Human Rights

Syrian boys caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse: UN

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Syrian men and boys, in their war-torn country and abroad, have suffered “a vicious cycle” of sexual abuse with more devastating consequences than previously reported, the United Nations said on Dec. 7. BEIRUT – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet In its new report, “We Keep it in our Heart,” the UN’s refugee agency said it had documented widespread sexual violence against Syrian males, including those seeking refuge. “There have been documented reports of how Syrian women and girls have suffered sexual violence ... Read More »

Fast-track assessment fundamentally unfair to refugees, high court told

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Legal Aid Victoria argues those who arrive by boat are treated as second-class in first high court challenge to new regime Calla Wahlquist  The Guardian Legal Aid Victoria has challenged the “fundamental unfairness” of the fast-tracked refugee assessment process in the high court, arguing that it treats those who arrived by boat as second class. The one-day hearing on Thursday focused on the case of an Iranian asylum seeker in his mid-20s whose application for a temporary protection visa was ... Read More »

Ten things Australia can do to be a human rights hero

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Sunday is Human Rights Day. December 10 marks 69 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Carolien van Ham Lisa Hill Louise Chappell With the 70th anniversary coming up in 2018, the UN has launched Stand Up 4 Human Rights, a year-long campaign to bring the ideals of the declaration closer to reality. The Conversation As a leader in the framing of the UN declaration and one of the ... Read More »

Aus must preserve legal protections despite real threat of terrorism, academic warns

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A Victorian-based professor of law has warned that national counterterrorism measures should not erode the “essential tenets” of Australia’s legal system. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly Days after the arrest of a man alleged to have been planning a New Year’s terrorist attack in Melbourne last week, Deakin University’s Professor Sandeep Gopalan has called for caution in the way that laws and institutions are adapted to respond to the national threat of terrorism. “The risk that lone-wolf actors – inspired by ... Read More »

Turkey jails activist couple of Armenian origin for social media posts

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Two political activists of Armenian origin have recently been arrested by Turkish police due to social media posts that were critical of the Turkish government Uzay Bulut Providence An author and environmental activist, Cemil Aksu, was arrested on October 25 in the city of Artvin for allegedly “praising crime and criminals” in his social media posts. Aksu is the local co-chair of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and is one of the editors of the Gor-Hemshin cultural magazine. His wife, Nurcan Vayiç Aksu, ... Read More »

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness from Rohingya refugees

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Pope Francis has used the term “Rohingya” for the first time during his current trip to Asia to refer to refugees who have fled in large numbers from violence in Myanmar. ABC Reuters “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya,” he said in an improvised remark after meeting 16 refugees brought to the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka from their camps in Cox’s Bazar near the border with Myanmar. “In the name of all of those who have persecuted you, ... Read More »

UN votes 151-6 against Israel, an ‘occupying power’ with no rights to Jerusalem

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The UN passed six new resolutions against the Jewish state, including one denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem 151-6. United with Israel The United Nations General Assembly in New York passed six resolutions on Thursday affirming Palestinian rights and condemning Israeli violations of international law, Middle East Monitor reported. According to one resolution (‘Jerusalem’), “the Assembly reiterated that any actions by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem were illegal and therefore null and… UN ... Read More »

We MPs do our best – I can sympathise with Tulip Siddiq’s lapse of judgment

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I have asked questions in parliament about Bangladeshi human rights, but local MPs can’t be expected to resolve complex issues on the hoof Rupa Huq is Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton The Guardian With the long hours, the public nature of the job and the advent of online abuse, MPs can sometimes lose their rag. Like many people, I was taken aback to see the skirmish on Channel 4 news this week in which my friend and colleague Tulip ... Read More »

Australia’s offshore detention regime is a brutal and obscene piece of self-delusion

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The billions spent on an armada to Australia’s north and west is stopping people smugglers, not the government’s needlessly cruel stance Ben Doherty and Helen Davidson |The Guardian <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/083f39962459e2911cf02c0302757c7c/content.css”/> The most dangerous mistruth in current Australian politics is that in order for lives to be saved at sea, other people – accused of no crime – must be indefinitely and arbitrarily punished offshore. Asserted with increasing confidence as fact, this unproven link is used to justify Australia’s ... Read More »

Why I locked myself to the gate of Kirribilli House

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Hwvar Khoshnow was one of five Christian protesters who locked themselves to the front gate of Kirribilli House in non-violent direct action, calling for the evacuation of Manus Island. Eternity News Here, she tells Eternity, why she did it. I’ve been involved in protests before, but I have not risked arrest before or participated in a “lock on”. The worsening situation on Manus was heavy on my heart and I was moved to do something in support and solidarity with ... Read More »

Cypriot fighters seek damages over torture under British rule

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The 35 claimants are suing the UK government over alleged human rights abuses that took place in the 1950s Helena Smith The Guardian Greek Cypriots who claim they were tortured by colonial forces when they were members of a guerrilla group in the 1950s are seeking damages from the British government. More than 50 years after the alleged human rights abuses took place, a preliminary high court hearing on Tuesday will consider whether a case brought by 35 former fighters ... Read More »

Foreign parliaments are not powerless to help the Rohingya – their pressure on Myanmar is vital

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As the pope made a high profile visit to Myanmar in late November, attention turned to how to help the thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled their homes to Bangladesh following violence and what UN officials have described as ethnic cleansing. Wessel Vermeulen Andreja Pegan  A deal struck between the two countries to start returning the refugees, has been criticised for going against international refugee law. The Conversation Western politicians have also travelled to Myanmar and Bangladesh to witness ... Read More »

Is this Israel’s “most hated” man?

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Author and commentator Gideon Levy has been called both “the most hated man in Israel” and “the most heroic.” ABC LateLine While he describes himself as a “patriotic Israeli”, he’s highly critical of what he calls his country’s ‘moral blindness’ to its acts of war and occupation. Emma Alberici spoke to Gideon Levy ahead of his talk at the University of Sydney this week. Transcript Read More »

Egypt jails 14 for homosexuality

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An Egyptian court on Nov. 26 sentenced 14 men convicted of being homosexuals to three years in jail each for “abnormal” sexual relations, a defence lawyer said. Cairo – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Ishaq Wadie said the men were released on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($283, 230 euros) each until an appeals trial. The trial of three other suspects was delayed over procedural reasons, the lawyer said. Homosexuality is not expressly outlawed in Egypt, but gays have previously been charged ... Read More »

Alarm over teaching nursery children in Scotland about consent

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The Scottish Government is to investigate how the concept of “consent” is taught to nursery-aged children, according to a document outlining its strategy to prevent violence against women and girls. TOM PETERKIN The Scotsman Academics and family groups last night expressed alarm at the proposal arguing that it was “ridiculous” to teach children as young as two or three about consent. The row erupted after the Scottish Government published it document “Equally Safe: A deliver plan for Scotland’s strategy to ... Read More »

‘Horrified’ Rwanda offers to host African migrants facing slavery in Libya

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In an unusual gesture that could partly reverse a more familiar northward odyssey toward Europe, Rwanda offered on Thursday to house or help repatriate some of the thousands of African migrants being held in Libya and reportedly auctioned there as… Alan Cowell New York Times The Sydney Morning Herald  A statement from the country’s Foreign Ministry said Rwanda was “horrified” that “African men, women and children who were on the road to exile have been held and turned into… “Given ... Read More »