In December last year, a video clip went viral of two elderly women surrounded by a charged-up crowd and engulfed in a cloud of dust as they filled up a grave in a village in the Mzimba district in northern Malawi.
Last October, Ales Bialiatski was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was one of three winners, alongside
two human rights organisations: Memorial, in Russia, and the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine. The Nobel Committee recognised the three’s ‘outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the abuse of power’.
Despite serious allegations by the US justice system that two officials of the government of Nayib Bukele reached a secret agreement with the MS-13 gang to keep the homicide rate low, the Salvadoran president seems to have escaped unscathed for now, without political costs.
Putin’s regime recently suspended Russia’s participation in a nuclear arms agreement with Washington. After the decision Putin declared that the move was a retaliation for the US’s, France’s and Britain’s “targeting” of Russia with nuclear weapons. He was forced to take action to “preserve our country, ensure security and strategic stability”:
There is no better environment for the expansion of violent extremist groups than a vacuum in state authority. It provides ideal conditions for these groups to prey on existing and historical grievances, fill the void with promises of financial support, access to services and attention for marginalized, neglected communities.
The Venezuelan parliament, in the hands of the ruling party, is moving towards passing a law to control non-governmental organizations (NGOs) so that, in practice, they could not exist independently.
Over the year since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, on one side of the border civil society has shown itself to be a vital part of the effort to save lives and protect rights – but on the other, it’s been repressed more ruthlessly than ever.
Today with heavy hearts we mark 365 days of a brutal against Ukraine.
Through this illegal act of aggression, over 450 children have been killed and another 900 injured. The shelling and bombing has damaged 3,000 educational institutions, and completely destroyed 420 schools and learning centers. As many as 5.7 million children have had their education disrupted, with no end in sight.
On 9 February, Nicaragua’s dictator, Daniel Ortega, unexpectedly ordered the release of 222 political prisoners, including several former presidential candidates, opposition party leaders, journalists, priests, diplomats, businesspeople and former government supporters branded as enemies for expressing mild public criticism.
Paralysed by its own Charter and structure, the world organisation that is charged with preventing wars confronts an existential challenge from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The current political and social upheaval in Peru is not a temporary problem, but has to do with deeply-rooted inequality and social hierarchies, according to historian José Carlos Agüero.
In late January, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, finished an official visit
to Venezuela. He said
he’d found a fragmented society in great need of bridging its divides and encouraged the government to take the lead in listening to civil society concerns and responding to victims of rights violations.
The construction of a mega-prison, in which the government of El Salvador intends to imprison some 40,000 gang members, is in line with President Nayib Bukele’s tendency to hide public information on public projects, classifying them as "reserved."
Thulani Maseko knew speaking out in Eswatini was a risky business. An activist and well-known human rights lawyer, he’d previously spent 14 months in jail for criticising the country’s lack of judicial independence. Now he’s dead, shot in his home by unknown assailants.
The opioid addiction crisis in the United States is an acute public health emergency and a profound threat to national security – which is caused by the over-prescription, misuse, illegal production, and criminal trafficking and sale of opioid pharmaceutical drugs to Americans. It is estimated that over 130 people die every day from opioid overdoses in the U.S.
As plans are announced to set up an international centre in The Hague to prosecute war crimes committed in Ukraine, groups involved in documenting them say there must be a fundamental change in how the world reacts to war atrocities.
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost one year ago, there have been allegations of tens of thousands of war crimes committed by invading forces.
Hinting at “Western hypocrisy”, a senior UN official once told a group of reporters, perhaps half-jokingly: “When you go on one of those sight-seeing tours in Europe, they will show you their palaces and castles-- but never their medieval prisons or torture chambers.”
On February 4, Sri Lanka commemorates 75 years of Independence. But it will not be the extravaganza of the past years, the minaturised imitations of the grand displays on Moscow’s Red Square or China’s Tiananmen Square.
On 25 January, roughly six weeks after being sworn in following her predecessor’s removal, Peruvian president Dina Boluarte finally recognised
that elections were the only way out of political crisis. Elections were rescheduled
for April 2024, much earlier than the end of the presidential term she’s been tasked with completing, but not soon enough for thousands who’ve taken to the streets demanding her immediate resignation.
In 2022, Saudi Arabia “quietly” sentenced Salma al-Shehab
to 34 years in prison over her Twitter activity, marking the longest Saudi sentence ever for a peaceful activist. Fast forward and award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was charged with two counts of "offensive communication"
after making unflattering remarks about the president and his son on Twitter. The message is clear: your well-crafted 280 characters can land you in jail.
“Is it a sin to be a girl? We don’t want to be at home and illiterate. We want to go to school, study and be intelligent.”
In just a few words, this plea for education from a young Afghan girl
has captured the world’s attention. Her heartbreaking question shows how the Taliban’s recent ban on girls attending secondary school and university – effectively ending education opportunities for all Afghan girls and women – is not only violating their fundamental human right to education but shattering countless hopes and dreams in an instant. [related_articles]