Archive for ‘War Lords’

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).

11/10/2014

Lack of Funds in What Could Be “Afghanistan’s Bloodiest Year”

Human Wrongs Watch

Dubai, 10 October 2014 (IRIN)* –The World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a US$40 million deficit for its Afghanistan programmes, as aid agencies fear that foreign troop withdrawal will lead to decreasing budgets for humanitarian action. 

WFP has already decreased the size of food packages for hundreds of thousands of people and the agency’s country head said that without more support they will have to take “dramatic” measures, which could including stopping assistance altogether for some groups.

US-led foreign troops are due to cease combat operations as part of their staggered withdrawal at the end of 2014, though thousands of troops will remain in the country in other capacities.

06/10/2014

Cash Grants Transform Life in Congo Camp for Central African Republic Refugees, But…

 Human Wrongs Watch

By Céline Schmitt in Mole Refugee Camp, Democratic Republic of the Congo (UNHCR)*  The market in Mole refugee camp was buzzing on a recent Saturday morning, with stalls selling everything from fish, goat meat, cassava and vegetables to clothes, cosmetics, household items and electronic equipment.

© UNHCR/B.Sokol | A refugee from Central African Republic checks the money she received for four people during a cash grant distribution in Mole camp, northern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

© UNHCR/B.Sokol | A refugee from Central African Republic checks the money she received for four people during a cash grant distribution in Mole camp, northern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Just two months earlier, the place had been half empty. That all changed when the World Food Programme (WFP) decided to end food distributions and introduced cash grants for the 13,000 refugees from Central African Republic, transforming life in Mole in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“Food distribution was always chaotic; some food was missing. Now [with the grants], everyone receives their cash without any problem,” noted Patrick N’Gocko, a 25-year-old refugee representative. The funds are distributed by UNHCR.

04/10/2014

South Sudan –the Youngest State on Earth– at a Crossroad

Human Wrongs Watch 

By Stephen Graham, Nairobi, 2 October 2014 (IRIN)* – The failure of peace talks and the end of South Sudan’s wet season could unleash fresh fighting between government forces and rebel factions, propelling millions of people in the world’s youngest nation back towards a man-made famine, analysts and humanitarian workers warn.

Surging violence would roil plans by the UN and humanitarian partners to use the dry season to patch up roads and other infrastructure and pre-position critical supplies before the meagre returns from the current disrupted harvest run out in early 2015. The rains usually begin to ease by late October.

“It is going to be a combination of a quieter environment for the people of this country, plus the continuation of a large aid operation, that will help people get through the dry season,” Toby Lanzer, the UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, told IRIN. “If either of those two are absent, disaster will occur.”

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