Human Rights


Human Rights – ‘Hot Topics’, press release


  •  Sudan: Abuses undermine impending election

Gross violations of human rights committed by the Sudanese security forces are deeply undermining any chance of … free, fair and credible … national elections (Human Rights watch: 2010). Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned the Sudanese security force’s arbitrary arrests of opposition political party members and activists, and the beatings and violence used against innocent civilians, who have been victims of … tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and other weapons’ (ibid). Amnesty International has called for the ‘Sudanese government to bring the National Security Act in line with international human rights standards..’ (Amnesty International: 2010) to ensure the protection and safety of its civilians.

  •  Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill 

If the proposed Bahati’s Bill will became law there will be  a legalized human right crisis in Uganda. The Bahati’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill introduced by Hon. David Bahati last October 2009 supposed to protect and safeguard the tradional family  and the integrity of Ugandans themselves ( Bahati  2009 ). This bill approved  as a law will result in limiting freedom of expression, freedom of though and freedom of association for state and non state actors  (Pambazuka News 2009) , as the penalties involve not only who is responsible for a homosexual act but also institutions who defend the rights of sexual minorities. Death penalty for HIV positive people engaging in same gender sex and up to 10 years imprisonment for a single homosexual act are two examples of practical application of this bill which if approved will violate the right to privacy and equality, legalise the censorship of media,and criminalise organisations providing health information.

  •  MI5 COMPLICIT IN TORTURE OF Binyam Mohamed.

Binyamin Mohamed a British resident claimed that he has been tortured whilst in hands of American custody since his arrest in Pakistan in 2004. Mr. Mohamed claimed that he has been tortured whilst in hands of American custody. Mohamed an Ethiopian national lived in the UK sine 2004 was a part those suspects linked to a plot to detonate a “dirty bomb” in United States (BBC, 2009).  But despite the fact that it became clear that the plot never existed, he still spent seven years in custody without charge. Furthermore, it was also reported that the British government knew about Binyam Mohamed’s torture and  MI5 “colluded his torture” (Dailymail, 2010). It was also reported that memebers of the Labour cabinet attempted to cover it up.(BBC 2010)

 

 

  •   The Arbitrary Arrest of the Sri Lankan Opposition Leader

Sri Lanka held their first post war election on the 26th of January 2010. The elections were between the already existing government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Former Army General, Sarath Fonseka. General Sarath Fonseka played a crucial role in bringing a military victory to a 26 year civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The elections held on the 26th of January 2010 resulted in President Mahinda Rajapaksa winning. However, the General refused to accept this result stating that the votes were rigged by the government and later said that he would challenge the result in Supreme Court. However, on February 8th 2010 while addressing a meeting with opposition leaders, the building was surrounded by 150 army troops who took General Sarath Fonseka in to custody. Many opposition leaders describe this “arrest” as an “abduction” due to the manner in which it was carried out. Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director Sam Zarifi later said “Sarath Fonseka’s arrest continues the Rajapaksa government’s post election crackdown on political opposition”. Amnesty International (2010) Furthermore, Times Online reported that “President Rajapaksa is now facing mounting criticism – internationally and domestically – over the arrest of the country’s only four-star general, and its implications for South Asia’s oldest democracy”. Times Online (2010)

  •  KILLING OF THE INNOCENT

Aljazeera (2010) reported that Nigerian police and military units carried out extra-judicial killings in the aftermath of clashes with members of a Muslim group in the north of the country. An estimated 1,000 people were killed as Nigerian government forces fought Boko Haram in the Northern part of Nigeria in July and August of 2009. Amnesty (2009) exposed the shocking level of unlawful police killings in Nigeria in a new report released, “The Nigerian police are responsible for hundreds of unlawful killings every year,” said Erwin van der Borght, Director of Amnesty International’s Africa Programme. Police don’t only kill people by shooting them; they also torture them to death, often while they are in detention.” “The majority of the cases go un-investigated and the police officers responsible go unpunished. The families of the victims usually get no justice or redress. Most never even find out what happened to their loved ones.”

 

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF ORGANISATION

The Uyghur Human Rights Project is primarily a research and documentation entity founded and established in 2004 by the Uyghur American Association. Their mission is to research and expose human rights abuses committed against the Uyghur people in East Turkistan, and by doing so promote human rights and democracy for all Uyghur people (UHRP, 2009). The Uyghur Human Rights Project views their role in the promotion of human rights for the Uyghur people of East Turkistan as pivotal, as it has been agreed by many human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International that without the aid and support from Uyghur-run organisations, accurate information of the situations surrounding the Uyghur people would be extremely difficult to acquire due to the Chinese government’s strict regulation of any information on the developments in East Turkistan (ibid). The reports made by the Uyghur Human Rights Project have exposed many human rights abuses inflicted on the Uyghur people by the Chinese government, ranging from nuclear testing on Uyghur land, forced labour in camps, to religious, economical and cultural discrimination, to political imprisonment. The Uyghur Human Rights Project along with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch expressed serious concern over the safety of Uyghur detainees in Guantanamo Bay, whom are thought to have never posed any form of security threat to the USA (UHRP, 2009). It is the hope of the Uyghur Human Rights Project that their continuing research and documentation of the developments in East Turkistan will raise awareness on the human rights abuses faced by the Uyghur people.

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF YOUR ISSUE

The issue we have chosen to campaign for is the abuse of the Indigenous rights of the Uyghur people in East Turkistan, also known as the Xinjiang Province.  Since the forceful occupation of their land by Communist China more than 60 years ago. The Uyghur’s basic human rights and the freedoms including civil, political, economic, social, religious and cultural rights continue to be violated and abused, despite the fact that in September 2007 China voted to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Chinese communist regime instead of ensuring that Uyghur people’s rights are upheld instead) implemented a policy of mass immigration designed to move large section of the dominant Han ethnic group to the Uyghur land making this community minority in their own land. (UHRP, 2009c)

Furthermore, the Uyghurs do not have the right to justice or rule of the law. The People ’s Republic of China’s government has violated the rights this community to such extent that They have become a minority in their own land due to the occupation of the Chinese which has also led to further acts of abuse like arbitrary arrests and the taking of political prisoners. The Uyghur people also face a violation of their fundamental rights as they are not allowed to used their own language, practice their religious beliefs and culture as they wish. (UHRP, 2009d). Their right to protest or gathering has been denied, leaving them vulnerable to arbitrary arrest, detention and imprisonment without trial.

The PRC government have succeeded in creating fear and reign of terror among the Uyghurs which makes it impossible for anyone to speak out about the injustice that is being perpetuated  in the region.

RATIONALE FOR CAMPAIGN

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) are an organisation that researches, documents and exposes human rights abuses against the Uyghur people of East Turkistan, in order  to promote human rights and democracy for all Uyghurs (The Uyghur Human Rights Project 2004). Therefore, The Uyghur Human Rights Project would undertake this campaign for the Indigenous Rights of the Uyghur people, as indigenous rights entail the right to freely determine one’s political status, and pursue one’s social, economic and cultural development, as well as the fundamental right of self determination, (The Uyghur Human Rights Project 2004b) all which coincide with a human being’s fundamental human rights, and thus it falls under the Uyghur Human Rights Project’s mandate and goal to expose the Chinese government’s abuse and disregard of these rights, so that they can be recognised and implemented for the benefit of all Uyghur people.

References

  1. Aljazeera (2010) Aljazeera – Video Shows Nigeria Execution.Available at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2010/02/2010298114949112.html/ (Accessed: 18 February 2010).
    1. Amnesty International. 2010.  Arrest of Sri Lankan opposition leader escalates post-election repression (Updated 8th February 2010) Available at: http://www.amnesty.org/for-media/press-releases/arrest-sri-lankan-opposition-leader-escalates-post-election-repression-2 (Accessed 18th February 2010).
    2. Amnesty (2010) Amnesty – Nigerian Police ‘Kill at Will’. Available at: http://www.amnesty.org/news-and-updates/report/nigerian-police-039kill-will039-20091209/ Accessed: 18 February 2010).
  1. Amnesty International (2010) African Union: Address human rights violations in conflicts [online] (Updated 08 January 2010) Available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/IOR63/001/2010/en[Accessed;18/02/2010)
    1. BBC (2009, 02 23). bbcnews.co.uk. Retrieved 02 18, 2010, from bbcnews: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7906684.stm
    2. Daily Mail (2010, 02 11). Daily mail. Retrieved 02 17, 2010, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1249881/MI5-knew-torture-Binyam-Mohamed-terror-suspects.html
    3. UHRP. (2009a). uhrp.org. Retrieved 03 08, 2010, from http://www.uhrp.org/: http://www.uhrp.org/about
  1. UHRP. (2009b). uhrp.org. Retrieved 03 08, 2010, from http://www.uhrp.org/: http://www.uhrp.org/about
  2. UHRP. (2009c). uhrp.org. Retrieved 03 08, 2010, from http http://www.uhrp.org/articles/3011/1/Uyghurs-as-indigenous-people-a-new-UHRP-report-highlights-Chinese-government-violations-of-Uyghurs-indigenous-rights-/index.html
  3. UHRP. (2009d). uhrp.org. Retrieved 03 08, 2010, from http http://www.uhrp.org/articles/3011/1/Uyghurs-as-indigenous-people-a-new-UHRP-report-highlights-Chinese-government-violations-of-Uyghurs-indigenous-rights-/index.html
  1. Human Rights Watch (2010) Sudan Abuses Undermine Impending Elections [online] (Updated 08 January 2010) Available at: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/01/24/sudan-abuses-undermine-impending-elections  [Accessed: 18/02/2010]
  2. Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe S. and Mugisha F. (2009) ‘ Bahati’s bill: A convenient distraction for Uganda’s government ‘ Pambazuka News, 16 October [Online]. Available at: http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/59556(Accessed: 18 February 2010).
  3. Tash Lumu, D. (2009) ‘ Homosexuality is not human rights ‘ The Observer, 1 November [Online].Available at: http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5797&Itemid=60  ( Accessed: 18 February 2010 ).
  1. Times Online. 2010. Sarath Fonseka asks court to overturn election result (Updated 17th February 2010) Available at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7030075.ece. (Accessed 18th February 2010).

Other contributers

First Name Last Name Student Number Email
Chamila Mapalagamage K0825697 K0825697@kingston.ac.uk
Suliaman Awodeji K0730256 K0730256@kingston.ac.uk
Sultana Begum K0908558 K0908558@kingston.ac.uk
Elf Gurbuzer K0949895 K0949895@kingston.ac.uk
Aneshka Alles K0938637 K0938637@kingston.ac.uk
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