UK to promote human rights at Council of Europe

Outlining the UK's vision as the Council of Europe's new chair, the UK foreign minister, William Hague, addressed delegates at the official handover ceremony in Strasbourg on Monday. Excerpts of Hague's speech are reproduced below: " Human rights, democracy and rule of law are central to the policy of the United Kingdom in every area of government . " We are committed to working through the international system to strengthen the implementation of these principles. They underpin our collective security and prosperity ." “We will make the promotion and protection of human rights the overarching...

South Sudan denies Sudan allegations

South Sudan denied allegations it was arming rebels in two regions on its borders with Sudan. Sudan reported South Sudan to the UN Security Council about violations, including the continued assistance to insurgents in the west and the south-east. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed by both countries in 2005 stipulates that neither side should encourage rebellion against the other. Sudan accused its neighbours of providing rebels with weapons and expertise in fighting the Sudanese army. South Sudan however rejected the allegations, in turn accusing Khartoum of supporting rebels in the...

Syrian death toll rises despite Arab League deal

The Arab League has called for emergency talks after 13 people were killed in an assault by Syrian troops on the city of Homs. The deaths come at the start of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, one of Islam’s holiest days, and bring the numbers of civilians killed to 60, since Assad officially accepted an Arab league peace plan. General Nabil al-Arabi, Arab League Secretary, called on Assad to implement the plan, and warned that failure to do so would result in "catastrophic consequences for the situation in Syria and the region". The Arab League has now called an emergency meeting for to...

Cultural genocide fans self-immolations – Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has spoken out against China’s rigid control over Tibet, blaming the desperate conditions Tibetans live in for the recent spate of self-immolations that have taken place. Speaking in Tokyo after meeting an adviser to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda , the 76-year-old Nobel peace prize laureate said , "Chinese communist propaganda creates (a) very rosy picture. But actually, including many Chinese from mainland China who visit Tibet, they all have the impression things are terrible." "Some kind of policy, some kind of cultural genocide is taking place...

Former Khmer Rouge member's plea of amnesty rejected by war crimes tribunal

A former Khmer Rouge member's plea against the charge of genocide, citing a royal pardon and the granting of amnesty, has been rejected by a UN-backed war crimes tribunal, examining allegations of genocide, torture and war crimes during the Khmer Rouge's rule of Cambodia. Ieng Sary, 86, was the foreign minister of the Khmer Rouge regime. Sary argued that he was immune from charges of genocide after receiving a royal pardon 15 years ago and amnesty upon surrendering to the government. Rejecting his plea, the tribunal released a statement on Monday, saying, "the scope of application of the...

Farc leader killed in Colombia

Colombia’s defence ministry has announced it has killed the leader of Farc, Alfonso Cano. Cano was killed when security forces surrounded his hideout, after aerial strikes hit his camp in the remote region of Cauca in southwest Colombia. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has hailed the Cano’s death as "the most resounding blow to this organisation in its entire history" The death is seen as a severe blow to Farc who have been suffering continous setbacks since a military campaign backed by the US started in 2002. After the death of one of its founders and then leader Manuel Marulanda...

Croatia will not drop genocide case

Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor has stated that Croatia will not be dropping charges of genocide levelled against Serbia, in a case filed before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The case, was put forward in 1999 against Serbia under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In response, Serbia filed their own genocide case against Croatia in 2010, focusing on the persecution of Serbs during World War II. While Serbia has said it would be in favour of both countries withdrawing their mutual genocide lawsuits, Croatia has stood firm and...

Kashmiris observe 64th Jammu Martyrs' Day

Kashmiris across the world observed Jammu Martyrs day on Sunday, 6th November. The day marks the massacre of upto 300,000 Muslims fleeing to Pakistan. The killings occurred sixty-four years ago in the city of Jammu and are believed to have been orchestrated by Hindu extremists and the Indian army led by Maharaja Hari Singh. On the day, Kashmiris pledged to continue the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people and never forget the sacrifice made by those who died in 1947. In a statement, the chairman of the All Parties Hurriya Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, said that the massacre of Kashmiris...

Report accuses Indonesian police of brutality against Papuans

Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komna) accused the country's security forces of carrying out human right violations, during a separatist rally in Papua, in a report released on Friday. The report details incidences of police brutality against Papuans, which caused the deaths of four people. “We found four examples of human rights violations: the right to life, the right to live free from torture and brutal actions, property rights and the right to not live in fear,” Komnas chairman Ifdhal Kasim told the Jakarta Globe on Friday. “The National Police should independently...

Navi Pillay on human rights, from Moldova

Speaking at the end of her visit to Moldova, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, reiterated the importance of media freedom, upholding the rule of law and freedom from torture. See here for full speech. Extracts reproduced below: "Impunity is an issue I raised in connection with torture. Torture is a serious crime and cannot be tolerated in any circumstances. " Any state official who carries out torture must be prosecuted and brought to justice. In addition, victims of torture are entitled to effective remedies, including reparations." " I am very concerned at a punitive...

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