Category: Human Rights Violations

China tortured, killed Tibetans in 2008 crackdown, rights group says

For offenses as minor as printing a Tibetan flag, sending a text message about rioting or holding a photograph of the Dalai Lama, large numbers of Tibetans were badly beaten and tortured, and in some cases killed, by Chinese security forces in 2008, a human rights group reported Thursday.

In the most comprehensive report yet on the crackdown on Tibetans during and after March 2008 protests, the most serious in decades, New York-based Human Rights Watch interviewed 203 people described as Tibetan eyewitnesses.

“The scale of human rights violations related to suppressing the protests was far greater than previously believed,” the report states. “Chinese forces broke international law €” including prohibitions against disproportionate use of force, torture and arbitrary detention.”

Extradition of Islamic extremists halted by human rights court

The extradition of a British man held without trial for six years has been halted after European judges raised concerns about the harsh conditions of detention in America’s high-security prisons. Babar Ahmad, a 36-year-old computer expert, is the longest serving prisoner held without charge or trial in the UK, refused bail since his arrest in August 2004 on a US extradition warrant.

In an interim ruling yesterday the court in Strasbourg said it wanted more time to examine possible human rights breaches if Mr Ahmad was transferred on charges which could mean life sentences without parole.

The case also affects the extradition of the radical preacher Abu Hamza and two other British men held on US extradition warrants in the UK.

All four men were described by the European Court of Human Rights as “alleged international terrorists”, indicted on various charges.

Judges dismissed claims that US trial procedures would amount to a denial of justice, or that any of the four would be designated as “enemy combatants” and therefore exposed to a possible death penalty if convicted.

However, they said there was a real risk that, in the case of “post-trial detention”, Mr Ahmad would be held at a “supermax” jail — the US Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, Florence, Colorado, known for short as “ADX Florence”.

That raised concerns about breaches of Article 3 of the Human Rights Code on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. The US has a poor human rights record when it comes to torture.

Prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Britain’s dirty torture secrets to be laid bare

America wasn’t the only country with a ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do’ attitude toward torture and other human rights violations: it pulled a willing England right along into crime.

Britain now faces paying out millions to detainees who claim they were tortured with the complicity of the security services.

Compensation settlements may be made with up to a dozen former terror suspects ahead of an independent inquiry announced yesterday by David Cameron to help €˜restore Britain’s moral leadership in the world’.

The inquiry threatens grave embarrassment for security chiefs and former Labour ministers.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Labour leadership front-runner David Miliband are among those likely to be asked to give evidence.

It could also strain Britain’s relationship with the U.S. — our partners in the so-called €˜war on terror’ — to breaking point.

Iranian extremist Muslim clerics lash out on veiling

Iran’s hard-line Muslim clerics are determined to reverse the trend of what they regard as “badly veiled women” — those who wear looser, less strict head scarves and tight overcoats. These Muslim extremists believe they are holding up “the law of God, which is above human rights.” Small wonder that many western countries are taking steps to curb similar expressions of Muslim extremism.

Scientology: No Kids Allowed

Scientology A St. Petersburg Times investigation found that more than a dozen women said the culture in Scientology‘s Sea Org pushed them or women they knew to have abortions, in many cases, abortions they did not want.

Some said colleagues and supervisors pressured them to abort their pregnancies and remain productive workers without the distraction of raising children. Terminating a pregnancy and staying on the job affirmed one’s commitment to the all-important work of saving the planet.

Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Life under €˜Blasphemy’ Law

Pakistan A young Christian shopkeeper was sentenced to a life term in prison and fined more than $1,000 last week following a dubious conviction of desecrating the Quran, according to Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace.

A conviction for blaspheming Muhammad (Section 295-C) is punishable by death under Pakistani’s notorious blasphemy laws. Widely condemned by the international community as easily invoked to settle personal enmities, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have come under review in recent months, but to no avail.

Israel Immigration Service Raids African Church; Several Detained

Israel Security forces of Israel’s immigration service broke into an African church in Tel Aviv damaging the ceiling and detaining several worshipers, news reports said Tuesday, December 22.

Immigration officers gathered everyone on the premises and detained those who did not hold papers with a request for refugee status, Haaretz reported. It was not immediately clear how many people were detained.

Indonesia Government urged to respect Ahmadiyah rights

Ahmadiyah attacked by Muslims In Indonesia, a series of attacks on followers of the Ahmadiyah sect by fanatical Muslims — who consider the movement to be a cult of Islam — continues to draw criticism.

Alfred C. Stepan, director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion at Columbia University in New York, an expert in religion and democracy urging the government to exercise its authority when there are violations of human rights.