Human Rights

Poet, hero, rapist – outrage over Chilean plan to rename airport after Neruda

Human rights activists argue that the honour is inappropriate for a man who described raping a maid in his memoir The Guardian Pablo Neruda was a Nobel laureate whose poetry chronicled the lives and struggles of ordinary Latin Americans, and whose life was upheld as a symbol of resistance to dictatorship. But a decision to rename Chile’s busiest international airport after him has been met with outrage from human rights activists who argue that the honour is inappropriate for a man ... Read More »

Will Erdogan Risk Turkey’s COE Membership?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the incarceration of Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), is… Semih Idiz Sigma Insight Turkey The Court ruled that Demirtas, a former presidential candidate who has been in prison since November 2016 on terrorism charges, should be released immediately because he had been detained for… The ruling puts Ankara in a bind, because, contrary to what Erdogan is arguing, ECHR ... Read More »

Male, female or neither: the sky will not fall in

If you believe the outrage and panic over Tasmania’s move to make it optional to state your sex on your birth certificate, this is a communist conspiracy to transform Australia into a genderless utopia powered by wind and… Dale Sheridan Brisbane Times But please, spare me the outrage and panic. We are talking about basic human rights for the trans and gender-diverse community. As a transgender woman, I quietly rejoiced this week at the Tasmanian Parliament passing a bill in ... Read More »

Iran: Mounting Crackdown on Teachers, Labor Activists

Authorities Arrest Union Leaders, Threaten Strikers (Beirut) – Iranian authorities have increased targeting of teachers and labor activists in recent weeks for organizing and conducting peaceful protests, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW On November 13, 2018, the Council for Coordination among Teachers Unions organized a walkout involving dozens of teachers across Iran to protest their insufficient salaries due to high inflation and poor living conditions. It was the second teacher-organized walkout since September 21, when Iran’s public school year ... Read More »

We need to talk about violence – to men and boys

At least 62 women have been killed this year from violence, according to the Counting Dead Women project run by the feminist organisation Destroy The Joint. Michael Salter Brisbane Times Eight more women have been murdered at this point in 2018 compared with  2017. The people charged with their deaths include their husbands, partners, ex-partners, sons, relatives, acquaintances and strangers. Sometimes their own children and grandchildren were killed with them. These murders are the tip of the iceberg of men’s ... Read More »

Making Ethiopia’s Electoral Board Independent New Appointment Furthers Gender, Political Reform

New Appointment Furthers Gender, Political Reform Felix Horne HRW There was good news from Ethiopia as former opposition leader, lawyer and judge Birtukan Midekssa was named head of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). Following years of almost completely closed political space, Ethiopia’s government continues to institute an important series of reforms. The appointment of a highly respected – and crucially, independent – new elections chair is another step in the right direction. The NEBE, like many of Ethiopia’s ... Read More »

Why Amnesty was wrong to strip Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi of top honour

‘Speaking up’ will make her look good with the international Press, but it will do nothing for the challenges Myanmar faces. Abhijit Dutta Hindustan Times The international community needs to strengthen her hands, not weaken them. The vilification of Aung San Suu Kyi continues unabated. Whether it is Amnesty International or United States vice-president, Mike Pence, no one, it seems, can wait to signal their virtue by throwing an egg at her face. The gravest charge against Suu Kyi is ... Read More »

Catholic bishops take up fight against government’s assisted dying plan

Western Australia’s Catholic bishops – including Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe – have released a joint statement outlining their opposition to state government plans to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Nathan Hondros WAtoday The statement, which will be distributed to hundreds of Catholic parishes throughout the state and signals the Church’s intention to campaign against the laws, challenges key elements of a parliamentary report that sparked the… “Voluntary assisted dying in either form [euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide] represents a radical breach ... Read More »

How to Halt Yemen’s Slide into Famine

A Saudi-led coalition attack on the city of Hodeida risks plunging millions of Yemenis into famine and will meet fierce resistance from Huthi rebels. ICG The U.S. should stop enabling coalition offensives and international stakeholders must quickly place Hodeida under UN control. What’s new?  At the end of October, fighting reached the outer edges of the city of Hodeida, a gateway on Yemen’s Red Sea coast for trade that is a lifeline for some two thirds of the country’s population. ... Read More »

Australia refuses to sign UN migration pact, citing risks to turnbacks and detention

Morrison government says global deal risks reversing ‘hard-won successes in combating the people-smuggling trade’ Paul Karp The Guardian The Morrison government has confirmed it will not sign up to the United Nation’s migration pact, claiming it will undermine Australia’s harsh policies to deter asylum seekers despite Australia’s role in helping to draft it. The Refugee Council of Australia and advocates have strongly rejected the government’s claim, citing the fact the compact is non-binding and has a provision stating that countries ... Read More »

‘Alarming’ number of women forced to move out of the Gatwick for The Block are now in jail

The lights, cameras and crowds have finally cleared out of St Kilda following the auctions last month at the Gatwick Private Hotel, a run-down three-storey rooming house that was… Hayley Gleeson ABC But as the new owners collect the keys and prepare to move in to their luxury lodgings, ABC News can reveal an “alarming” number of women who used to live at the Gatwick — a place of “last… Channel Nine’s purchase of the 1930s mansion, which in its ... Read More »

‘Enough, enough, enough’: Scott Morrison says he will cut Australia’s migration intake

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will cut the number of migrants coming to Australia, declaring the “roads are clogged” and buses, trains and schools in Sydney and Melbourne “are full”. Bevan Shields The Age In a dramatic shift in rhetoric as cabinet plots a new population policy, the Prime Minister predicted the impending changes would lower the annual immigration target from its cap of 190,000. “Population growth has played a key role in our economic success. But I also know Australians ... Read More »

Setback for Rohingya refugees as Bangladeshi repatriation plan stalls

Cox’s Bazar: Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis are set to be stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programmes only likely be revisited after year-end general elections, a… Zeba Siddiqui Brisbane Times More than 720,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to UN agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on… Rohingya refugees say soldiers and Buddhist civilians killed families, burned many villages and carried ... Read More »

Detained and in danger: The tortured Australian families who fear for their missing loved ones

Increasingly helpless and desperate, Uighurs building new lives in Australian suburbs feel compelled to go public with their stories and identities despite the risks. Fergus Hunter The Age The security agents came for Adeham Abliz late on a Thursday night. That day, September 8, 2016, had been much like any other in the 59-year-old Uighur man’s life in the city of Ghulja in north-western China. Abliz, a shopkeeper, had performed his five daily prayers, starting with fajr at dawn through ... Read More »

Refugees in Uganda: The value of a million human lives

Uganda is a front runner when it comes to forward-looking refugee policy. But financial aid from abroad only trickles in and the situation is worsening. Who should pay — Uganda or the international community? Silja Fröhlich DW In the first half of November, 1,750 new refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan entered Uganda. This brings the total from these two countries for this year to 100,000. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1.4 million refugees live ... Read More »

White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’

President Trump’s new budget would increase defense spending by $54 billion — while slashing funding for medical research, climate science, public housing, education, aid to the indigent, infrastructure, and… Eric Levitz Intelligencer On Thursday morning, the White House’s budget director Mick Mulvaney explained that these changes were inspired by one, simple question: “Can we ask the taxpayer to pay for this?” Here’s what he said:.. “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked ... Read More »