Civil Rights

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 »

Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people

Too often whites at discussions on race decide for themselves what will be discussed, what they will hear, what they will learn. And it is their space. All spaces are Ijeoma Oluo The Guardian I was leaving a corporate office building after a full day of leading workshops on how to talk about race thoughtfully and deliberately. The audience for each session had been similar to the dozens I had faced before. There was an overrepresentation of employees of color, ... Read More »

Top Chinese leader backs crackdown on Uighurs

Ruling Communist Party’s fourth-ranked leader Wang Yang said situation in Xianjiang was ‘continuing to develop well’. Al Jazeera News Agencies Xinjiang needs to “perfect” stability maintenance measures and crack down on “religious extremism”, the ruling Communist Party’s fourth-ranked leader said on a tour of the Chinese region where members of the Uighur community have been put in internment camps. Critics say Uighurs and other Muslims who live in Xinjiang are being held in detention centres, though the government calls them “vocational training ... Read More »

Hagia Sophia might be reverted to a mosque, Erdoğan says

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday voiced the possibility of reverting the Hagia Sophia, which has been used as a museum since 1935 and is considered one of the world’s wonders, to a mosque. Daily Sabah “This is not unlikely. We might even change its name to Ayasofya Mosque,” Erdoğan said during a live interview with Turkish broadcaster TGRT. “This is not a strange proposal,” he said regarding the calls to convert the historical building to serve the purpose it ... Read More »

Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs

The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it… Nicole Hasham The Age The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May. However Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo on Friday said if any staff member was ... Read More »

Condemnation of the assassination of Sergio Rojas in Costa Rica

Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC) denounces and condemns the assassination of Sergio Rojas, an indigenous Costa Rican defender of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the Bribri of Salitre territory in southern Costa Rica. Friends of the Earth International Throughout his life Sergio Rojas was unyielding in his fight for Indigenous Peoples’ autonomy and self-determination who took a stand against the land grabbers of communities’ territories. Sergio was murdered on the night of Monday 18th March at his home, in ... Read More »

Why Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a European agency to fend off fake news makes sense

When French president Emmanuel Macron sent an open letter to the people of Europe, he said their first freedom is democratic – “the freedom to choose our leaders as foreign powers seek to influence our vote at each election”. Alexi Drew The Conversation He went on to propose establishing a European agency to protect this right. The idea would be to provide European states with experts to help them fend off cyberattacks and other kinds of threats to their elections. ... Read More »

Serbia protests: President Vucic the target of Belgrade rally

Serbian police have used tear gas to clear thousands of protesters trying to blockade the residence of President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. BBC The protesters – who are demanding greater media freedom and free elections – shouted “Resign!” But Mr Vucic refused to bow to the pressure, saying: “I am not afraid.” The opposition has been staging largely peaceful rallies for weeks. But tensions escalated on Saturday when crowds stormed the state TV station. Mr Vucic is a reformed extreme ... Read More »

From Aramoana to Christchurch: A Shorthand of New Zealand’s Relationship With Guns

Nearly 30 years ago, a mass shooting in a small town reshaped how New Zealand regulates gun ownership. The attack in Christchurch could have a similar effect. Chris Fitch The Atlantic On a Tuesday in November 1990, the sleepy town of Aramoana was burned into New Zealand’s collective consciousness. The 13 residents killed in a gun rampage that shocked the nation were, until Friday’s attacks in Christchurch, victims of the country’s worst-ever mass shooting, one that opened a widespread reevaluation of New ... Read More »

Jews are unsafe in Turkey and should leave now

Turkey’s mercurial leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan took his diplomatic spat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a new level on Wednesday when he implicitly threatened the well-being of Turkey’s already dwindling Jewish community. Michael Rubin Washington Examiner “Do not provoke,” Erdogan said, before noting that he had not yet taken any action against Turkish Jews or their houses of worship. This is, of course, not the first Turkish government threat against its Jewish community. A decade ago, then-Foreign Minister ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh jailed ‘for 38 years’ in Iran

Lawyer sentenced to decades in prison and 148 lashes, husband writes on Facebook Reuters in Geneva The Guardian Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, has been handed a new sentence that her husband said was 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Sotoudeh, who has represented opposition activists including women prosecuted for removing their mandatory headscarf, was arrested in Juneand charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader, her lawyer said. She was jailed ... Read More »

German Foreign Ministry tightens travel advisory for Turkey

Germany has advised its citizens they risk arrest for expressing opinions that would be tolerated at home but may not be by Turkish authorities. Deutsche Welle German nationals have been arbitrarily arrested over the last two years. The Foreign Ministry in Berlin has updated its travel advisory for Turkey, saying opinions expressed freely in Germany may not be tolerated by Turkish authorities. The advice was directed at journalists, at people who had taken part in some meetings and at anyone ... Read More »

Why Research on Gender and Conflict Matters

At Crisis Group, we believe the interaction of gender and conflict is of central importance. But we consider carefully what a gender perspective entails and the conceptual pitfalls we should avoid. Robert Malley ICG For instance, women are not just victims, but have agency and choice. Last October, Ethiopia appointed its first woman president, the only female leader of an African state today. In many national parliaments, from Mexico to Rwanda, women now match or outnumber men. One of the ... Read More »

Why these Australian women’s rights activists are continuing to fight for equality

A lot has changed since International Women’s Day began more than a century ago – but there’s more to be done. Here, a human rights advocate, an abuse survivor, and a sex worker share their stories. Maani Truu SBS The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, with more than a million people across Europe demanding women be given the right to vote and hold public office. Now, 108 years later, the world is a very different place. We ... Read More »

Protecting Women’s Space in Politics

Women human rights defenders around the globe are facing heightened threats of violence and repression. Isabelle Arradon ICG Sometimes they are targeted for being activists, and sometimes just for being women. World leaders should do much more to secure space for women’s safe participation in public life. In early January 2019, unknown gunmen shot dead Maritza Isabel Quiroz Leiva, a 60-year-old Colombian land rights activist on a small farm near the Caribbean city of Santa Marta. Her killing was a stark ... Read More »