Archive for April 18th, 2013

18/04/2013

US: Bipartisan Study Shows Need to Investigate Torture

Human Wrongs Watch

By Human Rights Watch* – A bipartisan study finding “indisputable” evidence of torture for which the highest United States officials bear responsibility should spur the US government to thoroughly investigate detainee abuse since September 11, 2001, and provide redress to victims.

**Bush with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Shanghai, October 21, 2001| Credit: www.kremlin.ru. | Presidential Press and Information Office  Source: http://www.kremlin.ru/events/photos/2001/10/39973.shtml | Wikimedia Commons

**Bush with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Shanghai, October 21, 2001| Credit: http://www.kremlin.ru. | Wikimedia Commons

The 560-page study, “The Report of the Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment,” released on April 16, 2013, is the product of a two-year study based on evidence in the public record.

It was conducted by a bipartisan task force assembled by The Constitution Project, a public interest organization.

Task force members came from a broad range of ideological perspectives and professions, and include both former Republican and Democratic policymakers and members of Congress, retired generals, judges, lawyers, and academics.

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18/04/2013

"The Polluted Paradise" – A Toxic Fairytale

Human Wrongs Watch

By Ashov Birry*, Greenpeace – Let me tell you a story of a polluted paradise. We used to call it ‘Parahyangan’ or the place where the Gods and Goddesses resided. The river that passes through it stretches 270 km from the Wayang Mountain to the Java Sea, giving life along its course.

Lake Citarum at Mount Wayang, the source of the Citarum river. © Andri Tambunan / Greenpeace

Lake Citarum at Mount Wayang, the source of the Citarum river. © Andri Tambunan / Greenpeace

We call it the Citarum River. Ci and Tarum, “Ci” is water, and “Tarum” or indigo is a plant of the pea family that was widely cultivated over a century ago as a source of dark blue dye.

It is also linked to the ‘Tarumanagara’ Kingdom, one of the country’s oldest Kingdoms, once victorious on the outskirts of the Citarum River. Today, millions of people depend on the river and surrounding area for agricultural and domestic use.

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18/04/2013

Security Council Spends One Day to Urge Measures Against Rape in War Zones

Human Wrongs Watch

Conflict-related sexual violence, horrific in itself, is also an impediment to national reconciliation and development, top United Nations officials told the Security Council at the start of a day-long debate on 17 April 2013 , urging increased political and financial pressure on those who commit, command or condone sexual violence in war zones*.

Internally displaced people in the Central African Republic. Photo: OCHA/Laura Fultang

Internally displaced people in the Central African Republic. Photo: OCHA/Laura Fultang

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the 15-member Security Council that while preventing sexual violence is a primary responsibility of Governments, the international community must strengthen its collective efforts to root out its causes and prevent sexual attacks, which primarily target women and girls, but also affect men and boys.

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18/04/2013

What Happened to Egypt’s Dream of Religious Freedom?

Cairo – Violent attacks carried out by “unknown” individuals against Morqosiah Coptic Christian Cathedral in Cairo early this months, with several dead and injured, have fueled the fire of a politically provoked and ill-manipulated  inter-religious conflict in Egypt. 

A February demonstration in Tahrir Square against the Muslim Brotherhood

A February demonstration in Tahrir Square against the Muslim Brotherhood | UNCUT Index on censorship

By Shahira Amin* – Egyptians who took to the streets in mass protests in January 2011 demanding the downfall of Mubarak’s authoritarian regime were rebelling — amongst other things — against restrictions on their civil liberties and infringement on their rights.

Religious minorities, like Coptic Christians and Baha’is, who participated in the January 2011, 18- day mass uprising had hoped that toppling Egypt’s oppressive regime would usher in a new era of greater freedom of expression and equality. More than two years on, many of them say it has not.

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