Civil Liberties

Picturing Sri Lanka’s Undead War

Ten years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka Project Director Alan Keenan and Photographer Julie David de Lossy travelled 1,500km through ex-combat zones. ICG They found a population finding ways to cope with their traumatic experiences and an extraordinary array of monuments to the war. Ten years have passed since Sri Lanka’s 26-year war came to an end on 18 May 2009. A decisive victory over the Tamil Tigers placed the Sinhalese-majority government firmly ... Read More »

Christians seek refuge after deadly Burkina attacks

KAYA, Burkina Faso (Reuters) – Concerned about a rise in violence against Christians in Burkina Faso, Pastor Jacques Ouedraogo changed the time of his Sunday service as a precaution. He believes this is what saved his life. Thiam Ndiaga Reuters Later, his church was one of two targeted by gunmen on May 12 in the town of Dablo in a series of deadly attacks on churches and a religious procession in the last two weeks in Burkina’s formerly peaceful Central ... Read More »

Taiwan becomes first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage

Supporters celebrate as legislation is passed giving gay couples right to marry Lily Kuo The Guardian Taiwan has legalised same-sex marriage, the first of any Asian state, with the passage of legislation giving gay couples the right to marry. Lawmakers on Friday comfortably passed part of a bill that would allow gay couples to enter into “exclusive permanent unions” and apply for marriage registration with government agencies. Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who campaigned on a platform of marriage equality, tweeted after the ... Read More »

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Alabama has become the latest US state to move to restrict abortions by passing a bill to outlaw the procedure in almost all cases. BBC Supporters say they expect the law to be blocked in court but hope that the appeals process will bring it before the Supreme Court. They want the court, which now has a conservative majority, to overturn the 1973 ruling legalising abortion. Sixteen other states are seeking to impose new restrictions on abortion. Earlier this year ... Read More »

Mena Mangal: Journalist and women’s rights campaigner shot dead in broad daylight in Kabul

‘This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers’ Abby Young-Powell The Independent An Afghan journalist and political advisor, who was vocal about women’s rights in the country, has been gunned down in broad daylight, just days after saying she believed her life was in danger. Mena Mangal was shot dead on Saturday morning in a public place while she was on her way to work in the capital city of Kabul. ... Read More »

The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival – 2019 Program Guide

Whether you love romance, want to be inspired or see something with all the feels, HRAFF Co-Founder and Chairperson, Evelyn Tadros has the perfect set of festival recommendations just for you! Published May 7, 2019 by Guest in Human Rights Arts & Film Festival Leave a comment Castan Centre The annual Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off in just two days, and there are dozens of great films to see. Here’s a list to suit everyone’s tastes. For those of you who feel overwhelmed about ... Read More »

In pictures: The art fuelling Sudan’s revolution

Murals have been mushrooming on the walls around the military headquarters in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, as thousands keep up a vigil to see a return to civilian rule. By Mohanad Hashim BBC Africa, Khartoum Crowds converged on the area on 6 April and five days later, long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted and arrested by the military after nearly 30 years in power. Muwfaq, a student at the nearby University of Khartoum, says the piece he is painting shows how ... Read More »

Caruana Galizia murder: Fighting for justice for my murdered mother

Once every few months I have to sit in a room with the person investigating my mother’s murder. Our family first encountered him six years ago, when he came to our home to arrest her. By Matthew Caruana Galizia World Press Freedom Day BBC My mother had published a satirical blog post about a candidate for Maltese prime minister on election day and one of his supporters filed a police report. So, the detective was sent to our family home ... Read More »

Debbie Kilroy honoured with the Liberty Victoria Voltaire Award 2019

This year Liberty Victoria honours Debbie Kilroy, the founder of Sisters Inside, with the Voltaire Human Rights Award. The Voltaire Award honours a person or group for an outstanding contribution to or action on free speech, human rights or civil liberties, with particular emphasis on progressing freedom, respect, equality and dignity. It celebrates those who speak out, write, campaign, whistle-blow, take action or  stand against authoritarianism. Previous winners include Magda Szubanski, Gillian Triggs, Waleed Aly, David Marr, Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy. ... Read More »

Is the Assange indictment a threat to the First Amendment?

A British court sentenced Julian Assange on May 1 to almost a year in prison for jumping bail. Ofer Raban The Conversation That’s not the end of Assange’s legal travails: he still faces the possibility of an extradition to the U.S. After a brief initial hearing, the matter will be taken up again at a hearing on May 30 in London. The American government has many reasons to dislike Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, who is responsible for the dissemination ... Read More »

Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail by a London court on May 1 for skipping bail to enter the Ecuadorean embassy where he was holed up for almost seven… LONDON- Reuters Hurriyet Judge Deborah Taylor read out the sentence as Assange, in a black jacket and grey sweatshirt, looked on. Taylor said Assange had exploited his privileged position to flout the law and express… He was convicted last month of skipping bail in June 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over ... Read More »

Sudan protesters, army rulers in breakthrough talks over civil rule

Sudanese protesters April 28 welcomed a breakthrough in talks with army rulers who agreed to form a joint civilian-military council, paving the way for a civilian administration as… KHARTOUM – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The agreement would replace the existing 10-member military council that took power after the army ousted veteran leader Omar al-Bashir on April 11 amid massive protests. “What happened yesterday is a step to have a civilian authority,” said Mohamed Amin, one of thousands of demonstrators who have been ... Read More »

‘No Future for Jews in Germany’, says German Jewish Teenager

German Jews explain why they are relocating to Israel. Benjamin Weinthal JPost The large German broadsheet newspaper Die Welt titled online on Saturday: “Why young Jews are leaving Germany.” According to the Die Welt (The World) article, 50 young German Jews left Germany in 2018 to enroll in the Israeli government-sponsored Naale program. Young Diaspora Jews can apply to be accepted into a… The 15-year-old Golda Maertens, who has been accepted to Naale, told Welt reporter Philip Kuhn “I also think that there is ... Read More »

Inmates End Own Lives to Protest Rebel Kurdish Leader’s Treatment in Turkey

At least four Kurdish activists have died in prisons across Turkey since last week, in what lawyers and officials have called suicides over the poor prison conditions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK… Rikar Hussein Ezel Sahinkaya VoA The series of alleged suicides by Kurdish prisoners started on March 17 when Kurdish officials confirmed that Zulkuf Gezen took his own life, followed by the deaths of Ayten Becet and… Officials of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also confirmed on Monday the ... Read More »

Second Class Citizens: The Parallel Lives of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

Your maid wants a day off? Your maid wants a room of her own? Your maid wants her own clothes? Your maid has Body Odour. Your maid has sex? The problems of maid ownership are laid bare in Rebecca Sampson’s wonderful Apples for Sale. Colin Pantall Photographic Museum of Humanity Apples for Sale tells the story of Indonesian Maids working in Hong Kong. It’s a book about migration, labour, and regional relationships. It’s about Indonesian maids working in Hong Kong, ... Read More »

Duke Ellington’s melodies carried his message of social justice

At a moment when there is a longstanding heated debate over how artists and pop culture figures should engage in social activism, the life and career of musical legend Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington offers a… Authors: The Conversation Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. His tight-knit black middle-class family nurtured his racial pride and shielded him from many of the difficulties of segregation in the… Washington was home to a sizable black middle class, despite prevalent ... Read More »