Sunday, January 30, 2011

30 January 2011


Egypt = This week’s demonstrations and riots against police brutality and against President Mubarak have resulted in at least 33 civilian casualties in Alexandria, with estimates of over 50 people dead in a Cairo morgue -- due to excessive force and live fire on civilian protestors. Additionally, the Egyptian government imposed a nation-wide blackout, shutting down the internet and most phone networks. (HRW, FC, FIDH, AI, HRW)

Ethiopia = YAY! Two districts in Ethiopia’s Afar Region have outlawed Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting, citing the many health problems it causes women and girls. (IRIN)

Uganda = David Kato, a prominent activist for LGBT rights in Uganda was killed in his home this past Wednesday. He was the Advocacy Officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda and was an active opponent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill before Parliament. This Bill would officially criminalize all homosexuality, making offenses punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty. (HRW)

USA = The state of Pennsylvania’s Superior Court met this Tuesday to hear an appeal regarding whether or not to try Jordan Brown, a 13 year-old boy, as an adult. Jordan allegedly shot and killed his father’s pregnant fiancée when he was 11 years old. Currently, the international human rights community is in almost consistent agreement that putting a minor child on trial for a crime which could result in life imprisonment without a chance for parole, violates international law. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child prohibits this action, but the USA (along with Somalia) has not yet ratified that Convention. (AI, CBS)

Phillippines = Peace talks are scheduled to resume next month between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Phillippine government. Previous negotiations broke down in August 2008 and led to over half a million people being internally displaced. The most contentious topic will likely be Ancestral Domain in disputed territories. (AST)

UK = The UK high court—perhaps in response to the killing of David Kato (see above)—granted 29 year-old Ugandan Brenda Namiggade a temporary stay, rather than being deported home on Friday, as was originally intended. Ms. Namiggade is a Ugandan national and a lesbian who has been petitioning for asylum in the UK since 2002. (ADV)

• The Danish Institute for Human Rights, with the UN, has published The Arc of Human Rights Priorities, a guide developed for businesses looking to integrate human rights practices into their internal management.

· The Arc builds upon the Sphere of Influence concept, and is designed to allow companies to focus their resources on the most urgent human rights issues in their operations. (BHR)

TED Talks go old-school, sort of … you can now read several of their talks on your Kindle. TED Talks are publishing short (10,000 to 20,000 word) electronic books by authors who have given Talks. The launch is 3 TED favorites, including The Happiness Manifesto, for $2.99 each. (FC)

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