Relatives hold portraits of disappeared family members at an event calling for the end of enforced disappearances, killings, and abductions, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 30, 2014. © 2014 Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/ ZUMA Wire/Alamy

Bangladesh: End Disappearances and Secret Detentions

Bangladesh law enforcement authorities have illegally detained hundreds of people since 2013, including scores of opposition activists, and held them in secret detention, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Bangladesh government should immediately stop this widespread practice of enforced disappearances, order prompt, impartial, and independent investigations into these allegations, provide answers …

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The SCO Heads of State Council © Mihail Metzel / Sputnik

Then There Were 8: Eurasian Powerhouse SCO Expands After India & Pakistan Join

India and Pakistan put aside their long-running tensions, as they were officially confirmed as members of the increasingly influential Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), during a summit in Kazakhstan capital Astana. “I thank the SCO for making India a part of this esteemed organization, which now represents 40 percent of humanity and nearly 20 percent of …

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India’s Army Chief Defends Soldier who Used Man as Human Shield Against Stone-Throwers

India’s army chief has defended a soldier who tied a Kashmiri man to his 4x4 to deter stone-throwing demonstrators, claiming that “innovations” are required to fight the “dirty war” in Kashmir. Major Leetul Gogoi tied 26-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar to his jeep last month, using him as a human shield and a warning against stone-throwers. …

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A government troop gestures to people evacuating Marawi city, southern Philippines May 24, 2017. © Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

Social Media Reveals Chaos in Philippines as ISIS Battle Government Forces

Photographs and videos shared across social media platforms are revealing utter chaos in the Philippines city of Marawi as government forces and militants linked to Islamic State battle for control. Marawi, which is colloquially known as the ‘Islamic city’ is the focal point of a dramatic outbreak of violence on the archipelago’s southern island of …

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FILE PHOTO © Erik de Castro / AFP

Philippines Crisis: Martial Law on Mindanao in Face of ISIS-Linked Onslaught

Militants affiliated with Islamic State are vying for control of the city of Marawi in the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte put the island of Mindanao under martial law, ordered in special forces and cut short his state visit to Russia. Islamist-extremist insurgents from the Maute group are engaging government forces in firefights and the area, …

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Indian Police Claim Rats Drank 900,000 Liters of Confiscated Alcohol

Police in the Indian state of Bihar, where alcohol was outlawed last April, have accused rats of decimating the majority of the stash of booze confiscated over the past year – over 40,000 cases, or about 900,000 liters. According to the Hindu newspaper, senior superintendent of police of state capital Patna, Manu Maharaj, was informed …

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China Mimics Central Asian States, Bans Long Beards in Restive Region

Chinese President Xi Jinping called recently for the creation of a “great wall of iron” in an effort to curb extremist violence in China’s troubled far-western province of Xinjiang. Shortly thereafter, the Xinjiang People’s Congress adopted legislation that targets Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, mostly Muslim ethnic minority. The new legislation, which came into effect April 1, …

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Holy Cow! Butchers Face Life Sentence in India for Slaughtering Sacred Animal

Those slaughtering cows now face a life sentence in the Indian state of Gujarat, after lawmakers voted to pass new measures to protect the sacred animal, up from a previous punishment of seven years. The state law is the toughest in the country Under current Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s term as the state’s chief minister, …

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The girl was burned alive in Hariyadhana, India. © Google maps

Young Indian Woman ‘Burned Alive’ for Protesting Cutting of Trees

A woman in her 20s was burnt alive by a group of villagers in northern India for protesting the cutting of trees on her family’s farm to widen a road, according to local reports. The woman, identified in local media as ‘Lalita’, had objected to the trees being cleared in the village of Hariyadhana, in …

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