Archive for December 31st, 2011

31/12/2011

UN Voices Alarm at Egyptian Military Junta’s Raids on NGOs

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – The UN human rights office voiced alarm at reports that the Egyptian military has carried out raids against the offices of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in what would be the first documented incidents of their kind in the country’s recent history.

Egyptians demanding that ruling Military hand over to civilians | Credit: UN

According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Egyptian soldiers attacked the offices of several NGOs on Dec. 29, 2011 in Cairo. The soldiers forced their way in, blocking entrances and exits, and seized computers and files. In some cases, employees had their mobile telephones confiscated.”

Frej Fenniche, chief of OHCHR’s Middle Eastern and North Africa office, said it was the first time his office had heard of a similar raid being carried out against NGOs, noting that “such events had not occurred even under the regime of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.”

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31/12/2011

Deadly Racism in Italy

Human Wrongs Watch

By Paola Valeri*

Rome -“They expected that we were all dead, but we are still alive.” Silvano Sarti talks through a bullhorn to the people gathered in Dalmazia square, in Florence.

National demonstration against racism in Italy © Raluca Tudor | Dreamstime.com

The day before, Dec 13, an Italian man, member of the fascist group Casa Pond, shot dead Samb Modou and Diop Mor, two Senegalese pedlars who were selling their goods in a market. After the shooting, the murderer fled and committed suicide as police cornered him.

Silvano, 86 years old, was a partisan during the Second World War and he is now the president of the Florence section of ANPI (National Association of Italian Partisans).

In his speech, Silvano reminded the protesters that today’s fascists are the same as those he fought 60 years ago–criminals and racists. He also reaffirmed that the partisans are vigilant and ready to defend the Italian institutions born from the antifascist fight in the war.

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31/12/2011

It’s War in South Sudan

Human Wrongs Watch

Nairobi – South Sudan -the world’s newest country– now faces the danger of a wide-spreading “inter-ethnic” war after increasing armed clashes between two major tribes that took around one thousand lives so far.

UN peacekeepers deployed in Jonglei | Credit: UN

During the last days of December 2011, UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) deployed a battalion of troops in the town of Pibor in Jonglei state, “which is under imminent attack by an estimated 6,000 armed men from one of two feuding communities in the area.”

The situation in Jonglei is very worrying,” said Lise Grande, the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan said. “There are 6,000 armed youth from one of the Jonglei tribes, the Lou Nuer, that is marching on the town of Pibor where another community, the Murle community, are concentrated.”

Jonglei state has been blighted by a series of reprisal attacks between the two communities, which have a history of animosity over grazing land, water sources and cattle raids during which women and children are often abducted.

More than 1,000 people are estimated to have been killed in ethnic clashes in 2011, with Jonglei one of the states worst affected by the violence. Thousands more civilians have been displaced from their homes.

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