Category Archives: Human rights

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.

Lumumba square inaugurated in Brussels

Hundreds of attendees cheered when officials unveiled a blue plaque bearing Lumumba’s name in the square at the entrance Congolese Matonge area in Brussels.

It is the first public area in the former metropole to honour Lumumba, who was assassinated in 1961 in an shooting incident in which Belgium was implicated along with the CIA.

 

Migrants shipwreck at Tunisian coast

Coastguards continue to recover bodies of migrants drowned in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean on Sunday (3/05/2018), reportedly the boat had sank next to Tunisian coast.

Tunisian authorities said 47 bodies were recovered off the country’s southern coast, close to the city of Sfax, while NGOs presume there were more passengers on the crowded boat.

The coastguard and the navy continue their search with the support of a military plane,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo cautioning on Twitter that the final number of missing was still uncertain.

Meanwhile on a visit to Sicily Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said that the island must stop being “the refugee camp of Europe“.

The leader of the Lega Nord party said his government’s plans on migrants were not “hard line… but common sense”.

Salvini added that increasing deportations and limiting new arrivals would end up in saving lives, discouraging illegal migrants to take a risky adventure in Mediterranean waters.

EU expects Egypt to respect fundamental freedoms

“With the new presidential mandate starting, we reiterate our support for Egypt’s sustainable stability, social and economic reforms as well as development, building on the ongoing constructive dialogue under our joint Partnership Priorities” – the European External Action Service (EEAS) reacted.

“Sustainable stability and security can only go hand in hand with the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in line with Egypt’s Constitution and international obligations” – the EEAS statement continues.

“The increasing number of arrests of human rights defenders, political activists and bloggers in the latest weeks in Egypt is therefore a worrying development”.

“In a moment when Egypt is seeking to consolidate democracy and the rule of law, the respect for peaceful expression of opinion and of criticism is important. Those standing for fundamental rights and democracy should not be fearing reprisals. We expect the Egyptian authorities to respect Egypt’s Constitution and international obligations”.

 

 

EU expects inclusive elections in Congo

The Foreign Affairs Council discussed the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“Foreign ministers stressed the importance of following the electoral process which is expected to lead to the general election scheduled for 23 December 2018 in a credible, legitimate, consensual and inclusive way” – the text of the Council conclusions says.

Ministers also expressed their concern over the dire humanitarian situation, in the light of the recent Ebola outbreak.

 

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