Human Rights in the News: 2018


The trial of Bosco Ntaganda for 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
In India, the supreme court decriminalized the law prohibiting same-sex marriage (Section 377). 
The International Crimes Division (ICD) has confirmed 93 charges against Thomas Kwoyelo after several delays since 2008, and it is set for the main trial. 
Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, expressed concerns of a possible attack on Idlib, Syria. Idlib is a de-escalation zone where many Syrian refugees have settled for safety. 
Pace University received appraisals by the United Nations for the disarmament education. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres stated, " Pace University plays a globally recognized leading role in disarmament education. Its Peace and Justice Studies major is among the largest undergraduate programmes in the United States of America..."
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack at the Kabul sports centre where civilians, journalist, and first responders were killed or injured. The Kabul is densely populated by the Shi'a community; in recent years, UNAMA has seen frequent attacks against this community. 
Essa M. Faal, a renowned international lawyer, has been appointed as the lead counsel to the Gambia's Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). TRRC will be looking at the misdeeds of the previous regime of President Yahya Jammeh. 
In Argentina, the Senate rejected the bill to that would decriminalize and legalize abortion. The result was two million people protested on the streets for months. 
In Mauritania, women are reluctant to report sexual assault because of the possibility of being prosecuted for charges of zina (sexual relations outside of marriage). Women experience social stigma from the community and home of any sexual relation outside of marriage. 
India has launched the National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO) due to high numbers of sexual assault in the country, The database will be accessible only to law enforcement. 
LGBTQ rights is a controversial topic right now in Cuba. President Miguel Diaz-Canel has shown his support for same-sex marriage and to eliminate discrimination. 
Religion is a very crucial part of life in Nigeria and being an atheist is very dangerous because it is considered blasphemy. However, the underground movement has been increasing among the millennials. Pro-secular organizations have been registered. 
In China, reports of a state-led ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims. One of every ten Uighur Muslim are disappearing into internment camps (concentration camps). 
In Africa, people with Albinism are being attacked for rituals. Kenya's successes on the issue are placing them as a regional leader. 
Ethiopian rime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed a peace deal in July 2018. Borders between the two nations have reopened and trooped are withdrawing. 

APRIL 2018

US President Donald Trump announced on Friday the operation against Syria, framing his decision as a fight against "evil" while saying days earlier that preventing chemical attacks is "about humanity". Trump's action against Syria, however, rings hollow to those who lived through the dangers of Iraq's chemical attacks in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. When Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to kill thousands of Iranians during the war from 1980 to 1988, not only did the US look the other way, but also "aided and abetted" Iraq in committing "war crimes", Reza Nasri, an Iran-born international law expert at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS) in Geneva. 

The mayor of the Chilean commune of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue, has implemented the country's first laws to criminalize street harassment. “We are beginning the path toward liberating public spaces in Recoleta from sexual assault,” the prominent Communist Party of Chile militant said.
Seven Myanmar military personnel convicted in a massacre of Rohingya Muslims went free in a mass amnesty, a TV station said. The report was quickly taken down. The jailing of the seven, three officers and four soldiers, was announced only on April 10, a rare admission of guilt by armed forces accused by the international community of unleashing a scorched-earth campaign in northern Rakhine State last year that compelled around 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, for Bangladesh. The United Nations has called the military campaign “ethnic cleansing.”
Iraqi women and children with perceived ties to the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) are being denied humanitarian aid and prevented from returning to their homes, with an alarming number of women subjected to sexual violence.
This report details the challenges many women and girls with disabilities face throughout the justice process in India. Access to justice is particularly difficult for women and girls with disabilities largely due to the stigma associated with their sexuality and disability. As a result, they often do not get the support they need at every stage of the justice process: reporting the abuse to police, getting appropriate medical care, and navigating the court system. As former chairwoman of the National Commission for Women, Lalitha Kumaramangalam, said in December 2015: “One of the biggest challenges for women [with disabilities] is access [to services], not just physical but access across the board.

MARCH 2018

On the occasion of the centenary of the Belarusian People's Republic, the party was overshadowed by the numerous arrests of opponents, journalists and ordinary citizens who did not want to submit to the official "scenario".


Thousands took to the streets Monday to protest three years of aggression by Saudi Arabia and its allies in a war that has been backed by several Western governments. March 26,  2018  marks the third year since a Saudi Arabia-led coalition began a series of offensive attacks on Yemen, and the Houthi rebels who ousted an unpopular government in 2015.
This report finds that despite Lebanese law bars schools from discriminating against children with disabilities, Lebanese schools exclude many children with disabilities. For those allowed to enroll, schools often lack reasonable accommodations, such as modifications to the classroom environment and curricula or teaching methods to address children’s needs. Schools also require the families of children with disabilities to pay extra fees and expenses that in effect are discriminatory.
Marielle Franco, a political rising star and human rights advocate, was killed on her way home from an event empowering black women. On the eve of her killing on a downtown street on Wednesday night, the Rio de Janeiro councilwoman suggested that the death of a young man earlier in the week had been the latest act of police brutality.
Flattening of Rohingya villages and new construction have intensified since January in areas where hundreds of thousands fled the military’s campaign of ethnic cleansing last year. New roads and structures are being built over burned Rohingya villages and land, making it even less likely for refugees to return to their homes.
The Syrian army broke apart the rebel enclave in eastern Ghouta on Sunday, cutting off two major towns from the rest of the area, state media said, after a fierce battle waged under cover of an unrelenting bombardment. More than 1,100 civilians have been killed in the onslaught on the biggest rebel stronghold near Damascus since it began three weeks ago with a withering bombardment, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
This report examines the Saudi criminal justice system and the due process violations in criminal cases involving Pakistanis. The violations include long periods of detention without charge or trial, lack of access to legal assistance, pressure on detainees to sign confessions and accept predetermined prison sentences to avoid prolonged arbitrary detention, and ineffective translation services. Some defendants reported ill-treatment and poor prison conditions.
More aggressive enforcement has led to a large drop in illegal marriages, a new report finds. But in some areas, it is still a struggle to protect children.




This report examines how recent laws allow space to discriminate against LGBT people in adoption and foster care, health care, and access to some goods and services. Human Rights Watch found that these laws fail to balance moral and religious objections to LGBT relationships and identities with the rights of LGBT people themselves.
A speech in Geneva by Iran’s minister of justice, Seyyed Alireza Avaei, who has been the subject of sanctions for his role in human rights abuses, caused diplomats to walk out. Mr. Avaei acquired a notorious reputation for the arbitrary executions of thousands of opponents. Mr. Avaei seized the opportunity to denounce what he called the domination and manipulation of international human rights mechanisms by countries like the United States and defended Iran's record, saying the government had thoroughly revised its penal code and criminal procedures to increase safeguards and rights of the accused.
This report explores the common practice of Mexican migration authorities routinely turning back thousands of people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to their countries without considering the risk to their life and security upon return, in many cases violating the international and domestic law by doing so.
This report examines how prisoners with disabilities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, are at serious risk of bullying, harassment, violence, and abuse from fellow prisoners and staff. Prisoners with psycho-social disabilities – mental health conditions – or cognitive disabilities, in particular, can spend days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years locked up alone in detention or safety units. 
Ethiopia will release 746 more prisoners, including a journalist and a senior opposition official who was jailed for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. The decision is a result of the government trying to reduce tension in the nation, which has experienced civil unrest since 2015.
Health care and sanitation facilities in Gaza are running low on fuel and need outside support, warns the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The UN office says at least $6.5 million worth of emergency fuel is needed this year.