Amnesty International says the charge of sorcery has often been used in Saudi Arabia to punish people, generally after unfair trials, for exercising their right to freedom of speech or religion.
Tag: Human Rights Violations
An ethnic minority house church leader remained detained in China’s troubled northwestern Xinjiang region Sunday, March 6, after a court rejected an appeal to review his 15 years prison sentence on charges of revealing state secrets to overseas groups.
United Nations officials and local Christians have linked the sentence to Pastor Alimujiang Yimiti’s Christian conversion, his leadership of a house church with his wife Gulinuer and two sons, and apparent involvement in sharing reports of religious persecution.
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.
Five former church staffers confirmed to the St. Petersburg Times that the FBI interviewed them individually over the past 15 months about their experiences in the church’s religious order, the Sea Org.
The US government says “At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.”
Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.
The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.
It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible.
The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis.
Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi Ã©migrÃ©s. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.
Human rights experts have long pressed the administration of former president George W. Bush for details of who bore ultimate responsibility for approving the simulated drownings of CIA detainees, a practice that many international legal experts say was illicit torture.
In a memoir due out Tuesday, Bush makes clear that he personally approved the use of that coercive technique against alleged Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed, an admission the human rights experts say could one day have legal consequences for him.
In his book, titled “Decision Points,” Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the United States. Bush writes that his reply was “Damn right” and states that he would make the same decision again to save lives, according to someone close to Bush who has read the book.
George W. Bush: Torturer in Chief.
Red Cross: America practiced torture
Routine and systematic torture is at the heart of America’s war on terror
The horrors really are your America, Mr Bush
Poll: On torture, evangelicals not looking to Bible, doctrine
George Bush has claimed to be a Christian — a follower of Jesus Christ, and many people who also consider themselves to be ‘Christians’ believe him. Yet he lied about the fact that America — under his leadership and with his approval — tortured people. He tried to redefine torture, but torture by any other name is just as vile. Christians who support that kind of behavior — and those kind of leaders – are not followers of Jesus Christ, since their very behaviour shows they do not even know Him.
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
And then there’s this…
US defends human rights record before UN body
“God in America,” a three-night joint production from “Frontline” and “American Experience” that begins Monday night, blends two subjects that most folks avoid in polite company — religion and politics. It compellingly presents an American history that has been alternately ruined and elevated by faith, the Washington Post writes.
“God in America” takes the long view and visits familiar territory: Our nation’s history is one of emphatic and often cruel Christian principle, rescued repeatedly from theocracy and other fundamentalist blunders by the intellectual heroics of the founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln and other non-divine interventions of common sense.
Or, because this is PBS, “God in America” can be seen a whole other way: Without its spiritual firmament, the nation would have merely been a collection of immigrants and ideas, but lacking a . . . soul.
(No word on how a nation that claims to be so spiritual manages to keep committing human rights violations ranging from torture to the death penalty, and from secret renditions to waging illegal wars).
The Vatican raised the possibility Sunday of using behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to save the life of an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned for adultery.
In its first public statement on the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, the Vatican decried stoning as a particularly brutal form of capital punishment.
It is unclear what chances any Vatican bid would have to persuade the Muslim nation to spare the woman’s life. Brazil, which has friendly relations with Iran, was rebuffed when it offered her asylum.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was convicted in 2006 of adultery. In July, Iranian authorities said they would not carry out the stoning sentence for the time being, but the mother of two could still face execution by hanging for adultery and other offenses.
Our view: the death penalty is a barbaric form of punishment that should be rejected by all civilized nations — as should the Shariah. Islamic law is incompatible with Western civilization.
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.