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Iranian Photojournalist Arrested Alongside Washington Post Reporter Is Released

An unidentified female Iranian-American photojournalist was released on Thursday, Aug. 21 after being held in police custody at an unidentified location since July 22.

The photojournalist had official accreditation from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and was arrested alongside her husband and on the same day that Iranian-American Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi were arrested.

Since then, the husband of the photojournalist has been released. Rezaian and Salehi remain in the custody of the Iranian Judiciary in an unknown location and have yet to be issued formal charges. 

Demanding Gender Equality in the Bahamas

Lynn Sweeting, blogging at Womanish Words, wants equality for women in the Bahamas and pens a poem in that regard.

Defending Human Rights in Jamaica

When JFJ [Jamaicans For Justice] began, extra-judicial killings by police were commonplace. Yet, not a single police officer had ever – not in the entire history of Jamaica – been ever held accountable for one of these murders. It was a matter that desperately needed addressing. The death of Mario Deane on Jamaica’s Independence Day, while in police custody for having a spliff [a small amount of marijuana] in his possession, is a stark reminder of why we simply cannot afford to silence or sideline people like Carolyn Gomes.

 Writer Kei Miller praises Jamaican human rights activist Carolyn Gomes.

Accessibility and Lack of Appreciation for Young HIV Carriers Fighting AIDS

Image on Flickr by user

Image on Flickr by user max_thinks_sees (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Under the premise that AIDS is the second cause of teenager deaths in the world and the nvisibility for vulnerables populatons in this field, Puerto Rican journalist Natalia A. Bonilla Berríos writes about the participation of L’Orangelis Thomas Negrón, HIV carrier from birth, on the XX 2014 AIDS International Conference held last July in Melbourne, Australia.

Thomas wonders how accessible is life expectancy for teenagers and young people living with AIDS in the world? And she develops an answer:

Hice mención de las poblaciones claves y cómo, el no reconocerlas es una agresión a su propia existencia, y más aún cuando se es adolescente. La expectativa de vida, que se dice que es la misma que las personas que no viven con VIH, y cuán real es esto, cuando hay países que criminalizan el VIH y la homosexualidad; cuando quienes hemos vivido toda la vida con VIH no sabremos qué pasará con nuestros cuerpos en cinco o diez años porque no hay estudios suficientes; cuando las mujeres y transgéneros somos víctimas de violencia de género; o cuando migrantes y trabajadores/as sexuales no tienen acceso a la salud. Sobre todo, el hecho de que países desarrollados están a punto de firmar acuerdos que afectará el costo de los medicamentos genéricos de los cuales los países en desarrollo dependen.

I mentioned key populations and how no acknowledging them is an aggression against their existence itself, even more for teenagers. About life expectancy, said to be the same as individuales who live free of HIV, and how real that is, when some countries penalize HIV and homosexuality, when those of us who have lived our whole lives with HIV don't know what will happen with our bodies in five or ten years as there are no enough researches, when women and transgenders are victims of gender violence or when migrants and sex workers don't have access to healthcare. Above all, that fact that developed countries are about to suscribe agreements that will affect the costs of generic drugs, on which developing countries rely.

Visit Natalia Bonilla's blog. On Twitter, look for @nataliabonilla.

This post was part of the fourteenth #LunesDeBlogsGV,(Monday of blogs on GV) on August 4, 2014.

2 Journalists Arrested for Alleged Defamation of a Minister in Madagascar

Two journalists from the daily paper Madagascar Matin were placed under arrest at Antanimora's jail, in the capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo. Earlier this morning (July 23), both of them were summoned to the Brigade of Fiadanana for a hearing.  Solo Rajaonson, another local journalist,  posted the following update in Malagasy on Facebook :

About the latest news regarding freedom of press in Madagascar: our colleagues, the Publication Manager of the newspaper Madagascar Matin, Jean Luc Rahaga and his Editor-In-Chief, Didier Ramanoelina are placed under arrest at the penitentiary of Antanimora in Antananarivo, Madagascar. This is the result of a complaint of defamation from  Rivo Rakotovao, the Minister of Transport and Industry. So much for breaking away from our recent dark past, I guess

 

Bahamian Women Battling for Equal Rights

You would think that a nation which spent so much of the 20th century doggedly pursing equality would be united today over equal rights for women to pass on citizenship to their children and spouses. You would think that a constitutional provision to prevent discrimination against more than half the population would be entirely non-controversial.

But you would be wrong.

Blogging at Bahama Pundit, Larry Smith says that “the main point is simply that Bahamian women and men should have the same rights under the law.”

Jamaica: #Ferguson & #Gaza

Jamaica-based blogger Annie Paul republishes a compilation of tweets that show the similarities between the standoff in #Gaza and in #Ferguson, where yet another unarmed black man was gunned down by the police. The response to the resulting protests by U.S. law enforcement has been so brutal that netizens are comparing the small Missouri town to a war zone.

Iranian Police Interrogator Gets 3 Years Jail Time for Killing a Blogger

Cyber police interrogator Akbar Taghizadeh has been sentenced to three years in prison, two years in exile, and 74 lashes for the murder of dissident blogger Sattar Beheshti, who died under torture while in police detention in November 2012. “On Wednesday afternoon, August 6, news of the sentence was delivered to us by mail. But we do not accept it. It is dastardly and unfair,” said Gohar Eshghi, Beheshti's mother, in an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Many Twitter users, following the story under the #SattahBeheshti hashtag, expressed similar disapproval for the sentencing.

“Shrinking Democratic Space” in Myanmar

The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, has concluded a visit in the country and issued an initial report about Myanmar's human rights situation:

The opening up of democratic space for people to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression and to freedom of assembly and association is widely acknowledged as one significant achievement in Myanmar’s continuing reform process. Yet, in recent months many of my interlocutors have seen the shrinking of that space for civil society and the media.

There are also continuing reports of the excessive use of force by the police and the authorities in breaking up protests.

Yanghee Lee also expressed concern about the “spread of hate speech and incitement to violence, discrimination and hostility in the media and on the Internet, which have fuelled and triggered further violence” against minority ethnic groups and Muslims.

The Special Rapporteur stressed that Myanmar “needs further encouragement and understanding in order to address these challenges and to continue on the path of reform.”

Sri Lanka Plans to Deport 1,500 Pakistani and Afghan Refugees

A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra town. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009)

A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra, Pakistan. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009)

Facing persecution in Pakistan, many Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians have taken refuge in Sri Lanka. These refugees are mostly held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and have to live on government-provided rations as they are not eligible for work.

According to the media, the Sri Lankan government is preparing to deport about 1,450 Pakistani and 50 Afghan refugees who have apparently fled to rural areas in Sri Lanka. More than 1,400 of the targeted refugees have been registered as asylum seekers at the UN refugee agency office in Colombo.

Human Rights Watch has requested the Sri Lankan government not to summarily deport these minorities. Meanwhile, Pakistan has disowned these refugees and an uncertain future awaits for them if they are deported.

W3Lanka English blog opines:

The practice of deporting them is very unethical. They can be economic migrants per se the claim of the Pakistan government. What if they are actually threatened people?

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