Civil Rights

DR Congo: A Recount and Talks to Find a Way Out of the Crisis

The DR Congo is facing a major political crisis over the 30 December election’s result. ICG A recount would allow subsequent negotiations to take place on the basis of a clear understanding of who won. A dispute over the results of the DR Congo’s 30 December election cast a dark shadow over what should be a historic transition of power but a surprisingly robust reaction by regional actors offers a genuine chance for a course correction. According to official tallies, ... Read More »

Why the West won’t act on China’s Uighur crisis

Western nations have criticized but failed to impose punitive measures for China’s internment of as many as one million Uighur Muslims in de facto concentration camps David Hutt Asia Times As evidence mounts of China’s internment of almost one million Muslim Uighurs in the country’s far western region, Western nations have largely failed to respond to the reported abuses, a… In what some critics have referred to as a campaign of “ethnic cleansing”, Chinese authorities have since late 2017 corralled ... Read More »

Saudi Women No Longer Need a Man’s Permission to Decide How They’ll Give Birth

The country’s health ministry announced they don’t need signed consent for childbirth procedures. By Leah Rodriguez Global Citizen Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system gives men complete control over where women work, where they travel, and who they marry. But on Wednesday, the kingdom’s health ministry announced women no longer need men’s permission to make decisions about their maternal health care, the National reports. “Women must have the right to access information and to choose the… In the past, a pregnant woman had ... Read More »

Nauru doctor wins global free speech award for speaking out on offshore immigration

Nick Martin’s medical attention and advocacy saw asylum seekers transferred to Australia for treatment, but ultimately cost him his job Ben Doherty The Guardian A doctor on Nauru who blew the whistle on the deliberate medical neglect of refugees and asylum seekers on the island has been awarded a global award for free speech. Dr Nick Martin, the former senior medical officer for International Health and Medical Services on Nauru, spoke out publicly against what he described as Australia’s “inflexible, unswerving, and shameless” ... Read More »

Between the Millet System and EU Values: The Sunni Muslim Turkish State and Non-Muslim Minorities

The relationship between the state and non-Muslim communities[1] has been a sensitive issue since the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Dr. Özgür Kaymak MDC Although the principle of secularism has been stated in the constitution, wherein the state was ostensibly required to distance itself from all religious beliefs equally,  Islam had always played an important role in the formation of Turkish identity. The debates with regard to freedom of religion and conscience as well as the rights of ... Read More »

Shocking video emerges after two women and child ‘racially abused’ on Melbourne train

Ugly footage has emerged after a woman allegedly verbally abused a mother and child over their religion on a Melbourne train before yanking the hijab off a passenger who tried to help. Joe Hinchliffe The Age Fahima Adan, 20, appeared on Nine News on Sunday night sporting bruises and scratches on her arm following the incident which occurred shortly after midday on Saturday on a train from Dandenong, ending in the arrest of a… Ms Adan, from Dandenong, said she ... Read More »

How Viktor Orban degraded Hungary’s weak democracy

The roots of democracy in Hungary are shallow. John Shattuck The Conversation That’s been especially clear in the last nine years, as Prime Minister Viktor Orban has created a repressive and increasingly authoritarian state, operating under a pretense of democracy. In recent weeks the political situation has become volatile. By early 2019 the Hungarian government was the target of a series of major demonstrations in Budapest and other Hungarian cities. A flash point was a new labor law allowing employers ... Read More »

Rights of prisoners with intellectual disabilities must be respected

Study exposes shortcomings in treatment of prisoners with IDs, treatment they are entitled to George Winter The Irish Times In 2006, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted, promoting autonomy, choice, independence, equality and participation. The CRPD includes provision for those with intellectual disability (ID). This is typically diagnosed if individuals have an IQ below 70; an impaired ability to effectively interact with society on all levels and care for themselves; and have had developmental ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »

Erdogan’s war on workers

Turkey’s crackdown on dissent extends to the country’s fractured labor movement. Cole Stangler Le Monde Diplomatique If the presence of a two dozen riot cops blocking the entrance of the Gaziosmanpaşa Courthouse didn’t send the message, then the arrival of a water-cannon truck—slowly backing up from the… Eyüp Özer, an organizer and head of international relations at Turkey’s United Metalworkers Union, which is part of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK), shrugged off the… ‘It’s not that unusual,’ he ... Read More »

Thai court rejects bid to block deportation of Saudi woman

A Thai court Monday rejected an attempt to block the deportation of a Saudi woman who made a desperate plea for asylum, saying she feared for her life after escaping an abusive family. BANGKOK – AFP Hurriyet Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun told AFP she ran away from her family while travelling in Kuwait because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. The 18-year-old said she had planned to travel to Australia and seek asylum there, and feared she would be killed if ... Read More »

Fraser Anning slammed for attending St Kilda far-Right rally

Labor leader Bill Shorten has joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison in condemning the far-Right extremists who participated in a wild rally in St Kilda on… Annika Smethurst, Brianna Travers, Kaitlyn Offer and Anthony Galloway, Sunday Herald Sun “In the corrosive and fragmented climate of public debate, it’s become unfortunately common for some to seek out attention by picking on minorities, the less powerful, by attacking in the most vile terms, normally someone who… “Here and around the world, right-wing extremists ... Read More »

Belgium Bans Religious Slaughtering Practices, Drawing Praise and Protest

BRUSSELS — A Belgian ban on the Muslim and Jewish ways of ritually slaughtering animals went into effect on New Year’s Day, part of a clash across Europe over the balance between animal welfare and… Milan Schreuer The New York Times With both animal rights advocates and right-wing nationalists pushing to ban ritual slaughter, religious minorities in Belgium and other countries fear that they are the targets of bigotry under the guise of … “It is impossible to know the ... Read More »

How A Facebook Page Helped Two Women Enter The Sabrimala Shrine

As a conservative backlash sought to silence women who wanted to visit Sabrimala, they turned online to find each other. K.A. Shaji HuffPost THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala —Forty two-year-old law professor Bindu Ammini, a law professor, and 44-year-old Kanakadurga, assistant manager of a state-run grocery store, first met online in… In the early hours of January 2 this year, the two women entered the shrine under heavy police protection, prompting a violent backlash from those opposed to allowing women “of… The two ... Read More »

Competitive elections are good for democracy – just not every democracy

The 2018 U.S. midterm elections were fierce, expensive and full of upsets, with political newcomers ousting long-tenured incumbents and Democrats unseating Republicans to retake the House of Representatives. Authors: The Conversation That makes them an exemplary democratic exercise from a political science standpoint: American voters booted the congressional representatives who they believed did not fight for their interests. That’s exactly what elections are meant to do: Hold politicians accountable. But it doesn’t work that way everywhere. In younger democracies, our ... Read More »

Prakash citizenship revocation could jeopardise extradition chances, says Law Council

Australia’s peak body for lawyers says the “premature” announcement that Islamic State member Neil Prakash has been stripped of his citizenship could jeopardise efforts to see him face justice in this country. David Wroe The Canberra Times Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses, SC, has said that Turkey – where Prakash is currently in jail facing terrorism charges – would take into account whether or not he was an Australian in considering an… “I am troubled that this potentially ... Read More »