Civil Liberties

Turkey’s War on Christian Missionaries

The day after American pastor Andrew Brunson was released from Turkish prison, another Christian who had been living for nearly two decades in the country was detained by Turkish authorities, and told that he had two weeks to leave the country — without his wife and… Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The American-Canadian evangelist, David Byle, not only suffered several detentions and interrogations over the years, but he had been targeted for deportation on three occasions. Each time, he was saved ... Read More »

North Korea defector hack: Personal data of almost 1,000 leaked

Almost 1,000 North Korean defectors have had their personal data leaked after a computer at a South Korean resettlement centre was hacked, the unification ministry said. BBC A personal computer at the state-run centre was found to have been “infected with a malicious code”. The ministry said this is thought to be the first large-scale information leak involving North Korean defectors. The hackers’ identity and the origin of the cyber-attack is not yet confirmed. The North Gyeongsang resettlement centre is ... Read More »

What Populists Do to Democracies

According to our research, populist governments have deepened corruption, eroded individual rights, and inflicted serious damage on democratic institutions. Yascha Mounk Jordan Kyle The Atlantic When Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election in October to the consternation of the country’s traditional political elite, commentators were sharply divided about the implications. Some warned that Bolsonaro, a far-right populist who has openly expressed admiration for the brutal military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985, presented a clear and present threat ... Read More »

2018: The year in figures and charts

BY THE NUMBERS Telling the story of the last 12 months through data. By ARNAU BUSQUETS GUÀRDIA Politico What a tremendous, nebulous year. Very much like last year, 2018 was full of endless Brexit drama. And endless Trump drama. And then there was some more Brexit drama. And some more Trump drama. But hey, other stuff happened too (right?). The French proved that they are still the global champions of street protests, the far right grabbed headlines across the Continent and Angela ... Read More »

Apple reveals scale of government requests for users’ data

National governments demanded access to 163,823 Apple devices in the first half of 2018, according to figures released by the company. Laurence Dodds & Olivia Feld The Sydney Morning Herald The Telegraph, London, with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age The latest Apple transparency report showed that it received 32,342 requests to access the contents of iPhones, iPads and other gadgets, a 9 per cent increase from the second half of 2017. The tech giant, which granted 80 per cent of requests ... Read More »

Reviving Civil Disobedience

Nonviolent but confrontational forms of civil disobedience have a strong track record of success in exposing injustice and countering creeping authoritarianism. Jan-Werner Mueller Project Syndicate But those who embrace this tactic today will have to adapt it to a fractured and polarized public sphere. PRINCETON – With populism and authoritarianism on the rise around the world, there has been considerable talk of “resistance,” especially in the United States. A rather broad term, resistance could refer to everything from supporting opposition ... Read More »

What’s wrong with Huawei, and why are countries banning the Chinese telecommunications firm?

The Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is under scrutiny around the globe over concerns that its close ties with the Chinese government present national security threats to the U.S., Europe and… Authors: The Conversation Huawei, which denies all the allegations against it, is “the world’s biggest supplier of telecoms gear” and has plans to “dominate the market” for the next generation of wireless communications, called 5G. But its hopes are threatened by governments around the world, which are restricting the company’s ... Read More »

North Cyprus journalist takes on Turkey’s mighty Erdogan

“There is always a price you pay for freedom of expression” AFP Arab News NICOSIA: Jail time, angry mobs and assassination attempts — editor Sener Levent has paid a price for challenging Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and authorities in breakaway northern Cyprus through his tiny newspaper. Alongside the stacks of old papers on his desk in northern Nicosia, a luminous screen displays footage from security cameras at his office’s entrances. The cameras are part of protective measures in place ... Read More »

Move to call abortion and assisted suicide ‘human rights’ is ‘evil’, says Princeton professor

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has been accused of elevating individual freedom above moral considerations after recently including abortion and assisted suicide among the… Christian Today The committee’s ‘General Comment’ on the right to life, issued at the end of October, argued for the decriminalisation of abortion and the removal of restrictions that could subject women or… It also put the rights of women and girls seeking an abortion before the rights of medical practitioners with conscientious objections to performing ... Read More »

Assisted dying ‘only option for many with terminal illness’

The introduction of assisted dying in Scotland is coming and is the only way to “relieve the suffering” for many with terminal conditions, MSPs have been told. By SCOTT MACNAB The Scotsman Medical leaders from Canada were in the Scottish Parliament last week to set out how the medical assistance in dying (MAID) system has worked there since being introduced two years ago and how splits in the profession were overcome. Dr Sandy Buchman, president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), ... Read More »

China: Repression of Christian Church Intensifies

Protestant Pastor, Dozens of Congregants Detained (New York) – Chinese authorities should immediately release the pastor and scores of members of an independent Protestant church in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW Authorities should also return church properties and allow the members to resume worship services. On December 9 and 10, 2018, police officers in Chengdu took into custody Pastor Wang Yi and more than 100 congregants of the Early Rain Covenant Church from the ... Read More »

Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

Time Magazine has just announced its “Person of the Year” for 2018, and for once, it isn’t one person. This time it is four people and a newspaper. Prof. Peter Greste The C0nversation Collectively calling them “The Guardians”, Time has awarded the accolade to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Filipino journalist Maria Ressa who edits the Rappler news website, two… Time’s Person of the Year cover is reserved for those who the magazine judges have had “the greatest impact ... Read More »

Human rights in 2018 – ten issues that made headlines

On December 10, the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Authors: The Conversation Regrettably, instead of the anniversary signalling the enduring impact of human rights, some are fearing the “end of human rights”. Here we highlight some of the rights challenges that captured the world’s attention this year, illustrating the struggle to secure human rights is far from over. 1. Australia’s first year on the UN Human Rights Council Australia took its ... Read More »

Auschwitz Survivor Supports BDS: ‘I Have Experienced Fascism’

94-year-old Esther Bejarano moved to Palestine in 1945, 15 years later she returned to Germany due to Israel’s policies against Palestinians. teleSUR Auschwitz survivor, 94-year-old Esther Bejarano, expressed support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement because she has “experienced what fascism is.” Bejarano was sent to Auschwitz in the early 1940s. She escaped death thanks to her musical talents and mixed Jewish-Aryan ancestry. After World War II she emigrated to Palestine but 15 years later she returned to Germany, escaping Israel’s ... Read More »

Rights that protect against socioeconomic disadvantage are long overdue – the UK is already paying the price

In 2018, two anniversaries and a crucial decision loom large in the UK. We saw in the 70th anniversary of the NHS in July, while December 10 marks the 70th birthday of the adoption of the… Authors: The Conversation On December 11, the UK parliament will also vote on the prime minister’s EU withdrawal deal. The coming together of health, human rights and Brexit, raises questions of huge practical and… The recent UK visit of Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur ... Read More »

Dying With Dignity Versus The Metastases Of Our Religious Heritage

Why do we let religion rule our lives, but in particular our deaths? Geoff Russell takes a look at the power of Churches to prevent people from making the most intimate of choices. Geoff Russell New Matilda The fingers that once skipped around the frets and strings of her guitar made hard work of rolling the little plastic wheel. But as it finally moved into place, the process began: drip, drip, drip. Clear sodium pentobarbital moved into the plastic intravenous ... Read More »