Human Rights

ISIS Possibly Ordering Genital Mutilation Upon Women

Public speculation is increasing over the claim that militant group Islamic State has ordered genital mutilation for all girls and women in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock, says the order will potentially affect 4 million women and girls.

ISIS is asserting its power in northern Iraq by imposing radical Islamic practices and the ritual of cutting of girls genitals is justified as a means of suppressing women’s sexual desire to prevent “ Immoral “ behaviour.

The practice poses serious health risks to women and the news comes as the UN promotes eradication of female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide within a generation.

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John Kerry Holds Talks as Gaza Death Count passes 500

US Secretary of state will hold talks in Cairo today aimed at ending the conflict in Gaza, which has now claimed over 500 lives.

As Israeli forces continued their assault, Palestinian medics said 28 members of a single family had died in one strike, 11 others in an attack on a high-rise building, and four more in the shelling of a hospital.

Israel has defended the high death toll in Gaza, saying it is doing its best to minimise civilian casualties.

523 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians, as well as 18 Israeli soldiers and 2 civilians.

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Government prioritises truancy over welfare

The Federal Government is facing fresh criticism over its controversial program that links welfare payments to school attendance.

The policy, which started last year in 15 communities in the Northern Territory, has the power to block welfare payments from parents and carers if their children miss school regularly, in an effort to get kids back to school.

But authorities working with families in and around Tennant Creek say poverty is rife in the region and are questioning whether suspending welfare payments is the right way to tackle truancy.

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High Court stops Asylum Seekers being returned to Sri Lanka

The High Court of Australia has declared an interim injunction to stop the handover of 153 refugees to the Sri Lankan government.

On Monday barristers arguing on behalf of the asylum seekers urged the High Court to protect the group, which includes 32 women and 37 children from the government's intervention at sea.

Solicitor George Newhouse who represented the asylum seekers said "they are fleeing persecution” and risk “death, torture or significant harm" if returned to Sri Lanka.

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European Court of Human Rights upholds French ban on Muslim face veils

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld France's law banning face-covering Muslim veils from the streets, in a case brought by a woman who said that her freedom of religion was violated.

The ruling by the Strasbourg-based court was the first of its kind since France passed a law in 2010 that forbids anyone to hide his or her face in an array of places, including the street.

When enacted, the law was seen as a security measure, with veiled women considered fundamentalists and potential candidates for conservative views. Another concern was respect for the French model of integration in which people of different origins are expected to assimilate.

Spokespeople for Human Rights Watch have described the court ruling as “disappointing” and “disturbing”.

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Royal Commission on child abuse seeks more time

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse is seeking another two years and a $100 million budget boost to continue its investigations.

The Commission released interim report yesterday afternoon after interviewing over 1700 people, holding 17 public hearings and identifying abuses in over 1000 institutions.

Investigations were supposed to cease next year but Chief Commissioner Justice Peter McClellan told a crowd at Griffith University earlier this month that the end date did not leave enough time to hear all cases.

Federal Attorney General George Brandis says the government is considering the request.

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IDF airstrikes hit Gaza Strip

Twelve Israeli air strikes hit the Gaza Strip on Saturday, wounding two people. The strikes were a response to rockets fired from Palestinian territory which caused a fire in southern Israel.

The border between Gaza and Israel has been tense since the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank on June 12. Since the beginning of the search, five Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and nearly 400 arrested, mostly Hamas members.

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EU rules to remove personal info from Google

Following an European Union ruling, Google has started to remove personal information from searches in compliance with applications of ‘rights to be forgotten’.

41, 000 people in the EU applied to have their information removed from the searches in the four days after it put up an application form.

The court set out criteria for Google that it would remove information that was ,"inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" in order to strike a balance between public information and privacy.

The information being removed is only on EU searches, and can still be accessed outside the countries and a disclaimer will now appear under these searches stating that information may have been removed in compliance with EU law.

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Sudanese woman on death row released after international protest

A woman facing the death penalty in Sudan has been released after an international outcry.

Twenty-seven-year-old Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag was sentenced to hang after she converted to Christianity when she married her American husband, Daniel Wani.

Because Sharia law does not allow a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim Ishag was also found guilty of adultery for which she received a sentence of 100 lashes.

After almost 1 million people appealed to save her life on a petition and several Western governments made formal protests, the Sudanese judiciary agreed to release Ishag.

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12 people sentenced to death in Egypt

In Egypt, 12 people have been sentenced to death on charges connected to the killing of an police general last year.

Eight supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi are in custody while four are on the run.

The officer was shot during a raid on a stronghold of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in September of last year.

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