TIME The Philippines

Philippine Transgender Murder Becomes a Rallying Point for LGBT Rights

A Filipino activist holds flowers and a slogan during prayers in suburban Quezon city, Philippines on Thursday Oct. 23, 2014, to call for justice for the killing of Filipino transgender Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude. Aaron Favila—AP

Activists say the death of Jennifer Laude highlights the vulnerable position of trans people in the Philippines

The burial of transgender woman Jennifer Laude has sparked a “National Day of Outrage” in the Philippines, with LGBT organizations staging candlelight vigils across the country on Friday.

A U.S. Marine has been accused of her killing.

“We will deliver messages of solidarity and push for justice,” says Charlese Saballe, chairwoman of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP). “The media attention to Jennifer’s case means a slow movement toward bringing transgender issues to the mainstream.”

Following Laude’s Oct. 11 murder, media have mostly focused on the fact that suspect Joseph Scott Pemberton has been held under U.S. guard, under a defense agreement between the two countries. Loud criticism has been raised over the agreement, with protesters attempting to carry a mock coffin to the U.S. embassy in Manila on Friday.

However, as Steven Rood, the Asia Foundation’s representative in the Philippines, points out, much of that will blow over.

“There’s the sensitivity of not treating Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country,” he says. “But the backdrop is that the average Filipino citizen is very much in favor of having U.S. troops here. This doesn’t threaten U.S.-Filipino relations; the strategic benefits for the alliance will override this specific issue.”

Rather, some people hope that the strong bilateral connection between the two countries could impact the LGBT rights struggle in the Philippines. LGBT groups have participated in several protests outside the U.S. embassy in Manila and at vigils in the U.S.

“If media and other groups in the U.S. frame [Laude’s murder] as a hate crime and focuses on transgender rights, it might trickle down to people in society here and affect how they treat transgender and LGBT people,” says Saballe.

While visible, LGBT people in the Philippines lack anti-discriminatory legislation and the legal recognition of transgender available in many other countries, including the U.S.

“[Seen] with American eyes, the position of the LGBT community in the Philippines is an unusual one,” says Rood. “It’s a normal part of the Filipino community, but the violence they may be subjected to has not been very visible. This will certainly be a rallying cry.”

Saballe, whose organization also monitors violence against LGBT people in the Philippines, stresses that the community is “not really accepted in society.” She adds, “Only days after Jennifer was killed, two other trans women were murdered.”

Friday’s protest action is being held simultaneously in four cities in the Philippines, with a solidarity event also arranged in the Netherlands and a discussion forum in Thailand.

TIME The Philippines

Witness Says Suspect U.S. Marine Didn’t Know Murdered Filipina Was Transgender

A primary witness in the high-profile murder case gave testimony to a Philippine Senate hearing today

A friend of murdered Filipina Jennifer Laude testified that the American suspect, who went out with the two of them on the night of the crime, didn’t know that they were transgender.

Mark Clarence Gelviro made her statement during a Philippine Senate hearing Wednesday and also identified U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton in a photo lineup, reports online news portal InterAksyon.

Pemberton allegedly met Laude and Gelviro on Oct. 11 at a bar in Subic Bay, a port that often hosts U.S. warships. He was visiting for a joint military exercise involving 4,000 American soldiers and sailors. Gelviro claimed to the hearing that Pemberton was drunk but friendly, and that he “thought we were real women.”

The three of them then allegedly went to a motel in nearby Olongapo City, where Gelviro said she left the two others alone in a room. Gelviro claims that, a little while later, the motel cashier notified her that Pemberton had left and that Laude was unconscious in the room, her head submerged in the toilet bowl.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who chaired the hearing, later said she considered the evidence against the suspect “damning,” reports the Philippine Star.

The now almost two-week-old case has stoked massive criticism over a bilateral agreement that allows the U.S. to keep custody of military personnel accused of committing crimes on Philippine soil. Pemberton was transferred Wednesday to a Philippine military base, but is still being guarded by American servicemen.

“We have our own guards, and yet they don’t seem to trust them,” said Defensor Santiago according to Asia One. “And we’re in our own country, not America.”

Philippine President Benigno Aquino rebutted claims that local authorities were going too easy on the suspect at a foreign correspondent’s forum in Pasig City on Wednesday.

“He is not being treated with kid gloves,” Aquino said, “and the Americans, may I reiterate, are conforming to the [Visiting Forces Agreement under which] they have to make this person and others available for both the investigative and the judicial processes that are forthcoming.”

Meanwhile, Jennifer Laude’s sister Michelle testified to the panel that the victim was not a sex worker. During the year leading up to her murder, she had barely been outside the house, Michelle said, claiming that Jennifer was subsisting on a monthly allowance from her fiancé.

Read next: Laverne Cox Talks to TIME About the Transgender Movement

TIME sweden

Sweden’s Military Scours for Possible Russian Submarine in Its Waters

Swedish corvette HMS Visby patrols the Stockholm Archipelago October 19 2014, searching for what the military says is a foreign threat in the waters. Marko Savala—TT News Agency/Reuters

A man-made object has been spotted deep inside the Stockholm archipelago, and encrypted communication with Kaliningrad intercepted

A large military operation is under way in waters off Stockholm to sweep for a “foreign underwater activity” widely speculated to be a damaged Russian submarine, in what could be the gravest violation of Sweden’s maritime sovereignty since the Cold War.

The intelligence operation, involving helicopters, minesweepers, corvettes, fast-attack crafts, a submarine and 200 service personnel, started on Friday, after a “man-made device” was sighted deep inside the Stockholm archipelago and encrypted radio communication was intercepted between that position and Kaliningrad — the base of Russia’s Baltic Sea fleet.

Sweden’s military said Sunday it had made a total of three credible sightings within two days and released an image taken by a passerby showing a partially submerged object, but has yet to comment on whether it is a Russian submarine. A suspicious black-clad man was also photographed wading in the waters outside the island of Sandön. On Oct. 2, a navy ship collided with an object in the vicinity, which some believe could have been a submersible that has since fallen into distress.

Intelligence expert Joakim von Braun told the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter that the spotted object could be an advanced mini submarine of the model Triton-NN, and that the stranded crew could have hidden themselves on one of the many nearby islands while waiting to be picked up.

“It could very well be the case that a Swedish sleeper agent is activated since the embassy personnel is too monitored to carry out such a mission,” he said.

Russia has recently been increasingly bullish against its Baltic and Nordic neighbors, prompting some to speculate that they are trying to discourage these countries from deeper cooperation with NATO. In September, Russian fighter jets reportedly violated Swedish airspace, and Finland claims that the Russian navy harassed one of its environmental research ships in international waters last week.

However, maritime incursions have not been apparent since the 1980s, when Sweden’s military was frequently scrambled to investigate, and sometimes hunt, suspected Russian submarines in its waters. International law allows warships to cross maritime borders, while submarines may only do so while surfaced unless previous notification has been given.

Tomas Ries, a researcher at the Swedish National Defense College, says it would be a serious violation if a Russian submarine were located this far into Swedish waters.

“When the Russians violate airspace it’s a political signal, when they practice strategic bomb attacks it’s a political signal,” he told the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.

“But if they are going on like this in Swedish waters it suggests that they are preparing something,” he adds, suggesting perhaps mines or reconnaissance equipment. Alternatively, says Ries, they may have “left something there during the Cold War that they want to update,” describing all explanations as “severe.”

An unnamed Kremlin military source apparently denied that the mystery craft was Russian when speaking to state-backed news agency RT. “No extraordinary, let alone emergency situations have happened to Russian military vessels,” said the source.

TIME Hong Kong

Fresh Clashes in Hong Kong As Thousands Take to the Streets

Protesters recapture Mong Kok occupation site

Thousands of people in Hong Kong recaptured a protest site Friday night that was cleared by police just a few hours before, in a show of force by the almost three-week-old movement demanding greater democratic rights.

Hundreds of police officers attempted to keep the boiling crowds in the Mong Kok area at bay, many times with the use of batons and pepper spray, but to no avail. Around midnight, a canopy of umbrellas—an icon for the protest movement—triumphantly started moving down the thoroughfare of Nathan Road, trailing scores of retreating police officers.

“This sends the message that we can’t be suppressed or bullied, we will fight back,” said 17-year-old high school student Joel Christian Banerjee Dilan on the front line. “We’re not scared anymore.”

Since Sept. 28, protesters have occupied three areas of Hong Kong with the help of roadblocks and camping sites. They’re demanding the right for citizens to nominate their political leaders, but have so far received no concessions from the government. As their numbers started dwindling over the past week, authorities grew emboldened and became more aggressive trying to clear the protesters. But scenes of police violence have incensed the population, and boosted support for the protesters’ cause.

On Friday morning, police expeditiously tore down the barricades and tents of the Mong Kok protest site, leading to a call on social media to recapture the lost ground in the evening. As thousands of people bore down on the neighborhood, some cited anger with the police force as one of the main reasons they had shown up.

“They’re puppets, scum, they don’t know what they’re doing,” said Peter Ho, a 50-year-old trader.

Joel Christian Banerjee Dilan said not all officers were aggressive, but that the actions of a few were affecting the corps as a group. Ling Cheng, a 26-year-old wedding consultant, said she had never been afraid of the police, even though she always brings her protective goggles to the protests. “But I’m scared of the police now, they’re so rude,” she said.

Others said they were there because of the tactical use of the Mong Kok site.

“If we lose Mong Kok, then all the police can go to [the central site in] Admiralty,” said 26-year-old environmental engineer student Kwong Leong. “Then everything might be lost.”

The evening was fought on several fronts, as both sides tried to gain new ground as well as hold what they had already grabbed. With throngs of increasingly frustrated people spilling into alleyways adjoining the central boulevards, it was often a losing battle for the police. At the front line on Nathan Road, they whacked indiscriminately at the wall of umbrellas poking in their direction, dousing it with pepper spray—but had no alternative other than to fall back when protesters poured in from their sides.

Scuffles and heckling continued well into the first hours of Saturday on the fringes of the protest, with incidents involving police officers in riot gear drawing scattered roars from around the neighborhood. Some were busying themselves with erecting new barricades. Inside, on the newly occupied swathe of asphalt, several sleeping mats had already been carried in, aiding protesters to a moment of rest after several hours of tense altercations.

Police officers also took turns sitting down and having something to eat, the two groups curiously at ease in each others vicinity once not pitted eye-to-eye on a front line. It’s a few moments of well-deserved comfort, seeing that clashes erupt with increasing regularity.

Calvin Chung, 25, was busy raising a tent, even though he professed to not knowing how. “I’m a little bit afraid of violence during the night, but I get my courage from the people. You see,” he gestured around him.“I’m not alone.”

Video by Helen Regan

TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong Braced for More Clashes as Protesters Threaten to Recapture Site

A pro-democracy protester cries in front of a line of policemen on a blocked road, after police removed barricades at Mongkok shopping district in Hong Kong October 17, 2014. Tyrone Siu—Reuters

Battle lines are hardening in an increasingly divided city

Online calls have been issued for barriers to be rebuilt at one of Hong Kong’s main democracy protest sites.

Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers in riot gear raided the site at Mong Kok early Friday morning, clearing barricades and tents, but failing to shift protesters, many of whom refuse to leave the area they have inhabited for the past 18 days.

They continue to block southbound traffic on Nathan Road—the densely populated Kowloon peninsula’s main artery.

Users of a massively popular local Internet forum, the Hong Kong Golden forum, defiantly called for barriers to be rebuilt in Mong Kok on Friday night.

Known as “golden jai” (golden boys), the forum users comprise the more radical arm of the city’s democracy movement, and were believed to be responsible for an attempt to reoccupy a major thoroughfare in the government and financial district on Hong Kong Island on Tuesday.

The ensuing melee on Lung Wo Road became one of the most vicious set pieces of the three-week long protests, with 45 people arrested, and a prominent political activist savagely assaulted by police officers unaware that a television news crew was filming every blow.

Allegations of police brutality and images of wounded protesters have in recent days reignited public support for the movement, which is demanding that the powerful head of the city’s government, known as the Chief Executive, be directly elected from a list of candidates freely put forward by the city’s 3.5 million voters.

The central government in Beijing is insisting that Hong Kong’s leader must be chosen from a small field of candidates screened by a pro-establishment electoral committee.

In a bid to break the deadlock, embattled Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said Thursday he was willing to push ahead with “dialog” with the protesters alongside the restoration of “order in Hong Kong, according to the laws of Hong Kong, as quickly as we can.”

The government scrapped talks with student leaders just a week ago, claiming that dialog was “impossible.”

Its reluctant resumption of negotiations with the same cocksure youths—clad in jeans and t-shirts scrawled with political slogans—is a reflection of the growing impact of the three-week-long protest, which is now the most significant political movement in China since the 1989 Tiananmen occupation in Beijing.

Alex Chow Yong-kang, secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, welcomed the government’s announcement of renewed talks, but told the South China Morning Post that “if [Leung] is offering to talk but at the same time ordering police to clear the scene violently, the people will know how sincere he is.”

The Chief Executive has drawn scorn for his insistence that open nomination of candidates for the 2017 election is not on the table.

“This shows that the Chief Executive doesn’t actually want to discuss anything,” said Kee Ma, a 60-year-old retired pharmacist camping out at the main protest site in Admiralty.

Other protesters are still upset about the heavy-handed police action in the last few days.

“The Chief Executive needs to apologize for police brutality,” said Mars Leung, 20, who, like many at the Admiralty camp, quit his job in order to participate in the protests full-time. “These statements just make people more angry.”

TIME central america

Powerful Earthquake Rocks Central America

One fatality but no major damage reported

A shallow 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador and Nicaragua late Monday, killing one and sending tremors across Central America.

No major damage has been reported and an initial tsunami alert was retracted, Reuters reports. One man was killed by a falling electricity post, according to the mayor of the El Salvadorean city of San Miguel.

The quake happened at a 40-km depth, with the epicenter located 67 km west-southwest of Jiquilillo in Nicaragua and 174 km southeast of El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, the U.S. Geological Survey says.

[Reuters]

TIME Mexico

Mexico Protesters Torch Local Government Headquarters

MEXICO-CRIME-STUDENTS-MISSING-PROTEST
A man stares at the blazing government headquarters in Chilpancingo, in Mexico's Guerrero state, on Oct. 13, 2014, after protesters set it on fire during demonstrations demanding the return of the 43 students still missing since an attack by rogue officers earlier this month Yuri Cortez—AFP/Getty Images

Enraged teachers and students demand the return of 43 students who disappeared after a gang-connected police attack on Sept. 26

Protesters looted and burned part of the government headquarters in Mexico’s Guerrero state during demonstrations demanding the return of 43 students who have been missing since a gang-connected police attack a few weeks ago.

No injuries were reported as the invading group of teachers and students allowed workers to leave before torching the complex, but five teachers and two police officers have been wounded in previous clashes between protesters and police, Agence France-Presse reports.

The 43 students have been missing since municipal police fired at their buses on Sept. 26. Authorities say they are waiting for DNA results from several mass graves that have since been discovered. The city’s mayor, his wife and the police chief have evaded questioning in a case that has enraged the Mexican public and brought tens of thousands on the streets.

“Starting tomorrow [Tuesday], we will increase our actions and radicalize our movement if the governor does not give information about the students’ whereabouts by midnight [Monday],” Ramos Reyes, leader of the CETEG teachers’ union, told AFP.

[AFP]

TIME Hong Kong

Businesses Beginning to Feel the Pinch of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

The Democracy Protest Continues As Student Leaders Set Deadline
Upturned umbrellas sit on metal barriers in front of a Cartier store in the business district of Central in Hong Kong on Sept. 30, 2014 Bloomberg/Getty Images

Demonstrations mar one of the year's peak sales periods

With Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests entering their fifth day, retailers are starting to feel the squeeze on their businesses.

“We’ve lost 20% to 30% of our sales so far this week,” says William Yan, manager at La Suisse Watch Co. in the Causeway Bay shopping district. The area is home to some of the most highly costed shop space in the world — and to several hundred protesters blocking a key intersection. “I hope the protests finish soon,” he says.

Unlike other Occupy protesters around the world, Hong Kong’s demonstrators do not have an antibusiness agenda. Shop windows full of expensive jewelry and cars are left unscathed, and many leave the protest sites during the day to work in their white-collar jobs. Signs everywhere apologize to passersby “for Any Inconvenience” caused by the protests.

At the same time, continued disruption to business runs the risk of alienating large sections of Hong Kong society.

The protests have kicked off during one of the city’s most important shopping periods — the week around China’s Oct. 1 national day, when hundreds of thousands of vacationing mainland Chinese pour over the border.

Travelers from China make up 75% of all visitors to the city, and are known for spending vast amounts on luxury products. The ongoing demonstrations have scared away scores of tourists, and Chinese authorities announced Thursday that group tours to the city had been suspended.

“Many mainland Chinese stay away, and the ones that come are afraid of riots,” says Gary Wan, assistant supervisor at a jewelry store in Causeway Bay.

Other shops, including one selling exclusive Breitling watches, say that they have stayed shuttered for much of the week. A taxi driver says that many of his colleagues have taken days off because they are not able to access the places people want to go to.

In the Tsim Sha Tsui district, Kenny Kiang, a garment-factory owner from Guangdong, is perplexedly beholding a protest site.

“I’m very shocked and disturbed. We didn’t hear anything about this in China” he says, adding that he and his friends may cut their trip short because of the commotion.

Victoria Hui, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, says that a hit on the industries dependent on tourism doesn’t have to be detrimental for the protest movement.

“Many people are already incensed by the effect of mass tourism from the mainland,” she says. “Rents have shot up and many mom-and-pop stores are torn down for the benefit of malls catering to tourists.”

Ruby Chow, a 28-year-old graphic designer who has been a part of the protests since they started last weekend, says that businesses should also take an interest in supporting the protests.

“It’s important to have a media presence and to be seen as friends of the people,” she says.

Some companies have taken the opportunity to show their support. Advertising agencies McCann and Ogilvy have told employees they are allowed to miss work in order to participate in the protests. Local stores have contributed to the massive piles of food, water and necessities piled on the sidewalks on the occupied streets.

Emily Ho, owner of a garment store in Wan Chai, has decorated her mannequins with the yellow ribbons of the democracy movement. She says that she has noted a drop in sales, but feels that the struggle is worth it.

“Democracy is the most important thing right now,” she says. “Hopefully a more open society can lead to better economy in the end too. For now, I support the movement wholeheartedly. If it continues next week, I’ll have to make a new decision then.”

Others appear to have already made up their minds.

Cheung Chi-cheung, a fruit wholesaler, told the South China Morning Post that protesters asked him “to bear with them for the sake of the future.” But, he added, “I am not sure if I can survive this now.”

TIME New Zealand

New Zealand Set to Vote in General Elections Marred by Cybercontroversies

Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald, left, and Kim Dotcom attend a political forum at Town Hall in Auckland, New Zealand Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.
Journalist and author Glenn Greenwald, left, and Kim Dotcom attend a political forum at in Auckland on Sept. 15, 2014 Brett Phibbs—New Zealand Herald/AP

Is the Kiwi nation becoming a bastion of Internet-generation politics?

The climate enveloping New Zealand’s parliamentary elections on Saturday could be branded anything but politics as usual.

The vote marks an end to a campaign season marred by covert Internet bullying, revelations by hackers, and that could see Kim Dotcom, a cyberoutlaw wanted by the FBI, voted into the House of Representatives.

Not even two months ago, incumbent Prime Minister John Key looked set for a comfortable third victory, but then a book release upset the remote island nation’s political equilibrium. In Dirty Politics, investigative journalist Nicky Hager revealed how top members of Key’s cabinet had spread personal information about their opponents to a vitriolic right-wing blogger. Whale Oil, as the blogger is known, then went on to fuel online hatred directed at certain public servants, some of whom ended up receiving death threats from Internet commenters.

Hager claims that the material exposes “the covert attack machine run by the National Party and its allies,” the Guardian reports, and his oeuvre has completely taken over New Zealand’s political discussion ever since. Even though Key was not directly implicated, he’s been widely berated for his feeble response, having deferred sacking those central to the scandal and denouncing Hager as a “screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist.”

Key also lashed out at the fact that Hager’s information was based on personal electronic communications allegedly retrieved by illicit means. “I think there’s a real risk that a hacker, and people with a left-wing agenda, are trying to take an election off New Zealanders,” he said.

That may not necessarily be the case, since Key and his National Party are still looking robust in the polls. Still, there’s a certain sense of the Kiwi elections are taking the shape of a cyberelectoral soap opera.

In the opposite corner stands the 6-ft. 7-in. figure of Kim Dotcom, who made a fortune from his file-sharing website Megaupload, but also drew the ire of the collective Hollywood community and FBI, who wanted him held accountable for infringing on copyright laws. After leading a lavish playboy lifestyle and being the subject of a dramatic 2012 police raid on his estate, German-born Dotcom has turned to politics. The 40-year-old has proclaimed that his Internet Party is the beginning of a global youth movement fighting for expanded freedom and privacy on the web. He is contesting the elections together with the Maori left-wing Mana party, and they look likely to win seats in parliament. Dotcom has also managed to attract international attention to his cause.

On Monday, Dotcom shared an Auckland stage with three other prime U.S. security targets — Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden (the latter two via video link) — for a political forum named “Moment of Truth,” where the trio outlined how Key’s government had worked to implement a mass-surveillance program on its citizens.

Some have tried to downplay both the book release and the forum as spruiking, seeing as both took place so close to the vote. Whale Oil, whose real name is Cameron Slater, is even claiming that Hager’s source is none other than Dotcom himself. However, Hager says he would have “run a mile” if Dotcom had approached him with the leaked material.

“When a source is anonymous, like this person is, it’s possible to imagine all sorts of creepy things about them,” Hager told the Guardian. “But it is an intelligent, thoughtful person, I’m pleased to say — a nonpartisan person who I’m very comfortable working with.”

To date, Dirty Politics is Hager’s best-selling book. It remains to be seen what impact it will have on the elections, and to what extent New Zealand is turning into a bastion of politics for the Internet generation.

More than 3 million registered voters will elect 120 members to New Zealand’s House of Representatives on Saturday, with lawmakers chosen from 71 single-member constituencies and the remainder from party lists.

TIME Ukraine

Moscow Welcomes More Autonomy for Pro-Russian Separatists in Ukraine

Petro Poroshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, talks with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev, Ukraine, on Sept. 10, 2014. Poroshenko promised on that day to introduce to parliament as early as next week a bill that would offer greater autonomy to rebellious regions in the pro-Russia eastern regions, where separatists have been battling government troops for almost five months Andrew Kravchenko—AP

But some Kiev politicians criticize the new legislation as unpatriotic

Russia has welcomed a new Ukrainian law granting autonomy to separatist-held eastern regions as “a step in the right direction,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“We hope that all provisions of the law will be implemented responsibly,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, according to the Journal. Moscow then warned that attempts “to cancel it or change its essence will renew the confrontation in the southeast.”

Ukraine’s parliament passed the legislation on Tuesday, together with a law granting amnesty to many of the pro-Russian rebels involved in the five-month insurgency in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has defended the law, which gives the two regions three years of virtual self-governance, guarantees their right to use the Russian language and grants them increased control over their economies.

However, many politicians in Kiev are unhappy, saying that the move is unpatriotic. Poroshenko’s leading political opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Prime Minister, said she would challenge the new legislation in court.

“It is still not too late to go back to a pro-Ukrainian, patriotic position and veto these two laws,” she said, according to the Journal.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian President is expected to request military and economic assistance from the U.S., as he addresses the Congress and meets with President Barack Obama. The Europe and Central Asia director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Hugh Williamson, has urged the U.S. Administration to press Poroshenko’s government to “meet its obligations to protect all civilians” in return.

“Russia’s role in the conflict is no reason for silence on violations by Ukrainian government forces,” Williamson said in a statement Thursday. “Ukraine’s closest friends have the most effective voices to speak with the Ukrainian leadership about human rights concerns, and the Obama administration shouldn’t miss this opportunity.”

HRW has documented serious violations of international humanitarian and human-rights law during the conflict, in which over 2,000 people were killed and over 3,000 injured.

[WSJ]

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