The Syrian refugees forced back to a war zone; North Korean girls have no support if they get raped; UK and Safe Schools; a “hellish twilight zone” in Iraq; political cartoonist arrested in Equatorial Guinea; forced disappearances in Turkey; & Greece holds migrant kids in police cells
A refugee family living in a shelter in Berlin gave police a bag containing 14,000 euros they found on the subway. The money was returned to its elderly owner who had forgotten the bag. It’s a good time to remember that Good Samaritans can come from anywhere.
Repression of rights defenders, journalists, and opposition in Egypt has reached levels not seen in decades. But no place is the authoritarianism of President Sisi better defined than in the country’s use of widespread and systematic torture. It’s time for the United Nations Human Rights Council to end it. A Brazilian judge’s decision to overturn an 18-year-old ban on conversion therapy has put the spotlight on discredited efforts to ‘change’ a person’s sexual orientation. Efforts to cure a nonexistent disease are ineffectual, unethical, and potentially harmful.
Some 69 countries around the world have now endorsed the Safe Schools declaration, but so far the UK hasn’t. It’s time for the UK to join other nations in protecting pupils, teachers and schools around the world.
Today marks six months since the arrest of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor. He is still being held in solitary confinement in the United Arab Emirates. His crime? Exercising his right to free expression. Many activists, writers, and defenders are harassed or imprisoned in the UAE and other Arab Gulf States. It’s time these governments stopped assaulting their citizens’ right to free speech.
From earlier today: Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is facing mounting international pressure over the Rohingya refugee crisis. In a speech yesterday, she condemned rights abuses but did not blame the army or address allegations of ethnic cleansing, which has prompted 400,000 Rohingya to flee Burma for Bangladesh since late August – the most concentrated refugee movement in Asia since 1971.
Conditions for Syrian refugees in Arsal, a border town in northeast Lebanon, are so bad that many of them have decided to go back into a war zone, HRW says. Meanwhile, displaced Syrians elsewhere in the region are trapped as never before. North Korean girls really have “nowhere to turn to” when they are victimized by sexual abuse, and the UN Committee On The Rights Of The Child should demand that Pyongyang take immediate steps to ensure victims are properly protected.
Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters late last month in “a hellish twilight zone“, HRW researchers have warned. The Equatorial Guinea government has again demonstrated its hostility to any form of critical expression by arresting a prominent political cartoonist.Are forced disappearances making a comeback in Turkey? That’s the question opposition politicians and human rights activists are asking following a spate of mysterious kidnappings.And new figures released by the Greek government confirm that dozens of unaccompanied migrant children are being held in police stations, in violation of both international and Greek law.