Human Rights

Tax-Free Tampons Are a Matter of ‘Social Justice,’ Say California Lawmakers

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On Tuesday, the California tax board endorsed a measure to make menstrual products exempt from sales tax. Reason.com Elizabeth Nolan Brown Why should women have to pay a tax on tampons and menstrual pads, which are surely more necessity than luxury? Perhaps because we all pay sales taxes on all sorts of goods—food, toilet paper, shoes—that are an integral part of modern life. But according to certain California lawmakers and the state’s tax board, the sales tax on menstrual products is sexist ... Read More »

Deputy Council Leader calls for northern Cyprus holiday adverts to be removed from TfL property

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Cllr Dan Thomas, Deputy Leader of Barnet Council, has called on Transport for London to remove advertisements promoting northern Cyprus as a tourist destination. Cllr Thomas, who is the Conservative GLA candidate for Barnet and Camden, said the adverts on buses and at tube stations will offend Greek Cypriot Londoners, many of whom live in Barnet. Cllr Thomas said, “Refugees who made London their home after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus will be looking at these adverts in disbelief. ... Read More »

Turkey ‘Cleansing’ It’s Kurdish Population – 200,000 Lives At Risk

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Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has condemned the Turkish government, accusing authorities of putting the lives of 200,000 Kurdish residents at risk by deliberately starving them of food, medical care, and targeting them during military operations. Your News Wire – by Sean Adl-Tabatabai  John Dalhuisen, Central Asia Programme Director for Amnesty, accused Turkey of targeting and punishing its Kurdish populations, “The operations currently being conducted under round-the-clock curfews are putting the lives of tens of thousands of people at risk and are beginning to resemble collective punishment“. Farsnews.com reports: More than 150 ... Read More »

Cherish Australia’s freedom from fear, says refugee lawyer Deng Thiak Adut

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In Australia Day address for NSW, former child soldier says: ‘How lucky I became. How lucky is a person who receives an education in a free land’ The Guardian – Australian Associated Press The refugee lawyer and former child soldier Deng Thiak Adut says Australians should cherish the freedom from fear that comes with living in their country. Adut arrived in Australia in 1998 from Sudan, along with his brother, and went on to study law and work as a refugee ... Read More »

More than 930 academics call for children to be released from detention

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An impassioned plea by more than 900 Australian academics for the government to release children from detention centres has been dismissed by a former government frontbencher as being “a sad disassociation from practical considerations”. The Age – Bianca Hall The academics wrote to the government before Christmas, and again on Monday night, urging the government to free children detained in Australia and on Nauru as a matter of urgency. Signatories included experts on child psychology, human rights, public policy and the law, from universities across ... Read More »

Nine years on: No solid steps taken in Hrant Dink assassination

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No solid legal steps have been taken in the nine years since Armenian-originjournalistHrant Dink was assassinated outside his office in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007, as thousands of people gathered to commemorate the late Agos editor-in-chief on the anniversary of his death. Hurriyet – İsmail Saymaz – Istanbul The large crowd filed past the military museum in the Şişli district at around 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 to walk toward the Agos office building to read a statement at the site ... Read More »

Turkey Was First Country to Recognize the Armenian Genocide…in 1918

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The Armenian Genocide is rarely discussed in the Turkish Parliament; even rarer are statements calling for its recognition. The Armenian Weekly – By Harut Sassounian * On Jan. 14, two of the three recently elected Armenian members of the Turkish Parliament boldly dared to raise the issue of the Armenian Genocide in their parliamentary remarks. Selina Dogan, representing the opposition Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP), made the following statement in parliament: “Since this issue concerns not only Armenians but also Turkey, ... Read More »

Academics in US, UK, Europe back colleagues under probe in Turkey

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Hundreds of academics from around the world have expressed solidarity with their colleagues suspected of terrorism crimes after signing a petition to call for an end to ongoing violence in southeastern Turkey in a statement sent to the Hürriyet Daily News. Hürriyet – Istanbul “Democracy cannot exist without freedom of expression,” said the statement signed by 610 academics from various universities including some in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and Turkey. “We, the undersigned academics, believe that freedom ... Read More »

Turkey threatens the EU over delaying the delivery of the refugee aid

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The 3 billion euro refugee aid agreed between the EU and Turkey hasn’t been delivered as Italy wants the money to come from the EU budget and not from the Member State’s budgets. New Europe Author: By NEOnline/GK More refugees may hit EU’s door if the Union fails to give the €3 billion refugee aid promised to Turkey, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indirectly said on Saturday. Turkish daily, Daily Sabah, said that the Turkish Minister stressed that “If you ... Read More »

Asylum seekers: Self-harm in detention centres at epidemic levels, internal documents show

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EXCLUSIVE WARNING: Contains graphic images of self-harm injuries Anguish at heart of detention regime Asylum seekers have swallowed insect repellent, bashed their heads on walls and doused their bodies with boiling water in a culture of self-harm in Australian detention centres that appears to have reached crisis point. The Age – Michael Koziol, Nicole Hasham * Incident logs from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection covering one year, obtained under freedom of information laws, paint a picture of depression, desperation and violence at Australia’s domestic and overseas detention camps and in the ... Read More »

74 women a day sought rape and domestic violence help over festive break

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EXCLUSIVE Every day of the festive period 74 women across Australia reached out to rape and domestic violence support services. The Age – Eamonn Duff, Sun-Herald senior investigative writer Between December 21 and January 3, Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia assisted 1043 individual clients across its three telephone services – a 32 per cent increase on the same period last year. There was also a 22 per cent rise in the number of calls answered by its crisis counsellors. Rape and Domestic Services ... Read More »

Islamic State: Gynaecologists help escaped Yazidi sex slaves restore physical virginity

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A non-government organisation in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region is teaming up with local gynaecologists to restore the physical ‘virginity’ of women who have escaped from the Islamic State terrorist group. ABC – By Jessicah Mendes It has been more than a year since Islamic State (IS) militants swept through northern Iraq, kidnapping as many as 7,000 ethnic Yazidi women, and forcing them into sexual slavery. Since then, many have escaped and most have been deeply traumatised by the rape and ... Read More »

African asylum seekers fear for safety with racism on the rise in Israeli society

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Tekrit Michael lets out a sigh as he speaks, “It could be me next,” he says his words heavy, filled with a mix of anger but also a very palpable worry. Mondoweiss – Matthew Vickery * “If it was not Habtom it was me, it is just a matter of skin color. I feel I am not safe in Israel, not safe at all.” Michael, an Eritrean asylum seeker, speaks with sadness when mentioning the name of Habtom Zarhum, a fellow ... Read More »

Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia (Updated)

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The Palestinian artist, curator, and poet Ashraf Fayadh, 35, has been sentenced to death by beheading.  Mondoweiss – Zeina Azzam * Saudi Arabian authorities have declared his crime as “apostasy,” or abandoning one’s religion—in this case, renouncing Islam. Several other charges were also leveled against Fayadh, including allegedly photographing women and storing their pictures on his phone, a violation of the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law. He pleaded his innocence to all the charges. Amnesty International UK states that, “Throughout this whole process, Ashraf was denied access ... Read More »

CHP delegation paints a dire picture of Diyarbakır

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Numerous human rights, the right to life being number one, are being violated in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, a delegation from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said upon its return from the city that has been the site of ongoing clashes between security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Hurriyet – Rifat Başaran – Ankara Meanwhile, doctors and paramedics working in Diyarbakır have no inventory of the incidents that have been taking place ... Read More »

Ethiopia cancels Addis Ababa master plan after Oromo protests

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Ethiopia’s government has abandoned plans to expand the boundaries of the capital, Addis Ababa, which have caused months of deadly protests. BBC Demonstrations by people from the Oromo ethnic group have been sparked by fears that Oromo farmers could be displaced. Human rights groups have estimated that at least 140 people were killed by security forces during the protests. The ruling party in the Oromia region said it was dropping the plan following discussions with local people. The Oromo People’s ... Read More »