human rights

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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 »

German President to Boycott Sochi Olympics

Joachim Gauck cites Russia's human rights abuses

(Newser) - German President Joachim Gauck has become the highest-profile political figure to say "nyet" to next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The former pastor, whose position is largely ceremonial, says he plans to stay away because of the Putin regime's human rights abuses and harassment of the... More »

Malala Wins Top EU Human Rights Award

Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Skyi among previous winners

(Newser) - European lawmakers have awarded their top human rights prize to Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year. The European Parliament announced today that 16-year-old Malala, who has also been mentioned as a possible recipient of tomorrow's Nobel peace prize , won the $65,000 Sakharov... More »

Snowden Nominated for Coveted Human Rights Prize

In running for Europe's Sakharov Prize

(Newser) - Past winners of the Sakharov Prize, a human rights prize for freedom of thought, include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi—and soon Edward Snowden could join their ranks. The NSA leaker is one of seven nominees for the prize this year after getting a nod from the Greens... More »

J.Lo Has Made $10M Singing for Dictators

Human Rights Foundation uncovers a slew of other instances

(Newser) - After it came out that Jennifer Lopez scored a big payday to sing happy birthday to Turkmenistan dictator Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov , her rep insisted that had J.Lo known of any "human rights issues," she of course would not have attended the soiree. But the Human Rights Foundation implies... More »

UN to Finally Probe N. Korea's Secret Gulags

Prison camps could amount to crimes against humanity: official

(Newser) - The UN Human Rights Council has unanimously agreed to launch its first-ever investigation of human rights abuses in North Korea. An investigator urged a focus on prison camps , which "could qualify as crimes against humanity," he said. "These are camps which have the purpose of driving the... More »

Twist in 12-Year Hunger Strike: Attempted Suicide Charge

India slaps charge on Irom Sharmila, who last voluntarily ate in 2000

(Newser) - The last time Irom Sharmila ate a meal by her own hand was Nov. 4, 2000. In the 12-plus years since, the 40-year-old Indian known as the "Iron Lady" has been on a hunger strike to protest India's Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives the military wide-ranging... More »

In First, Israel Bails on UN Human Rights Review

Calls it a tool for 'bashing' Israel

(Newser) - Israel today became the first nation to boycott a UN human rights review, the New York Times reports. Israel had informally notified the Human Rights Council that it would not attend today's session in Geneva, where it was supposed to take part in the Universal Periodic Review process, and... More »

Torture Reports Halt US-Afghan Detainee Transfer

Human rights abuses could stop funding for Afghan troops

(Newser) - Amid word of inhumane treatment, including torture, the US has halted the transfer of detainees to some Afghan prisons, the New York Times reports. And with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai seeking internal control of detention, the decision is likely to further strain the countries' relationship. The move also comes with... More »

UN Honcho: We Must Investigate North Korea

Navi Pillay: Nuke worries overshadowing human-rights crisis

(Newser) - As the world keeps a vigilant eye on North Korea's nuclear program, the country's long list of human rights violations continue to slip under the radar, charges the United Nation's human rights head. The offenses, which have shown no sign of abating under Kim Jong Un, have... More »

China: We're Reforming Forced Labor Camps

Controversial program was said to be used against political activists

(Newser) - China's first step toward the reform promised by new leader Xi Jinping : The country will reform its forced labor camp system, state media reported today. The long-standing, controversial "re-education through labor system" allows police to jail petty criminals for up to four years without going through the court... More »

With Eye on Obama Visit, Burma Frees 452 Prisoners

But activists criticized move

(Newser) - Burma ordered 452 prisoners freed today in an apparent goodwill gesture ahead of a historic visit by President Barack Obama—but activists criticized the move for failing to focus on hundreds of political detainees. It was not immediately clear if any political prisoners were among those granted freedom, prompting rights... More »

Cambodian Activist, 71, Sentenced to 20 Years

Sonando accused of attempting to overthrow government

(Newser) - Cambodian-French radio broadcaster and activist Sonando, 71, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for attempting to overthrow the country's government, according to a Phnom Penh court. Some 13 others were also found guilty of inciting a rebellion among villagers, Reuters reports. Sonando pleaded not guilty to the... More »

US Trade Pact With Vietnam Is a Travesty

Allen Weiner says Vietnam has been stifling dissent, violating human rights

(Newser) - The US plans to enter into a trade pact with Vietnam by the end of the year—and in the process "sell out human rights" in the country, professor Allen Weiner writes in the Washington Post . Indeed, Hillary Clinton announced the pact last month just ahead of the one-year... More »

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