Maldives gets Amal Clooney to fight for Rohingya at UN court

Amal Clooney successfully represented former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed and secured a UN decision that his 2015 jailing for 13 years was illegal. (File/AFP)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Maldives gets Amal Clooney to fight for Rohingya at UN court

  • The Maldivian government said Wednesday it will formally join the mainly Muslim African state of The Gambia in challenging Myanmar’s 2017 military crackdown
  • Thousands are suspected to have been killed in the Rohingya crackdown and refugees brought widespread reports of rape and arson

COLOMBO: The luxury tourist destination of the Maldives has hired prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney to represent it at the UN’s highest court in seeking justice for Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims.
The Maldivian government said Wednesday it will formally join the mainly Muslim African state of The Gambia in challenging Myanmar’s 2017 military crackdown that sent around 740,000 Rohingya fleeing into neighboring Bangladesh.
In a unanimous ruling last month, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Buddhist-majority Myanmar to implement emergency measures to prevent the genocide of Rohingya — pending a full case that could take years.
Clooney successfully represented former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed and secured a UN decision that his 2015 jailing for 13 years was illegal.
With the fall of strongman president Abdulla Yameen in 2018, Nasheed as well as several other dissidents in the Sunni Muslim nation of 340,000 have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Nasheed is currently the atoll nation’s speaker in the national legislature.
The government said it welcomed the ICJ’s decision to order provisional measures to secure the rights of victims in Myanmar and prevent the destruction of evidence in the ongoing case.
“Accountability for genocide in Myanmar is long overdue and I look forward to working on this important effort to seek judicial remedies for Rohingya survivors,” Clooney was quoted as saying by the Maldivian government.
Thousands are suspected to have been killed in the Rohingya crackdown and refugees brought widespread reports of rape and arson by Myanmar’s military and local Buddhist militias.


UK testing ibuprofen as coronavirus treatment

Updated 04 June 2020

UK testing ibuprofen as coronavirus treatment

  • Anti-inflammatory properties of the drug could treat breathing difficulties

LONDON: Scientists in London are running a drugs trial to test if ibuprofen is an effective treatment for hospital patients with COVID-19.

The teams at Guy’s and St. Thomas’s hospital and researchers from King’s College London believe that the anti-inflammatory properties of the drug could treat breathing difficulties.

Struggling with breathing, and the demand on ventilators in intensive care units, have been two major challenges regarding COVID-19. Researchers hope that the low-cost painkiller could reduce the reliance on ventilators.

The trial, called Liberate, will treat half the patients with ibuprofen on top of their usual care. The researchers will use a special formulation of ibuprofen that some people already take for arthritis.

Previous studies in animals have shown that it might treat acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is one of the complications caused by severe COVID-19 infections.

Prof. Mitul Mehta from the King’s College London team said: “We need to do a trial to show that the evidence actually matches what we expect to happen.”

At the onset of the pandemic, there were concerns that ibuprofen would aggravate the infection, with French Health Minister Oliver Veran advising patients to take paracetamol instead.