Next Ebola Outbreak ‘Not a Matter of If, but When’

Human Wrongs Watch

KAMPALA & MUBENDE, Mar 10 2023 (IPS)* – It is two months since the World Health Organization declared Uganda free of the most recent Sudan ebolavirus, which killed 55 people.

Uganda used public health measures like screening, testing of temperatures, and isolation of suspected cases to contain the Ebola outbreak. While those measures were successful, scientists warn that another outbreak could occur. Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

Uganda employed public health measures to end the outbreak. In the absence of vaccines and therapeutics, the threat of the next outbreak looms.  Scientists are yet to find answers to questions like who was the first person to be affected? Or the index case, what viral host reservoir did that patient get in contact with?

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USA: Sanctions against Individuals Abroad ‘Violates Due Process Rights, Including the Presumption of Innocence and Fair Trial’

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — A UN independent human rights expert criticized the United States for using extraterritorial jurisdiction to impose sanctions on foreign individuals, in a statement issued on Thursday [].

The United States Capitol Building, Washington, DC.
© Sarah Scaffidi | The United States Capitol Building, Washington, DC.

UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan said the practice raises concerns about rights violations, including the right to due process, as enshrined under a decades-old international treaty. 

Longstanding practice 

“The United States has for years been imposing sanctions on individuals and entities without national criminal jurisdiction and in the absence of universal jurisdiction,” she said. 

“This is a clear violation of due process rights, including the presumption of innocence and fair trial.”

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US Exceptionalism and the Wars in Syria and Ukraine

Human Wrongs Watch

By Rick Sterling – TRANSCEND Media Service*

The following is an adapted version of the presentation made at the webinar “Connecting Dots” on 25 Feb 2023. Other speakers were Dr. Marwa Osman and Dr. Atif Kubursi.


Rick Sterling


Syria has been at war since 2011. The conflict is in a stalemate. US troops control nearly a third of the country. The US finances the operation and a secessionist army with oil and wheat they take from the area. It funds them and deprives the Syrian government from their own resources.

In the northern province of Idlib, the Syrian version of Al Qaeda is in control, receiving the majority of aid from Europe while the 90% of  Syrians who live in government controlled areas go hungry and have electricity only three hours per day.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, the bloodshed continues as Russian troops battle Ukrainian soldiers while the US and NATO pour in weapons. Russian troops have taken control of much of the eastern region, the Donbass.

How did we get here and what is driving the process? Continue reading


‘Mum does not cry or scream anymore’: Breaking the silence of domestic abuse in Tajikistan

(UN News)*One third of women in Tajikistan are subjected to violence by their husbands, but very few cases are reported. Social and legal support, provided through the joint EU/UN Spotlight Initiative, is helping affected women to protect their rights.
Shermatova Marjona is a 35-year-old mother of three.

© UNICEF/M.Ruziev | Shermatova Marjona is a 35-year-old mother of three.

Like many women in Tajikistan, Shermatova Marjona has experienced gender-based violence.

Ms. Shermatova met her husband while she was working abroad as a cleaner in Moscow, Russia. It wasn’t long before they were married, and he persuaded her to send all the money she earned to her father-in-law in Tajikistan, who was to use the funds to build a house for them.

Once construction had begun, Ms. Shermatova and her husband returned to Tajikistan. She used the last of her savings to put a roof on the house, install windows and doors, and to paint the rooms. The family lived in the semi-finished home together. In addition, she provided her father-in-law with money almost daily, whenever he would ask for it.

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Why Do 800 Mothers a Day – 1 Every 2 Minutes– Die from Preventable Causes?

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Mar 7 2023 (IPS)* – The answer is that there are alarming setbacks for maternal health care and, in many cases, even a total lack of maternity services, which threaten to further raise the number of these tragic preventable deaths one million or more a year by 2030.
Nearly every maternal death is preventable, and the clinical expertise and technology necessary to avert these losses have existed for decades. Credit: Patrick Burnett/IPS

Nearly every maternal death is preventable, and the clinical expertise and technology necessary to avert these losses have existed for decades. Credit: Patrick Burnett/IPS

Severe bleeding, high blood pressure, pregnancy-related infections, complications from unsafe abortion, and underlying conditions that can be aggravated by pregnancy (such as HIV/AIDS and malaria) are the leading causes of maternal deaths, UN specialised bodies report.

“These are all largely preventable and treatable with access to quality and respectful healthcare.”

Why then are these causes still not prevented and treated? Continue reading


Inquest Highlights Abuses in Canada’s Immigration Detention

Human Wrongs Watch


A New Blow for Equality: Access to Jobs, Working Conditions, and Persistent Pay Gap for Women, Barely Improved in 20 Years

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — In a new blow for equality in the 21st century workplace, UN labour experts said on Monday [] that women’s access to jobs, their employment conditions and a persistent pay gap, have barely improved worldwide in nearly two decades.

The production floor of an apparel exporting factory in Bangladesh.
ILO/Marcel Crozet | The production floor of an apparel exporting factory in Bangladesh.

The jobs gap for women is a “stubborn and damaging reality of the global labour market” but it is particularly worrying in developing countries, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said, with almost one in four women unable to find a job, compared with 16.6 per cent of men.

‘Bleaker picture’

That assessment is based on new data gathered from all people looking for work, as opposed to those registered as unemployed.

“It paints a much bleaker picture of the situation of women in the world of work…(it) shows that women still have a much harder time finding a job than men,” ILO said.

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Human Rights Experts Concerned over Reports of Increased Militarization and Intimidation Around a Mega Tourism Project in Indonesia

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council have expressed concern over reports of increased militarization and intimidation surrounding a multi-billion-dollar urban development and tourism project in Indonesia.

Jakarta, Indonesia's capital.
Unsplash/Appai | Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.

The Mandalika project includes parks, resorts, hotels and a motorcycle racetrack hosting international sporting events. It is located on Lombok island, in impoverished West Nusa Tenggara Province.

The experts said they have received alarming accounts of alleged human rights violations committed by police and military forces, including excessive use of force to evict and restrict the rights of the indigenous Sasak people. 

Intimidation and coercion 

The $3 billion project is being implemented by the Indonesia Tourism and Development Corporation (ITDC), a State-owned enterprise, with funding primarily from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). 

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Haiti: Surge in Gun Trafficking Fuels Spike in Gang Violence

Human Wrongs Watch

(UN News)* — Increasingly sophisticated and high-calibre firearms and ammunition are being trafficked into Haiti, fuelling an ongoing surge of gang violence that has plagued residents for months, according to a new UN assessment released on Thursday [].

Homicides and kidnappings have increased dramatically in Haiti, particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince (pictured).
© UNICEF/U.S. CDC/Roger LeMoyne | Homicides and kidnappings have increased dramatically in Haiti, particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince (pictured).

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report, Haiti’s criminal markets: mapping trends in firearms and drug trafficking, warns that a recent increase in arms seizures alongside intelligence and law enforcement reporting, suggests trafficking of weapons is on the rise.

‘Volatile situation’

“By providing a rapid assessment of illicit firearms and drug trafficking, this UNODC study seeks to shed light on the trafficking flows enabling gangs in Haiti and fuelling further violence in a volatile and desperate situation to help inform responses and support to the people of Haiti,” said Angela Me, Chief of the UNODC Research and Trend Analysis Branch.

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Most African Govts (3 in 4) Spend More on Arms, Less on Farms

Human Wrongs Watch

MADRID, Mar 3 2023 (IPS)* – The data is shocking: three-quarters of African Governments have already reduced their agricultural budgets while paying almost double that on arms.

Chronic underinvestment in agriculture is a key cause of the widespread hunger experienced in 2022, according to Oxfam report. Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS.

Africa is home to a quarter of the world’s entire agricultural land. Nevertheless, in the 12 months that African leaders vowed to improve food security in the continent, over 20 million more people have been pushed into “severe hunger.”

Today “a fifth of the African population (or 278 million) is undernourished, and 55 million of its children under the age of five are stunted due to severe malnutrition,” Oxfam International adds to the above data in its report: Over 20 million more people hungry in Africa’s “year of nutrition”. Continue reading

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