Human Rights News

PHR Calls for Release of Imprisoned Turkish Medical Professionals
PHR called on the Turkish government to immediately release leaders of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA), who were arrested following days of threats and protests over the group's statement criticizing war as a public health threat.
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Kenya:How Expatriates Mint Millions Working in Nairobi Illegally
[Nairobi News] As the dust settles on the unceremonious deportation of Miguna Miguna, the self-proclaimed "General" of the National Resistance Movement, Saturday Nation has learnt there are hundreds of foreigners leaving and working in the country illegally.
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Africa:Seven Years After Its Revolution, Libya Is Losing Its Journalists
[RSF] The crisis for press freedom in Libya has reached an unprecedented level seven years after the country's revolution. The open conflict between two rival governments has made journalism extremely dangerous. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the impunity for violence against journalists, who continue to flee abroad.
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Zimbabwe:Govt Eases Visa Requirements
[New Zimbabwe] Zimbabwe has announced a new visa regime which sees visitors some 29 more countries applying for visas on entry.
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West Africa:ECOWAS Court Rules Media Laws in Gambia Violate Human Rights
[Foroyaa] According to Amnesty International, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Court of Justice yesterday ruled that media laws on sedition, false news and criminal defamation violate the right to freedom of expression in Gambia.
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Sudan:U.S. 'Deeply Concerned' By Arrests and Detentions
[Radio Dabanga] Khartoum -The United States Embassy in Sudan has issued a statement expressing its concern at the many arrests and detentions carried out by the Sudanese authorities in response to public protests against rising commodity prices, flour and fuel shortages, and skyrocketing inflation.
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Sudan:Suakin Man Held for Facebook Video Satirising Sudan's President Al Bashir
[Radio Dabanga] Suakin -A man from the historic port of Suakin in Sudan's Red Sea state has reportedly been arrested for posting a video to Facebook satirising Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir.
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Sudan:Open Letter to UN On Detentions, Use of Excessive Force in Sudan
[Radio Dabanga] Khartoum -The Enough Project, which aims to end genocide and crimes against humanity in Africa, has addressed an open letter to several UN Commissioners expressing its concern over "the crackdown on peaceful protests and the wave of arbitrary arrests and continued incommunicado detentions by Sudanese government forces".
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Libya:Official Says Truck Overturns, Kills 19 Migrants
[Shabelle] A Libyan official says at least 19 illegal migrants have been killed in a truck crash near the town of Bani Walid, about 180 kilometers (112 miles) southeast of Tripoli.
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Ethiopia:Govt to Declare Emergency After PM Resigns?
[Addis Standard] Addis Abeba -Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said he has submitted a letter requesting to resign from his role as Prime Minister and Chairman of Ethiopia's ruling party EPRDF.
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Africa:Tutu Steps Down From Oxfam Role After Scandal
[News24Wire] Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has instructed his office to write to Oxfam International to inform them of his retirement as their global ambassador.
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Ethiopia:Trapped, Workers in Lebanon See No Freedom
[Thomson Reuters Foundation] Beirut -"I live in fear at any minute I can get arrested and go to jail"
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Cameroon:Shun Illegal Emigration
[Cameroon Tribune] Current trends in most developing countries is for people to engage in what many qualify as the quest for "Greener Pastures." Call it "Bush falling" or whatever, this movement mostly by youth to usually unknown destinations is the more illegal.
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Tanzania:E-Passports and the Critical Cybersecurity Question
[Citizen] Epassports are a recent example of a planned initiative for government to go more digital. The issuance of such passports is expected to lead to faster, more secure and efficient processing of travellers at border control points. Similarly, the issuance, renewal and replacement of passports will be more efficient thus saving costs to the government.
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Africa:Mayotte - the French Migration Frontline You've Never Heard of
[IRIN] Mamoudzou -Thousands of people have died trying to make the hazardous Indian Ocean crossing
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PHR Calls on Full Senate to Pass Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today praised the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for advancing the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017 (S.2060) and urged the full Senate to pass the bill without delay.
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PHR calls on President Erdoğan to release detained members of the Turkish Medical Association
Physicians for Human Rights today called on the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to immediately release detained members of the Turkish Medical Association and to end the campaign of harassment and intimidation against the organization.
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U.S. Funding for Accountability Mechanism in Syria is a Step in the Right Direction
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced today that the United States will provide $350,000 for the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM), which was created by the UN in 2016 to provide accountability for the “most serious crimes under international law” committed in the Syrian conflict. Susannah Sirkin, director of international policy and partnerships at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), issued the following statement in response.
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PHR Condemns Trump Executive Order on Guantánamo Bay Detention Center
President Trump announced during tonight’s State of the Union address that he has reversed President Obama’s 2009 order to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center. Dr. Homer Venters, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), issued a statement in response.
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PHR Condemns Threats against Turkish Medical Association
Today in Ankara, two pro-government unions held a press conference denouncing the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) and calling on the government to file charges against the organization. This follows two days of threats of physical violence to TMA staff, some of them identified as coming from a government-recognized civilian militia group.
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Physicians for Human Rights Documents Dramatic Increase in Attacks on Northern Syrian Medical Facilities
Syrian medical facilities have experienced a dramatic increase in attacks, particularly in opposition-controlled areas of Hama and Idlib, according to new data from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).
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6 ways UNICEF helped change lives in 2017
Looking back on the humanitarian landscape of 2017, it can be easy to focus on the negative: conflicts that show no sign of relenting and with children under attack left with no safe place to go, natural hazards that destroyed millions of homes and lives. But amid the devastation, there are glimpses of hope.
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How mothers and community leaders tackled malnutrition in Mali
KOURY, Mali, 19 December 2017 – In 2014, the district of Yorosso in southern Mali was approaching a crisis of malnutrition. Nearly 1 out of 3 children were chronically malnourished, and just under 1 per cent suffered from severe acute malnutrition – a condition which can be life-threatening to children.
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How girls built a library in the Gaza Strip
DEIR AL BALAH CITY, State of Palestine, 18 December 2017 – There are one million children in Gaza, yet hardly any sports fields or playgrounds. And this lack of safe outside play areas especially affects girls. The beach is basically off limits, with terrible sewage pollution. Youth unemployment is over 60 per cent.
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How visiting nurses help prevent child deaths in Kazakhstan
KYZYLORDA, Kazakhstan, 14 December 2017 – Early spring seeps through grimy windows, lighting a small unkempt apartment. The place is so dirty that Bibinur begins to feel nauseated. She finds a clear spot to sit down with Almagul, who recently gave birth to a baby boy.
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Surviving HIV: Preventing mother-to-child transmission in Burundi
MURAMVYA, Burundi, 7 December 2017 – “I started to feel quite sick,” says 40-year-old Darlene*, describing a period in her life a few years ago. “After going to a health centre, I was referred to a hospital where I was hospitalized for several weeks. I did not know why I was weak, until they asked me to do HIV test. I was diagnosed as living with HIV,” she says.
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The search for Lesotho’s most vulnerable families
HA TŠEPO, Lesotho, 28 November 2017 – A cloud of yellow dust blows into the group sitting on the ground at the village centre. Toddlers run, legs wobbly, to bury their faces in the open arms of their mothers, as the women pull down kerchiefs to protect their eyes. But community mobilizer Tlaleng Maimane keeps talking.
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The heroes keeping the water flowing for families in eastern Ukraine
LUHANSK, Ukraine, 21 November 2017 – Inna Krasnyakova was born, raised and married in the small village of Artema, in Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine. In June 2014, she was at work, operating a water pumping unit at the Petrovskaya pumping station, when conflict broke out.
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OSCE/ODIHR Director Link criticizes call for reintroduction of death penalty by Tajikistan’s Prosecutor General
WARSAW, 6 August 2016 – Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), today criticized the call by the Prosecutor General of Tajikistan for the reintroduction of the death penalty, and expressed concern over recent discussions related to removing the bans on capital punishment in some other OSCE participating States. “Countries in the OSCE have committed themselves to consider the complete abolition of capital punishment, not to reconsider that abolition,” the ODIHR Director said. “Yesterday’s call by the Prosecutor General in Tajikistan for the reintroduction of capital punishment in that country is completely out of place in a region where most of the countries recognize the inherently cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of…
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ODIHR Director Link and IHRA Chair Constantinescu, on day to commemorate genocide against Roma and Sinti, say greater efforts needed to protect endangered memorial sites and ensure dignity of victims
WARSAW / BUCHAREST, 2 August 2016 – Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), called today for greater efforts to protect endangered memorial sites related to the Roma and Sinti genocide during World War II. Speaking on the occasion of the commemoration of the liquidation of the “Gypsy family camp” at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, when the close to 3,000 remaining Roma and Sinti in the camp were murdered, they stressed that states have to do more to demonstrate their sincere and strong commitment to education about and remembrance of the genocide. “Positively, we have seen increasing attention in recent years…
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OSCE concludes series of training seminars on implementing the National Preventive Mechanism in Kazakhstan
257391 Colin McCullough, OSCE Programme Office in Astana The OSCE Programme Office in Astana concluded a series of two-day training seminars for some 100 members of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) against Torture on 2 August 2016 in Aktobe, Western Kazakhstan. From May to August 2016, participants were trained in Pavlodar, Almaty, Astana and Aktobe on practical aspects of the NPM’s implementation. The training seminars aimed at increasing the transparency and effectiveness of the Mechanism in monitoring, reporting and conducting preventive visits at detention facilities. National experts discussed with the NPM members the working procedures and methodology, challenges in fulfilling human rights obligations and ethical aspects in line with national and international anti-torture standards. Special emphasis was placed on the…
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OSCE/ODIHR and OHCHR train prosecutors and lawyers in Kyrgyzstan on international standards regarding freedom of religion or belief
International standards and the national legal framework on freedom of religion or belief were the focus of two consecutive training events organized jointly by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institution and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA) of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from 25 to 28 July 2016 in Bishkek. The training for 25 prosecutors and 31 defence lawyers from all regions of Kyrgyzstan was provided in close co-operation with the Training Centre for Prosecutors under the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Training Centre for Lawyers. The course covered a wide variety of topics directly relevant to the work of the participants, including recent developments in Kyrgyzstan.…
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OSCE launches first distance human rights course in Ukraine for judges
Andrii Dziubenko The OSCE Project Co-ordinator on 15 July 2016 launched the first distance course in Ukraine on the application of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Developed, designed and produced by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator, the course was finalized after it was successfully piloted on the online platform of the National School of Judges of Ukraine (NSJU). From now the NSJU will have this sustainable tool at its disposal for systematically training judges on applying the case-law of the ECtHR without having to involve extra human or financial resources. Thirty judges from all over Ukraine have already been trained distantly and received their certificates of accomplishment. The content was developed in co-operation with experts on…
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OSCE PA human rights committee Chair Ignacio Sanchez Amor follows up on developments in Turkey
COPENHAGEN, 25 July 2016 – In response to the measures taken by the Turkish authorities following the attempted coup, Ignacio Sanchez Amor (MP, Spain), Chairperson of the OSCE PA Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, issued the following statement today: “I remain concerned by the developments which have been taking place in Turkey since the attempted coup, as expressed in an earlier statement. As I joined the rest of the international community in offering strong support to the restoration of constitutional order, I also warned against reprisals and hasty purges and underscored the need to safeguard democratic institutions. “Unfortunately, the sudden dismissal of thousands of judges, prosecutors, academics, and journalists across the country has challenged human rights standards,…
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Obama to Meet with Mexican President Peña Nieto as State Department Evaluates Mexico’s Human Rights Situation
The meeting takes place at a moment when the State Department is assessing whether the Mexican government has met the human rights conditions in the Merida Initiative. Washington, DC—Tomorrow the presidents of the United States and Mexico will meet at the White House. This meeting takes place at a moment when the State Department is assessing whether the Mexican government has met the human rights conditions in the Merida Initiative—a U.S. security assistance package. Under the Merida Initiative, 15 percent of select funds are conditioned on the State Department reporting to Congress that Mexico is making substantive progress in its respect for human rights within the framework of security operations. read more
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Assembly’s work on migration presented to OSCE ambassadors by Ad Hoc Committee Chair Lombardi at special Permanent Council
VIENNA, 20 July 2016 – Presenting the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s work concerning the refugee and migrant crisis at a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today, Swiss parliamentarian Filippo Lombardi laid out the Assembly’s plan of action going forward, which includes monitoring the situation on the ground and developing policy recommendations for the OSCE and its participating States. The meeting was convened by the OSCE German Chairmanship to present and discuss the report by Amb. Claude Wild, Chair of the OSCE Informal Working Group Focusing on the Issue of Migration and Refugee Flows. The participants discussed in particular the importance of improving global migration governance and how the OSCE can lend its contribution to promoting regional implementation…
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WOLA Report: Mexico's New Criminal Justice System
There’s Much Left to do Before Celebrating The Mexican government has called its transition to the new adversarial, oral-based criminal justice system a “mission accomplished.” However, much remains to be done for Mexico to enjoy a system that holds perpetrators accountable for crimes while ensuring respect for human rights. Washington, DC­–The Mexican government has called its transition to the new adversarial, oral-based criminal justice system a “mission accomplished.” However, according to a new WOLA report, much remains to be done for Mexico to enjoy a system that holds perpetrators accountable for crimes while ensuring respect for human rights. read more
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Ayotzinapa Case: Negotiations between Mexico and the Inter-American Commission Continue
WOLA and 11 organizations demand a strong mechanism to follow-up on the case In a public letter to Mexican President Peña Nieto, the human rights organizations requested that a mechanism with the terms proposed by the IACHR is established. In a public letter to Mexican President Peña Nieto, WOLA and eleven international and regional human rights organizations urged the Mexican government to create an effective mechanism to follow up on the investigation of the enforced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students. read more
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Third Member of Honduran Environmental Organization COPINH Murdered Since March
Brutal killing of Lesbia Janeth Urquía underscores the deeply troubling pattern of violence against human rights defenders in Honduras Honduran authorities must take meaningful and serious steps to address what appears to be a pattern of repression against human rights defenders. Press Release read more
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Republican House Leadership Signals Shift on Cuba
Broad and bi-partisan support for measures to ease trade and travel restrictions on Cuba led to controversy in the House of Representatives on Wednesday night, and ended with an agreement that signals a shift in the House leadership’s attitude toward Cuba policy change. read more
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Cuba Votes in House of Representatives Expected Tonight
Republicans Take Lead on Cuba Trade and Travel When the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill comes to the House floor, likely on Wednesday, July 6, Republican Members of Congress will take the lead in offering two amendments that would ease travel and trade with Cuba. Debate on the amendments is expected Wednesday evening, with votes on Wednesday or Thursday. Washington, D.C.—When the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill comes to the House floor, likely on Wednesday, July 6, Republican Members of Congress will take the lead in offering two amendments that would ease travel and trade with Cuba. Debate on the amendments is expected Wednesday evening, with votes on Wednesday or Thursday. read more
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WOLA Announces Recipients of its 2016 Human Rights Awards
Honorees Show Unwavering Commitment to Human Rights in the Americas Press Release Washington, D.C.—WOLA (the Washington Office on Latin America) is proud to announce the recipients of its prestigious Human Rights Awards for 2016. Each year, WOLA presents this award to organizations or individuals who exemplify a commitment to WOLA's vision for the future, where human rights and social justice are the foundation for public policy. The 2016 Human Rights Awards recipients have shown unwavering dedication to advancing human rights in the Americas. read more
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