Monthly Archive: March 2013

In Afghan Child Abuse Cases, Victims Go to Jail

The 15-year-old refused to give his name, his eyes cast down as he sat in an empty room in the children‘s correction centre in Kabul. Slowly, he began to open up and tell his story. An orphan, he left his home province of Sar-e Pol a year ago and came to the Afghan city to study at an Islamic school....

6 minors in Border Security Force custody

Do children understand borders? Perhaps not. But borderguards surely dont understand that. In an unusually insensitive act of border policing, six Bangladeshi children have been taken away by the Indian Border Security Force from the Parsuram-Belonia border at Feni. The children were taken on Thursday and have not yet been returned. Locals say they are all below 10 years of...

National Peace Council – Way forward is to shift focus from accountability to reconciliation

Media Release WAY FORWARD IS TO SHIFT FOCUS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY TO RECONCILIATION A resolution titled “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka” was passed at the conclusion of the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 21, 2013.  This US-sponsored resolution was opposed by Sri Lanka which lost the vote by 25 to 13 with...

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Ordinance challenged in Supreme Court

Two separate Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were filed at the Supreme Court (SC) today challenging the recently promulgated Truth and Reconciliation Commission Ordinance‚ which introduced blanket amnesty to serious human rights violations that occurred during the decade-long Maoist insurgency. Advocates Madhav Kumar Basnet‚ Bishnu Prasad Pokhrel and a group of victims — chairman of Social Justice Committee Ram Kumar Bhandari...

One million people sign petition calling for end to flogging of women and children in the Maldives

An online petition calling on the Maldivian government to end the practice of flogging women and children for the crime of fornication has been signed by more than one million people worldwide. The Avaaz.org petition, titled ‘Horror in Paradise’, follows the sentencing of a 15 year-old rape victim to 100 lashes and eight months house arrest, for confessing to a...

Adoption of an unprecedented resolution at the UN to end the financial strangulation of human rights NGOs

Today, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council gave a strong response to the increasing trend of curtailing – when not criminalizing – the activities of human rights defenders by limiting their right to access funding, especially when they come from foreign countries. The Council adopted by consensus an unprecedented resolution, introduced by Norway and co-sponsored by 62 States, affirming...

UN rights body urges more thorough Sri Lanka probe into possible war crimes from civil war

For the second time in as many years, the U.N.’s top human rights body approved a U.S.-backed resolution Thursday calling on Sri Lanka to more thoroughly investigate alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the country’s quarter-century civil war with the Tamil Tiger rebels. By a 25-13 vote, the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council urged the South Asian nation...

Nepal inches towards truth about war

Along with the appointment of the Chief Justice as the head of the government, Nepal’s peace process also witnessed another significant movement last Thursday when President Ram Baran Yadav enacted an ordinance on transitional justice. The “Investigation of Disappeared Person, Truth and Reconciliation Ordinance – 2013” will form a truth commission to investigate thousands of human rights abuses committed during...

UN blames rise in violence against Afghan women on culture

Violence linked to culture was the main reason for a 20 per cent rise in deaths and injuries of females in Afghanistan last year, UN special envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis said on Monday. Despite an overall fall in annual civilian casualties in Afghanistan for the first time in several years, the United Nations said last month that more than...

India key ally DMK pulls out of government

A key regional ally has pulled out of India’s ruling coalition over the government’s failure to condemn alleged atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils. The DMK party’s 18 MPs will not support the Congress party-led government. Five MPs who are ministers in the government will also resign from the cabinet. A senior minister said the government was “stable” and would remain...