Humanity

‘Politics of fear’: Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address

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Johannesburg: Former US President Barack Obama took aim at “strongman politics” in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an impassioned address marking the 100th anniversary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela’s birth. AP WAtoday While not mentioning his successor by name, Obama’s speech in South Africa countered many of President Donald Trump’s policies, rallying people to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, ... Read More »

‘Collective punishment’: Israel blocks fuel shipment to Gaza

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Israel further tightens its blockade on the strip while rights group denounces measure as ‘morally depraved’. AlJazeera Israel has further tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip, preventing gas and fuel deliveries through its only commercial crossing with the Palestinian besieged enclave a week after Israeli authorities announced the closure of the crossing. The Kerem Shalom crossing, known to Palestinians as Karem Abu Salem, was shut down on July 9 and initially, only items deemed as “humanitarian” would be allowed to enter Gaza, ... Read More »

Australia deports Tamil asylum seeker, separating him from baby daughter

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Thileepan faces permanent separation from his wife and child, who have been granted safe haven visas Ben Doherty The Guardian A 30-year-old Tamil asylum seeker faces permanent separation from his wife and 10-month-old Australian-born daughter, after being deported more than six years after arriving in Australia. Thileepan (like many Tamils he only uses one name) had been in Australia since arriving by boat in June 2012. He lived in the community for most of his time in Australia, marrying in ... Read More »

Forcing priests to report abuse not a breach of human rights: Watchirs

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New laws that will force priests to break the seal of confession to report child abuse are not in breach of the ACT’s human right laws, despite concerns about the impact on religious freedoms, the ACT’s Human Rights Commissioner says. Katie Burgess The Canberra Times Under the territory’s expanded reportable conduct scheme, priests in Canberra will be required to report allegations, offences or convictions related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days from March… But the Australian Catholics Bishops ... Read More »

Can democracy vote itself out of existence?

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Look at the state of the world’s democratic nations, and it is easy to see why so many are concerned for the future of democracy. Manjeet Ramgotra The Conversation Leaders such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have centralised political power by changing their countries’ constitutions, silencing dissent and controlling the media. Since 2016’s coup attempt in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government has used the subsequent state of emergency to incarcerate thousands without trial. Opposition politicians, judges, journalists ... Read More »

DR Congo Rights Abusers Rewarded with Army Promotions

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Appointments Increase Risk of Further Repression, Abuses Ida Sawyer HRW The Democratic Republic of Congo’s president and commander in chief, Joseph Kabila, has promoted two generals long linked to serious human rights abuses. The new appointments, announced on the weekend, heighten concerns of more repression and abuse in the weeks ahead, as Kabila ponders his plans ahead of elections scheduled for December 23. Gen. Gabriel Amisi, known as “Tango Four,” was named the new deputy army chief of staff in ... Read More »

Rights not “fortress conservation” key to save planet, says UN expert

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Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples calls for a new, rights-based approach to conservation David Hill The Guardian The United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has released a report highly critical of the global conservation movement and calling for indigenous peoples and other local communities to have a… What exactly is meant by that? It is “the idea that to protect forests and biodiversity, ecosystems need to function in isolation, devoid of people,” the Rapporteur told the Guardian. ... Read More »

Thai rescue highlights humanity — but not in our leaders

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In Australia, we erupted with joy as we watched the Thai rescue, but our leaders have not planned a rescue operation for 134 children still imprisoned in Nauru, writes John Passant. IA THE RESCUE of the 12 young soccer players and their coach from a cave in Thailand shows all that is great about humanity. Compassion, global cooperation, love, skill — all were on display. Around the globe, billions hoped and prayed as we watched the teams racing to save the boys ... Read More »

British colonial forces ‘raped a teenager and tortured civilians during 1950s Cyprus uprising and then covered it up’, court papers claim

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British colonial forces raped a 15-year-old girl and tortured civilian detainees with beatings and mock hangings during the Cyprus uprising in the 1950s, papers lodged at the High Court reveal. By ANGELLA JOHNSON FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY The devastating claims have been made in damning eyewitness reports by 31 elderly men and two women who are suing the Government for human rights abuses. The evidence comes after The Mail on Sunday revealed in April that senior British officers had seen ... Read More »

British public backs legalisation of cannabis so it can be sold like cigarettes and alcohol, poll reveals

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Exclusive: 51 per cent say it is time to treat the drug in the same way as other legal substances Joe Watts Independent A majority of the British public back the legalisation of cannabis so that it would be sold in shops like alcohol and tobacco, a poll has revealed. There was also majority support for decriminalisation, something that would free up police time and resources to deal with serious crime. The exclusive BMG Research poll for The Independent comes days after cannabis oil was for the ... Read More »

Tanzania’s John Magufuli says prisoners are free labour

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The president of Tanzania has called for prisoners to be made to work long hours, and to be punished if they are lazy. BBC John Magufuli was speaking at the inauguration of a new prisons chief. Rights groups have accused him of growing intolerance. Mr Magufuli has lost his initial huge popularity by clamping down on the media, targeting opposition politicians and calling for pregnant schoolgirls to be banned from… He said inmates should grow their own food in prison… ... Read More »

Don’t wait for the government to take the lead on ethical action

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Most people are moved to emit at least an “awww” when they see the sweet, big-eyed face of a baby orangutan staring out of a magazine or a meme. Nicola Philp The Sydney Morning Herald And most people who watched a recent viral video of an adult orangutan trying to escape an excavator as it smashed down the tree it was clinging to would have been horrified. That feeling would continue were they to discover that more than 100,000 of ... Read More »

UAE accused of War Crimes over torture in Yemen prisons as Middle East conflict rages on

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AMNESTY International has called for a war crimes investigation after accusing the United Arab Emirates and its allied Yemeni forces of torturing detainees at prisons in the south of Yemen. Caitlin Doherty Sunday Express The UAE has been engaged in battle with the Houthi government in Yemen since they seized control in September 2014. They have been fighting the rebels in the capital Sana’a alongside Saudi Arabia, the US, and Yemeni allies. But an Amnesty International report released earlier this ... Read More »

‘Serious questions’ over whether Australia’s emissions cuts are real

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Methods used to pledge at least $1.15 billion in taxpayer-funded emissions cuts are under a cloud as officials probe whether the environmental benefits credited to the Coalition government’s flagship… Nicole Hasham WAtoday A former government official has told Fairfax Media that the scheme, the emissions reduction fund, has rightly focused on attracting participants to carbon-reducing projects such as revegetation, rather than assessing if the… But critics say a lack of probity in the $2.55 billion Abbott-era policy mean it is impossible ... Read More »

The ‘stolen babies’ trial in Spain finally shines a light on a scandal that cannot be forgotten

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It is June 6 1969 and Spain is living through the final years of Franco’s dictatorship. At a clinic in Madrid, a woman gives birth to a baby girl she will never see again. Federico López-Terra The Conversation Little is known about what happened to that mother – but almost 50 years later, her daughter Inés Madrigal has just given evidence in… In the dock was Dr Eduardo Vela, an 85-year-old former gynaecologist accused of stealing Inés from her biological ... Read More »

Adul Sam-on: the stateless boy who survived the Thai cave – and helped with the rescue

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The dramatic rescue of the 12 boys trapped in Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand captured the world’s attention. Derina Johnson The Conversation But one young person in particular stood out: 14-year-old Adul Sam-on, who, as the only English speaker in the group (he also speaks Chinese, Burmese and Thai), greeted the British divers who found them, and… Adul is stateless. According to reports, he was born in Wa state, an unrecognised state within Myanmar which is unable to issue ... Read More »