Human Rights

Abbott government launches last-ditch effort save Chan and Sukumaran

Tony Abbott has launched a last-ditch effort to plead for clemency for convicted drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

The Prime Minister has written a letter to president Joko Widodo, after efforts going several weeks back to speak to his Indonesian counterpart over the phone have gone unanswered.

Mr Abbott told the ABC that Australia has been making every effort to save the men’s lives saying: “we abhor the death penalty, we oppose it at home, we oppose it abroad.”

It comes as Chan and Sukurmaran were given 72 hours notice of their possible executions meaning both men could face the firing squad as early as Tuesday night.

Thai bookseller sentenced to two years for defaming Thai monarchy

A 66-year-old Thai bookseller was sentenced Wednesday to two years in jail for selling books that allegedly defamed the Thai monarchy, the latest in a string of convictions under Thailand’s notorious lese majeste law.

Thailand's monarchy is protected by one of the world's harshest lese majeste laws and the country's ultra-royalist military junta has significantly ramped up prosecutions since seizing power in a coup last May.

Under Section 112 of the criminal code, anyone convicted of insulting the king, queen, heir or regent faces up to 15 years in prison on each count.

Earlier this month a military court jailed a 58-year-old man for 25 years for his Facebook posts allegedly defaming the monarchy; his jail sentence received widespread international condemnation including the UN.

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Report finds older people are facing discrimination in the workplace

A new report by the Human Rights Commission has found that 27 per cent of older people are being discriminated against due to their age in the workplace.

The results from 2,109 surveyed people showed that the most common form of discrimination was restricting promotion and training, limiting employment, being made vulnerable by ageist jokes, and facing a perception that older workers had outdated skills and abilities to adapt.

Michael O’Neill, head of National Seniors, said he is not surprised by the findings because "this is confirmation of a problem that has been widely reported".

The report calls on action from government and employers responsible for hiring, training and promoting employees.

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Abbott government turn-back of boat people 'new low'

The federal opposition has attacked the Abbott government for refusing to comment on a military operation which saw an Australian naval vessel force asylum seekers back from national waters.

Earlier this month the Australian supply ship intercepted the boat filled with 50 Vietnamese migrants just north of Australian territorial waters and turned it back to Vietnam.

The opposition says the Abbott government has reached a 'new low' in their treatment of refugees and may have breached international law.

But Immigration minister Peter Dutton says he will not comment on military operations citing the risk to lives.

The Abbott government was elected to parliament in 2013 having run on a platform of turning back the boats.

ISIS releases new execution video

The Ethiopian government has condemned the Islamic State (or Daesh) after footage was released purportedly showing the execution of 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

The video, which is 29 minutes long, shows the victims being either beheaded or shot in the head after a masked militant threatens Christians if they fail to convert to Islam or pay a special tax.

Those killed are believed to be members of a Libyan-based Ethiopian church seized by Daesh militants earlier this year.

Ethiopian information minister Redwan Hussein called the brutal executions a crime against humanity.

Edward Snowden may gain Icelandic citizenship

Famed whistleblower Edward Snowden, who’s been living in limbo in Moscow, may soon gain Icelandic citizenship.

The current leader of the Icelandic Pirate Party, Birgitta Jonsdottir, is pushing for Snowden’s Icelandic citizenship, as Iceland’s changing politics now bode well in Snowden’s search for a new home.

Birgitta Jonsdottir said, “If I become the interior minister, that’s definitely happening.”

She also acknowledged under Iceland’s Nationality Act, granting citizenship to Snowden would probably require approval by parliament which has already blocked it for nearly two years.

Amnesty criticises US aid groups as ineffectual

Amnesty International has launched another reproach on international aid organisations working in the middle eastern region.

The US aid scheme ‘Promote’ based in Afghanistan is one of the largest women’s empowerment efforts. However Amnesty watchdogs have called the programme out for its lack of transparency and failure to consult the women it serves to benefit.

Western Australian elderly nearly starves to death in hospital

An 82-year old woman has called for Western Australian hospital to be closed after staff failed to feed her for four days while in care.

Joyce Tabram, who was brought into the Fiona Stanley Hospital claimed she was brought in for an abdominal swelling test, and lost four kilos when doctors and nurses didn’t provide her with nutrients despite her tests being consecutively pushed back.

She now only weighs 34 kilos.

“I think they should be shut down honestly. Fiona Stanely Hospital, I think it stinks that’s all I can say,” Ms Tabram said.

Pakistani politican executed for war crimes

A Pakistani Islamist politician and journalist has been hanged in a prison in Dhaka for war crimes.

Mohammad Kamaruzzaman had been arrested and convicted for acts carried out under his command during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Mr Kamaruzzaman had been responsible for numerous atrocities including the massacre of 120 unarmed farmers.

The Bangladeshis, with the support of India, had broken off from Pakistan resulting in numerous human rights abuses, sectarian violence and what is widely regarded as one the world’s five worst genocides of the 20th century.

Australian jockey sentenced to death for drug smuggling in China

An Australian jockey, caught by Chinese authorities attempting to smuggle crystal meth-amphetamine into Australia from Guangzhou is now under threat of execution.

Anthony Bannister was arrested over a year ago, and now Chinese prosecutors are calling for the death penalty.

Bannister is one of ten Australians convicted of drug smuggling charges in China which could incur the death penalty.

The Australian government is yet to comment.