Category Archives: Human rights

U.N. issues devastating Burundi HR report

More crimes against humanity were committed in Burundi in 2017 and 2018, whipped up by rhetoric from top officials including President Pierre Nkurunziza, a U.N. human rights report said.

Burundi has tried and failed to stop the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2016, and refuses to cooperate with it. The commission said last year that officials at the highest level were responsible for crimes against humanity.

“The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity continue to be committed in Burundi,” the Commission’s latest report said.

“These crimes include murder, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity, and persecution on political grounds.”

Nkurunziza’s spokesman and Burundi’s human rights minister declined to make an immediate comment.

Burundi has been seized by violence since early 2015 when Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term, widely seen as a breach of the constitution.

Clashes between security forces and rebels left hundreds dead and forced about half a million to flee — rattling a region still haunted by the memories of the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda, which has a similar ethnic mix to Burundi.

Trump concerned with killings of farmers in South Africa

President Trump tweeted that he had directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate “the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers”: South African farm killings — where victims are typically members of the country’s white, Afrikaans-speaking minority — are often extremely brutal in nature, involving prolonged periods of torture.

Farming in South Africa became one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, because of abhorrent in its cruelty murders of predominantly white farmers and their families. The government continuously rejects the political motives behind the murders, while farmers themselves blame Marxist groups for extremism, pushing farmers away in land grab attempts, promoted by certain political forces, including  those led by Julius Malema.

This year  dominated by the Marxist African National Congress (ANC), voted on to confiscate without compensation all of the land owned by white farmers in South Africa.

Farmers killing SA chart

A number of private organisations and agricultural trade unions collect and publish their own statistics on farm murders and attacks. When citing and interpreting these statistics it is crucial to check the definition being used to identify incidences. They may differ from the official statistics released by the police, indicating farm murder rate of 156 per 100,000.

The AfriForum Research Institute collected and assessed statistics for 2016/2018 recording 357 attacks and 74 murders between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. The official police farm attacks statistics differ but their tally of farm murders was the same.

The institute’s report notes that their statistics were collected by monitoring traditional and social media. They also rely on security networks and victims to directly report attacks.

Author of the report and researcher at the institute, Lorraine Claasen, told Africa Check that they record incidences that occur on residential smallholdings and rural plots, which differs from the police’s definition.

(There are no scenes of violence or disturbing graphics on the video below, however the interviewed refers to facts of atrocities committed by farm murderers).

 

Rwanda murderer of Belgium peacekeepers asks for asylum

Former Rwandan Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, sentenced in 2007 by the Brussels Court to twenty years in prison for his participation in the killings of the ten Belgian peacekeepers on April 7, 1994 in Kigali, has served his sentence. After his release from prison, he seeks asylum in Belgium, said the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken.

The former officer of the former Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) is in a closed center “for a return,” said Theo Francken (N-VA) on Twitter. The release of Bernard Ntuyahaga had been revealed earlier in the week. But the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRA), which has to decide on a possible asylum application, refused to communicate on the subject on grounds of privacy.

Theo Francken confirmed that Mr. Ntuyahaga had made an asylum claim, adding that he was in a closed center “for a return“, but without specifying whether it is Rwanda. The Secretary of State reacted to a tweet from Vlaams Belang (opposition) who claimed to be the first to reveal this situation and asked Mr Francken and the Minister of Justice, Koen Geens (CD & V), to show responsibility. “This murderer in no way deserves a second chance,” added the far-right party.

“Let him go to Rwanda. We’ll see what will happen,” said Beatrice Bassinne, the widow of Corporal Bassinne, who was assassinated in Rwanda in 1994. she is against granting Bernard Ntuyahaga a political asylum in Belgium. Her husband was hacked to death with machete along with the other victims of genocide.

Somali girl death after genital mutilation reminds of gruesom tradition

Human rights defenders expressed hope the death of a 10-year-old Somali girl bled to death after a failed female genital mutilation (FGM) may help raise awareness about the dangerous health risks associated with the ritual in a country almost 100% of women and girls are cut.

Deeqa Dahir Nuur died from blood loss earlier this week after being subjected to female genital mutilation in one of Somalia’s few reported FGM-related deaths.

Reportedly Nuur died at Dhusamareb hospital two days after her family had taken her to a cutter for female genital mutilation in Olol village. “The circumciser is suspected to have cut an important vein” Hawa Aden Mohamed, the director of a local women’s right group known as Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development said. But by the time Nuur’s family realized they wouldn’t be able to stop the bleeding by themselves, it was too late.

Nuur’s death is one of only a few female genital mutilation-related deaths to have ever been reported in Somalia, a country with the world’s highest rate of FGM practice. But activists have said that just because FGM-related deaths aren’t reported doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.

Tourist in Egypt convicted for sex harassment complaints

A Lebanese tourist arrested last month for posting a video on Facebook complaining of sexual harassment by men and conditions in Egypt was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Cairo court on Saturday, July 7.

Ms. Mona el-Mazboh was arrested at Cairo airport at the end of her stay in Egypt after a 10-minute video in which she called Egypt a “son of a bitch country” went viral on social media.

The 24-year-old Ms.Mazboh complains of being sexually harassed by taxi drivers and young men in the street, as well as poor restaurant service during the holy month of Ramadan and an incident in which money was stolen from her during a previous stay.

A Cairo court found her guilty of deliberately spreading false rumours that would harm society, attacking religion, and public indecency, judicial sources said.

While a video of a tourist is a personal point of view, the conviction of the Court will have an effect of a massive repellent for tourists from the West to come to Egypt, which will cause further damages to the entire tourist industry, going through difficult times since Arab Spring.

EP appeals Somali President to respect rule of law

MEPs recognise the progress made by the Federal Government of Somalia, since it took power in 2012, but stress the need for a universal suffrage system to be in place for the next elections, and the importance of ending violations of human rights, which are widespread in the country and target women, children and minorities in particular.

They urge the Somali authorities to step up their efforts towards strengthening the rule of law, to stop the intimidation of journalists and human rights defenders, allow unions to be set up, and to investigate and punish those perpetrating violations of human rights.

MEPs appeal to the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi to commute pending death penalty sentences and review the penal code, to align the country’s legislation to its international obligations on human rights, and to treat child soldiers as victims of terrorism and war, rather than perpetrators.

The resolution was adopted raising hands.

 

MEPs denounce violations of human rights in Burundi

During European Parliament Strasbourg plenary week, the MEPs denounced the intimidation, repression and the harassment of journalists and human rights defenders, and urged Burundian authorities to guarantee the respect of the rule of law and human rights, such as the right of freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

They demand an end to any further payments to the Burundian troops engaged in UN and AU peacekeeping missions, which have been used by the government to conceal domestic problems in the country.

The European Parliament appeals to governments in the region to ensure that the return of refugees is voluntary, based on informed decisions and carried out in safety and dignity. 413 000 people have fled the country since the President announced that he will run for a third term.

The resolution was adopted by raising hands.

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