Human Rights – Wagdy Ghoneim Sat, 12 Jun 2021 03:02:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Human Rights – Wagdy Ghoneim 32 32 Moving to mainstreaming human rights into governance – Journal Sat, 12 Jun 2021 00:49:03 +0000

QUETTA: Government and civil society representatives at a workshop at its closing session discussed a draft human rights policy and finalized recommendations to be incorporated into a revised policy.

The consultative workshop was organized by the project “Promotion of Human Rights in Pakistan (Huqooq-e-Pakistan)” (HeP) funded by the European Union in collaboration with the Human Rights Department of Balochistan . The program was part of a systematic, methodical and inclusive policy development process that integrates provincial priorities with international best practices.

Representatives from over 20 government departments attended the workshop in addition to civil society representatives from the Pakistan Human Rights Commission (HRCP), Aurat Foundation, several United Nations agencies and ‘other.

During the workshop which ended on Thursday, participants had an overview of the draft policy which was followed by a presentation of recommendations from the various stakeholders.

Guided by the Constitution and in accordance with Pakistan’s international human rights commitments as stipulated in various international human rights instruments, the objective of the draft human rights policy is to integrate human rights into provincial governance structures in order to protect and promote all civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights to which the people of Balochistan are entitled.

Recognizing their specific needs and the unique challenges they face, the policy is particularly aimed at protecting the rights of vulnerable segments of the population, including women, children, minorities, the elderly, people with disabilities and transgender people.

Abdul Rauf Baloch, provincial secretary for social protection, special education, literacy, non-formal education and human rights, described as a great achievement that the “first human rights policy of Man ”from Balochistan was in its final stages.

He thanked the HeP team for their support and said the policy would provide basic guidelines and direction for the future action plan of the provincial government.

“The protection and promotion of human rights is the priority of the current government. After incorporating the comments, the policy will be presented to the provincial government, ”he promised.

In his welcoming remarks, HeP Project Executive Director Ali Dayan Hasan said the purpose of the consultative workshop was to present the draft policy to all stakeholders and get their detailed input on each section.

“HeP is proud of the fact that this is a province-led and controlled process and that it will strengthen Balochistan and the values ​​enshrined in the 18th Amendment,” he said.

Posted in Dawn, le 12 June 2021

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interesting information from the Australian commission Fri, 11 Jun 2021 15:17:17 +0000

The report examines how technological advancements in areas such as facial recognition and AI can be balanced with the protection of human rights. Credit: PhotoMIX Company / Pexels

The conundrum is a conundrum that many governments face: How to make the most of technological advances in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) while protecting the rights of people? This applies to government both as a user of the technology and as a regulator with a mandate to protect the public.

The Australian Human Rights Commission recently undertook an exercise to examine this same issue. His final report, Human Rights and Technology, was published recently and includes some 38 recommendations – from creating an AI Safety Commissioner to introducing legislation so that a person is notified when a company uses AI in a business environment. decision that concerns her.

We’ve put together some of the report’s recommendations for governments on how to ensure that greater use of AI informed decision-making does not turn into a human rights catastrophe.

Supporting regulations

A series of recommendations in the report relate to improving the regulatory landscape around AI technology.

The report places particular emphasis on facial recognition and other biometric technologies. It recommends legislation, developed in consultation with experts, to explicitly regulate the use of this technology in contexts such as policing and law enforcement where there is “a high risk to human rights. the man “.

More generally, the report calls for the creation of an independent and statutory office of an AI security commissioner. This body would “work with regulators to strengthen their technical capacities regarding the development and use of AI”.

The AI ​​Security Commissioner is also expected to “monitor and investigate developments and trends in the use of AI, particularly in areas of particular risk to human rights,” independent advice to policy makers and issuing guidance on compliance.

Along with this, the report notes that the AI ​​Security Commissioner is expected to advise the government on “ways to incentivize … good practice. [in the private sector] through the use of voluntary standards, certification systems and public procurement rules ”.

Explain and involve

Several of the report’s recommendations focus on people who could be affected by AI. It calls for greater public involvement in decisions about how AI should be used, and more transparency in indicating when a member of the public is affected by an AI-assisted decision.

For example, the report suggests the introduction of legislation that would require any ministry or agency to conduct a Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) before an AI-based decision-making system is put in place. used to make an administrative decision. Part of this HRIA is expected to be a “public consultation focused on those most likely to be affected,” the report says.

The report also notes that governments should encourage businesses and other organizations to conduct a HRIA before developing AI-informed decision-making tools. As part of the recommendations, the authors suggest that the government appoint an agency, such as the AI ​​Safety Commissioner, to create a tool that helps people in the private sector complete the assessments.

In addition, the report recommends legislation “to require that any affected person be notified when artificial intelligence is physically used to make an administrative decision” within government. There should also be equivalent laws obliging private sector users to do the same.

The report also states: “The Australian government should not be making administrative decisions, including using automation or artificial intelligence, if the decision maker cannot generate technical reasons or explanation for an affected person.”

Improve capacity

Other recommendations also suggest that the Australian government is improving its ability to work ethically with AI-informed decision-making tools.

The government should “convene a multidisciplinary task force on AI-based decision-making, led by an independent body, such as the AI ​​Security Commissioner,” the report said. Responsibilities should include promoting the use of “human rights by design” in AI.

In line with the theme of transparency, the report also recommends that centers of expertise, such as the Research Council of Australia’s Center of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, “should prioritize research on The ‘explainability’ of AI-based decision making ‘.

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Representative Ilhan Omar denounces US and Israeli human rights abuses, faces backlash Thu, 10 Jun 2021 20:10:41 +0000

Photo by Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

During a House Foreign Affairs Committee audience On Monday, Representative Ilhan Omar asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken a simple question: Where do victims of human rights abuses, like those suffered by Israel and the United States, seek justice?

This question comes after Blinken publicly opposed an investigation by the International Criminal Court into human rights violations committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

Omar tweeted a video clip of the hearing, adding, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the United States, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban. ”

Instead of a thoughtful political discussion of the victims of the violence perpetuated by the United States and its allies, a wave of condemnation followed the member’s statements.

The Democratic House leadership, led by Nancy Pelosi, released a rare joint statement denouncing Omar’s tweet as a false equivalence. A group of Jewish lawmakers called his statement offensive. And, of course, the right has taken hold of Omar’s comments, leading to Islamophobic rhetoric being launched against the Minnesota lawmaker.

Some progressive Jewish advocates have fought back against the condemnations of Representative Omar’s colleagues. “It is strange that their statement does not address the actual content of @IlhanMN’s question,” Jewish Voice for Peace Action said in a tweet. “Don’t these members of Congress want to know how victims of war crimes can seek justice? And besides, the United States and Israel absolutely committed unspeakable atrocities. Break a history book.

Beth Miller, Head of Government Affairs for Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Told News week: it is “an undeniable fact that the United States and Israel have committed unspeakable atrocities, the victims of which are still awaiting justice”. She said members of Congress criticizing Omar “are using racist and Islamophobic tropes to attack” the representative from Minnesota “for asking our secretary of state for answers.

While the right wing vehemently opposes critiques of America’s racist and colonial history and present, lashing out at those who denounce American foreign policy is a bipartisan practice. This is yet another example.

SUBJECTS: Ilhan omar

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Ethiopia: boy publicly executed in Oromia Thu, 10 Jun 2021 03:18:49 +0000

(Nairobi) – Ethiopian government forces summarily executed a 17-year-old boy in broad daylight in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, Human Rights Watch said today. The public execution of Amanuel Wondimu Kebede underlines the lack of responsibility for the abuses of the security forces in the country.

On May 11, 2021, government forces apprehended and beat Amanuel in Dembi Dollo, a town in the Kellem Wellega area of ​​western Oromia. A video posted on social media by the city administration shows security forces mocking a bloodied Amanuel with a handgun strapped around his neck. He was executed in public that day. In the weeks that followed, authorities intimidated and arbitrarily arrested other residents of Dembi Dollo, including members of Amanuel’s family.

“The summary execution by Ethiopian authorities of a teenager shows an incredible disregard for human life,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The ruthless way in which security forces and local officials filmed and then publicized this horrific event demonstrates that these authorities believe they can act above the law without fear of the consequences. ”

The Western Oromia was the site of a three-year program conflict between federal and regional government forces and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), an armed group that broke with the opposition political party, the Oromo Liberation Front(OLF), in 2019. The Federal Command Post in western Oromia coordinates federal and regional security forces in the region, including the Ethiopian Defense Forces, Oromia Special Police, regular police forces Oromia and the administrative militia forces. On May 1, the Ethiopian parliament outlawed “Shene” – a government mandate for the OLA– like a terrorist organization.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 11 residents of Dembi Dollo and reviewed several videos and photographs posted on social media, media articles, and statements by government officials regarding Amanuel’s murder.

Witnesses said that at around 8 a.m. on May 11, Oromia regional special forces, known as Liyu Hail, arrested Amanuel near his home in Kebele 07 neighborhood of Dembi Dollo. Media accounts says local authorities alleged that Amanuel shot and injured a contractor, Gemechu Mengesha, in the city. Relatives said Amanuel was 17 and still in school. Residents of Dembi Dollo were surprised that authorities apprehended Amanuel and described him as a grade 10 student, who worked in a church and had always lived in the Kebele 07 neighborhood.

Two residents saw Oromia’s special forces beat, punch and kick Amanuel. “They used all means to beat him, with their boots, their hands, with the stick and the butt of the rifle,” said a witness. “He even received blows on the head. He fell to the ground. It was very shocking to see. Residents later saw Amanuel trying to escape in the Kebele 05 neighborhood, but soldiers shot him in the leg.

A second video that Human Rights Watch reviewed shows Amanuel walking down a street, visibly limping on the right side and surrounded by security forces, including Oromia special forces and local police. Amanuel is forced to repeat: “I am a member of Abba Torbee [an armed group in Oromia and with unclear links to the OLA]. Don’t do what I did. Learn from me.

Witnesses said a mix of command post forces, including Oromia special forces, Oromia police, local militias and Ethiopian defense forces, then ordered the vehicles to stop and gathered residents of the local bus stop. Owners of nearby businesses were also forced to close shop and watch the events. Other residents joined the crowd alone. A man observing the scene said, “They took everyone to the center of town and told people that if anyone tried to attack the security forces in the town, he or she would suffer the same fate.

Video corresponding to Dembi Dollo’s Facebook post on communications affairs, which showed Amanuel with visible signs of blows to the head, blood on his t-shirt, torn clothes, and his hands apparently tied behind his back in a circle. point in town with a handgun hanging around his neck. Blood appears visible next to Amanuel on the roundabout and the road. The video shows at least three Oromia special forces soldiers standing near him, two of whom carry Kalashnikov-style assault rifles. In the video, she is told to confirm her name and place of birth.

Four witnesses described how authorities ordered Amanuel to turn his head and then shot him at least twice in plain sight. A photo posted on social media appears to show Amanuel lying down, his hands still tied behind his back, slumped at the city roundabout.

After the security forces executed Amanuel, they prevented residents from approaching the body. Security force personnel brought Amanuel’s parents, whom they had detained at a local police station that morning, to the roundabout. Her mother started screaming when she saw her son’s body, and Oromia’s special forces and local police started beating her and Amanuel’s father in response. A witness said:

His mother was crying, screaming, asking to be able to bury her son. She held out her hands, saying: “Maalo, maalo” [Afaan Oromo for “please, please”]. They beat her with sticks. [His] father also asked to pick up the body. He also reached out, trying to persuade them. The mother was beaten, she fell to the ground.

The community elders eventually negotiated with the security official in the Kellem Wellega area, who eventually allowed them to recover Amanuel’s body for burial.

Journalists asked Tesema Wariyo, Kellem Wellega’s security chief, why Amanuel had not been brought to court. He replied: “Amanuel was not a suspect, but clearly an enemy, a member of OLF-Shene from the bush.” Human Rights Watch contacted the Oromia regional police commission and the security zone chief Kellem Wellega by phone, but received no response.

Since Amanuel’s murder, government authorities have intimidated and harassed residents of Dembi Dollo, including Amanuel’s family and friends. Oromia security forces arrested more than a dozen people, including Amanuel’s father, reunited at the family home mourning The death of Amanuel. The other residents have been warned not to visit the house again. While many of those arrested have since been released, Amanuel’s father remains in detention. “The case of Amanuel and his family is not unique,” ​​said one resident. “We are getting used to these killings. ”

Human rights groups and media reported numerous abuses by government security forces, including extrajudicial executions, summary executions of detainees, arbitrary arrests and say again communication cuts in western Oromia. Armed groups in the region are also reportedly removed or kill members of the minority community, police and government officials, and attacked aid workers and their vehicles.

International human rights and humanitarian law prohibits summary, extrajudicial or arbitrary executions, as well as torture and other ill-treatment of persons in detention. Ethiopia is a party to international and regional treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Geneva Conventions and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which contain special protections for children.

The government’s continued failure to properly investigate security force abuses or hold those responsible in Oromia and elsewhere in Ethiopia to account has helped perpetuate a climate that facilitates such crimes, Human Rights Watch said. The Ethiopian authorities should publicly denounce extrajudicial killings and other serious abuses committed by the Ethiopian security forces, and undertake system-wide structural reform of the security sector at the regional and federal levels.

“The Ethiopian authorities have shown nothing but contempt for the alleged atrocities instead of investigating these heinous acts,” Bader said. “The authorities should demonstrate their determination to end the abuses that have ravaged Oromia residents like Amanuel, and ensure that all those responsible, regardless of rank, are brought to justice. ”

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Business and Human Rights – Analyzing the Risks of Modern Slavery in Holding Companies: Practical Considerations for Investors Wed, 09 Jun 2021 10:46:13 +0000

In May 2021, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) published a report presenting a series of tools that investors can use to identify and address human rights risks, including the risks of modern slavery, in their portfolio companies. The report includes a sectoral analysis of modern slavery rights across four sectors – tourism, construction, food and drink, and textiles and footwear – and adds to the growing toolbox of ESG resources available to investors (see, for example, our briefing Asset managers: Controlling non-financial risks – The evolution of human rights due diligence).

The sector analysis shows that there is still a significant gap between companies’ human rights policies and their practices. Companies in certain sectors (e.g. tourism and construction) have demonstrated awareness of some key human rights concepts, including human rights due diligence, but also a general lack of appropriate integration of these concepts into corporate governance and supply chain practices. In other sectors (e.g. food and drink, textiles and footwear), there was an apparent trend of gaps between commitments to modern slavery and the risk mitigation measures adopted by parent companies. The report suggests that it is not enough that investors simply evaluate policies, codes of conduct or other commitments at face value; investors should “assess the congruence of policies and practices– which requires much more analysis.

Each sector faces its own set of human rights risks. For example, in tourism, unrealistic work targets, unfair dismissals and difficulties accessing unions are more common. In construction, precarious working conditions, human trafficking and unpredictable wages are more acute problems. In food and drink, there are increased links to child labor and exposure to chemicals and pesticides. In the textile industry, greater risks are presented by unacceptable working conditions, long hours and wages below the minimum wage (see our recent Blog post on a living wage proposal in the clothing industry). There are also lessons here beyond the four profiled sectors.

Human Rights Risks – Practical Considerations for Investor Decision Making

To help investors analyze the policies and commitments of potential portfolio companies and the congruence between state policies and practical impacts, FIDH has identified a list of cross-cutting areas that investors should pay attention to when analyzing how whose companies address the risks of modern slavery, namely:

  1. Location – Investors should analyze the locations of a company’s operations to identify high-risk countries (e.g. countries with weaker labor laws) and, in this context, assess the company’s commitments to human rights and the effectiveness of its human rights due diligence processes.
  2. Supply chains – Investors should consider whether the companies in their portfolio are mapping their supply chains, tracking commodities and disclosing data. Investors should also look for evidence showing how companies are actively trying to mitigate the risks of forced labor along the supply chain (for example, by applying company standards across the entire value chain). ).
  3. Human rights commitments – Investors need to think about how companies put in place effective measures to implement their human rights commitments and prevent and mitigate the risks of modern slavery. The report criticizes preventive and mitigation measures based exclusively on audits and certifications – “Certifications and audits should not be the only (sic) measure companies put in place to ensure that human rights are respected throughout the supply chain ”. Investors should seek to understand how companies work with suppliers on the ground to find more effective, participatory and sustainable solutions to human rights risks.
  4. Reflection on own business practices – Investors should consider whether the company reflects on its own purchasing practices and business procedures in assessing human rights impacts. This reflects the analysis of a recent report released by the American Bar Association, which proposed new standard contractual clauses to protect workers in international supply chains that incorporate factors such as human rights due diligence. people, responsible sourcing and purchasing practices and stakeholder remediation (see our Blog post).
  5. Engagement with civil society – Investors should consider whether the companies in their portfolio engage in meaningful ways with organizations that can provide support and advice (such as civil society organizations).
  6. Grievance mechanisms – Investors should consider what access to justice mechanisms are made available by their portfolio companies and ensure that complaints mechanisms are available and effective (see more in our Blog post).
  7. Ethical recruitment – Investors should look for indicators that show how companies have implemented their policies and practices on the ground as part of the recruitment process, especially if recruitment is carried out across borders.

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Human Rights – A Short History – Journal Tue, 08 Jun 2021 02:28:31 +0000

PARLIAMENT has become so incidental to our politics that we seldom notice minor but significant changes occurring in its sacred halls. It is not only because of our parties and the way they govern, even if they share a greater responsibility than the others.

Another reason is the TV channels – controversial statements, ambiguous bayans that make headlines and breaking news, and fights between politicians are now reported to us every night, seven days a week. With these daily bulletins, few are interested in the speeches made on the floor of the parliament or the clashes that take place there. (Even the parties themselves prefer those who can attend talk shows over those who can do legislative work or deliver meaningful speeches on the ground.)

As a result, parliamentary events have been reduced to bits and pieces – mostly statements – appearing in news reports, which pale in front of the shorter, spicier talk shows (with a variety of politicians). No wonder then that the star journalist of yesteryear, the reporter from the press gallery, responsible for reporting on the debates, is now replaced by the presenter of a prime-time program. It is now the latter that politicians are courting.

There is, however, another result of this transition to television – in the days of print media, the various committees of parliament provided a lot of food for hackers. Most of us have always known that even if Parliament was not in session, committee meetings meant that a nugget or two could still be found in a dusty boardroom here and there. And sometimes always more. For example, in 2010, the health secretary told a Senate health committee that relief operations for flood survivors were not possible in Jacobabad because Shehbaz air base was with the Americans. The story echoed for days in Islamabad. And in the heady days after 2008, the Public Accounts Committee, led by Chaudhry Nisar, whose vocal cords did not need rest, led the charge against Musharraf’s regime to our delight. But since then it has also become rather dull.

This time, the Ganges flows upside down but no one has an answer.

And maybe that’s why we old folks who still remember the good old days were happy with Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who allowed us a brief trip down memory lane. As the head of the Senate Human Rights Committee, he shed light on issues that touch our hearts.

He let stories echo about the people in a building that has become quite distant from the citizens he is supposed to represent. And aside from angry speeches in parliament, stories about people started in parliament and then made their way to the screen.

He brought in young students who had been accused of sedition for their sin to protest for their rights on the roads of Lahore. He invited young Baloch students who told us how they were pressured by the staff of their educational institutions. He took sticks for Sarmad Khoosat’s film, Zindagi Tamasha, when he ran into trouble with the righteous spell. Critics say he picked the issues out and left out X, Y, Z but at least A, B, C were highlighted. And in Pakistan, every little bit counts.

In all of this he was supported by the rest of the committee. Most members of the Senate Human Rights Committee seemed to be just as sensitive to these issues. But times have changed; parliament is now a secondary spectacle, and human rights have always been one.

And so it looks like we’re getting back to normal – in the dust raised by the March senatorial elections, Khokhar’s relationship with his party leadership was also a victim. Even before Senate committees were finalized, few expected him to return.

But what we weren’t expecting was that the committee would come back to the government because the PML-N traded it for defense!

Senior Senate officials say the human rights committee has traditionally gone to the opposition, while the defense goes to the government. However, this time, the Ganges flows upside down but no one has an answer.

From the PPP, Senator Sherry Rehman is the only one to have taken the trouble to give some explanations. “Lots of opposition to the PPP which holds the HR presidency in both chambers, so [chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Human Rights] was given to PML N. But after N traded it for defense directly [with] Govt, Sen Reza Rabbani and I spent all day trying to get the Govt committee back in an exchange for IPC [Interprovincial Committee] once N gave it to them. But say no.

The government is probably relieved that the committee no longer embarrasses them for its poor human rights record.

The PML-N is silent. Not a glance from them, even if asked. The party can speak eight hours a day on anything based on principles such as “vote ko izzat do” and the constitutional rights of an executive, but it has not provided any explanation for choosing defense instead. than human rights. Perhaps he will use this platform to point the guns at his favorite enemy or to emphasize his pragmatism. We don’t know, nor do we know if this exchange was a party decision or the choice of a lone ranger. Mushahid Hussain now heads the defense committee.

But to be fair, the PML-N is not alone in losing interest.

A quick glance at the channels over the weekend showed the usual debates. The rate of growth, the politics of the opposition and who said what and what that might have meant – all the usual masala was there, but little about this little side story about a Senate committee.

And it is in this silence that lies the true story of the importance of human rights to us as a people. No wonder the previous Senate committee and its proceedings turned out to be an aberration. The little story some of us will remember as the majority is fascinated by the saga of elections, establishment, growth rates and other heavy themes. Maybe the bigwigs get the feeling that once the saga ends happily forever, the news will automatically have a happy ending as well.

The writer is a journalist.

Posted in Dawn, le 8 June 2021

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Jesus College professor discourages conversations about Uyghur human rights Sat, 05 Jun 2021 18:54:00 +0000

Nolan suggested that the issues surrounding the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China are “issues that affect all countries that have any minority.”Lucas Maddalena

Content Note: This article contains a discussion of human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims

Professor Peter Nolan of Jesus College, who has financial ties to the former Chinese premier and is also the director of the College’s China Center, has discouraged discussions of human rights violations at the college, saying they are not not “useful”.

Transcripts of a private meeting, obtained by OpenDemocracy as part of their investigates Nolan and Jesus College’s relations with ChinaNolan said, warning students against holding public debates on the subject: “You must have both points of view represented,” he reportedly told the centre’s advisory committee last fall. “Otherwise, the college will be seen as a college militant for … the freedom of the Weiwu’ers [Uyghurs]. “

Nolan suggested that the issues surrounding the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China are “issues that affect all countries that have any minority.”

He continued, “It is not true that there is a homogeneous and correct view of what is happening in Xinjiang. The prevailing opinion… is that everyone knows what is going on. Not everyone knows what is going on.

The transcripts also include Nolan’s description of the “World Ughyur Association”, which he says is aimed at “regime change in China and other parts of the world.”

The College has significant financial ties to China, including a £ 200,000 grant from the Chinese government in 2018, as well as an additional £ 155,000 from Chinese tech company Huawei.

Nolan previously served as the Chong Hua Chair at the University’s Center for Development Studies. According to OpenDemocracy, it was funded by a 2012 £ 3.7million donation from the Chong Hua Foundation, which was reportedly controlled by the daughter of former Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “[Nolan] seems to be a spokesperson for the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] – and all his terrible behavior. All of these comments come directly from the Communist Party.

The College itself was also accused of “refusing to talk about these abuses against Uyghur Muslims for fear of offending” by Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat in Parliament earlier this year.

Meanwhile, college students have raised concerns about the College and Nolan’s ties to the Cambridge China Development Trust, which the UK government has confirmed runs training programs for Chinese officials, and whose Nolan is a director.

The students called on the college to “ensure real academic freedom” in light of Nolan’s comments. The College has also faced calls for full financial transparency on the College’s ties to China and Huaewi.

Responding to this survey, Nolan told OpenDemocracy, “I support Jesus College’s position that no subject is off limits to academic discussions. At a College meeting last November, a group of academics and students debated the challenges inherent in organizing balanced events on contentious topics. Since then, the China Center has hosted events covering topics such as human rights, Uyghurs, Hong Kong and the potential war with China, with speakers representing a wide range of opinions.

In a statement, Jesus College told OpenDemocracy that it is “strongly committed to the principles of free speech and academic independence.”

He added: “We fully agree with Iain Duncan Smith that no opinion should be hushed up. Our position is that no subject is off limits, as demonstrated by the range of recent events hosted by the College. It is a dark day if outside forces succeed in inhibiting the academic debate. “

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ND Human Rights Arts Festival will take place | News, Sports, Jobs Sat, 05 Jun 2021 06:30:33 +0000

Photo submitted “Sitting for Peace” by Isaiah Johns.

Photo submitted “Error of justice” by DC Houle.

The fourth annual North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival will be held June 10 through July 15 in downtown Minot.

There will be a reception on June 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Taube Museum of Art. Le Taube will host an exhibition that will showcase the work of 52 different artists from around the world, each addressing human rights, civil rights or an issue of social justice. Le Taube will host this exhibition for the second consecutive year. The festival and the reception are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. The project is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Alongside this event, the Regional Arts Council of Minot will host Arts in the city. Downtown Thursdays start at 5:30 p.m. every Thursday with craft vendors, bounce houses, and food trucks. A featured concert begins at 7 p.m. at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue.

Vanity Plate will be the group performing on June 10th.

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The violation of human rights is not complicated – The Oberlin Review Fri, 04 Jun 2021 21:01:08 +0000

At around 2 a.m. on May 21, a truce between Israel and Hamas went into effect after 11 days of fighting. The death toll was stark: at least 242 people were killed in Gaza and 13 people in Israel. This latest episode of violence erupted as a result of recent events and long-term trends, which were compounded by incompetent leadership.

If you’re an Oberlin student wondering how to affect some semblance of change on this issue, I understand you. The first part of the process depends on education. It is difficult to know which books to read, which news to follow, and more generally what to believe when the sources espouse completely different accounts. For example, last March the news reported a story about how Israel was the world leader in vaccinations. Countless press articles praised the state for its public health achievements, while few acknowledged that Palestinians in the West Bank had limited access to COVID-19 vaccines and care. When it is difficult to identify trustworthy sources of information, it is important to reach out to professors, campus religious leaders, and other students who know the issue. The worst thing we can do is do nothing at all.

Oberlin’s student activism on Israel-Palestine has at times seemed misguided. It is frustrating to see the low participation in the events organized by Students for a Free Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Oberlin branch of J Street U when there are countless infographics shared within Oberlin circles on social media. Instagram posts tend to be reductionist, sensational, and encourage slacktivism. An article defining terms like Zionism and the Occupation may be instructive, but an article on the 1967 war will fail to understand the nuance of the historical event.

It is also important that we place our own activism in the context of the national conversation. The Biden administration’s disappointing response to this recent crisis is a clear sign that we shouldn’t expect the US government to play a constructive role in the peace process at this point. No one expected the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be a high priority for the Biden administration, but few expected him to turn his back on his campaign pledge to promote a rights-centered foreign policy of man. Instead of condemning the humanitarian violations occurring in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories, President Biden stepped up his support for Israel’s right to self-defense and only called for a ceasefire afterwards. being rejected by members of his own party.

If the Biden administration were serious about protecting human rights in Israel-Palestine, it would be honest that time is running out for a two-state solution – if time remains. In order to save the possibility of a two-state solution, the annexation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank must end. The US government has a stake of $ 3.8 billion in this issue, as US tax money is used to demolish Palestinian homes, making room for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements.

One of the ways the United States can exert pressure on Israel is through the use of restrictive or conditional aid. The United States should refuse to fund specific actions that violate human rights; like the detention of Palestinian children, the demolition of Palestinian homes as a form of collective punishment, and the blockade of Gaza for anything unrelated to terrorism. The United States may also threaten to cut back on offshore purchases, which are part of the US military aid that Israel can use to boost its own economy and buy its own weapons. By threatening to reduce or completely eliminate these purchases, the United States can send a strong signal that extending the occupation is no longer a viable option for Israel if it is to continue to receive state aid. -United.

Unfortunately, while campaigning for the presidency Biden publicly stated that restricting US aid to Israel would be “absolutely scandalous”. Many Democrats in Congress agree with the president, despite a majority of Democratic voters disagreeing – a recent Gallup poll showed 53% of Democrats support increased pressure on Israel to move the peace process forward. I believe this disconnect exists due to a lack of well-funded left advocacy, in addition to widespread apathy towards the issue. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be complicated, but the violation of human rights is not. Every taxpayer in this country has an interest in this issue and should be heard by Congress.

As students, the best thing we can do on this issue is to make noise, legitimize conversations about political consequences such as restrictions on the use of aid, and keep learning. If you’re interested, Oberlin’s J Street U chapter will be having a meeting next week to debrief what happened last month and what we can do about it. Check Facebook for more details or by email [email protected]

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Human rights groups urge Ukrainian leaders to change SBU reform bill ahead of passage Fri, 04 Jun 2021 01:18:40 +0000

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and more than 20 other groups urged Ukraine’s parliament to address shortcomings in a bill to reform the country’s security services before passing it.

HRW is one of 23 civil society groups that on June 3 sent a letter to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and co-sponsors of the bill to change the “problematic” parts of the proposal, which is currently being drafted. preparing for adoption, possibly later this month.

The reform is key to helping the security service, known as the SBU, transform into an effective agency that respects and supports international human rights standards, HRW said in A press release.

But the bill contains provisions that could be detrimental to human rights, the groups said, urging Ukrainian lawmakers to address issues arising from the bill’s lack of clarity and properly defined powers and roles, and its provisions now, or in some cases, strengthening regulations that endanger human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“The current security agency reform initiative, which Ukraine’s partners and allies have long called on the government to undertake, is both necessary and long overdue,” said Hugh Williamson, director Europe and Central Asia at HRW. “But for the reform to be successful and to strengthen the rule of law in Ukraine, several key problematic aspects of the proposed law must first be addressed.”

the the groups letter said that while the reform was supposed to streamline the work of the SBU as an intelligence agency and remove law enforcement functions from its mandate, the proposed bill “expands the scope of the [SBU’s] activities beyond the protection of national security by giving the agency a broad mandate to investigate a wide variety of crimes.

SBU conducts large-scale counterterrorism exercises in Kherson region in April 2021

The letter called this “deeply problematic in light of serious and credible allegations by Ukrainian anti-corruption and human rights groups. [SBU] involvement in corruption, corporate raids and interference with anti-corruption investigations conducted by other state agencies.

The bill also retains the SBU’s powers of arrest, seizure, detention, interrogation and surveillance, without clear oversight, the letter said.

Although the bill reiterates the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment in detention, it fails to provide sufficient protections to prevent abuse in detention or to ensure due process measures requiring the SBU to ensure that ‘a detainee has a lawyer, according to the groups. who signed the letter.

The groups also point out that a provision to phase out the SBU’s preliminary investigative functions by 2024 and one allowing the agency to operate temporary detention centers until January 2023 are not supported by a clear roadmap that would ensure that these deadlines are met.

Noting that the reforms are “long overdue,” the letter encourages Ukrainian leaders not to pass up the opportunity to pass a bill that “adheres to the stated vision of limiting the role and powers of the [SBU] and which respects Ukraine’s international obligations and respects fundamental rights and freedoms. “

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