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rights

  • Swazi Police Abduct Pro-Democracy Leaders

    Swaziland police officers have illegally abducted prodemocracy leaders over the weekend, drove them 30 kilometres away, and dumped them to prevent them from taking part in a meeting calling for freedom in the kingdom.

    The police officers staged roadblocks on all major roads leading to Swaziland's main commercial city, Manzini, where protests were to be held.

    The intended protests were part of the annual 12 April commemorations in that country, following King Sobhuza II Royal proclamation dissolving parliament, banning political parties and placing all power in the kingdom in the hands of the monarchy on 12 April 1973.

    To read the article titled, “Police abduct democracy leaders,” click here.

    Source: 
    All Africa
  • Call to Exempt Hospitals From Pre-Paid Meters

    Minister of Copperbelt - copper mining area of Central Africa which runs in Zambia - Mwenya Musenge, has appealed to Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO) to consider exempting health institutions from its prepaid meters installation project.

    Musenge believes that in as much as ZESCO is supplying power to the public, it needs to revisit the issue of pre-paid meters in health institutions.

    He further states that government is committed to ensuring that the majority of the population gained access to electricity and energy country wide.

    To read the article titled, “Exempt hospitals from prepaid meters,” click here.

    Source: 
    All Africa
  • Gays Divided Over HIV Prevention Drug

    A drug hailed as a lifesaver for many people infected by HIV is at the heart of a rancorous debate among gay men, AIDS activists and health professionals over its potential for protecting uninfected men who engage in gay sex without using condoms.

    Many doctors and activists see immense promise for such preventive use of Truvada, and are campaigning to raise awareness of it as a crucial step toward reducing new HIV infections, which now total about 50 000 a year in the United States.

    Despite mounting evidence of Truvada's effectiveness, other argue that such efforts are reckless, tempting some condom users to abandon that layer of protection and exposing them to an array of other sexually transmitted infections aside from HIV.

    To read the article titled, “Gay men divided over use of HIV prevention drug,” click here.

    Source: 
    Sowetan Live
  • Swaziland Releases Detained Editor, Lawyer

    A Swaziland editor and a rights lawyer who were arrested over an article said to be in contempt of court were freed on Sunday after a judge nullified their arrest.

    Judge Mumcy Dlamini rejected a warrant of arrest for Bheki Makhubu, the editor of the Nation magazine, and lawyer Thulani Maseko, who is a columnist at the magazine, saying it is not in line with the law.

    Makhubu and Maseko were arrested on 18 March 2014, after the independent magazine published a report questioning the detention of a government vehicle inspector who was detained for a week without being charged.

    To read the article the article titled, “Swaziland editor, lawyer released from prison,” click here.

    Source: 
    Mail and Guardian
  • Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law Challenged

    Gay rights activists in Uganda filed a legal petition against the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act, which calls for tougher penalties against gay persons. 
            
    The new law strengthens existing punishments for anyone caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ - including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive.
            
    The legislation criminalises lesbianism for the first time and makes it a crime to help individuals engage in homosexual acts. 
             
    In the same vein, gay rights activist and lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo, says the new law contravenes Uganda's constitution. 
     
    To read the article titled, “Activists determined to overturn Uganda anti-gay law,” click here.

    Source: 
    SABC News
  • NGOs Decry SA’s Child Abuse 'Epidemic'

    Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working with women and children say child abuse has become an epidemic in the country, with one in four children becoming victims of abuse.

    Saartjie Baartman spokesperson, Shaheema McLeod, states that one of the problems that they have picked up in their areas is that there are little resources available for parents to take their kids for assistance.

    McLeod explains that, “…a lack of a political will to make resources available. There seems to be more violent acts committed against children, and parents need to keep in mind to put preventative measures in place.”

    To read the article titled, “NGOs decry child abuse 'epidemic',” click here.

    Source: 
    SABC News
  • Call for Govt to Act on Human Rights

    The Zimbabwean government has been asked to urgently remove laws that restrict the work of human rights defenders and repeal offensive sections of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) that inhibit freedom of assembly.

    A report released by civil society organisations is critical at the slow pace of the implementation of a number of recommendations, aimed at curtailing and improving human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.

    Analysts say there has been little progress in implementing key aspects of the human rights recommendations, notably the need to repeal draconian laws and ensure accountability for past rights abuses.

    To read the article titled, “Govt urged to implement recommendations on human rights,” click here.

    Source: 
    All Africa
  • Zim Police Arrest Gay Activist

    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) says that police officers in Zimbabwe have arrested and charged a gay activist and questioned another for holding an illegal meeting.

    ZLHR spokesperson, Kumbirai Mafunda, confirms that the police arrested Natasha Dowell, a volunteer with the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe and Tawanda Maguze, an activist at a hotel in the Avenues area.

    Mafunda asserts that, Dowell was charged with breaching the public order and security law, which requires organisations to give police advance warning of public meetings.

    To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe charges gay activist over meeting,” click here.

    Source: 
    News 24
  • Govt Views Water as Commodity - SAHRC

    The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says that government is not protecting water as a basic human right.

    In its report on water and sanitation in South Africa, SAHRC points out that, "...water is viewed mainly as an economic good or commodity by government departments and the private sector."

    The commission argues that the result is that most of South Africa's water is used by business, especially agribusiness, mining, and other industries, at a relatively lower cost per kilolitre than poor households.

    To read the article titled, “Gov't views water as commodity - SAHRC,” click here.

    Source: 
    News 24
  • Malawi Urged to End Child Marriage

    Human Rights Watch urges the government of Malawi to increase efforts to end widespread child and forced marriage, or risk worsening poverty, illiteracy, and preventable maternal deaths in the country.
     
    According to government statistics, half of the girls in Malawi will be married by their 18th birthday, with some as young as nine or 10 being forced to marry.
     
    Human Rights Watch further states that Malawi's first woman president, Joyce Banda, should publicly support prompt enactment of the Marriage, Divorce, and Family Relations Bill (Marriage Bill), which includes vital protections against child marriage.
     
    To read the article titled, “End widespread child marriage - pass marriage law, adopt comprehensive approach,” click here.

    Source: 
    All Africa
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