Saturday, November 5, 2011

Human Rights News from Amnesty International

Human Rights News

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WIRE alert: human rights news from around the world

new edition of WIRE is now available.

In this issue we report on police accountability in Nigeria and the Dominican Republic, refugees and asylum-seekers caught up in Libya’s internal conflict and discrimination against lesbians, gay men and bisexual and transgender people in Turkey.

Follow our campaign actions on ending violence against women and read our interview with human rights defender Pat Bennetts, who talks about her long campaign to end impunity for crimes committed against her brother in Chile in the 1970s.
 

Europe fails refugees fleeing Libya
Above: An asylum-seeker at the Saloum Border Post, Egypt, July 2011. Thousands of asylum-seekers or refugees who were living in or transiting Libya have been displaced again since the conflict broke out there. © Amnesty International


Rights – not criminalization – for girls and women, says UN health expert

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Demonstrating against the abortion ban in Nicaragua, 28 September 2011 (c) Fondo Centro Americano de Mujeres
By Stephanie Schlitt, Amnesty International’s Researcher and Policy Advisor on Gender
Today, at the United Nations General Assembly, the UN’s expert on the right to health, Anand Grover, will present a ground-breaking report. The report exposes how states are putting women’s and girls’ lives and health at risk through criminal laws and other misguided legal restrictions that deny girls and women access to sexual and reproductive health information and services and the ability to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives.
The report concludes that restrictions on abortion and contraception, the criminalization of pregnant women’s conduct (such as making drug use when pregnant a criminal offence), as well as restrictions on access to information on sexual and reproductive health violate girls’ and women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health. This report supports earlier UN expert findings that such laws place states in breach of their international human rights obligations.
For almost eight years at Amnesty International I have worked to support research and campaigning on gender-related issues. I am in the middle of my first pregnancy just now. Being here at the UN to see this report being presented feels all the more poignant because of this. As I read the report, my thoughts turned to the girls and women all over the world whose experience of sexuality and reproduction is shaped by laws and policies that allow the state, and the people around them, to subject them to pressure, fear, intimidation, pain, suffering and punishment.
In Indonesia Amnesty International’s research has highlighted a number of legal provisions, including in the Criminal Code, which restrict access to sexual and reproductive rights, or have a chilling effect on the provision of sexual and reproductive health information and services. Some Indonesian activists expressed particular concerns about the new Pornography Law (No. 44/2008) which they said could prevent them from disseminating information on sex education free from the threat of criminalization. One activist told Amnesty International: “If people feel uncomfortable and think I am promoting sex, this can be a problem… it always depends on community leaders… if they are very fundamentalist then there is a high chance [we will be arrested].”
In 2008, draconian legal provisions came into force in Nicaragua which criminalize abortion in all circumstances. As one weary Nicaraguan doctor told an Amnesty International researcher: “Doctors’ hands are tied… we are anxious even about treating a miscarriage, for example.” The situation is so desperate that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demanded that the Nicaraguan government provide medical treatment to “Amalia”, a young woman suffering advanced cancer. She had been denied the treatment she needed because the 2008 law criminalizes even unintentional harm to the foetus, a risk that her treatment for cancer entailed.
The UN expert’s recommendations echo calls made by international human rights bodies and public health experts. But most importantly, the report reflects the demands of girls and women and those active for the protection of their human rights. On 28 September, hundreds of Nicaraguans marched against the abortion ban. Two young girls held a banner saying “Motherhood: Only if I can and only if I am willing.” Amnesty International supports their demand. So does the Special Rapporteur in his report. Let’s hope more governments hear these voices, adhere to their international legal obligations and take the actions recommended in the report presented today!

Mubarak’s trial in Egypt: We have come a long way
“Since the morning I had felt that this was going to be a historic day…” By Mohammed Lotfy, Amnesty International researcher for the Middle East and North Africa


Source : Amnesty International




 

Myanmar: Release all prisoners of conscience

  • What is this Burmese comedian's number one priority?‏

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Myanmar: Release all prisoners of conscience


Zarganar is one of the most popular comedians in Myanmar; he is also a former prisoner of conscience who was released in the prisoner amnesty announced by the government on 12 October 2011.
Zarganar was arrested in 2008 for his peaceful activities in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, when over 138,000 people were killed or went missing. Through his interviews with exile media, Zarganar exposed the humanitarian crisis that was unfolding due to the government’s obstruction of local and international emergency assistance.
He was sentenced to 59 years in prison, later reduced to 35 years, and sent to Myitkyina Prison, more than 1200 kilometres from his hometown, Yangon.
Now that he is free, he has said that he will make it his number one priority to get all other political prisoners released as well.
Support Zarganar and call for the release of all prisoners of conscience.

Burmese comedian Zarganar who was released as part of the prisoner amnesty says he will make it his number one priority to get all other political prisoners released . ©AAPPB.
Shortly after his release from prison, a DVB journalist told Zarganar that during a parliamentary debate one Minister had expressed concern that releasing political prisoners might cause instability in the country. To this Zarganar said, “I will deposit my life with President U Thein Sein – he can take my life if there’s a riot in the country because these people are released. This is my challenge. I can bet on my life.
There have been some positive developments in Myanmar since the new government came to power earlier this year.This is the right moment to show solidarity with human rights activists in Myanmar who are calling for the release of political prisoners. Add your voice to theirs. We will deliver your signatures to a Myanmar embassy before 13 November, the day Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest last year.

Call on the Chairman of the new Myanmar National Human Rights Commission to press for all prisoners of conscience to be released.
Take action Now
You have until Friday, 4 November to sign this petition. So act now for Myanmar!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pakistan: The agony of waiting for the disappeared



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Pakistan: The agony of waiting for the disappeared

It’s been 10 years since 9/11 changed the world, and Pakistan is one country that has hit the headlines ever since that day. But one story buried beneath the news grabs is of the many victims of enforced disappearance post-9/11.
Hundreds, possibly thousands of Pakistanis have been abducted, typically without being charged, never to be seen again.The few lucky ones who happen to be returned, often without being charged, speak of horrendous abuse and torture in secret detention without access to lawyers and the courts or contact with their families.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior has officially admitted to 965 disappearances but human rights groups say that number could be as high as 7000.
“This is the worst thing to happen to anyone. If someone dies you cry and people console you and after some time you come to terms with it but if someone disappears, you cannot breathe, it is the bitterest of agonies.” Amina Masood Janjua, whose husband Masood Janjua went missing in 2005 told Amnesty International.
Amina Janjua holding placard of her husband Masood Janjua during a demonstration for the release of the enforced disappeared persons ©Defence of Human Rights.
Put pressure on the Pakistan government
In March 2010, the Pakistan government established the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances to trace missing people, giving families hope that they would get some answers.
While the Commission has managed to trace the whereabouts of 224 people, families and human rights groups are severely critical of the way it functions.
It is slow, very short-staffed and has had little success investigating cases of those who disappeared when Gen. Pervez Musharraf ruled the country. More importantly, it has failed to seriously investigate Pakistan’s security and intelligence agencies which most families accuse of disappearing their loved ones.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan can come to the help of these families by ensuring that this Commission of Inquiry has the power and resources needed to investigate all cases of alleged disappearance.

Stand with the families of disappeared Pakistanis. We will deliver your signatures to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Take action Now

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bhopal - End 25 years of Injustice



Bhopal is not just a human rights tragedy from the last century. It is a human rights travesty today.


Shortly before midnight on 2 December 1984, thousands of tonnes of deadly chemicals leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, central India. Around half a million people were exposed. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people died in the immediate aftermath and a further 15,000 over the next 20 years.

On 2 December 2009, the people of Bhopal will mark the 25th anniversary of the devastating leak. Amnesty International will act in solidarity with the people of Bhopal to highlight the ongoing human rights impacts of the 1984 leak.

As the factory site has not been cleaned up yet, more than 100,000 people in the area continue to suffer from health problems. Efforts to provide rehabilitation – both medical care and measures to address the socio-economic effects of the leak – have fallen far short of what is needed and victims still wait for the adequate compensation. The people of Bhopal have struggled to obtain even basic relief such as clean water. Over the past 25 years, the Indian government has shown its incapacity to deal with the issue as companies involved have evaded accountability and obstructed the efforts of victims to secure reparation.
Take Action

Please support Amnesty International’s campaign to seek justice for Bhopal.

Call on Dow Chemicals to decontaminate the former Union Carbide factory and its surrounding area

Take Action

Please support Amnesty International’s campaign to seek justice for Bhopal.

Call on Dow Chemicals to decontaminate the former Union Carbide factory and its surrounding area

Take action Now

Call on the Indian Prime Minister to provide adequate medical, social, and economic rehabilitation to end 25 years of injustice for the people of Bhopal

Take action Now

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Love , Peace and a colourful Harmony

I have started this blog with intention to spread the message of Love , Peace and a colourful Harmony. I defend Freedom of expression and Human rights, I want peace and harmony among religious people, no Hatred and no low esteem for pagan and monotheist. I want strong action aganist terrorism, religious fanaticism, and other demoniac force thats responsible for unrest and chaos over this world. be with me to fight the wrong.