Archive for ‘War Lords’

24/10/2014

Right to Online Privacy at Risk as Governments Engage in Mass Surveillance – Counter-terrorism Expert

Human Wrongs Watch

States must be transparent about the nature of their electronic mass surveillance programmes, an independent United Nations counter-terrorism expert said on 23 October 2014 as he warned about the impact such measures might have on individuals’ right to privacy.

Slide from a 2008 NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing a world map with the locations of XKeyscore servers | Author: (US) National Security Agency | Wikimedia Commons

**Slide from an NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing a world map with the locations of XKeyscore servers | Date: 29 January 2014 | Author: National Security Agency | Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

“States need to squarely confront the fact that mass surveillance programmes effectively do away with the right to online privacy altogether,” Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, told the General Assembly body dealing with cultural, social and humanitarian issues (Third Committee) during the presentation his latest report.*

22/10/2014

The “Complex Web” of Violations of Economic, Social, Cultural and Political Rights Requires Human Rights-based Solutions

Human Wrongs Watch

At the root of crises confronted by the United Nations usually lies a “complex web” of violations of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights requiring solutions that can only come from more emphatic and comprehensive protections, the Organization’s top human rights official said on 22 October 2014.

In Khanke village, Iraq Kurdistan Region, children from the Yazidi minority eat a meal of rice and tomato stew for lunch. Photo: UNHCR/N. Colt

In Khanke village, Iraq Kurdistan Region, children from the Yazidi minority eat a meal of rice and tomato stew for lunch. Photo: UNHCR/N. Colt

Addressing the General Assembly’s main body dealing with social, humanitarian, and cultural issues (Third Committee), UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said the world is currently facing “deepening turmoil” amid “biting constraints” of funding.

22/10/2014

‘Growing Use of Drones in Law Enforcement Risks Infringing Upon Human Rights’

Human Wrongs Watch

The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned on 22 October 2014.

A US Air Force RQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. Photo: US Department of Defense/James L. Harper Jr. | Source" UN News Centre

A US Air Force RQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. Photo: US Department of Defense/James L. Harper Jr. | Source” UN News Centre

In presenting his report on the use of armed drones within law enforcement to the General Assembly body that deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues (Third Committee), Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, stressed that such mechanized systems, controlled by a human from a distance, “can hardly do what police officers are supposed to do” such as using the minimum force required by the circumstances and assisting those who need help.*

22/10/2014

‘There Is a Clear Connection between Torture, Ill-treatment and Corruption’ – UN Rights Expert

Human Wrongs Watch

The incidences of torture and ill-treatment around the world have not been diminishing and the need for effective prevention is “as great as it ever has been,” a United Nations human rights expert on 21 October 2014 said as he urged Member States to do more to tackle domestic corruption in order to prevent such episodes of abuses.

A mother and her children at a detention centre in Greece. Photo: UNHCR/J.Björgvinsson

A mother and her children at a detention centre in Greece. Photo: UNHCR/J.Björgvinsson

“There is a clear connection between torture, ill-treatment and corrupt practices,” the chairperson of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT), Malcolm Evans said as he presented the SPT’s annual report to the General Assembly’s main body dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural issues (Third Committee) in New York.

“Effective torture prevention must tackle corrupt practices too,” he added.

22/10/2014

‘Clock Is Ticking’ for War-Ravaged Gaza; Promises on Rebuilding Must ‘Quickly Materialize’

Human Wrongs Watch

On the heels of last week’s visit to Gaza, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 21 October 2014 told the Security Council today that promises made at a recent donor conference on rebuilding the war-ravaged enclave must “quickly materialize” into concrete assistance on the ground, especially as winter approaches.

UNRWA estimates around 17,000 destroyed or damaged homes, rendering 100,000 people homeless in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarhan

UNRWA estimates around 17,000 destroyed or damaged homes, rendering 100,000 people homeless in Gaza. Photo: UNRWA Archives/Shareef Sarah

“Nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed in Gaza. I saw mile after mile of wholesale destruction,” Ban recalled as he briefed the 15-member body on his first visit to Gaza since this past summer’s conflict.*

18/10/2014

Syria — Life Through a Lens: Photography Workshop Helps Young Refugees See Their World with Fresh Eyes

In Syria, they witnessed humanity at its worst. Now, through photography, young refugees look at their world with fresh eyes.

Written by Charlie Dunmore, Friday 17 October 2014 (UNHCR)* 

credit="UNHCR" tweet="Photography workshops at Za'atari camp give young Syria'n refugees a way to share their world. #SeeWhatISee"

Khaled, 17, photographed another young refugee taking a photograph.

More than half of the 3 million people driven into exile by the conflict in Syria are children. Haunted by violence and loss, they have also been deprived of a voice.

At Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, a UNHCR workshop entitled “Do You See What I See” has been giving young refugees the chance to explore their world through photography and share it with others.

Equipped with digital cameras and the boundless energy of youth, they have been producing images that reveal the fears and hopes, loss and longing of their lives in exile.

In this short video, Waleed, 14, and other students in the workshop say what photography means to them. UNHCR/W.Al-Jawahiry

Photojournalist and workshop leader Brendan Bannon says at the heart of the project are stories, conjured from memory or imagination and recorded in pictures and captions. Five of the students share their stories here, providing a glimpse of the world as seen through their eyes.

14/10/2014

ISIS: Negotiation, Not Bombing

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*, 13 Oct 2014 – TRANSCEND Media Service —  More senseless bombing of Muslims, more defeats for USA-West, more ISIS-type movements, more West-Islam polarization. Any way out?.

**Photo: An American F/A-18C Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush prior to the launch of operations over Iraq | Author: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Margaret Keith | Date: 7 August 2014 | Wikimedia Commons

**Photo: An American F/A-18C Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush prior to the launch of operations over Iraq | Author: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Margaret Keith | Wikimedia Commons

ISIS, Islamic State in Iraq-Syria, appeals to a Longing for the Caliphate” writes Farhang Johanpour in an IPS column. For the Ottoman Caliphate with the Sultan as Caliph–the Shadow of God on Earth–after the 1516-17 victories all over till the collapse of both Empire and Caliphate in 1922, at the hands of the allies England-France-Russia.

Imagine the collapse of the Vatican, not Catholic Christianity, at the hands of somebody, Protestant or Orthodox Christians, meaning Anglo-Americans or Russians, or Muslims. A center in this world for the transition to the next, headed by a Pope, the apostolic successor to The Holy Spirit, an emanation of God in Heaven. Imagine it gone.

And imagine that they who had brought about the collapse had a tendency to bomb, invade, conquer, dominate Catholic countries, one after the other, like after 2 Bush wars in Afghanistan-Iraq, 5 Obama wars in Pakistan-Yemen-Somalia-Libya-Syria, and “special operations”. Would we not predict [1] a longing for the Vatican, and [2] an extreme hatred of the perpetrators? Fortunately, it did not happen.

14/10/2014

Rescuing Migrants in the Sea — Tunisian Fishermen Unlikely Heroes

Human Wrongs Watch

Tunis, 14 October 2014 (IRIN)* – In Zarzis, a small port city of some 70,000 in southeastern Tunisia, fishermen plying the Mediterranean have become inadvertent saviours, rescuing boatloads of illegal migrants to Europe setting out from the shores of Libya. 
.

Ahmed is one of them. He squints in the bright light as fishing boats with names scrawled in Arabic across their sterns bob gently around him. He sits on a pile of nets, his broad woven mdhalla hat angled back on his head, while in the distance, large cargo ships sit docked in a nearby commercial port.

On their two to three day fishing trips Ahmed and his colleagues often come across boats full of migrants who have been set adrift by smugglers in boats with little fuel or whose motors break down.

“With no government left in Libya, there’s plenty of harraga [burners],” he said, using the local word for illegal migrants. Too often, he said, fishing trips have to be cut short to drag the harraga to shore.

13/10/2014

“Media Reporting on Migration Rarely Includes Voices of Migrants”

Human Wrongs Watch

New York, 13 October 2014 (IFAD)* – News coverage of two of the world’s biggest migration stories in recent months rarely included the voices and stories of migrants themselves, according to a report funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and presented at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Friday, 10 October at a media briefing entitled “Food + Migration: Untold stories”. Those missing voices could be sounding an alarm about an impending food crisis.

Zimbabwean migrants at a temporary shelter in South Africa. Photo: Guy Oliver/IRIN

Zimbabwean migrants at a temporary shelter in South Africa. Photo: Guy Oliver/IRIN

The report, prepared by Sam Dubberley, a fellow of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, looks at how 19 large global and regional news organizations covered issues related to migration and, in particular, food security and agriculture and how it impacted on migration.

It focuses on two stories that made headlines over the summer of 2014 – the US/Mexico border crisis and the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, which created a large numbers of migrants.

12/10/2014

A Guide to Turkey’s Politics and the PKK

Human Wrongs Watch

By Alex MacDonald, 11 October 2014 (Middle East Eye)*

As violence between the PKK and Islamic State continues in Kobane, the different players in the long running Turkey-PKK conflict examine their options.

**Scene from an anti-PKK demonstration in Kadıköy, İstanbul, on 22 October 2007. | Author: QuartierLatin1968 | Wikimedia Commons

**Scene from an anti-PKK demonstration in Kadıköy, İstanbul, on 22 October 2007. | Author: QuartierLatin1968 | Wikimedia Commons

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK)

The Kurdistan Workers Party are a group of armed guerrilla fighters who historically aimed to create an autonomous Kurdistan region in part of Turkey.

Founded in 1978, the group have fought a bloody war with the Turkish state which has cost over 40,000 lives and are classified as a terrorist organisation by the US, EU and NATO.

Led by Abdullah Ocalan, who has been in prison since 1999 after being captured by the CIA, the party has in recent years moved away from Marxist-Leninism and the goal of an independent state and has moved towards what Ocalan has termed ‘Democratic Confederalism’ inspired by the writings of American anarchist theorist Murray Bookchin (whom Ocalan read avidly while in prison in Turkey).

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