rights

Amnesty Demands the Release of Activists

London-based human rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), has demanded Zimbabwean authorities release an activist who exposed brutal abuses by security forces at a controversial diamond field in the east of the country.

AI Africa director, Erwin van der Borgt, describes, Farai Maguwu, as a ‘prisoner of conscience’ who is being persecuted for carrying out his lawful work of monitoring and documenting alleged human rights violations at Chiadzwa.

Govt Condemns Xenophobia Threats

The South African government has condemned people who are planning to use the FIFA World Cup’s good spirits, to stamp out simmering anti-immigrant sentiment.

Police minister, Nathi Mthethwa, states that, "We will not tolerate any threat or act of violence against any individual or sector of society, no matter what reasons are given to justify such threats or actions."

UN Urged to Support Goldstone Report

The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights is calling on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to support recommendations of the ‘Goldstone Report’.

UNHCR’s Navi Pillay, cites accountability as a key measure to protecting civilians caught up in conflicts, while warning council members of more violence in the lead up to the referendum in Sudan next year.

Zim Postpone Bail Application of Rights Activist

The bail application for detained Zimbabwean human rights defender, Farai Maguwu, has been postponed until 21 June - the same day the Zimbabwe government is to attend a meeting of the Kimberly Process (KP) in Israel to discuss its trade in so-called ‘blood diamonds’.

Maguwu, director of the Centre for Research and Development, has been monitoring alleged human rights abuses in the Marange diamond fields by Zimbabwean soldiers.

UNHCR Slams Malawi Over Gay Couple

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) has slammed the ‘blatantly discriminatory’ jailing of a gay couple in Malawi, saying it set an alarming precedent for the treatment of homosexuals in the Southern African region.

UNHCR’ Navi Pillay, points out that, "I am shocked and dismayed by the sentence and reports of the treatment of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga while in detention."

The Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation: A Collective Responsibility

In December 2009, human rights groups welcomed Ugandan legislators’ decision to endorse a proposed law banning female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) (2). While this move is an important step toward ensuring the protection of women’s and girls’ rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is not enough to simply pass laws prohibiting the practice.

World Cup 2010 and the Legalisation of Sex Work: Postulations and Expostulations

With up to half a million football aficionados and tourists expected to visit South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, and up to half of South Africa’s sex workers carrying the HIV virus, there have been calls for the country to decriminalise sex work to help tackle the spread of HIV. But is this a warranted call? Can the World Cup ever be a justification for the legalisation of sex work? This CAI brief explores the rationale that underscores the proposal of legalising sex work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Activating for Change

On 21 March this year, we commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Sharpville where 69 people lost their lives activating for change in apartheid South Africa. We took a good look at how our current environment calls us to social action once again and how local heroes across South Africa are putting their energy into bringing about change in their communities.

Call to Provide Housing for the Displaced

A Geneva-based housing rights group, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), has urged Nigerian authorities to provide ‘adequate emergency shelter’ for thousands of people displaced by deadly violence in the central city of Jos.

"Those displaced as a result of the recent violence... must be provided with adequate emergency shelter while efforts begin to provide a permanent solution to their housing problems," says COHRE.

HRW Blames Hamas for Targeting Civilians

A prominent international human rights group has disputed Hamas' claim that it did not target civilians during last year's war against Israel, saying there was strong evidence the Islamic militant group intentionally aimed its rockets at Israeli towns.

The criticism from New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) drew fresh attention to Hamas' actions in the three-week war, during which about 1 400 Palestinians, most of them civilians and 13 Israelis were killed.

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