Archive for ‘Middle East’


Morocco: The Forgotten Frontline of the Migrant Crisis

Human Wrongs Watch

Morocco has become a choke point for sub-Saharan African migrants aiming to reach Europe, pinched by the Moroccan and Spanish governments working together to halt the flow across the Mediterranean. In this multimedia special, IRIN talks to the migrants determined to cross, playing cat-and-mouse with the authorities, and explores Morocco’s role as outsourced “Gendarme” for Europe.
Source: IRIN

Source: IRIN

By Obinna Anyadike*

29 Juy 2015 (IRIN)* – It’s late afternoon on the forested slopes of Mount Selouane. In single file or knots of friends, young West African men are trudging down the hillside to the dusty, dishevelled outskirts of the Moroccan village of Shadia.


Human Trafficking — Labour Migration: The Dark Side of the Coin

Human Wrongs Watch

A new International Labour Organization (ILO) study exposes the pitfalls of labour migration for women domestic workers both within India and abroad and provides policy-makers and service providers with deeper insight into the nature of forced labour and trafficking in the region.

© B. Patel / ILO

© B. Patel / ILO

New Delhi, 29 July 2015 –  (ILO)* – Jameela, a 50-year old Indian woman, needed money to support her family. She didn’t think she would find much, if any, funds close to home.

She got in touch with an agent who arranged for her to leave Mallapuram, Kerala in southwest India to work abroad.

Upon leaving India, she, like many female labour migrants, had only a very minimal understanding of the working conditions at her destination. It didn’t turn out as she had hoped.


IS: Neither Islamic nor State, But Is It a Caliphate?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Mamoon Alabbasi*

27 July 2015, Middle East Eye – Observers argue that IS is neither Islamic nor a state, but what legacy would it have as a ‘caliphate’ compared to some of its predecessors?

An Islamic astronomical instrument (from the book cover of ‘The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization,’ written by Jonathan Lyons) | Source: Middle East Eye

Militants who named their group the Islamic State (IS), after capturing territory in Iraq and Syria, have had their brand challenged on two fronts: they are seen as neither Islamic nor a state.

Mainstream Islamic scholars have lashed out at the militant group’s use of religious terminology, seeking to refute its claims to faith by contrasting them to traditional practices of the Prophet Mohamed as well as placing theological references in historical context.


‘Libya is McDonalds for US’: How Gaddafi’s ‘Pro-democracy’ Son Stood Up against the West

Human Wrongs Watch

29 July 2015 (RT)* – Once hailed by the West as a ‘proponent of change,’ the son of Libya’s slain leader Muammar Gaddafi has been sentenced to death by the self-proclaimed government in Tripoli. RT looks back at Saif Gaddafi’s life and interviews.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to capital punishment in absentia on Tuesday along with several other members of the country’s former government.

The trial, which lasted just two days, was conducted in Tripoli by an unrecognized Islamist government that came to power after forcing the rival government out of the Libyan capital.

A militia group from the town of Zintan is currently holding Saif and it’s unclear if the group will agree to give him up in order for the death sentence to be carried out.

Despite never having occupied any official positions in the Libyan government, Saif was the second most recognized person in the country and persistently denied claims that he was his father’s most likely successor.


Middle East’s Largest Camp Turns Three as Syrian Refugees in Region Top Four Million

Human Wrongs Watch

Living conditions for more than half a million refugees living in Jordan is becoming increasingly tough, the United Nations refugee agency on 28 July 2015 warned on the eve of the third anniversary of the establishment of Za’atari camp, which has grown into the largest refugee camp in the Middle East.

View over Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan housing over 80,000 Syrian Refugees, which will on 29 July 2015, mark three years since it was set up. Photo: UNHCR/C. Herwig

“Lines of tents that housed the first refugees to arrive in Za’atari have now been replaced by prefabricated shelters,” the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a press release, but “more than half the population are children, presenting challenges not just on how to provide schooling and restore abruptly halted educations in Syria, but also in investing for the future.”


Israel Sees Nazism in Mirror it Mistakes for Window

Human Wrongs Watch

By David Swanson* 

27 July 2015 – Israel is trying to expel the population of a village for the crime of not being Jewish, the same crime for which Israel bombs the people of Gaza for a month or so every few years and blockades them in between these bursts of violence.

Jewish settlers attacking Palestinian lady. Palestine. Photo from Middle East Monitor.

Jewish settlers attacking Palestinian lady as Israeli soldiers look passively. Palestine. Photo from Middle East Monitor. || TRANSCEND Media Service

Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee declares that making peace with Iran amounts to marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.”

Guess which of the two stories will get more coverage!

A crime of over 70 years ago, part of a war that in my unscientific estimate forms the single most common theme of U.S. historical fiction — whether print or film — is more important news in the view of U.S. editors than is a crime of right now.


‘Paralyzing’ Funding Gap Forces Shutdown of 80% of Frontline Health Services in Iraq – UN

Human Wrongs Watch

The top United Nations humanitarian official in Iraq on 27 July 2015 declared as “devastating” the “inexplicable” closures of life-saving services in Iraq for people in need, citing the most recent shut-downs of basic health care will directly impact more than one million people, including some 500,000 children who now will not be immunized, spreading risk of a measles outbreak and resumption of polio.

Polio vaccination campaign in Iraq – August 2014. Photo: UNAMI

The most recent cutbacks come on top of recent “cascading” closures that has affected food rations, water supplies, sanitation and hygiene services as well specialized programmes for one million women and more than 1.2 million girls, many of whom the survivors of brutality and sexual and gender-based violence, according to a press release by UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande.


Study: Restrictions on Refugee Healthcare Cost More than Free Access to Services

Human Wrongs Watch

* by Nicole Sagener

Translated by Erika Körner

28 July 2015 – Asylum seekers in Germany only have limited access to medical care, an attempt by the state to keep costs low, but a new study shows health-related costs are much lower when refugees can freely access health services. EurActiv Germany reports.

[PROSave the Children/Flickr] | Source: EurActiv

**Photo: [PROSave the Children/Flickr] | Source: EurActiv

In most of the German Länder, asylum seekers are not allowed to go directly to doctors when they are in pain or call an ambulance after an accident. Instead, they are required to get a permit first from the appropriate authorities or the refugee centre.

This procedure is regulated by the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act of 1993. The goal of the law is to keep health-related spending low and limit incentives for asylum seekers in Germany.


Radically New Context for Water and Food Security – Report

Human Wrongs Watch

16 July 2015, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)* – Water resources are scarce in relation to a booming demand, and their availability varies significantly. Global warming means changes in precipitation patterns with prolonged periods of extremes. Droughts that last for years represent society’s new normal.

Food Waste

Source: SIWI

Together with continuous demographic change and shifts in food habits, a radically new context for water and food security and human dignity has evolved. Unexpected and unwanted paradoxes have to be recognized and managed.

We live in a richer, fatter world. Supported by official statistics and results from frontline research, the report Water, Food Security and Human Dignity shows that the increase in global food supply was about 30 per cent higher than population growth during recent decades.

Undernourishment has been reduced drastically. On the other hand, overweight and obesity increased far more rapidly as compared to the reduction of undernourishment.


The Need for a New Economic System – PART II: Entropy and Economics

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*


Part I (Limits to Growth) of this series of articles documented the world’s urgent need for a reformed economic system. Here are a few more links that underline the pressing need for change.

**Global energy potential. Comparison of renewable and conventional planetary energy reserves and sources. While renewables display their power potential in terawatts (TW) with the corresponding annual amount of energy, conventional sources display their total recoverable energy reserves in terawatt-years (TW-yr). | Author: Rfassbind | Wikimedia Commons

**Global energy potential. Comparison of renewable and conventional planetary energy reserves and sources. While renewables display their power potential in terawatts (TW) with the corresponding annual amount of energy, conventional sources display their total recoverable energy reserves in terawatt-years (TW-yr). | Author: Rfassbind | Wikimedia Commons

We urgently need to shift quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy if we are to avoid a tipping point after which human efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change will be futile because feedback loops will have taken over.


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