Law & Order

US ambassador clashes with Warsaw over media freedom

Government efforts to rein in critical media lead to a confrontation with Washington. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico WARSAW — The U.S. ambassador to Poland tangled with the country’s right-wing government over an American-owned TV station that has fallen afoul of the ruling party. Polish media released a picture of a letter sent by Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (whose name was misspelled), warning the government to lay off efforts to prosecute journalists at the TVN24 news channel, owned by ... Read More »

Through confusion and panic, Ukraine digests what martial law will mean

Increased security around ports and stations already being reported, but consequences for ordinary Ukrainians are unclear Oliver Carroll Independent A day after the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law across 10 border regions, there was little clarity about what it would actually mean in practice. With parts of the government on different pages, and the introduction of measures that could cover most aspects of life, even family, some areas of the country bordered on panic mode. In the southern city of Odessa, there ... Read More »

Mexico: Forced Disappearance, an Ongoing Crime

As human rights lawyers, we generally don’t rank the crimes we document. But after interviewing the families of countless victims over the years, I’m convinced there’s no crime more cruel than the “disappearance” of a human being. Daniel Wilkinson HRW Published in El Universal In 2003, during one of my first research trips to Mexico, I interviewed women in Guerrero state who had lost family members during the country’s “dirty war” in the early 1970s. Their missing loved ones were presumed ... Read More »

Life Under Gang Rule in El Salvador

Over the last three years, gang violence has killed nearly 20,000 people in El Salvador, propelling tens of thousands northward in search of safety. ICG With U.S. help, the Salvadoran government should try to counter gangs with crime prevention as much as with law enforcement. Nearly 20,000 Salvadorans were killed from 2014 to 2017. That’s more violent deaths than in several countries that were at war during those years, such as Libya, Somalia and Ukraine. The murder rate – an ... Read More »

The case for a new corruption watchdog is strong, but questions remain

Ask some in the federal public service, and watchers in academia, and they’ll tell you the case for a new, overarching national anti-corruption watchdog is weak. Editorial The Canberra Times Their arguments can be sweeping and carelessly naive. Countries with less perceived corruption than Australia don’t have a national integrity commission, so nor should we. Never mind the fact many are smaller nations, and all carry different political systems, histories, spreads of wealth, economic bases and bureaucratic architecture. And forget ... Read More »

Switzerland votes against putting ‘Swiss Law First’

Swiss voters have rejected a plan to put Swiss court rulings ahead of international ones. However, they approved of allowing insurers to spy on customers and against a ban on the dehorning of cows. DW Some 66 percent of voters and all of the country’s 26 cantons voted on Sunday against the “Swiss law, not foreign judges” measure. The measure, backed by rightwing groups, called for domestic law to be placed above international law, a move that opponents claim would damage the ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: Storm clouds gather over Turkish-Saudi ties

Turkey’s determination to go all the way to force Saudi Arabia to come clean over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is pointing to a serious crisis in the making between the two countries. Semih Idiz Al-Monitor This crisis, which could have regional implications for Turkey, seems unavoidable since Ankara’s accusations ultimately target Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, commonly referred to by his initials, MBS. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have no affection for the crown prince, who ... Read More »

The suffering of sex slaves in the Congo: ‘I was one woman to 20 men’

Far away from the world’s attention, a vicious conflict in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo has resulted in countless women being used as sex slaves. David Wroe The Age Kabadi Tshibuabua’s daughter lagged only a few metres behind her, but it was far enough. The Bana Mura militia had come to their village of Cinq, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), at 7am one Sunday in April last year. Tshibuabua grabbed her two children and fled into ... 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 »

Former Turkish PM’s son resurrects his father’s Welfare Party

Fatih Erbakan, the son of former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, has resurrected his father’s Welfare Party (RP), which was closed by Turkey’s top court in 1998. TM The New Welfare Party was announced by the younger Erbakan in a tweet on Friday. Abdülhamid Kayıhan Osmanoğlu, a grandchild of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamit II, who died in exile in 1918, was among the founders of the party. Necmettin Erbakan, a leading figure of Turkey’s Islamist movement, had formed the old RP ... Read More »

How Australia’s NRA-inspired gun lobby is trying to chip away at gun control laws

The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia is reportedly taking notes from America’s NRA. By George Rennie, The Conversation SBS One of the more noticeable ad campaigns in the upcoming Victoria state election comes from a seemingly unlikely source. The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA) seeks to unwind Australia’s gun regulations, and knows that state governments are as good a place as any to start. SIFA is a key part of Australia’s gun lobby, and uses the same tactics as ... 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 »

George Papadopoulos spreading disinformation to Australia

George Papadopoulos, a one-time adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, is promoting disinformation aimed at Australia, using tactics “in the same vein” as other public figures linked to… Chris Zappone WAtoday Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in a US court to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian intermediary in September, has since initiated a public relations war against Australia’s former… After Papadopoulos told Downer in 2016 that Russia possessed damaging material about then-US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ... Read More »

81% of whistleblower cases end in negative repercussions, research says

New findings from Griffith University and Governance Institute have shown alarming levels of deleterious impacts of whistleblowing upon those who speak out, which the researchers say should… Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly While professional organisations support having whistleblowing policies in place, the reality is that whistleblowers are often not well treated, according to Governance Institute. The Whistling While They Work 2: Improving Managerial Responses to Whistleblowing in Public and Private Organisations has found that found 42 per cent of whistleblowers are ... 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 »