Archive for August 17th, 2012


Egypt: Religious Scholar’s ‘Fatwa’ against Protesters Sparks Outrage

Human Wrongs Watch

By Shahira Amin*

Cairo, 17 August – A controversial ‘fatwa’ issued by a prominent Muslim cleric sanctioning violence against anti-Muslim Brotherhood activists planning demonstrations in Cairo on 24 August, has sent shockwaves throughout Egyptian society, triggering public outcry and angry denunciations by political activists and rights groups.

**Mohamed Morsi | Jonathan Rashad

The ‘fatwa’ [a non-binding juristic ruling by Islamic scholars] comes at a time of increasing fears of an Islamist crackdown on freedom of expression as well as reports of physical assaults against journalists critical of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Speaking at a seminar at the Diplomatic Club in downtown Cairo on Tuesday [14 August], Shiekh Hashem Islam, a member of the Fatwa Committee of Al Azhar —  Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, told a gathering of intellectuals, activists, civil society members and journalists that it was a “religious duty” to fight protesters planning to rally against the Muslim Brotherhood next week outside of the presidential palace.

read more »


Greece, ‘Unsafe’ for Migrants

By IRIN* – Human rights groups have condemned recent police crackdowns in Greece on undocumented migrants, inhumane detention conditions, and hate crimes committed with impunity.

**Photo: Rafael Alvez/Flickr. Greek police treatment of migrants under scrutiny.

The Greek authorities began a crackdown on irregular migrants in the capital, Athens, in early August, when the Hellenic Police – the Greek police force – arrested 7,754 migrants, 1,656 of whom were taken to detention centres for being in the country illegally.

“Greece has the right to enforce its immigration laws and after a fair process, to deport people with no legal basis to stay in the country,” said Benjamin Ward, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch.

“But it doesn’t have the right to treat people like criminals, or to presume irregular immigration status just because of their race or ethnicity.”

read more »


Philippines: Breast Milk Bank for the Poor

Human Wrongs Watch

By IRIN*, Manila, – The Philippine government’s state-run breast milk bank is intensifying collection efforts to boost breastfeeding among the poor and help women return to work immediately after giving birth if they want to do so.

Photo: Jason Gutierrez/IRIN. A mother breastfeeds one of her twin babies at Jose Fabella Medical Hospital

Hundreds of women come to have their babies at the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, the busiest maternity institution in Manila, the capital, where more than 12 million people live.

Many women are barely able to afford even the minimal payment, and to help cover their costs some of them donate breast milk to the hospital’s milk bank, which is used to feed babies whose mothers have lactation problems.

Esmeraldo Ilem, head of the hospital’s family planning unit, said the milk is also sold at up to US$10 for four litres to other hospitals and individuals, with mothers as a first priority.

read more »


‘Stop Forced Displacement of Palestinians’ – UN to Israel

The UN expressed “serious concern” over Palestinians living in the southern Hebron Hills region who have been “forced to leave their houses after Israeli authorities designated the area as a fire zone for military training.”

A woman and her children collect firewood and paper for baking bread in Ezbet Abd Rabbo. Photo: Shareef Sarhan.

“These are already some of the most vulnerable families in the West Bank – forcibly displacing them from their homes and lands would have a serious immediate and long-term impact on their physical, socio-economic and emotional welfare” said on 16 August the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory Maxwell Gaylard.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: