Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 15, 2020

Newsline: U.S. Ambassador Was Under Surveillance In Ukraine

A lawyer for former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is calling for an investigation after materials released Tuesday night as part of the impeachment inquiry suggested she was under surveillance by individuals linked to President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. (https://www.npr.org/2020/01/15/796593183/new-lev-parnas-documents-suggest-u-s-ambassador-was-under-surveillance-in-ukrain) That detail was among a trove of documents provided by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that were made public by the House Intelligence Committee late Tuesday. The House impeached Trump last month for abuse of office and obstruction of Congress, and lawmakers will vote today to send those two articles to the Senate, where a trial is likely to open next week. The records provided by Parnas, who has been indicted in New York for alleged campaign finance violations, add to the evidence already released documenting Giuliani’s efforts to get the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to publicly announce an investigation related to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had ties to a Ukrainian energy company.

Newsline: Rights group denounces Japan envoy for ‘disturbing’ comments on Myanmar Rohingya

Tokyo-based human rights activists on Wednesday decried recent remarks by Japan’s ambassador to Yangon, who told local media he did not think the Myanmar military committed genocide on the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country. Zaw Min Htut, vice president of an advocacy group, Burmese Rohingya Association in Japan, said the ambassador’s remarks were “disturbing”. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-myanmar/rights-group-denounces-japan-envoy-for-disturbing-comments-on-myanmar-rohingya-idUSKBN1ZE0V7) More than 730,000 Rohingya fled the Southeast Asian nation to Bangladesh in 2017 after a military-led crackdown. The United Nations has said the campaign was executed with “genocidal intent” and included mass killings and rape. The military offensive has sparked a series of ongoing legal cases filed in recent months at courts across the globe, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), both based in the Hague.