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rights

  • Nigeria’s Homophobic Laws Criticised

    The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) urges South Africa to add its voice to calls for Nigeria to review its homophobic legislation.

    SAHRC spokesperson, Isaac Mangena, states that, "Since 18 January [2014], dozens of people have already been arrested in Nigeria in terms of the new law."

    Mangena further adds that, the South African government should seek to exert influence over other African countries to follow good human rights practices.

    To read the article titled, “South Africa should speak up against homophobic laws: SAHRC,” click here .

    Source: 
    Times Live
  • Mswati Criticised Over Rights Violations

    According to the 2013 Freedom House Report, Swaziland remains the last supreme autocratic monarchy on the continent and this has led to citizens facing various human rights violations under King Mswati III’s government.

    The report finds that the parliamentary elections held in September 2013 have had no impact on reforming the escalating human rights and humanitarian crisis facing the country.

    According to the United Nations Programmes on HIV/AIDS, one of the many violations for which the king has been openly criticised is the government’s negligent approach to its HIV/AIDS programme. 

    The country that has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world of 26 percent.

    To read the article titled, “Eating cow dung while Mswati lives large: video,” click here.

    Source: 
    Times Live
  • Mozambique Urged to Recognise LGBT

    As gay Americans make headlines fighting for their marital rights, in Mozambique, and many other countries in Africa, the battle looks different and is much quieter.

    Danilo Da Silva, executive director of the Mozambican Association for the Defense of Sexual Minorities (LAMBDA), points out that, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is afraid of losing the people they love, of being rejected and being an outcast.

    Da Silva's says LAMBDA is the sole LGBT non-governmental organisation in Mozambique, a country twice the size of California, with a population of over 25 million.

    To read the article titled, “A fight for recognition: The LGBT community's battle in Mozambique,” click here.

    Source: 
    Huffington Post
  • De Klerk Not Pressured to Release Prisoners

    The F.W. de Klerk Foundation has denied that former president, F.W. de Klerk, was under pressure to release all political prisoners, including the late former President, Nelson Mandela, from prison.

    F.W. de Klerk Foundation, executive director, Dave Steward, who was the director-general in De Klerk's office at the time and government’s spokesperson, says De Klerk’s says the reason why government released political prisoners is because the apartheid policy had failed.

    He says there would have been a catastrophe if the prisoners were not released.

    To read the article titled, “De Klerk was not under pressure to release political prisoners: Foundation,” click here.

    Source: 
    SABC News
  • Bill Raises Gay Alarm

    The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill has been criticised in Parliament for not making provision for the advancement of gays and lesbians in the workplace.

    This emerged on 30 January 2014 during the second day of public hearings on the bill, which is being sponsored by the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.

    In its submission, the Legal Resources Centre argues that the bill should not limit issues of gender equality and inequality as being issues between men and women, and girls and boys.

    Meanwhile, the Triangle Project, an organisation that campaigns against discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and other sexual minorities, objects to the bill's definition of ‘gender’ as unconstitutional.

    To read the article titled, “Bill raises gay alarm,” click here.

    Source: 
    Times Live
  • SA Criticises HRW Report on Policing

    The Ministry of Police says the Human Rights Watch's (HRW) 2014 World Report is ‘generalising and subjective’ in its assessment of the police.

    In the report, HRW says: "Serious concerns remain about the ongoing conduct and capacity of the South African Police Service, both in terms of the use of force in general, as well as the ability to deal with riots in a rights-respecting manner."

    Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa's spokesperson, Zweli Mnisi, says the report created the impression that the police used the same approach and operational plan for all for public protests, and created the impression that all police were brutal.

    To read the article titled, “We are a caring govt - despite human rights report,” click here.

    Source: 
    Mail and Guardian
  • Human Rights ‘Taking a Turn for the Worst’ - NGO

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) has issued a ‘warning’ to the South African government, that human rights are ‘taking a turn for the worst’ in the country, citing attacks on the free press and escalating police violence as the main reasons for the regression.

    HRW’s Southern Africa director, Tiseke Kasambala, says that while South Africa remain a ‘beacon of hope’ on the continent, its human rights legacy is gradually being eroded.

    "There is an increasingly violent reaction to peaceful protests in South Africa. It seems that every time there are protests in South Africa, the police are heavy-handed, and use excessive force. We want to see President [Jacob] Zuma and his government make clear that the police must abide by international standards, and use proportionate force," explains Kasambala.

    To read the article titled, “Lethal force: SA warned on human rights,” click here.

    Source: 
    Mail and Guardian
  • R2K Criticises Police Over Mothutlung Deaths

    The Right2Know (R2K) campaign says the deaths of four people in Mothutlung is ‘a symptom’ of increasing police brutality and growing attacks on the right to protest.
     
    In a press statement, the organisation points out that, "Too often media, civil society and government pay attention to the plight of the poor only once streets are barricaded and property destroyed."
     
    The organisation further states that it supports calls made by various organisations to demilitarise the police, as it believes that this is driving greater police violence, including against protesters.
     
    To read the article titled, “R2K: Mothutlung a symptom of police brutality,” click here

    Source: 
    News 24
  • Group to Challenge Anti-Gay Laws

    A rights group is seeking a review of the three gay men's jail sentences and plans to challenge laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi.
     
    A Malawi high court began hearing a petition by a leading rights group seeking to obtain the review of jail sentences of three gays and to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality.
     
    "We want the court to declare the laws that criminalise homosexuality in Malawi unconstitutional," explains Gift Trapence, director of a rights group, the Centre for Development of People.
     
    To read the article titled, “Rights group fights Malawi's anti-gay laws,” click here.

    Source: 
    Mail and Guardian
  • Call for the Decriminalisation of Prostitution

    The Sisonke Sex Workers Movement says that the African National Congress (ANC) members should lobby for the decriminalisation of prostitution because some of the party's officials used prostitutes' services.
     
    The organisation’s national lobbyist, Nosipho Vidima, points out that, “It's unfortunate that we are good enough for the ANC politicians to make use of our services, but they are afraid to come out in support of decriminalisation of sex work, and the protection of our human rights."
     
    Vidima was responding to media reports that prostitutes made good money during the ANC's election manifesto launch in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
     
    To read the article titled, “ANC officials use prostitutes, so they should legalise prostitution: Sisonke,” click here.

    Source: 
    Times Live
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