This week around the world: April 15–21

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April 17 Jerusalem

After an essay by prominent Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti was smuggled out of prison and published as an op-ed in the New York Times, 1,000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel joined a prisoner hunger strike already numbering 5,000. Barghouti’s essay criticized what he called Israel’s “judicial apartheid,” and protests supporting the prisoners amassed in both Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

April 18  London, United Kingdom

The U.K.’s next general election will happen this June instead of 2020, following British Parliament’s approval of a plan to pull the election forward announced by Prime Minister Theresa May. Negotiations with the EU concerning Britain’s departure will be effectively suspended as May attempts to establish a stronger mandate for future Brexit talks and citizens and politicians reopen fresh wounds by entering campaign mode once again.

April 19 Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama conceded his re-election bid and thus marked the end of Indonesia’s most contentious and polarizing elections to date. Ahok, who is Christian and ethnically Chinese, was charged for insulting Islam under the country’s 1965 blasphemy law and saw his lead in the polls disintegrate after the circulation of a creatively edited video of his comments during a campaign speech led to mass protests.

April 20 Paris, France

In the heart of Paris a police officer was killed and others seriously injured after a gunman opened fire on the Champs-Élysées avenue before being fatally shot himself. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred just days before the first round of France’s presidential election.

April 21 Washington, D.C.

Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian American humanitarian worker, finally returned to the United States after three years bouncing between a Cairo jail cell and a kangaroo court. Hijazi was acquitted on charges stemming from her arrest during a widespread crackdown in 2014 that swept up many civil society groups. Despite ongoing concerns over human rights violations, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi met with President Trump earlier this month, the first time an Egyptian leader has visited the White House in eight years.

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