Activism

To Free a Human Rights Defender in Russia’s Chechnya

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Daughter of Chechnya’s Slain Rights Worker Pleas for Freedom of Mother’s Successor Tanya Lokshina HRW Today, my late friend’s daughter published a video calling on the public to petition Russia’s President Putin to free Oyub Titiev, the Chechnya director for Russia’s leading human rights organization, Memorial. Titiev has been jailed since January, pending trial on trumped-up drug possession charges. My late friend, Natasha Estemirova, was Chechnya’s most prominent rights defender. In summer 2009, a group of security officials kidnapped her ... Read More »

Gaza residents to bury dead from Israel border protest

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Funerals for many of the 59 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire during the Gaza border protest will be held on Tuesday. DW – mm/aw (AFP, AP, dpa) Several countries, although not the US, have condemned Israel’s violent response. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for three days of mourning as Gaza residents prepared to bury those killed in Monday’s violence along the border with Israel. The Palestinian Authority also called a general strike in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in protest ... Read More »

Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade Reveals the Limits of Israeli Counter-terrorism

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Israeli-Palestinian tensions are mounting, not just in Gaza and over the U.S. embassy’s move to Jerusalem, but also over Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, known to Jews as Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Ofer Zalzberg ICG Israeli and Palestinian leaders could take simple administrative steps to reduce the risks of violence at the holy sites. A series of momentous events in Israel-Palestine, both national and religious in character, risk spiralling into a dangerous escalation. Since 30 March, tens of thousands of Palestinians in ... Read More »

Erdogan’s visit to the UK: open letter to Prime Minister May

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Lobby for Cyprus * open letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Dear Prime Minister President Erdogan’s visit to the UK will take place against the shadows cast by his destruction of democracy in Turkey, his government’s appalling human rights record, his country’s gunboat diplomacy and the enduring consequences of the two Turkish invasions of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Having ethno-religiously cleansed and colonised 36 per cent of the territory (and 57 per cent of the ... Read More »

UNICEF: 400,000 children on ‘verge’ of death in the DRC

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The UN’s children’s agency calls for $88m of aid to address the ongoing crisis in Congo’s Kasai region. AlJazeera Up to 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo unless humanitarian aid efforts are ramped up, the UN’s children’s agency has warned. Fighting between government forces and regional militia in the Congo’s central Kasai province has created a “perfect storm of poverty, deprivation and conflict for the most vulnerable children”, UNICEFsaid in a… It called for urgent ... Read More »

Final donation for man whose blood helped save 2.4 million babies

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For every regular blood donation, three lives could be saved; an ordinary plasma donation could save 18. But James Harrison is extraordinary. Kate Aubusson The Age His blood has helped save the lives of 2.4 million babies. The 81-year-old’s plasma contains a potent antibody used to create a remarkable treatment known as Anti-D that protects unborn babies from the potentially deadly Rhesus D Haemolytic Disease (HDN). On Friday, after more than 60 years and 1173 donations, Mr Harrison made his ... Read More »

We must not punish content creators in our rush to regulate social platforms

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By harnessing social media, the teenage survivors of the Parkland, Florida massacre in the United States have started a movement that might finally shift the dial on gun control. Authors: The Conversation Using their cellphones and laptops, they’ve not only organised a march on Washington, but built a digital network of supporters who are putting unprecedented pressure on legislators. Social media platforms such as Facebook have richly earned our distrust. From Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election, to ... Read More »

Facebook banning foreign ads related to Ireland’s abortion referendum

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Facebook has announced it is banning foreign advertisements related to Ireland’s abortion referendum amid concerns that North American groups are trying to influence the campaign. AP ABC Irish voters will decide on May 25 whether to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion, in a divisive referendum that has drawn international attention. Ireland bars political donations from abroad, but the law does not apply to social media advertising. US-based anti-abortion groups are among those who have bought online ads in Ireland ... Read More »

Chinese dissident: Trump, don’t trade away democratic values

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As U.S. representatives visit China this week to talk about trade negotiations, President Donald Trump and his administration have an opportunity to take advantage of a pivotal moment. Chen Guangcheng The Washington Post Trump should pressure the Chinese regime to make real, substantive change regarding the rule of law and human rights, both to form the basis of a fair and stable trade relationship going forward and to reassert America’s embrace of… In 2001, the United States granted China a legal status ... Read More »

Emmanuel Macron and the Ghosts of 1968

Masked and hooded demonstrators stand behind protest banners at the May Day labour union rally in Paris, France, May 1, 2018.  Picture taken May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann - RC126E009190

French workers took part in annual May Day protests while the president headed overseas. But the labor movement is not what it once was. Rachel Donadio The Atlantic PARIS—May Day, the traditional May 1 Labor Day holiday, has been particularly charged in France this year. It marks the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 student and worker uprisings that convulsed France, transforming the country and the world. It was a dramatic, romantic moment, one that shaped a generation. Not the ... Read More »

The best anthem for Workers’ Day? ‘Stimela’ – a tale about apartheid’s migrant labour system

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What is the ultimate song to celebrate Workers’ Day? Many will suggest “The Internationale” which had its roots as a poem written in the aftermath of the Paris Commune in 1871 by Eugène Pottier, a transport worker. Andries Bezuidenhout The Conversation Set to music a few years later, it became the anthem for the wider progressive movement. It served as the Soviet Union’s anthem after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, making it more closely associated with the communist movement. But ... Read More »

Thailand protesters in rare rally over Chiang Mai development

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Protesters in Thailand have staged one of the country’s biggest demonstrations since the 2014 military coup as they campaign against a luxury housing development on forested land. BBC More than 1,000 people gathered in the northern city of Chiang Mai. They rallied against a housing project being built for judges and officials in the foothills of a sacred mountain. The march went ahead in defiance of a ban on public gatherings imposed by the junta, which seized power in 2014. ... Read More »

Activists file charges against Tihange, Doel nuclear power plants

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An activist alliance has pressed charges against the Belgian state and the nuclear plants Tihange and Doel. Timothy Jones (with dpa) DW The move comes amid growing fears of a serious nuclear accident among nearby residents in three countries. Anti-nuclear initiatives from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands on Saturday filed charges against the Belgian government and the operators of the Belgian nuclear plants Doel and Tihange, saying that aging reactors at the… Hundreds of people turned out in the Belgian ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

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Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... Read More »

‘This is my country’: how a Melbourne suburb defied the far-right to welcome refugees

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The settlement of refugees in Eltham sparked far-right protests. But locals presented a different vision of Australia Denham Sadler The Guardian Οn a dreary Sunday afternoon in late March, the sort that provides a harsh lesson on what Melbourne weather is capable of, a Syrian refugee talks through an interpreter about her escape from the conflict that has torn her… Amena*, who along with about 100 other refugees from Syria and Iraq settled in the suburb of Eltham on the outskirts of north-east ... Read More »

Somaliland poet jailed for Somalia reunification poetry

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A court in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail. BBC Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated. Somaliland self-declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised internationally. Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited ... Read More »