CANVAS Weekly Update – September 10th, 2021


September 10, 2021

Dear Friends,


CANVAS is delighted to bring you another issue of the weekly report! This week covers the accusations against Nicaragua’s former Vice President Sergio Ramirez, an update on China’s relations with the new Taliban government, and how a fire has revealed systemic problems in Indonesia’s prisons. Enjoy!


Conflict Update:

The prison break of six Palestinian prisoners from a high-security Israeli prison led to the evacuation of 90 Palestinian prisoners out of the Gilboa facility in order for it to be inspected for other escape tunnels. Among the escapees were Zakariya Zubeidi, former Fatah leader in Jenin, and five Palestinian Islamic jihad members.  One of the escapees was held in administrative detention despite not having any charges leveled against him, which is illegal under international law. As part of the effort to recapture the prisoners, Israel has placed 200 additional checkpoints throughout Israel. The city of Jenin has been surrounded by IDF forces, and identification is being regularly checked. At least seven of the relatives of escapees have been arrested by Israeli forces in Jenin. In solidarity with the escapees and imprisoned Palestinians held in Israeli jail, Palestinians held “day of rage” protests. On Friday in Beita, Occupied West Bank, Palestinians protested against the punitive measures Islamic Jihad members are subject to in Israeli jail. One hundred protesters marched through Evyatar, an illegal Israeli settlement, where drones dropped tear gas and IDF soldiers monitored closely. On Friday, there were reported 30 injuries in Beita, and evidence of an ambulance being hit by IDF forces. On Wednesday, 100 people were injured when the IDF fired guns and tear gas to disperse solidarity rallies in cities all over the West Bank. In Ramallah, IDF forces were shot at but sustained no injuries. Reports of cell burnings and prison riots have been made in the last few days as well, leading Israel to send in the Masada Prison unit, known for its severe violent tactics. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad group have threatened violent retaliation if the escapees are harmed.


Coronavirus Update:

On Wednesday, September 8, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called, once again, for well-supplied countries to hold off on offering booster shots until at least the end of the year “to enable every country to vaccinate at least 40% of its population,” he stated during a news conference in Geneva. Tedros’ moratorium comes at a time when several countries like Denmark, Britain, France, Spain, and Greece have started or are considering administering booster shots to vulnerable groups like the elderly and immunocompromised. However, WHO officials insist that there is unclear scientific justification for boosters, and that, from Tedros: “we do not want to see widespread use of boosters for healthy people who are fully vaccinated.” Tedros added that 80 percent of the 5.5 billion vaccines administered worldwide went to high-income countries.  In response to Tedros’ moratorium, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the U.S. has donated and shared around 140 million vaccine doses with over 90 countries. “More,” she said, “than all other countries combined.” Tedros’ sentiments appear to be shared by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) who, prior to the press conference, said “there is no urgent need for the administration of booster doses of vaccines to fully vaccinated individuals in the general population.” Although the ECDPC did acknowledge that additional shots should be considered for people with severely weakened immune systems. Meanwhile, in North Macedonia, a fire at a temporary COVID hospital in North Macedonia has left ten dead. According to a statement by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, the fire broke out on Wednesday evening in Tetovo. Health Minister Venko Filipche said on Twitter that “at the moment, ten people are confirmed to have died, but that number could rise.” According to Tetovo deputy fire chief Saso Trajcevski, speaking to local television: “the fire was huge because the  hospital is modular, there was plastic.” Al Jazeera noted that North Macedonia has a population of about two million, and “its healthcare services are run down,” with COVID-19 cases on the rise since mid-August. Tetovo, with its population of about 50,000, has one of the country’s highest number of coronavirus cases. In other COVID news, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) declared in its weekly news briefing on Wednesday, 8 September that the rate of COVID-19 infections in the Americas have nearly doubled compared to the same time last year. PAHO Director Carissa Etienne added that only 28 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated due to limited vaccine supplies. Etienne also emphasized the issue of maternal health, stating: “most countries in the region have already reported more cases and deaths among pregnant women this year than in all of 2020″. Meanwhile, in the United States, there has been a 4.9 increase in COVID cases per day, at a seven-day average of more than 153,000 new cases daily.



Reportedly, last Saturday in Firozkoh, Taliban fighters executed a female police officer in front of her family. Some claim the woman was also pregnant, however, the Taliban have stated that they had no involvement in the death. On Sunday, the Taliban elaborated on plans for education, stating that segregation based on sex must be enacted, with females being taught by female professors.  On Tuesday in Herat, two demonstrators were killed, and eight injured during an anti-Taliban protest. At the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, protestors called attention to the alleged aid from Islamabad in the recent Taliban assaults on the Panjshir province, which houses the anti-Taliban National Resistance Front (NRF).  On Wednesday, Chinese government officials promised to give 31 million dollars of aid in the form of food supply, vaccine stocks, and medicines to the Taliban government, as a part of the larger covid-19 stockpile reserve for South Asian nations. The same day, dozens of women demonstrated in Kabul, chanting “We want equal rights, we want women in government” in response to the Taliban’s cabinet featuring no women, and the women’s affairs ministry being abolished. In response to the protests, the Taliban sent around 40-50 fighters to follow the protest, where women claim to have been whipped, beaten with electric shock batons, and told to return to their place in the home. While the Taliban have claimed to gain control over the Panjshir valley, the NRF have claimed that they still hold strategic positions in the stronghold. Video evidence of the Taliban capturing positions in Panjshir surfaced, and geolocation backed up the Taliban’s appearance in the Panjshir centre and the provincial capital of the province, with one video depicting armed men on the streets. Another video showed the Taliban flag being raised over the Panjshir Governor’s office. This evidence itself is not proof of a Taliban hold over the entire valley.



Leader Duwa Lashi La of Myanmar’s shadow government, the National Unity Government (NUG), that was formed by opponents of military rule, called for a nationwide uprising against the junta on Tuesday. New protests and violence has flared between the army and ethnic military groups. The shadow government has said it is launching a “people’s defensive war”, suggesting in a speech that they plan to coordinate armed militias and ethnic forces more intensely in the coming weeks. Declaring a state of emergency, Duwa Lashi La called for a “revolt against the rule of the military terrorists led by Min Aung Hlaing in every corner of the country”. Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun dismissed the NUG’s call for revolt, saying “it was an attempt to gain international attention and recognition from the United Nations General Assembly later this month and would not succeed”. In his 14-point speech,  Duwa Lashi La said that “military-appointed administrators should immediately leave your positions”, and calling for allies to attack the military. Following this declaration, Southeast Asian and Western countries have urged all different sides of the conflict in Myanmar to resist violence and instead allow in humanitarian aid. Chris Sidoti of the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar, a panel of international experts, said NUG had reached a line in being frustrated by the junta’s brutality and the inaction by the international community. “Violence is the cause of the suffering of the people of Myanmar, it is not the solution,” Sidoti said. “We empathize with the NUG, but we fear for what will happen as a result of this decision.”


The United States:

Kentucky is set to extend the state of emergency bill until January 2022 as the rising Covid-19 cases broke state records two weeks in a row. President Joe Biden on Thursday outlined new approaches to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Biden plans to focus on six key areas that include requiring all federal employees and government contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and will roll out new guidelines for schools. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are traveling to the Gulf separately on Sunday to talk about prevention of a resurgence of threats from armed groups in Afghanistan and will also see how the failed war in Afghanistan may be reshaping the United States’ relationships in the Middle East. Blinken thanked Qatar’s emir on Monday for Qatar’s extraordinary support in facilitating the safe transit of US citizens, partners, and other Afghans at risk during the US’s chaotic military pullout from Afghanistan. He will be testifying at least twice in Congress next week as lawmakers examine the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as part of the houses’ aggressive investigations. Statue of Civil War General Robert E. Lee, which was the largest remaining Confederate statue in the United States was taken down after the Virginia Supreme Court decided to remove it last week. On Wednesday 8th September, New Orleans lifted its nightly curfew as the city moved closer to regaining full power 10 days after Hurricane IdaHurricane Ida had slammed into the Louisiana coast with 150 mph winds on Aug. 29, causing a death toll of 26 with the additional 11 deaths all occurring in the city of New Orleans as recorded on Wednesday.



On Monday, Cuba became the first country in the world to vaccinate children from the age of two against Covid-19, three days after it started vaccinating children 12 years and older. The Cuban vaccines Abdala and Soberana have completed clinical trials on minors but are yet to undergo international and scientific peer review. The decision comes after Cuba’s plans of inoculating all its children before reopening schools. Cuban authorities will also reopen the country’s borders starting in mid-November with relaxed COVID-related measures at airports, focused on symptomatic patients and taking the temperature. Cuba is aiming to have vaccinated 90 percent of its population by the beginning of the high season for tourism and its borders will start reopening “gradually” on the fifteenth of November. As of today, only 30 percent of the population has been fully immunized. Cuba has just passed legislation treating “misinformation” and online criticism of the Cuban government as “cyberterrorism” after the widespread anti-government protests gripped the nation. Previously, The Daily Wire had reported how Cuba is using Chinese technology to censor its citizens and this law has put down further restrictions on Freedom of voice.



Since 2018, the Ortega-Murillo regime has stripped various non-governmental organizations of their legal status and thus, permission to operate. In the first eight months of 2021, The Confidencial reported that the government has shut down 45 NGOs, targeting medical and women’s organizations in particular, six with links to US and Europe-based organizations like Oxfam. Among the canceled organizations are the Oyanka Association of Jalapa Women against Violence (est. 1993), and the Nicaraguan Network for Democracy and Local Development Federation. According to Amaru Ruiz, coordinator of the latter, in an interview with The Confidencial: “What’s at stake here is the right to receive development aid…Also at stake is the third fundamental pillar of a democratic state, which is civil society.” On why the Ortega-Murillo regime is targeting NGOs, Ruiz replied that “the regime wants to get rid of those who have influence in the outer territories.” The Prosecutor’s office in Nicaragua has issued an arrest and search warrant against former vice president and writer Sergio Ramirez Mercado, for acts that “incite hatred” and for “conspiring” against the nation’s sovereignty. Mercado, who is currently out of the country and has stated he will not return, is also being accused of receiving funds from the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation, which was accused of money laundering. The funds Mercado received were allegedly supposed to finance the foundation’s “Media Program for Nicaragua” project. And yet, the Prosecutor’s Office claimed that the funds were actually used to “provide financing to people and organizations that sought to destabilize the smooth running of the country’s economic and social developments.” In response, Mercado denied these accusations. In a video he posted on Twitter, he stated: “this is not the first time this [sort of accusation] has happened in my life,” referring to the accusations against him leveled by the Somoza family in 1977, “dictatorship lacks imagination and repeat their lies, their fury, their hatred and their whims.” If convicted, Mercado could face up to 15 years in prison. The Confidencial links Mercado’s arrest as part of a larger trend of persecution by Ortega “against opponents and independent professionals.” They cited that 36 people have been arrested on similar charges Mercado is facing, and 31 out of those people have been convicted.



According to a statement by the deputy of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) Andres Flores, Bolivia’s national parliament has scheduled President Anez’s trial for Wednesday, 8 September. He added that the Assembly will address four accusations against the former president, which include an unauthorised loan agreement with the IMF, the Senkata and Sacaba Cases, and the expansion of Fundempresa’s operations. Meanwhile, her social media has shown that President Anez’s daughter, Carolina Ribera, has gone to the United States to meet with the leaders of international organizations about the alleged human rights abuses against her mother. Among said leaders, Pagina Siente reported that Ribera is scheduled to meet the director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Jose Miguel Vivanco. Also with regard to the Senkata Case, former Police Commander General Rodolfo Montero was arrested by order of the Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday, 7 September. According to a statement by Colonel Alberto Aguilar, the National Director of the Bolivian Police (FELCC), Montero is being charged for “genocide, homicide, serious, and minor injuries.” According to Los Tiempos, Montero is purportedly also being investigated for the Sacaba Case of November 15, 2019. In other news, as of Tuesday, September 7, the XI Indigenous March has completed its 13th day of walking. The marchers departed with Beni and are planning to arrive at Santa Cruz on September 24. Several outlets report that the marchers are demanding that the government respect their land and–following confrontation from a group of villages–guarantee them their constitutional right to protest. The marchers are led by the President of the Centre of Indigenous Peoples of Beni (CPIB) Abdon Justiniano. News outlets estimate that there are 120-150 marchers, with more to come as they are expected to be joined by the Chiquitanos Indigenous group later in the march. Among the marchers are children and the elderly.  A press release from the Bolivian Health Ministry confirmed that three variants of the novel coronavirus are circulating in Bolivia: the Mu variant (identified in 12% of the population), Gamma P1 (53%), and Lambda/Andean C37 (18%). The press release is allegedly based off of studies by the INLASA (the National Institute of Health Laboratories), which were supposedly confirmed by “important laboratories in Argentina and Germany.” Meanwhile, as of 7 September 2021, the Health Ministry has reported 403 new cases, 762 recovered patients, and 15 deaths, alongside the 33,025 active cases to date.



Following last week’s plea from the Polish government, Poland has imposed a state of emergency on the Belarus border on the grounds of upcoming Russian-led military exercise and an accusation on Belarus of inducing a surge of migrants in Poland. This law affects the movements in close to 200 towns within a 3km strip along the border and bans any large gathering in that space for 30 days. While Belarus strongly denied the allegations of engineering this migrant influx, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Poland is dealing with a “Wide-ranging political provocation” and that this is not only a diplomatic conflict. Lithuania has also accused President Lukashenko of encouraging the migrant flow in retaliation for EU sanctions and asked fellow EU countries and the bloc’s border agency Frontex for assistance in building a fence along the border with Belarus. On Wednesday, President Lukashenko Submitted a draft law that might freeze the EU refugee accord which obliges Minsk to take back migrants who entered the EU via Belarus but who violated their conditions of stay, entry, or residence. In other news, two leading opposition activists Maria Kolesnikova and Maxim Znak were charged with lengthy prison terms of 11 years and 10 years respectively.



The refusal of macro-financial assistance from the European Union, in the form of 75 million Euros aimed at aiding the country through the pandemic, by Georgia’s government in late August was explained by a high level of economic growth and desire to avoid foreign debt. The deal had a condition of the implementation of several reforms, as well as the agreement  to hold new national elections if the ruling party obtained fewer than 43% of the votes in the local elections. EU issued a statement stating that the Georgian government was actually not eligible for the rest of the aid package as it had “failed to sufficiently address the condition for this macro-financial assistance, and notably, to increase the independence, accountability, and quality of the judicial system”. Georgia has received acknowledgment and praise for its role in providing critical assistance to the US and the Western partners in the evacuation at Kabul’s airport following the crisis with the Taliban takeover. 20 flights have been conducted from Kabul to Tbilisi with approximately 2,500 people having been evacuated. Georgia’s airspace and territory has been used as a transit route from Afghanistan to Europe. Georgian authorities have claimed that they have provided evacuees with medical aid, and food, and have allowed NATO member states to deploy their military and civilian personnel to the airport in Tbilisi. Members of the EU expressed its gratitude to Georgia. Ambassador of Georgia to the EU, Vakhtang Makharoblishvili, told EURACTIV that it was Georgia’s, “moral obligation to stand by our European and American Allies in those difficult times”.



On Wednesday, Hong Kong police arrested four members of a pro-democracy group that organizes the annual memoriam of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. This arrest received criticism from the British foreign minister Dominic Raab. He took twitter to express how this instance is “another chilling demonstration of how the National Security Law is being used by Beijing to dismantle civil society and stifle political dissent in Hong Kong”. The next day police also raided the premises of the closed June 4th Museum, although the reason for the raid remains unclear. China is showing its interest in maintaining communication with the leaders of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, and has also pledged 200 million yuan ($31m, £22m) worth of aid including food supplies and coronavirus vaccines. Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin commented that China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan. On North Korea’s 73rd foundation anniversary President Xi Jinping congratulated leader Kim Jong-un on the vigorous development of the socialist cause and vowed to further develop ties with North Korea. President Xi Jinping is actively moving away from the hands-off approach to reassert the party’s dominance and has created some new rules in shaping the private lives of Chinese citizens. These include rules on after-school classesfan activitiesconsumption of entertainment, and video games. Government has conveyed education officials and elite universities in China to step up ideological education and enforce party discipline on campus.


Hong Kong:

Authorities in Hong Kong raided the Tiananmen massacre museum earlier this week and removed material from the building. This occurred the day after authorities arrested four managers of the museum, who are also members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China civil society group. Under heavy government scrutiny, Hong Kong’s arts institutions have struggled to survive in recent years. The Tiananmen massacre museum was shut down in June just days after hundreds attended a new exhibition. The police investigation had authorities claiming operation without a license. Three days before the shutdown, the museum had hosted a new exhibition that saw attendance in the hundreds. On September 9th, a dozen Hong Kong pro-democracy activists pleaded guilty Thursday to participating in an unauthorized vigil to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The 12 were charged with participating in the unauthorized assembly for last year, with seven of the 12 also charged with inciting others to take part in the assembly. The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) expressed on September 9th its opposition to Western politicians’ remarks regarding affairs in Hong Kong, especially following the arrest of “Hong Kong Alliance” members. The remarks have been called “a gross interference in Hong Kong’s and China’s internal affairs”.



A fire on Wednesday that killed 41 prisoners and injured 80 has highlighted systematic problems in the Indonesian prison system. Authorities investigating the fire found that the fire was started by an electrical short circuit. The fire started in Block C, a cell that primarily houses drug offenders. This block held more than triple the 40 inmates it was built to hold spread across 19 cells. Located in the outskirts of Jakarta, the Tangerang prison was built to hold 900 prisoners; currently the prison has more than 2,000 inmates. Indonesia has struggled with upholding suitable housing for prisoners (various problems include: overcrowding, mass escapes, protest riots, extremism and corruption). According the Indonesia Department of Corrections, since July there were 268,610 inmates in Indonesia’s prison system however the system was only built to accommodate 132,107 people. The government blames drug incarceration for extreme prison overcrowding and therefore has stated that it will change their approach. The head of corrections at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Reynhard Silitonga stated that he wants to look at drug offenders as people who need treatment not incarceration. Silitonga stated that over the next five years if the problem is not address the prisons could reach over 400,000 people. Following a meeting between Indonesia foreign and defense ministers and their Australian counterparts, Indonesia’s foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, urged the Taliban to respect the rights of women. She continued on to encourage the Taliban not to make the land become a breeding ground for extremist activities. The meeting was held to bolster security ties between the two countries. Australia and Indonesia continue to maintain good relations. Australia provided 1 million vaccine doses, 1,000 ventilators and 800 oxygen concentrators to the country. It was revealed the ministers agreed to cooperate on measures such as defense, cybertechnology and countering terrorism and extremism.



​​Protests calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha over the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic have continued in Thailand. The movement has been gaining momentum, especially following the lifting of some lockdown measures earlier this week in Bangkok. The police now regularly deploy rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons laced with burning chemicals. Protesters have been responding with their own arsenals, including flamethrowers and slingshots. Prominent figures in the opposition say that the urge to confront the police during a pandemic is a sign of widespread desperation. “When the government is authoritarian, they think they can censor the media, they think they can stop the people from protesting,” said Rangsiman Rome, an opposition lawmaker. “But people are still coming out to protest every day, demanding change”. Thailand has made plans to reopen Bangkok and other popular cities to foreign tourists next month, with the aim of rejuvenating the country’s prominent travel industry after over a year of economic distress surrounding the loss of income for the sector. Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai will be added to a program in which fully vaccinated and tested visitors who satisfy certain criteria can travel into, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchan. Vaccinations could be an obstacle to an October reopening, however, with only 34% of Bangkok residents fully vaccinated so far, and just 15% of people nationwide given the required two doses.



Fears of further US and EU censures and sanctions in Iran surface in the face of the new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency which claimed that the new government under President Raisi has not allowed for UN inspectors to oversee the nuclear program. Raisi has previously warned that any censures from the EU or US would stop him from allowing Iran to return to the nuclear deal talks with the US. Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh responded to criticism from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain on the lack of transparency of Iranian nuclear methods leading to interventions in other Arab countries by saying that they were accusatory and ultimately, serve Israel. Khatibzadeh has espoused the belief that nuclear achievement is a goal for the Islamic Republic at large in order to protect them from Western and Israeli military.  Part of the Western campaign against Iran has involved the removal of three Iranian applications from the Google Play platform. The Iranian Ministry of Communications spoke out against the “unilateralism of U.S. platforms and the unfair sanctions against the country’s technology and cyberspace”. This practice has been used before in 2017, when Apple removed many Iranian applications due to U.S. sanctions against the state. A report this week from a former Pentagon spokeswomen claimed that following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, former US President Trump coerced the military into minimizing the severe injury toll of the retributive bombing of a U.S. military base in Iraq by the Iranian military.



On Thursday, Iran’s Revolutionary guards utilized drone bombs and heavy artillery to assault Kursdish fighters in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan, part of an ongoing series of attacks involving Iranian military and Iranian Kurdish militant groups who oppose the Iranian government, including the PKK. On Friday, six PKK members were killed in a Turkish airstrike in northern Iraq as a part of Operations Claw-Lightning and Claw-Thunderbolt, a military operation that often crosses the border into northern Iraq to target claimed terrorists. Prior to this attack, on Thursday the Turkish National Intelligence Organization killed three PKK members, claiming they had been planning to attack Turkish security forces. The Turkish Intelligence service did not list the names of the deceased, but claimed they were responsible for PKK activities in Jabal Kara, Qandil Mountain, the PKK stronghold in Iraqi Kurdistan, and YazidiI Sinjar. 



Around three million children under the age of five living in Sudan suffers from acute malnutrition. The Healthy Ministry issued a joint statement with various UN organization stating that the malnutrition rates constitute a “serious public health concern”. This report found many shocking data sets related to children and their health. A studied showed that 36.4 percent of children under-five are stunted (this refers to low height-for age) and 13.6 are wasted (this refers to low weight for height). According to UNICEF, “Stunting rates rise above 30 per cent in 128 out of 188 localities making Sudan one of the 14 countries where 80 per cent of the world’s stunted children live”. As the Health Ministry investigated newborn to five-year old’s, researchers found that only 62 percent of children are exclusively breastfed and only 24 percent receive age-appropriate meals. Due to this report, officials are encouraging COVID-19 isolation centers to provide information about the nutritional needs of children and vaccinate breastfeeding women. On September 8th, Sudan summoned Ethiopia’s ambassador to Khartoum to show him 29 corpses of Ethiopians of the Tigray ethnic group. Tensions have been increasing between Sudan and Ethiopia due to the conflict in northern Tigray region and Ethiopia’s construction of a hydropower dam. Tens of thousands of refugees have fled from Ethiopia to Sudan due to the conflict. On Sunday, Sudanese authorities confiscated a weapons shipment that had arrived by air from Ethiopia. It was confiscated under suspicion the arms would be used as “crimes against the state”



Two Ugandan opposition members of Parliament have been charged with arranging a wave of machete killings in the region of Masaka located in the southern part of Uganda. For two months, gangs have been ruthlessly attacking the area. According to police, they have killed around 30 people in their homes at night; the targets have been mostly elderly people. The MP’s accused are Muhammed Ssegirinya and Allan Sewanyana, both have been indicted on three counts of murder and one at attempted murder. The lawyer’s representing the men stated, “They have denied all charges. This is political persecution by the military regime of (Ugandan President Yoweri) Museveni”. Residents in Masaka have called on their government to take stronger action to stop the gang members. Many elderlies in the region have fled to safer areas like Kampala. Members of the community are calling on the government to, “ensure the protection of the elderly in the countryside, and the people behind the murders must be identified and punished.



In efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, Zimbabwe’s government now demands civil servants to get the vaccine or resign. Currently, the country has 4.4 million people who have received their first dose of a vaccine but 89% still remains unvaccinated. During an interview on a local radio show, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi stated, “If you are employed by the government, for the protection of others and those you serve, get vaccinated”. On September 10th, a Provencial magistrate has discarded an appeal by former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s children to stop the exhumation and reburial of their father. A group of leaders from Zvimba ordered the exhumation and reburial of the late President at the National Heroes Acre. Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until a coup removed him from power in 2017.  In the decision, Magistrate Ruth Moyo explained that the late ex-Presidents children had no locus standi (the right to bring an action to court) to contest the traditional court’s decision.