December 4, 2012 |
TEHRAN -- Jailed Iranian human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh has halted her hunger strike after the Iranian judiciary agreed to drop a travel ban against her daughter, her husband said Tuesday. Sotoudeh had endured nearly seven weeks without food, drinking salt and sugar solutions, to protest her 12-year-old daughter Mehrave being banned from leaving the country. The couple claimed their daughter was being punished for the alleged crimes of her mother, who has defended dissidents.
December 3, 2012 |
TEHRAN -- As imprisoned human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh pressed on with her hunger strike, Iranian lawmakers said they would visit her in Evin Prison to gauge her health. Sotoudeh is serving a six-year sentence in the Tehran prison after being convicted of acting against national security and spreading propaganda against the government, charges that human rights groups claim are a smokescreen for stopping her defense of Iranian dissidents. The jailed attorney has spent nearly seven weeks on hunger strike in protest of a travel ban imposed on her young daughter.
November 23, 2012 |
Sculptor Anish Kapoor has released his "Gangnam Style" video, a human-rights themed take on the popular music video by South Korean pop star Psy. The video features cameo appearances by museum staff across the world, including staff from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Kapoor, who was born in India and lives in London, has said the video is intended to be a tribute to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who created his own "Gangnam Style" video...
November 17, 2012 |
MOSCOW - Russian officials are promising a tough response to U.S. legislation that would impose sanctions on Russian officials if Congress finds them responsible for violating human rights. The U.S. House on Friday passed a bill that establishes permanent normal trade relations with Russia, repealing the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, which had imposed limits on trade because of the Soviet Union's treatment of Jews. It had been waived annually since 1989, two years before the Soviet Union collapsed.
November 16, 2012 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Human rights groups have denounced Pakistan's decision this week to carry out its first execution in four years, calling it a worrying step backward in a country that had been adhering to an informal moratorium on capital punishment since 2008. Muhammad Hussain, 45, was executed by hanging Thursday at a jail in the central Punjab city of Mianwali. A former soldier, he was sentenced to death in 2009 for fatally stabbing one of his superiors over a personal dispute in the eastern Pakistani city of Okara.
October 31, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Gay marriage advocates fighting tightly contested ballot initiatives in four states are getting a lift from actor Brad Pitt, who is donating $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign's National Marriage Fund and calling on others to match his efforts. "It's unbelievable to me that people's lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days," Pitt wrote in an email going out Wednesday to supporters of the gay rights group. "In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples - our friends and neighbors - are worthy of the same protections as everyone else.
October 28, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - A simple, ancient ritual is threatening the delicate security balance atop Jerusalem's most sacred plaza: Jews are praying. On most days, dozens - sometimes hundreds - of Jewish worshipers ascend to the disputed 36-acre platform that Muslims venerate as Al Aqsa mosque and Jews revere as the Temple Mount with an Israeli police escort to protect them and a Muslim security guard to monitor their movements. Then, they recite a quick prayer, sometimes quietly to themselves, other times out loud.
October 22, 2012 |
MOSCOW - Prisoners detained without charges. Prisons operating outside the legal system. Limits on free speech and the Internet. Legitimate voters prevented from casting their ballots. Sanctioned kidnappings. Witch hunts and torture. It's all part of life, says the Russian government - in the United States. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday issued a 56-page report in Russian and English titled, " On the Human Rights Situation in the United States . " The report, distributed at hearings held by the International Affairs Committee of Russia's lower house of parliament, was the first such full examination of the U.S. human rights record issued here since the fall of communism in 1991.
October 12, 2012 |
LONDON - In some European capitals, they mutter about a Fourth Reich and compare the German chancellor to Adolf Hitler. The French complain about British obstructionism; Brits complain about everyone else. In Spain, a separatist movement is gaining traction. But the Nobel committee chose to take the long view on Friday, awarding the 2012 Peace Prize to the European Union. The panel reasoned that even if economic divisions are tearing at the harmony Europeans have spent decades building, it no longer seems possible that they will start killing each other again.
October 11, 2012 |
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, publisher and owner of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, has declined a Hungarian award worth more than $64,000, citing concerns over free speech rights and civil liberties. It is with no small irony that the award Ferlinghetti has declined, the Janus Pannonius International Poetry Prize, is from the Hungarian division of PEN. PEN is an international organization that supports the freedom to write internationally, and often campaigns to help writers who have been imprisoned or silenced.