Human Rights

Turkey pulls out of anti-violence pact

The Turkish government has officially withdrawn from an international treaty to prevent violence against women, a convention signed in Istanbul in 2011. President Tayyip Erdogan had announced the decision in March and this week a court rejected an appeal. [node:read-more:link]

Protestors topple regal statues

Ongoing protests across the country over the treatment of government-mandated but church-run residential schools for indigenous children saw two regal statues toppled in Winnipeg on Canada Day. One was a statue of Queen Victoria erected in 1904 in front of the Manitoba legislature, the other of Queen Elizabeth on the grounds of the Lieutenant Governor’s residence. [node:read-more:link]

UN court closes books on Bosnia

Two former allies of the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic were convicted June 29 of having aided and abetted crimes committed by Serb paramilitaries in a Bosnian town in 1992. Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic originally were acquitted in 2013 but that was overturned on appeal in 2015, setting the stage for retrial at the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague. [node:read-more:link]

Systemic racism at intelligence agency?

A Muslim former officer at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says systemic racism and a lack of diversity constitute a national security threat at the agency. Huda Mukbil says she was treated as an internal threat and interrogated about her religion during her 15-year career as well as forced to cut ties with Muslim organizations. [node:read-more:link]

Convicted police officer sentenced for Floyd death

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. Hours before the hearing, Judge Peter Cahill denied Chauvin's motion for a new trial, saying his attorney failed to prove either abuses from the court or prosecutorial or juror misconduct. [node:read-more:link]

Residential schools a defining issue

The suspected remains of 751 people, believed to be mainly indigenous children, have been found at the site of a former church-run residential school in Saskatchewan. Confirmed by an indigenous group June 23, the latest development adds to a growing national and international debate sparked by the earlier find of 215 children’s remains at a similar school in British Columbia. [node:read-more:link]

Rosalie Abella: rebel with a cause

Madam Justice Rosalie Abella, retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada at the mandatory age of 75, has been considered as the country’s foremost activist judge. While not the first jurist to so categorized, she definitely has pushed the cout-knows-best doctrine when it comes to shaping social policy in an era when legislatures are widely seen as mishandling that portfolio. [node:read-more:link]

Iran: new president a hard-liner

Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line veteran of Iran’s judiciary, has been elected as the country’s next president, effective in August when the moderate leader Hassan Rouhani’s term expires. Raisi, who oversaw the abduction and secret execution of political prisoners, also is seen as a likely successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. [node:read-more:link]

Iran: moderates’ predictions coming true?

When Donald Trump arbitrarily withdrew the U.S. from a multinational nuclear accord with Iran in 2018 and imposed crushing economic sanctions, there were suggestions that it would backfire, entrenching conservative hard-liners in Tehran for years to come. Their concerns evidently were justified. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa urged to stop RCMP contracting out

As the RCMP is pressed to be more sensitive to racial issues and other, a House of Commons committee says the government should consider ending contract policing by the RCMP. “A transformative national effort is required to ensure that all . . . racialized people . . . are not subject to the discrimination and injustice that is inherent in the system,” the committee says in a June 17 report. [node:read-more:link]

Asylum seekers in abusive custody?

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say in a joint report that Canada detains thousands of asylum seekers every year in often abusive conditions where people of colour appear to be held for longer periods. Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary-General of AI Canada, says the system contrasts starkly with the country’s rich diversity and values of equality and justice. [node:read-more:link]

Indigenous bill approved despite opposition

A federal government bill designed to bring Canadian law into line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples now needs only Royal Assent to take effect. Bill C-15 had been resisted by Conservatives in the House of Commons and Senate who shared the concerns of six provincial premiers about the implications for their jurisdictions. [node:read-more:link]


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