rights

Zambia Relocates DRC Refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says Zambia has relocated more than 1 500 refugees from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo after the closure of a camp.

In a press statement, the UNHCR programme officer, Robert Taban, says that, “A total of 1 555 Congolese refuges have been relocated from Mwange and Kala to Maheba in the north-western province.”

AI Says MDGs Exclude the Poor

Amnesty International (AI) has accused governments failing to make a concerted effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of abusing the human rights of the poorest in society.

The group's criticism came ahead of a United Nations Summit later this month that will see heads of states meeting to review the progress on MDGs.

CASAC Launches in Johannesburg

The Council for the Advancement of the Constitution (CASAC), an organisation that promises to reawaken South Africans to the values of the Constitution, has launched in Johannesburg.

Led by businessman, Sipho Pityana, CASAC aims to mobilise South Africans against what it calls ‘conservative forces’ within both the government and society, in a bid to protect the Constitution and hold it up as the central goal that South African society aspires to.

Community in ConCourt Over Mining Rights

Representatives of the Bengwenyama community in Limpopo were in the Constitutional Court, fighting against a prospecting right that was granted to mining company Genorah Resources over land on which they live.

The community has lived on the land for more than a century and the Land Claims Commission recognised its ownership after it was dispossessed of the land during apartheid and to make room for another mine.

Amnesty Slams Rwanda’s Genocide Laws

Amnesty International has blasted Rwanda's laws on genocide ideology, which it says are being used to suppress political dissent.

Africa Programme director at Amnesty International, Erwin van der Borght, points out that, "The ambiguity of the ‘genocide ideology’ and ‘sectarianism’ law means Rwandans live in fear of being punished for saying the wrong thing."

Equatorial Guinea Slammed Over Executions

Independent United Nations human rights experts have voiced serious concern at the recent execution of four men in Equatorial Guinea, over their alleged involvement in an armed attack on the country's presidential palace last year.

The working group's chairperson, Amada Benavides de Pérez and José-Luis Gomez del Prado, who visited Equatorial Guinea in the days before the execution, say they strongly condemn it, noting it ‘follows a summary trial that severely lacked due process’.

SADC States Urged to Respect Human Rights

Civil society organisations in southern Africa have called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) governments to respect human rights and focus on good governance.

They have also called on the governments that undermine the SADC Tribunal's decisions to be censured, further expressing their concern about the fact that governments are becoming intolerant towards civil society in the region.

Botswana’s Immigration Laws Criticised

In a scathing rebuke of Botswana's immigration laws, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has found that national security is not a legitimate justification for infringing on the right of access to courts.

The landmark decision was emphatic in asserting the importance of judicial oversight of executive decisions and is likely to influence the reasoning of domestic courts in Africa, including South Africa.

Change Is A Process, Not an Event or Holiday

We are now in August, that special month set aside to celebrate the achievements of women in South Africa. But I'm not so sure we should be pouring champagne just yet.

It is also during this month that we commemorate the day on which 20 000 women marched on the Pretoria Union Buildings 54 years ago to protest the extension of passes restricting freedom of movement during the apartheid government.

Sudan Not Prepared for Referendum, Say NGOs

With six months until a referendum on Southern independence, Sudan is alarmingly unprepared. This is according to a new report published by a global coalition of 26 humanitarian and human rights organisations.

Titled ‘Renewing the Pledge: Re-Engaging the Guarantors to the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement’, the report calls for urgent action from African heads of state who will meet shortly at a major summit of the African Union in Uganda.

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