Archive for June 29th, 2012

29/06/2012

Sudan – Arab Spring or Just More Repression?

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations human rights chief called on the Sudanese authorities to ensure that protests planned for Friday 29 June are allowed to proceed peacefully, without security forces resorting to violent measures and mass arrests as was seen in recent weeks.

*Sudan President Omar al-Bashir. Photo Credit: Prince jasim ali

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, noted that dozens of individuals, including human rights defenders, journalists, students and political opponents, have been arrested since the protests began in the capital, Khartoum, on 17 June, the UN reports.
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“I urge the Government to immediately and unconditionally release those who have been detained for merely exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression. Reports of ill treatment in detention are very worrying and must be investigated promptly,” she added in a news release.

“Tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition and other heavy-handed suppression will not resolve the frustrations and grievances of the people regarding shortcomings in their enjoyment of economic, social, civil and political rights,” Pillay said.

29/06/2012

UN to Israel: ‘Stop Tearing Down Palestinian Homes… Now’

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories demanded that Israel immediately stop tearing down Palestinian homes, noting that the number of people affected by the demolition of Palestinian buildings has risen by 87 per cent compared to last year.
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Israeli settlement viewed from the Um-al-Kher bedouin community in the West Bank | Photo: OCHA

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“Already this year, Israeli authorities have demolished over 330 Palestinian structures, including homes, animal shelters, water cisterns and roads,” Richard Falk, said in a news releaseHe stressed that half of the 536 Palestinians who have been displaced in 2012 are children, noting that “such demolitions amount to violations against 2,100 Palestinians,” the UN reports.
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Falk described as “deeply troubling” the situation in the West Bank community of Susiya, where over 160 Palestinians, including 120 children, will be forcibly displaced if the demolition orders are executed by Israel.
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29/06/2012

Egypt: Military Junta Seizes More Powers

By Andrew Friedman*, Think Africa Press – After all of the legal and electoral wrangling, Egypt has produced its first democratically-elected president. On June 25, Mohammed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, moved into the office that Hosni Mubarak previously occupied, where he will serve as the transitioning country’s head of state.

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Celebrating Morsi’s victory. Photograph by Lorenz Khazaleh. Source: Thinks Africa Press

One of the major worries of analysts and scholars alike throughout the electoral process was the lack of a defined role for the president.

Based on the barebones format of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ (SCAF) Constitutional Declaration of March 2011, it was difficult to know what an Egyptian president would actually be able to do.

In response to this concern, on June 17, 2012, SCAF issued an addendum to the original constitutional declaration that did a great deal to clarify the powers of the office of president.

While it was important for the progress of the burgeoning democracy that these powers are spelled out, the particular clarifications that were offered have been met with extraordinary criticism.

29/06/2012

Syria – 10.000 Killed; 100.000 Uprooted; 850.000 Affected… and the World Just Watching

The United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and some 100,000 uprooted, living as refugees in neighboring countries.
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Members of a Syrian family register as refugees in northern Lebanon. Photo: UNHCR/F.Juez

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To have this dramatic situation, the UN humanitarian agencies and their partners appealed for $193 million to help the growing number of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, the UN reports.
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“The Governments and host communities of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have shown tremendous generosity and hospitality to Syrian refugees,” said Panos Moumtzis of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
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