Human Rights

Chechen strongman silences last rights group

Ramzan Kadyrov has stabilized and rebuilt a ruined region, but citizens endure a harsh authoritarian rule. Giovanni Pigni Asia Times When I met human rights activist Oyub Titiev two years ago in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, I was investigating the propaganda tools used by the strongman leader of the republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, to promote his regime and… Titiev declined to be interviewed on the topic, saying information published by journalists had previously put members of his organization, Memorial, one ... Read More »

Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs

The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it… Nicole Hasham The Age The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May. However Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo on Friday said if any staff member was ... Read More »

Harmony in Australia Means Stop Racist Dog-Whistling

Long History of Politicians Stoking Fears Over Refugees Elaine Pearson HRW Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known in Australia as Harmony Day. It’s especially relevant given last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian right-wing extremist gunned down at least 50 people and wounded dozens more in two mosques. The attacker livestreamed the shootings and… New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown leadership with compassion and… Harmony in Australia… Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »

Hidden women of history: Australia’s first known female voter, the famous Mrs Fanny Finch

In this series, we look at under-acknowledged women through the ages. On 22 January 1856, an extraordinary event in Australia’s history occurred. Kacey Sinclair The Conversation It is not part of our collective national identity, nor has it been mythologised over the decades through song, dance, or poetry. It doesn’t even have a hashtag. But on this day in the thriving gold rush town of Castlemaine, two women took to the polls and cast their votes in a democratic election. ... Read More »

Pell verdict: Judge Kidd got it absolutely right with the sentence

After the deafening storm of publicity surrounding the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, finally there was silence. Duncan Fine The Age For one hour Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentencing and the reasons behind it. Courtroom 3.3 of the Victorian County Court went quiet. Pell stood calmly, with his arms behind his back. The sentence was six years with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Immediately, the storm started up again. Some groups representing abuse survivors ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh jailed ‘for 38 years’ in Iran

Lawyer sentenced to decades in prison and 148 lashes, husband writes on Facebook Reuters in Geneva The Guardian Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, has been handed a new sentence that her husband said was 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Sotoudeh, who has represented opposition activists including women prosecuted for removing their mandatory headscarf, was arrested in Juneand charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader, her lawyer said. She was jailed ... Read More »

Lula was sexually abused as a child. One day, she’ll tell her children

One day in the future the time will come when Lula will tell her two young children about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Kimberley Le Lievre The Canberra Times Until then, she prepares them as best she can for the reality that there are bad people in the world, without shattering their security. She teaches them to know what makes them feel uncomfortable and stand up for themselves, and to trust their intuition. But in particular she ... Read More »

Greens propose private sponsorship program for new refugees

Private citizens could sponsor up to 10,000 new refugees each year, under a Greens plan. The Greens have proposed establishing a program where Australians can sponsor individual refugees, taking in an additional 10,000 people per year who have been displaced around the world. Nick Baker SBS Based on a Canadian model, the program would allow private citizens to provide financial support and settlement assistance for one year after arrival, or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient. The initiative was one of ... Read More »

As EU stresses the migration ‘crisis’ is over, Italy makes hundreds of migrants homeless

Refuting what he called populist “misinformation”, the first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has stressed that: “Europe is no longer experiencing the migration crisis we lived in 2015, but structural problems remain.” Vicki Squire The Conversation The commission emphasises that the current level of arrivals is just 10% of what it was at its “peak” in 2015. But these comments overlook the fact that the so-called “crisis” of 2015 was defined as one on the basis of a series of myths ... Read More »

Why Research on Gender and Conflict Matters

At Crisis Group, we believe the interaction of gender and conflict is of central importance. But we consider carefully what a gender perspective entails and the conceptual pitfalls we should avoid. Robert Malley ICG For instance, women are not just victims, but have agency and choice. Last October, Ethiopia appointed its first woman president, the only female leader of an African state today. In many national parliaments, from Mexico to Rwanda, women now match or outnumber men. One of the ... Read More »

Why these Australian women’s rights activists are continuing to fight for equality

A lot has changed since International Women’s Day began more than a century ago – but there’s more to be done. Here, a human rights advocate, an abuse survivor, and a sex worker share their stories. Maani Truu SBS The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, with more than a million people across Europe demanding women be given the right to vote and hold public office. Now, 108 years later, the world is a very different place. We ... Read More »

Michelle Bachelet has urged Australia to adopt “more humane policies” towards refugees.

The United Nations’ leading voice on human rights has criticised Australia’s refugee policies, specifically condemning plans to reopen Christmas Island detention centre. SBS UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet used an address on Wednesday to highlight rights abuses around the world, with Australia making the list. “The office has raised concern with Australia about the imminent transfer of migrants on Manus Island and Nauru to new detention centres,” the… “These people have been suffering for more than… Michelle ... Read More »

France must probe police conduct in ‘yellow vest’ protests: UN

The U.N. human rights chief called on March 6 for a “full investigation” into the possible excessive use of force by French police during the “yellow vest” demonstrations. GENEVA- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “The ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (yellow vests) have been protesting what they see as exclusion from economic rights and participation in public affairs,” rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in her annual address to the… “We encourage the government to continue dialogue – including follow-up to the national discussions which are currently underway ... Read More »

Vital conversations: older women have their say about the challenges of life in a city like Melbourne

Who decides what matters in the lives of voters? In the run-up to the 2018 Victorian state election, media focused on a few potential big issues of concern or interest. Harriet Radermacher The Conversation Newspapers featured pieces on the consequences of uncapped population growth in Victoria, particularly suburban housing sprawl and unaffordability. Public transport and the growing economic divide between communities also attracted media attention. Against this background, and in light of concerns raised by previous research, we wanted to engage with older women ... Read More »

Protecting Women’s Space in Politics

Women human rights defenders around the globe are facing heightened threats of violence and repression. Isabelle Arradon ICG Sometimes they are targeted for being activists, and sometimes just for being women. World leaders should do much more to secure space for women’s safe participation in public life. In early January 2019, unknown gunmen shot dead Maritza Isabel Quiroz Leiva, a 60-year-old Colombian land rights activist on a small farm near the Caribbean city of Santa Marta. Her killing was a stark ... Read More »