Activism

Aziz spread his wings and escaped Manus Island: he wants more to follow

Geneva: A week ago Abdul Aziz Muhamat allowed himself a couple of hours off. He grabbed some takeaway and climbed up a hill overlooking his new home, Geneva, and spread his arms wide. Nick Miller The Age “That was the moment,” he says. “I’ve been working tirelessly, non-stop for six years, and I feel like I’m burning inside out, and let me just take two hours of my time just to enjoy the meaning of freedom. “So I went to the ... Read More »

Russia fines ‘whale jail’ company White Whale

A Russian company that runs a so-called “whale jail” in the east of the country has been fined 28.1 million rubles ($433,000; £430,000). BBC White Whale is one of four firms holding killer and beluga whales in small enclosures on the Sea of Japan, which they say is legal. But a Vladivostok court on Friday ruled the company broke fishing rules. Cases against the other three companies are expected before the courts in the next week. Although Russia allows the ... Read More »

Julian Assange too ill to appear in court via video link, lawyers say

Hearing is latest stage in possible extradition of WikiLeaks founder to US Ben Quinn The Guardian Julian Assange was too ill to appear by video link for the latest hearing in relation to his possible extradition to the US, lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder told a court. The hearing was the first since 2 May, when lawyers for the US government began pressing its case to extradite him to face trial for what they described as one the largest compromises of classified information ... Read More »

Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment

Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with a slew of Espionage Act violations that could keep him in prison for… Ofer Raban The Conversation The new indictment expands an earlier one charging Assange with conspiring with Chelsea Manning, the former soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to… Assange is responsible for the dissemination of troves of classified American documents, including hundreds of thousands of military reports, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic ... Read More »

Thai dissidents living in exile fear for their lives after a string of disappearances and murders

A string of mysterious murders and deportations across South-East Asia has Thai dissidents fearing for their lives and members of a controversial folk band say they may be targeted next. Liam Cochrane ABC The band Faiyen, which means “cold fire” in Thai, fled the country after the 2014 coup and has written songs criticising the military government and the monarchy. Late last week, the band posted a chilling message on Facebook. “We … fear for our lives. Many trusted people ... Read More »

Australian artworks on climate change to feature in international exhibition

Global warming is a big concept that can be hard to grasp, and it is easy to glaze over when confronted with a raft of scientific statistics about temperatures and predicted sea level rises. Emma Siossian ABC Art, however, is a medium that is often more likely to engage people on an emotional level and international art exhibitions are increasingly focussing on environmental themes and climate change. One of the latest is an art-science exhibition called ‘Equilibrium’, which will be ... Read More »

Sweden v USA – What Happens Next In Assange?

It was confirmed this week that the Swedish authorities have reopened the criminal investigation into Julian Assange over allegations of rape in 2010. Gherson The decision comes as Assange is serving a prison sentence in the UK for breaching bail in the original extradition proceedings. Assange is also facing extradition to the USA in connection with hacking allegations. After years of deadlock with Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy there is finally significant movement and many people are asking ... 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 »

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Swedish prosecutors said on May 13 they are reopening a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a month after he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. STOCKHOLM-The Associated Press Hurriyet Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden‘s deputy director of public prosecutions, told a news conference in Stockholm that “there is still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape.” She added: “It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required.” Swedish prosecutors filed preliminary charges – a step short of formal… ... 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 »

Ireland becomes second country to declare ‘climate emergency’

Ireland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. Cristina Abellan Matamoros euronews It happened after the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) report on Climate Action was accepted by the government and opposition parties without a vote. Ireland followed in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, which declared a climate emergency earlier this month after 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed MPs urging more climate action and… The development was applauded by the chair ... 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 »

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 »

Extinction Rebellion arrests pass 1,000 on eighth day of protests

‘Die-in’ staged at Natural History Museum as protesters gather at legal site in Marble Arch Frances Perraudin The Guardian More than 1,000 people have been arrested at Extinction Rebellion climate protests in London, police have said, in what organisers described as “the biggest civil disobedience event in modern British history”. The Metropolitan police said on Monday that as of 10am they had made 1,065 arrests and that 53 people had been charged in relation to the protests. Police cleared activists from Waterloo Bridge ... Read More »

Meet ‘Mr. Earth Day,’ the Man Who Helped Organize the Annual Observance

Nearly 50 years after 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, more than 190 countries mark the annual day for raising awareness of environmental causes. Olivia B. Waxman Time And the stakes only grow as the years go by. Though Earth Day has been dogged by rumors that it was founded by a murderer and as communist propaganda, the truth is much more straightforward — but no less fascinating. TIME spoke to Denis Hayes, ... Read More »