Civil Rights

Inquiry into The Status of the Human Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

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Time did not permit Liberty Victoria to address in full all aspects of the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry. Liberty Victoria Submitted To: Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Our concerns therefore centred on “3 — The relationship between the freedom of religion or belief and other human rights, and the implications of constraints on the freedom of religion or belief for the enjoyment of other universal human rights” (ToR 3). In particular we considered the balancing of freedom ... Read More »

Anti-Semitic Academics: Where is the Outrage Against Turkey?

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In Turkey, academics are currently at the mercy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who demands their compliance and threatens dissenters. A.J. Caschetta Gatestone Institute After last July’s failed coup (for which Erdogan blamed an American scholar), a series of emergency decrees have specifically targeted Turkish academia. One would think this assault would raise ire from the ivory towers, but as Turkey slides deeper into totalitarianism, academia yawns. The failure of many professors to stand up vigorously and publicly for what they ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis at the Crossroads

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Since October 2016, protests and strikes related to sectoral demands have escalated into a crisis over the economic and political marginalisation of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority. ICG Although the government has made some concessions, it must rebuild mutual trust with Anglophone actors in order to avoid instability ahead of the 2018 general elections. Executive Summary The Anglophones of Cameroon, 20 per cent of the population, feel marginalised. Their frustrations surfaced dramatically at the end of 2016 when a series of sectoral ... Read More »

3 human rights defenders transferred to Silivri Prison

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Amnesty International (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and two other human rights activists, Özlem Dalkıran and Nalan Erkem, were transferred from Bakırköy to Silivri Prison on Monday. TM Six human rights activists, including Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were put in pretrial detention by an… Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Selina Doğan, who went to visit the three human rights defenders ... Read More »

A good death

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It would be foolish to think that we can control when our time is up. But neither should we face that moment unprepared. Not only for our sake, but for the people we leave behind. Vivien Shao Business Times THE only certainty in life is death. But this is not something we like to think about – not when we are at our prime, our careers powering ahead, and the future bright. In fact, as you flip through the papers, ... Read More »

‘Drug pushers in suits’: Why the ACT’s bid to ‘legalise heroin’ failed

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It was the bold idea that began in the ACT Legislative Assembly, rattled the prime minister of the day, and raised the hackles of one of the… Katie Burgess The Canberra Times And almost 20 years since Prime Minister John Howard scuttled a scientific trial into the effectiveness of providing prescription heroin to addicts, former ACT independent MLA Michael Moore believes its time to start the… Mr Moore was the chair of an ACT parliamentary committee on HIV, illegal drugs ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs warns Dutton’s ‘super ministry’ endangers separation of powers

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Triggs also says campaign to change section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act has been exhausted due to public support Ben Doherty The Guardian The outgoing Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs, has said the creation of a new “super ministry” of home affairs was part of a hastening trend towards centralised and unchallengeable… In a wide-ranging valedictory interview on ABC radio in Melbourne, Triggs also said a concerted campaign to amend section 18C of the… Gillian Triggs warns… Read More »

China stands firm as pressure grows to release late Nobel laureate’s wife

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Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010 Clifford Coonan in Beijing The Irish Times International pressure is growing to allow Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country if she wants to go abroad. She has been under house arrest for years. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say intensive discussions are under way with Chinese authorities to grant permission to allow Ms Xia, a ... Read More »

Border Force: A threat to us all

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Human rights advocate and barrister Julian Burnside AO discusses Border Force’s increased interest in Australian citizens, as PM Malcolm Turnbull announces greater powers for the Australian Defence… IA NEVER FORGET the lesson of Martin Niemöller. The lesson is: when governments misbehave, it’s just a matter of time before they will come for you. Recently, two Australian citizens arrived back in Australia after a long overnight flight. They had nothing to declare and… Border Force: A… Read More »

Australia doesn’t have a constitutional right protecting freedom of the person – it needs one

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The recent wrongful detention of two Australian citizens by immigration authorities highlights that our Constitution offers inadequate protection for freedom of the… Bede Harris The Conversation This is not the first time Australian citizens have been unlawfully detained. In 2001, Vivian Solon, who had suffered a head injury, was deported even though she told immigration officials she was an… In 2004, Cornelia Rau, also an Australian citizen, was held in immigration detention after she was unable to identify herself because ... Read More »

Ex-chief minister Jon Stanhope wants corporate manslaughter laws for government

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A former ACT chief minister believes the territory government should introduce corporate manslaughter laws to improve accountability for… Katie Burgess The Canberra Times In his submission to an ACT Legislative Assembly inquiry into the creation of an Independent Integrity Commission, Jon Stanhope also said all “problematic” ACT Policing incidents should be reviewed externally to dispel… Pointing to the United Kingdom as an example, Mr Stanhope said there was scope for an… Ex-chief minister Jon… Read More »

Turkey’s free press on trial

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Reporter Canan Coşkun used to cover cases of corruption, assault and murder. Now it’s her fellow journalists who are facing charges. Zia Weise Politico In a small courtroom at the city’s gargantuan Palace of Justice, Canan Coşkun took the stand with her hands clasped nervously behind her back. As a journalist covering the courts for Cumhuriyet — the Turkish newspaper that has been most outspokenly critical of the government — Coşkun is no stranger to judicial… Turkey’s free press… Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: The Fate of Assyrian Christian Churches and Monasteries

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The Turkish government has recently seized numerous properties belonging to Assyrian (Syriac) Christians − such as churches, monasteries and cemeteries − and… Uzay Bulut Philos Project On June 23, the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos reported, ”””Inquiries by the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation revealed that dozens of churches and monasteries have””” Kuryakos Ergün, the president of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation, told The Philos Project that the decision of allocating the churches and monasteries to the… Turkey Uncensored: The… Read More »

Slavery, child prostitution and sex tourism hit epidemic proportions

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It is estimated by the Global Slavery Index that around the world, there are up to 45.8 million people who are currently being held as slaves for either sexual or labour… Johanna Higgs IA Through my travels and work alongside my foundation Project Monma, I have come across slavery more than… From Mauritania’s descent-based slavery system, Argentina’s human trafficking rings and sex tourism in Madagascar, the horror of slavery can take multiple… Slavery, child prostitution… Read More »

Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

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The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the… Most research to date focused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non… But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, ... Read More »

March for ‘justice’ by Erdogan opponents in Turkey gains momentum and alarms government

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DUZCE, Turkey — The midday sun was roasting, their limbs were aching, and the protesters, from Turkey’s largest opposition party, still had 125 miles to march before Istanbul, their destination. Kareem Fahim The Washington Post The road had been hard: One elderly protester died of cardiac arrest, and another was hospitalized with heart spasms. But spirits were soaring as they walked through Duzce last week, holding banners that said “justice,” to protest a… March for ‘justice… Read More »