Archive for April 17th, 2015

17/04/2015

Prison or Poverty: Impossible Choice for Israel Deportees

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kate Shuttleworth and Samuel Okiror*

JERUSALEM/KAMPALA, 16 April 2015 (IRIN) – For Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers facing deportation from Israel’s Holot detention centre, the future is bleak. Those who have gone before describe a hand-to-mouth existence in Uganda or no freedom of movement in Rwanda.
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“There was no difference with the life in Israel,” Abush Mekonen, one of eight Eritrean asylum-seekers deported to Rwanda in July 2014, told IRIN. Mekonen said they had been promised jobs in Rwanda but instead were confined to a hotel. “We were not allowed to move or go out.”

Israel has been encouraging asylum-seekers to leave the country for the past year by offering them one-off grants of $3,500 and one-way tickets home or to “safe” third countries in Africa.

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17/04/2015

Russia, China, Iran: In Sync

By Pepe Escobar*
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16 April 2015 (RT) – Over past decades, the pre-fabricated myth of an elusive “Iranian bomb” was never the real issue between the US and Iran; the issue was how to subdue – or “isolate” – a powerful, independent nation that refused to toe the exceptionalist line.
S-300 (RIA Novosti / Alexey Danichev)

S-300 (RIA Novosti / Alexey Danichev) | Source: RT

Now that the “rehabilitation” of Iran – at least for some exceptionalists and their minions – may be imminent, pending a nuclear deal to be clinched in June, various Washington factions still can’t get their act together.

The Pentagon has all but admitted the perennial wet dream of neocons and corporate media remains on the table; the military option.

The US Congress will go no holds barred in trying to scotch the deal. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed a bill that would give Congress the right to interfere with anything related to the removal of sanctions.

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17/04/2015

Why Should a Prohibition on Financing Be Included in a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Susi Snyder, PAX*

Nuclear weapons are unacceptable weapons. They are designed to be indiscriminate, to cause catastrophic humanitarian harm. They are illegitimate and no one should possess them. In fact, continued possession of weapons designed to cause indiscriminate harm, including the possibility of catastrophic climate change, is something to be ashamed of. When nuclear weapons are outlawed, only outlaws will have nuclear weapons.

Dont-Bank-on-the-Bomb-Cover-Title1

Source: ICAN

Increasing the stigma around nuclear weapons, and demonstrating whole of society opposition to possession of nuclear weapons helps negotiation efforts to make them illegal, which in turn facilitates their elimination.

No weapon has ever been eliminated before it was outlawed.

No weapon is outlawed without first becoming stigmatised.

The stigma is more important than we may think. We know that nuclear weapons are bad, but we must be much louder in defining them as unacceptable, as illegitimate.

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17/04/2015

Syrian Refugees Transform Used Tents into Vibrant Works of Art

Human Wrongs Watch

By Charlie Yaxley*

London, 16 April 2015 (UNHCR) Ever since she was in kindergarten in the western Syria city of Homs, Ibtihaj has dreamed of becoming an artist. She aspired to one day open her own gallery and showcase her work to the world.

© © Courtesy of Hannah Rose Thomas | The artwork on this tent was inspired by the Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt and the Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani. It was painted in the courtyard of a refugee centre in northern Jordan. | Source: UNHCR

Now aged 12 years, Ibtihaj lives in Jordan, one of the more than 3.9 million Syrians who have been forced to flee their homes and seek shelter overseas as a result of the conflict that erupted in March 2011.

As she recently showed UNHCR visitors her latest creations, proudly displayed on her bedroom walls in the Jordanian capital, Amman, it was clear her experiences have had a big impact on her. “This is a son and his mother praying to God, asking him to help Syria,” she said. “And this is an eye crying for its country.”

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17/04/2015

'Europe Must Place the Rights of Migrants at the Centre of Its Migration Policies'

Human Wrongs Watch

The European Union must intensify its efforts in placing the rights of migrants at the centre of its migration policies, a United Nations human rights committee on 16 April 2015 affirmed following the latest maritime tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea which may have claimed hundreds of lives.

Tens of thousands of desperate people are attempting to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe in dangerous boats like these in Libya. Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

Tens of thousands of desperate people are attempting to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe in dangerous boats like these in Libya. Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

“States of origin, destination and transit must also address the root causes that lead to smuggling and trafficking in persons,” the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers (CMW) said in a press release issued earlier this afternoon which added that the continual loss of life in the Mediterranean’s waters transcended the limits of natural calamity and was, in fact, “a human rights tragedy.”

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17/04/2015

'Human Rights and Counter-terrorism Must Go Hand-in-hand'

Human Wrongs Watch

Only through a strict adherence to international human rights standards can the world’s counter-terrorism strategies ultimately succeed, two United Nations human rights experts have declared.

Kenyan troops serving with AMISOM make their way through the Somali port city of Kismayo following the ouster of Al Shabaab militants. UN Photo/Stuart Price

Kenyan troops serving with AMISOM make their way through the Somali port city of Kismayo following the ouster of Al Shabaab militants. UN Photo/Stuart Price

“Just as much as we condemn terrorism, particularly at a time when the international community reaffirms its unreserved commitment to combat it, we must demand that human rights be respected in the context of such a challenge,” said Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and the UN Special Rapporteur on religious freedom, Heiner Bielefeldt, in a press release issued on 16 April 2015.

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