How the Conservative Party in Canada got in bed with Gay Rights
in two decades or less:
The move allowed the Conservative government to poke a stick in Iran’s eye, and help a genuinely in-need refugee constituency, all at one blow. As a bonus, such steps help create a bulwark against radicalism in our immigrant population. “When you’re dealing with a country like Iran, gay asylum seekers are exactly the ones you want,” says Mr. Raphael. “In general, these are precisely the people who you can guarantee don’t support the Iranian regime back home. They’re going to bring in a more secular, moderate perspective.”
In 2002 a Mrs. Soile Tuulikki Lautsi, a Finnish/Italian woman and member of the Italian Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists objected to the crucifixes on the wall
of her child’s public school. [more inside]
A complete guide to digital security for advocates and human rights defenders (and for you too!). It includes all the info and tools you'll need for anything related to personal digital security.
: Tools and tactics for mobile advocacy.
: Everything you need to make and distribute your own media.
: Set up you NGO using free and open-source software. [more inside]
Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments
- With protests spreading
in the Middle East
- not on the list) I thought this article
on a forecast model
predicting "which countries
will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence [within the next five years]" was rather interesting. [more inside]
One year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
decision, which, overturning over 100 years of precedent, opened a floodgate of corporate money into election campaigns, Virginia Lyons (D-VT), has introduced legislation
(full text of bill not yet available, articles here
) in the Vermont State Senate to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly state that corporations are not
This would overturn the controversial notion of corporate personhood
which was established in the 1800s. Controversial not only for the unequal distribution of rights and responsibilities among humans and corporations, some, like Thom Hartmann
), have claimed that the notion of corporate personhood was established as an intentional misinterpretation
of the decision as recorded by court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis, former president of the Newburgh & New York Railway Co. [more inside]
William Finnegan reports
on rescuing the victims of the global sex trade. You can also listen to Finnegan talking
about the research for the article. (New Yorker)
A Nation Apologizes. (Sydney Morning Herald.)
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the Stolen Generations
of Aboriginal children. Here the history told from an Aboriginal perspective in Archie Roach's great song "Took The Children Away." (Youtube) (song lyrics)
"Our main argument
is that Hiasl
is a person and has basic legal rights,” said Eberhart Theuer, a lawyer leading the challenge on behalf of a Vienna animal rights group.
“We mean the right to life, the right to not be tortured, the right to freedom under certain conditions,” Theuer said.
“We’re not talking about the right to vote here.”
support the legal action, while others aren't so sure
Brazilian courts have already granted a chimp the right to a petition of Habeas Corpus.
Clean water is a right:
"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development
. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study
is both coldly analytical and angry..."
Human Rights Watch, Watched
"Who will guard the guardians?" asked Roman satirist Juvenal. Now we must ask, who is watching Human Rights Watch, one of the world's best-financed and most influential human rights organizations? It turns out that they cook the books about facts, cheat on interviews, and put out pre-determined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence.
These are serious accusations, and they are demonstrably true.
Panel Suggests Using Inmates in Drug Trials
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 An influential federal panel of medical advisers has recommended that the government loosen regulations that severely limit the testing of pharmaceuticals on prison inmates, a practice that was all but stopped three decades ago after revelations of abuse. Cruel and unusual punishment
The Cult of Zaoui.
Algerian Ahmed Zaoui
arrived in New Zealand in December 2002, having been convicted in Belgium and France (in absentia) for terrorism-related offences, on a false passport requesting refugee status
. He was imprisoned for two years (spending ten months
in solitary confinement) as a result of the Security Intelligence Service issuing a security risk certificate
, before the NZ Supreme Court
granted him bail. He now lives in a Dominican Priory
in Auckland under curfew, but manages (accompanied by his crusading young lawyer
) to give public lectures
, offer eulogies
, publish a book
, appear in a music video
(wmv), sing onstage at the NZ Music Awards
, inspire a fund-raising cookbook "Conversations over Couscous", and has become (depending on your viewpoint) a reluctant or carefully cultivated celebrity.
lacitedesmortes - documentary on women murdered in ciudad juarez
-- lacitedesmontes.net is not in English, but through its flash presentation and navigation, it should explain enough about the brutality of the unfortunate events that took place in Ciudad Juarez. Since 1993, almost 400 women and girls have been murdered and more than 70 remain missing in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico
While the region's law enforcement as well as state's attorney general were either incompetent or corrupt, more than a dozen women's rights groups
were created to solve the murder as well as to stop the violence in the region. Thanks to international organizations such as Amnesty
, and IACHR
, the number of violent murder on women in the region has degreased for a while, however, the battle still continues
More resources here
The Amnesty International 2005 report
is hot off the press. This annual report describes the current human rights situation in each country around the world. The BBC cover it
well with a special PDF enabling you to look up the report on any country.
CNN give more limited coverage
, without including a link to the full report. The overall picture is that freedom is spreading, thanks to the US government - freedom to torture, enslave, and kill with impunity.
Blogs contribute to political reform in Iran (New York Times):
Former vice-president of Iran, Mohammad Ali Abtahi
, said that he learned through the Internet about the huge gap between government officials and the younger generation.
"We do not understand each other and cannot have a dialogue," he said. "As government officials, we receive a lot of confidential reports about what goes on in society. But I have felt that I learned a lot more about people and the younger generation by reading their Web logs and receiving about 40 to 50 e-mails every day. This is so different than reading about society in those bulletins from behind our desks."
Malaysia's dissident ex-deputy PM, released from prison after sodomy charge quashed. More background at the Free Anwar campaign
, Human Rights Watch.
Should non-citizens have the same rights under the law as citizens?
What about those who have naturalized? A poll given by NPR
, The Kaiser Family Foundation
, and Harvardâ??s Kennedy School of Government
finds that a majority of those taking the poll think that, if accused of terrorism, a non-citizen should have fewer rights than a citizen. You can take the poll yourself here