Weekly Report: July 14th, 2017

Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters Cambodia July 12th, marked the one year anniversary of the murder of leading political activist and government critic Kem Ley. Colleagues and friends Cambodians held memorial services in Phnom Penh and elsewhere to pay tribute to his courageous investigative journalism and service to truth. Other observers reiterated their concerns about the inadequacy of the criminal investigation and the suspect claims of Oeuth Ang, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murderer, that he acted alone. Phil Robertson, the head of Human Rights Watch- Asia, reports that at least 160 NGO’s from around the globe continue to demand that Cambodia establish an independent and impartial commission of inquiry, in line with the UN Principles of Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extralegal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. In a darkly ironic twist, on the very same date, the Cambodia government issued a new bill which prohibits political parties from being affiliated with convicted criminals, a move many observers have described as another covert attempt to stifle political opposition. Considering that many opposition members and outspoken critics of the government have already been convicted for breaking some of Cambodia´s more recent laws which curtail freedom of expression, the bill will surely impact the leadership of the opposition and its efficacy in the 2018 general election campaign. http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/cambodia-remembers-murdered-government-critic-as-elections-loom/ http://www.jurist.org/paperchase/2017/07/cambodia-passes-bill-to-stifle-government-opposition.php Democratic Republic of the Congo The DRC’s president, Joseph Kabila, might once be trying to prolong his mandate. Although elections were initially announced in December, his electoral commission now mentions that holding the elections in 2017 might “not be possible” due to voter registration, and that voting might be postponed for next...

ABC News: Poland: Protest held of monthly memorial for late president

Read full article here. By the Associated Press. Photo Credits: AP. Hundreds of government critics held a peaceful protest of the monthly observances Poland’s ruling party holds in memory of President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others killed in a 2010 plane crash. The critics say the observances are being used for political purposes by Kaczynski’s twin brother, Jaroslaw, who is the ruling Law and Justice party’s leader. They say that Kaczynski uses his mourning to rally supporters for his policies that threaten...

The Guardian: Arrests and injuries as Hamburg gripped by mass anti-G20 protests.
By Philip Oltermann

Read full article here. Photo credits: Steffi Loos/AFP/Getty. A day of violent clashes between police and protesters culminated on Friday evening with the bizarre spectacle of the heads of the world’s 20 leading economies listening to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy at the top of a shiny high-rise building while police used water cannon, teargas and speed boats to keep at bay an angry crowd of thousands. Germany’s second-largest city had been eager to showcase its recently opened Elbphilharmonie concert hall to the rest of the world, but it may come to rue its ivory-tower symbolism after a week of chaotic scenes on the edges of the conference hall. Rising tensions between protesters and police had escalated with clashes in Hamburg’s historic harbour area on Thursday night, and escalated further when masked anti-capitalist protesters torched cars and smashed shop windows in the Altona district on Friday morning. Masked protesters in black clothes used flares to set fire to at least 20 cars and pelted rocks at the windows of banks and smaller shops as they made their way through Altona and along the Elbchaussee road along the river at about 7.30 am on Friday morning. Many shops and cafes in the area, including a local Ikea, boarded up their windows in anticipation of further rioting.  ...