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Quick Reads + Human Rights

Media archive · 7305 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Human Rights

State of Political Blogging in Vietnam

Doan Trang observed that a growing number of Vietnamese bloggers have been tackling human rights and other political issues by

writing commentaries and analyses, even finding supplementary facts. Despite the emotional style which may sometimes reveal their non-professionalism, they filled the vacuum left by the mainstream media which in most cases would only report news without producing any in-depth analysis.

But only few are writing in English:

Though much progress has been made, alternative media in Vietnam still aims mostly at the Vietnamese audience. In other words, bloggers still “talk to themselves” or “write for their fellow citizens” only. News stories in English, if any, came as a result of the accidental attention by some foreign reporter about Vietnam's human rights situation via his/ her individual contact network.

The State Of Women In The Present Indian Society

Transhuman Collective (THC), a brainchild of Soham Sarcar & Snehali Shah, is a multidisciplinary collaborative project based on the philosophy of Transhumanism. In this moving video created and uploded to YouTube by Transhumanism.in it is revealed that there is lack of basic respect for women in Indian patriarchal society. To add to this media plays a pivotal role in shaping the mindset and attitude of the Indian Society.

Baidu Censors New Citizens Movement Website

After Chinese court affirms Chinese lawyer and activist Xu Zhiyong’s conviction of four-year sentence in prison for assembling a crowd to disrupt order in public places, New Citizens Movement website, of which Xu was one of the founders, disappeared from Baidu search results. 

This is not the first time that information relating to Xu Zhiyong has disappeared from Baidu and other China-based web sites. 

20-40% of Water Sector Finances Are Lost to Corruption in Africa

Access to water is a human right; Source: actionaid.org with permission

Mustapha Sesay, West Africa Water Integrity Ambassador wrote about corruption in the water sector on the West Africa WASH Journalists Network :

The issue of accessing pure and affordable water is a fundamental human right but this is not given the much needed attention. Corruption in the water sector is ripe and involves all classes of people ranging from the ordinary man, politicians, Heads of Water Institutions and even Non-Governmental organizations working in this sector.Report on “Corruption in the water sector” by Water Integrity Network in a book titled “Training Manual on Water Integrity” states that in the sub-Sahara Africa, forty-four percent (44 %) of the countries are unlikely to attain the Millennium Development Goal target for drinking water eighty-five percent (85%) are unlikely to attain the sanitation aspect. Estimate by the World Bank report suggests that twenty –forty percent (20 – 40% ) of water sector finances are being lost to dishonest practices.

The Kidnapping Industry Takes Hold in Cameroon

The Matango Club blog reflects upon the kidnapping of two italian priests and a canadian nun [fr] on April 4, 2014 in Northern Cameroon:

 Pour l’histoire, les kidnappings de ce genre ne datent pas d’aujourd’hui. Rappelons que  dernièrement, le rapt du prêtre français Georges Vandenbeusch, 42 ans, a fait beaucoup de bruit. Il avait été kidnappé un 14 novembre 2013 dans son monastère, la paroisse de Nguetchewe, près de Koza, dans le nord du pays, à 700 kilomètres de la capitale Yaoundé, une zone considérée comme très dangereuse. Avant lui, le 19 février 2013, la famille Moulin-Fournier avait elle aussi été enlevée. Ces deux derniers kidnapping avaient connu un tapage médiatique international à tel point que les soupçons qui pesaient sur le groupe islamique Boko Haram ont fini par être confirmés par le chef Abubakar Shekau, leader du groupuscule depuis 2009.

Tout juste après la libération de la famille Moulin-Fournier, la presse camerounaise et beaucoup d’opinion diverses soupçonnaient le gouvernement camerounais d’avoir donné une rançon au groupe islamique Boko Haram pour la libération des français. Ces soupçons se sont encore renforcés lorsque la même France a encore eu maille à partir avec le kidnapping du prêtre Georges qui a été libéré quelque semaines après. Ces séries de rapts et de libérations à n’en plus finir font penser que c’est devenu un marché tant du côté du Nigeria que du  Cameroun.

 Kidnapping of this kind is not new in Cameroon. The abduction of French priest Georges Vandenbeusch, 42, made ​​a lot of noise recently. He was kidnapped on November 14, 2013 in his monastery, in the parish Nguetchewe near Koza, 700 kilometers north of the capital city Yaoundé, an area that is considered very dangerous. Before him, on February 19 2013, the Moulin-Fournier family were also kidnapped. These last two kidnappings were covered to a certain extent in the international media with suspicions aimed at the Islamic group Boko Haram. These suspicions were eventually confirmed by Boko Haram's leader since 2009 Abubakar Shekau.  Just after the release of Moulin- Fournier family, the Cameroonian press suspected that the Cameroonian government paid a ransom to Boko Haram for the release of the French hostages. These suspicions were further strengthened when France seems involved in the release of priest Georges Vandenbeusch some weeks later. These series of kidnappings and releases suggest that the kidnapping industry has become a booming sector in Nigeria and now in Cameroon as well.

“It's a Girl”: Campaign Against infanticide Feminicide in India and China

The website MujeresMundi, directed by Peruvian Belgium-based communication specialist Xaviera Medina, is involved with the awareness campaign It's a girl against infanticide feminicide in India and China:

Girls are killed in a gendercide routine in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. Incredibly, however the issues involved have barely registered the attention of the international community. How to explain the strange silence in the face of the biggest human right issue?

The piece includes an interview with Evan Grae Davis, producer of the documentary film l It's a girl!, who says “I wouldn’t have consider myself as an activist until I started to produce and direct It’s a Girl”.

Why Rwanda Accuses France of Aiding 1994 Genocide

As Rwanda pays tribute to the victims of the genocide 20 years after the tragedy, President Kagame states again that France must “face up to the difficult truth” of its role in the 1994 genocide [fr]. As a result of this statement, France has pulled out of the commemorative events and former Foreign Affairs Minister of France demands that president Hollande defends the Honor of France and its army.  Rémi Noyon at French site Rue 89 lists the reasons why Rwanda accuses again France of aiding the genocide [fr] :

 1) La France va « de facto » prendre le commandement de l’armée rwandaise face au rebelles du Front patriotique rwandais (FPR).

2) La France craint alors que l’offensive tutsi ne soit télécommandée via l’Ouganda par les Anglo-saxons, et ne vise à enfoncer un coin dans l’influence de la France sur la région

3) La France ne semble pas s’intéresser outre mesure aux négociations de paix.

4) Les soldats n’embarquent pas le personnel tutsi présent à l’ambassade de France (sauf une personne). Ils seront tous massacrés.

5) Quant à l’opération Turquoise, elle continue à diviser : elle a certainement permis de sauver des vies tutsi, mais l’armée est accusée d’être restée passive – et donc complice – face aux atrocités.

1) France commanded some branches of the Rwandan army against the rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

2) France feared that the Tutsi offensive was remotely piloted via Uganda by anglophone countries and was intended to drive a wedge into the influence of France in the region. 

3) France did not seem overly interested in peace negotiations before the conflict.

4) The soldiers did not evacuate any  of the Tutsi staff present at the Embassy of France (except for one person). They ended all being killed.

5) As for Operation Turquoise, it continues to divide: it certainly saved Tutsi lives, but the army is accused of having remained passive – and therefore was accomplice – to the atrocities.

 

 

Cameroon Demolishes 3,000 Houses and Render 15,000 Homeless

Blogger Mathias Mouendé Ngamo gives an eye-witness account [fr] of the demolition of about 3,000 houses in the Nkomba neighborhood in the city of Douala in Cameroon. It is estimated that over 15,000 squatters live in this squatter camp established on land owned by the Industrial Zones Development and Management Mission, a public corporation responsible for creating industrial zones in Cameroon:

Des policiers et gendarmes empêchent aux habitants de franchir le cordon de sécurité. Plus de 150 éléments des forces du maintien de l’ordre encadrent l’opération des casses. Ils sont constitués des policiers de l’Equipe spéciale d’intervention rapide (Esir), du Groupement mobile d’intervention n°2 (Gmi2), des gendarmes et des forces spéciales de la Misca. Les hommes en tenues sont armés de fusils, de matraques et de bombes à gaz lacrymogène. Des camions antiémeutes de la police et de la gendarmerie sont garés dans un coin. Une bombe à gaz lacrymogène est lancée pour repousser les sinistrés qui défient les forces de l’ordre. La foule se disperse…

C’est la troisième journée des casses au quartier Nkomba. Les déguerpissements ont débuté mercredi 26 mars 2014, vers 5 h. Les maisons ciblées sont celles établies sur le terrain de la Mission d’aménagement et de gestion des zones industrielles (Magzi).

Police officers and gendarmes are preventing inhabitants from breaking through the security cordon. Over 150 forces of law and order are overseeing the demolition exercise. They are made up of police officers from the special rapid intervention unit (ESIR) and the Mobile Intervention Unit No. 2 (GMI2), gendarmes, and special forces who are part of the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). The men in uniform are armed with guns, truncheons and tear gas. Anti-riot trucks belonging to the police and gendarmerie are parked in the corner. A tear gas canister is fired to push back the evicted squatters who are defying the police. The crowd then disperses.

This is the third day of demolitions in Nkomba. Evictions began on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 around 5:00 am. The targeted houses are constructed on land belonging to the Industrial Zones Development and Management Mission (MAGZI).

Amnesty International: ‘Spiral of Violence a Threat to Rule of Law in Venezuela’

Amnesty International has released a report which documents “allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of the massive public demonstrations since early February.”

“The country runs the risk of descending into a spiral of violence unless steps are taken to bring the conflicting parties around the table. This can only happen if both sides fully respect human rights and the rule of law. Unless this happens, the death toll will continue to rise with ordinary people bearing the brunt,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

According to the report, 37 people have died and over 550 have been injured:

According to figures released by the Office of the Attorney General on 27 March 2,157 have been detained during the protests. The vast majority has been released but continue to face charges.

You can read the complete report [es] in the Spanish-language version of the Amnesty International website.

Massive Online Campaign to Free Political Prisoner Oscar López Rivera

Photo from Facebook page 32xOscar.

Photo from Facebook page 32xOscar.

The international campaign to free Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera is asking people from all over the world to contribute in making the hashtag #freeOscarLopez a trending topic tomorrow, April 1st. Tweets should also include U.S. president Barack Obama's handle @BarackObama.

This year, López Rivera will have been imprisoned in the United States for 33 years on charges of “seditious conspiracy.” López Rivera, 70, is a fighter for the independence of Puerto Rico, a colony of the United States. Politicians, artists, and many people across different ideologies have united to ask the president of the United States, Barack Obama, to pardon López Rivera, who has been called the longest held political prisoner in the western hemisphere. For more information on Oscar López Rivera, see Facebook pages 32 X Oscar [es] and Free Oscar López Rivera Now.

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