Civil Liberties

Not Just For Laughs: How Australian Satirists Are Undermining White Supremacist Patriarchy

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Diverse local comedians are making institutional racism and sexism laughable, writes Liam McLoughlin. By Liam McLoughlin  A thin layer of sludge has settled over the stagnant cesspool of Australian public discourse. This frothing film of conservative white men is granted unfettered access Not Just For Laughs: How Australian… Read More »

Polish parliament rejects near-total abortion ban after protests

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Following protests by tens of thousands of women, Polish lawmakers on Oct. 6 rejected plans for a near-total ban on abortion, in a hastily arranged vote that marks the first major domestic setback for the conservative government. WARSAW – Reuters The ruling Law and Justice party (PIS) unexpectedly withdrew its support for draft… Polish parliament rejects near-total… Read More »

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: When my time comes, I want the option of an assisted death

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Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have spent my time working for dignity for the living. By Desmond Tutu I have campaigned passionately for people in my country and the world over to have their… Archbishop Desmond Tutu: When my time comes, I want… Read More »

I’ve fought my whole life for secularism – I know that banning the burkini makes no sense

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The great French scholar of secularism Jean Baubérot said that a secular state does not discriminate against people on the grounds of their religion or non-religious worldview.. Andrew Copson Independent Today judges in France will rule on the legality of the burkini ban which has been enforced across 26 towns on the grounds that the… I’ve fought my… Read More »

Bulgaria parliament bans full-face veils in public

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Under the law, the garment will be banned in public institutions, schools, areas of administrative and public services. Bulgaria’s parliament has approved a nationwide law banning the wearing of face-covering veils from most public places. Source: Bulgaria parliament bans full-face veils in public – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

The Dying Art Of Judgement: How To Follow The Rules Without Even Really Trying

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Bad things happen when good people stay silent, and when politicians and public servants put process before outcome, writes Rajan Venkataraman. By Rajan Venkataraman In November 2014, the Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, chartered a helicopter at public expense to take her to a… The Dying Art Of Judgement: How To Follow The Rules Without Even Really Trying… Read More »

A Wide Gulf Persists Between Black And White Perceptions Of Policing 

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As Spaniards migrate from villages to cities for work, education and access to health care, rural hamlets are ending up on the auction block. SONARI GLINTON Foreigners are in the market for these properties… Source: A Wide Gulf Persists Between Black And White Perceptions Of Policing : The Two-Way : NPR Read More »

Oxfam report notes WA native title woes

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Native title rights are being undermined in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, a global Oxfam report says. Rebecca Gredley, Australian Associated Press The report refers to state government policies and actions including the controversial proposed closure of remote WA indigenous communities, the… Source: Oxfam report notes WA native title woes | The Mercury Read More »

Two Dozen Christians Deported From Saudi Arabia For Praying

Saudi Arabia has deported 27 Christians for having a service in their home to mark the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven, according to news reports. Ruth Gledhill  The deportation was carried out because the Christians’ prayers were “unIslamic”, according to EWTN. The women, some of whom had children with them, argued… Source: Two Dozen Christians Deported From Saudi Arabia For Praying | Christian News on Christian Today Read More »

‘Draw and you’ll go to jail’: the fight to save comics from the censor

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From worried parents to policemen with built-in ‘Satan detectors’, underground comics have never lacked enemies. David Barnett And for 30 years Neil Gaiman and his friends have fought back in the name of free speech In 1994, Mike Diana found himself in jail near his home in Largo, Florida. Sitting alongside rapists, muggers and murderers, he… Source: ‘Draw and you’ll go to jail’: the fight to save comics from the censor | Books | The Guardian Read More »

Christian convert from Islam sent back to prison in Iran

A Christian convert from Islam in Iran has been sent back to prison in spite of suffering long-term health issues. Ruth Gledhill  Maryam Naghash Zargaran, who has gone on hunger strike twice while in prison, had been released last month to get medical treatement after serving three years of a… Source: Christian convert from Islam sent back to prison in Iran | Christian News on Christian Today Read More »

‘Edward Snowden did this country a great service. Let him come home’

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Bernie Sanders, Daniel Ellsberg, former members of the NSA and more weigh in on whether Obama should grant clemency to the divisive whistleblower Ed Pilkington Bernie Sanders leads a chorus of prominent public figures calling for clemency, a plea agreement or, in several cases, a full pardon for the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden… Source: ‘Edward Snowden did this country a great service. Let him come home’ | US news | The Guardian Read More »

Israel rejects appeal against force-feeding prisoners

Supreme court rejects an appeal from Israeli doctors who view the practice as torture and medically risky. Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike is constitutional after rejecting an appeal from the Israel Medical Association. “This law is legal under Israeli law and… Source: Israel rejects appeal against force-feeding prisoners – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Turkey has detained a prominent novelist. We unite to say this vendetta must end

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Ahmet Altan and his brother, Mehmet Altan, were taken away in a dawn raid on Saturday. We call for his release and for freedom of expression to be respected. Orhan Pamuk, JM Coetzee,Elena Ferrante and others We the undersigned call upon democrats throughout the world, as well as those who care about the future of Turkey and the… Source: Turkey has detained a prominent novelist. We unite to say this vendetta must end | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Thousands protest in Mexico against gay marriage legalization

Thousands of people marched throughout Mexico Sept. 10 to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto’s initiative to legalize gay marriage. MEXICO CITY – Agence France-Presse The National Front for the Family — a coalition of conservative religious groups — called for the protests, and is also planning a mass march for Sept. 24 in… Source: Thousands protest in Mexico against gay marriage legalization – AMERICAS Read More »

Opposing The Criminalisation Of Protest: The BDS Movement As A Beacon

In a climate where governments are ratcheting up the fear to suppress legitimate public protest, Professor Stuart Rees argues there’s an organisation that already provides a template for resistance. Governments’ fascination with suppressing democratic rights merits opposition similar to the activities to support the… Source: Opposing The Criminalisation Of Protest: The BDS Movement As A Beacon – New Matilda Read More »