Theme

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

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

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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
Three Saudi men sentenced to death for resisting displacement for NEOM megacity

Three men, Shadli, Atallah and Ibrahim Al-Huwaiti, have been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for refusing to evict their homes in the Tabuk region. It was announced on Monday (10 October).

patrickn97 Tue, 10/11/2022 - 19:45
Opinion: Reconciliation requires empathy and understanding to each other's tragedies

In this op-ed for commonspace.eu, Vasif Huseynov says Armenia has no right to occupy the moral high ground on humanitarian issues in the South Caucasus. If really interested in peace and reconciliation, both sides should condemn crimes against humanity including war crimes and hold the perpetrators accountable instead of denying the facts, he says.

dennis2020 Fri, 10/07/2022 - 10:52
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks out for the first time on Iran protests

As Iran heads into the fourth week of massive nationwide anti-government protests, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has spoken out for the first time since mid-September, blaming the United States and Israel for the unrest.

patrickn97 Tue, 10/04/2022 - 18:57
Opinion: Frontex - from border guard to human rights violator

In the face of mounting criticism, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has reached a moment in its history where it has to redefine itself. The European Commission must take responsibility and deal with the Agency's problems head-on, writes Maximiliaan van Lange in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.

Maximiliaan va… Thu, 08/04/2022 - 13:50
Migrants die as they try to force their way into the Spanish enclave of Melilla

At least 23 migrants died, and others were injured on Friday, 24 June, when a huge crowd tried to cross into Spain's North African enclave of Melilla.

Moroccan authorities said some of those who died had fallen from the top of a border fence as they attempted to breach the fence into the Melilla enclave.

dennis2020 Wed, 06/29/2022 - 05:05
Opinion: Autonomy is one way in which some of the problems in Armenia-Azerbaijan relations can be resolved
"As Armenians and Azerbaijanis are finally trying to build a lasting peace, autonomy can be a powerful tool that brings people together instead of dividing them. It is important to give it a chance", argues Kamal Makili-Aliyev in this op-ed.  "Autonomy is a viable compromise that can lead to a lasting peace when it is implemented carefully and properly, with the aim of bringing the two nations together." "One good example is the Aland Islands, a Swedish-speaking autonomous region within Finland. That arrangement celebrated its 101st birthday this year as a successful means of bringing Swedes and Finns together politically, culturally, in education and interpersonal relations. Its secret? Carefully thought-out structures for separating powers between the autonomy and the central government, respect for minority rights, and security guarantees in the form of demilitarization (including, no local conscription or military bases) and neutralization (the autonomy cannot participate in wars neither passively, nor actively) of the region.".
dennis2020 Tue, 06/07/2022 - 08:36
Tunisian judges start week-long strike saying judicial system is under threat

On Monday (6 June), the Tunisian Association of Judges called a week-long nationwide strike after President Kaïs Saïed sacked 57 judges last Wednesday. The president justified his initiative claiming the need to clean up the judicial sector of all forms of corruption.

dennis2020 Mon, 06/06/2022 - 15:35