Sunday, September 25, 2011

25 September 2011


  • Cote d'Ivoire = Grossly under-reported armed civil unrest in the southwestern part of the country has resulted in at least 16 people killed and 50 homes burned, causing residents to flee their houses in Zriglo. Doctors Without Borders' witnesses are reporting seeing, “violently-massacred bodies, including those of children.” (DWB)

  • Ghana = Women on wheels … Cycling in Accra can be dangerous in general, and more so for women, who face social discrimination for engaging in this “male” and/or “rural” activity as a mode of transportation, so some ladies are advocating to change these social perceptions. (JHR)

  • Uganda = This week Thomas Kwoyelo, one of the former commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), was awarded amnesty by a panel of 5 judges in Uganda for all of the alleged crimes he committed during the civil conflict in Northern Uganda. The 53 charges against him included murder, kidnap with intent to kill, willful killing, and aggravated robbery. This conflict displaced over 2 million people and saw 30,000 people killed. (AI)


  • Haiti = Rights groups are calling for the current Haitian administration to prosecute former President Jean-Claude Duvalier for the human rights abuses and violations committed by the government during the tenure of his rule. Duvalier returned to Haiti in January of this year after a 25-year exile in France. (AI)

    • Also, human trafficking of children in Haiti persists … (FPB)

  • United States, Arizona = Perhaps not surprisingly, a new report on the US Border Patrol has found systematic human rights abuses are being perpetuated against people held in detention; these include denial of access to water, food, and medical care, physical abuse, over-crowded cells, sleep deprivation and other psychological abuse. International law calls these actions “torture” – shouldn't we? (BNHR)

  • United States, Georgia = So, Troy Davis was executed by the US justice system at 11:08 pm EST Wednesday night this week … despite the fact that his case rested primarily upon witness testimony and 7 of the 9 witnesses recanted their original testimony … despite the fact that another person confessed to the murder Davis was imprisoned for committing … despite the fact that the death penalty is illegal under international law … c'mon, America, let's exercise justice better than this. (AI, FIDH, GRD)

  • United States, National Football League = Yay! It's now officially okay to be gay and a jock at the same time … the National Football League (NFL) in its most recent collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association has added “sexual orientation” as a protected class. (ADV)


  • Cambodia = Judges Siegfried Blunk and You Bunleng of the Khmer-Rouge Tribunal are applying a definition of “victimhood” in a way which restricts family members from filing petitions on behalf of their loved ones, in contravention of this court's own established pattern of practice. (OSF)

  • India = Water on demand (for those who can afford it), thanks to the sun … an organization called Sarvajal has franchised ATM-style water treatment facilities where people in rural areas who lack access to safe water may purchase clean water from solar-powered ATMs using a pre-paid card. Is the right to water a human right? Should people be charged for access to potable water? (FC)

  • Kyrgyzstan = Animosity between ethnic Uzbek and ethnic Kyrgyz people in Kyrgyzstan has spilled over into the courtrooms … this week an attorney, defendant, and police were attacked during the hearing of an ethnic Uzbek man, deeply undermining access to justice. (HRW)

  • Thailand = 5 people were killed and 118 people were wounded in Narathiwat province this week after alleged insurgents detonated 3 bombs in 15- to 30-minute intervals. The people injured and killed were civilians. (HRW)


  • France = Freedom of religion, what? This week a court in Meaux fined two Muslim women, Hind Ahmas and Najate Nait, for wearing their full-face veils in public. While the alleged premise of this ban on wearing full-face veils in public was for the protection of Muslim women who were allegedly being forced to wear this attire by male relatives, the actual result is likely a restriction on freedom of movement of these women who will now be fined for wearing what they want in public. So, France in trying to stop the alleged oppression of these women has in fact created their own home-bound oppression of these same women. (AI)

  • Greece = Detention centers in Greece which are run by Frontex, the European Union's border enforcement agency, are violating the human rights of migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers and unaccompanied minors in detention, a new report has found. (HRW)


  • Saudi Arabia = Progress, maybe. The Saudi King this week announced that women (who still do not have the right to drive, please note) will soon-ish be allowed as members in the Shura Council—a 150 person government advisory body. Members in the Shura receive their positions by royal appointment, though “they will also be allowed to nominate [candidates, including] themselves and vote in municipal council elections.” (GV, VV, CNN, AJ)

  • Syria = Violence against protestors and their family members continues … the body of the first woman known to have been killed in custody was found with her arms cut off, skin removed, and decapitated. She was 18 years old and had been detained with her brother, whose body also showed signs of torture. (AI, IRIN)


  • Natural resource allocation and climate change are deeply intertwined with the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination, a new report has found—you can check out a PDF version of the report online here. (BHR, OHCHR)

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