Civil Rights

Don’t Rock the Boat: How Long Can Putin Avoid Capsizing?

What will the Russian political landscape look like a decade from now? Is Russia slipping back to the Soviet past or evolving toward greater authoritarianism and aggression? Are those predicting revolution right to see the nucleus of change in civil activism and a new wave of democracy in labor protests? For all the differences in opinion, there is no doubt that a political transition is looming. The question is when… Source: Don’t Rock the Boat: How Long Can Putin Avoid ... Read More »

Talks break down between German right-wing AfD, Muslim group

Agence France Presse BERLIN: A meeting between Germany’s right-wing populist AfD party and a Muslim organisation ended in acrimony Monday after less than an hour. A co-chair of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), Frauke Petry, said there was nothing left to talk about after the Muslim group had compared her party to the Nazis. Aiman Mazyek, the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD), who initiated the meeting held in a Berlin hotel… Source: Talks break down ... Read More »

Editors vs judges: which right is supreme – press freedom or privacy?

Newspapers rage against judgment that endorses the injunction preventing them from identifying a celebrity involved in a three-way sexual encounter.. “Be you never so high, the law is above you.” When that term was coined in 1733, there was no electronic communication, let alone the internet. Within the jurisdiction of the English courts, the law was supreme. Every citizen, whether politician or journalist, was subject to the rule of law… Source: Editors vs judges: which right is supreme – press ... Read More »

JK Rowling was right: free speech is for everyone, not just your friendsan

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We need to welcome dissent, because we grow from it. If you have to silence the other side, your own arguments can’t be very strong.. Αs the president of PEN America, I was deeply honored to have JK Rowling attend our gala to receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Award for Literary Service. Rowling gave a brief but exquisite address in which she lauded free speech in the broadest terms, saying, “The tides of populism and nationalism… Source: JK Rowling was right: ... Read More »

Comment: Let’s not rest until the death penalty is a thing of the past around the world

In a sane world, shouldn’t the right to life trump political expediency? Apparently not: given the addiction of some countries to the death penalty, and the possible re-introduction of capital punishment by some of our neighbours in the region… Source: Comment: Let’s not rest until the death penalty is a thing of the past around the world | SBS News Read More »

Enemy of the State?

Turkish journalist Can Dündar has recently been shot at, then sentenced to six years in prison for revealing state secrets. Dateline speaks to him about what he describes as an attack on freedom of speech in Turkey… Source: Enemy of the State? | SBS Dateline Read More »

Legal Aid in crisis, Canberra lawyers to rally

A crisis in funding for Legal Aid is preventing Australia’s most disadvantaged from obtaining a lawyer, the ACT Law Society has said. Lawyers will rally on Wednesday in support of a national “Legal Aid Matters” campaign, which seeks to put pressure on the major parties to commit to reversing cuts and injecting new money into services ahead of the federal election… Source: Legal Aid in crisis, Canberra lawyers to rally Read More »

Multiculturalism: not an ideal, but a reality

We need to create human societies from people of many different backgrounds.. I’m reading Stan Grant’s book Talking To My Country. A journalist with Aboriginal and Irish heritage, Grant wrote an article last year at the height of the Adam Goodes drama, which proved very telling. The story was both simple and complex. In expressing the historic principle at stake with dignity and clarity while also illuminating the complexities of the issues of Aboriginal identity it raised, Grant was in ... Read More »

Baird’s Civil Liberties Crackdown Will Be Felt In Day-To-Day Life

OPINION: New laws extend the government’s draconian program to a level that will be felt by all. No liberal democracy cans sustain assaults such as these, writes Angus Reoch. The Baird Government has officially rendered New South Wales a police state. As if coming out of an Orwellian cocoon, the NSW State Government has eclipsedMore… Source: Baird’s Civil Liberties Crackdown Will Be Felt In Day-To-Day Life – New Matilda Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi’s Cowardly Stance on the Rohingya

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The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar that has been systematically denied the most elemental rights: citizenship, freedom of worship, education, marriage and travel. THE EDITORIAL BOARD  Tens of thousands of the Rohingya were driven from their homes by violence in 2012; last year many tried to flee persecution and… Aung San Suu Kyi’s Cowardly… Read More »

Why Turkey’s Historic Churches Are Being Turned Into Mosques

Christians in Turkey have become a tiny minority. The few remaining Christian churches in Anatolia are also on the path to total annihilation. Christians in Turkey have – throughout the centuries — been turned into a tiny, dwindling minority. The remaining few Christian churches in Anatolia are also on the path to total annihilation. Hagia Sophia in Trabzon: Church-mosque-museum and… Source: Why Turkey’s Historic Churches Are Being Turned Into Mosques Read More »

In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more

Under President Erdoğan our nation is divided. The prime minister has stepped down, and free speech and secularism are under threat.. Amid the political turmoil in Turkey this week, culminating in the prime minister’s announcement that he’ll stand down within days, it was Oscar Wilde who became the subject of a heated debate in the Turkish… Source: In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more | Elif Shafak | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

India’s new ‘enclave’ citizens in historic first vote

Thousand of Indians are voting for the first time in West Bengal assembly polls after remaining virtually stateless for six decades. They became citizens of India last year after Bangladesh and India exchanged more than 160 enclaves located in each other’s territory. The enclaves, created in the 18th Century, endured through British colonial rule, the independence of India and the creation of Bangladesh… Source: India’s new ‘enclave’ citizens in historic first vote – BBC News Read More »

Operation Fox Hunt: Law council says extradition treaty with China is ‘a joke’

Beijing: The national peak body representing the legal profession in Australia has urged the federal government not to ratify an extradition treaty with China, citing concerns the mainland’s criminal justice system lacked procedural fairness and was “steadily marching in the wrong direction”. Addressing the parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties in Canberra on Monday, the Law Council of Australia said there was no way to guarantee those extradited would be granted a fair trial, nor were there any effective measures to ... Read More »

EXPLAINER: What The PNG Supreme Court Decision Can Teach Us About Law And Justice

Tuesday’s Papua New Guinea Supreme Court decision has two vital lessons for Australia: the power of a Bill of Rights and the importance of a courageous Court. Thomas Kiat explains. The judgment blew a hole in Australia’s offshore detention network by declaring the arrangement unlawful under PNG’s Constitution. In doing so it raised the bar for theMore… Source: EXPLAINER: What The PNG Supreme Court Decision Can Teach Us About Law And Justice – New Matilda Read More »

Perth church protesters spared jail for refugee sit-in at Minister’s office

A group of Perth church leaders who staged a sit-in at Minister for Justice Michael Keenan’s office to protest against refugee children living in detention centres have been given spent convictions for trespassing and released on good behaviour bonds… Source: Perth church protesters spared jail for refugee sit-in at Minister’s office Read More »