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uuunoffice:

Our director Bruce Knotts visited the White House to discuss LGBTQ Human Rights! 
'On June 20th, I was the third to the last speaker at the end of a week-long opportunity for civil society to provide input to the United Nations as it formulates its Sustainable Development Goals, which will guide global development efforts from 2015-2030. We were one of 90 groups which support an independent #10 dedicated to human rights. However, we were the only group which called for explicit mention of LGBTQ human rights. Our intervention was the only to receive applause that day. The co-chairs said they supported our initiative, but they doubted it would be accepted by the consensus of the member states of the U.N. We have an uphill fight ahead of us. Our intervention was included in the written outcome document. We will have another opportunity to provide our ideas on implementation later this month.’ Read more here.

uuunoffice:

Our director Bruce Knotts visited the White House to discuss LGBTQ Human Rights! 

'On June 20th, I was the third to the last speaker at the end of a week-long opportunity for civil society to provide input to the United Nations as it formulates its Sustainable Development Goals, which will guide global development efforts from 2015-2030. We were one of 90 groups which support an independent #10 dedicated to human rights. However, we were the only group which called for explicit mention of LGBTQ human rights. Our intervention was the only to receive applause that day. The co-chairs said they supported our initiative, but they doubted it would be accepted by the consensus of the member states of the U.N. We have an uphill fight ahead of us. Our intervention was included in the written outcome document. We will have another opportunity to provide our ideas on implementation later this month.’ Read more here.

BDS Movement: Effective BDS actions more important than ever to support Palestinians in Gaza and hold Israel to account

Nine years on from the historic Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), issued by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian society on July 9 2005, the BDS movement has opened the most crucial and empowering space for effective international solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Read about some recent significant BDS-related developments here.

BDS Movement: Effective BDS actions more important than ever to support Palestinians in Gaza and hold Israel to account

Nine years on from the historic Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), issued by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian society on July 9 2005, the BDS movement has opened the most crucial and empowering space for effective international solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Read about some recent significant BDS-related developments here.

humanrightswatch:


Syria: War’s Toll on Women
 Women in Syria have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, physically abused, harassed, and tortured during Syria’s conflict by government forces, pro-government militias, and armed groups opposed to the government.
Through written and photographic portraits, the report documents ways in which the conflict impacts women in particular. Women profiled in the report experienced violations by government and pro-government forces as well as by armed groups opposed to the government such as Liwa’al-Islam and extremist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). Some female activists and humanitarian aid providers said they had been threatened, arbitrarily arrested and detained, and tortured by government or armed opposition forces. All six former detainees profiled in the report experienced physical abuse or torture in detention; one woman was sexually assaulted multiple times. Other women said they had been victims of discriminatory restrictions on their dress and movement. Several women were injured or lost family members in indiscriminate attacks on civilians by government forces.
Photo: Some of the women profiled in this report, all of whom are now refugees in Turkey due to ongoing conflict and threats to their personal freedom and security in Syria. © 2014 Samer Muscati/ Human Rights Watch

humanrightswatch:

Syria: War’s Toll on Women

 Women in Syria have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, physically abused, harassed, and tortured during Syria’s conflict by government forces, pro-government militias, and armed groups opposed to the government.

Through written and photographic portraits, the report documents ways in which the conflict impacts women in particular. Women profiled in the report experienced violations by government and pro-government forces as well as by armed groups opposed to the government such as Liwa’al-Islam and extremist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). Some female activists and humanitarian aid providers said they had been threatened, arbitrarily arrested and detained, and tortured by government or armed opposition forces. All six former detainees profiled in the report experienced physical abuse or torture in detention; one woman was sexually assaulted multiple times. Other women said they had been victims of discriminatory restrictions on their dress and movement. Several women were injured or lost family members in indiscriminate attacks on civilians by government forces.

Photo: Some of the women profiled in this report, all of whom are now refugees in Turkey due to ongoing conflict and threats to their personal freedom and security in Syria. © 2014 Samer Muscati/ Human Rights Watch

(via humanrightsupdates)

'Unfortunately we are ruled by a tribe'
Leading Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab served two years in prison for his involvement in prodemocracy protest marches. He talks to DW about his experience - and his unbroken resolve.

How did your time in prison change you - did it strengthen your commitment to human rights in Bahrain?
Two years makes you angry, and there are two ways of fighting that anger. Either through violence, or through a peaceful struggle with the international human rights community - and that is what I choose. As a victim of regime repression, a victim of political institutions that don’t respect human rights, I am committed to the fight to change things.
Where do you go from there?

I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I’m sure our struggle is going to continue, and that we will use all peaceful means, all legitimate means recognized by the international community. We do not believe in the use of violence. Everyone knows the fight is costly and painful, but Bahrainis are willing to continue, and to pay the price. Stopping or going back is not an option.

'Unfortunately we are ruled by a tribe'

Leading Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab served two years in prison for his involvement in prodemocracy protest marches. He talks to DW about his experience - and his unbroken resolve.

How did your time in prison change you - did it strengthen your commitment to human rights in Bahrain?

Two years makes you angry, and there are two ways of fighting that anger. Either through violence, or through a peaceful struggle with the international human rights community - and that is what I choose. As a victim of regime repression, a victim of political institutions that don’t respect human rights, I am committed to the fight to change things.

Where do you go from there?

I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I’m sure our struggle is going to continue, and that we will use all peaceful means, all legitimate means recognized by the international community. We do not believe in the use of violence. Everyone knows the fight is costly and painful, but Bahrainis are willing to continue, and to pay the price. Stopping or going back is not an option.

guardian:

The number of people forced to flee their homes across the world has exceeded 50 million for the first time since the second world war. More
Graphic: Cath Levett 

guardian:

The number of people forced to flee their homes across the world has exceeded 50 million for the first time since the second world war. More

Graphic: Cath Levett 

"Human rights are not about asking favors and they are not merely moral or rhetorical concept; they are guides to action and triggers of resistance against what is perceived as the illegitimate use of power."

- Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in “A Struggle Approach to Human Rights”

aazephyr:

Outside QVB building in #Sydney: “Chilout” has an art-based #refugee action on rescuing children in #detention #centres. They need you help in getting all 1,023 dolls out, so donate your time and raise awareness today or tomorrow (until 4pm each day).www.chilout.org #noborders #NoOneIsIllegal

aazephyr:

Outside QVB building in #Sydney: “Chilout” has an art-based #refugee action on rescuing children in #detention #centres. They need you help in getting all 1,023 dolls out, so donate your time and raise awareness today or tomorrow (until 4pm each day).
www.chilout.org #noborders #NoOneIsIllegal

(via refugeeartproject)

Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works

Between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance against authoritarian regimes were twice as likely to succeed as violent movements. Nonviolent resistance also increased the chances that the overthrow of a dictatorship would lead to peace and democratic rule. This was true even in highly authoritarian and repressive countries, where one might expect nonviolent resistance to fail. Contrary to conventional wisdom, no social, economic, or political structures have systematically prevented nonviolent campaigns from emerging or succeeding. From strikes and protests to sit-ins and boycotts, civil resistance remains the best strategy for social and political change in the face of oppression. Movements that opt for violence often unleash terrible destruction and bloodshed, in both the short and the long term, usually without realizing the goals they set out to achieve. Even though tumult and fear persist today from Cairo to Kiev, there are still many reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the promise of civil resistance in the years to come.

Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works

Between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance against authoritarian regimes were twice as likely to succeed as violent movements. Nonviolent resistance also increased the chances that the overthrow of a dictatorship would lead to peace and democratic rule. This was true even in highly authoritarian and repressive countries, where one might expect nonviolent resistance to fail. Contrary to conventional wisdom, no social, economic, or political structures have systematically prevented nonviolent campaigns from emerging or succeeding. From strikes and protests to sit-ins and boycotts, civil resistance remains the best strategy for social and political change in the face of oppression. Movements that opt for violence often unleash terrible destruction and bloodshed, in both the short and the long term, usually without realizing the goals they set out to achieve. Even though tumult and fear persist today from Cairo to Kiev, there are still many reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the promise of civil resistance in the years to come.

humanrightswatch:


Bahrain: A System of Injustice
Bahrain’s courts play a key role in maintaining the country’s highly repressive political order, routinely sentencing peaceful protesters to long prison terms. But members of security forces are rarely prosecuted for unlawful killings, including in detention, and the few convictions have carried extremely light sentences.
“A police officer in Bahrain who kills a protester in cold blood or beats a detainee to death might face a sentence of six months or maybe two years, while peacefully calling for the country to become a republic will get you life in prison,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Bahrain’s problem is not a dysfunctional justice system, but rather a highly functional injustice system.”
Photo: Dr. Fatima Haji (right) hugs Dr. Zahra Ahmad al-Sammak, after hearing the verdicts announced by a Bahraini appeals court in Manama, Bahrain on June 14, 2012. The court upheld convictions of ten medical personnel based on their participation in pro-democracy protests. © 2012 Reuters

humanrightswatch:

Bahrain: A System of Injustice

Bahrain’s courts play a key role in maintaining the country’s highly repressive political order, routinely sentencing peaceful protesters to long prison terms. But members of security forces are rarely prosecuted for unlawful killings, including in detention, and the few convictions have carried extremely light sentences.

“A police officer in Bahrain who kills a protester in cold blood or beats a detainee to death might face a sentence of six months or maybe two years, while peacefully calling for the country to become a republic will get you life in prison,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Bahrain’s problem is not a dysfunctional justice system, but rather a highly functional injustice system.”

Photo: Dr. Fatima Haji (right) hugs Dr. Zahra Ahmad al-Sammak, after hearing the verdicts announced by a Bahraini appeals court in Manama, Bahrain on June 14, 2012. The court upheld convictions of ten medical personnel based on their participation in pro-democracy protests. © 2012 Reuters

(via humanrightsupdates)

Voices from Tiananmen

Today marks the 25th anniversary of a brutal military crackdown on pro-democracy protests led by students and residents in Beijing. Hundreds of people were killed and many more were wounded when People’s Liberation Army units rolled into Tiananmen Square, ending more than a month of peaceful protests seeking political reforms.

Former government officials, student leaders and other eyewitnesses revisit the momentous events of spring, 1989 in this multimedia series