UN peacekeepers protecting hundreds displaced by Central African Republic fighting

Peacekeepers are patrolling the city of Alindao, Basse Kotto Prefecture, after skirmishes last Thursday between the country’s armed forces and members of an armed group associated with the mainly-Muslim ex-Seleka coalition, which have fought with mainly Christian anti-Balaka elements, destabil

Trump administration casts doubt on women's rights amendment push

The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a legal opinion saying it was too late for additional states to sign on to the push started in 1972 that led to 35 states backing it, three short of the required number. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, which gained traction wit

Rights groups call for federal inquiry into Mississippi prisons

Prisoner advocates in the United States are calling for a federal investigation into the state of Mississippi's beleaguered prison system for possible civil rights violations, saying a recent spate of violence highlights deliberate violations of inmates' constitutional right to be free from cruel an

Syria: Civilians face ‘daily nightmare’ in Idlib, says top UN official

“I am alarmed at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Idlib, northwest Syria, where over three million civilians remain trapped in a war zone – the vast majority of them women and children”, Mark Cutts said in a statement. The downward spiraling situation is occurring in bi

Nearly 300,000 Syrians displaced from Idlib since mid-December, Security Council hears

Amidst concern for the safety and protection of more than three million civilians in Syria’s last rebel-held enclave, the UN’s most senior humanitarian and political affairs officials briefed the Security Council on Syria behind closed doors on Friday. Following the recent escalation of

World Braille Day marks key communication tool for millions

It is estimated that approximately 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, according to the Worth Health Organization (WHO), a billion of whom have either not had their condition addressed, or whose impairment could have been prevented. People with vision impairment are more likel

South African Journalist Held by Islamic State Back Home

A South African photojournalist has returned home after spending three years in captivity with the Islamic State in Syria, his family said Friday in Johannesburg. Shiraaz Mohamed was taken hostage in early 2017. The charity group Gift of the Givers said Mohamed was in the country to document the pl

Underage Marriage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region

Underage marriage (called also minor marriage) may be defined as marriage under the legal age. The legal age in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) varies between 13 (in Iran) and 20 in Tunisia. Many Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have not established a legal age of marriage. In spite of

Israel/Palestine war crimes probe ‘momentous step forward

An independent UN human rights expert hailed on Tuesday, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to consider a formal criminal investigation into allegations of war crimes in Palestine as a "momentous step forward in the quest for accountability" in the five-decade-long Israeli occup

Iran Raises the Pressure on Human Rights Defenders

Since the beginning of 2018, numerous human rights defenders, including women’s rights defenders and human rights lawyers, have been arrested in Iran for simply doing their job and often given harsher sentences than ever before. A report published on 20 August by the Observatory for the Prote

Militias abduct Iraqi activists in attempt to stifle protests

Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, on Dec. 13 condemned the kidnappings of Iraqi activists and demonstrators in protest squares and stressed the need for weapons to be under the control of the Iraqi state. A day earlier, the US Embassy in Baghdad had issued a st

India beefs up security amid outrage against citizenship law, anger with police

LUCKNOW, India- Indian authorities stepped up security and shut down the Internet in various places on Tuesday while members of the ruling party planned marches backing a new citizenship law even though nationwide protests against it are escalating.An interior ministry official said the government e

Iran-backed militias deployed snipers in Iraq protests: Sources

Reuters - Thursday, 17 October 2019 - Iran-backed militias deployed snipers on Baghdad rooftops during the Iraq’s deadliest anti-government protests in years, two Iraqi security officials told Reuters. The deployment of militia fighters underscores the chaotic nature of Iraqi politics amid ma

Catalan separatist leaders handed jail terms for independence bid

Protesters have hit the streets in north-eastern Spain after the country's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine of the 12 accused Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison. The 12 were accused of sedition over their roles in the region's 2017 failed bid for independence.

US Supreme Court takes up major Louisiana abortion case

The United States Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a major abortion case that could lead to new curbs on access to the procedure as it considers the legality of a Republican-backed Louisiana law that imposes restrictions on abortion doctors. The justices will hear an appeal by abortion pro

Widow can sue hotel group over top lawyer’s Egyptian safari death

The widow of a top international lawyer who died while on safari will have her case heard in a British court but under Egyptian law, a judge has ruled.Lady Brownlie has been permitted to sue an Egyptian offshoot of the Four Seasons hotel brand over the death of her late husband Sir Ian Brownlie, who

UN launches investigations into human rights violations in Venezuela

The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed on Friday to set up an international fact-finding mission to document violations in Venezuela, including torture and thousands of summary executions. Venezuela's ambassador Jorge Valero rejected the "hostile resolution" - brought by countries, includin

Dubai government guidebook advises on equal rights opportunities

An eight-chapter manual that advises employers on how to hire more people with disabilities was issued on Saturday. Dubai's Ministry of Community Development document outlines supportive policies to ensure people with disabilities have the same employment options as their peers - in line with a na