Archive for January 16th, 2015

16/01/2015

‘Harrowing Tales of Killings and Destruction' in Nigeria's NorthEast – Urgent Action Needed to Protect Children

Human Wrongs Watch

Children growing up in Nigeria’s crisis-riven northeast are in desperate need of protection from relentless violence, on 16 January 2015 said Leila Zerrougui, the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, as she wrapped up a weeklong visit in the country.

Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui (3rd left) during a visit to Yola, Nigeria. UN Photo/Andrew Esiebo

On a day when the UN refugee agency has reported a steady stream of people fleeing violence in the region with ‘harrowing tales of killings and destruction,’ a news release from Zerrougui’s Office notes that throughout 2014, the armed conflict in north-eastern Nigeria was one of the world’s deadliest for children.

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16/01/2015

In Belgium and France, marginalised Muslims fight in Syria ‘out of despair’

Human Wrongs Watch

By EurActiv*, 16 January 2015 — Western fighters in Syria and Iraq have found some of their most willing recruits in tiny Belgium, a chilling trend highlighted by the killing of suspected terrorists by police on Thursday (15 January) and which likely has its roots in the despair many feel at home.

Street art Vitry-sur-Seine, C215, banlieue Paris, October 13, 2014

C215 mural. Paris, October 2014. [Pop H/Flickr] | Source: EurActiv

Belgian police killed two men who opened fire on them during one of about a dozen raids against an Islamist group that federal prosecutors said was about to launch “terrorist attacks on a grand scale”.

In France, the attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo has called the world’s attention to the threat of radicalised Muslims returning from Syria, Iraq or Yemen, an issue which has been erected as an EU priority in the fight against terrorism.

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16/01/2015

Who Should Be Blamed for Muslim Terrorism?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Andre Vltchek*– TRANSCEND Media Service

A hundred years ago, it would have been unimaginable to have a pair of Muslim men enter a cafe or a public transportation vehicle, and then blow themselves up, killing dozens. Or to massacre the staff of a satirical magazine in Paris! Things like that were simply not done.

***By the medieval era most of the countries on the Silk Road were Muslim majority. | Author: Whole_world_-_land_and_oceans_12000.jpg: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center | Wikimedia Commons

**By the medieval era most of the countries on the Silk Road were Muslim majority. | Author: Whole_world_-_land_and_oceans_12000.jpg: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center | Wikimedia Commons

When you read the memoirs of Edward Said, or talk to old men and women in East Jerusalem, it becomes clear that the great part of Palestinian society used to be absolutely secular and moderate. It cared about life, culture, and even fashion, more than about religious dogmas.

The same could be said about many other Muslim societies, including those of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Indonesia. Old photos speak for themselves. That is why it is so important to study old images again and again, carefully.

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16/01/2015

Terrorism in Africa: A bigger threat than in Europe, but much less coverage

Human Wrongs Watch

By Neil Clark*

15 January 2015 (RT) — Are African lives worth less than the lives of people elsewhere in the world?

Agents of law enforcement and operative services work at the site of an explosion on a trolleybus near Kachinsky Market in Volgograd. (RIA Novosti) | Source: RT

Agents of law enforcement and operative services work at the site of an explosion on a trolleybus near Kachinsky Market in Volgograd. (RIA Novosti) | Source: RT

Last week 17 people were killed by terrorists in France. The events were shocking and quite rightly the murders were subject to unequivocal condemnation. At the same time, considerably more people were reported to have been killed by gunmen in Baga, Nigeria, with figures ranging from 150 to over 2,000.

But it’s the French victims who we focus on, showing our solidarity with them by declaring ‘Je suis Charlie’, and holding vigils in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere- while the African victims of violence have – certainly until the last day or so – been ignored.

Even Nigeria‘s own President was keener to condemn the Paris attacks than those in his own country. How can this be right? Surely we should be mourning all victims equally?

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16/01/2015

‘CIA killed prisoners, made it look like suicide’ – Guantanamo guard

Human Wrongs Watch

15 January 2015 (RT)* — A former Guantanamo Bay prison guard and Marine explained in details what makes him believe three problematic detainees were killed at CIA black site in Guantanomo and their death was covered up as a triple suicide.

“Detainees in orange jumpsuits sit in a holding area under the watchful eyes of Military Police at Camp X-Ray at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during in-processing to the temporary detention facility on Jan. 11, 2002. The detainees will be given a basic physical exam by a doctor, to include a chest x-ray and blood samples drawn to assess their health. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st class Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy.”

**Detainees upon arrival at Camp X-Ray | Wikimedia Commons

Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman was on duty at the notorious prison camp when the three men died, and insists the official version of events is “impossible,” he told Vice News.

The three men were Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, 37, from Yemen, Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, 30, from Saudi Arabia, and Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, 22, also from Saudi Arabia. None of them had been charged with any crime.

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16/01/2015

Wrestling for Peace!

‘After fleeing violence in South Sudan, young men find common ground in a traditional Dinka sport.’
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(12312014)_Featured_wreslingforpeace

As the match begins, Athong (left) tries to gain the upper hand. | UNHCR/Frederic Noy

By Lucy Beck*

15 January 2015 — Barefoot and bare-chested, Athong Mayen crouches close to the ground, scoops up a handful of dirt and tosses it into the air – hoping to intimidate a man he has only just met.

The two strangers have a score to settle, but it’s all in good fun. As refugees from South Sudan, they are engaging in the traditional Dinka sport of wrestling.

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16/01/2015

A ‘Barbershop’ Conference to Dispel Stereotypes, Promote Gender Equality

Human Wrongs Watch

15 January 2015 – Looking to promote change in how men and boys think and talk about women’s empowerment and gender equality, the United Nations is hosting at its New York Headquarters a two-day high-level “Barbershop” event, which this afternoon focused on initiatives that aim to support non-sexist male attitudes and behaviours between men.

UN Women

UN Women

The Barbershop Conference aimed at reflecting the casual setting in which men get their hair cut, while delving deeper into gender stereotypes perpetuated by social norms, and helping dispel the fallacy that women and girls cannot be equals in the economic, social or political life.

The event also highlighted that while historically women and girls have led the fight against gender inequality, discrimination and gender-based violence, the recent UN HeforShe initiative encourages men and boys to stand at forefront of the global discourse.

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16/01/2015

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 'Heads into Uncharted Territory, Tensions Escalate'

Human Wrongs Watch

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now entering uncharted territory as tensions between the two sides escalate and an “ever-widening trust deficit” risks hampering future peace talks, a senior United Nations political official on 15 January 2015 told the Security Council today as he urged Palestinians and Israelis to “plot a course” and work towards a negotiated resolution.*

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

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

Briefing the Council on the situation in the Middle East, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, Assistant Secretary-General ad interim for UN Political Affairs, warned that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis had taken the “challenging steps or made the bold decisions” required to rebuild trust, further reducing the likelihood of a resumption of talks.

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16/01/2015

'Syria Set Back 40 Years by War'

Human Wrongs Watch

With the “devastating conflict” in Syria entering its fourth year, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria on 15 January 2015 said that continued fighting in the country is a “disgrace” that has set the country back 40 years.
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Thousands of Syrian families flee into neighboring Jordan. Photo

Syrian refugees arrive across the border into Jordan. Photo: UNHCR/A. Harper

“It is a true tragedy that people all over Syria continue to be living under constant fear of barrel bombs, mortar attacks, rockets, aerial bombing, car bombs, kidnappings, extrajudicial killings,” said Staffan de Mistura.

“We are starting 2015 with the Syrian conflict being the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War.”*

16/01/2015

Syrian Refugees Face ‘Abject Poverty, Dire Living Conditions’ — UN Study

Human Wrongs Watch

As the Syrian civil war continues to rage into its fifth year, large numbers of refugees fleeing the hostilities are steadily slipping into abject poverty due to the breadth of the crisis and “insufficient support” from the international community, the head of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on 14 January 2015 warned.

Members of a family gather on the floor of their dilapidated apartment in downtown Amman, Jordan. Photo: UNHCR/B. Szandelszky

Members of a family gather on the floor of their dilapidated apartment in downtown Amman, Jordan. Photo: UNHCR/B. Szandelszky

The agency’s latest study on the plight of those displaced by the conflict, entitled Living in the Shadows, reveals evidence of a “deepening humanitarian crisis” affecting the 150,000 refugees profiled with one in six Syrian refugee households living in abject poverty and two-thirds of refugees across Jordan now living below the poverty line, according to an agency press release.*

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