Amnesty International calls for the release of all prisoners of conscience

The global human rights movement Amnesty International issued a statement on May 4, 2020, calling for “the immediate and unconditional release of all the prisoners of conscience” worldwide, who are now “at heightened risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” “As this devasta

Sri Lanka: Muslims face extra threat as coronavirus stirs hate

The grief-stricken family of Zubair Fathima Rinosa in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo is demanding justice and explanation after tests, released two days after her body had been cremated, showed that the 44-year-old Muslim woman did not die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Mo

Syria violence ‘a ticking time-bomb that must not be ignored’: UN human rights chief

Calling the deteriorating situation “a ticking time-bomb that must not be ignored”, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet lamented: "We are receiving more reports every day of targeted killings and bombings from one end of the country to the other, with many such attack

Migrants leave Greek border over Covid-19 fears

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday said asylum seekers had pulled back from the border with Turkey, with reports citing coronavirus fears as the reason. “Apparently, the makeshift camp that had been created after (March 1) has been dismantled and those who were at the Evros bo

U.S. announces $225 million in emergency aid to Yemen

The United States on Wednesday announced it will provide $225 million in emergency aid to Yemen to support food programs, and called on the Houthis to do more to allow aid operations to operate “independently and neutrally”.U.S. Secretary of Mike Pompeo told a news conference that the fu

UK asylum seekers fear for safety in cramped temporary housing

London, United Kingdom - Amira felt confused when she opened the letter, her eyes flickering over the words, disbelieving at first, before a sense of hopelessness set in. In one month, she would be back on the streets, searching for shelter. "It said I have to leave my temporary accommodation and a

‘Rights and dignity’ of older people must be respected during COVID-19 and beyond

Our response to COVID-19 must respect the rights and dignity of older people”, Secretary-General António Guterres said launching the report. Against the backdrop of age discrimination, autonomy for older people, disparities in social protection and healthcare - as well as a lack of dec

U.S., China Clash on Human Rights Report

China reacted in “unusually strong terms” after the U.S. Department of State unveiled on March 13 its yearly report on human rights, covering the year 2018. Introducing the report, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had denounced China as the worst country in the world for human rights. A

A New Wave of Anti-Muslim Anger Threatens India’s Virus Fight

The newspaper advertisement placed last week by a cancer hospital in India’s most populous state didn’t mince words: any Muslim patients seeking treatment must prove they didn’t have Covid-19. The privately owned Valentis Cancer Hospital in Uttar Pradesh state apologized a day lat

Recent killing in Lebanon sheds light on honor killings in the country

This week’s mass murder in the Lebanese area of Baakline is a reminder that honor killings, while less frequent in Lebanon compared to other Arab countries, are more commonplace in Lebanon than is typically thought. A man from the Harfouch family was detained today over the killing of 10 peop

Refugee women face heightened risk of violence, UNHCR says

Displaced women and girls are facing a heightened risk of gender-based violence during the coronavirus crisis, the UN Refugee Agency said Monday.Lockdowns imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 have restricted movement and led to the closure of services. “We need to pay urgent attention to

calls for release of Baha'i prisoners

On March 26th, a Houthi leader in Yemen (President of the Houthi Supreme Political Council), Mahdi Al-Mashat, announced that six prisoners of the Baha'i Faith held in Sana'a would be released. But that hasn't happened and the Baha’i International Community is now expressing concerns. All have

Africa’s Covid-19 Response Should Focus on People’s Needs, Rights

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has raised the alarm, calling on March 24 for governments to put human rights at the center of their fight against Covid-19. The crisis is rapidly spreading across Africa, with more than 15,000 cases reported. As Africa intensifies the fight

Isolated Syrian refugee camp with no doctors or aid fears outbreak

The isolated camp of Rukban in southeast Syria faces tremendous challenges as it prepares for a potential outbreak of the coronavirus. In this refugee settlement surrounded by desert, months pass without aid. The last major aid delivery was in February 2019, and residents live off basic food suppli

U.N. finds 'highly probable' Syrian government, allies targeted school, hospitals

It is “highly probable” the government of Syria or its allies carried out attacks on three healthcare facilities, a school and a refuge for children in northwest Syria last year, according to a summary of an internal United Nations inquiry seen by Reuters on Monday.The inquiry also found

UN chief says coronavirus biggest threat to humankind, renews global ceasefire call

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres renewed his appeal for a global ceasefire and said that warring parties must lay down their arms as the coronavirus is the “the biggest threat that humankind is facing at the present moment.” Guterres, who spoke to Al Arabiya’s New York Bureau

Hungarian journalists fear coronavirus law may be used to jail them

Hungarian journalists say a new law supposedly aimed at fighting the coronavirus will make objective reporting of the pandemic harder and leave them open to facing court cases or even jail time for their reporting. The measures, in place since Monday, have been roundly criticised for the sweeping p

Pakistan overturns convicted man's death sentence

Pakistan has overturned the death sentence of the man convicted of killing US journalist Daniel Pearl, defence lawyers have told reporters. British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, imprisoned since 2002, has had his sentence reduced to seven years for kidnapping, said lawyer Khawaja Naveed. Three oth