rights

Call for Rwanda to Respect Rights

Amnesty International (AI) has called on Rwanda to take steps to reverse a climate of fear that is looming over next week's presidential election.

In a press statement, AI’s deputy director for Africa programme, Tawanda Hondora, points out that in recent months killings, arrests and the closure of newspapers and broadcasters have reinforced a climate of fear.

Sudan Criticised Over Rights Violations

Amnesty International (AI) says the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) is carrying out a brutal campaign of arbitrary detentions, torture, and mental and physical intimidation against opponents and critics of the government.

In its latest report, the AI’ Africa programme director, Erwin van der Borght, points out that, “The extensive, multi-pronged assault on the Sudanese people by the security services has left the critics of the government in constant fear of arrest, harassment or worse."

MAG Take Aim at Mining Firm

Environmentalists have served an application to controversial mining house Coal of Africa, as well as the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, to stop activities at a proposed coalmine near Mapungubwe immediately.

The application served on Limpopo Coal, the subsidiary of Coal of Africa, is an attempt by the environmentalists to limit what has already been described an irreversible environmental damage.

UNHCR Criticises Deportations of Somalis

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called on Saudi Arabia to halt deportations of Somali refugees and asylum-seekers to the conflict-stricken capital, Mogadishu.

Spokesperson for the UNHCR, Melissa Fleming points out that Saudi Arabia has already deported more than 1 000 refugees to Mogadishu, where dozens of civilians were killed in escalating clashes this week.

Call for Special Courts in Xenophobia Cases

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has recommended to the portfolio committee on justice and constitutional development that government set up special courts to deal with xenophobia-related cases.

The SAHRC, which presented its findings on research into the aftermath of the 2008 xenophobic attacks, found that victims of xenophobia had not received proper justice because there were so few convictions related to the attacks.

NMF Speaks Out Against Xenophobia

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) has expressed concern about rumours surfacing that there are negative sentiments arising towards non-nationals in South Africa.

NMF chief executive, Achmat Dangor, points out that South Africans should not blame other people for their troubles.

He blames the aggressive and hostile policies of the apartheid regime, which he says have undermined the economic development of the neighbouring countries.

HRW Criticises Rwanda's Insecurity and Repression

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned that insecurity and political repression are increasing in advance of Rwanda's August 2010 presidential elections.

HRW Africa director, Rona Peligal, points out that the security situation is rapidly deteriorating, adding that with only 45 days left before the election, the government is lashing out to silence its opponents and critics.

CoRMSA Calls on Govt to Step Xenophobia Fight

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) has urged the government to strengthen its capacity to detect threats of xenophobic violence and to provide a centralised national contact telephone number for reporting threats or outbreaks of such attacks.

CoRMSA advocacy officer, Duncan Breen, points out that all available intelligence sources need to be used to deal with the ‘credible’ threat against foreign nationals.

Violence Used to Exploit Diamonds – Report

Zimbabwe's political and military elites are using violence and their links to companies to exploit the country's diamond wealth. This is according to a new report from campaign group, Global Witness.

Global Witness campaigner, Elly Harrowell, also criticises the Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme, created to prevent the sale of ‘blood diamonds’, for what they said was its weak response to Zimbabwe's diamond industry problems.

UNHCR Seeks Dialogue with Libya

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says it is seeking discussions with Libya to allow it to resume its work in the country, two days after the agency announced that it had been asked to leave.

The organisation’s spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, says that, "UNHCR is confirming its awareness of the concerns of the Libyan Government and is seeking an open, constructive dialogue with Libya to dispel any misunderstandings and hopefully to reach consensus on resuming its work."

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