CHRI Human Rights Update
Your round up from CHRI on 19/02/2016
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Today’s top news:
Caribbean News Now
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth to be, Baroness Scotland, is involved in a financial controversy linked to the Maldives and Chari Blair’s law firm.
The day of election in Uganda was marked by severe delays, allegations of rigged ballots, shut down of social media and the arrest of the main oppositional candidate. This along with previous crackdowns on oppositional rallies and threats by police and other authorities shows that Museveni is trying to cling to his power.
President Buhari of Nigeria has spoken up against corruption in the country and has pledged to pursue it. He has come under pressure from the elites in the country, but refuses to back down in a recent statement.
A Franco-Cameroon lawyer who was arrested in 2010 on corruption charges and then convicted in 2015 is going to be pardoned from her 25 year sentence.
Richard Nyamah the spokesperson for the Progressive Nationalist Forum has created a petition for the current Ghanian president John Mahama to remove the Electoral Commission’s Chairperson Charlotte Osei. This is because she is holding another public position simultaneously which is against the constitution.
Francis Azumah was appointed to the Elections Steering Committee, however, there are arguments that he may be partisan as he is described to be a member of the National Democratic Congress.
The Ghana Solidarity Forum of Western Sahara is calling on nations, civil society and personalities to boycott the Crans Montana Forum, a forum which Morocco wants to hold to discuss the territories it is occupying. ‘Western Sahara is considered as the last colony in Africa’.
Joseph Whittal, has denied allegations that he should be withdrawn from the Electoral Commission’s Electoral Steering Committee because he is an NDC loyalist. He claims that he is not a member of the NDC and that there is no reason to take him off the post.
The foreign minister of Tanzania Mahiga, has finished his visit to Rwanda where he spoke with both the president and his counterpart in Rwanda. He also spoke out against the genocide and made a statement saying that ‘we have to respect human rights’.
Human Rights Watch came out with a report a few days ago showing the failure of the Kenyan government in the wake of the 2007 violence after the election which lead to hundreds of sexual assault. One of these people is Joseph whose daughters were raped in front of him and as he refused to join he was also raped. His daughters later died from their injuries and from AIDS.
The Ugandan election was held yesterday, and CNN has come with some essential quick facts to get you up to speed about it.
A Kenyan mother whose son was paralysed as a result of a surgery wants to hold the responsible doctor accountable and alleges that he was drunk during the operation. They have called on Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentist Union (KMPDU) and Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) to investigate it.
The Nigerian police needs to be rebuilt. Although there have been many calls and commission on reform of the police, few to none of the recommendations are being implemented and the police is a big part of the corruption problem.
The Access to Information bill has been approved by the Malawi cabinet, all that is needed now for it to ‘be taken to parliament where it will be enacted into law’.
Mugabe is being replaced by Deby as the AU president, although both stand accused of similar rights abuses etc. Deby has managed to keep a much lower profile and better reputation.
The Nigerian army has, despites its progress under Buhari, many violations of humanitarian law and human rights in its operations. Amnesty has sent out a report on these.
The tertiary education in Nigeria is too expensive and the schools are extremely strict and controlling on the lives of the students. University needs to become freer and more accessible.
Sierra Express Media
Sierra Leone has made ‘remarkable history’ after being elected as the president of the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council as well as becoming a Ministerial Panel on Elections of Members of the AU Commission. Additionally, they are one of ten states to the African Union’s Commissions on the Rules and Procedures of the Policy Organs.
Jacob Zuma, the South African president called for a fight against racism saying that ‘Racism is an enemy of humanity. If there is anything that this country must agree on it is the fight against racism’
The international Commission of Jurists (ICJ) launched a fact finding mission called ‘Justice Locked Out: Swaziland’s Rule of Law Crisis’. The report came after the arrest of many judiciary officers and is said to have ‘exposed the crisis in the country’s judiciary’.
Big News Network
There has been an increase in Human Rights violation in Uganda as the country heads for its election. Politicians have been arrested, reporters attacked and harassment and intimidation has been prominent.
Voice of America
The Ugandan main opposition leader has been arrested a second time in two days as the election continues in the delayed districts of Uganda. Provisional results show Museveni in the lead of the polls.
There are mixed reports on how the elections are being handled in Uganda, there are people alleging rigged elections and failures in the voting process and others saying that everything has been calm and successful with some minor delays.
H&M and M&S who are using a lot of labour in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India are thought to be ethical and responsible in their production, however, people are not treated as well as has been promised by the companies.
Senator Lankford has sent a letter to Obama questioning the decision to increase ties with India and Cuba as they violate religious liberty and human rights.
Wanting to marry someone is the main reasons for kidnapping women in India shows the National Crime Records Bureau data from 2014.
India was called to stop violating human rights in Kashmir, and talks between Pakistan and India were to be resumed after they were rescheduled because of an attack on an Indian airbase.
The Malaysian Insider
More letters from detainees under the Sosma act have been received by Suaram, alleging human rights abuses, including torture.
The Malay Online
Wanita MCA is being backed by the Malaysian Trade Unions Congress (MTUC) in her call for legislation that prohibits questions concerning pregnancy by employers. This comes after a woman’s award for damages were cut in a court case.
India’s democracy is becoming worse, it can be seen in how civil society are being treated and controlled and the attacks on freedom of speech.
A woman who was kidnapped and repeatedly raped in Pakistan is leading the fight for rights for women in the patriarchal society. She has gone public with her story.
The issues of freedom of speech in India is an important one and this journalist stands with the JNU, however, she says that this issue needs to be focused on at home in Pakistan as well.
324 hangings were carried out as a punishment for crimes last year in Pakistan, however, the majority are not militants although the moratorium on executions was lifted to deter militancy.
The Tivoli Gardens, Jamaica, was host to several killings, however, the police has no intention of conducting a serious investigation into the murders or human rights abuses that occurred.
St Lucia Times
Alvina Reynolds, Gender Relations Minister, in St Lucia has condemned recent rapes on the island saying ‘she is appalled that after all that has been said perpetrators continue to violate women an instill fear’
Times of Malta
Aditus, a NGO in Malta promoting human rights has spoken up against the threats against MEP Roberta Metsola. They see this as ‘right-wing sentiments and expressions’. This leads into a discrimination poll concerning the EU.
The West Australian government is passing legislation giving police extraordinary powers and will outlaw even peaceful protests. This has been criticized by three UN Special Rapporteurs.
Nauru has cancelled visas for Australian and New Zealand citizens after a member of the media allegedly entered the country on a tourist visa. There have been many Australian media members wanting to go to Nauru to report on the detention camps, but they have been declined to do so.
The police had to negotiate with 2 protesters who climbed the Melbourne Arts Centre and put up the banner ‘#LetthemStay’ in protest against ‘human rights abuses being committed in our name in Australia’s offshore detention system, in particular at Manus Island and Nauru’
The Logan Reporter
Teachers in Logan city have shown their support for the ‘Let them stay’ campaign calling for the Australian Prime Minister not to send asylum seeking children born in Australia to offshore detention camps.
The New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is on a trip to Australia and Sri Lanka. The green party urged him to use this trip to promote human rights and restore New Zealand’s reputation in the area.
South Pacific Meats has been accused of breaching the rights of its workers in limiting them the access to a union. ‘Those rights are guaranteed by human rights laws and international labour laws’.
The Multi National Joint Taskforce (MNJTF), made up of Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad, has gathered 10 000 soldiers to fight insurgency at their borders.
Although there has been some progress on LGBTI rights around the world, such as the decriminalization of homosexuality in Mozambique, there is still a long way to go.