Human Rights

Incoming US Secretary of Defense Shanahan has ties to US-Turkey arms trade

United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who will take over for ousted Secretary of Defense James Mattis in January, has significant ties to the U.S.-Turkey arms trade— a… Meghan Bodette The Region “I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a… Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986, and worked there for over 30 years. He had no previous ... Read More »

Soccer community demands action to bring Hakeem al-Araibi home

Australia’s soccer community is demanding the federal government step up its fight to bring home a Melbourne-based refugee footballer as fears for his safety grow. Sumeyya Ilanbey The Age Hakeem al-Araibi, who was granted refugee status by Australia after he fled Bahrain, is being held in a Thai detention centre following an incorrectly-issued Interpol red notice flagging his arrival in Thailand. Araibi’s supporters say the Pascoe Vale Football Club defender has a “very real chance” of being extradited to Bahrain, ... Read More »

What makes someone an ‘illegal immigrant’?

After months of negotiations and some controversy, a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was agreed by 164 countries in early December. Tendayi Bloom The Conversation In the final text of this agreement and in the process that led up to it, distinguishing between “legal” or “regular” and “illegal” or “irregular” migration was presented as central to a… But what does it mean for a state to identify somebody as an “illegal immigrant” – or even as an “immigrant” at all? ... Read More »

Chinese activists shave heads to protest persecution of partners

The partners of four of China’s most prominent rights lawyers and activists are now bald, in protest over what they call the “persecution” of their husbands by the Government. ABC Reuters Since taking office in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has overseen a crackdown on dissent, with hundreds of rights lawyers and activists being detained, arrested and jailed. Four wives of lawyers detained during a July 2015 sweep known as the 709 crackdown gathered in the central park of a ... Read More »

North Cyprus journalist takes on Turkey’s mighty Erdogan

“There is always a price you pay for freedom of expression” AFP Arab News NICOSIA: Jail time, angry mobs and assassination attempts — editor Sener Levent has paid a price for challenging Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and authorities in breakaway northern Cyprus through his tiny newspaper. Alongside the stacks of old papers on his desk in northern Nicosia, a luminous screen displays footage from security cameras at his office’s entrances. The cameras are part of protective measures in place ... Read More »

Move to call abortion and assisted suicide ‘human rights’ is ‘evil’, says Princeton professor

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has been accused of elevating individual freedom above moral considerations after recently including abortion and assisted suicide among the… Christian Today The committee’s ‘General Comment’ on the right to life, issued at the end of October, argued for the decriminalisation of abortion and the removal of restrictions that could subject women or… It also put the rights of women and girls seeking an abortion before the rights of medical practitioners with conscientious objections to performing ... Read More »

Assisted dying ‘only option for many with terminal illness’

The introduction of assisted dying in Scotland is coming and is the only way to “relieve the suffering” for many with terminal conditions, MSPs have been told. By SCOTT MACNAB The Scotsman Medical leaders from Canada were in the Scottish Parliament last week to set out how the medical assistance in dying (MAID) system has worked there since being introduced two years ago and how splits in the profession were overcome. Dr Sandy Buchman, president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), ... Read More »

Obamacare: Texas court rules key health law is unconstitutional

A federal judge in the US state of Texas has ruled that a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. BBC Twenty states argued the whole law was invalidated by a change in tax rules last year which eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance. President Donald Trump said the ruling was great news for America. The law’s provisions will, however, remain in place until an appeal is heard at the US ... Read More »

Role reversal: China cites human rights in spat with Canada

When China’s government recently protested the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou, it used something rarely heard from Beijing — the language of… David Webster The Conversation “The detention without giving any reason violates a person’s human rights,” a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry said. In using this sort of “rights talk,” China is not simply jumping on the fact that Meng was in detention on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ... Read More »

China: Repression of Christian Church Intensifies

Protestant Pastor, Dozens of Congregants Detained (New York) – Chinese authorities should immediately release the pastor and scores of members of an independent Protestant church in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW Authorities should also return church properties and allow the members to resume worship services. On December 9 and 10, 2018, police officers in Chengdu took into custody Pastor Wang Yi and more than 100 congregants of the Early Rain Covenant Church from the ... Read More »

‘You welcome them with hatred’: Malala’s disappointment at Australia

When asylum seekers looked to an affluent Australia for hope, it was disappointing to see some were treated with “hatred” and weren’t even allowed to set foot on its shores, said activist Malala Yousafzai. Julie Power The Sydney Morning Herald Yet when the Taliban came for Ms Yousafzai’s family in Pakistan, her family was given sanctuary by friends, family, strangers, true to the country’s culture of welcoming those in need. The 21-year-old activist – who in 2014 became the youngest ... Read More »

Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

Time Magazine has just announced its “Person of the Year” for 2018, and for once, it isn’t one person. This time it is four people and a newspaper. Prof. Peter Greste The C0nversation Collectively calling them “The Guardians”, Time has awarded the accolade to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Filipino journalist Maria Ressa who edits the Rappler news website, two… Time’s Person of the Year cover is reserved for those who the magazine judges have had “the greatest impact ... Read More »

‘Outrageous’: Australia notified Thailand about refugee footballer’s travel plans

Jakarta: Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok after the Australian government informed their Thai counterparts the refugee footballer was travelling to Thailand and subject to an Interpol Red Notice. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald On Wednesday, the Department of Home Affairs attempted to distance itself from Araibi’s detention, arguing that “any action taken in response to the Interpol Red Notice is a matter for Thai authorities”. But Human Rights groups were sharply critical of Australian authorities’ decision to notify ... Read More »

Life in limbo: the Manus babies who face a stateless future

Up to 39 children have been born to Papua New Guinean women and refugee men originally detained on Manus Island. Lyanne Togiba and Michelle Cheng The Guardian Their families claim the children have been denied birth certificates, leaving their future uncertain. The children of Manus Island refugees and local women are being denied birth certificates, according to their families, potentially leaving up to 39 of them stateless. A number of refugee men detained in the Australian-run Manus Island regional processing centre and ... Read More »

Pope demotes two cardinals over sexual abuse scandals

Two cardinals facing allegations linked to sexual abuse have been removed from Pope Francis’s inner circle, the Vatican said. BBC Australia’s George Pell and Chile’s Francisco Javier Errazuriz will no longer sit on the Council of Cardinals, set up by the pope as an international advice body. The pair were absent from the last meeting of the group in September. A spokesperson said the Pope wrote to them both in October to thank them. Cardinal Pell, who remains the Vatican ... Read More »

Syrian refugees remain trapped and marginalised by Lebanon’s power-sharing politics

World leaders gathered in Marrakesh on December 10 to sign a historic agreement safeguarding the rights of migrants. Drew Mikhael The Conversation Despite the withdrawal of some countries, the Global Compact on Migration was approved by 164 countries. It follows the Global Compact on Refugees, approved at the UN in mid-November by all countries, bar one – the United States. Despite the current optimism around the potential good these new global compacts on refugees and migrants will have, the current ... Read More »