Archive for February 9th, 2016

09/02/2016

All Sides in Syria Killing Thousands of Detainees in Crimes against Humanity, UN Reports

Human Wrongs Watch

Thousands of detainees have been killed while in the custody of the warring parties in Syria over the past four and a half years, with thousands held by the Government beaten to death or dying from torture and anti-Government groups brutalizing and executing prisoners in war crimes and crimes against humanity, a United Nations commission on 8 February 2016 reported.

Photo: UNHCR/V. Tan

“Nearly every surviving detainee has emerged from custody having suffered unimaginable abuses,” Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said of those held by the Government in releasing the report in Geneva – Out of sight, out of mind: Deaths in detention in the Syrian Arab Republic.

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09/02/2016

“Alarming” Food Security and Malnutrition in Somalia – Report

Human Wrongs Watch

According to a new United Nations food security and nutrition assessment, the situation in Somalia is alarming and could get worse, especially in parts of Puntland and Somaliland, which have been hard hit by drought exacerbated by El Niño.

A mother cradles her malnourished and dehydrated baby at Banadir Hospital in the Somali capital Mogadishu 2011. UN Photo/Stuart Price (file)

“We are deeply concerned that the proportion of severely food insecure people remains alarmingly high, especially people who are unable to meet their daily food needs. Some 3.7 million people will be acutely food insecure through mid-2016. With severe drought conditions intensifying in Puntland and Somaliland, many more people risk relapsing into crisis,” on 8 February 2016 said Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, in a press release.

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09/02/2016

Religious Fundamentalism-Extremism-Violence

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

8 February 2016 – TRANSCEND Media Service

To navigate these difficult conceptual waters we need some rules. Here are three suggestions (the violence can be direct–as sometimes prescribed by the Abrahamic religions–or structural as by Hinduism): 

galtung_side

Johan Galtung

  1. Anchor “religious fundamentalism” in religious scriptures taken literally according to the fundamentalists, not as “interpreted”;
  2. Anchor “extremism” in violent action, verbal or physical;
  3. Anchor “religious extremism” in violent action justified-legitimized by religious scriptures, by fundamentalists or not.

Fundamentalism has to do with inner faith, belief. Extremism has to do with outer violence against Other, and against Self (like flagellation for being a sinner). Keep them separate. And be careful.

We can have fundamentalism without extremism. The fundamentalist may believe much, beyond the beliefs of others, yet not cross the border to violence. We may say: let him-her do so; it is not obvious that fundamentalists are more violent than non-fundamentalists.

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09/02/2016

UN Mobilises Action to End Female Genital Mutilation within 15 Years

Human Wrongs Watch

Marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), dozens of women, girls, experts, and United Nations officials on 8 February 2016 gathered at a special event at UN Headquarters to discuss ways of eliminating the harmful practice by 2030 and to celebrate the increased mobilization against it.

Malian singer Inna Modja performs during a special event, Mobilizing to Achieve the Global Goals through the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2030. Having been subjected to FGM as a small girl, Ms. Modja advocates for the rights of women and girls. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

“I am proud to be among so many champions in the cause of eliminating female genital mutilation,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during his keynote address, highlighting that the event is also “a celebration of women’s empowerment.”

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