Media Coverage

9/20/2018

The Human Rights Council today held a general debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention. In the general debate, speakers reiterated serious concern about the rising intolerance against migrants and minorities, fed by racism and populism that were practiced by mainstream political parties. The abuse of the social media, which fuelled tensions and violence in several countries, underlined the need to explore the ways to stem misperceptions and misunderstandings while not compromising the freedom of expression.

9/20/2018

Two decades since the end of ethnic conflict in the Balkans, trust between communities is still hard to come by as ethno-nationalist sentiments are on the rise. Political tee-shirts, supporting fascists or ethnic militias, have become a way to show allegiance to a particular group, even though many states in the region have laws against promoting hateful and genocidal ideologies. While historical resentments and anger simmer across the region, nationalist politicians invoke dangerous ideologies and offer easy answers to attract young supporters.

9/20/2018

In his state of the nation address last week, Gambian President Adama Barrow told lawmakers that a National Human Rights Commission and Anti-Corruption Commission were at different stages of implementation. According to President Barrow, the Human Rights Commission will be constituted before the end of 2018 and the Anti-Corruption Commission will be submitted to his cabinet for final review and approval soon.

9/20/2018

A growing number of fighters granted amnesty under the 2016 peace deal have picked up arms, again, against paramilitary groups in Colombia. The rebels say that they feel themselves under threat by a range of paramilitary groups that rushed to take control of the territory that the rebels left when they signed the peace deal. Former rebel leaders are urging the fighters not to return to battle, but also say they understand their reasons for fighting, considering the dangers they now face as civilians under the right-wing government of newly inaugurated president Ivan Duque.

9/20/2018

The report from a United Nations (UN) factfinding mission on abuses committed by the Burmese army against the Rohingya people was presented to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday. The report calls for the Burmese army, known as the Tatmadaw, to be stripped of its quota of parliamentary seats and brought under civilian oversite, and for the prosecution of senior military leaders for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

9/20/2018

As Yemen enters its fourth year of civil conflict, more and more Yemenis are going hungry and without proper medical care than ever before. Some 10,000 people have died since rebels from the North, with tacit backing from Iran, routed government forces and nearly took the capital. In response, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States have pursued a brutal blockade and bombing campaign. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people starving and dying because of lack of access to medical care.

Head of Program, Côte d’Ivoire

9/19/2018

On the eve of Côte d'Ivoire’s 58th independence anniversary, in a dubious attempt at “social cohesion,” President Alassane Ouattara granted amnesty to 800 persons accused or convicted of crimes against the state during the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. Former First Lady Simone Gbagbo — who had been tried for undermining state security — and other high-ranking officials associated with former President Laurent Gbagbo’s party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), were among those released. The lapses in accountability and acknowledgment in Cote d’Ivoire have emboldened perpetrators and made it impossible for many victims to move on with their lives. The challenges of transitional justice processes present clear obstacles to the sustainable peace that the people of Cote d’Ivoire have been working toward.

9/19/2018

The Peruvian government’s confiscation of a collection of art from a Lima museum depicting crimes against humanity suggests that Peru’s legacy of violence against Indigenous communities is alive and well. The works, curated by the Museum of Art of Lima and donated by the Detroit-based non-profit organization, CON/VIDA Popular Arts of the Americas, depict atrocities committed against Indigenous Quechua-speaking people during the country’s internal armed conflict from 1980 to 2000.

9/18/2018

In the Hague, the Trial Chamber VII of the International Criminal Court ("ICC") delivered the sentences against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo following an earlier reversal of their sentences of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The convictions and acquittals in relation to all five accused are final.

9/13/2018

While Germany has long been lauded for the way it has confronted its Nazi history, activists say the country has yet to come to terms with its violent colonial legacy in Africa. Between 1884 and 1918, German colonizers killed tens of thousands of Africans during their reign over modern-day Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Namibia. Signs and memorials honoring the German colonizers who perpetrated these atrocities remain scattered around the country, schools teach little of the history, and the government has yet to apologize for the nation’s colonial crimes.

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