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“Dozens of men reportedly pelted the 13 year-old Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow with rocks in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in Kismayo.
Amnesty International said the Islamic miitia in charge of the city had accused her adultery after she reported that three men had raped her.”
Just another reason to be proud of my city and hometown.
“A law to decriminalise abortion in Victoria has been passed by the lower house of Parliament.
The debate continued into the early hours of this morning before the bill was passed 49 to 32.
The proposed legislation, which legalises abortion up to 24 weeks, will now be sent to the upper house.
Women’s Affairs Minister Maxine Morand says she is optimistic the bill will be passed by the Legislative Council.
“A lot of women have been waiting for this for a very long time, I met somebody today who told me she’s been waiting for this for 40 years,” she said.
So for a lot of women who remember backyard abortions and abortions being prosecuted this a very, very important day for them.”
“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire” – Tielhard de Chardin
Guantanamo Bay represents a wide array of human rights violations, including: torture, extraordinary rendition, arbitrary (and therefore illegal) detention, denial of fair trials and the right to challenge detainment (habeas corpus). In the process, Guantanamo Bay deprives individuals of their humanity by subjecting them to cruel and degrading punishment. – Amnesty International.
“The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a controversial United States detention center operated by Joint Task Force Guantanamo since 2002 in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The detainment areas consist of three camps in the base: Camp Delta (which includes Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray (which has been closed). The facility is often referred to as Guantanamo, or Gitmo (derived from the abbreviation “GTMO”). The detainees currently held as of June 2008 have been classified by the United States as “enemy combatants” After claims were made that these prisoners were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against this interpretation on 29 June 2006. Following this, on July 7, 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that prisoners will in the future be entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions.
Since the beginning of the current war in Afghanistan, 775 detainees have been brought to Guantanamo, approximately 420 of which have been released without charge.
As of May 2008, approximately 270 detainees remain. More than a fifth are cleared for release but may have to wait months or years because U.S. officials are finding it increasingly difficult to persuade countries to accept them, according to officials and defense lawyers. Of the roughly 355 still incarcerated, U.S. officials said they intend to eventually put 60 to 80 on trial and free the rest.
On February 9, 2008, it was reported that 6 of the detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility would be tried for conspiracy in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In May 2008, the Pentagon claimed that 36 former Guantanamo inmates were “confirmed or suspected of having returned to terrorism”
Aka ‘Daw Suu’, aka ‘The Lady’, aka ‘Aunty’
Aung San Suu Kyi translates to ‘A Bright Collection of Strange Victories’
Last night I attended the Amnesty International Australia (AIA), Victoria dinner held in honour of her birthday, as held annually.
I have only just learned about her through AIA and from what I have heard and can read about her can only hold her in high regard and do my best to both support and herald more support for her as her situation continues.
“Born on 19 June 1945 in Rangoon (now Yangon), Burma (now Myanmar). Her father, Aung San, is Burma’s most respected independence hero. Her mother, Ma Khin Kyi, is a senior nurse at Rangoon general hospital and will become a leading public figure and diplomat.
Background to Burma: The influence of Europe begins to be felt in the Irrawaddy delta in the 16th Century. British intrusion mounts at the start of the 19th Century, culminating in 1886 when Britain takes full control of the country, naming it Burma. The British are temporarily forced out by the Japanese during the Second World War and leave for good in 1948 when Burma is declared independent.
In 1962 the Burmese Government is overthrown in a military coup d’état led by General Ne Win. The coup leaders attempt to create a single-party socialist state but end up ruining the country’s economy. Popular unrest against the military regime grows, coming to a head in 1987-88 when rioting breaks out. The regime responds with force.
In the last four years her movements have still been restricted. While she has had some opportunities to telephone her family in England, she is regularly denounced in the government-controlled media, and there is concern for her personal safety. Efforts to revive any NLD party activities have been balked, and its members have been jailed and physically attacked. In the first months after detention was ended, she was able to speak to large gatherings of supporters outside her home, but this was stopped. Yet her popularity in the country has not diminished.
Internationally her voice has been heard not infrequently. Reporters with cameras and videotape have been able to interview her in person, and telephone interviews with the media outside Burma have also been published. Using video cassettes she has sent out statements, including the keynote address to the NGO Forum at the U.N. International Women’s Conference in Beijing in August 1995.
There have been a number of visitors from abroad, including a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, whom she told that Norway will be the first country she will visit when free to travel. SLORC has changed its name to the State Peace and Development Council, but its repressive policies and violation of human rights continue unabated.
Suu Kyi discourages tourists from visiting Burma and businessmen from investing in the country until it is free. She finds hearing for such pleas among western nations, and the United States has applied economic sanctions against Burma, but Burma’s neighbours follow their policy of not intervening in the internal affairs of other sovereign states, and Burma has been admitted into the Association of South Eastern Asian Nations.
On March 27, 1999, Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Suu Kyi one last time, but they had rejected his request. He had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995. The government always urged her to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return. This separation she regarded as one of the sacrifices she had had to make in order to work for a free Burma.”
“Rehabilitation centres and programmes and human rights organisations around the world celebrate the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June.
The day reminds us that torture is a crime and provides us with an opportunity to stand united and voice our opinion against torture, a cruel violation of human rights.
The Convention against Torture:
June 26 was the day that the Convention against Torture came into force. It was also the day the United Nations Charter was signed – the first international instrument to embody obligations for member States to promote and encourate respect for human rights.
To mark June 26, IRCT members in collaboration with the IRCT Secretariat, carry out a wide range of activities and you are more than welcome to join us. To
The IRCT has selected “Help us erase torture” as the theme of the 26 June global campaign for 2008.
The goal is to encourage participants in this year’s events to think of actions that they and others can take to eradicate the man-made scourge of torture from our world. We invite you to use this slogan in your campaign and to think of creative ways to engage people in “erasing” torture from the globe.”
“A man who used his mobile phone to film a violent clash between villagers and officials in rural China was beaten to death by public order “enforcers”, Chinese state media reported yesterday, bringing more unwanted attention to the country’s unruly hinterlands.
The People’s Daily reported that 24 residents of Tianmen, a city in central China’s Hubei province, have been detained after Wei Wenhua, the general manager of a company owned by the local water resources bureau, was pulled out of his car and savagely beaten.”
Beijing has recently added a new weapon to its arsenal of surveillance technologies, a system it believes to be a modern marvel: the Golden Shield. It took eight years and $700 million to build, and its mission is to “purify” the Internet — an apparently urgent task. “Whether we can cope with the Internet is a matter that affects the development of socialist culture, the security of information, and the stability of the state,” President Hu Jintao said in January.
The Golden Shield — the latest addition to what is widely referred to as the Great Firewall of China — was supposed to monitor, filter, and block sensitive online content. But only a year after completion, it already looks doomed to fail. True, surveillance remains widespread, and outspoken dissidents are punished harshly. But my experience as a correspondent in China for seven years suggests that the country’s stranglehold on the communications of its citizens is slipping: Bloggers and other Web sources are rapidly supplanting Communist-controlled news outlets. Cyberprotests have managed to bring about an important constitutional change. And ordinary Chinese citizens can circumvent the Great Firewall and evade other forms of police observation with surprising ease. If they know how.
Like its namesake, the Great Firewall consists of hundreds of individual fortifications spread out along a vulnerable frontier. At its core is a giant bank of computers and servers. Traffic generated by China’s 162 million Internet users is routed through the shield, which checks all requested URLs against a blacklist of tens of thousands of Internet addresses. The list includes pages offering political information deemed dangerous by the government, like BBC News and Voice of America. Access to these sites is blocked (at least in theory), and when users attempt to view one of them, they are punished with an involuntary time-out lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. Search engines are similarly restricted. If you enter the characters for “democracy” or “Tiananmen Square massacre” into Google.cn you will generally get zero results. This is a technological breakthrough for the Chinese government. Until recently, it could not interfere with the inner workings of search engines and instead blocked entire sites, not just individual pages of a site.
The Golden Shield hardware — supplied by Cisco and other US companies — is supplemented by human censors who are paid about $170 a month. They sit at screens in warehouse-like buildings run by the Public Security Bureau. These foot soldiers in China’s information war monitor domestic news sites, erasing and editing politically sensitive stories. Some sites provide the censors with access so the authorities can alter content directly. Others get an email or a call when changes are required. Similar methods are applied to blogs. Sensitive entries are erased, and in the most egregious cases blogs are shut down altogether.
“Violence against women is the most widespread human rights abuse in the world.
Every day, thousands of women and girls are abused in their own homes. They are raped in armed conflict or murdered by their families. They are attacked for speaking out, for defending womens’ rights.
It is a worldwide scandal that violence against women is allowed, excused or overlooked.”
Domestic violence in Australia contributes to ill-health and premature death for women aged 15-44 years, than any other single factor. Two thirds of women experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lives.”
After learning on the weekend that a lovely girlfriend of mine was beaten up by her ex-boyfriend after a domestic dispute, I feel compelled to do something about raising the awareness of the situation.
Within my female friends alone, I can say there is not one woman that has NOT been touched by some kind of physical and/or sexual abuse at the hand of a male – father / brother / male relatives / male ‘friend’ of the family.