In Russia, President Putin does not tolerate political dissent and curbs free speech and free press. China sends part of its population to re-education camps, where according to reports the inhabitants are being tortured and brainwashed. Arbitrary arrests, torture and executions take place in Iran. In Thailand activists and journalists are being prosecuted for making critical statements about the government and the royal family and in Myanmar the Rohingya have been prosecuted and being murdered for about 70 years, hitting rock bottom in recent years when more than a million Rohingya have been driven out of their own country. Terrible things are happening in the world.
I graduated in law at the University of Amsterdam. One of the LLM degrees I obtained is Public International Law, where I mainly focused on international security issues, humanitarian law and international criminal law. My thesis was about Civil disturbances: The Limits of Legally Invoking a Public Emergency to Derogate from Human Rights, using the 2014 Thai military coup d’état as a case study. At that time I was doing an internship for half a year at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Political and Economic Department at the Dutch embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.
The terrible things that happen in the world do not only happen in the countries that we as travelers vist less often – think of Afghanistan, Somalia or the country where currently one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crisises takes place: Yemen. It happens in the countries where we travelers happily hop around with our backpack filled with joy on our backs and not a care in the world. And sometimes a care is needed – like I mentioned in the about page.
So while here on Along with Annika you will find many stories about the beautiful places that make up our beautiful planet, I will also try to go more in depth regarding human rights violations and international security. Because we travelers are lucky enough that the thing we have to worry most about is whether we have enough blank pages in our passports.
In many places in the world that is quite different…