< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: September 2005

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Prisoners of Conscience in Vietnam

An article from today's Washington Post about free speech and detentions in Vietnam, click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Freedom of the Press in China

An article from the New York Times about China's restrictions on internet media, click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Algerian Amnesty

From the New York Times, an interesting article about a referendum in Algeria that would give amnesty to many groups who participated in the country's recent civil war, which left over 100,000 dead. Click here to read the article sent courtesy of JB.

--Tom Hayes

Monday, September 26, 2005

Haiti's Election

An interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor about Haiti's upcoming election, click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Nepal's King Pledges Elections

As an update to a previous post, Nepal's King gave a speech at the UN in which he said elections could be held as early as next spring. Protests have been widespread in Nepal after the King has retained absolute control over the country. Click here to read the article from the New York Times. Earlier this month, Congress chose to withhold aid to the country because of its recent human rights record. We'll see if Nepal has meaningful elections soon and whether American aid can flow back to the country.

--Tom Hayes

Iraqi School Attacked

Another disturbing article from Iraq, terrorists stormed an elementary school and killed 5 teachers and a bus driver, click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

IRA Disarms

From the Washington Post, the IRA announced today that it has fully disarmed. According to the article, "Catholic leaders and the prime ministers of Britain and Ireland called it a historic breakthrough that could bring a final close to more than three decades of sectarian conflict that has claimed about 3,600 lives." However, many Protestant politicians want full documentation and are wary of the announcement. The article can be found here.

--Tom Hayes

Update: International weapons inspectors confirm the diarmament, click here to read the article.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Orange Revolution in Belarus?

I found an interesting article from the Washington Post about a revolution similar to the orange revolution in Ukraine building in Belarus, however the government is cracking down pretty hard. Check the article out here.

Update 10-19-05--click here to read an updated article from the New York Times.

--Tom Hayes

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

China's Justice System

An interesting article from the New York Times about China's justice system, click here to read the full article. I thought it was epecially interesting to see the courts reliance on forced confessions.

--Tom Hayes

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

U.N. Tribunal for Balkan War Crimes and the Vatican

An interesting article from the Washington Post about the lead U.N. prosecutor for the Balkans War Crimes tribunal is charging the Vatican with sheltering a Croatian general accused of atrocities against Serb civilians. The article can be found by clicking here.

--Tom Hayes

Uzbekistan Human Rights Abuses

Human Rights Watch has released a new report about Uzbekistan and how the government has cracked down on those who have tried to expose its human rights violations that occurred after a prison break and anti-government protest in May. You can read the full Washington Post article by clicking here. In addition, another Post article reports that despite congressional objections "...the Pentagon intends to pay Uzbekistan almost $23 million for past use of its military base from which U.S. forces were recently told to leave." The article can be found here.

--Tom Hayes

Saturday, September 17, 2005

D.C. Voting Rights

I found a very informative and interesting site about voting rights and representation for Washington D.C. Many people do not realize that D.C. does not have the same constitutional rights as American citizens living in states. To learn more check out the website called DC Vote. You can also read the top ten myths about the District of Colombia. After reading the information, you may want to sign the Common Cause D.C. Voting Rights petition by clicking here.

--Tom Hayes

Friday, September 16, 2005

Justice in East Timor

From the Washignton Post, an article detailing how survivors of massacres in East Timor are struggling to get justice for those murdered. While the full article can be found by clicking here, part of the article reads as follows:
The survivors, who in some cases live near the people who burned their houses or carted away the bodies, hunger for justice: They want the killers charged and tried in an impartial court of law.
The families' insistence on prosecutions puts them at direct odds with their government, whose leaders, veterans of the 24-year struggle for independence from Indonesia, now want friendship with the former occupier. The two countries have created a Commission on Truth and Friendship, modeled after South Africa's post-apartheid panel. The commission's aim is to establish the "conclusive truth" about the crimes up to and after the August 1999 vote; its work will not lead to prosecutions.
The 10-member panel, formed in August with a one-year term, has the power to recommend amnesty for people who fully explain their crimes, apologize and show remorse. It contains no provision for criminal proceedings or compensation. The lack of prosecution, critics warn, is a recipe for impunity.

--Tom Hayes

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Louisiana Nursing Home Owners Charged

The owners of a nursing home where 34 people died after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana where charged with multiple counts of negligent homicide on Tuesday. Investigators are also looking at similar cases and as more charges will probably follow. Read the entire article here. I wonder what the law says in the case of public officials, could citizens sue for the negligence of local and federal officials? With the FEMA and local response as bad as it was, I would be interested to know what is possible/likely, maybe a law student could post a comment informing the blog.

--Tom Hayes

Compromise Reached on U.N. Reform Plans

From the Washington Post: Ambassadors have adopted compromise language on a range of issues that had been debated between US and other nations. Advocates for impoverished nations were disappointed because of what they said were watered down language on development assistance. To read an article about the compromise click here.

I thought all of the op-eds about the UN in the New York Times were interesting on Tuesday as you can read them by clicking below:

Meet the Fakers by Nicholas Kristof
Necessary Measures by Amir Attaran
The Good Fight by Vance Serchuk

Also on an unrelated note, Thomas Friedman's op-ed about America's response to Katrina was very good today, which can be found by clicking here.

--Tom Hayes

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Violence in Northern Ireland

From the Washington Post:
Gangs of young men threw gasoline bombs and bricks at policemen and set cars and a city bus ablaze in a third night of violence in Protestant districts of Belfast that has injured more than 50 police officers and at least 10 civilians.
The city's worst rioting in years was touched off Saturday when police refused to allow the Orange Order, a legal Protestant fraternal group, to parade through a largely Catholic neighborhood". Click here to read full article.

--Tom Hayes

Friday, September 09, 2005

Another Set Back for Due Process

As an update to a previous post, a federal appeals court has ruled against Jose Padilla and for the Bush administration. Padilla is an American citizen and has been held without charges in a military brig for three years. However, according to an article in the Washington Post, the President need not charge him or any American citizen and they the President may detain them indefinitely. For more details, read the full article here.

--Tom Hayes

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Federal Response to Katrina

I found a disturbing article while reading Poliblog that says that FEMA has firefighters attending meetings on how to be good community relations officers instead of helping with the relief effort. Read the entire article here. I really hope the investigations into the failings of the relief effort are meaningful and produce change, because the current response is still failing.

--Tom Hayes

Hussein Trial Set for October 19th

Saddam Hussein's trial is set to begin October 19th for his alleged role in the massacre of Shiites in Dujail, a town north of Baghdad in 1982. He will be tried separately for the 1988 gassing of the Kurds and the 1991 suppression of the Shiite rebellion in the south. Now Iraq's President is claiming tha Saddam has confessed, read the article here.

--Tom Hayes

Saturday, September 03, 2005

More on Hurricane Katrina

A sad article in the Washington Post explaining why many could not flee from Hurricane Katrina, click here to read the article. While it is clear that aid has not reached those in need fast enough and many still await help, elected officials at all levels of government have begun blaming each other for the slow response. The White House is blaming state and local officials, while many blame the federal government, the President, and FEMA's response. It seems to me that they should all share the blame and I hope that the bickering doesn't continue to hinder already delayed relief efforts. New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas may have summed it up best when he said, "Everybody shares the blame here. But when you talk about the mightiest government in the world, that's a ludicrous and lame excuse. You're FEMA, and you're the big dog. And you weren't prepared either." I read a recent op-ed in the New York Times in which a contributing editor to Scientific American magazine writes many warnings existed long before the hurricane hit, click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Turkey Charges Author

Turkey has charged novelist Orhan Pamuk with the "public denigrating of Turkish identity," which could lead to a three year jail sentence (click here to read the article sent courtesy of JB). The charges are linked to an interview Pamuk gave to a Swiss newspaper about topics he said were taboo in his country like the massacre of Armenians in 1915 and Turkey's treatment of the Kurds. While Turkey has changed some of its laws to allow for more freedom of expression than in the past, it has a long way to go. Turkey is attempting to enter the European Union, but actions like this do not aid that effort.

--Tom Hayes

More on Changes at the UN and US Opposition

From the Washington Post today, John Bolton has outlined US opposistion to proposed measures that would change the United Nations. The new measures would place legal obligations on member countries to intervene when genocide, war crimes, or ethnic cleansing occur. The proposed measures also call for greater attention to global poverty (see my previous posts). The article also includes comments by Jeffery Sachs, who is advising Kofi Annan during the September Summit. US opposition centers around the idea that the new measures would restrict American authority and sovereignty. The administration also feels there should be a greater emphasis on fighting global terrorism.

--Tom Hayes


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