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Thailand: No Amnesty for Rights Abusers

Posted on 05 Aug 2013 at 9:13am

Proposed Law Would Entrench Culture of Impunity

(New York) – A proposed amnesty law before Thailand’s parliament should exclude people who ordered or carried out human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. The Thai government should affirm that prosecuting those responsible for rights abuses, regardless of rank or affiliation, is critical to promoting human rights, the rule of law, and lasting reconciliation in Thailand.

On August 7, 2013, the parliament will begin the first reading of an amnesty bill proposed by Worachai Hema, a member of parliament from the ruling Pheu Thai party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

“The ruling party’s amnesty bill lets both soldiers and militants responsible for deaths…

Syria: Ballistic Missiles Killing Civilians, Many Children

Posted on 05 Aug 2013 at 9:12am

End Indiscriminate Attacks on Populated Areas

(New York) – Ballistic missiles fired by the Syrian military are hitting populated areas, causing large numbers of civilian deaths, including many children. The most recent attack Human Rights Watch investigated, in Aleppo governorate on July 26, 2013, killed at least 33 civilians, including 17 children.

Human Rights Watch has investigated nine apparent ballistic missile attacks on populated areas that killed at least 215 people that local residents identified as civilians, including 100 children, between February and July. It visited seven of the sites. There were no apparent military targets in the vicinity of seven of the nine attacks investigated by Human Rights Watch. In…

Secretary-General welcomes Cambodian elections

Posted on 03 Aug 2013 at 9:18am

United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the peaceful conduct of elections in Cambodia and encouraged the competent authorities to deal fairly and transparently with any complaints of irregularities.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the peaceful conduct of the elections in Cambodia on 28 July,” said a statement issued last evening by the office of the UN chief’s spokesperson.

“Amid reports of irregularities, the United Nations encourages the competent authorities to adjudicate complaints fairly and transparently, with the ultimate aim of ensuring the accurate determination of, and respect for, the will of the Cambodian people,” the statement said, adding that Mr. Ban continues to follow the situation in the country closely.

UN

State-by-State Reports: The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

Posted on 01 Aug 2013 at 9:41am

America has always been a nation of immigrants, and throughout the nation’s history, immigrants from around the globe have kept our workforce vibrant, our businesses on the cutting edge, and helped to build the greatest economic engine in the world. But our nation’s immigration system is broken and has not kept pace with changing times. Today, too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living and working in the shadow economy. Neither is good for the U.S. economy or American families.

Commonsense immigration reform will strengthen the U.S. economy and create jobs. Independent studies affirm that commonsense immigration reform will increase…

Bangladesh: Security Forces Kill Protesters

Posted on 01 Aug 2013 at 9:39am

Demonstrators, Bystanders, Children Killed, Often by Excessive Force

Bangladeshi security forces have frequently used excessive force in responding to street protests, killing at least 150 protesters and injuring at least 2,000 more since February 2013. While large numbers of protesters have been arrested, the Bangladeshi authorities have made no meaningful efforts to hold members of the security forces accountable.

The 48-page report, “Blood On The Streets: The Use of Excessive Force During Bangladesh Protests,” is based on 95 interviews with victims and their family members, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers. The report documents case after case in which police, the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and the Border Guards…

Jamaica: Cross-Dressing Teenager Murdered

Posted on 01 Aug 2013 at 9:37am

Investigate, Condemn Violence, Respect Rights of LGBT People

(New York) – Jamaican police should conduct a thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the murder of Dwayne Jones at the hands of a mob in Montego Bay, sometime between July 21 and 22, Human Rights Watch said.

Jones, 16, was found dead on July 22 after being attacked at a party he attended dressed in women’s clothing. According to news reports, when someone at the party identified Jones as male, a crowd chased him as he fled. Police found his body on the road, with multiple stab wounds and a gun wound.

“Jamaican authorities need to send an unequivocal message that…

India school deaths highlight need to phase out toxic pesticides – UN agency

Posted on 30 Jul 2013 at 12:06pm

The tragic incident in India in which nearly two dozen children died after eating a contaminated school meal is a stark reminder that highly hazardous pesticides should be phased out in developing countries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

On 17 July, 23 children in the village of Dharmasati Gandawa in the eastern state of Bihar died after eating a free school lunch that was made with cooking oil tainted with the monocrotophos pesticide. This substance is widely used in India in spite of being described as having “high acute toxicity” by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a news release, FAO stressed that the…

As violence escalates in Libya, UN urges greater efforts to tackle security challenges

Posted on 30 Jul 2013 at 12:03pm

The United Nations mission in Libya today strongly condemned the recent violence in the country and called on the authorities to boost efforts to address ongoing security challenges.

A news release issued by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) noted that acts of violence have taken place recently in a number of areas in the North African nation, including its capital, Tripoli, and its second largest city, Benghazi.

The Mission voiced its grave concern over the deteriorating security conditions and the growing acts of violence in their various forms that have targeted political activists, judicial institutions, diplomatic missions, army and police personnel as well as State facilities and others.

“UNSMIL calls…

Kenya: Parliament must reject amendments to police reform package

Posted on 30 Jul 2013 at 11:59am

Attempts by the Kenyan government to water-down key reforms to regulate the country’s police force will allow human rights violations to continue and officers to act with impunity, Amnesty International warned today.

Amendments to a police reform package are likely to be debated in Parliament this week. It was originally introduced to ensure that serious human rights violations committed by the Kenyan police force during the 2007/2008 post-election violence could never be repeated.

However amendments proposed by the Inspector General of Police, and endorsed by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Co-ordination, would severely weaken the reforms and eliminate many of the safeguards created to discipline and regulate the police…

China: US Should Insist on Rights Benchmarks in Talks

Posted on 30 Jul 2013 at 11:44am

Make Dialogue Useful Tool For Human Rights Protection

(New York) – The United States should use the upcoming human rights dialogue with the Chinese government to demand concrete public commitments to change policies and practices that violate human rights.

The dialogue is to convene in Kunming, Yunnan Province, on July 30 and 31, 2013. It is the first since the new Chinese leaders, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, assumed power in March.

“The most important human rights dialogue in China is the one the government should be having with citizens who are calling for their rights to be respected,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “But in this realm the…

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