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Crimes against humanity in Eritrea; Illinois still lacks a budget; activist arrested for “lynching”

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illustration by Sophie Lucido Johnson

illustration by Sophie Lucido Johnson

Activist Sentenced for “Felony Lynching”

Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Richards was sentenced to 90 days in jail for a charge that has historically been known as “felony lynching.” According to police, Richards tried to prevent a woman from being taken into the “lawful custody of a police officer.”  The incident took place at a park in Pasadena, California last year during a peaceful protest for slain teenager Kendrec McDade. An owner of a restaurant near the park told police that an unidentified young black woman did not pay for her meal. Police entered the park and began to arrest a woman, but Richards and others attempted to stop them. Richards was initially charged with inciting a riot, child endangerment, delaying and obstructing peace officers, and felony lynching; by June 1, only the lynching charge had not been dismissed.


Still No Budget for Illinois

Illinois has entered its second fiscal year without a state budget. A continued impasse between the Democratically controlled Legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has left the state without a budget since July 1, adding to an already massive backlog of unpaid bills. As of this publication, Illinois had more than $7 billion in debt. The ongoing gridlock is now seriously threatening the state’s ability to run its prisons and keep its public schools open. The Chicago Tribune reported that some of the unpaid bills are to the FBI, and that the continued failure to pay them may result in a federal intervention.


U.N. Brings Charges Against Eritrea

The United Nations is calling for the leaders of Eritrea to be brought before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The U.N. cited enslavement, wrongful imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, rape, and murder among the wrongdoings and called them a “systematic attack against the country’s civilian population.” These crimes have been committed regularly since 1991, when Presidence Isaias Afwerki came to power. A mass exodus of Eritreans has led to more than 47,000 to apply for asylum in Europe last year.


Sophie Lucido Johnson is the editorial advisor for F, and has written for The Guardian, VICE, Jezebel, The Nation, and others. She makes a ton of pie.
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