Human Rights

African forces launch offensive against Boko Haram

Niger and Chad have launched offensive against the militant group Boko Haram, after the leader, Abubakar Shekau, pledged allegiance to Daesh (or Islamic State).

Shekau called upon all Muslims to swear loyalty to the Islamic State, and its leader, Al-Baghdadi.

Nigerian officials have dismissed this plea as a reaction to the the military pressure.

But this does little to take away from the fact Nigerian armed forces have failed to come to grips with the insurgency who have struck at will, attacked the Police and UN headquarters in Abuja and now controls several north-eastern towns.

Nigeria has been bolstered by the African Union endorsement for the the creation of a force of 8,000 troops to combat the group.

WA launches new restraining order system

Western Australia has launched a new form of restraining order in an attempt to combat against family violence.

The Family Violence Restraining Order is set to assist victims, by narrowing the onus on the victim to prove intimidating or controlling behaviour, not just physical violence.

Unlike current legislation, the restraining order also includes several bonus requirements such as counselling and assistance.

Attorney-General Michael Mischin stated that it would “adopt a more modern definition of family violence” and focus on controlling and intimidating partners.

Hells Angels ride in defiance of VLAD

The Hells Angels chapter have challenged the ALP government and police to prosecute them after holding their first charity run in the State.

More than 100 motorcyclists rode in defiance of the former LNP government’s controversial anti-bikie laws, riding from their Browns Plains clubhouse to across the NSW border to meet other motorcycle club members.

Event organiser Terry McCormick said the charity run was an attempt to exercise their right under the Constitution and to send a message to Annastacia Palaszczuk, who said she would repeal anti-association and anti-bikie laws if elected.

Queensland and NSW police monitored the ride but made no arrests.

Bali Nine: Chan and Sukumaran visited by family

For the first time since Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were transferred,relatives have been able to visit the men on the prison island Nusakambangan.

Almost a week after the transfer to the island that the convicted drug smugglers will be executed on, family and partners are finally able to visit.

This has been a huge feat for lawyers and human rights activists. There is still no news around when the execution will take place.

Sydney: 300,000 celebrate 37th Mardi Gras

Sydney played host to the 37th annual Mardi Gras celebrations on Saturday with a giant parade drawing crowds of over 300,000.

Around 140 floats, as well as 10,000 participants,proceeded through the streets of Sydney causing sixty streets to close down.

The event is held yearly to celebrate Australia's lesbian, gay, bi and transgender community.

Saudi Arabia Executions Have Reached “Unprecedented” Levels

The rate of executions in Saudi Arabia has reached “unprecedented” levels, as the kingdom killed four criminals in two days.

Amnesty International said, the latest state-sanctioned executions for the year so far in Saudi Arabia is 39 – almost three times this time last year.

Local Saudi media say, that Saudi authorities have hailed the killings as an example of the government’s commitment to “maintaining security and realising justice”, a crackdown in response to the rise of extremism and the threat of ISIS.

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UK Rejects Nigerian Lesbian Asylum Seeker Saying She's Not Gay

The British Home Office told a Nigerian asylum seeker, 'You can't be a lesbian, you've got children'

Gay rights campaigner Aderonke Apata has been told she's 'not homosexual' and cannot be granted refugee status in Britain, despite fears for her safety if she's deported back to anti-gay Nigeria.

Nigeria passed a law criminalising homosexuality in January 2014 and it’s punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

The Home Office has been accused of having ‘outdated’ views on sexuality, after it rejected an asylum claim made by a Nigerian lesbian.

Apata has even submitted footage and photographic evidence of her sex life to prove that she is homosexual.

Pointless to committ troops and not humanitarian aid: Tim Costello

The Federal Government’s announcements to send a further 300 Australian troops to Iraq to train Iraqi government forces has met substantial criticism from Tim Costello of World Vision Australia. Mr Costello has emphasised that humanitarian aid is needed to prevent any radicalisation of the Syrian populace there.

Australia has contributed $113 million of aid to Syria, however more humanitarian aid is needed, Mr Costello claims. He also adds that committing more troops without assisting education and development projects will result in a misguided effort on radical forces. An aspect that Mr Costello claims, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, is also acutely aware of.

The government cut $3.7bn from the aid budget late last year – on top of the $7.6bn cut in the May budget.

Australian Drug Smugglers to Face their Execution this Morning

Convicted Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been transferred to face their execution this morning.

Indonesian police provided a guard of more than 100 personnel as well as a water cannon, the move happened in the early hours of the morning. The pair will receive 72 hours warning of their execution.

The men’s lawyers have lodged an appeal in the Jakarta administrative court which ordinarily grants a hearing of 2 weeks. The judicial commission has also requested statements from both Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran about their complaints of bribery in their first trial.

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Palestine to take Israel to ICC

Palestine is planning on lodging a complaint against Israel for alleged war crimes in the International Criminal Court on April 1.

According to a senior Palestinian Liberation Organisation official, the alleged crimes took place during the 2014 Gaza War and Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

Palestine moved to formally join the International Criminal Court in January, which saw Israel react by cutting off millions of dollars in tax collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.