Group urges UN to probe Sudan’s use of force in protests

The government’s latest tally stands at 30 killed, but figures have not been updated in days. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019
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Group urges UN to probe Sudan’s use of force in protests

  • The group says it obtained video footage that shows “government forces’ extreme violence and shocking abuses against protesters”
  • Activists say at least 57 people have been killed in the protests

CAIRO: An international rights group is urging the United Nations to investigate alleged violations by Sudan’s security forces against anti-government protesters.
Sudan has been gripped by nationwide anti-government protests since Dec. 19. The demonstrations were triggered by rising prices and shortages but quickly turned to calls for autocratic President Omar Al-Bashir to step down.
Monday’s statement by Human Rights Watch calls on the UN Human Rights Council to respond at its March session to the human rights crisis in Sudan.
The New York-based group says it obtained video footage that shows “government forces’ extreme violence and shocking abuses against protesters.”
Activists say at least 57 people have been killed in the protests. The government’s latest tally stands at 30 killed, but figures have not been updated in days.


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.