On April 24, 2017, Serdar Kuni, a 45-year-old Kurdish doctor accused of providing medical aid to Kurdish rebels, stood in a courtroom in Sirnak in southeastern Turkey. The courtroom overlooked buildings reduced to rubble and a deserted mosque with broken windows. Police posts, circled with barbed wire fences, had sprung up every few hundred yards. A Turkish flag flew on a hill above the town, staking out its territory after more than a year of intense fighting with Kurdish rebels seeking autonomy from Turkish rule.
Dr. B.K. was performing her rounds at Cizre State Hospital when she heard the sound of gunshots.
“The nurses from the first floor came rushing through the door saying that security forces were downstairs,” she said. “We could hear gunfire on the roof, as well as from the first floor. We moved all the patients into the corridors, away from the windows and tried to use shelving units as shields. The hospital was under attack for the whole night.”
n July 8, three young men huddled inside a wooden hut near Bundoora village in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, bracing for an attack by a team of Indian special operations forces. The state is the subject of a long-running territorial dispute with neighboring Pakistan, which has, in turn, birthed a local independence movement that at times erupts into violence.
n February 9, police in New Delhi arrested a student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) named Kanhaiya Kumar. They charged him with sedition under a law that dates back to the British Raj and carries a mandatory prison sentence of three years to life. A week later, a former Delhi university lecturer, S.A.R. Geelani, was arrested on the same charge. On February 24, police picked up two more students. Their crimes: also sedition.
Nearly two years ago, Ukraine’s winter of revolution was melting into an unsteady spring.
As the Ukraine crisis moved into 2015, the Early Warning Project put the formerly stable country in the top 20 on its at-risk countries list. The Project identifies countries at risk of new mass atrocities, in particular government violence against its own people. The Project’s hypothesis is that mass atrocities – namely mass killing of civilians – can be detected early, and policy makers can act to save lives. An outbreak of armed conflict in 2014 catapulted Ukraine into the Project’s ranks of countries most at risk of perpetrating a mass killing against its own citizens.
The Indian armed forces enjoy high levels of support at home. Indians regularly speak of their army in glowing terms and express pride in their efforts to secure India and contribute to international peacekeeping efforts through the United Nations. While the Indian public and media often take other state agencies like the police, judiciary and the bureaucracy to task for alleged corruption, mismanagement or heavy-handedness, the army is seldom publicly criticised. The US army has similar support from its citizens, with 9 out of 10 Americansinterviewed in a recent CNN survey expressing pride in the US military.