Category Archives: Human rights

Protests reporter released in Sudan

Sudan’s relevant authorities released Al Arabiya and Al Hadath correspondent Saad el-Din Hassan after he was summoned for questioning following his reporting of the recent protests in the country.

After his release, Hassan informed his followers on via his Twitter micro blog that his personal phone his press license were confiscated. He added that security officials ordered him to come back the following morning to complete the investigation.

Hassan also tweeted that he was forced to wait about eight hours, without a charge or going through a proper legal process, only to be questioned for about five minutes where he was asked about his coverage of the protests.

However there are the other reports about jailed reporters, who vanished after arrests for coverage of the protests.

 

Marrakesh: leaders sign Global Compact

Speaking at the start of the UN conference in Marrakesh where  states gather to adopt the so-called Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Secretary General Antonio Guterres promoted the initiative, insisting developed countries needed more migration due to their declining birth rates and aging populations.

In July all 193 UN members except the United States concluded the non-binding pact of a highly political nature. But since then, the text has come under scrutiny from right-wing European politicians who are convinced it could lead to an increase in migration flows, and the courts would lose the tool to extradite the illegal migrants as the difference between legal and illegal migration would disappear.

At least six European Union members – mostly in Eastern Europe – have shunned the accord. On Sunday, hours ahead of the conference, Chile was the latest country to pull out, while Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel faced collapse of the governing coalition, with resignation of his ministers.

Although depicted as an achievement, the Declaration continues to provoke criticism over its ambiguity not only from right-wing, but also from center right. The European Parliament did not adopt the Resolution of Global Compact in November plenary, the failure regarded as a blow to the image of the initiative. Subsequently the European Parliament delegation had a humble presence.

In spite of the ambivalence, and criticism the signature of Global Compact is a huge step forward to eliminate the concept of ‘illegal migrants’, and create a world without borders.

 

 

EU diplomats prepare for Global Compact for Migration

“I believe there are two mistakes we must not make when discussing the global compacts” the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, while addressing the plenary session of the European Parliament on the preparation of the Marrakech Intergovernmental Conference of 10-11 December on the UN Global Compact for Migration.

The first is to pretend there is a clash between our national interests and the idea of a global compact. The opposite is true. If our national interest is to govern migration – and I believe it is for all of us – to make it orderly, humane and sustainable, then the global compact is a powerful tool to serve our national interest” Mogherini continued.

“The second mistake would be to tackle migration as a fight between the North and the South of the world, the developed and the developing countries. Again, the opposite is true

The diplomat indicated that the most of the countries – for instance in Africa – are at the same time countries of “origin, of transit and of destination”. “We all share an interest to manage migration; we all have an interest in investing in sustainable development in the regions that need it the most; and we all have an interest in creating regular pathways for human mobility”,- Mogherini concluded, insisting there is no conflict between North-South, but common need to harness the problem in a unified manner.

However there is no unity among the EU members on the issue. The latest ‘no’ to the UN project came from the Slovak Parliament, and caused resignation of the Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has decided to quit in protest to this decision to reject a UN pact on the treatment of migrants, his office said.

Lajcak was President of the United Nations General Assembly when the migration pact was adopted and had earlier threatened to quit if his country did not support it.

NB! Correction to the map: Croatia will not sign UN Global Compact for Migration, because the majority of lawmakers in the Parliament said that they would not support the Compact because it was “unclear and ambiguous“.

Nowadays there are over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth. This figure is expected to grow for a number of reasons including  population growth, increasing connectivity, trade, rising inequality, demographic imbalances and climate change. Critics claim that the non-binding document declares economic migration as a human right which means giving up a state’s sovereignty while supporters of the Compact claim that it will improve international management of migrant waves and strengthen the protection of human rights.

South Sudan girls abuse by military

Government and rebel forces in South Sudan abducted hundreds of women and girls this year and many have been raped and forced into sexual slavery, the UN mission to the country informed.

Other young people were forced to become child soldiers, according to a report by the UN Mission in South Sudan, which said that many of those abducted remain in the hands of their captors.

The abuses were committed during a civil war by forces loyal to the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels fighting for Riek Machar. The abductions violate international law and may amount to war crimes, the report said.

The girls are sometimes only 12 years old and were chosen as wives for the military. They had to parade in front of them and they (soldiers) could choose whomever they wanted. They used them and of course they were raped and (subjected to) sexual slavery,” the report said.

Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege – Nobel Peace Prize winner

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Dr.Mukwege, a gynecologist and surgeon, has long worked to treat thousands of women and girls affected by rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“I have had the privilege to meet both Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad when they were awarded with the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize. Their stories have inspired our action in the last years” said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini in a statement.

“Denis Mukwege has devoted his entire life to help women who have suffered during years on conflict. He has helped them start again and move past the violence they have suffered, to take control of their lives, to fight for their freedom and for the future of their country”.

Nobel Committee, as she announced the award  at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo on September, 5.

“Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims”.

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).

 

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