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and Human Rights:

    President Biden’s tepid responses to Saudi Arabia’s murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the case of a Russian dissident have disappointed supporters while drawing praise from an unlikely quarter: Trump administration alumni. Candidate Biden pledged to rescue the “soul” of America from a then-president who he claimed “cozies up to dictators” — a rebuke that stemmed from former President Donald Trump’s frank indifference to human rights issues that threatened his priorities. Yet, Biden has not delivered the kinds of punishments that his supporters expected as his team confronts the same tension between American values and interests that beset his predecessor. With respect to Khashoggi’s murder, Biden’s decision to blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder and then decline to sanction him strikes the Washington Post columnist’s advocates as a toothless, even “dangerous” half-measure. “It is extremely problematic, in my view, if not dangerous,...
    President Joe Biden spoke out about  the release of a U.S. intel report concluding that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was approved by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Ilia Calderon of Univision interviewed the President and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden Friday during their visit to Houston, and asked about the just-released unclassified report. Referencing the report, Calderon asked “How far are you willing to go to press Prince Ben Salmon in Saudi Arabia to comply with human rights?” In his response, Biden described his conversation with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, criticized former president Donald Trump, and denounced the killing: I spoke yesterday with the king, not the prince, made it clear to him that the rules are changing. And we’re going to be announcing significant changes today, and then on Monday. We are going to hold them accountable for human rights abuses, and we’re going...
    President Joe Biden raised human rights issues when he spoke to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Thursday but the White House didn't say if the two men discussed murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In their conversation, President Biden 'affirmed the importance the United States places on universal human rights and the rule of law,' the White House said in a readout of the call. 'The President told King Salman he would work to make the bilateral relationship as strong and transparent as possible. The two leaders affirmed the historic nature of the relationship and agreed to work together on mutual issues of concern and interest,' the readout noted. The White House did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's inquiry on whether Khashoggi was part of their conversation. The call came ahead of the expected release of a declassified intelligence report on the 2018 murder of the dissident journalist. The administration will name Saudi Crown Prince...
    Newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses reporters during his first press briefing at the State Department in Washington, January 27, 2021.Carlos Barria | Reuters Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the importance of Saudi Arabia making progress on human rights in a call with the foreign minister on Thursday, as the White House scrutinizes relations with the oil-rich kingdom that has been a long-standing U.S. ally. Blinken's discussion with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud comes as Washington and Riyadh prepare for the release of a U.S. intelligence assessment that will reportedly implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Blinken also discussed efforts to bolster Saudi defenses, U.S.-Saudi cooperation on ending the war in Yemen, counterterrorism and economic development, according to a State Department readout. Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist, was killed in the...
    February 24, 2021 9:24 AM | With information from EFE 15 minutes. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, claimed this Wednesday that the country is back in the UN Human Rights Council (HR), a body that Washington repudiated during the Donald Trump Administration, but warned that it will use that forum to condemn the violations of states like China or Russia. Furthermore, the US “will continue to denounce abuses in countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba or Iran,” the Secretary of State stressed in his first speech to the Council. He also announced that the country will present its candidacy to be a member of this body (made up of 47 states) for the 2022-24 triennium. Blinken He also stressed that the return of the US to the Human Rights Council does not mean recognizing that it is perfect. Thus, he stressed that the UN body it must reconsider...
    Miami : The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, condemned the human rights abuses that are fostered in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Iran and called for the release of Alexei Nalvany, a political prisoner of Russia at the celebration of the 46th period of the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations Organization. From Washington, the secretary used his intervention in the forum to condemn the systematic violations of powers such as China or Russia and assured that they will continue to denounce the abuses of fundamental rights in countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Iran. Likewise, Blinken announced that it will seek a seat at the UN Human Rights Council, which marks the end of the “empty chair” policy of the Trump years. “I am pleased to announce that the United States will seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the 2022-2024 term....
    Administration officials say President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau want to “closely align” their respective China policies, a pledge that will test their ability to confront Beijing’s human rights abuses while convincing the regime to help mitigate climate change. Climate change stands as a top foreign policy priority for both Biden and Trudeau, who agree that China looms large over any international effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, Beijing has threatened to withhold that desired cooperation on climate change if Western leaders attempt to “undermine China's interests,” putting those green initiatives on a collision course with intensifying anger over atrocious treatment of Uighur Muslims. “We believe that we can have those conversations,” a senior administration official told reporters ahead of a Tuesday virtual meeting between the two leaders. “The United States is not going to subsume its defense of democracy and human rights to pursue...
    Miami : February 22, 2021February 22, 2021 0 US Senator Rick Scott rejected the decision of the United Nations (UN) to grant the right to speak to dictator Nicolás Maduro regarding the start of the session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. “Amazing. A new low point for the Human Rights Council. Giving Nicolás Maduro, a murderous dictator who commits genocide against his people, a platform is reprehensible and will not be tolerated, “said the congressman through Twitter. Maduro, who will attend the forum by teleconference, will be part of the high-level segment in which the presidents of Colombia (Iván Duque), Poland (Andrzej Duda) and Afghanistan (Mohamad Ashraf Ghani), and the US Secretary of State will also participate. .UU., Antony Blinken. The case of Venezuela will be continuously brought to the fore as the UN High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, will present oral updates...
    Europe's top human rights court has ordered Russia to release jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny after ruling that his life is at risk.  The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that was posted on Navalny's website on Wednesday demands that Russia set him free immediately and warns that failing to do so would mark a breach of the European human rights convention. Navalny, 44, an anti-corruption investigator and President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic, was arrested last month upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.  Russian authorities have rejected the accusation. Europe's top human rights court has ordered Russia to release jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny after ruling that his life is at risk  Earlier this month, a Moscow court sentenced Navalny to two years and eight months in prison for violating terms of...
    KYIV – Belarusian security forces searched the homes of journalists and human rights activists in several cities across the country on Tuesday, intensifying a crackdown on mass protests against veteran President Alexander Lukashenko. Police searched the homes of 25 members of the independent Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and the human rights organization Viasna-96, Viasna-96 said. The authorities in a statement connected the searches to an investigation into what they said was the financing of the protests by “organisations positioning themselves as human rights defenders”. More than 33,000 people have been detained in a violent crackdown following an election last August that Lukashenko’s opponents say was blatantly rigged to hand the president a sixth term in office since 1994. He denies electoral fraud. The crackdown has prompted new Western sanctions but Lukashenko has refused to resign, counting on diplomatic and financial support from traditional ally Russia, which sees Belarus as...
    KYIV (Reuters) - Belarusian security forces searched the homes of journalists and human rights activists in several cities across the country on Tuesday, intensifying a crackdown on mass protests against veteran President Alexander Lukashenko. Police searched the homes of 25 members of the independent Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) and the human rights organization Viasna-96, Viasna-96 said. The authorities in a statement connected the searches to an investigation into what they said was the financing of the protests by "organisations positioning themselves as human rights defenders". More than 33,000 people have been detained in a violent crackdown following an election last August that Lukashenko's opponents say was blatantly rigged to hand the president a sixth term in office since 1994. He denies electoral fraud. The crackdown has prompted new Western sanctions but Lukashenko has refused to resign, counting on diplomatic and financial support from traditional ally Russia, which sees Belarus...
    When the United Nations’ Human Rights Council called an emergency session Friday to take up the mounting protests and increasing repression in Myanmar in the wake of the military coup there, a United States delegation was present for the discussion. That may not sound like news. But until this week, the U.S. would have been absent: The Trump administration pulled out of the world’s premier (and most universal) human rights body in 2018, dismissing it as a den of Israel-bashing authoritarians. But on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced U.S. reengagement with the Geneva-based council, as one piece of President Joe Biden’s intention to return the U.S. to a global leadership role through reinvigorated multilateralism. “We recognize that the Human Rights Council is a flawed body, in need of reform to its agenda, membership, and focus, including its disproportionate focus on Israel,” Secretary Blinken said in a statement. But...
    Miami : US President Joe Biden first spoke by phone on Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the White House announced in a statement. In the call, Biden expressed his “deep concerns” about the “unfair and coercive” economic practices in the Asian nation, the repression in Hong Kong and the “human rights violations in Xinjiang”, a region where the minority resides. Muslim of the Uyghurs. The White House statement further indicated that both leaders addressed the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic and the “common challenges” posed by global health security and climate change. On Thursday, Biden said the conversation with Jinping lasted two hours. The conversation between the two leaders took place the same day that Biden visited the Pentagon for the first time since taking office on January 20. During his stay, he announced the creation of a special Defense Department working group on China and ordered an...
    Washington — President Biden spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, the White House said, the first conversation between the two since Mr. Biden won the presidential election. The president raised a number of contentious issues during the call, according to a readout provided by the White House, underscoring his "fundamental concerns about Beijing's coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuse in Xinjiang and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan." Mr. Biden and Xi also discussed combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the "shared challenges of global health security, climate change and preventing weapons proliferation," the White House said. "President Biden committed to pursuing practical, results-oriented engagements when it advances the interests of the American people and those of our allies," according to the summary of the call. While the call between the president and Xi was...
    PRESIDENT Joe Biden spoke with China's Xi Jinping for the first time since taking office and pressed concerns about human rights and security. The two also spoke about maintaining a functioning relationship between the US and China moving forward during the Wednesday conversation. 4Joe Biden had a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on WednesdayCredit: AP:Associated Press 4Xi reportedly stressed the need to maintain a solid relationship between the US and ChinaCredit: Reuters The White House released a statement Wednesday evening on the topics the two leaders touched on during their call. "President Biden affirmed his priorities of protecting the American people's security, prosperity, health and way of life and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific," the statement says. "President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing's coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward...
    President Biden addressed trade and human rights violations in his first phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, setting the tone of their relationship following former President Donald Trump's administration. Biden tweeted that Wednesday's call was to wish Xi a happy Lunar New Year, but a White House readout provided more details regarding their conversation. "President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan," officials said. The pair went on to speak about the coronavirus pandemic after the first COVID-19 cases were reported in China in 2019. They also discussed climate change and nuclear proliferation. "I told him I will work with China when it benefits the American people," Biden tweeted. I spoke today with President Xi to offer good wishes to the Chinese people for Lunar...
    Ten years after the disappearance of the defender of human rights and founder of “The Voice of the Voiceless”, the accomplices of the crime are finally speaking. Pnobody, neither in Congo nor elsewhere, has forgotten the assassination of Floribert Chebeya and his driver Fidèle Bazana on June 1, 2010, as the country was preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence in the presence of the king Albert II. The story of this crime committed in cold blood against the most famous of human rights defenders, founder of the NGO “La Voix des sans Voix” revives all memories, all sorrows. Because after a decade of silence, all the details of this state crime are finally known, delivered to the microphone of RFI and on the site Afrikarabia by two of the assassins, henchmen on the run.
    Five former NY1 anchors and reporters may have settled their age and gender discrimination lawsuit against the New York City-focused cable outlet late last year. But on Monday, the women filed a new complaint—this time with the city’s human rights commission—alleging further retaliation. Roma Torre, Amanda Farinacci, Vivian Lee, Jeanine Ramirez, and Kristen Shaughnessy sued NY1 in 2019, alleging that managers had forced them off the air in favor of younger, less experienced talent. “We feel we are being railroaded out of the place,” said Torre, one of the network’s longest-serving anchors, at the time. The group additionally alleged that after filing the complaint, their bosses and several colleagues retaliated against them by actively isolating and marginalizing the women. The network settled the complaint in December, requiring the five women to leave NY1 and sign non-disclosure agreements. On Monday, the women—who collectively have more than 100 years of on-camera experience...
    After the military coup in Burma, the United Kingdom and the EU called on Monday, February 8, for the establishment of an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council to discuss the Burmese situation. An emergency meeting request Not only the United Kingdom and the European Union, but also 19 other members of the Human Rights Council of theUN, demanded an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Burma following a Rebellion military. Massive mobilizations against the seizure of power by the army have taken place in major Burmese towns in recent times. “The human rights situation is deteriorating rapidly there” On the occasion of a meeting of the council by videoconference, Julian Braithwaite, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United Nations in Geneva, explained that the request for a emergency meeting constitutes “a response to the state of emergency imposed on Burma as well as the...
    Loading the player... Alphonso David is enshrined as the first civil rights lawyer and person of color to lead the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, in its 40-year history. He’s a trailblazer determined to pave a better way forward. David belted “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at HRC’s LGBTQ Inaugural Event on Jan. 20. In an exclusive interview with theGrio, David responds as to when those powerful lyrics of liberation will apply to all. Read More: Human Rights Campaign appoints its first African American president “I have not put a timeline on it,” David says. “Instead, I have, with all of my thoughts and my mind, decided to invest in getting to that place as quickly as possible. The reason I’m doing that is because I think all too often, we end up assigning deadlines to ourselves without fully appreciating the full landscape.”...
    Self-anointed guardians of human freedom China, Russia, Cuba, Eritrea, and Venezuela may soon have the company of the U.S. at the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) if the Biden administration’s rush to rejoin the globalist body is a success. The diplomatic move by Washington will be a direct rebuff to former President Donald Trump who withdrew the U.S. from the Geneva-based organization in 2018 citing its anti-Israel agenda and lack of a reform agenda, as Breitbart News reported. Variously described as a “bully pulpit for human rights violators,” then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the UNHRC is “a haven for dictators and the democracies that indulge them.” “If the Council were serious about protecting human rights, there are plenty of legitimate needs for its attention, such as the systemic racial disparities in places like Cuba, China, and Iran,” Pompeo offered in a statement at the time. U.S. officials said Sunday that...
    Alaska officials are investigating after the state's Department of Motor Vehicles issued license plates with Nazi terminology. Photos on Twitter have appeared over the last week of personalized plates with the words: '3REICH' and 'FUHRER.'   The first plate references the Third Reich, the official name for Germany under the Nazi Regime from January 1933 to May 1945, while the second plate references the official title Adolf Hitler used to define his role of absolute authority. Meanwhile, a member of Alaska's Human Rights Commission - which investigates discrimination complaints - has been removed over comments she made about the controversy, in which she defended the plates.  The Alaska Department of Administration has launched an investigation into license plates issued with Nazi terminology by the Department of Motor Vehicles (above) Photos have circulated social media of vanity plates reading 3REICH' (above), in reference the name for Nazi Germany, and 'FUHRER,'...
    People should have the right to critique and voice their opinions about their government without fear of backlash or punishment. Similarly, activists should be able to protect human and civil rights if the government violates these. Sadly, there are too many cases of governments around the world and throughout history using their power to silence anyone who critiques or different ideas. In November, multiple staff members from an Egyptian human rights group, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), were detained by Egyptian authorities. Amnesty International has condemned the arrests. The detainees, Karim Ennarah and Mohammed Basheer, were “charged with spreading fake news and belonging to a terrorist organisation.” This charge is common for lawyers, journalists, bloggers, and activists. However, this is not the worst part. Source: TRT World/Youtube In 2019, thirty-two individuals were executed by the Egyptian government. In only October and November of this year, state officials in Egypt have hanged fifty-seven...
    Animal rights activist group PETA is the target of a barrage of jokes on social media after it claimed that calling people names such as ‘chicken’, ‘pig’ and ‘sloth’ is insulting to animals. PETA, otherwise known as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, argued in a tweet Tuesday that using animal names as an insult promotes the ‘myth that humans are superior’ and ‘normalizes violence against other animals’. The group also argued that the ‘anti-animal slurs’ are inaccurate and suggested other non-animal-based insults that could be used. The tweet sparked a wave of backlash for the advocacy group, known for their provocative statements and campaigns, with social media users arguing that animals have ‘no concept of words’ and accusing it of using language meant for human rights. Some vegans claimed the tweet was making them all look ‘ridiculous’ while Texas Senator Ted Cruz simply called the idea ‘Bull****’,...
    Chinese dictator Xi Jinping addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Monday, speaking at length about the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus on the world’s economy and his vision of China’s place in the post-pandemic world. Xi’s principal theme was a warning for the Western world to avoid a “new Cold War” with China and avoid “arrogant isolationism.” Xi took no responsibility for unleashing the coronavirus, but he asserted that a new globalist economic order guided by Chinese leadership would emerge in the aftermath. He presented his country as the world’s leading experts on containing the virus and recovering from its economic disruptions. “We are going through the worst recession since the end of World War Two. For the first time in history, the economies of all regions have been hit hard at the same time, with global industrial and supply chains clogged and trade and investment down...
    For Rabbi Allen Freehling, faith was most fruitful through action. Lots of it. Freehling, who headed Brentwood’s University Synagogue through its revival, was active in both religious and civic circles in Los Angeles for decades and counseled congregants over his nearly 60-year rabbinical career, died on Jan. 6. He was 88. Born in Chicago, Freehling was raised in Miami, enduring “a painful childhood,” according to Rabbi Steven Jacobs, a longtime friend. Freehling graduated from the University of Miami and then tinkered in different jobs, trying his hand at furniture manufacturing with his father and public relations. He also filled nonrabbinical leadership roles at two local temples. As the civil rights movement roiled the world around him, Freehling decided the best way to get involved was to become a rabbi in the progressive Reform practice, “dedicated to radical freedom,” as Jacobs put it. From almost the moment the two met...
    (CNN)The European Union has joined a growing number of international voices calling for a probe into Ugandan election abuses and violence that left more than 40 people dead in the lead up to the polls. Opposition candidates were harassed by security forces, the media was suppressed by the government, and observers' offices were raided, said the EU Council of Ministers in a statement on Wednesday. It called on all parties to refrain from violence and for "election challenges and complaints to be addressed in an independent and transparent manner." Ugandas lesson to other authoritarians: controlling the internet worksUganda's longtime leader President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner for a record sixth term, amid an internet blackout and allegations of abuse.Wine -- a singer-turned-politician, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi -- has been under house arrest after the military surrounded his home on Friday. He maintains the election was rigged. Read...
    BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. secretary of state’s accusation of genocide against China touches on a hot-button human rights issue between China and the West. In one of his final acts in office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Tuesday that China’s policies against Muslims in its Xinjiang region constitute “crimes against humanity” and “genocide.” Earlier the same day, British lawmakers narrowly rejected a proposal aimed at China that would have barred trade deals with any country deemed to be committing genocide. Xinjiang, a far western region that borders central Asia, is home to the predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic group. China denies human rights violations and says its actions in Xinjiang are necessary to counter a separatist and terrorist threat. ___ WHY IS CHINA ACCUSED OF GENOCIDE? Pompeo cited forced birth control among Uighurs, which an Associated Press investigation documented last year, and forced labor, which has been...
    Uyghur women in front of a mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang region on November 8, 2013 – Carol Huang AFP To prevent items allegedly related to forced labor உய்குர்கள் In Xinjiang area To reach British consumers, United Kingdom It issued a series of actions on Tuesday condemning Beijing’s “barbarism” to these Muslim minorities. One million Uyghurs, Xinjiang’s largest ethnic minority, have been detained in recent years, according to foreign experts. In political re-education camps. No products from Xinjiang Beijing denies, say, vocational training centers that aim to keep people away from the temptations of Islam, terrorism and separatism. This is a “barbarism that we believe is being pushed into the past in practice today,” Dominic Robb, head of diplomacy, declared before British delegates, “arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labor, torture and forced sterilization of Uyghurs on an industrial scale.” Faces these “unacceptable human rights violations”, The UK had...
    Concepts such as Machine Ethics or Robot Rights are already beginning to be repeated in media around the world. After all, questions about the machine ethics and robot rights they are discussed from the moment in which technological advances put them at the center of the daily scene. Of course, this has generated enormous controversy between those who want to allow machines to make ethical decisions or have rights, and those who believe that they must find a new solution to a new problem. Basically, we believe that the scientific community should work on the development of intelligent systems capable of demonstrating that these machines and robots can be safe under any circumstances. However, the perceived abundance of smart machine safety research right now can be a bit misleading. In fact, the vast majority of published articles are purely philosophical in nature and do little more than reiterate how important...
    China and the European Union on Wednesday reached an in-principle agreement to further open the Communist country to European investment — rebuffing concerns about the communist nation’s broad human right’s abuses. EU leaders hailed the pact, which has been in the works since 2013, as a major step forward, allowing foreign investors to pour money into Chinese industries ranging from telecommunications to cars, Bloomberg News reported. “This agreement is of major economic significance,” European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint statement after a video conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday. “China has committed to an unprecedented level of market access for EU investors, giving European businesses certainty and predictability for their operations,” they added. While Michel and von der Leyen said the agreement “binds the parties into a values-based investment relationship,” critics have bristled at Europe’s decision...
    (CNN)Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, was arrested on Wednesday alongside members of his campaign team in the country's central region, according to a post shared by an administrator on his official Twitter account. "Bobi Wine and his entire campaign team arrested in Kalangala! Media blocked," the tweet said. No further details of their arrest have yet been made available. Bobi Wine, centre, greets supporters as he set off on his campaign trail towards eastern Uganda, earlier this monthWine is challenging incumbent President Yoweri Museveni -- who has been in power for more than 30 years -- in January 14 elections. The presidential candidate has accused Museveni of being a dictator responsible for human rights abuses, after at least 45 people were killed in protests last month sparked by Wine's earlier arrest for contravening coronavirus regulations at a campaign rally.He said one of his bodyguards...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and China are set to sign a long-awaited business investment deal after seven years of intense discussions despite concerns about the human rights situation in the country. The provisional agreement is set to be announced Wednesday, an EU official with direct knowledge of the talks said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly as a matter of practice. The deal was sealed after China committed to pursuing ratification of the International Labor Organization’s rules on forced labor, according to the unnamed official. The EU hopes the agreement, known as CAI, will help correct an imbalance in market access and create new investment opportunities for European companies in China by ensuring they can compete on an equal footing when operating in the country. The EU previously said the agreement, which includes provisions for settling disputes, should increase the transparency of Chinese state...
    AN ACTIVIST who once appeared with campaigners alongside Meghan Markle and fought for the right for women to drive in Saudi Arabia has been jailed for nearly six years. Loujain al-Hathloul has already been caged inside a maximum security prison for more than two years amid claims she has been tortured behind bars. 7Loujain Al-Hathloul was jailed for allegedly conspiring with the enemies of Saudi ArabiaCredit: © Marieke Wijntjes / Amnesty International The 31 year old was among several activists detained in 2018 on "trumped-up terror charges" including making contact with organisations "hostile" to her homeland. International human rights groups have repeatedly called for her to be freed by her captors saying the allegations against her are "spurious" at best. The jailing of Loujain, who posed for a Vanity Fair shoot with Meghan, comes after her conviction in a trial which earlier drew international condemnation. On Monday, a special court set...
    Saudi Arabia's most high-profile women's rights activist has been jailed for six years over charges including talking to Amnesty International and applying for a job at the UN. Loujain al-Hathloul, 31 - a leading campaigner for women to be allowed to drive in the desert kingdom - was convicted by a terrorist court after being accused of spying and conspiring with foreign powers.  But Al-Hathloul's supporters claim she was jailed despite only being charged with offences relating to her human rights work. These have included calling for an end Saudi Arabia's restrictive male guardianship system and talking to journalists for a documentary. Saudi Arabia's most high-profile women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, 31, has been jailed for six years over charges including talking to Amnesty International and applying for a job at the UN Two years and 10 months of her six-year sentence was suspended meaning that - in addition to time already served since...
    Detained Saudi rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul (L) and detained Saudi author and advocate Princess Basmah bint Saud (R.) MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images/Reuters Families of activists detained by Saudi Arabia have called on President-elect Joe Biden to hold Mohammed bin Salman to account over human rights abuses.  On Wednesday, a terrorism court in Riyadh said it would seek 20 years in prison, the maximum sentence, for Loujain al-Hathloul, an activist accused of spying and sedition. "We've seen during Biden's campaign that the main difference in his discourse was regarding human rights," Loujain's sister, Lina, told Insider. "I can only hope that this will be the case." In March 2019, Princess Basmah bint Saud, an author and human rights advocate, was kidnapped and jailed without justification. "I really think they [the Biden administration] should shed light about what's happening, because it's not okay," a close family member told Insider....
    SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Beauty Industry Group (BIG), an industry leader for hair extensions and related beauty products, announced today that it has joined the United Nations (UN) Global Compact as part of the group’s commitment to be a sector leader in terms of its human rights commitment and sustainability practices. By becoming a signatory, BIG is making public its long-term support for the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles in the areas of Human Rights, Labor, Environment and Anti-Corruption. The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals. By incorporating the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into strategies, policies and procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity, companies are not only upholding their basic responsibilities to people and planet, but also setting the stage for long-term success. BIG...
    US lawmakers issue dear Colleague letter calling for urgent action on human trafficking 30 US congressmen call for urgent action on UAE and Middle East Human Trafficking International UN Watch International UN Watch London, UK, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Washington, London – On Human Rights Day, thirty members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a “dear colleague” letter to the U.S. government calling for an end to human trafficking and labor exploitation in the Gulf region of the Middle East. Representative Raúl Grijalva, who serves as Vice Chair in the International Workers’ Rights Caucus, led the effort. “I led my colleagues in a letter urging Sec. Pompeo to urge the Gulf States to uphold human rights for migrant workers and abolish the discriminatory Kafala System,” he tweeted. The letter was supported by International United Nations Watch, Just Foreign Policy, Amnesty International, Freedom Forward, South Asian Americans Leading...
    As Human Rights Day is honored around the world today, I join in with a mix of powerful emotions. Relief. Guarded optimism. And, most certainly, hope. After nearly four years of witnessing and fighting against the wholesale attacks on human rights by the outgoing administration, my colleagues and I look to commitments that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have made not only to undo the damage the Trump administration has done, but, in their words, to build back better. There is hope within these promises. For survivors of torture like our clients, Inauguration Day cannot come soon enough. The theme of this year’s Human Rights Day tracks closely what Biden and Harris have pledged: “Recover Better.” We know something about recovery at the Center for Victims of Torture, where for 35 years our work has focused on healing for refugees and asylum seekers who have survived torture...
    Cairo — Egypt's government is coming under mounting pressure from Western politicians, human rights groups and some major celebrities over the arrest of civil rights campaigners. The Egyptian Public Prosecutor issued an order this week to freeze the financial assets of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), the human rights organization said Monday, but it's the jailing of three of the group's leaders that has drawn the sharpest international rebuke. Egyptian civil rights activist Karim Ennarah, director of the criminal justice unit at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), is seen in a file photo posted to the freekarim.com website advocating for his release from prison on terrorism charges. He and two EIPR colleagues were arrested in November 2020.   FreeKarim.com Karim Ennarah, director of EIPR's criminal justice unit, Mohamed Basheer, its administrative manager, and Executive Director Gasser Abdel Razek were arrested in mid-November. The organization believes at least...
    Women's rights activists are being forced to kiss and perform sex acts on their interrogators in jails in Saudi Arabia, according to a shock new report. Inmates were also made to watch pornography, threatened with rape, hung from the ceiling, beaten and suffered electric shocks during treatment which 'amounted to torture'. In a 40-page report, human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy called on nations to boycott this weekend's G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia unless the women are set free. Among a litany of abuse meted out to the prisoners, she included: 'Forcing the Women's Rights Activists to perform sexual acts on the interrogators, and other forms of sexual harassment such as forcing them to watch of pornography. Baroness Helena Kennedy said in the report that several sources reported that Loujain Al-Hathloul and Eman Al-Nafjan 'had been forced to kiss and perform other sexual acts on interrogators'. Above, Loujain Al-Hathloul...
    The United Nations basically told the United States to check its privilege after a human rights review Monday. Specifically, numerous countries, including U.S. allies, criticized the U.S. on its record for police violence against Black people, the death penalty and the separation of immigrant children from their parents. Reuters reports that during the first U.N. Human Rights Council examination of the U.S. since 2015, dozens of delegations took the floor and voiced their concerns about how human rights are handled in the nation many Americans swear to White Jesus is unequivocally the greatest country in the world. Activists with the ACLU said the review by the UNHRC heavily criticized the Trump administration’s policies and urged the incoming Biden administration to usher in reforms. Read more Jamil Dakwar, director of the human rights program at the ACLU spoke about the review during a news briefing, Reuters reports. “What we saw today...
    The United States got a tongue-lashing at the United Nations on Monday from countries such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Although the U.S. withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2018, it participated in its Universal Periodic Review before the council, which it is required to do every five years as a member of the U.N. Over 100 nations were given the opportunity to make their recommendations to the U.S. on how it could improve in the area of human rights. Those nations included some that have less-than-stellar records on human rights themselves. China, which is a member of the council, said the U.S. needed to work to eradicate "systematic racism," "police brutality," and "religious intolerance." China has come under fire recently for its alleged internment and persecution of Uighur Muslims. "Stop interfering, for political reasons, in other countries' internal affairs under the...
    Formula One have controversially announced it will hold its first ever Formula One race in Saudi Arabia in 2021. Due to the country's recent record on human rights, F1 is expecting criticism of its decision to venture into the state which has already been publicly condemned by Amnesty International. Amnesty hit out at the decision, calling it an attempt to sportwash their abysmal human rights record following the state's recent links with Newcastle United and other high profile sports.   Fomula One have announced they will race in Saudi Arabia for the first time next season, pictured above is the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix held at Imola in Italy on Sunday RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next EXCLUSIVE: EFL give green light to Abu Dhabi royal's £60m... Lewis Hamilton's new three-year £120m deal with Mercedes is... Saudi Arabia will scrap 'slavery-like'...
    GENEVA - The United States is among 14 countries whose human rights records will be examined under the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.  The two-week session, which opens Monday, will be held both in-person and remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The Universal Periodic Review, or UPR, is a unique process in that the human rights records of all 193 U.N. member states, regardless of how weak or powerful they are, come under scrutiny. All states have participated at least twice since the process began in 2008. They now are in the midst of having their records reviewed for a third time.    One of the successes of the UPR is that it has a 100 percent participation rate. Human Rights Council spokesman Rolando Gomez says the UPR is an opportunity for states to highlight advances they have made in the area of human rights.  He agrees...
    Since President Trump took office, he has significantly moved the country backward in terms of human rights at home and abroad. At home, Trump and his administration have rolled back key initiatives meant to protect marginalized populations. Abroad, the president has actively supported governments with known records of human rights abuses. “No president in living memory has shown less respect for its tenets, norms, and principles.” Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz said. “Trump has assailed essential institutions and traditions including the separation of powers, a free press, an independent judiciary, the impartial delivery of justice, safeguards against corruption, and most disturbingly, the legitimacy of elections.” Trump’s extremely pervasive human rights abuses cannot simply be listed. Here are just a few ways the Trump administration has trampled on human rights: 1. Refugee and Asylum Rights Article 14(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted in 1948, guarantees...
    A group of House Democrats has requested that the United Nations open an investigation into various allegations of abuse by the Homeland Security Department, arguing that the nature and "sheer number" of complaints "necessitates and international response." Sent on Friday, the five-page letter references a long list of news reports and nonprofits alleging that the department mistreated or coerced immigrants in their custody. "These allegations illustrate a clear pattern of alleged human rights violations by DHS," reads the letter, signed by Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan, D-Wis. In addition to Pocan, "the squad" of progressive freshmen -- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., signed on as well. "This pattern of behavior is perpetuated and encouraged by the consistent and unforgivable failure of the United States government and its institutions to take these allegations seriously by investigating them in a transparent, thorough, and impartial...
    Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty Images The Trump administration has omitted or altered vital information about human rights – including torture, reproductive rights and persecution based on sexuality – from its annual assessments of human rights, a new report reveals. The state department’s annual reports have long been relied upon by governments, judges and lawyers – as well as the United Nations – as a “gold standard” of objective information about the human rights situation in countries around the world. The US began compiling these reports in 1976. The Asylum Research Centre conducted a line-by-line analysis and comparison between US state department human rights reports in the last year of the Obama administration and the first three years of the Trump administration. The ARC focused on five countries with serious human rights abuses – Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan – to conduct its analysis. Related: Trump administration to...
    UNITED NATIONS — China, Russia and Cuba won seats on the UN’s premier human rights body Tuesday despite opposition from activist groups over their abysmal human rights records, but another target, Saudi Arabia, lost. Russia and Cuba were running unopposed, but China and Saudi Arabia were in a five-way race in the only contested race for seats on the Human Rights Council. In secret-ballot voting in the 193-member UN General Assembly on that race, Pakistan received 169 votes, Uzbekistan 164, Nepal 150, China 139 and Saudi Arabia just 90 votes. In 2016, the Saudis won a seat with 152 votes. Despite announced reform plans by Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch and others strongly opposed its candidacy saying the Middle East nation continues to target human rights defenders, dissidents and women’s rights activists and has demonstrated little accountability for past abuses, including the killing of Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic...
    TANZANIA – China, Russia and Cuba won seats on the U.N.’s premiere human rights body Tuesday despite opposition from activist groups over their abysmal human rights records, but another target, Saudi Arabia, lost. Russia and Cuba were running unopposed, but China and Saudi Arabia were in a five-way race in the only contested race for seats on the Human Rights Council. In secret-ballot voting in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on that race, Pakistan received 169 votes, Uzbekistan 164, Nepal 150, China 139 and Saudi Arabia just 90 votes. Despite announced reform plans by Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch and others strongly opposed its candidacy saying the Middle East nation continues to target human rights defenders, dissidents and women’s rights activists and has demonstrated little accountability for past abuses, including the killing of Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two years ago....
    The United Nations General Assembly allowed multiple countries with documented instances of human rights abuses into the organization's human rights council on Tuesday. The international group's general assembly issued votes to allow China and Cuba into the human rights council, despite both countries having sites of human rights atrocities committed by communist authoritarian governments. Cuba received 170 votes out of 192 possible ballots, while China received 139 votes. Pakistan and Russia were also voted to the council. U.N. General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir congratulated the countries on social media. I congratulate:Côte d'Ivoire ???????? Gabon ???????? Malawi ????????Senegal ????????China ????????Nepal ????????Pakistan ????????Uzbekistan ????????Russia ????????Ukraine ????????Bolivia ????????Cuba ????????Mexico ????????France ????????United Kingdom ????????For your election as members of the @UN Human Rights Council— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) October 13, 2020 Many lawmakers have been critical of China for engaging in coercive population control measures, such as forced abortions, involuntary sterilization,...
    CHINA, Russia and Cuba are set to join the UN's human rights council - despite a history of human rights abuses. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are also expected to be elected to the council today, outraging human rights campaigners. 4Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel shakes hands with Vladimir PutinCredit: EPA 4China's leader Xi JinpingCredit: Alamy Live News The decision to vote the five countries onto the council was described by UN Watch as allowing "a gang of arsonists to join the fire brigade". The UN's Human Rights Council has 47 seats, and there are currently 15 three-year term vacancies. A UN Human Rights Council candidate can be defeated if fewer than 97 member nations vote for them in a secret ballot. Britain has been pressured to oppose the election of China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Cuba and Pakistan to the council. Due to backroom deals before the vote, Cuba and Russia are...
    Mark Cuban and Megyn Kelly exchanged heated remarks over the NBA's involvement with China. Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told Kelly on her Sunday podcast when she pressed him on the issue, "We have to pick our battles." The NBA annually receives $500 million in revenue from China, according to a conservative estimate from USA Today. The former Fox News personality broached the topic with Cuban by mentioning the NBA's apology to China after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for Hong Kong. "The NBA commissioner had to come out with his tail between his legs and said, 'We have great respect for China and its history. It's all regrettable,'" Kelly said, using what sounded like a mocking voice to summarize the commissioner's statements. "With his tail between his legs? With his tail between his legs? Megyn, Why can't you just...
    It’s that time of the year– a time to celebrate the indelible mark left by the Spanish empire on our cultural identities and the inextricable link between Spain, America, and Christianity: Columbus Day. In the past few decades, the holiday has been sabotaged by leftist movements seeking to turn Christopher Columbus into the sacrificial lamb of European America, calling for statues of the man to be taken down and the second Monday in October to be renamed “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” While Columbus was the first European with the courage to venture west enough to find this hemisphere– hence becoming a lightning rod for anti-white sentiment– he was no successful conquistador, and his adventure is largely responsible for America (and greater Latin America) being a heavily Christian land. The discovery of the Americas by the Spanish empire, and not the English, also led directly to the formation of what is now modern...
    (CNN)The New York Police Department planned the assault and mass arrest of nearly 300 protesters in a Bronx neighborhood in June using a tactic known as "kettling," Human Rights Watch said in an extensive report released Wednesday.The 99-page report and accompanying 12-minute video closely examines the NYPD's actions on the evening of June 4 as protesters marched in Mott Haven in the Bronx. The report and video are based on interviews or written accounts from 81 people who participated in the protest, interviews with 19 others and an analysis of 155 videos, the non-profit human rights organization said.That evening, the NYPD encircled and confined protesters within a tight space, a tactic known as "kettling." Generally, after surrounding protesters, police will then ask them to disperse or face arrest. But in this case, the NYPD did not allow protesters to leave the area, HRW said. The crowd control tactic has been...
    Amnesty International announced Tuesday it would close its operations in India after its bank accounts were frozen and its executives were interrogated following the publication of two reports by the group that criticized the government's human rights record. The group said it has been a victim of an increasingly aggressive Indian government that has pounced on anyone who speaks negatively about it. Critics of government policies have faced threats and arrests made by the leaders of the world's largest democracy. FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, a woman walks past the Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India. The Human rights watchdog said on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, that it was halting its operation in India, citing reprisals from the government and the freezing of its bank accounts. Its announcement comes at a time amid growing concerns over the state of free speech in India...
    London — A group of Saudi dissidents exiled in Britain, the U.S. and elsewhere announced the launch of an opposition party on Wednesday, the first organized political resistance to King Salman's rule. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy that does not tolerate any political opposition, and the formation of the National Assembly Party on the anniversary of the kingdom's founding comes amid a growing state crackdown on dissent and freedom of expression. "We hereby announce the establishment of the National Assembly Party, which aims to institute democracy as a form of government in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," the group said in a statement. The development is unlikely to seriously undermine the authority of the Arab world's most powerful ruling family. But it poses a fresh challenge to Saudi Arabia's rulers as they grapple with low crude oil prices and gear up to host a G20 summit in November amid the...
    Continued assaults on the right of free speech, especially in academic institutions, should concern every person of good will, especially as November elections approach. Free speech “zones,” fear of reprisal at the institutional or professional level, and environments promoting an overall academic culture of fear all have ominous overtones that are culturally and politically expansive. Those who come to study in the United States from abroad are often seeking this very right because it has been compromised or lost in their country of origin. In the preamble of the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights we read that “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the...
    Tegucigalpa, Sep 17 . .- The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the difficult living conditions of people, officials and experts warned this Thursday in Honduras, who also called for an end to the stigma and social exclusion they suffer people infected with the coronavirus or suspected of having contracted the virus. In the presentation of the campaign “Solidarity saves lives”, the director of the Social Forum of the External Debt of Honduras (Fosdeh, private), Mauricio Díaz, said that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has “deepened the already difficult human conditions “in the world, especially in the Central American country. “In addition to deepening and exacerbating these situations, we cannot ignore that there is an impact that affects the stomach of the people, but it also affects the mind, the heart of the people and this is something, at least in our country, far from addressing as a matter of...
    A top official with the United Nations condemned the United States for its "systemic racism." Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile and the current high commissioner for human rights at the U.N., highlighted the cases of George Floyd, Jacob Blake, and others during a speech on Monday in which she demanded that the U.S. make changes to ensure black people feel protected. "In the United States, the shooting of Jacob Blake last month in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by a police officer employing apparently excessive force and details that have emerged regarding the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York, bring home yet again the need for urgent and profound action to combat systemic racism and racial discrimination in policing and across society. The absence of accountability for many prior killings underscores the gravity of this crisis," Bachelet said. "Many commitment[s] to reform were made by citizen...
    The House Committee on Oversight and Reform will send a letter Monday to Disney slamming them for filming its new film Mulan in parts of China where the government is accused of serious human rights abuses, the Daily Caller has learned. In the letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger, a number of Republicans on the committee asked for specific information about why the company chose to thank a government security agency in Xinjiang province during the final credits of the movie Mulan, where there are nearly 1 million Muslim Uighurs reportedly detained. House Committee on Oversight and Reform ranking member James Comer said Disney will have to explain it’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “Disney pays lip service to providing opportunities to children and families around the world but in reality it’s hurting children and families by its business practices. Disney threatened to boycott Georgia for its pro-life law...
    President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (L) and the European Council President Charles Michel (R) are talking to media after an EU-China Summit on June 22, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium.Thierry Monasse | Getty Images News | Getty Images LONDON — EU and Chinese officials are meeting on Monday, but it will not be the pompous ceremony they had hoped for. Both sides had planned to meet in Leipzig, Germany this month as they looked to sign an investment agreement before the end of 2020. However, with a global pandemic and little progress in their negotiations to date, the grand summit has been scaled down to a video call.  "Trust is very thin," Yu Jie, senior research fellow at Chatam House, told CNBC. The EU and China have often clashed over human rights issues, trade and economic policy. In June, just days after meeting with European officials, China...
    Arriving at court with Julian Assange's girlfriend today, London's lawyer du jour prepares for battle in the WikiLeaks founder's latest extradition hearing. Jennifer Robinson is the go-to barrister for the rich and famous, most recently walking hand in hand with actress Amber Heard in her showdown against her ex-husband Johnny Depp in his acrimonious libel trial.  She counts the Hollywood elite among her inner circle, acting as Amal Clooney's bridesmaid and travelling to her wedding to George on a speedboat with actor Bill Murray.  A self-confessed Kyle Minogue fan, who has 'nothing in her fridge but Champagne' , the human rights lawyer once set headlines alight after she was spotted canoodling with Jeremy Corbyn's former spin doctor, Seumas Milne. Ms Robinson, 39, and Mr Milne - a then-married father-of-two - were photographed embracing on the terrace of the Courthouse hotel in East London in 2017. Ms Robinson has been known...
    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Europe for a “charm offensive” this week but found himself shadowed by human rights activists and Hong Kong democracy champions. The UK Guardian noted that Wang did not bother trying to charm the United Kingdom, which is furious about China’s oppression of Hong Kong, and has decided to ban Chinese telecom company Huawei from its 5G network development. One of Wang’s top objectives is to persuade other European customers not to turn against Huawei. “In every capital Wang visits, he is being accompanied by protests from local MPs and MEPs linked together in the new Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (Ipac), although in some countries parliament isn’t sitting,” the Guardian reported. Wang also had to contend with Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law popping up in Rome and Berlin to give press conferences while the Chinese foreign minister attempted to push his charm offensive...
    Two top White House officials criticized the National Basketball Association players’ decision to boycott playoff games Wednesday over the situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said on CNN that he didn’t expect the administration to specifically comment on the situation, but added that the players boycotting over the police shooting of Jacob Blake — and the subsequent violence that has rocked Kenosha — is “absurd and silly” while the league continues its “nonspeaking out against China’s continued abuse.” “If they want to protest, I don’t think we care,” Short continued. “I think at this point if they want to say we’re not going to play any more games I don’t think that’s a position we’ll speak out on one way or another.” (RELATED: Trump Is Sending ‘Federal Law Enforcement And The National Guard’ To Police Riots In Kenosha, Wisconsin) He added, when...
    For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters. If you missed Michele Obama’s powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention last night, catch it here. She vividly summed up “the story of America” by anchoring it in the lives of “all those folks who sacrificed and overcame so much.” “The story of America” is an expansive phrase that calls up endless places, people, and subplots, and it’s the subject of Mark Ruffin’s brilliant short-story collection about justice and equality in baseball and music. Bebop Fairy Tales is his first book in his 40-year career as a radio broadcaster, most recently a SiriusXM host, and it’s a detail-rich work of historical fiction that sets real athletes and artists in imagined circumstances. One climactic story, “The Sidewinder,” alludes to Lee Morgan’s 1964 album and brings us to Philly, where a 12-year-old explores his passions for baseball...
    In 2013, the India government classified dolphins as non-human persons with their own specific rights. Because of this declaration, keeping dolphins in captivity has been banned in India. The country was the first to do so in the world, causing many people to ask questions and learn more about dolphins. Many were confused about the title “non-human persons.” Does this mean dolphins are people? Well, no. Granting dolphins personhood just gives them the same protections that basic human rights allow us. The Nonhuman Rights Project, an organization devoted to fighting for personhood rights for animals, explains that the goal of granting animals basic human rights is to”…change the common law status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty, and those other legal rights to which evolving...
    On Thursday night, human rights activist Oscar Peña died in a Miami hospital after battling the Coronavirus. The Cuban exile living in Miami for several years chaired the Cuban Committee for Human Rights, which would lead him to be considered by the United Nations as one of the most prominent Cuban human rights activists of all time. On one occasion, he was invited to visit the headquarters of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva and participated in one of its assemblies. But since he lived on the island, he stood out for his oppositional ideas to the Castro regime, being one of the initiators of the Cuban Movement for Human Rights and Democracy. For those who had studied Political Science, Philosophy and History at the University of Havana, it was easy 15 years later to pursue a degree in journalism at the University of Miami. After graduating in...
    SAN JOSE -- Following the death of George Floyd, 22-year-old Kiana Simmons attended the first protest staged in San Jose. Protests can be long with demonstrations lasting hours. Now a San Jose nonprofit named HERO Tent aims to help those risking their lives to end systemic racism.HERO stands for Human, Empowerment, Radical Optimism. The nonprofit organization strives to guarantee that all protesters and the surrounding community are provided with proper sustenance to continue their efforts for equality and social justice. "We've fed and given water to thousands of people at this point," HERO Tent Board Secretary Jesilyn Faust shares. "We have over 70 volunteers out here helping us." While Simmon's supply and volunteer resources grow, so do her future plans for HERO Tent."I'd like to see it transform to different movements," Simmons explains. "What we offer can translate to any movement and we want to help the people of that...
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union urged respect for human rights and freedom of expression in Hong Kong on Monday, after the arrest of pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai. "The recent arrests of Jimmy Lai, members of his family and other individuals, and the raid on the offices of newspaper Apple Daily, under allegations of collusion with foreign forces, further stoke fears that the National Security Law is being used to stifle freedom of expression and of the media in Hong Kong," European Commission foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement. "The European Union recalls that the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is a central element of the Basic Law and the 'one country, two systems' principle." (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Kevin Liffey) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    Steven Donziger, gestures during a press conference on March 19, 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.Rodrigo Buendia/Getty For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.This piece was originally published in Canada’s National Observer and appears here as part of our Climate Desk Partnership. Last September, I travelled from Western Canada to New York City to see the human rights lawyer Steven Donziger. Donziger cannot travel. He cannot even stroll the hallway of his Upper West Side apartment building on 104th Street without special court permission. He remains under house arrest, wearing an ankle bracelet. Eight years ago, Donziger and a team of Ecuadorian lawyers, on behalf of Indigenous and farmer plaintiffs, won the largest human rights and environmental court judgment in history, a $9.5-billion US verdict against the Chevron Corporation for massive oil pollution in Ecuador’s Amazon basin. Following the trial, Chevron removed its assets from Ecuador,...
    I overheard them as they left the store: “Requiring a mask is an attack on my freedom.” It was fairly early in the pandemic, and it was my first curbside pick-up at the lumberyard. They walked by my car as I negotiated this new way of shopping. I was wearing a mask. Immediately, I thought of my partner. For nearly 20 years, she was the faculty adviser for a campus Amnesty International student group. Amnesty International (AI) is the human rights organization supporting prisoners of conscience: people imprisoned for exercising their fundamental human rights. There are many ways to think about freedom, but an international human rights perspective grounds your thoughts in the realities of freedoms denied. Members of Amnesty engage in the rituals of human rights work with the humblest of weapons: pen, paper, and emails. Over many decades, with many friends, we have written thousands of letters and...
    Americans’ negative views toward China have reached a “new historic high” amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report published by the Pew Research Centre on Thursday. “Around three-quarters (73 per cent) of Americans have an unfavourable view of China today – the most negative reading in the 15 years that Pew Research Centre has been measuring these views,” wrote the authors of the report, Laura Silver, Kat Devlin and Christine Huang. “The percentage who say they have a very unfavourable view of China is also at a record high of 42 per cent, having nearly doubled since the spring of 2019, when 23 per cent said the same.” Amid repeated accusations of espionage, consulate closures in Houston and Chengdu, and continued finger pointing in Washington and Beijing over which country deserves more blame for Covid-19, Pew’s survey is the latest piece of evidence in an impossible-to-miss trend: distrust of...
    Azimjon Askarov pictured before and during his imprisonment. Supplied by Sherzod Askarov Award-winning journalist Azimjon Askarov died on July 25 in the prison where he was serving a life sentence.  Askarov was jailed after reporting on ethnic violence in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan.  In 2010 Askorov set out to report on the death of a police officer, but was instead accused of inciting the crime.  The UN previously found that the accusations were unfounded. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Award-winning journalist Azimjon Askarov died in prison on July 25. The 69-year-old reporter and human rights activist was sentenced to life 10 years ago. He had set out to report on the death of a police officer, but was then accused of inciting the crime.  Despite appeals and rallying cries for his release, Kyrgyzstan authorities refused to release Askarov, and last week he succumbed to deteriorating health, according to...
    Washington (CNN)More than two hundred human rights, social justice, faith-based organizations and individual experts signed a letter rejecting the findings of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Commission on Unalienable Rights."We believe that the work you have produced will undermine American commitments to human rights and provide cover for those who wish to narrow certain categories of rights protections, resulting in a weakening of the international human rights system and its protections in the process," the 230 signatories wrote in the letter addressed to commission head Mary Ann Glendon and copied to Pompeo and State Department Director of Policy Planning Peter Berkowitz.The signatories, who include former State Department officials, said they rejected the findings of the draft report from the commission, which was unveiled two weeks ago. In remarks at a Philadelphia event marking the report's release, Pompeo argued against a "proliferation" of human rights, claiming that "more rights does not...
    (CNN)Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick are being honored as 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope award laureates.The award is given out to leaders who use their platforms for good and demonstrate a commitment to social change, the organization's website says.The announcement comes after Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has become one of the leading voices in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Mike Ditka says kneeling athletes should get the hell out of the countryKaepernick, who famously began kneeling during the national anthem prior to the start of NFL games in 2016, receives the award as athletes around the US continue to kneel in protest against racial injustice. He is now a human rights activist and the co-founder of the multi-city civil rights program Know Your Rights Camp."In 2017, I was in...
    A British-Australian academic detained in Iran has been transferred to Qarchak prison, the country’s notorious desert jail, officials said Tuesday. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic studies at Melbourne University, was imprisoned for 10 years in September 2018 on espionage charges. She has denied the allegations. IRAN FIRES MISSILES FROM HELICOPTER AT REPLICA AIRCRAFT CARRIER IN STRAIGHT OF HORMUZ: REPORT "Dr. Moore-Gilbert's case is one of the Australian government's highest priorities, including for our embassy officials in Tehran," Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Tuesday in a statement obtained by the BBC. The statement also said Iran confirmed earlier reports by human rights activists that Moore-Gilbert had been transferred to Qarchak prison. Moore-Gilbert was previously being held in Tehran’s Evin prison. (Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) Reza Khandan, whose wife, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, was imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin prison with Moore-Gilbert before her transfer, said she was...
    As Britain finally crawls towards its long-promised departure from the European Union, the timing is right to consider its place in the flawed European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) — a body the ruling Conservative Party promised to take the country out of in its 2015 election manifesto. The European Centre for Law and Justice’s (ECLJ) 2020 report on the relationship between the powerful judges of the ECHR and the non-governmental organisations (NGO) they have been involved in highlighted these issues. Remarkably, 22 of the 100 judges who have sat since 2009 are former collaborators of seven NGOs active at the ECtHR and 18 of them have ruled on 88 cases involving their own former NGOs — direct conflicts of interest. Twelve judges are linked to the Open Society Foundations of George Soros, which also funds the other six organisations mentioned in this report. The case of Big Brother Watch v. the United Kingdom...
    The 52nd annual Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award celebrates outstanding changemakers who are working to advance equality, justice, and human rights during extraordinarily challenging times. New York, July 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights today announced its 2020 Ripple of Hope Award laureates: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dolores Huerta, founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of United Farm Workers of America; Colin Kaepernick, human rights activist, co-founder of Know Your Rights Camp, and Super Bowl quarterback; Dan Schulman, president and chief executive officer of PayPal; and Dan Springer, chief executive officer of DocuSign.  The annual Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award celebrates outstanding leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to social change, recognizing individuals across government, business, advocacy, and entertainment who have utilized their platform for the public good. At...
    A report by the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) released on Monday highlighted the problems of prison overcrowding in Egyptian prisons. At least 14 prisoners have died from complications from the coronavirus. Lack of medical care and lack of access to tests Human Rights Watch based its report on testimonies, letters leaked from two prisons and credible accounts from rights groups and the media. According to the organization, at least 14 prisoners and detainees have died, most likely from complications related to the Covid-19 in 10 prisons in Egypt as of July 15. Human Rights Watch denounces the lack of “medical care and the lack of access to tests” in Egyptian prisons, Le Figaro reports. As soon as Egypt registered its first cases of coronavirus, human rights activists had called for the release of many detainees to prevent contamination in overcrowded prisons with questionable hygiene. 13,000 prisoners...
    Left: Federal police walk through tear gas while dispersing a crowd of about a thousand protesters at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 21, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Right: Protesters hold their hands in the air during a Black Lives Matter protest in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center on July 20, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Nathan Howard/Getty Images Tear gas was invented a century ago, and has long been used as a weapon to control crowds. When tear gas gets into people's eyes, it can cause temporary blindness. Exposed skin often turns red and feels like its burning.  Here's a step by step guide for what to do if you are exposed to tear gas, how to safely remove your clothing, and how to clean up. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. American police officers have used tear gas against demonstrators in cities across...
    As the world continues to grapple with the deadly consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said only one thing is certain in its wake: “a new model of global governance” is coming and the globalist body is doing all it can to hurry its arrival. The Portugese socialist made his prediction Saturday as he delivered the Nelson Mandela Lecture and spoke of the need for the U.N. to address “the huge gaps in governance structures and ethical frameworks” the epidemic has exposed. He said: To close those gaps, and to make the New Social Contract possible, we need a New Global Deal to ensure that power, wealth and opportunities are shared more broadly and fairly at the international level. A new model for global governance must be based on full, inclusive and equal participation in global institutions. […] A New Global Deal, based on a fair globalization, on...
    Industry and Safety Office (BIS) ruled on July 20 that more than eleven Chinese companies have been blacklisted for violating Human Rights (HR), targeting Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). “Data- reactid = “19”> The United States Department of Commerce, through its Office of Industry and Security (BIS), ruled on July 20 that more than eleven Chinese companies have been blacklisted for violation of Human Rights ( Human Rights), targeting Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). These entities are specifically accused of “implementing the campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). involuntary collection of biometric data and genetic analysis ”. Indefinite “partner”& nbsp; with nearly two dozen tech and automotive companies, including Amazon, Manzana, & nbsp;Dell, GM and Microsoft.“data-reactid =” 21 “> One of those companies is Nanchang O-Film Tech, which is listed as an...
    Mike Pompeo last night tore into 'rioters' for tearing down statues of 'those who fought for our unalienable rights'.  Declaring that 'the American way of life itself is under attack', the US Secretary of State raged at the media for spreading 'Marxist ideology' about American history which he said would make the Chinese Communist Party 'gleeful'.  In a speech at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pompeo singled out the New York Times and its slavery-themed 1619 Project for criticism, saying it promoted a 'dark vision of America's birth' and a 'disturbed reading of history'.  The phrase 'unalienable rights' was used in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, and Pompeo has adopted the name for a commission which yesterday issued a report criticized by other human rights groups.  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pictured in Philadelphia last night) gave a speech about 'unalienable rights' in which he criticized...
    At the end of June, New Orleans City Councilman Jason Williams was indicted on federal tax fraud charges. When Williams defiantly announced that he would continue his electoral campaign as the sole challenger to incumbent District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, the city’s top local prosecutor, Cannizzaro called him “delusional.” DA Cannizzaro, who has repeatedly abused his authority in shocking ways since taking office in 2009, has been wrong a lot as of late. In ongoing litigation, he has been slapped down regarding the legality of his old practice of sending fake “subpoenas” to witnesses and crime victims, then threatening jail time if they did come to his office to talk. He also tried to hide the relevant documents from reporters, unsuccessfully. But he is probably right this time. In all likelihood, DA Cannizzaro will now sail to victory for another six-year term, despite taking fire from the national legal community and high-profile writers for almost a decade. That means another...
    The State Department dismissed Chinese government sanctions leveled against U.S. officials, saying that “these threats will not deter us” from holding China accountable for its oppression of the Uighurs. “The United States is committed to holding accountable those involved in human rights abuses around the world, including those responsible for the human rights crisis in Xinjiang, China,” a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner following the Monday sanctions. “Beijing’s July 13 announcement to impose retaliatory sanctions on U.S. government officials and organizations who have worked tirelessly to expose the PRC’s human rights abuses further demonstrates the CCP’s refusal to take responsibility for its actions." "These threats will not deter us from taking concrete action to hold CCP officials accountable for their ongoing campaign of human rights abuses against members of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang, including mass detentions, coercive forced abortions and forced sterilizations, and restrictions...
    Shoshana WodinskyJust now•Filed to:AuthoritarianismAuthoritarianismhong kongfacebooktwittergoogleSavePhoto: Hector Retamal (Getty Images) When Hong Kong passed its shiny new national security law last week, the city’s authorities were probably expecting a bit of pushback from the locals, who’ve called the new regime everything from “chilling” to “draconian” to nothing less than the Chinese Communist Party’s “takeover of Hong Kong.” What they probably didn’t anticipate was resistance from some of the biggest tech players around. But as spokespeople from Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook-owned Whatsapp told the Wall Street Journal, the companies have hit pause on accepting any user data requests from Hong Kong law enforcement agencies. Evidently, these companies, much like the United Nations, see the sweeping legislation as a potential abuse of human rights that they want to stay as far away from as possible. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson told the Journal, “We believe freedom of expression is a...
    London (CNN Business)Facebook and its messaging service WhatsApp will stop processing requests for user data made by Hong Kong law enforcement authorities while they carry out an assessment of a controversial security law imposed by China on the city. The social media platforms said in statements Monday that they would "pause" the review of information requests from the Hong Kong government "pending further assessment of the impact of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with human rights experts."Facebook (FB) said the company believes "freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions." First person charged under Hong Kongs national security law appears in court The law imposed last week by Beijing criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers, a sweeping change that critics describe as...
    BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government to repeal a recent tightening of the Hungarian asylum system, provisions of which it says could violate international laws. A Hungarian government spokesman could not comment immediately. Last month Hungary shut so-called migrant transit zones on its borders, freeing some 300 refugees from prison-like conditions while at the same time hardening rules, effectively barring future asylum applicants. The new rules by Orban, one of the fiercest opponents of mass immigration to Europe from the Middle East and Africa, require asylum seekers to submit applications at consulates in neighbouring countries rather than at the Hungarian border. "This may expose asylum-seekers to the risk of refoulement and ill-treatment which would amount to a violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention and other international and regional human rights instruments to which Hungary is a State Party," the...
    The 31-year-old Brooklyn lawyer who faces decades in prison for tossing a Molotov cocktail into an empty New York Police Department van during the George Floyd protests has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Urooj Rahman, a human rights lawyer who has been remanded to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since her arrest on May 30, entered the not guilty plea through her attorney, Paul Shechtman. Shechtman was representing his client on a teleconference arraignment with Brooklyn federal Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollack, according to the New York Post. During the call, several supporters of Rahman were heard flooding the line and loudly cheering her on. ‘Love you, Rooj - stay strong!’ one supporter said. Urooj Rahman (left), 31, was arrested along with another lawyer, Colinford Mattis (right), in the early morning hours of May 30 Court filings charging Mattis and Rahman say NYPD surveillance cameras shot...
    GENEVA (Reuters) - Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam will address the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, the U.N. programme showed, amid growing concerns about draft national security legislation. The video message, at the start of a three-week session to examine human rights issues worldwide, appears to mark a bid by China to shape the debate at the 47-member state forum. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on June 19 that any new national security laws imposed on Hong Kong "must fully comply with China's human rights obligations" and international treaties protecting civil and political freedom. China hit back that day, accusing her of "improper" remarks that "grossly interfere in China's sovereignty and internal affairs". (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb exploded in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday killing two employees of the country’s human rights commission, the organization said in a statement. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said the employees’ car was targeted for attack. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the violence but Afghanistan has seen a recent spike in violence, with most attacks claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State group. Firdaus Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, confirmed that two people were killed when their vehicle was targeted by a sticky bomb. The commission’s statement identified the victims as Fatima Khalil, 24, a donor liaison officer, and Jawid Folad, 41, a driver. The attack took place when they were traveling form home to their office. The commission condemned the attack, calling it “intolerable.” “In the context of armed conflict deliberately killing human rights...
    Two members of Afghanistan’s human rights commission were killed by a bomb as they drove to work Saturday, the group reported. Fatima Khalil, 24, a donor coordinator, and the driver, Ahmad Jawed Folad, 41, died after an explosive device attached to their vehicle detonated, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said in a statement. The killings took place against a backdrop of increasing violence in the city despite a US-brokered peace process. “It is intolerable, assassinating human rights defenders is a war crime in the context of armed conflict,” the AIHRC said. Staff there had already been targeted in attacks, according to the statement obtained by Reuters. Kabul police confirmed the two deaths. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban spokesman denied the group was involved. The US is leading a plan to get the insurgent Taliban and the Afghan government into peace talks after the United...
    By Abdul Qadir Sediqi KABUL (Reuters) - A bomb attached to a vehicle killed two members of Afghanistan's independent human rights commission in Kabul on Saturday, the group said, as violence in the country rises despite a U.S.-brokered peace process. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said in a statement that 24-year-old donor coordinator Fatima Khalil and 41-year-old driver Ahmad Jawed Folad were killed by an explosive device while in an AIHRC vehicle on the way to its office on Saturday. "It is intolerable, assassinating human rights defenders is a war crime in the context of armed conflict," the AIHRC said, adding that staff had previously been the target of attacks. Kabul's police spokesman confirmed that two people died in a blast early on Saturday. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban spokesman denied the group was involved. It comes at a sensitive time amidst heightened violence...
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