human rights

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Russia Voted Off UN Human Rights Council

US, UK keep their seats in General Assembly vote

(Newser) - The United Nations General Assembly voted Russia off the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, a stunning rebuke to the country which is increasingly being accused of war crimes over its actions in Syria. The 193-member General Assembly elected 14 members to the 47-nation council, the UN's main body... More »

Indonesia Defies Protests, Executes 4 by Firing Squad

3 foreigners, Indonesian man executed

(Newser) - Indonesia executed four people convicted of drug crimes on Friday despite international protests and said it would decide later when as many as 10 others are put to death. The men were executed by firing squad not long after midnight local time as torrential rains hit the Nusa Kambangan prison... More »

Friends, Family: Iran May Be Holding San Diego Man

Human rights advocate Robin Shahini taken by Iranian authorities, family says

(Newser) - After graduating from San Diego State University in May, Gholamrez "Reza" Shahini, known to most as Robin, headed to Iran to visit his mom and other family. But the 46-year-old San Diego man hasn't been heard from in more than 10 days, and friends and family back in... More »

UN: Ireland's Abortion Ban Is 'Inhumane'

Committee finds woman's human rights were violated

(Newser) - The UN's human rights committee says Ireland's effective ban on abortion violated a woman's human rights and must be reformed in what the Guardian calls "a ground-breaking judgment that is expected to set an international precedent." The committee responded to the case of Amanda Mellet,... More »

Castro Opens Up in Rare Cuba Presser

Cuban president answers question about political prisoners

(Newser) - President Obama made history in Cuba today by getting Cuban President Raul Castro to field questions from reporters—inspiring an exchange over democracy and human rights that apparently left Cubans stunned. The White House negotiated to the last minute to make the press conference happen, the AP reports. Among the... More »

Vocal Miss World Canada Barred From Entering China

Human rights activist Anastasia Lin denied entry in Hong Kong for pageant in Hainan

(Newser) - Canada's outspoken Miss World contestant said she was barred Thursday from entering China to take part in this year's pageant in the southern island province of Hainan. Chinese-born Anastasia Lin said she was unable to board her connecting flight from Hong Kong after a Chinese official told her... More »

Man Facing 'Most Gruesome' Penalty Wins Elite Award

Raif Badawi gets Sakharov Prize for human rights—but he's stuck in Saudi prison

(Newser) - A Saudi blogger has joined the ranks of Nelson Mandela, Malala, and all other notables who've taken home one of the European Union's most elite human-rights prizes—but as of now, he can't go and collect his award in person. EU leaders announced Thursday that Raif Badawi... More »

UN: North Korea Obtains Foreign Cash in Cruel Way

Forced labor is a human rights violation one UN official wants brought before ICC

(Newser) - North Korea is saddled with sanctions for its nuclear testing , but Pyongyang has found at least one way to buck the system, the UN now acknowledges: bring in foreign currency via forced labor outside the country , reports CNN . And it's no small chunk of change the nation is said... More »

Amnesty International: Decriminalize the Sex Trade

Group hopes recommendation will improve conditions for sex workers

(Newser) - In a move to stick up for what the head of Amnesty International describes as "one of the most marginalized groups in the world who ... face constant risk of discrimination, violence, and abuse," the organization voted today to recommend decriminalizing that group's line of work: prostitution and... More »

Cabbie Refuses to Pick Up Black Exec, She Fights Back

Baqir Raza is ordered to pay $25K in fines

(Newser) - For Cynthia Jordan, a 57-year-old vice president at a stock transfer firm in New York, it was just another day when a taxi driver refused to let her, a black woman, ride. Except Jordan was with her two daughters on Oct. 19, 2013, and when she saw the look on... More »

China Ignores Own Reform, Rampantly Tortures: HRW

Prisoners electrocuted, deprived of sleep, sprayed with chili oil

(Newser) - China promised years ago to reform its legal system so suspects wouldn't be abused in custody, but according to a Human Rights Watch report out today authorities are flouting the rules and continuing their brutal methods, the AP reports. "Police are torturing criminal suspects to get them to... More »

Report: North Korea Sends 'Slaves' Abroad

State steals wages to combat sanctions, says NK Watch

(Newser) - Though most North Koreans will never leave their isolated country, an estimated 100,000 work long hours abroad to earn hard currency for the state. As sanctions against North Korea continue to take a toll, a program of sending contract workers to build monuments in Africa, fish off Fiji, dig... More »

Court: Orangutan Has Human Rights

Argentina's Sandra wins case to leave zoo

(Newser) - Weeks after a court in New York denied a chimpanzee human rights , a similar case in Argentina has been found in an orangutan's favor. Sandra the orangutan has lived in a Buenos Aires zoo for 20 years, frequently avoiding people coming to see her. Animal rights lawyers filed a... More »

North Korea: Yes, We Have Labor Camps

But 'no prison, things like that,' UN envoy says

(Newser) - A North Korean official publicly acknowledged to the international community the existence of his country's "reform through labor" camps yesterday, a mention that appeared to come in response to a highly critical UN human rights report earlier this year. A North Korean foreign ministry official said at a... More »

N. Korea Is Fabulous on Human Rights, Says N. Korea

Rambling report says country has 'world's most advantageous human-rights system'

(Newser) - North Korea's war of words has taken quite the turn. After being accused by the UN earlier this year of "unspeakable atrocities" against its people, the country blasted the US as the "world's worst human rights abuser." But it has now stepped back from name-calling... More »

ISIS Claims It's on an Execution Spree in Syria

Rights group says up to 65 soldiers slaughtered; militants say 200

(Newser) - The Islamic State group has killed dozens of Syrian soldiers it captured after overrunning a military base in northeastern Syria, shooting some and using knives on others in the latest brutal mass killing attributed to the extremists, activists said today. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants rounded... More »

Experiencing the Least-Connected Country on Earth

Eritrea still hasn't reported Gadhafi's death: activist

(Newser) - Eritrea, the United Nations says, is the planet's least-connected country. Less than 1% of its people have landlines; just 5.6% have cell phones. As for the Internet, less than 1% use it, and connections are almost all dial-up. "Even after waiting half an hour, you might not... More »

UN: East Ukraine a Human Rights Mess

Tatars being oppressed, freedom of speech curtailed

(Newser) - Human rights abuses are escalating in Ukraine's contested East, the UN warned in a report today. It's the second monthly assessment of the situation, the BBC reports, and there's been an "alarming deterioration" since the first. The lowlights include:
  • Minority Tatars in Crimea are facing harassment
... More »

N. Korea: US a 'Living Hell'

Report blasts 'world's worst human rights abuser'

(Newser) - In the latest volley of stones from its glass house, Pyongyang has warned that the US is a "living hell" plagued by unemployment and gun crime where "elementary rights to existence are ruthlessly violated." The "news analysis" from the state-run Korea Central News Agency uses official... More »

Egypt Condemns 683 to Death

Youth movement that helped bring down Mubarak banned

(Newser) - An Egyptian court has sentenced 683 people—among them the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood —to death after an attack on a police station last year that killed a cop. The verdict was met by an outpouring of grief from crowds outside the court, as well as condemnation from... More »

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