Human Rights

Nine activists defending the Earth from violent assault

On a planet of billions, nine represent the strong minority battling murder in the global corruption of land rights Jonathan Watts The Guardian Individually, they are stories of courage and tragedy. Together, they tell a tale of a natural world under ever more violent assault. The portraits in this series are of nine people who are risking their lives to defend the land and environment in some of the planet’s most remote or conflict-riven regions. From the Coral Triangle and ... Read More »

Indonesia’s Papua Cover-Up Reflex Prompts Police Dormitory Raid

Authorities Cite ‘Hidden Activities’ to Cancel Screening of Papuan Film Michelle Winowatan HRW Dozens of Indonesian military and police personnel raided a student dormitory in Surabaya on July 6 to stop the screening of a documentary about security force atrocities in Papua. It’s the latest example of the government’s determination not to deal with past abuses in the country’s easternmost province. Security forces carried out the raid following social media postings about the planned screening of “Bloody Biak.” The film documents the ... Read More »

Burundi: African Union Shouldn’t Tolerate Banning Pregnant Girls from School

In June, Burundi joined a small group of African countries that ban pregnant girls from continuing with formal education in government schools. Agnes Odhiambo and Elin Martinez allAfrica Burundi’s Education Ministry banned the boys who get the girls pregnant as well as the girls themselves from going to public or private school. Burundi’s ban is contrary to the country’s constitution and many domestic laws , and undermines the state’s education goals . Indeed, Burundi’s law against gender discrimination protects girls’ ... Read More »

Lebanon: Same-Sex Relations Not Illegal

Homosexuality Not an ‘Unnatural Offense,’ Appeals Court Rules (Beirut) – A district court of appeal in Lebanon issued a groundbreaking ruling on July 12, 2018, that consensual sex between people of the same sex is not unlawful, Human Rights Watch said. HRW The ruling follows similar judgments from lower courts that have declined to convict gay and transgender people of “sexual intercourse contrary to nature” in four separate rulings between 2007 and 2017. It is the first such ruling from ... Read More »

Israel passes controversial ‘Jewish nation-state law’, stripping Arabs of self-determination right

Israel has passed a law to declare that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, something members of the Arab minority have called racist and verging on apartheid. ABC The “nation-state” law, backed by the Government, passed by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member Parliament after months of political argument. Some Arab politicians shouted and ripped up papers after the vote. “This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the ... Read More »

What is happening on Nauru should shock the conscience of every Australian

It is important that we all know the truth of what our government is doing to innocent people Julian Burnside The Guardian In the middle of 2016 Guardian Australia published the Nauru files: more than 2,000 incident reports recording things that had happened in Australia’s refugee gulag on Nauru. The incident reports – made by people directly or indirectly employed by the Australian government – contained reports of assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse. They gave an insight into the ... Read More »

Why attorneys represent immigrants for free

Scores of lawyers, paralegals and law students are volunteering to help immigrant families caught in the crosshairs of the Trump administration’s bid to drastically reduce the number of people without papers in the U.S. Eduardo Capulong The Conversation One of these movement’s highest priorities is assisting the more than 2,500 children separated from their parents in government custody. Mobilized by the American Bar Association, nonprofits like Lawyers for Good Government, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Lawyers ... Read More »

‘Politics of fear’: Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address

Johannesburg: Former US President Barack Obama took aim at “strongman politics” in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an impassioned address marking the 100th anniversary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela’s birth. AP WAtoday While not mentioning his successor by name, Obama’s speech in South Africa countered many of President Donald Trump’s policies, rallying people to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, ... Read More »

‘Collective punishment’: Israel blocks fuel shipment to Gaza

Israel further tightens its blockade on the strip while rights group denounces measure as ‘morally depraved’. AlJazeera Israel has further tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip, preventing gas and fuel deliveries through its only commercial crossing with the Palestinian besieged enclave a week after Israeli authorities announced the closure of the crossing. The Kerem Shalom crossing, known to Palestinians as Karem Abu Salem, was shut down on July 9 and initially, only items deemed as “humanitarian” would be allowed to enter Gaza, ... Read More »

Australia deports Tamil asylum seeker, separating him from baby daughter

Thileepan faces permanent separation from his wife and child, who have been granted safe haven visas Ben Doherty The Guardian A 30-year-old Tamil asylum seeker faces permanent separation from his wife and 10-month-old Australian-born daughter, after being deported more than six years after arriving in Australia. Thileepan (like many Tamils he only uses one name) had been in Australia since arriving by boat in June 2012. He lived in the community for most of his time in Australia, marrying in ... Read More »

Five human rights we should enjoy – while we still can

In case warnings of impending fascism have merit, here’s a bucket list of rights to tick off Van Badham The Guardian Fascism is a political philosophy. It exalts the supposed supremacy of a particular national identity or racial group above individual freedoms, social equality and the collective social good. And these ideas seem frightfully trendy right now. I’m not saying that today’s Poland, America, Russia, Turkey or Hungary are fascist countries. I’m saying fascism seeks to establish an authoritarian government headed by ... Read More »

Forcing priests to report abuse not a breach of human rights: Watchirs

New laws that will force priests to break the seal of confession to report child abuse are not in breach of the ACT’s human right laws, despite concerns about the impact on religious freedoms, the ACT’s Human Rights Commissioner says. Katie Burgess The Canberra Times Under the territory’s expanded reportable conduct scheme, priests in Canberra will be required to report allegations, offences or convictions related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days from March… But the Australian Catholics Bishops ... Read More »

The rescued Thai boys are considering becoming monks — here’s why

After their dramatic rescue from Nang Non cave, 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach are mourning the loss of a Thai Navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died during the rescue efforts. Andrew Alan Johnson The Conversation The father of one of the boys said that in order to pay tribute to the Navy SEAL, many boys are considering temporarily becoming monks. Ordaining as a full monk – known as “bhikkhu” in Pali, the religious language of the Theravada Buddhism ... Read More »

Can democracy vote itself out of existence?

Look at the state of the world’s democratic nations, and it is easy to see why so many are concerned for the future of democracy. Manjeet Ramgotra The Conversation Leaders such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have centralised political power by changing their countries’ constitutions, silencing dissent and controlling the media. Since 2016’s coup attempt in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government has used the subsequent state of emergency to incarcerate thousands without trial. Opposition politicians, judges, journalists ... Read More »

DR Congo Rights Abusers Rewarded with Army Promotions

Appointments Increase Risk of Further Repression, Abuses Ida Sawyer HRW The Democratic Republic of Congo’s president and commander in chief, Joseph Kabila, has promoted two generals long linked to serious human rights abuses. The new appointments, announced on the weekend, heighten concerns of more repression and abuse in the weeks ahead, as Kabila ponders his plans ahead of elections scheduled for December 23. Gen. Gabriel Amisi, known as “Tango Four,” was named the new deputy army chief of staff in ... Read More »

Rights not “fortress conservation” key to save planet, says UN expert

Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples calls for a new, rights-based approach to conservation David Hill The Guardian The United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has released a report highly critical of the global conservation movement and calling for indigenous peoples and other local communities to have a… What exactly is meant by that? It is “the idea that to protect forests and biodiversity, ecosystems need to function in isolation, devoid of people,” the Rapporteur told the Guardian. ... Read More »