Human Rights

UN: Tens of thousands dead in S Sudan war

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Security Council says feuding leaders “personal ambitions” fomented crisis, as nation marks one year since start of war. Tens of thousands of people have died in South Sudan during one year of war and the country’s leaders are putting their “personal ambitions” ahead of the young nation’s future, the UN secretary-general has said. Ban Ki-moon called on the country’s leaders to agree ... Read More »

Slashing funding for human rights watchdog is dangerous for human rights and democracy

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Today’s announcement that the Australian Government will slash the Australian Human Rights Commission’s funding by around 30% over the next three years has been denounced by the Human Rights Law Centre. “These cuts will significantly weaken the Commission and reduce the government’s accountability on human rights at a time when rights are being severely threatened, in particular by harsh migration ... Read More »

Dick Cheney insists ‘rectal feeding’ was for medical reasons, not torture in defence of CIA

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Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president who was at the forefront of the post-9/11 push towards aggressive interrogation techniques since denounced as torture, has defended the use of “rectal feeding” of terror suspects, claiming it was done for “medical reasons”. The Guardian – Ed Pilkington in New York Dick Cheney Refuses to Call Forced Rectal Feeding Torture – ABC.News Former US vice-president ... Read More »

Now put Blair and Straw on trial for torture, says diplomat who was fired when he warned Labour Government of UK collusion with US abuse

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In the summer of 2004, I warned Tony Blair’s Foreign Office that Britain was using intelligence material which had been obtained by the CIA under torture. Daily Mail – By Craig Murray, Former British Ambassador To Uzbekistan Two months later I was sacked as the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan on the orders of Downing Street, bringing to an end my 20-year ... Read More »

Churchill’s point reinforced by release of torture report

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Torture, Sir Winston Churchill observed in The World Crisis,  is, like cannibalism, an expedient of “doubtful utility”. The Canberra Times – Editorial His point has been soundly reinforced by the release of, and subsequent debate over, a US Senate report on CIA interrogation and detention programs in the wake of the September 11 attacks. While the extent of the abuses, ... Read More »

Locked in limbo: Australia’s forgotten asylum seeker babies

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They are the forgotten babies – born in Australia, but ignored in the deal done to release asylum seekers into the community. The Sydney Morning Herald – Adam Morton, Society and Science Editor, The Age Instead, they are sentenced to indefinite limbo in a camp overseas. As government ministers Scott Morrison and George Brandis last week trumpeted that all asylum seeker children ... Read More »

The road from torture to shame

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Learned helplessness. The phrase has a benign harmlessness to it, yet it has come into focus this past week in the most depraved sense. That is, of torture. The Age – Editorial  Last Tuesday, the veil was lifted on a recent episode in American history that brings neither glory, honour nor vindication. The report – or more precisely the 500-page ... Read More »

Taliban targets Afghan family as Scott Morrison stalls

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As Scott Morrison enlarges his powers, he becomes directly responsible for cases like Shaima’s. The Saturday Paper – MARTIN MCKENZIE-MURRAY She speaks to her mother most weeks. The line isn’t great, but her mother rarely says much anyway. She can only cry. They haven’t seen each other for more than three years, separated by 10,000 kilometres and the obscure firewalls of ... Read More »

Manus Island asylum seekers put in solitary confinement at a rate of three a week

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Human rights advocates describe notorious ‘Chauka’ unit as a secret punishment cell and say the long-term effects of solitary confinement are similar to torture The Guardian – Ben Doherty and Nick Evershed Guards on Manus Island are locking asylum seekers in solitary confinement at a rate of nearly three a week, and holding them without any means of communication for up ... Read More »

‘Hopelessness’ central to deadly Manus Island riots

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DEADLY riots on Manus Island were “eminently foreseeable’’ and the government should compensate the family of asylum-seeker Reza Barati, whom it failed to protect, a Labor/Greens­-­controlled Senate inquiry has found. The Australian - Stefanie Balogh, Canberra Immigration Minister Scott Morrison accused the two parties of a “blatant attempt to whitewash their own failures in government’’ and argued that the Coalition inherited an ... Read More »