Archive for March 23, 2012
Three Molotov cocktails were thrown into the grounds of the Iranian Embassy in Ankara on Friday, March 23. Two Iranian suspects allegedly threw the Molotov cocktails in the morning hours, causing a fire to start in the embassy’s front yard. The fire was soon put out by officials. The suspects in custody attacked the embassy after being reportedly subjected to slow bureaucratic processes at the mission.
Canada has closed its embassy in Mali, following a military coup that has plunged the West African country into chaos and violence. “The embassy in Bamako will be closed until further notice,” Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter. The department is warning Canadians in Mali – especially those in the capital Bamako – to hunker down and stay safe. “Those located in the Bamako affected neighbourhoods are advised to remain where they are,” the department tweeted. “Canadians in Bamako are advised to minimize their movements and stay away from the airport until further notice.” Barricades of burning tires have been lit in the streets of the capital, and gunfire was heard as soldiers raced through the streets in trucks, according to the BBC. Injuries have been reported. The Department of Foreign Affairs is urging Canadians in Mali to avoid all travel to Bamako, and to contact the embassy or consular services in Ottawa. “Canadians in Mali who are not yet registered with our embassy in Bamako should do so now,” the department said via Twitter. “Canadians in Mali requiring emergency assistance – contact us at 613-944-2471 or sosinternational.gc.ca.”
Foreign Minister Bob Carr has spoken out against an anti-gay law passed in St Petersburg, Russia last month which will see people fined for speaking out about LGBTI issues. The Australian Embassy in Russia first raised its concerns with the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg in February and then again in March, once the legislation had been passed. Carr said the Australian Government is concerned about potential breaches of the human rights of LGBTI people in Russia. “That is why we asked St Petersburg authorities to consider carefully the implications of this legislation, both when it was before the legislative assembly and after it was passed, and reminded them of international norms which preclude unreasonable restrictions on rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” he said. “I have been advised by our Embassy that the legislation could result in the censoring of public information on sexual orientation or gender identity. It risks reinforcing prejudice and discrimination. “It would be a matter for concern if this legislation were used to impinge on the human rights of Russia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities,” he said. St Petersburg’s legislature passed its ‘gay propaganda’ law last month. The law stipulates “public activities promoting homosexuality (sodomy and lesbianism), bisexualism and transgender identity” as well as paedophilia among minors fall under the definition of propaganda. Fines range from approximately $16,000 for individuals deemed to be ‘promoting’ homosexuality, to $160,000 for legal entities. Vitaly V Milonov, who drafted the law and has previously referred to gay people as “perverts,” accused gay rights activists of waging an aggressive campaign of conversion among Russia’s children with the backing of Western governments. St Petersburg is one of three Russian cities to have passed similar laws banning the promotion of gay and trans identities among minors.