney general Ali Alqasi Mehr said Trump was at the top of the list. Mehr claimed Trump would be prosecuted as soon as he stands down presidency after his term ends.
China passes national security law for Hong Kong: China’s top legislative body has unanimously passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, a controversial move that could effectively criminalize most dissent in the city. A final text of the law released on Tuesday reveals Beijing will set up its own national security agency to prosecute cases on Hong Kong soil, but which is not beholden to Hong Kong’s laws. Beijing will also appoint an advisor to supervise the local Hong Kong administration on national security issues. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong said he expects to be targeted under the new law. He has been rallying support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement overseas. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Demosisto party disbanded on Tuesday.
Turkish jets strike Kurdish militant targets: Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militant targets in various regions of northern Iraq on Sunday night in response to an increase in militant attacks on Turkish army bases, Turkey said. A security source told Reuters the warplanes took off from various air bases in Turkey, notably in the southeastern cities of Diyarbakir and Malatya. The Turkish defense ministry subsequently said the air operation targeted the PKK in the region of its stronghold at Qandil, near the Iranian border, as well as the areas of Sinjar, Zap, Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk.
Pakistan: Attack on Karachi stock exchange taz.de
Dam on the Nile: Still no solutions in sight deutschlandfunk.de
Already informed of intelligence reports: US soldiers killed in Afghanistan handelsblatt.com
German military: Employing false patriots? spiegel.de
Racism in the US: Mississippi gets a new flag npr.org
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
106 out of 200 countries worldwide have abolished the death penalty. In the US, death sentences can now be enforced again at the federal level after a 17-year break. The Supreme Court has no objection.
Federal police can return to Berlin: A few weeks ago, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said federal police would no longer be deployed for operations in the German capital due to a new anti-discrimination law. Regional lawmakers in the federal city state of Berlin had approved a plan that bans public officials, including the police, from discriminating against people based on everything from skin color to gender. While the new rules are aimed at curbing racial profiling, police unions warn of a blanket mistrust created by the law. When asked whether extra federal police would be deployed to Berlin, Seehofer said “not for the time being”. Since then, however, Seehofer has met with Berlin Senator Andreas Geisel for a constructive exchange. Geisel reiterated that the law only applies to the police officers of the State of Berlin and not to the federal police officers who are sent to Berlin as support.
spiegel.de, bmi.bund.de, politico.eu
Tensions in Vienna: Austria and Turkey accused each other on Monday of responding inappropriately to clashes between Kurdish and Turkish protesters in Vienna last week. On Wednesday, a brawl broke out after Turks heckled a Kurdish gathering in Vienna, police said. That was followed by clashes on Thursday and Friday between Turkish counter-protesters and about 300 people taking part in a Kurdish demonstration, according to a police count. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry strongly criticised Austria’s handling of the protests, which it blamed on groups linked to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). It accused Austrian security forces of meting out harsh treatment to the Turkish protesters. “Austria’s ambassador to Ankara will be invited to our ministry and informed of our concern,” the ministry said. Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called on Turkey to stop interfering.
“In Yemen, a child experiences more injustice and hardship in a day than most people will experience in their entire lives.”
Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF representative in Yemen.
UN in Libya: Civil war has been raging in Libya since Gaddafi’s fall in 2011. The country is divided, the infrastructure destroyed. The goal of the UN mission UNSMIL, which has been active in Tripoli since 2011, was not to let the country crumble. Human rights expert Salah, Libya expert at the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), believes that the UN has “failed so far”: human trafficking, migrants who live in unity government prisons under inhumane conditions, torture and ill-treatment.