European Theater

Germany: RAF fugitive remanded in custody

A former member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) arrested in Berlin last week after 30 years on the run has been remanded in custody. Daniela Klette was apprehended following an informant's tip, prosecutors announced Feb. 27 A second suspect was also detained in the operation, although authorities later determined that he is not tied to the group. Popularly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the RAF was founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in the 1970s, and has carried out a series of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, robberies and shoot-outs with the police.

Italy detains rescue ship after confrontation with Libya

At least one person drowned March 2 after a group jumped overboard from a migrant boat as the EU-supported Libyan coast guard fired shots into the water to stop an NGO vessel from carrying out a rescue operation. The rescue vessel Humanity 1 was subsequently seized and ordered detained for 20 days by Italy—over the protests of the German non-governmental organization that operates it, SOS Humanity. Italian authorities invoked the Piantedosi Decree, a new legal provision that imposes a stricter set of requirements for charities that rescue migrants at sea, with potential penalties of stiff fines and impoundment of ships. The Humanity 1 is currently being held at Crotone, a port in Italy's southern region of Calabria.

Polish farmers clash with police

Polish farmers clashed with police on March 6 during a mobilization on Warsaw, part of ongoing protests over increasing economic pressures on the agricultural industry. Warsaw police stated on X (formerly Twitter) that they arrested 55 people in connection with the protest, and that 13 officers were injured in the clashes. Police described the protesters' behavior toward officers as "provocative." In contrast, the Rural Solidarity trade union, representing the farmers, described the police behavior as "provocative." Rural Solidarity said the protest was "successful" and "peaceful" until the police arrived to break up the demonstration. 

ICC issues warrants for Russian military commanders

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 5 issued arrest warrants for two high-ranking Russian military commanders, finding there were "reasonable grounds" to believe they committed war crimes in the context of Moscow's ongoing war on Ukraine. According to a Court announcement, Sergei Kobylash, a lieutenant general in the Russian armed forces, and Viktor Sokolov, a navy admiral, are accused of having ordered attacks on "civilian objects" and of having caused excessive "incidental civilian harm," in violation of Article 8 of the Rome Statute.

Ukraine accuses Russia of using chemical weapons

The Public Relations Service of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine accused Russia on Feb. 9 of using chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict, with a staggering total of 815 recorded attacks since the commencement of the large-scale war.

Antifa march against Budapest Nazi-nostalgia fest

Anti-fascist protestors marched in Budapest on Feb. 10 in response to a previously banned right-wing gathering to commemorate the so-called "Day of Honor." Activists travelled from across Europe to take part. The dueling rallies came amid diplomatic tensions between Budapest and Rome, as an Italian anti-fascist activist remains imprisoned in Hungary.

Dozens detained at Moscow anti-mobilization protest

Russian law enforcement detained at least two dozen people Feb. 3 at a protest in Moscow, as wives and relatives of service members fighting in Ukraine advocated for their return. Reportedly, those arrested were primarily journalists covering the protest and human rights monitors rather than participants in the demonstration.

ICJ issues mixed ruling in Ukraine case against Russia

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Jan. 31 that Russia failed to investigate Ukrainian claims that Russian nationals finance terrorism in Ukraine, in violation of its obligations under Article 9 of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT). The ruling's press release states that the ICJ otherwise rejected requests by Ukraine for a plethora of provisional measures. Ukraine had requested the ICJ declare Russia in violation of both the ICSFT and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), seeking a court order demanding Russia comply with its obligations under these conventions. Ukraine also requested that the ICJ order Russia to prosecute certain officials, such as the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, and further requested reparations for civilian shelling.

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