This week Pope Francis is making his first trip to Africa in his as leader of the Catholic church. While mass excitement is building in the three host countries, Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic (CAR),among people of all religions not everyone is in the mood to celebrate.
Surprise turned to confusion, then to horror, when the children at Kiata primary school realized that the soldiers they had spotted at the bottom of the hill were heading for their school and its occupants.
Ahmed Ettanji is looking for a flat in downtown Laayoune, a city 1,100 km south of Rabat. He only wants it for one day but it must have a rooftop terrace overlooking the square that will host the next pro-Sahrawi demonstration.
Ten women are gathered to discuss how to transmit Sahrawi culture and tradition to the younger generations. As usual, it´s a secret meeting. There is no other way in the capital of Western Sahara.
Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden
and Julian Assange
are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo
is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh
, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us.
Nasser Boladai is the spokesperson of the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI), an umbrella movement aimed at expanding support for a secular, democratic and federal Iran. IPS spoke with him in Geneva, where he was invited to speak at a recent conference on Human Rights and Global Perspectives in his native Balochistan region.
A United Nations mission is due to take place this month to assess the impact of Ethiopia’s massive Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric power project on the Omo River which feeds Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, lying mostly in northwest Kenya with its northern tip extending into Ethiopia.
“The unbearable number of lives lost at sea will only grow if the European Union does not act now to ensure search-and-rescue operations across the Mediterranean,” Human Rights Watch warned Apr. 15.
The Southern Africa Litigation Centre, Amnesty International and over a dozen other human rights organisations including the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights have signed an open letter demanding justice for crusading Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, whose exposés have offended several military officials and other higher-ups.
Pakistan’s announcement that it has lifted the moratorium on the death penalty in response to the Dec. 16 attack on the Army Public School and College in Peshawar continues to draw severe criticism from human rights groups, which say that this contravenes international treaties signed by Pakistan.
The media tend to portray Balochistan as “troubled”, or “restive”, but it would be more accurate to say that there´s actually a war going on in this part of the world.
It's easy to spot Saani Bubakar in Tripoli´s old town: always dressed in the distinctive orange jumpsuit of the waste collectors, he pushes his cart through the narrow streets on a routine that has been his for the last three years of his life.
Staring at the floor, Hassan, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee from Idlib in northwestern Syria, holds a set of identification papers in his hands. He picks out a small pink piece of paper with a few words on it stating that he must obtain a work contract, otherwise his residency visa will not be renewed.
"Going back home? That would be suicide. The Islamists would cut our throats straight away," says Khalil Hafif Ismam. The fear of this Mandaean refugee sums up that of one of the oldest yet most decimated communities in Mesopotamia.
President Obama’s speech at the United Nations on Sep. 23 offered a rhetorically eloquent roadmap on how to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).