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Human Rights

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Human Rights in Healthcare: A framework for local action

The Hague: Say The Word And We’ll Prosecute Bush And Blair  “The court’s chief prosecutor,” reports London’s The Telegraph, “that he would be willing to launch an inquiry and could envisage a scenario in which the Prime Minister and American President George W Bush could one day face charges at The Hague. Luis Moreno-Ocampo urged Arab countries, particularly Iraq, to sign up to the court to enable allegations against the West to be pursued.”

Peace Marchers Arrested (and Beaten) At St. Patrick’s Day Parade  Colorado Springs, CO. Seven anti-war protestors were arrested for bringing “social issues” to the parade. One woman was badly injured from being dragged off the parade route. The woman, in her mid-60s, was wearing a peace sign. An early report said the injuries were “minor,” but the pictures state otherwise. The protestors had a permit to particpate but the parade organizer asked to have them removed.

New UN human rights agency; same old problems  Countries from Africa and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have voted as a bloc to stymie Western efforts to focus serious attention on situations like the rights abuses in Darfur. 

Fascist Justices May Remove Student Free Speech Rights  Herr Roberts and scumbaglia lead the pack in burning the constitution– revising the law by rejecting a students right to use satire about pot use.

The Human Rights Act 1998: An Overview

The European Convention on Human Rights The Convention rights How does the Human Rights Act 1998 work?Taking proceedings under the Human Rights Act 1998Taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights From Sex Workers to Restaurant Workers, the Global Slave Trade Is Growing  A thriving commerce in human beings is taking place behind the facade of most major cities and towns in the U.S. and worldwide. Activists are pushing back, but they need reinforcements.

According to a Pentagon transcript released yesterday, Khalid Sheik Mohammed confessed to masterminding 9/11 and “more than 30 other terror attacks or plots” at a military hearing held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, although many government officials believe his claims may be “exaggerated.” Mohammed has long been the subject of extreme interrogation techniques, including water boarding. “CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. … KSM won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half-minutes before begging to confess.” The CIA also reportedly abducted his seven and nine-year-old sons and flew them to the United States for interrogation. In his remarks to a military tribunal, Mohammed raised objections to the treatment he received, but his statements on torture were redacted by the Pentagon in its publicly released transcript: “I know American people are torturing us from seventies. [REDACTED]. I know they are talking human rights. And I know it is against American constitution, against American laws.” Mohammed claimed that CIA interrogators warned him he would be subjected to illegal treatment, calling it “bad luck.” Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch (HRW) questioned the legality of the closed-door sessions and whether Mohammed’s confession was actually the result of torture. “We won’t know that unless there is an independent hearing,” he said. “We need to know if this purported confession would be enough to convict him at a fair trial or would it have to be suppressed as the fruit of torture?” HRW has also called on the Pentagon to make public the full transcript.

Closing The Gap Between Torturer And Victim John Pilger reports on new revelations that torturers in America’s ‘war on terror’ were directed personally by the US secretary of defence. He argues that the historical antedote to such barbarity is the new exuberant democracy movement in Latin America

The Line Between Torture and Cruelty  Making a distinction between torture and cruel or inhumane treatment may inadvertently provide a justification for torture.

Global abolition of the death penalty and other human rights aspirations could be achieved through mechanisms similar to the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, according to a proposal by the government of Brazil. Brazil’s special secretary for Human Rights, Paulo Vannuchi, presented a proposal to the U.N. Human Rights Council calling for the definition of concrete human rights goals, with varying deadlines, to eradicate some of the restrictions on people’s freedoms and safeguards.

Relighting Snuffed Candles  Significant numbers of Republicans voted with Democrats to reverse the erosion of the public’s right to know how its government operates

A Human Rights Approach to Social Justice The human rights community has to know that if we really want to take economic and social rights seriously then we must make them practical. We must show that they can be operational. We must show that they add value, particularly to development and particularly to the lives of the poorest and the most socially excluded.

Exhibit Reveals A Bitter Harvest A month-long programme in France this spring hopes to shine a spotlight on the working conditions of Haitians labouring in the sugarcane fields of the Dominican Republic, a state of affairs which human rights groups have charged in recent years is little better than slavery

Modern slavery in the UK is a JRF-commissioned review on trafficking and forced labour in the UK, conducted by Professor Gary Craig (University of Hull) with Anti-Slavery International.

Psychology legend blasts detainee torture  The retiring psychology professor who ran the famed Stanford Prison Experiment savagely criticized the Bush administration’s war on terrorism and said senior government officials should be tried for crimes against humanity. In his final lecture at Stanford University on Wednesday, Philip Zimbardo said abuses committed by Army reservists at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison were not isolated incidents by rogue soldiers. Rather, sadism was the inevitable result of U.S. government policies that condone brutality toward enemies, he said.

Guantánamo’s Uighur pawns  The new chief at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, has already set a different tone by firing officials responsible for the Walter Reed scandal. But there is a Walter Reed-style scandal of human rights abuses now festering at the Guantanámo detention center in Cuba. Gates can begin the process of restoring America’s reputation as a respecter of human rights by releasing 17 Guantanámo detainees from China. The 17 are Uighurs (pronounced wee-gurs) — members of a Muslim minority that feels oppressed by Beijing. They had been living in Afghanistan when the United States began its war there in 2001. They have said they fled U.S. bombing for shelter in Pakistan, where they were taken into custody by Pakistanis who were getting bounties of as much as $5,000 a head for captives. In 2006, after five were declared not to be enemy combatants, Albania accepted them as refugees. The U.S. military acknowledges that none of the 17 remaining is considered enough of a threat to be scheduled for one of the 80 trials planned for this year.

Multiple Sclerosis Sufferer Serving 25-Year Sentence for Taking Pain Killers  Jailing Richard Paey for taking pain pills serves no one — not taxpayers, not pain patients, and certainly not the image of America as a decent, humane country.

Whose life is it anyway? The cancer girl who’s had enough of treatment  After years of shattering cancer therapy, this little girl says she’s had enough – and so does her mother. But doctors refuse to stop treating her. So who’s right?

US frowns at UN’s new rights watchdog  This story is a year old but worth reading. The United States stood almost alone in the UN General Assembly last year as it voted against the new council, citing less arduous membership requirements than it had demanded or than Secretary General Kofi Annan had first proposed. The vote was 170 in favor to 4 opposed, with three abstentions (Belarus, Iran, and Venezuela). Israel, the Marshall Islands, and Palau joined the US in voting “no.”

Fate of Many “Ghost Prisoners” Still Unknown   The U.S. government should account for all “ghost prisoners” detained by the Central Intelligence Agency in secret prisons around the world, urges a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

State Secrets Privilege Was Used To Cover Up Corruption And Silence Whistleblowers   Two FBI Whistleblowers Confirm Illegal Wiretapping of Government Officials and Misuse of FISA

Human rights violation in Egypt Thanks to Mr. Chávez  If it takes Hugo Chávez’s demagogy to spur Washington toward more enlightened policies in the Americas, so be it.

Iran cracks down on women’s rights activists  

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