Category: Human Right Violations

Belarus Denies Torture Of Political Prisoners

Belarus Belarus has denied allegations of large-scale torture in a secret service jail for political prisoners. The statement comes after a just-released former presidential candidate and a leading activist spoke to reporters about the alleged mistreatment of inmates.

Christians, including evangelical believers, have also reported harassment from security forces.

Faith-based fashion company rescues women from human trafficking

Former model Giselle Meza‘s career allowed her to visit exotic locations and world-renowned sights, but it was witnessing the worst violations of human rights that stuck with her throughout the years.

“The more I would go on great assignments around the world and if we’re in Africa for a shoot€¦we were using that beautiful backdrop for pictures and for making so much money,” she said. “But behind me were these beautiful little children and women that were really just experiencing a lot of need and injustice.”

Out of her desire to help victims of human trafficking, Meza created Puresa Organics, a faith-based company whose goal is to empower women through spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional rehabilitation. The company then gives rescued women new skills and provides employment so that they are able to sustain themselves and start a new life.

Partnering with Project Rescue Nepal, the company started in 2007 with twelve rescued women and has grown to 265 in three years.

Project Rescue is another faith-based organization that aims to provide a safe haven for victims of sex trafficking.

Cardinal in attack on US ‘vengeance’

The leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholics has hit out at America’s “culture of vengeance” and told US Senators they have no right to question the standards of Scotland’s justice system over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

In an extraordinary intervention into the row over Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, Cardinal Keith O’Brien condemns the American justice system and highlights a “conveyor belt of killing” in its use of the death penalty.

He accuses the American system of being based on “vengeance and retribution” and says he is glad to live in a country where “justice is tempered with mercy“. He also likens America’s executions to those in China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran and highlights those countries’ poor human rights records.

Since 1976, 1,221 people have been executed in the US. Its execution rate is only outdone by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and China.

Quoting the Bible, he adds: “Perhaps it is time for them to cast out the beam from their own eye before seeking the mote in their brothers’. Perhaps they should direct their gaze inwards, rather than scrutinising the working of the Scottish justice system.”

Protests planned worldwide against execution of Iranian woman

Hundreds of protesters will gather worldwide Saturday to rally against the imprisonment and possible execution of an Iranian woman convicted of adultery.

The case of Sakineh Mohammedie Ashtiani has drawn international attention. She was convicted of adultery in 2006 and faces the possibility of execution.

Ashtiani was originally sentenced to death by stoning, but it was put on hold earlier this month after an international outcry.

Despite the sentencing delay, human rights activists want to remind the world of Ashtiani’s plight, said Mina Ahadi, chairman of the International Committee Against Execution and Stoning, one of the groups leading Saturday’s protests.

“The fact is, the execution can still happen,” Ahadi said. “And, often times in Iran, these types of executions will happen without any notice.”

Earlier this month, Ashtiani’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, told CNN that she confessed to the crime after being subjected to 99 lashes.

She later recanted the confession and has denied wrongdoing, he said.

Most civilized countries view the death penalty as a barbaric practice and a violation of human right.

In Malaysia, caning wins support among Muslims

Sharia The end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan this weekend could see Islamic authorities in Malaysia carry out the country’s first caning sentence on a woman, a punishment that is fast gaining support among the country’s Muslim population.

Negative news reports regarding Islam’s growing influence has bruised Malaysia’s image as a moderate Muslim state with some commentators highlighting what they see as undesirable Islamic influences in their own countries, Reuters reports.

In our opinion, Islamic law has no place in modern, civilized society, and should not be tolerated in any form.

Satanist case may close death row

Nearly 15 years ago, the brutal murder of three Arkansas Cub Scouts in an alleged satanic rite sickened a nation and strengthened the hand of death penalty champions across the United States. Now the same ghastly crime may be the final nail in the coffin of capital punishment in an America that is manifesting a crisis of conscience over the morality of executions.

Another Pentagon smear

When the shameful history of the Guantanamo detention center is finally written, one of the few reassuring chapters will be the way lawyers from many US law firms have given pro-bono representation to prisoners who have been denied their Geneva Convention rights. It is especially outrageous that the Pentagon official responsible for detainees has maligned these lawyers and encouraged corporations to take their legal business away from their firms.