Human Rights in the news

Daily round up from CHRI UK on 08/01/16

United Kingdom

Care home a ‘human rights risk’

St George’s Nursing Home in Byfleet Road in Cobham, whose residents all have dementia, was branded “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC,) who evaluated the service in an unannounced inspection. It has been given the lowest possible rating by an independent health regular who warned “people’s human rights were at risk”.

(Surrey Comet)

Commonwealth Countries

Secrecy surrounding Ottawa’s human rights analysis of Saudi Arabia

The Liberal Canadian government is refusing to make public a recently completed assessment of the state of human rights in Saudi Arabia amongst enduring criticism for proceeding with a $15-billion deal to ship weaponized armoured vehicles to the country.

(The Globe and Mail)

South Australia’s incoming Public Advocate says she would be “keen to support” a Human Rights Act for South Australia.

Former Equal Opportunity Commissioner Anne Gale said she would support more explicitly codified human rights legislation to help protect South Australia’s most vulnerable, if there were support for it in State Parliament.

(IN Daily)


Zimbabwean desire for a restoration of human rights to the country

A representative of the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) has been on an undercover visit to Zimbabwe where he found a people impatient for change in the country, wanting to see power devolved to the people.

(The Zimbabwean)

6 students in Tunisia freed whilst appealing a sodomy verdict

Shams, an LGBTI rights group seeking the decriminalization of homosexuality in Tunisia, announced the decision The Court of Appeals in Sousse, Tunisia, made yesterday when six students were released pending action on the appeal of their three-year prison sentences for sodomy.

(76 Crimes)


Human rights lawyers strike back against China’s detention and questioning of colleagues

Six months after China’s biggest crackdown on human rights lawyers which saw state agents question more than 130 attorneys and their colleagues, dozens of the rights lawyers are trying to use the same system to defend at least 16 colleagues still being held in secret.

(Hong Kong Free Press)


Human rights theme in 3 San Juan Island art exhibits

Installation artist Ai Weiwei, one of the world’s most closely followed dissident political voices, will present three pieces, including sculpture, video and mixed-media work from his ongoing investigation into the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, a magnitude 8.0 quake that killed more than 60,000 people, including 5,196 schoolchildren, in Sichuan province, China.

(Seattle Times)

Mounting fees in NY schools human rights case

Legal bills rise to $25 000 a year after Rashondra Martin, filed a human rights claim against Carl Paladino and the Buffalo School Board for causing, in her words, a racially and sexually hostile work environment.


NYC Commission on Human Rights releases a Human Rights Legal Enforcement Guidance on Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression.

The guidelines reinforce the notion that it is unlawful to fire, refuse to hire or promote, or set different terms and conditions of employment because of an employee’s gender, including an employee’s status as a transgender person.

(Lexology) — (Law and the Workplace)


Belarussian President rebuts against critics of state’s lack of transparency and human rights abuses

President Aleksandr Lukashenko is certain that in his country there is no less democracy and human rights than elsewhere. He stated that ‘The critics that kept rebuking us have now gone silent’ and he promised that the Belarussians would be living in an open society where the individual should feel free to speak one’s mind.

(Russian News Agency)

US and International pressure surrounding deteriorating human rights situation in Crimea

The human rights situation in Crimea is “dire” and will continue to deteriorate unless there is immediate action, was the urgent message of a series of programs in New York featuring international human rights activists, diplomats and lawyers, and the release of a new report on human rights violations in Crimea.

(Ukraine Weekly)

Human Rights First releases major report outlining strategies to combat French anti-Semitism and extremism

The report, “Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Anti-Semitism and Extremism in France,” examines how the rise of the far right and Islamic extremism are converging in a vicious cycle to fuel intolerance and violence. The report focuses on ways that U.S. government leaders can work with French counterparts to prevent future attacks, promote greater tolerance and inclusiveness, and chart a path forward that upholds our shared commitment to human rights as an integral part of national security.

(Human Rights First)

Middle East

Israeli journalist and Palestinian pastor win international human rights prize

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy and Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb have been awarded the 2015 Olof Palme human rights prize for their “fight against occupation and violence”, the Swedish judges awarding the prize said on Thursday.

(Middle East Eye)

UN Human Rights official no longer welcome in Yemen

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government has declared the head of the United Nations’ human rights office in the country, George Abu al-Zulof, a “persona non grata”. Zulof is currently outside the country and unable to return. The expulsion has been condemned by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

(Vice) — (Mail Online)

Saudi Arabia-led coalition drops cluster bombs in residential area of Yemen’s capital

Coalition forces airdropped cluster bombs on residential neighbourhoods in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, early on January 6, 2016. It is not yet clear whether the attacks caused civilian casualties, but the indiscriminate nature of cluster munitions makes such attacks serious violations of the laws of war; what Human Rights Watch states amounts to a war crime.

(HRW) — (Japan Times)

Human rights group report ISIS fighter executing his mother for ‘apostasy’

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights have reported that 20-year-old Ali Saqr, killed his mother in the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital, for ‘inciting her son to leave the Islamic State’, whilst hundreds looked on.

(KLTA 5)

Israeli Knesset considering law targets human rights groups

Israeli Knesset is considering legislation to single out and punish progressive nongovernmental organizations, particularly human rights groups who criticise continued occupation of the West Bank.

(J Weekly)


FIFA to put UN guidelines at the centre of its activities

After the worst corruption scandal in history, the international football association is set to make a move that would set a precedent for other international sporting associations as well as putting centre stage the relationship between sport and politics in general.

(Al Arabiya News)

Human Rights Watch

HRW assesses global trends in LGBT rights

Graeme Reid looks at the global trends in LGBT rights across the world in a year which saw the extension of marriage to same-sex couples in Mexico and Ireland as well as men accused of homosexuality thrown off high buildings, stoned to death, or shot in the head by extremist groups, including the Islamic State (known as ISIS) in Iraq, Syria and Libya.