Human Rights

HMAS Leeuwin abuse cases should go before Royal Commission

Lawyers representing victims of sexual abuse at Western Australia’s HMAS Leeuwin naval base in the 1970’S and 1980’S have asked their cases to be considered by the royal commission into sexual abuse of children.

Lawyers have argued that unlike other sexual abuse cases in the Australian Defence Force, this case is different as the cadets were only 15 and 16 at the time

Of all abuse cases in the defence force to come out over the last two years, the cases of young cadets at HMAS Leeuwin are the most graphic, with many subjected to bullying, rape, sexual assault and painful and humiliating discipline.

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Iran proposes to ban vasectomies and abortions

Iran’s parliament is pushing to ban vasectomies and tighten abortion laws in an attempt to boost the nation’s birth rate.

Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has encouraged the nation to move away from it’s progressive laws on family planning, as they’re an imitation of western culture, and battle the ageing population by doubling it from 77 million people to 150 million.

An overwhelming majority of Iranian MPs have reportedly consented to consider the bill which looks likely to pass as the Supreme Leader holds great influence over the parliament.

New laws being discussed may introduce punishments for those involved in encouraging contraceptive services and abortions, and ban vasectomies.

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Protection promise for asylum seeker babies

Lawyers representing the families of babies born in detention want guarantees the families will not be relocated to offshore centres on Manus Island or Nauru.

Currently families with newborns are in a separate area to the main detention centre on Christmas Island.

Lawyer Jacob Varghese says although Christmas Island facilities are not suitable for newborns, it’s a far better situation than Papua New Guinea or Nauru.

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100 female students abducted in Nigeria

Over 100 female students have been abducted by suspected Islamist extremists in northeast Nigeria.

Attackers approached school after midnight, based on the edge of a forest known to be an insurgents hideout, killing a soldier and a police officer guarding the school.

It is alleged the girls that are abducted are forced to work as cooks and slaves.

The Boko Haram terrorist network is suspected to be behind the attack, the most recent of many which have targeted schools, churches and mosques killing more than 1500 people so far this year.

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Al-Assad claims upper hand in civil war

President of Syria al-Assad has claimed to now have the upper hand in the three-year long civil war.

His army has now claimed back cities occupied by rebels. al-Assad has called this a “turning point” in a speech at Damascus University and claims to fight a war against terror.

Over 150 000 have been killed so far and millions are currently homeless. al-Assad’s Army has cut off several supply routes to the rebel forces.
Syrian Air Forces keep on bombing the city according to activists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 13 people have been killed in the bombings, including three children were killed.

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Ukraine discussions first since Crimea began

In an attempt at diplomacy, the United States, Russia, the European Union and Ukraine will meet next week to discuss the worsening civil unrest in Ukraine, in the first arranged meeting since the Crimea crisis began.

The US is set to support Kiev in its claims Russia instigated civil unrest in the east of Ukraine - a mostly Russian speaking area - in an effort to justify annexing the troubled state.

This comes shortly after NATO has issued a stern warning to Russia, saying continued military action against Ukraine would be a “historic mistake” and insinuating retaliation would result in “grave consequences”.

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NATO warns Russia of grave consequences

NATO has warned Russia of grave consequences of any further intervention into Ukraine, saying it would be a “historic mistake”.

NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has called on Moscow to pull back the tens of thousands of troops massed at Ukrainian borders.

But, the capital says using force to end the protests could lead to civil war.

The request comes as Ukraine has regained control of a government building in the country’s east, which has been occupied by pro-Russian forces.

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Priest killed during siege of Syrian city

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports the assassination of Jesuit Father Francis Vanderlcht.

The priest refused to leave the area of Homs until all other Christians were evacuated. The priest was shot down by an unknown gunman. Earlier this year he pleaded for more help in evacuating civilians from the war zone. Christians and Muslims alike fear the influence of the extremist Islamic factions in the rebel groups. Vanderlcht will be flown back to the Netherlands to be buried, after having spent the last 50 years in Syria. Many Christians are suspected to have lost their lives during the siege of the city.

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UN expresses shame over Rwanda genocide anniversary

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide, which saw the killing of at least 800,000 people consisting mainly of Tutsis and moderate Hutus ended in 1994 when Tutsi-led rebels took control of the country

The UN has expressed their shame over not having prevented these mass killing.

UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon and several european representatives gathered at the national museum where the torch President Paul Kagame lit three month earlier at the start of the official mourning is burning.

French representatives were banned from attending as they were allies of the Hutu government when the killings occurred.

Spokespeople from France stated they regret this development but would partake in other global events mourning the genocide.

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Woman detained without trial

For 18 month Roseanne Fulton had to endure unjust and illegal treatment.

Fulton has now been released from jail in West Australia, where she has been held for the last 18 months. The aboriginal woman has been held without conviction and without receiving proper care for her disability. Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues has called this case cause for ‘national shame’. She will now be transferred back to Alice Spring to be near her family and caregiver.

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