rights

PASSOP Criticised Govt Over Refugees

The Western Cape government is more concerned about the media than the well-being of the De Doorns xenophobia victims. This is according to People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP).

In a press statement, PASSOP says that Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, and her MECs, have not yet apologised to the refugees for the pain they have suffered.

The organisation further says, "Provincial government... is concerned only for some miraculous reintegration in order to avoid further embarrassment."

Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture Delivered

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC), in conjunction with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), has presented the 2009 Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture in Johannesburg.

Titled ‘The Transformative Role of Judicial Independence: The View from Massachusetts’, the lecture was delivered by KwaZulu-Natal-born, Margaret Marshall, the 23rd chief justice of the Massachusetts supreme judicial court.

The inaugural lecture in 1995 was given by the then president, Nelson Mandela, at whose historic treason trial Fischer led the defence team.

Racist UFS Students in Equality Court

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is likely to decide this week when to file an Equality Court application that could compel the four former University of the Free State (UFS) students involved in a racist incident last year to pay damages to their victims.

SAHRC wanted to file its application last week but had to wait for the Free State prosecuting authorities to pass the four men’s application on to the Bloemfontein Regional Court to participate in a restorative justice process.

Call for ASA to Come Clean on Semenya

The Commission for Gender Equality urges individuals at Athletics South Africa (ASA) to confess their involvement in the Caster Semenya saga.

CGE spokesperson, Javu Baloyi, states that, "Although an apology is warranted under the circumstances, the central issue, however, is Ms Semenya who has suffered an enormous amount of public humiliation and trauma."

Sudan to Close Refugee Camps

The government of Sudan plans to close down camps for the displaced population in the war-torn region of Darfur in 2010.

Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Hasabu Abdel-Rahman, points out that some 20 000 housing units are being constructed to accommodate the homeless in the towns of El-Fasher, El-Geneina and Nyala.

Abdel-Rahman says the displaced people will have the choice of returning to their village if they do not want to move to the new housing complexes.

Call for SADC Monitoring Force for Zimbabwe

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) has called on Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders to send a monitoring force into Zimbabwe, until a free and fair election to be held in 2011.

OSISA director, Ozias Tungwarara, says the call was motivated by the surge of reports of violent crackdowns against Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) opponents.

Human Rights Monitoring Training for Youth

The Rwandan NGO, Assist Rwanda, says human rights need regular enforcement if societies are to embrace sustainable peace.

Addressing a group of youth trained to monitor and evaluate mediators, prisons and Travaux performances across the country, Assist Rwanda national director, Emmanuel Shamakokera, urged the youth to visit the rural areas and make residents understand their rights and how to fight for and safeguard them.

SACC Criticises Govt Over Refugees

The primary villain in the Central Methodist Church (CMC) Zimbabwean refugee saga is not Bishop Paul Verryn, but government, according to the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

In a press statement responding to a surprise visit to the church by the Gauteng portfolio committee on health and social development last week, the SACC describes their visit as “understandable, yet rather late”.

Zimbabwe Deports UN Rights Expert

United Nations human rights expert, Manfred Nowak, has been deported from Zimbabwe on 29 November 2009 after being detained by security officials on arrival overnight.

Nowak says he had been invited to that country by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai whose power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe is under severe strain.

Nowak points out that, “I had not anticipated this. This is a serious diplomatic incident."

NGO Leaders Held in Zimbabwe

The heads of the umbrella organisation for all of Zimbabwe's NGOs have arrested amid worsening signs of the disintegration of the country's fragile coalition government.

Spokesperson, Farai Ngirande, says that chief executive of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), Cephas Zinumhwe, and NANGO chairperson, Dadirai Chikwengo, were arrested at the small airport in the northern resort town of Victoria Falls after a NANGO meeting.

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