CHRI Human Rights Update

Your round up from CHRI on 24/03/2016

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Top News:

· Botswana’s highest court tells Government gays have human rights too

· Media Freedom Under Threat in Kenya

· UN Grills Namibia On Human Rights

· South Africa must stand up in support of Human Rights Defenders

· Are gay employees paid less than straight ones?

· ‘Bangladesh war crimes verdict based on flawed trial’

· Malaysia to carry out ‘secretive’ hanging, claims Amnesty

Commonwealth Countries

Africa

Botswana

Botswana’s highest court tells Government gays have human rights too

Pink News

The Botswana Court of Appeal has voted to bolster a ruling in favour of LGBT rights organisations in the country. Earlier this week, the Court of Appeal unanimously voted to dismiss an appeal by Botswana’s Government against a Gaborone High Court ruling which allowed LGBT rights organisations to officially register.

Ghana

Gender Ministry merits more funds

Ghana Business News

Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, has called on government and development partners to provide more funding to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Kenya

Media Freedom Under Threat in Kenya

Human Rights Watch

It has been a tough year so far for the media in Kenya, with journalists and bloggers bearing the brunt of what seems to be a concerted government effort to silence the press. Human Rights Watch explores some of these incidents in more depth.

Mozambique

Refugees pay the price of Mozambique power struggle

IRIN News

The losers in a power struggle between the Mozambican government and opposition RENAMO party are the refugees that have streamed across the border into Malawi, fleeing insecurity and allegations of human rights violations by the army.

Namibia

UN Grills Namibia On Human Rights

allAfrica

Namibia has presented feedback to the United Nations on what it has done to improve human rights in the country so far, but loose ends in this regard did not escape the watchful eye of the human rights committee.

Nigeria

Nigerian rights activist, Ohaeri, named Desmond Tutu fellow

The Cable

Victoria Ohaeri, executive director at Spaces for Change, a non-governmental organisation on social justice, has been named one of the 24 Desmond Tutu leadership fellows for 2016.

Opinion: DSS, El-Zakzaky, Nigeria’s democracy and human rights

The News Nigeria

“The concept of democracy means that apart from having a say in how a government is run, a hand in choosing who governs us (and sending him packing when his performance in office needs much to be desired), Nigerians who are born free must not suffer arbitrary detention.”

Sierra Leone

Female Lawyer Wants Abortion Included As a Right in the New Constitution

allAfrica

Female Barrister and Solicitor Mariama Dumbuya (Ms) has appealed to her fellow campaigners to continue to push for the passing of the Safe Abortion Act into law notwithstanding the possibility of its inclusion in a referendum.

South Africa

South Africa must stand up in support of Human Rights Defenders

Politics Web

The LRC expects South Africa to stand up in support of Human Rights Defenders

Uganda

Uganda Human Rights Commission seeks Shs27 billion for operations

NTV

The Uganda Human Rights Commission wants Shs27 billion for the financial year 2016 -2017 to be able to effectively conduct its work. The commission made their needs known to Parliament’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

ICC orders trial of Ugandan LRA commander

BDLive

The International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled on Wednesday there was enough evidence to try notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen for crimes committed in Uganda, including rape and recruiting child soldiers.

Zambia

Outrage in Zambia as 2 female shoplifters are painted yellow

Pulse

The Human Rights Commission in Zambia is not happy at the treatment given to two female shoplifters.

Americas

Canada

Call For Environmental Bill of Rights That Would Protect Human Right to Clean, Safe Water

Meaford Independent

Clean water standards need to be improved in Canada and the right to water needs to be preserved in the country. A New environmental bill, protecting the water of the country needs to be implemented for the people of Canada.

Lewis speaks on human rights topics

Chronicle Journal

Canada’s First Nation Peoples have been neglected in Canada in several areas and this needs to be addressed, the many decades of mishandling of their issues have to be rectified.

Faith leaders decry Canadian Parliament’s vote to shut down religious freedom office

Life Site

There have been protests against the decision to shut down the Religious Freedom Office in Canada by Parliament. Critics say that it is a bad decision ‘particularly because there is no indication as to how the government intends to replace it’

ARE GAY EMPLOYEES PAID LESS THAN STRAIGHT ONES?

Newsweek

Canada has managed to collect detailed data on its population, and through this data it has been seen that homosexual employees earn less than straight ones in the country.

Asia

Bangladesh

Bangladesh government angered by Danczuk’s call for sanctions

The Guardian

Simon Danczuk, the suspended Labour MP ordered to repay £11,000 in expenses, has come under fire by Bangladesh’s government for interfering in its “internal affairs” after he flew to Dhaka and called for sanctions to be imposed on the south Asian nation.

‘Bangladesh war crimes verdict based on flawed trial’

Business Standard

Bangladeshi authorities should immediately set aside the death penalty against Mir Qasem Ali, a senior member of the opposition party Jamaat-e-Islaami, and order a new trial that meets international fair trial standards, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

India

‘India Losing Prominence in Freedom of Speech’

New Indian Express

India is losing its democratic prominence in terms of freedom of speech and expression, Prof Vesselin Popovski, Executive Director, Centre for the Study of United Nations and former Bulgarian diplomat, has said. He was speaking exclusively to ‘Express’ on the sidelines of the three-day international seminar on ‘Human rights and policing’ held at Government Law College here from Monday to Wednesday.

Journalist Jailed in Eastern India Over Social Media Post

New York Times

A journalist in eastern India was arrested after he posted a message on social media criticizing the police and calling for legal protections for reporters in the violence-scarred region, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Malaysia

Malaysia to carry out ‘secretive’ hanging, claims Amnesty

The Guardian

Amnesty International has condemned what it fears will be a last-minute execution by hanging of a 34-year-old Malaysian man convicted of murder, an offence that carries a mandatory death sentence.

International human rights body gives Suhakam top status

The Star Online

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has been re-accredited with the grade ‘A’ status by the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC).

Pakistan

Sindh police mislead court and delay investigation into murder of human rights defender

Asian Human Rights Commission

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the murder of a Pakistani human rights defender Ms. Perveen Rehman on 13 March 2013. Since then, the government has failed to conduct an investigation or arrest the murderers. A petition about her case is pending in the Supreme Court since July 2013. The police claim to be conducting investigations, which are misdirected and do not generate results. For instance, they have kept the son of the alleged murderer in their custody illegally since September 2015.

Combating violations: PBC forms Human Rights Committee

The Tribune

Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has formed a Human Rights Committee to address key human rights violations and rights-related issues. PBC executive member Raheel Kamran Sheikh is the chairman of HR committee whose function has been divided into four categories.

Constitution gives equal rights to minorities: minister

Pakistan Today

Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs and Human Rights, Khalil Tahir Sandhu has said that minorities played a significant role in Pakistan movement and are contributing to the progress and stability of the country.

Caribbean

Belize

Report: Child Curfew Getting Blowback From Social Services Sector

7 News Belize

A curfew that has been discussed in parts of Belize that received local support from the area, has come under some attack from the social services sector as it victimizes children for the failings of their parents, and flies in the face of the convention on the rights of the child’.

Europe

Malta

Conversion therapy: Health professionals say ethical, legal obligations could clash

Independent

Psychologists and Psychiatrists have added their voices to the controversial debate concerning conversion therapy saying that making it illegal may clash with their ethical standpoints to follow the patient’s wishes concerning treatments.

Pacific

Fiji

Collective approach needed to fight Fiji sex crimes

Radio NZ

After Cyclone Winston, there was a lot of gender based violence as well as sexual violence in Fiji, the director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission has said that we need to ‘constructively engage all the institutions that work in this area; the state, the civil society, the international community’.

New Zealand

NZ remains open to Nauru partnership

Radio NZ

New Zealand is still open concerning a cooperation with Nauru. The government suspended funding after suspicions of civil rights abuses, however, this does not mean that future cooperation is impossible.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu women unite to end violence, stage public rally

Asia Pacific Report

Women have gathered in the capital of Vanuatu to protest and end violence against women. They will hold a rally and present petitions to the Ministers of Internal Affairs and, Justice and Social Welfare.