Human Rights

Jordan opens another refugee camp for Syrians

Jordan has opened another refugee camp for Syrians to cope with the increasing numbers of refugees from the country.

The camp has been worked on for a year and is equipped to host 25,000 refugees, with the potential to carry at least 50,000.

With a price tag of $45 million dollars, the camp is designed to resemble a city, with paved roads and street signs.

Political commentator, Fahad Khaitan, said: "The new camp is only an indication that the international community has failed at solving the Syrian crisis, or at least in providing a humanitarian solution.”

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Oklahoma is continue with executions

The governor of Oklahoma has vowed to continue carrying out death penalties despite a botched execution yesterday.

Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett was due to be executed by lethal injection in prison, but 13 minutes later after the dose was administered he lifted his head and started mumbling.

The execution was halted but Lockett died 30 minutes later, apparently from a massive heart attack.

Governor Mary Fallin has defended the death penalty.

While state executions are legal, US law says that they must not amount to ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment.

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Protection for Manus Island death witnesses

Lawyers acting for Manus Island detainees on Wednesday filed an urgent application to the High Court to have witnesses to the death of Reza Berati returned to Australia.

Berati, a 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker died during a riot at the Manus Island detention centre in February.

The lawyers say that local guards at the centre have made death threats against the five witnesses and they should be urgently placed in protective custody in Australia.

They have also lodged a writ in the High Court, alleging crimes against humanity by both the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments.

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Iraqi voters attacked

A number of attacks have been made on Iraqi citizens ahead of polling day, and have cast a shadow over the first general election since the withdrawal of US troops.

Twenty people have been killed in a number of explosions throughout the country, the day after sixty-four people were killed in similar attacks.

The latest in a string of bombings, the increased violence is causing authorities to consider whether or not they can viably protect the over twenty million people that are eligible to vote in the upcoming election.

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Death of Doctors in Central African Republic sparks criticism

Following the death of three Medecins Sans Frontieres staff and thirteen other local civilians, the MSF has criticised the international community for their neglect of the crisis in the Central African Republic.

The deaths occurred during an attack by gunmen on a hospital in Boguila by what is suspected to be the Seleka, a mostly Muslim rebel group who initiated a coup last year and sparked nationwide violence.

The MSF has called on the international community to recognise the happenings within the CAR and act, with Australian MSF executive director Paul McPhun saying these latest attacks are a reflection of the lawless nature of the troubled state, and require urgent attention.

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Conflict diamonds trade embargo lifted

The United Nations-imposed Ivory Coast diamond trade embargo has been lifted after almost a decade of international concern and controversy.

The UN called for a trade embargo on the area after it was revealed the diamond trade was helping to fund the Forces Nouvelle rebels and perpetuate a violent conflict which began after a failed coup in 2002.

The area is now regulated by the Kimberley Process, and the UNs presence is now considered redundant.

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Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped for two weeks

In Nigeria, it has been over two weeks since 234 girls aged between 12 and 17 were taken in the middle of the night from a boarding school by suspected Boko Haramm (Bo-ko Har-arm) Islamists.

Angry parents have lashed out at Nigerian authorities condemning the lack of of action and failure to rescue the abducted schoolgirls, some of whom have escaped, but still about 180 are being held captive by the group whose name translates as “Western education is sin”.

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Egypt sentences 683 people to death

In Egypt, Minya a court has sentenced 683 people to death for their alleged involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Amongst these alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood is also their supreme guide Mohamed Badie.

This lasted rules comes on top of another 529 accused who were sentenced to death earlier this month, even though only 37 have been confirmed so far.

Amnesty International reports that the trial evidently lacked basic fairness and that the court was neither independent nor impartial.

The defendants’ lawyers and families were outraged when the sentence was announced.

Even if the death sentences should be repealed, the accused will likely spent life in prison.

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Nauru family camp security accused of abuse

Security guards at the family camp on Nauru have been accused of verbally and physically abusing child asylum seekers in a letter of concern from staff at the centre.

The letter by a Save the Children Australia worker to the charity’s Nauru contractors expresses allegations of “ extremely alarming mistreatment and inappropriate behaviour” directed at asylum seekers by guards employed by Wilson Security, also now contracted at the Manus Island facility.

The allegations raise doubts about immigration minister Scott Morrison’s remark that the detention centres on Nauru are running well and that transferees have access to a robust service provider complaints mechanism at the offshore processing centres

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Manus Island Asylum seekers' safety in question

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has stated that he can not assure the safety of asylum seekers inside the Manus Island detention centre.

On February 18, following disturbance at the detention centre which resulted in 62 injured and 1 dead, Mr. Morrison said that he could guarantee the safety of asylum seekers who remained in the centre.

The United Nations refugee agency has warned resettlement countries are obliged to deliver education and labour rights and “not just safety” to asylum seekers.

Mr. Morrison also stated that it is his commitment to ensure that these places are safe, but it is difficult to do that in every instance.

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