Crime & Justice

Are Hotels Dangerous? Putting in Context Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths

Being a frequent visitor to the Dominican Republic, where I occasionally have enjoyed the high standard, security and excellent service of its resorts, I became puzzled by recent, quiet excessive media reactions to statistically insignificant cases of deaths in these resorts. The number of demises in Dominican resorts have been more or less the same over the years and do not at all differ from those of most other tourist destinations. People die in hotels all over the world. There may even be specific reasons for this and they are far from being unique to the Dominican Republic.

Sudan’s Fragile Hope for Democracy

Sudanese civilians risk their lives everyday protesting and campaigning for democracy but they face several obstacles, including street closures and no Internet access.

Sharing the Burden of Refugees; the World Can Do Better

As the world marks World Refugee Day on June 20th to celebrate the strength, courage and perseverance of refugees, a glaring concern remains just how inadequate the global response to the refugee crisis has been.

Myanmar/Bangladesh: Older people denied dignity in camps after facing military atrocities

Tens of thousands of older women and men from ethnic minorities across Myanmar who faced military atrocities and were forced to flee their homes are being let down by a humanitarian system that often fails to adequately address their rights and needs, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

Wealth and Power: Andrej Babiš and Donald J. Trump

When I recently visited the Czech Republic I noticed an increasing Czech opposition against their wealthy Prime Minister. Andrej Babiš has been endowed with the nickname Babisconi since he, like the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is accused of purchasing and using various means of communication for his own propaganda purposes. Apparently, this endeavour has so far been quite successful, since according to my Czech friends Babiš is still popular among a majority of their compatriots.

Duel at the Shangri-La dialogue: Implications for us all

(The Daily Star) - The Annual Jamboree of global defence leaders at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore is much more than just a talkathon. Amidst the wining and dining, and in the chambers and corridors, policymakers and thought leaders get the opportunity to interact with one another intensely over a weekend. They try to make sense of how the regional critical security and related issues are evolving, against the backdrop of a rising Asia and a burgeoning superpower competition in what is now being increasingly viewed as the “Indo-Pacific Region”. Over the last several years the United States seemed to enjoy a walk-over vis-à-vis the agenda in the absence of senior Chinese protagonists. It invariably resulted in a spot of “China-bashing”, and a consequent erosion of its significance, the high quality of discourses notwithstanding.

The World Has Lost Its Compass

The terrible feeling I had on waking up and seeing the Italian voting results at the recent European elections was that my country was suddenly full of strangers. How could the majority of Italians reconfirm a government which has been the most inefficient in history, quarrelling on everything every single day and looking with total indifference to the looming problem of how to establish the next budget without clashing with the European Union or squeezing Italian citizens? Its irresponsible debate on the Italian finances has now led to a spread (difference of value) of 290 points with the Germans.

Exploitation and Acculturation

There are several means to make profitable use of other human beings, an endeavour that tends to turn others into tools by depriving them of their roots and self-respect. This happened in concentration - and work camps, where individuals were reduced to mere numbers.

The World Divided by a Line Is a Dead Body Cut in Two

(Tricontinental) – Word comes from friends in Iran of foreboding, a general sense of fear that the United States might bomb the country at any time.

Within a Parallel Universe – Monsters of the Dark Web

Human existence includes dreams, thoughts, ideas, music, stories, religion, and other immaterial ”things”. They constitute an important part of our habitat, i.e. the dwelling place of any living organism, consisting of both organic and inorganic surroundings. I learned this when I many years ago found myself among the undulating heights of Cordillera Central, which rise diagonally across the island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The Time is Now: End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

It’s time to end sexual and gender-based violence once and for all, participants of a two-day conference said.

UN: Catastrophic failure as civilians ravaged by war violations 70 years after Geneva Conventions

The UN Security Council must mark the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions this year by ending its catastrophic failure to protect millions of civilians around the world whose lives and livelihoods are routinely ravaged by violations of the laws of war, Amnesty International said today.

The Continuing US Strategy for Regime Change in Venezuela: A Tragedy is Unfolding

The Venezuelan crisis is festering. For the moment the elected President Maduro has hung onto power against the machinations of Bolton and his crew. However the pressure from the imperialists continues with the propaganda machines of the “liberal” North in full operation.The situation for the Venezuelan people is bleak but a right wing coup will not settle this problem.

Does God Hate Women? A Bangladeshi Murder Case

On 6 April, nineteen-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi was by a fellow student brought to the roof of their school. She told Nusrat that a friend of hers was beaten up there. Unknown to Nusrat, Moni who was four months pregnant at the time, had earlier bought burqas and gloves for three of the men who were awaiting them on the roof. Another girl, Umma, was already there beckoning Nusrat to come up. However, when Nusrat entered the roof Umma threw her down and tied her legs. The burqa-dressed men surrounded the defenseless Nusrat, demanding her to withdraw accusations of sexual harassment against the schools´headmaster. When Nusrat refused to give in, one of the men held her head down, while another poured kerosene over her and set her on fire.

West Africa’s Fine Line Between Cultural Norms and Child Trafficking

On a bus in Cotonou, Benin’s commercial capital, four Nigerian girls aged between 15 and 16 sit closely together as they are about to embark on the last part of their journey to Mali, where they are told that their new husbands, whom they never have met, await them.

Sierra Leone’s Journalists Demand Justice for “Murdered” Colleague and Call for Law Reform

Ibrahim Samura, erstwhile editor and publisher of New Age, an independent Freetown newspaper, was beaten up with “heavy-duty metal chains and sticks” during Sierra Leone's presidential run-off election in March 2018—in front of the police and army. He died from his injuries three months later. But more than a year since the assault the perpetrators are yet to be brought to book.

On World Press Freedom Day, Let us Ask: #WhereIsAzory?

Speaking in parliament recently, Tanzania’s information minister, Harrison Mwakyembe, wondered why people were still concerned about the whereabouts of Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist who went missing in November 2017 in the country’s Coast Region.


Kenya and Ethiopia Cross-Border Initiative: A Move Towards Sustainable Peace

Many years of internecine conflict is being replaced by a new narrative of peace along the Kenya-Ethiopia border. Communities that once fought each other are now dreaming of a joint journey towards a better future.

Terror and Religion

Just before nine o´clock in the morning of April 21st, Christians in Sri Lanka were in their churches peacefully celebrating Easter Sunday, while tourists were waking up in their hotel rooms. Suddenly explosions blasted three churches and three hotels. Among the ruins lay hundreds of wounded people, as well as 253 corpses of men, women and children. They had been killed and maimed because some fellow human beings believed they acted in God´s name and out of promises of an unproven, heavenly bliss if they killed themselves after obliterating people they did not know; sowing death, lifelong suffering and sorrow.

Lost in the Cyberworld? The Enigmatic Mr Assange

Trump´s electoral success was preceded by a rise of chauvinistic politics in most of Europe, paired with electoral triumphs of far-right candidates in several other countries. A development accompanied by revelations of corrupt leaders laundering and transferring illegally obtained money, aided by financial institutions finding the means to do so. The world seems to move away from a rule-based order to a state of affairs dominated by might and wealth. World leaders´ private business dealings thrive within a global environment where laws intended to protect human rights are becoming increasingly ineffective. Foreign policies appear to be adapted to private gains and personal vendettas. Global financial systems seem to be crafted to facilitate kleptocracy and money laundering, while repression and violence smite whistle-blowers and daring journalists. Endeavours supported by propaganda and smear campaigns orchestrated by political/financial consultants and private investigation firms. All this is made possible through complicated schemes using the internet.

Why the Prosecution of Julian Assange is Troubling for Press Freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, British police last week arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange--a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

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