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Equality and Human Rights

'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.'

– Article One, The UN Declaration of Human Rights

Repression and executions continue in Iran as regime struggles to contain protests
Iran's clerical dictatorship has unleashed another wave of repression and executions in an effort to contain protests that continue unabbetted across the country. Four men, including two on Saturday, have been executed for killing and wounding security force members in connection with the protests. Twenty-six further prisoners are currently awaiting execution. They were sentenced to death in show trials meant to intimidate the population and put an end to the protests. At least 11 people have been sentenced to death, and another 15 have been accused of crimes that are punishable by death in Iran — including waging "war against God". Writer and illustrator Mehdi Bahman is among them. He was sentenced to death by a court in Tehran after giving an interview with Israeli media. Iran’s judiciary announced on Sunday four people had been jailed for up to 10 years for calling for strikes in support of ongoing nationwide protests against the regime. It is the first time the judiciary has announced prison sentences for such an act during demonstrations triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police in September. Activists used social media early last month to call for a three-day nationwide strike in support of the protesters. 
dennis2020 Mon, 01/09/2023 - 08:17 Houthis in Yemen abduct social media influencers in a crackdown on dissent
Stories continue to emerge of ongoing gross abuses by the Yemeni Houthi movement against Yemeni civil society activists in the capital Sanaa, and in other areas under their control. This week, three well-known Yemeni YouTubers have been kidnapped by Houthis in Sanaa, as the militia steps up its crackdown on online influencers who expose its leaders’ flaws, according to the newspaper Arab News, published on Wednesday,(4 January). Activists reported that Houthis abducted Mustafa Al-Mumari, Hamoud Al-Mesbahi, and Ahmed Elaw for posting videos on social media which support prominent YouTuber Ahmed Hajar, who was seized from a Sanaa street more than 10 days ago. The social media posts also criticized widespread corruption and the failure to address famine. Al-Mumari is a popular social media personality in Yemen with more than 2 million YouTube subscribers and tens of thousands of Facebook fans. The Houthi's, a militant group supported by Iran, seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and large swaths of the country's territory in 2014 and unseated the legitimate government, resulting in a civil war that neither side appears able to win.
dennis2020 Wed, 01/04/2023 - 06:03

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Repression and executions continue in Iran as regime struggles to contain protests
Iran's clerical dictatorship has unleashed another wave of repression and executions in an effort to contain protests that continue unabbetted across the country. Four men, including two on Saturday, have been executed for killing and wounding security force members in connection with the protests. Twenty-six further prisoners are currently awaiting execution. They were sentenced to death in show trials meant to intimidate the population and put an end to the protests. At least 11 people have been sentenced to death, and another 15 have been accused of crimes that are punishable by death in Iran — including waging "war against God". Writer and illustrator Mehdi Bahman is among them. He was sentenced to death by a court in Tehran after giving an interview with Israeli media. Iran’s judiciary announced on Sunday four people had been jailed for up to 10 years for calling for strikes in support of ongoing nationwide protests against the regime. It is the first time the judiciary has announced prison sentences for such an act during demonstrations triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police in September. Activists used social media early last month to call for a three-day nationwide strike in support of the protesters. 
dennis2020 Mon, 01/09/2023 - 08:17
Houthis in Yemen abduct social media influencers in a crackdown on dissent
Stories continue to emerge of ongoing gross abuses by the Yemeni Houthi movement against Yemeni civil society activists in the capital Sanaa, and in other areas under their control. This week, three well-known Yemeni YouTubers have been kidnapped by Houthis in Sanaa, as the militia steps up its crackdown on online influencers who expose its leaders’ flaws, according to the newspaper Arab News, published on Wednesday,(4 January). Activists reported that Houthis abducted Mustafa Al-Mumari, Hamoud Al-Mesbahi, and Ahmed Elaw for posting videos on social media which support prominent YouTuber Ahmed Hajar, who was seized from a Sanaa street more than 10 days ago. The social media posts also criticized widespread corruption and the failure to address famine. Al-Mumari is a popular social media personality in Yemen with more than 2 million YouTube subscribers and tens of thousands of Facebook fans. The Houthi's, a militant group supported by Iran, seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and large swaths of the country's territory in 2014 and unseated the legitimate government, resulting in a civil war that neither side appears able to win.
dennis2020 Wed, 01/04/2023 - 06:03
European Parliament adopts resolution recognising Holodomor as 'genocide'

The European Parliament has passed a resolution on Thursday (15 December) that recognizes the 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine, known as the Holodomor, as genocide. This was backed by an overwhelming majority of votes, with 507 in favour, 12 against, and 17 abstentions. The resolution also draws a comparison between this event and the current crimes perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine, and urges all governments and organisations to recognise the Holodomor as genocide.

Maximiliaan va… Fri, 12/16/2022 - 05:44
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warns of worsening human rights situation in Ukraine

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk warned on Thursday (15 December) that the ongoing attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure could cause a significant decline in living conditions and an increase in displaced people.

Millions of people are without heating, clean water or electricity as temperatures plummet. Some 18 million people are already dependent on government assistance or humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Maximiliaan va… Fri, 12/16/2022 - 05:26
UAE and Saudi Arabia instrumental in prisoner exchange between US and Russia
The governments of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia confirmed on Thursday a joint role in facilitating the prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia, leading to the release of US basketball star Brittney Griner after nearly nine months in detention.  Griner, 32, who was arrested in Russia in February on drug charges, and Viktor Bout, 55, who was serving a 25-year sentence in a US prison, were exchanged at an airport in Abu Dhabi. In a statement, the UAE and Saudi foreign affairs ministries said the mediation was led by UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.  "The success of the mediation efforts was a reflection of the mutual and solid friendship between their two countries and the United States of America and the Russian Federation," the statement read.  The statement confirmed that following her release by Russia, Abu Dhabi received on Thursday Griner by private plane from Moscow. Another plane arrived from the United States to the UAE carrying Russian citizen Victor Bout, an arms dealer convicted in the United States. Officials from the UAE and Saudi Arabia were present at the airbase. The source confirmed that Abu Dhabi and Riyadh facilitated the "details of the exchange," but stressed that the negotiations on the release were strictly handled by Moscow and Washington. US President Joe Biden thanked the UAE on Thursday for helping Griner return home from Russia.  “I also want to the thank the UAE for helping us facilitate Brittney’s return, cause that’s where she landed,” the US president said. 
dennis2020 Fri, 12/09/2022 - 06:19
Border police detain migrants in secret detention centres along EU border

Border police forces along the European Union's external borders in Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia are keeping migrants in secret detention centres without providing access to asylum applications, food, water, or toilets. According to research by the non-profit Dutch-based journalism collective, Lighthouse Reports in collaboration with several European newspapers, these actions are in violation of human rights and constitute torture. The migrants detained are not registered anywhere. They are also not given the opportunity to apply for asylum.

Maximiliaan va… Thu, 12/08/2022 - 16:20
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk starts four-day visit to Ukraine

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, embarked on a four-day visit to Ukraine on Sunday (4 December), arriving there at the invitation of the Ukrainian government.

Türk will be making stops in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Izyum and Uzhhorod to meet with both national and regional government officials and civil society, as well as the families of missing civilians and captured soldiers, among others.

Türk will hold a news conference in Kyiv at the end of his mission, on Wednesday (7 December) at around 13:00 hours local time. 

Maximiliaan va… Sun, 12/04/2022 - 14:28
Monday Commentary: Let sports unite us
The 2022 FIFA World Cup opened in Doha on Sunday (20 November) with a lavish half an hour opening ceremony full of music and colour. It will be followed by weeks of football extravaganza that millions are looking forward to watching. It was a proud moment for the small Arab Gulf country which has put a lot of effort and resources towards making the event a success, writes Dennis Sammut in today's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu. Ever since it was decided to hold the FIFA world cup in Qatar there have been those who questioned the decision. Some said the climate was too hot; others criticised the working conditions of the labour force that built the facilities; others questioned Qatar's human rights record, especially on gay rights. Some of the criticism was justified. The world cup helped put attention to such problems and that is how it should be. But frankly, a lot of the criticism of Qatar went over the top and reeked of racism. Qatar has its shortcomings, but the hundreds of thousands of people who flock there to work, and others who just visit, appreciate it for what it is: a young nation that is trying to play a positive role in the world and to offer opportunity for work and business to whoever wants to work with it. It is ofcourse easy to say that sports and politics do not mix. Since sports is an expression of human talent and human feelings politics cannot be excluded. It needs to be managed. People watching football do not need expressions of political opinions shoved down their throats. Many even find such expressions as an insult to their intelligence. But that does not mean that the occasion of a global sports event cannot be a way of transmitting a dignified message with political connotations. One such example happened yesterday when the captain of the Iranian team sent a message to his compatriots back home.
dennis2020 Mon, 11/21/2022 - 05:46
Kyrgyz government clamping down on media freedoms

On Sunday (23 Oct), multiple activists and politicians in Kyrgyzstan were arrested for their resistance to a government plan to hand over a major water reservoir to Uzbekistan as part of a border demarcation deal. Among the detained was opposition politician Ravshan Jeenbekov, who is also the founder of Next TV.

patrickn97 Mon, 10/24/2022 - 18:31