Human Rights Updates 10


Boat with 750 migrants sunk south of the Greek coast

Only around 100 people have been rescued after a fishing boat carrying migrants sank off the southern coast of Greece. The vessel sank in international waters southwest of the town of Pylos. The incident is one of the worst disasters on the central Mediterranean migration route, which is known as the world’s deadliest. Greek authorities cannot confirm the exact number of people on board, but reports say there could be around 700 to 750. Thousands of Greek citizens, unhappy with Greece’s migration policy, have taken to the streets to protest for better treatment of incoming migrants.

The European Court of Justice rules that Poland’s judicial reform violates EU law and imposes a fine

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that Poland’s judicial reform violates EU law because it undermines the right to an independent and impartial judiciary. The reform, introduced by Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party, has sparked a dispute with the European Commission. The controversial changes limited the ability of judges to assess compliance with EU law and empowered the Supreme Court’s disciplinary chamber to punish judges. The Court ruled that the chamber was incompatible with EU law and fined Poland up to €1 million a day until it is replaced. Poland now owes €534 million.

The breach of the Kachovka dam on the territory of Russian-controlled Ukraine raises the urgent threat of an environmental catastrophe

A major catastrophe occurred when the Kachovka dam, located in Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine, broke. The dam was built in 1956 as part of the Kachovka hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper River and serves as a key source of water for the Crimean peninsula and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stated that there is currently no imminent danger, it is monitoring the situation closely. The destruction of the Kachovka dam poses a significant threat, endangering the lives of millions of people and potentially leading to an environmental catastrophe of enormous proportions.

France faces fifth day of unrest after deadly police shooting sparks outrage over police brutality

France is experiencing riots for the fifth consecutive day. On 27 June, a 17-year-old man of North African origin was fatally shot by a police officer after disobeying an order to stop his car. The incident sparked riots across France as citizens see an increase in police brutality in the ethnically diverse suburbs of France’s largest cities. On Friday, June 30, the police deployed 45 thousand officers to maintain order. President Macron called the shooting “inexplicable and inexcusable.”

The King of the Netherlands apologised for his historic involvement in slavery and acknowledged the persistence of racism in society

On Saturday, July 1, the King of the Netherlands apologized for the Netherlands’ historic participation in slavery. He apologized during the 160th anniversary of the legal abolition of slavery in the Netherlands and its former colonies. “On this day when we commemorate the Dutch history of slavery, I ask for forgiveness for this crime against humanity,” he said. He also said racism in Dutch society remained a problem and not everyone would support its apology, but ”the chains have indeed been broken”.