Human Rights

South Sudan ceasefire agreement over.

Only days after a ceasefire agreement was signed by South Sudan Kiir government and rebel leaders, fighting has once again commenced.

The ceasefire agreement was signed last Friday, with a view to holding presidential elections which had previously been postponed due to violence.

Both sides are claiming that they were merely acting in self defence, with Defence Minister Mayang describing an attack by rebel group The White Army, whom he has called irregular forces that do not know about the ceasefire agreement, and prove that rebel leader Riek Machar does not have control of his troops.

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Syrian peace talks fail, Brahimi to resign.

After a three year battle, Lakhdar Brahimi has resigned as the United Nations Syrian Mediator.

Mr Brahimi has stated that he was convinced discussions could result in a peaceful solution, but no progress has been made in over three years, and his resignation was accepted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Though Mr Brahimi successfully got the Syrian Al-assad regime and rebel oppositions to meet face to face for the first time, he has said that presidential elections in the state in June this year will shatter his diplomatic efforts.

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Updates from Ukraine

Ukraine is in turmoil and the tensions between Ukrainians, Russians and Ukrainians backing Russia intensify day after day. To understand the issues at stake in this region, I have talked with Professor Marko Pavlyshyn, the convenor of Ukrainian Studies in Monash University’s School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Andrew Bain cofounder of the Ukrainian Freedom Fund and Angela Chalupa, a journalist based in New York who started Twitter storms with Digital Maidan. The three of them object to the terms of civil war and accuse Russia of the invasion of Ukraine.

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UN concerned over humanitarian situation in South Sudan

The United Nations Mission In South Sudan has reported significant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the country.

The document indicates both the army loyal to President Salva Kiir and the followers of the former Vice President Riek Machar are responsible for the violations.

Among the violations and crimes are extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary arrests, and targeted attacks against civilians and hospitals.

Moreover, it denounces that approximately one million South Sudanese have fled their homes as a result of conflicts that began in mid-December, when fighting broke out between the army and military insurgents.

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36 killed in Indian ethnic violence

At least 36 have been killed and many others are still missing after ethnic violence in the Indian state of Assam, which has been linked to the country’s ongoing election.

Separatist militants are believed to have deliberately targeted Muslims, who they accused of voting for a candidate opposed to their demands.

Hundreds of people have fled to refugee camps since the attacks started on the first of May.

There has been little sympathy for the victims with some even calling for them to be deported.

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Reward offered for abducted Nigerian schoolgirls

More than 200 schoolgirls were abducted three weeks ago and Nigeria’s police are offering $300,000 to anyone who can help locate and rescue them.

Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau says that the schoolgirls ‘should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married’.

BBC’s Mansur Liman in the capital, Abuja, says that many have questioned why it took so long for such a reward to be offered.

The governments of Chad and Cameroon denied claims that the abducted girls have already been smuggled over Nigeria’s porous borders into their territory.

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UN finds Victoria breached International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The Victorian Government has been found guilty of breaching the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by the United Nations because it failed to pay compensation awarded to the victim of police brutality.

In 1996 police officers broke down the door of Corrina Horvath, without a warrant, and beat her repeatedly, eventually hospitalising her.

Horvath sued the police officers and the Victorian County Court found in her favour, awarding her $300,000 but officers claimed they could not afford to pay.

When the Victorian Government appealed and won on the grounds it was not responsible for police officers who act outside the realm of their duties, Horvath’s lawyer took the case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

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Father of domestic violence victim critics Australia's attitude on human rights

A member of White Ribbon Australia, a mostly male foundation whose members pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent on violence against women, has spoken out about the bad state of human rights in Australia.

Mr. Yeo, father of Rachelle Yeo who was murdered by her partner, said men should start taking a leading role in preventing domestic violence.

His daughter started to distance herself from her partner when the relationship became unhealthy.

But even after moving to another city and changing job, he tracked her down and stabbed her to death.

Mr. Yeo says peoples’ attitude and not the legal system have to change, including that of male politicians.

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Nigeria seeks help from the US in bid to save kidnapped girls

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has sought security help from the United States in order to ensure the safe release of 223 girls who were abducted by militants last month.

Jonathan said that the Nigerian government has approached China, France and Britain for help on security issues, saying that they are talking to countries that can help them out and has spoken to US President Barack Obama twice.

The Nigerian leader said his government is asking for the cooperation of neighbouring countries to aid in the efforts to rescue the girls who are believed to have been taken by the Boko Haram Islamists.

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Brunei introduces Sharia law amid objections from human rights groups

Brunei has become the first country in South-East Asia to introduce Sharia law, in spite of strong objections from human rights groups.

The initial phase of the move by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah will begin on Thursday, with an introduction of fines or jail terms for offences that include out-of-wedlock pregnancies and failure to attend Friday prayers.

The second phase will start later in the year, and this will cover crimes such as robbery and theft, with penalties ranging from floggings to severing of limbs.

By next year offences such as adultery may be punished with death by stoning.

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