|A Conversation About Wikileaks |
Source: Amnesty International
Amnesty International asks and answers questions about some of
the human rights issues at stake in the current international controversy
over the Wikileaks. The discussion ranges from freedom of expression
issues to the legitimacy of governments seeking to keep their diplomatic
discussions confidential when they perceive it to be in their national
Obama’s Changing View of Gay
President Obama has signaled that his
position favoring civil unions over gay marriage is not fixed. A
declaration from a sitting president in support of gay marriage could
fundamentally alter the national debate as well as provide cover to other
politicians as they decide which way to vote on bills permitting gay
couples to wed.
|Emergency Decree Lifted in Thailand|
Source: Bangkok Post
On December 21, 2010, the Thai government lifted the emergency decree which was put in place in response to the political riots earlier this year. Thailand now seeks to release red shirts jailed for minor offenses on bail. The Internal Security Act will replace the decree.
China Imprisons Ethnic Activist
Reports confirm that Ablikim Abdiriyim, a Uighur activist, is
being held and tortured in a Xinjiang prison. He has been held in
solitary confinement since November 3rd and his health has suffered as a
result. This news comes a year after the disappearance of Uighur
asylum-seekers who were deported to China.
Targets Violence Against Women
has passed a law increasing the punishment for the murder of women by
their spouses or intimate partners. President Sebastian
Piñera hailed the Femicide Law as a step in the right direction for
a country where one in three women has been a victim of domestic violence.
Cases Overwhelm Argentina
system is struggling with a flood of cases stemming from the
country’s military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. The
cases were introduced after defendants were stripped of immunity for
committing human rights abuses. However, courts have been slowed by
the death of some witnesses and the need to try roughly 1,000 defendants.
|Gays Victimized in Uganda|
Source: The Washington Post
Recently, a new
law was introduced in the Ugandan Parliament defining homosexuality as a
crime against human nature. The law imposes stiff penalties on
homosexuals as well as people who fail to report the offenders.
Additionally, physical violence against homosexuals in Uganda has recently
International Criminal Court (I.C.C.)
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the Court to issue summonses for six
Kenyan politicians. They are charged with instigating ethnic-based
violence following the disputed election in Kenya in late 2007. The
I.C.C. took up the case following Kenyan authorities’ refusal to
seek justice for victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
Concerned Over Extradition|
Source: B.B.C. News
Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, expressed concern over a possible extradition to the United States. Extradition would become an issue if the United States formally charges Mr. Assange with espionage for leaking thousands of classified diplomatic documents via his website.
Practices Criticized By E.U.
The European Union's
Fundamental Rights Agency reprimanded the Czech Republic because of its
use of phallometric tests to determine if asylum applicants are
homosexual. The report by the E.U. called the test, which measures a
male's reaction to heterosexual material, as "an intrusive
examination" and also questioned its reliability.
|Jailed Activist Begins Hunger Strike
Source: Khaleej Times
The U.N. expressed concern over the hunger strikes of jailed
human rights activists in Iran. Student Peace Prize nominee, Bahareh
Hedayat, is serving nine and a half years for anti-state propaganda.
Similarly, a journalist who was jailed earlier this month has been
transferred to a hospital after his condition worsened following his
Christians in Iraq have been the targets of
recent attacks, including an attack on a Catholic church in which forty
people were killed. Amnesty International urges the government of
Iraq to do more to protect Christians in the country, especially around
Christmas time, when attacks against Christians are anticipated to
|Children’s Rights in Afghanistan
Source: Kabul Press
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has recently
reported on violations of children’s rights, citing the
country’s political instability and society’s lack of
awareness. The commission recommends that the government take
greater notice of children’s rights by advocating child protection
mechanisms and implementing laws and policies.
are praising a recent government step towards protecting lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (L.G.B.T.) rights in Mongolia. Officials
discussed L.G.B.T. issues at the U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in
November for the country’s first Universal Periodic Review.
Discrimination against sexual minorities is widespread in Mongolia and has
even forced people to seek asylum.