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April 2020
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If you stay indoors right now, you are fighting the battle for your country: Pujara        Lockdown challenge: Rai builds muscles to maintain shape for third Olympics        Avolon cancels order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX planes        Stocks fall on Wall Street, heading for another weekly loss        Trump recommends Americans wear face masks, but says he won't        Indonesia covers up to protect orangutans from virus threat        Bangladesh sees highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases, extends shutdown to Apr 11        EC postpones elections to 11 UP Legislative Council seats amid lockdown        Coronavirus: No community transmission in Goa, says CM        Madhya Pradesh: Two senior health officials test positive for Covid-19        COVID-19 death toll nears 100-mark; Govt says no need to panic as 30% infections linked to Tablighi centre        Kerala has been successful in containing outbreak of COVID-19, claims CM        Elderly couple cured of COVID-19, says Kerala CM        COVID-19 death toll in country rises to 62, cases to 2,547        43 more test positive for virus in Mumbai; death toll 19        COVID-19 cases in Delhi mounts to 386; two more deaths: Authorities        COVID-19: Focus shifts to rapid tests in hotspots; Govt says numbers in control sans one ''event''        Rupee slides 53 paise to settle above 76 mark amid meltdown in equities        India-returned SA players are COVID-19 negative, no symptoms in those not tested        No alternative to constant testing to combat COVID-19: Sonia        
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International News
UN experts voice alarm as rights lawyers disappear in China
 
Geneva: A group of independent UN rights experts said on Monday they were "gravely concerned" about the welfare of three human rights lawyers "forcibly disappeared" by Chinese authorities shortly after their arrests last December.

Ding Jiaxi, a prominent Beijing-based disbarred lawyer, previously jailed for protesting against official corruption, and lawyers Zhang Zhongshun and Dai Zhenya have been held since late last year in so-called "residential surveillance in a designated location" (RSDL).

That is a form of extrajudicial detention lasting up to six months where detainees are denied access to lawyers and relatives, and are vulnerable to torture and coercion, according to activists.

The three were among more than a dozen lawyers and activists who were detained or went missing in the final days of 2019 in what rights groups have said was a crackdown on participants of a private democracy gathering.

Five UN experts in areas including freedom of opinion and expression, and torture, as well as the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, warned there were "parallels between this recent crackdown and previous attempts to silence dissenting voices in China".

Nine other lawyers and activists who attended the informal weekend gathering in the city of Xiamen "have also been summoned for questioning or detained in what has been a cross-provincial operation led by a special taskforce of Yantai City police," the experts pointed out.

The experts, who are appointed by the UN but who do not speak on behalf of the body, expressed alarm at the use of RSDL in China, insisting it constituted a form of enforced disappearance.

"It has also unfortunately become common practice for Chinese authorities to provide limited or conflicting information on the victims and the charges they face," they said in a statement.

"The families are often kept in the dark about the well-being of their loved ones."

The experts acknowledged that there are provisions in international law that allow exceptional measures to be taken to protect public order and national security.

But they insisted that "enforced disappearance is a grave and flagrant violation of human rights and is unacceptable in all circumstances".

"We are dismayed that national security provisions are used to target human rights defenders who meet peacefully and exercise their right to free speech, even if such speech is critical of the state," they said.

The experts also cautioned that the arrest and detention of the three lawyers could have a "chilling effect" on the defence of human rights in China.

"When the authorities in any country systemically charge human rights defenders with 'subversion of state power' or other terror-related charges without clearly communicating the factual basis for such accusations, we worry that these defenders are just being persecuted for the exercise of their most basic human rights," they said.

Earlier this month, activists revealed that Xu Zhiyong, an outspoken Chinese rights activist who called for President Xi Jinping to step down over the coronavirus outbreak, had been charged with "inciting state subversion" and had been placed in RSDL since mid-February.


Trump recommends Americans wear face masks, but says he won't
Indonesia covers up to protect orangutans from virus threat
Bangladesh sees highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases, extends shutdown to Apr 11
US wages all-out war to defeat "horrible" coronavirus: says Trump, as death toll crosses 5,000
Face mask not enough to protect from coronavirus: WH
Pompeo and Jaishankar discuss coordinated approach to COVID-19
US virus deaths pass 4,000: Johns Hopkins
Italy mourns its virus dead at end of fateful month
US virus death toll exceeds official China tally
Israeli PM enters quarantine after aide tested positive for coronavirus
Coronavirus deaths top 35,000 worldwide, most in Europe: AFP tally
Spain coronavirus outbreak ''close to peaking'': official
Virus infections top 600,000 globally with long fight ahead
US confirmed coronavirus cases cross 100,000: Tracker
Xi offers help to Trump to combat COVID-19; says infectious diseases recognise no border or race
UK PM Johnson tests positive for coronavirus, has mild symptoms
Germany ramps up coronavirus tests to 500,000 a week
Coronavirus crisis: Xi praises WHO''s role after Trump accuses health agency of siding with Beijing
Virus briefings are the new campaign rallies for Trump
Pak suspends domestic flights as coronavirus cases rise to 990
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
My whole life has been a miracle: Rajinikanth
 Mumbai: From starting out as a bus conductor to becoming one of the biggest stars of the: country,  
'Game of Thrones' star Indira Varma tests positive for coronavirus
Coronavirus: Release of Ranveer Singh-starrer '83' put on hold
'Joker' earns Joaquin Phoenix his maiden Oscar
KERALA NEWS
Kerala has been successful in containing outbreak of COVID-19, claims CM
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said the State has been success
Elderly couple cured of COVID-19, says Kerala CM
32 new cases in Kerala, Elderly couple cured of virus
Covid-19: Punishment by police in Kannur for violating lockdown turns into row
NATIONAL NEWS
EC postpones elections to 11 UP Legislative Council seats amid lockdown
 Lucknow, Apr 4 (PTI) The Election Commission has postponed the elections to 11 Uttar Pradesh Legisla
Coronavirus: No community transmission in Goa, says CM
Madhya Pradesh: Two senior health officials test positive for Covid-19
43 more test positive for virus in Mumbai; death toll 19
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