Civil Rights

Leading academics slam UWA student guild for putting ‘cultural sensitivities’ above free speech

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A move by the University of WA student guild to acknowledge a visit from the Dalai Lama could offend some students has been criticised by leading academics, who see it as an attempt to put cultural sensitivities ahead of free… Bethany Hiatt | The West Australian Three years after it hosted the Tibetan spiritual leader on campus, the guild last week backed a motion recognising the “negative impact” his presence could have on Chinese… UWA’s Pelican magazine reported the motion ... Read More »

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie Madikizela Mandela 1a The Guardian etc

A life in pictures Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela, has died. The Guardian During her husband’s incarceration, she campaigned tirelessly for his release and the rights of black South Africans. She later became a controversial figure in South African politics due to allegations of corruption and involvement in acts of brutality. Matt Fidler Read More »

Beaten, abused, humiliated and filmed by Victoria Police

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John’s psychologist was worried about his mental health. She asked the police to check on him. CCTV footage shows they did much more. Nick McKenzie The Age John’s fleshy torso tumbles earthwards as police swarm around him. There are six officers in all, two on his back like wolves on injured prey. The disability pensioner is pinned down. He is in his own front yard and he is helpless. Minutes earlier, the police have arrived at John’s home in Preston ... Read More »

‘Glee, Satisfaction and Weeping’: How America Reacted When Martin Luther King Died

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When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, public perception of him was more mixed than it is today. Readers recount the mood they witnessed 50 years ago. Kelly Virella The New York Times For many years, the United States has lived under a broad consensus that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a national hero, even a national saint. But nearly a half-century ago, when he was assassinated, public perception of him was far more ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

Costa Ricans split over gay marriage vote for next president

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An evangelical pastor who has capitalized on opposition to same-sex marriage was in a tight presidential race in Costa Rica on April 1 against a novelist and former cabinet minister. SAN JOSE – The Associated Press Hurriyet Fabricio Alvarado went from also-ran to leading candidate after he came out strongly against a call by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for Costa Rica to allow same-sex marriage. His opponent, Carlos Alvarado of the governing Citizen Action Party, has openly backed ... Read More »

Why Take Student Protests Seriously? Look at Linda Brown.

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As a child, she helped to transform the civil rights movement. Her death last week is a useful reminder that students have often served on the political front lines. Joshua Zeitz Politico ”It was a bright, sunny day and we walked briskly,” Linda Brown later remembered of the morning in September 1950 when she and her father approached a set of “great big steps” leading to the entrance of Sumner Elementary School in… Linda’s father, Oliver, was determined to enroll ... Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

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Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

Opinion: Jews face rampant anti-Semitism in Germany, Europe

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The murder of an elderly Holocaust survivor in Paris has shocked Europe. Michel Friedman DW However, Michel Friedman writes in this guest commentary, the killing should surprise no one: Anti-Semitism is omnipresent. We’re in the thick of it, and have been for a long time now: European anti-Semitism — hatred of Jews in Europe! Examples are legion: France, where a Holocaust survivor was brutally killed because of her Jewish faith; Britain, where the Labour Party is rocked by anti-Semitic scandals and the leader ... Read More »

Amal Clooney to defend Reuters journalists held in Myanmar

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Amal Clooney asserts the innocence of Reuters journalists on trial for reporting Rohingya massacre in Rakhine state. Al Jazeera Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has said she would represent two Reuters journalists on trial in Myanmar for reporting the massacre of the Rohingya people in western Rakhine state. Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested last December, and have been charged under the Official Secrets Act, which could see them jailed up to 14 years. “Wa Lone and… Amal Clooney to… Read More »

Mauritania court gives toughest sentence for slave owners

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Two slave owners in Mauritania have been jailed in a country where slavery remains widespread but convictions rare, activists say. BBC The sentences of 10 and 20 years are said to be the toughest-ever for the crime in the West African country. Slavery was outlawed in 1981 but 1% of the population are still living in bondage, human rights groups say. Black people of certain ethnic groups are often enslaved as domestic workers by lighter-skinned Mauritanians. The country has jailed ... Read More »

Iranians use Serbian route to flee to EU

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Until six months ago, the Lovimi family from Iran had never heard of Serbia. BELGRADE – Agence France Presse Hurriyet But here they are, currently in Belgrade, after arriving without visas last August, waiting to continue on to Germany, where they plan to build a new and better life in the future. The family of four comes from the town of Ahvaz in the province of Khuzestan in Iran’s south west, where the majority of the population is Arabic. They ... Read More »

Criminal code bill will leave Indonesian migrants’ children in Malaysia in legal limbo

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There are thousands of stateless children in Sabah, Malaysia. The estimates vary between 30,000 and 52,000 as there has been no census or statistics collected on them. Clara Siagian The Conversation Most of them are children of Indonesian migrants. These children face the risk of being stuck in legal limbo if an Indonesian bill to amend the criminal code is passed in its current state. Criminalising private activities Indonesia is deliberating the bill to change the country’s 100-year-old criminal code. ... Read More »

‘I Do Not Feel Free’: The Women Trapped in Domestic Work in Egypt

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They hear about the abuse and know they will be working illegally, but young women still travel to the Middle East to work as domestic workers. News Deeply To help understand why, photojournalist Jihad Abaza documented the lives of three migrant women working for a family in Egypt. CAIRO – Linda* has missed two of her sisters’ weddings. She has not seen her nephews grow up. When she speaks to her father on a video call, she notices that he is aging, ... Read More »

SMH editorial: Defamation laws long overdue for overhaul

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Australia’s defamation laws were built for a different age. The last comprehensive national review of defamation laws was in 1979, almost 30 years before Facebook was launched in February 2004 and the first tweet was sent in March 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald The laws are increasingly unworkable and in desperate need of overhaul as slurs on social media and other digital platforms take off as a growing source of defamation claims. A five-year review of Australian defamation cases covering ... Read More »

Everyday heroes compelled to break the law when government fails to protect us

Abbot Point coal terminal QLD 1aaa photo Glenn Hunt

What does it say about the state of our democracy when it falls upon everyday people to stop a billionaire building the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere? Julian Burnside * The Sydney Morning Herald And what does it say about our politicians that they will let Adani’s mine proceed when the vast majority of Australians don’t want it, and scientists are urging us to keep coal in the ground to avoid more dangerous climate change? This month, nine ... Read More »