Civil Rights

Access to justice and election agendas

With just three weeks to go, Lawyers Weekly has taken a look at what the major parties think of access to justice as a federal election issue. The Bar Grace Ormsby Lawyers Weekly Liberal Party According to the Liberal Party’s website, there is no consideration of the justice system specifically as an election policy. Despite this, the current government, now in caretaker mode until the election takes place, has cited the “combating of violence against women and children as remaining ... 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 »

God, Guns, and Country: The Evangelical Fight Over Firearms

On the afternoon of Good Friday in April, 2010, Shane Claiborne, a thirty-five-year-old evangelical activist sporting dreadlocks and homemade pants, followed a group of teen-agers carrying an… Eliza Griswold The New Yorker They marched to a gun store in Kensington called the Shooter Shop, which was notorious for allowing straw buyers to purchase guns illegally. Philadelphia has been hit hard by the heroin epidemic and its associated gun violence. In 2010, some two hundred and fifty people were killed with ... Read More »

Militia detains migrants at gunpoint along the US-Mexico border

A video has emerged of armed right-wing militia members stopping over 300 migrants as they cross the Mexico border into the US state of New Mexico. BBC The group calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, and are seen in the Facebook clip standing over migrants sitting on the desert ground. The group’s actions have been condemned by civil liberties groups and New Mexico state officials. The militia supports President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall. The incident comes amid ... Read More »

Bahrain revokes citizenship of 138 people in mass trial

(CNN)Bahrain has revoked the nationality of 138 people convicted of terrorism in a mass trial, according to the kingdom’s state news agency. By Nada Altaher, CNN The Bahrain News Agency citing Advocate General Ahmed al-Hammadi reported Tuesday that the High Criminal Court also sentenced 69 terror suspects to life in prison. Thirty-nine of the defendants received sentences up to 10 years, while 23 received 7-year terms. The remainder received up to 5 years. The defendants were accused of attempting to form ... Read More »

Mythbusting with the Grand Mufti: Australia’s Muslim leader answers your questions

You asked, he answered. The Grand Mufti of Australia and New Zealand Ibrahim Abu Mohamed answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Islam, including views on homosexuality and Jihad. Fares Hassan SBS Reporter Fares Hassan sat down with the Grand Mufti to address what he calls “misconceptions” associated with the religion of Islam. The questions were some of the most commonly asked by commenters on the… Q: You are the Mufti of Australia, why don’t you speak English? ... Read More »

Julian Assange Q+A: WikiLeaks founder arrested in London

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been arrested in London and charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion over his alleged role in the leaking of classified United States government documents. Gbenga Oduntan The Conversation Assange has already been found guilty of failing to surrender British police, who took him from the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been living for nearly seven years, having claimed asylum there. Here’s what we know so far. Why was Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy ... Read More »

‘A dangerous precedent’: Julian Assange’s lawyer hits out at his arrest

The founder of WikiLeaks, Australian Julian Assange, has been arrested after he was kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. AFP – SBS WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s seven-year hideout in Ecuador’s London embassy ended on Thursday when British police dragged him out and arrested him on an extradition request from the United States to face hacking charges. Footage shot by the Russian video news agency Ruptly showed Mr Assange – his worn face framed by a bushy white beard ... Read More »

South Korea abortion ban ‘unconstitutional’

South Korea’s ban on abortion has been ruled unconstitutional in a historic court decision. BBC The country’s constitutional court ordered that the law must be revised by the end of 2020. Under the 1953 ban, women who procured abortions could be fined and imprisoned, except in cases of rape or risk to their health. South Korea is one of the few developed countries to criminalise abortion. The abortion law was reviewed after a challenge from a female doctor who said ... Read More »

Bring Behrouz home to Australia: he is one of us

There is a pivotal moment in Behrouz Boochani’s book, No Friend but the Mountains. In late August, 2013, a propeller-driven plane stands waiting on a strip on Christmas Island, to take asylum seekers to a faraway destination. Arnold Zable The Age Each man is escorted at two-minute intervals, 50 metres from a bus to the plane. They are held by the arms between two officers. At the base of the stairs, they are handed over to a second pair of officers, ... Read More »

Sharia in Brunei: Gay sex, abortion, extramarital sex, stealing now punishable by stoning, amputation, death

Today, the Brunei Government ushers in a harsh new penal code that requires death by stoning for extramarital sex, anal sex, and abortion; amputation of limbs for stealing; and 100 lashes with a whip for lesbian sex. dateline SBS “Brunei’s new penal code is barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that shouldn’t even be crimes,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director. The controversial changes to Brunei’s penal code were first published in 2013, and ... Read More »

Jessie Simmons: How a schoolteacher became an unsung hero of the civil rights movement

Jessie Dean Gipson Simmons was full of optimism when she and her family moved from an apartment in a troubled area of Detroit to a new development in Inkster, Michigan in 1955. Valerie Hill-Jackson The Conversation With three children in tow, Jessie and her husband settled into a home on Colgate Street in a neighborhood known as “Brick City” – an idyllic enclave of single, working-class families with a shared community garden. The plan was simple. Like many African Americans ... Read More »