Human Rights News

Tunisia: Kais Saied to New York Times Journalists - There Is No Fear for Freedoms in Tunisia
[Tunis Afrique Presse] Tunis/Tunisia -- Tunisia, despite the crisis it is going through, remains concerned about guaranteeing and defending rights and freedoms and acting in strict compliance with the constitution, said Friday Kais Saied who received at Carthage Palace, journalists from the New York Times, adding that he wanted to refute the rumours spread by some media.
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Egypt: Renewed Judicial Harassment of Rights Defenders
[HRW] Beirut -- Close Case 173, Lift Arbitrary Restrictions
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Ghana: Ghana's First Openly Trans Musician Fights Homophobia With Song
[Thomson Reuters Foundation] Hiplife and Afropop artist Angel Maxine says her song aims to comfort LGBT+ Ghanaians facing threats from authorities and a rise in verbal and physical attacks from the public
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Africa: Africa Has the Right Tool to Protect Women's Rights. It Needs to Use It
[African Arguments] 18 years after African leaders adopted the Maputo Protocol, a progressive initiative by and for Africans, it is still yet to be fully implemented.
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Six months after coup, Myanmar’s political, rights and aid crisis is worsening
It’s been six months since the military coup in Myanmar where there’s grave concern over the widening impact of the deepening political, human rights and humanitarian crisis affecting the country’s people.
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Mercenaries ‘impede’ peace, must leave Libya to allow elections
The continued recruitment and presence of mercenaries in Libya is impeding “progress in the peace process” and an obstacle to upcoming elections, independent UN human rights experts said on Friday, calling for their “long overdue” departure.
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Mauritius: Awareness Campaigns Commemorate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
[Government of Mauritius] Awareness campaigns were organised by the Mauritius Police Force (MPF), today, to commemorate the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, at two venues namely, the Plaisance Shopping Village, in Rose Belle, and the Mahogani Shopping Promenade, in Beau Plan. The World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed on 30 July yearly since 2014.
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Gambia: Gambia's Truth Commission Puts a Price On Reparations
[JusticeInfo.net] The final report of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, expected to be submitted today to the President of Gambia, has been postponed to September 30. Meanwhile the Commission has clarified what it has spent in reparations up to now. And the budget that is still missing.
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South Africa: Adichie Speaks at UCT Lecture After Boycott Calls From Students' Council
[allAfrica] Johannesburg -- On July 28 internationally acclaimed Nigerian author and renowned feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie presented the second University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture titled The Idolatry of Theory: A Defense of Storytelling.
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Africa: Nearly 1,000 Migrants Have Drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2021 - UN
[RFI] The 57 migrants who drowned off the coast of Libya on Sunday added to the toll of nearly 1,000 lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea this year alone, the UN agency International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has revealed.
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Israel: Supreme Court Authorizes Surrogacy Arrangements for Gay Men
On July 11, 2021, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice in an extended bench of five justices, unanimously accepted a petition to issue an operative remedy in accordance with an earlier decision by the court rendered on February 27, 2020. The 2020 decision recognized that the surrogacy arrangement provided under the … Continue reading “Israel: Supreme Court Authorizes Surrogacy Arrangements for Gay Men”
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Witchcraft killings of people with albinism have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic, says UN expert
People being plunged into poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the killing of people with albinism, the outgoing UN appointed independent expert said on Thursday.
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Kenya: Kenyan Health Workers to Get UK Jobs in New Pact
[Nation] Jobless Kenyan nurses and other health workers will get a chance to work in the UK as part of a new scheme requested by Kenya, and set to be launched Thursday, Nation has learnt.
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South Africa: Like Gender and Racial Minorities Before Them, Non-Citizens Fight a Culture of Exclusion in the Legal Profession
[Daily Maverick] On 20 July 2021, the Asylum Seeker, Refugee and Migrant Coalition and three other individuals initiated high court litigation against the justice minister and the Legal Practice Council, challenging the provisions of the Legal Practice Act that bar certain categories of non-citizens from practising as lawyers.
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Africa: Excluding Migrants Undermines the Success of Covid-19 Vaccine Rollouts
[The Conversation Africa] Migration is increasingly recognised as a determinant of health. Research shows that, in many cases, cross-border migrants arriving in new countries are healthier than the host population. But the advantage often falls away as non-nationals encounter discrimination and challenges in accessing documentation, support services and employment.
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Southern Africa: As the Refugee Convention Turns 70, the Plight of Millions of Africans Highlights the Challenges Ahead
[Daily Maverick] Today, 85% of the world's refugees live in developing or the least developed countries. Patterns of displacement continue to evolve, driven by the interrelation of extreme poverty, the climate crisis and conflict. Lasting solutions are hard to find, making the work of the UN Refugee Agency even more pressing and complex.
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Cornerstone treaty of refugee protection turns 70
It has never been more urgent to recommit to the spirit and fundamental principles of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the UN refugee agency said on Wednesday as it marked the 70th anniversary of the key international treaty.
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Tunisia: Jerandi Holds Talks With Foreign Leaders to Discuss Latest Developments in Tunisia
[Tunis Afrique Presse] Tunis/Tunisia -- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad Othman Jerandi was entrusted by President Kais Saied to hold talks with European Leaders, focused notably on the latest developments in Tunisia.
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Africa: Dozens of Shipwrecked Migrants Drown Off Libya's Coast
[VOA] Geneva -- The International Organization for Migration says at least 57 migrants, most from West Africa, drowned Monday, when their boat capsized off the Libyan Coast.
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Israel: Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Basic Law: Israel – Nation State of the Jewish People
On July 8, 2021, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice in an extended bench of 11 justices, rejected 15 joint petitions challenging the constitutionality of Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People or specific provision in it. The petitioners included human rights organizations and “individuals belonging to … Continue reading “Israel: Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Basic Law: Israel – Nation State of the Jewish People”
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Myanmar: Rights expert calls for ‘COVID ceasefire’, urges UN action
The UN independent expert on the human rights situation in Myanmar on Tuesday called for a “COVID ceasefire” for the country, as infections and deaths soar even as the military junta escalates attacks against healthcare workers.
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Free, fair Palestinian elections, must include East Jerusalem: UN experts
Landmark elections in the Occupied Palestinian territory must be rescheduled soon and include East Jerusalem, three UN independent human rights experts said in a statement on Monday.
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France: Constitutional Council Strikes Part of Recent Security Law
On May 20, 2021, France’s Conseil constitutionnel (Constitutional Council) struck parts of a domestic security bill that had recently been adopted by the French Parliament. While the council’s decision upheld most of the bill as constitutional, one of the provisions struck down was a section of the controversial article 52 (formerly referred to as article … Continue reading “France: Constitutional Council Strikes Part of Recent Security Law”
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Lifesaving help needed for Venezuela cancer patients hit by US sanctions
Independent UN rights experts on Wednesday warned that hundreds of Venezuelan cancer patients could die because they have been caught up in the excessively strict application of United States sanctions aimed at Venezuela and the state-owned oil company, Petroleum of Venezuela.
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England and Wales: Supreme Court Clarifies Relationship Between Criminal Law and European Convention Rights to Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly
On June 25, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom handed down its judgment in Director of Public Prosecutions v. Ziegler et al. (Ziegler), regarding the relationship between the criminal law and the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly guaranteed by articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights … Continue reading “England and Wales: Supreme Court Clarifies Relationship Between Criminal Law and European Convention Rights to Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly”
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Sweden: Prosecutor's Announcement of Olof Palme Murder Suspect Declared Violation of Presumption of Innocence
On June 22, 2021, Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman Per Lennerbrant published his final determination in his review of a Swedish prosecutor’s 2020 press conference surrounding Prime Minister Olof Palme’s 1986 murder, finding that the prosecutor’s actions violated the presumption of innocence of the named suspect.BackgroundOn June 10, 2020, Swedish Prosecutor Kristoffer Petersson announced in a press … Continue reading “Sweden: Prosecutor’s Announcement of Olof Palme Murder Suspect Declared Violation of Presumption of Innocence”
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France: Parliament Adopts Domestic Security Bill
(May 11, 2021) On April 15, 2021, the French Parliament adopted a bill on domestic security entitled “Bill for Overall Security Which Preserves Freedoms.” This bill, which is currently under review by the Constitutional Council before President Emmanuel Macron can sign it into law, aims to change the legislative framework concerning video surveillance, police body […]
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Italy: Constitutional Court Finds Sick Leave Limit for Public Employees Discriminatory
(Apr. 23, 2021) On March 3, 2021, the Italian Constitutional Court declared that a law limiting the sick leave available to seriously ill public employees is unconstitutional. The court found that the law is unreasonable because it sets an 18-month maximum amount of sick leave for an inability to work caused by an illness itself […]
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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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