China envoy vows 'fight' over alleged Xinjiang rights abuses
An envoy from China’s Xinjiang province says Chinese authorities are ready for a “fight” with “anti-China” critics in the West and elsewhere over allegations of rights abuses in the anti-extremism campaign against Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic groups in the region.
UN to EU: Don't backtrack on climate goals amid energy pinch
The acting U.N. human rights chief has urged European Union member states to avoid “backtracking” on their efforts to develop renewables and energy-efficiency projects at a time when soaring energy prices have prompted some to ramp up use of and searches for fossil fuelswashingtonpost.com
UN approves Austria's Volker Türk as new human rights chief
The U.N. General Assembly has approved veteran Austrian diplomat Volker Türk to be the global body’s human rights chief and the world’s advocate for adherence to the universal rights at a time when the office is facing harsh criticism from China for accusing Beijing of abuses against Muslim minorities.
UN chief says North Korea has increased repression of rights
The U.N. chief says in a new report that North Korea has increased its repression of the rights and freedoms of its people and the U.N. Security Council should consider referring the country to the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanitywashingtonpost.com
For exiled Uyghurs, UN report is long-awaited vindication
The U.N.’s long-delayed report on mass detentions and other rights abuses against Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups in China's far-western Xinjiang region has been welcomed by survivors as an acknowledgement of abuses they say they faced at the hands of the Chinese state.
U.N. report: China may have committed crimes against humanity in Xinjiang
The closely watched review faced criticism from both human rights advocates, who worried it would whitewash state-sponsored abuses, and Chinese officials, who called the investigation politically motivated and unfair.washingtonpost.com
Bachelet won't seek 2nd term as UN human rights chief
The U.N. human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, says she will not seek a new four-year term after the current one that has been overshadowed by criticism of her response to China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in western Xinjiangwashingtonpost.com
Avalanche of hacked Xinjiang Police documents, images expose Chinese government abuse of Uyghurs
A leaked cache of thousands of photos and official documents, titled “The Xinjiang Police Files,” reveal new information surrounding China’s detainment of its Uyghur population. An anonymous hacker allegedly downloaded and decrypted the secret files from a number of police computer servers in Xinjiang before handing them to Dr. Adrian Zenz, a U.S.-based scholar who has previously published research on Xinjiang. Zenz published the details in a paper for the Journal of the European Association for Chinese Studies on Tuesday.news.yahoo.com
China claims sabotage as UN rights official visits Xinjiang
China on Tuesday said the U.S., Britain and other foreign powers are seeking to sabotage its foreign relations by orchestrating criticism surrounding a trip by the top United Nations official for human rights. China has long held back the fact-finding mission led by Michelle Bachelet, focused on allegations of mass confinement, forced labor and compulsory birth control measures imposed on members of the Uyghur, Kazakh and other Muslim minorities. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin went on the offensive over such criticisms Tuesday, saying “the U.S., Britain and other Western countries have been repeatedly staging political farces around the U.N. high commissioner for human rights’ visit to China."news.yahoo.com
UN rights chief to visit China next week, travel to Xinjiang
The United Nations’ top human rights official will visit China next week on a trip that will take her to the Xinjiang region, where rights groups and some Western governments allege the Chinese government is committing genocide and serious abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minoritieswashingtonpost.com
Key players urge accountability for atrocities in Ukraine
For the first time, key players seeking accountability for atrocities during the Ukraine war have come together at an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council to spur investigations into abuses that many Western countries blame on Russia.
UN human rights council asked to act against Myanmar army
The main opposition organization in military-ruled Myanmar has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to act strongly to restore democracy in the Southeast Asian nation, saying that the international community should put sanctions and other pressures on the country’s generalswashingtonpost.com
Germany urges UN rights office to publish Uyghur report
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called Thursday for the U.N. human rights office to release a report it has compiled on the situation of the Uyghur Muslim minority in China. Baerbock said in a video speech to the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva that the global body needs “more transparency.”news.yahoo.com
Airstrike kills, wounds Turkey-backed gunmen in north Syria
Warplanes attacked Turkey-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria on Sunday, killing and wounding about 20, an opposition war monitor and pro-government media said. The airstrike struck a position in an area near the town of Afrin. It came amid increasing tensions between government forces and insurgent groups who still have a stronghold in northwestern Syria, mainly in the province of Idlib.news.yahoo.com
UN: Probe in Ethiopia's Tigray didn't reach Axum massacre
The United Nations human rights chief on Monday said a highly awaited joint investigation into abuses in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict was unable to deploy to the site of one of its deadliest attacks, the alleged massacre of several hundred people in the holy city of Axum. Michelle Bachelet told the U.N. Human Rights Council that deployments to eastern and central Tigray, where witnesses have accused Ethiopian and allied forces from neighboring Eritrea of some of the worst abuses of the 10-month war, “could not proceed.” The war saw a dramatic shift in late June when the Tigray forces retook much of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region and Ethiopian and allied forces withdrew.news.yahoo.com
UN rights boss urges 'wide range' of reparations over racism
The U.N. human rights chief on Monday urged countries to “fully fund comprehensive processes" and take “a wide range of reparations measures” to address the legacies of slavery, colonial rule and racial discrimination. Michelle Bachelet presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council a landmark report launched after the killing of George Floyd in the United States and released last month. Bachelet told the council in Geneva that research “could not find a single example of a state that has comprehensively reckoned with its past or accounted for its impacts on the lives of people of African descent today," despite some attempts at seeking out the truth through apologies, litigation and memorialization.news.yahoo.com
UN rights chief asks world to keep pressure on Myanmar junta
The U.N. human rights chief on Tuesday praised the “incredible resilience” of Myanmar’s people in helping each other in the wake of a military takeover and violent crackdown, while calling on the international community to keep up pressure on the junta to halt violence and restore democracy. Michelle Bachelet said the rights situation in Myanmar has changed from a political crisis to a “multi-dimensional human rights catastrophe,” noting that nearly 900 people have been killed and 200,000 forced to flee their homes because of military raids.news.yahoo.com
UN official urges Palestinian security to allow protests
The U.N. human rights chief on Thursday urged the Palestinian Authority to ensure the safety of protesters after security forces and supporters of President Mahmoud Abbas attacked demonstrators over the weekend. The protests erupted after an outspoken critic of the PA died shortly after his family says he was severely beaten by security forces who arrested him. The PA, which governs parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has grown increasingly autocratic and unpopular in recent years.news.yahoo.com
U.N. human rights chief calls for reparations to address systemic racism around the world
Two days after the sentencing of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd, the U.N. Human Rights Council released a report, ordered last year in the wake of Floyd’s death, calling on countries to adopt a “transformative agenda” to fight systemic racism.washingtonpost.com
China lashes out at western countries like the US and UK for 'violations of the rights of refugees and migrants' at the UN Human Rights Council
A Beijing representative said that China was "seriously concerned by the violations of the rights of refugees and migrants" in countries like the US.news.yahoo.com
UN rights chief warns of escalating violence in Myanmar
The U.N. human rights chief is warning of a military buildup in parts of Myanmar and rising violence, with the army using heavy weapons against armed groups as well as civilian targets, including Christian churches. Michelle Bachelet said more than 108,000 people have fled their homes in eastern Kayah state in the last three weeks, and her office cited “credible reports” that security forces have shelled civilian homes and churches and blocked access for humanitarian aid. “Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, have a duty to protect civilians,” said Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.news.yahoo.com
UN body asked to up scrutiny of Israel's human rights record
Member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are calling on the U.N. Human Rights Council to set up a permanent commission to report on human rights violations in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. If passed, it would mark an unprecedented level of scrutiny authorized by the U.N.’s top human rights body. The proposal, formally presented late Tuesday, comes ahead of a special session of the Geneva-based council on Thursday to address “the grave human rights situation” in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.news.yahoo.com
EXPLAINER: Why Ethiopia's deadly Tigray crisis is growing
AdEthiopia continues to deny the Eritreans’ presence, even as senior officials with the interim Tigray government that Ethiopia appointed are increasingly outspoken about them. The Telegraph, citing witnesses, has reported one in Debre Abay. CNN, citing witnesses, has reported one in Dengelat. Even as it announced the limited media access, Ethiopia warned journalists to essentially behave themselves. An access map published this week by the U.N. humanitarian agency showed much of Tigray inaccessible beyond major roads and cities.
UN registers steep rise in murders of Colombian activists
According to the U.N. report, at least 133 human rights defenders were murdered in Colombia in 2020, a 23% increase from 2019. The United Nations also registered 76 massacres across the country last year, which are defined as events in which three or more civilians are executed at once. AdThe report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. The United Nations urged Colombia’s government to increase its presence in these areas to protect civilians and bring down violence. Critics of his government have said that it has been slow at implementing some aspects of the peace deal, including the coca substitution projects.
Death threat against 11-year-old activist sends outrage
Francisco Vera, 11, who is well-known in Colombia for his environmental campaigns and defense of children's rights, gives an interview in Villeta, Colombia, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. The 11-year old activist who received a death threat over Twitter, says that he will continue to lead campaigns and urged other young people to use social media to support causes they believe in. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)VILLETA – A social media death threat aimed at an 11-year-old environmental activist has roused outrage in Colombia, a nation where attacks on social leaders are common and threats are taken seriously. Colombian officials said they are investigating the death threat against Francisco Vera and President Ivan Duque recently promised in a television appearance that his government would find “the bandits” behind the Twitter message. She said a town official suggested shutting down her son’s social media account, but she prefers to let him decide whether to stop campaigning.
Colombia struggles to keep social leaders safe
Santana, who runs an organization that helps community leaders fleeing violence to settle in Bogota, is one of the thousands of activists assigned some sort of government protection. The Afro-Colombian community leader sometimes she uses a hat or a turban for disguise. Last year 120 community leaders were murdered in Colombia according to the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, up from 107 a year earlier. Now 46, he's spent half of his life promoting human rights and fighting against illegal mining and corruption in his province. The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, recently urged the government to increase protection for activists in rural areas.
'I would never go back': Horrors grow in Ethiopia's conflict
In this fragile refugee community on the edge of Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict, those who have fled nearly two months of deadly fighting continue to bring new accounts of horror. “So if I go to Tigray, they would pick up that I’m Amhara because Amhara is not a part of them. For Tewodros, the conflict has been one civilian casualty after another since shelling began in early November as he worked at a hospital in Humera. Ethiopia's prime minister often speaks of “medemer,” or national unity, Tewodros said, in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups. In this conflict that remains so much in the shadows, he now relies on strangers to know their fate.
Shadowy Ethiopian massacre could be 'tip of the iceberg'
Others say it was Tigrayan forces and their allies who were responsible. In Sudan, where nearly 50,000 people have fled, one ethnic Amhara refugee gave The Associated Press a similar account. “Anyone they found, they would kill,” Tesfaalem Germay, an ethnic Tigrayan who fled to Sudan with his family, said of Ethiopian and Amhara forces. But another refugee, Abebete Refe, told the AP that many ethnic Amhara like him who stayed behind were massacred by Tigrayan forces. In Mai-Kadra, witnesses told the visiting Ethiopian rights commission they saw police, militia and members of a Tigray youth group attack Amhara.
Over 300 detained in Belarus during protests against leader
Protests in Belarus have continued for almost four months after President Alexander Lukashenko won his sixth term in office in an election the opposition says was rigged. Police in Minsk said they detained more than 300 people. The Viasna human rights group released the names of 215 people detained in Minsk and other cities, where rallies also took place. At least four journalists have been detained in Minsk and the western city of Grodno, according the Belarusian Association of Journalists. On Friday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that the situation with human rights in Belarus is getting worse.
UN rights chief laments worsening situation in Belarus
Riot police block Belarusian pensioners wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus during an opposition rally to protest the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (AP Photo)GENEVA – The United Nations' human rights chief lamented a deteriorating situation in Belarus and said Friday that reported beatings of protesters by security forces may in some cases amount to torture. Police have cracked down hard on the largely peaceful demonstrations, using stun grenades, tear gas and truncheons to disperse protesters. Thousands of people have been detained and many of them badly beaten since the protests began, human rights advocates say. Opposition leaders in Belarus have sought discussions with the government about a transfer of power or a new election, which Lukashenko has rejected.
With Ethiopia on brink of escalation, diplomacy in doubt
Tigray women who fled a conflict in the Ethiopia's Tigray region, wait to receive aid at Village 8, the transit centre near the Lugdi border crossing, eastern Sudan, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Meanwhile, hundreds if not thousands of people have been killed, some 40,000 people have fled into Sudan and the U.N. says 2 million people in the sealed-off Tigray region urgently need help. I mean, our goal is a quick end to the conflict," Nagy told reporters late last week. In a rare intervention on an African issue, Trump told the State Department to suspend millions of dollars of aid to Ethiopia and asserted that Egypt would “blow up” the dam. But where Ethiopia will be by the time Biden takes office two months from now is unknown.
As Ethiopia's conflict rages, ethnic targeting turns deadly
Ethnic Tigrayans arrested, in hiding or cut off from the world. Ethiopia’s deadly conflict is spilling beyond the country's northern Tigray region and turning identity into a mortal threat. Ethnic Tigrayans report being questioned and threatened. “It's not just me, several dozens of others have faced the same situation.” Other ethnic Tigrayans said they are being blocked from boarding flights. “I’m really afraid this might lead to ethnic attacks on Tigrayans,” said Mekonnen, who leads an association of ethnic Tigrayans.
UN urges India government to better protect rights defenders
GENEVA – The U.N. human rights chief on Tuesday urged India’s government to do more to protect human rights defenders, who have come under mounting pressure in recent months in the world’s largest democracy. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet's office pointed to three “problematic” laws in India that have variously tightened restrictions on non-governmental organizations and led to a crackdown on dissent. Critics say India under Modi has grown increasingly intolerant, with a crackdown on dissent unprecedented in scale. Leaders of Modi’s party have routinely labeled critics as “anti-nationals,” and the authorities have dealt with many rights advocates and activists with an iron fist. Rights groups have condemned the arrests as “illegal” and a “grave abuse of state power.”
Costa Rica latest country to legalize same-sex marriage
Costa Rica became the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage early Tuesday when a ruling from its supreme court went into effect ending the country's ban. (AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez)SAN JOSE Costa Rica became the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage early Tuesday when a ruling from its supreme court went into effect ending the country's ban. Theirs was the first legal gay marriage in Costa Rica and it was streamed live on the internet. Costa Rica is the sixth country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, following most recently Ecuador, which allowed it last year. The Legislative Assembly did not act, so at midnight the law banning same-sex marriage was nullified.
U.N. commissioner warns that violence in Bolivia could spin out of control
Postelection violence causing turmoil in the South American nation of Bolivia could spin out of control if officials resort to the use of disproportionate force, the United Nations human rights chief said Saturday. Surviving protesters and family members of the victims blamed security services, but government officials said some demonstrators were also armed during clashes. I am really concerned that the situation in Bolivia could spin out of control, said Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement. Morales stepped down under military pressure last Sunday and fled to Mexico, where he was granted political asylum. Morales has labeled her government illegitimate and called for national dialogue brokered by the United Nations or the Vatican.latimes.com
Hong Kong Protesters Call for Boycott of Disney's 'Mulan' After Star Voices Support
The Hong Kong protests have reached Disney. The hashtag #BoycottMulan is trending worldwide after Mulan star Liu Yifei voiced support for the police crackdown in Hong Kong this week. Crystal Liu Yifei, the well-known Chinese-American actress starring in Disney's upcoming live-action Mulan remake, expressed support for the city's police on social media. "I support the Hong Kong police. RELATED CONTENT:'Mulan': Why There Isn't Any Singing in Trailer for Disney's Live-Action Remake'Mulan': Watch the 1st Trailer for Disney's Live-Action Remake!