World At UN court, Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of ethnic hatred
International Court of Justice Lawsuits May Impact Heritage Protection | Opinion
The potential exists for the ICJ to set a precedent for the protection of cultural heritage. That would constitute a strong statement condemning the destruction of culture as a result of racial hatred and discrimination. The stakes are very high, and many will be watching. It may well be that cultural heritage protection will be the one area where these lawsuits can lead to concrete results in a short amount of time.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Armenia accused neighboring Azerbaijan of systematically promoting ethnic hatred against Armenia citizens, as the two nations that fought a six-week war last year faced off at a U.N. court on Thursday.
Armenian representative Yeghishe Kirakosyan made the accusation as a hearing opened at the International Court of Justice into a request by Armenia for judges to impose urgent interim measures to prevent Azerbaijan breaching an international convention to stamp out ethnic discrimination.
The case stems from longstanding enmity that boiled over into last year's war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that left more than 6,600 people dead. The region is within Azerbaijan but had been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.
California makes ethnic studies a high school requirement
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Along with English, science, math and other graduation requirements, California high school students will have to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday that makes California among the first in the nation to list ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all public high school students. Assemblyman Jose Medina, a Democrat from Riverside who authored the legislation that has been years in the making, called it a huge step for California. “It’s been a long wait,” said Medina.
Kirakosyan said Armenia wasn't asking the court to rule on the root causes of the war, but “seeks to prevent and remedy the cycle of violence and hatred perpetrated against ethnic Armenians."
Lawyers representing Azerbaijan were scheduled to address the court later Thursday. Azerbaijan also has filed a similar case alleging discrimination against its citizens by Armenia and also has requested the world court to impose interim measures. Hearings in the Azerbaijan case are scheduled to start next Monday. Rulings on both requests will likely be issued in coming weeks.
Both nations' cases alleging breaches of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination will likely take years to reach their conclusion at the Hague-based court.
Kosovo police clash with ethnic Serbs during smuggling raids
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo police have clashed with ethnic Serbs in the north during an operation against the smuggling of goods, police and local media reported Wednesday. A police statement said that raids were held in four areas, including northern Mitrovica which is mostly populated by ethnic Serbs. Video footage showed police firing tear gas as Serbs hurled stones and other objects at officers. Serbs also blocked the main road with trucks, the same as last month during a tense situation to do with a spat over vehicle license plates.
Last year’s conflict ended when Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a Russia-brokered cease-fire agreement that granted Azerbaijan control over parts of Nagorno-Karabakh as well as adjacent territories occupied by Armenians.
Armenia says more than 3,700 Armenians and Nagorno-Karabakh residents died in the war. Azerbaijan said it lost 2,900 people.
Kirakosyan told the court that despite the deal that ended last year's conflict, “Azerbaijan continues to espouse and actively promote ethnic hatred against Armenians.”
He said that Azerbaijan has “captured, tortured, and arbitrarily detained numerous members of Armenian armed forces and civilians of ethnic Armenian origin” and “continues to destroy Armenian cultural heritage and religious sites or negate the Armenian character, and the territory’s economic controls.”
Supreme Court (mostly) returns to the courtroom for first time since COVID-19 pandemic began .
The Supreme Court returned for in-person oral argument for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but continued to stream live audio.Seventeen months after the high court convened by telephone for the first time in its 230-year history in response to the pandemic, the justices filed back into the courtroom and their seats as they kick off a new term fraught with controversial issues such as abortion, gun rights, religion and the death penalty.