Civil Rights

China’s hidden camps

What’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang? BBC China stands accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. The government denies the claims, saying people are willingly attending special ”vocational schools” which combat ”terrorism and religious extremism”. Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality. Detention in the desert On 12 July 2015 a satellite swung over the rolling deserts and oasis cities of China’s vast ... Read More »

Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression

A note from Karen Attiah, Global Opinions editor… I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.” Jamal Khashoggi The Washington Post As a result, Arabs living in these ... Read More »

Xinjiang top official defends Uighur ‘internment camps’

The top official in China’s Xinjiang region has given the most detailed description yet of the alleged use of internment camps for Uighur Muslims. BBC In an interview with state media, Shohrat Zakir said the “vocational education” centres were proving effective in staving off terrorism. He said “trainees” were grateful for the opportunity to change their ways and make their lives more “colourful”. China’s massive security crackdown in Xinjiang has sparked widespread alarm. Rights groups say Muslims are being detained ... Read More »

Universities should tolerate ‘offensive’ ideas

It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many vice-chancellors (and a… Adrienne Stone Brisbane Times This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies on campus. Bettina Arndt’s university tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying ... Read More »

Turkey Is Not Exactly a Model Citizen, Either

Releasing one prisoner, and helping investigate the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, doesn’t excuse other Turkish transgressions. Eli Lake Bloomberg One irony of the crisis over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is the opportunity it has provided Turkey to polish its image. It’s not just that a Turkish court on Friday finally released the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been detained for nearly two years. The Turkish authorities have blown the whistle on the Saudis, leaking surveillance footage and dossiers of ... Read More »

Four fundamental principles for upholding freedom of speech on campus

It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. Adrienne Stone The Conversation As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many Vice Chancellors (and a former Chief Justice of the High Court) take it so seriously. This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies about on campus. Bettina Arndt’s campus tour ... Read More »

My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot

His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins. Hatice Cengiz The New York Times Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, ... Read More »

Religious freedom not under threat, but we should debate limits

The immediate eruption of controversy over the selective leaking of recommendations from the Ruddock report on religious freedom shows both why the government has sought to avoid releasing the report, and… Simon Cowan Brisbane Times It is a major issue, notwithstanding that marriage equality has been one of the few direct challenges to freedom of religion in Australia in recent years. And, while there have been major court cases in the US and the UK testing the limits of free ... Read More »

The Little College Where Tuition Is Free and Every Student Is Given a Job

Berea College, in Kentucky, has paid for every enrollee’s education using its endowment for 126 years. Can other schools replicate the model? * * * There’s a small burst of air that explodes from every clap. And when hundreds of people are clapping in unison, it begins to feel like a breeze—one that was pulsing through the Phelps Stokes Chapel at… Adam Harris The Atlantic The students and staff that had gathered here were stomping, clapping, and singing along, as ... Read More »

Turkey’s expedited European extraditions

Turkey’s ongoing effort to dismantle the supporters for Fethullah Gülen has underlined its influence in southeast Europe, where multiple countries have hurried to comply with requested Turkish extraditions. Luke Bacigalupo Global Risk Insights This raises hard questions about how committed these states are to recent reforms intended to boost the rule of law. Since 2016, suspected supporters of Fethullah Gülen, who Erdoğan has accused of being the mastermind behind the attempted July 2016 coup, have been whisked away from South Eastern Europe in… Bulgaria, ... Read More »

Skilled migrants to spend ‘at least a few years’ in regional Australia under Morrison’s population plan

New population minister Alan Tudge said up to 45 percent of permanent immigrants could be diverted to visas that force them to spend “at least a few years” in regional areas, or small states like… James Elton-Pym SBS The Morrison government has promised visa reforms that will force a significant chunk of Australia’s annual intake of 190,000 permanent migrants to spend “at least a few years” in regional… The move, advocated by the Nationals and key lobby groups like the Farmers’ ... Read More »

Religious freedom review enshrines right of schools to turn away gay children and teachers

Religious schools would be guaranteed the right to turn away gay students and teachers under changes to federal anti-discrimination laws recommended by the government’s long-awaited… Jewel Topsfield The Sydney Morning Herald However the report, which is still being debated by cabinet despite being handed to the Coalition four months ago, dismisses the notion religious freedom in Australia is in “imminent peril”, and… The review was commissioned in the wake of last year’s same-sex marriage victory to appease conservative MPs who ... Read More »

‘We need to make sure it’s realistic’: Liberty Victoria president weighs in on immigration plan

Liberty Victoria president Jessie Taylor says the devil is in the detail for the Federal Government’s plan to ease mounting population pressure in Melbourne and Sydney. Neil Mitchel 3AW New visa conditions would require migrants to settle outside the major cities for up to five years. Ms Taylor, who also works as a lawyer, said it depended on whether there were job opportunities to sustain growth in regional centres. Neil Mitchell glad to see a population plan on the political ... Read More »

It Is Time to Debate—and End—Identity Politics

A democratic society based on civil liberties cannot survive being torn apart. Michael Gonzalez The National Interest America’s partition into mutually antagonistic identity groups has reached every nook and cranny of society, from sports to education , the corporateworld and politics . It has never been openly debated or voted on by the American people, however. Identity politics sparks emotional reactions both among its supporters and its detractors because it deals with the larger issues of our day. It is about what convinces people to band together ... Read More »

Romania marriage poll: One man, one woman definition up for vote

Romanians are deciding this weekend whether a family should revolve around a married man and woman. BBC The two-day vote on changing their constitution has been portrayed by supporters of the referendum as a way of protecting the status of the “traditional” family. Opponents warn it will come at the expense of same-sex couples, single parents and children too. And there are accusations that the whole exercise is a sideshow to distract from a corruption case involving the leader of ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi’s extraordinary fall from grace

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader and de facto president, is under fire from all sides. Domestically, she is facing growing criticism for stalled economic and political reforms, glacial progress on policy and service improvements, and the suppression of freedom of expression and press freedom. Authors: The Conversation But it is her international reputation that is most in tatters. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, imprisoned for 15 years over a 21-year period in her struggle for human rights and ... Read More »