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Tag: Human Rights


Flickr / A Outra Vouz

Portugal Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

“The large print giveth and the small print taketh away”—T. Waits (1990). So goes the news that Portugal has become the sixth European nation to pass a law allowing same-sex marriage, though parliament rejected proposals to let gay couples adopt children.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 READ MORE


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AP / Martin Mejia

Fujimori’s Sentence Upheld

Peru’s Supreme Court has confirmed a verdict finding Alberto Fujimori guilty of ordering the kidnapping and murder of 25 dissidents during his presidency from 1990 to 2000. His 25-year sentence marks the first time a democratically elected Latin American ruler was found guilty of human rights abuses in his own country.

Posted on Jan 3, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Chinese Activist Sentenced to 11 Years

In one of the most improper of Christmas presents, Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese human rights activist, was sentenced to an unusually harsh 11 years in prison for charges of “subversion.” The decision was ostensibly made on Christmas Day to minimize international attention.

Posted on Dec 25, 2009 READ MORE



stewart.army.mil

Get Pregnant, Get Court-Martialed

Remember when protecting women’s rights was given as a justification for invading countries? Well, the U.S. general in northern Iraq has added pregnancy to the reasons why a soldier could be court-martialed—a list that includes selling weapons and taking drugs.

Posted on Dec 20, 2009 READ MORE



flickr.com / David Ortez

Houston Elects Gay Mayor

Thanks to Annise Parker’s victory in a runoff election Saturday, Houston will become the largest U.S. city to have an openly gay mayor. Parker was the target of anti-gay rhetoric but mobilized gay rights groups in her defense.

Posted on Dec 13, 2009 READ MORE



randomhouse.com

2003 Nobel Winner Says Iran Took Her Medal

Whether it was done out of jealousy of Barack Obama or not, Iran has stepped into the realm of the ridiculous in the wake of a report that the Nobel Peace Prize medal has been confiscated from the Iranian human rights attorney who won it in 2003.

Posted on Nov 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Rights Groups Give FIFA a Yellow Card

Zimbabwean human rights groups have called out soccer’s international governing body for handing Robert Mugabe, the country’s notorious leader, a “propaganda coup” when he was permitted to hold up the World Cup trophy while it made its way through the African continent.

Posted on Nov 27, 2009 READ MORE


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rian.ru

Russia Kills the Death Penalty

A once-temporary ban on the death penalty is now set to be enshrined into Russian law, permanently banning the practice as Russia prepares to join the majority of the world’s countries in outlawing capital punishment.

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Has Tough Love for China

President Obama’s remarks at a Shanghai town hall meeting Monday were unlikely to please either the power brokers in Beijing or the hawks on the home front. Obama said China and the U.S. were not adversaries, but he also spoke of “universal rights,” which ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Abdel Kareem Hana

Rights Group Fires Back at Israel

Human Rights Watch is accusing Israel and its backers of waging a campaign of misinformation in an effort to discredit the group. HRW has been a leading voice in condemning alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Posted on Nov 14, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Promises End to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Again.

President Obama, echoing many of the claims he made on the campaign trail, promised at a Human Rights Campaign gala Saturday to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell” and called for “full [legal] equality” for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and an end to anti-gay discrimination. On Sunday, thousands descended on Washington in a march whose organizers said the LGBT community will not accept a piecemeal approach to civil rights.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE


Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama on Compassion, ‘Man-Made Problems’

The Dalai Lama ran with the theme of the day while accepting the Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington on Tuesday, taking the opportunity to point out that “generally speaking, we are lacking” when it comes to “taking care of others’ well-being.” While he was at it, he also schooled his audience about America’s widening class divide.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN



news.bbc.co.uk

Widespread Rape, 157 Dead in Guinea ‘Hell’

A human rights organization reported 157 dead after Guinean troops fired on protesters Tuesday. Widespread rape has also been reported by witnesses. The country’s opposition leader was quoted by the BBC as saying, “I don’t know whether I’m on earth or in hell.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Soldiers Shells
guardian.co.uk

Israel to Palestinians: Have We Got a Deal for You

The Israeli government has conditioned the introduction of a second cell phone provider in the West Bank on one little thing: the Palestinian Authority withdrawing its request that the International Criminal Court investigate alleged war crimes during Israel’s assault on Gaza early this year.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Lethal Injection Gurney
Arizona Department of Corrections

Botched Execution Gives Chance for Testimony

The failed attempt to execute an Ohio man has given new impetus to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection in the state. Technicians were unable to kill Romell Broom on Tuesday, and now a judge is ordering Broom be deposed in the federal lawsuit, a day before the executioners are to try again.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ISM Palestine

U.N. Finds Israel War Crimes in Gaza

A U.N. fact-finding mission has concluded “there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.” (Full release after the jump.)

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Body Shop
businessweek.com

The Body Shop Under Fire

An ethical row has erupted after the supposedly eco- and human rights-friendly cosmetic provider The Body Shop was accused of buying palm oil from an organization that pressed for the eviction of Colombian peasant families in order to build a new palm plantation. Riot cops evicted the farming families in July.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Funeral
guim.co.uk

Afghan Civilian Toll Rises

As President Obama continues to push more U.S. troops into Afghanistan, the U.N. is reporting that civilian casualties in the war-torn country have spiked, increasing almost 25 percent above 2008 figures. In the first six months of this year, 1,013 civilians were killed.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE



thechinadebate.org

China Pledges Fewer Executions

China, which carries out more executions than any country—Iran comes in a semi-close second—is pledging to reduce the number of people killed by the state. While far from abolishing the death penalty, the government is narrowing the definition of execution-worthy crime.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Israeli Arabs Feel the Squeeze

Not all is well in the Promised Land. Despite Israel’s Basic Law, which declares that all citizens are equal, Israeli Arabs say some Israelis are more equal than others. There is plenty of evidence that the Arabs do not enjoy the same rights as Jews. They say they are being squeezed into enclaves in the north of the country, where resources are scarce and development is limited.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE


Jimmy Carter
cartercenter.org

Carter Breaks With Southern Baptists Over Gender Equality Issue

Former President Jimmy Carter has made human rights an ongoing focus of his life’s work, and his position on the issue recently compelled him to sever his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention after being affiliated with it for six decades. Carter, in a recent piece for The Observer, complains that higher-ups in the denomination haven’t changed their sexist ways.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ISM Palestine

Israeli Soldiers Blame Loose Rules for Gaza Deaths

A number of anonymous Israeli soldiers speaking through a human rights organization have made serious allegations about Israel’s winter assault on Gaza. The soldiers say unclear rules and reckless conduct led to unnecessary civilian casualties and wanton destruction.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Baracks Obama
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Comes Closer to Meddling

The president reiterated Tuesday that he has no intention of “interfering with Iran’s affairs,” but he also dialed up his criticism of the regime’s crackdown from “it is of concern to me” to “I strongly condemn these unjust actions.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Foreign and Commonwealth Office

U.N. Official Calls for Probe of Sri Lanka War Crimes

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war “grossly disregarded the fundamental principle of the inviolability of civilians.” She has called for an “independent and credible international investigation,” although she’s up against the notoriously impotent U.N. Human Rights Council and a bristling Sri Lankan government.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Soldiers Shells
guardian.co.uk

Gaza Probe Gets No Help From Israel

Investigators with the U.N. Human Rights Council may be forced to enter the Palestinian territories from Egypt because Israel is likely to refuse cooperation in the U.N.’s mission to investigate potential war crimes by the Israeli military and Hamas.

Posted on May 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Torture
rebelreports.com

Torture on Obama’s Watch

Gang-beatings, breaking bones, gouging eyes, squeezing testicles and dousing detainees with chemicals. Those Bush-era actions are still going on under Obama’s regime at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, as the narrowing of the “torture debate” has occluded attention from such grotesque practices.

Posted on May 15, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Pride
flickr.com

The Fierce Urgency of Whenever

Andrew Sullivan has some sharp words for how the Obama administration is dealing with LGBT issues: “I lived through eight years of the Clintons and then eight years of Bush. Through it all, gay people were treated at the federal level like embarrassments or impediments. With Clinton, we were the means to raise money. With Bush, we were the means to leverage votes by exploiting bigotry. Obama seemed in the campaign to promise something else.”

Posted on May 15, 2009 READ MORE


DC Flag Gay
flickr.com

D.C. Council Opens Its Eyes

The D.C. council passed a measure Tuesday to recognize same-sex marriages within the district by a 12-1 vote—with D.C. stalwart/weirdo Marion Barry casting the lone dissension. The result will likely prime the debate on legalizing same-sex marriage in D.C.

Posted on May 6, 2009 READ MORE


Abu Gharib
smh.com.au

U.S. to Release More Torture Photos

After a series of denials by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has decided it will give in to demands by human rights groups and release up to 2,000 pictures of “prisoner abuse” (torture) to the public by May 28.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Chavez
AP photo / Marianna Kambon, Summit of the Americas pool

Obama Seeks ‘New Beginning’ With Cuba

Could it be that diplomacy works better than a my-way-or-the-highway approach when dealing with adversarial nations? Judging by President Obama’s apparent progress with the Cuban government, the answer would seem to be yes.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Gitmo Stretcher
guardian.co.uk

A Decision Not to Prosecute

After key Bush era CIA torture documents were released by the Obama administration, human rights officials are dismayed at the news that CIA agents who ordered and conducted torture will not be prosecuted.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Gay Iowa Flag
gayjourney.com

Iowa Is 3rd State to Recognize Gay Marriage

Proving once again how awesome Iowa is and how the battle for civil rights continues, Iowa’s Supreme Court has ruled that its ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, making it the third state to legalize gay marriage.

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 READ MORE



IDF

Israel’s Gaza Inquiry Finds Israel Innocent

The Israeli military has exonerated itself after investigating the recent comments of soldiers who alleged abuses in Gaza. The military said in a statement that the accounts, which described the casual shooting of women and children, were “based on hearsay and not supported by facts.” Nine Israeli human rights groups have called for an independent investigation.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Salim el-Hoss
secint50.un.org

Human Rights Defenders Have It Tough in the Mideast

Dr Salim el-Hoss is 80 now but remains a staunch defender of human rights and democracy, an opponent of the death penalty and an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. When I recommended to him a long article on American torture, he read it right through to the end and then put the paper down with a slap on his knee. “Terrible, terrible,” he muttered.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 READ MORE


British Intel Building
The Guardian / Frank Baron

This Is How We Did It

Growing evidence of British complicity  in “unacceptable activities,” including participation in U.S. torture practices, has prompted Prime Minister Gordon Brown to publish the rules that determine how U.K. intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 can interrogate suspects.

Posted on Mar 18, 2009 READ MORE


Sri Lanka Injuries
wn.com

U.N. Warns of Sri Lankan War Crimes

After an estimated 10,000 civilian deaths or injuries in only two months, the U.N. has called on the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels to immediately suspend fighting, suggesting that actions by both parties may constitute violations of international human rights law.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE


Rashidi Williams
news.bbc.co.uk

Nigeria’s War on Gayness

Not only would a proposed Nigerian law mean prison for gay people who live together, but also anyone who “aids and abets” them. A giant step beyond outlawing gay sex, the law would give police the power to arrest suspected cohabiting gays as well as human rights workers who deal with gay rights.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE


Redacted memo
aclu.org

Nine Secret Bush-Era Documents Released

The Justice Department has released nine secret memos and opinions written by the Office of Legal Counsel that authorized some of the Bush administration’s unlawful national security policies.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Sudan's Al-Bashir
breakfornews.com

The ICC’s First Tooth

The International Criminal Court is getting its teeth, as judges have ordered the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity—including murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape—marking the first time the ICC has issued a warrant for a sitting head of state.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Bombing Human Rights?
Air Force

Room for Improvement ... Even at Home

In announcing her department’s annual human rights report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made multiple references to the elephant in the room—the United States’ own tarnished record, saying “America must first be an exemplar of our own ideals.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Rebutting the False Choice Between Security and Freedom

A three-year review of more than 40 countries has found that justice systems prior to 9/11 were perfectly capable of combating terrorism. The U.S. and Britain were especially opportunistic in their violations of human rights and international law and gave comfort by example to other abusive regimes, the International Commission of Jurists found.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Israel Soldiers Shells
guardian.co.uk

Palestinians Push for War Crimes Inquiry

On the heels of Israel’s election and its bloody three-week assault on the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority is pressing the International Criminal Court to investigate the possibility of war crimes committed by Israeli commanders.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Ehud Olmert
Wikimedia Commons / Agência Brasil

Israeli PM Promises to Shield Troops From War Crime Trials

The BBC reports: “Any Israeli soldiers accused of war crimes in the Gaza Strip will be given state protection from prosecution overseas, the country’s PM has said.” At issue is Israel’s use of white phosphorous, a chemical agent that is not permitted in densely populated areas because it sticks to and severely burns human tissue.

Posted on Jan 25, 2009 READ MORE


Douche

You Got Obama. What Now?

Outraged by the Rev. Joseph Lowery’s benediction at Barack Obama’s inauguration, Glenn Beck is calling a post-racial foul. “Even at the inauguration of a black president, it seems white America is being called racist,” Beck whined after Lowrey suggested that “white will embrace what’s right.”

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Israel Soldiers Shells
guardian.co.uk

Israel Admits It ‘May Have Used’ Chemical Weapon

Following accusations by human rights groups last week, Israel has finally admitted that its troops “may have used” white phosphorus shells—a chemical agent that wreaks havoc on the skin—in contravention of international law.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE


Holder
inquisitr.com

Holder States the Obvious

Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. has announced a groundbreaking hypothesis on waterboarding: It’s torture. The position, which contradicts piles of Bush-era law literature defending the practice, is just one step in an avowed process to fix many of the problems riddling current Justice Department policy.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Shanghai Scape
Flickr.com / PMorgan

China Takes the Bronze in GDP

After reconfiguring its output figures, China has finally found itself on the medal podium for gross domestic product, ousting Germany from its role as third largest economy in the world. China’s economy has grown tenfold in the past 30 years, and its development, while marveled at, worries many environmental, human rights and labor activists.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Proponents Have No Serious Argument

George W. Bush’s war against terror has brought out of the darker places in America a lot of people who want to torture, or like the idea of it. We know it doesn’t work, so what drives Dick Cheney and his colleague to champion such moral depravity?

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


Falk
iphone.foxnews.com

Israel Blocks U.N. Envoy at Airport

There was no doubt as to Israel’s take on recent comments about Israeli-Palestinian relations made by United Nations official Richard Falk when he arrived Sunday at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, only to be denied entry and sent immediately back to Zurich.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008 READ MORE


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