We Are The Leaders We Are Waiting For

By Mohan Ambikaipaker In the aftermath of the history-breaking Bersih 4 rally for democracyin Malaysia, there is a natural question that comes up: What now? Furthermore, deep inside us, sceptical thoughts may arise and peoplemay start to wonder what exactly will be the concrete outcomes: Will therallies lead to a no confidence vote on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razakin October? Will the rallies free Anwar Ibrahim and other politicalprisoners? Will the rallies save the ringgit from plunging further? Although these are interesting and important questions, I believe theyare secondary issues…

Read More

Ireland: UN experts raise alarm over growing number of homeless people in Cork with no access to water

Ireland: UN experts raise alarm over growing number of homeless people in Cork with no access to water  GENEVA (6 June 2016) – Two United Nations experts on the human rights to water and sanitation and adequate housing today expressed concern over the increasing number of homeless people in the city of Cork, Ireland, and their lack of access to water and sanitation. Over 700 people are homeless in the city of approximately 120,000 inhabitants. “Widespread homelessness is evidence of the failure of the State to protect and ensure the…

Read More

“Economy should serve the people, not vice versa” – UN expert says after assessing EU adjustment policies

“Economy should serve the people, not vice versa” – UN expert says after assessing EU adjustment policies BRUSSELS / GENEVA (3 June 2016) – Recent austerity policies are hitting the most vulnerable and are undermining economic, social and labour rights within the European Union, today said United Nations Independent Expert Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky at the end of his fact-finding visit* to EU institutions in Brussels. “I am concerned about a policy shift undermining the previously balanced approach of ensuring economic stability, equality and social cohesion, in favour of a disproportionate…

Read More

Journalists’ killings: UN experts urge Philippines president-elect to stop instigating deadly violence

Journalists’ killings: UN experts urge Philippines president-elect to stop instigating deadly violence GENEVA (6 June 2016) – Two United Nations independent experts on summary executions, and on freedom of expression today urged Philippines president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to stop instigating deadly violence immediately. The experts strongly condemned Mr. Duterte’s recent statements suggesting that journalists are not exempt for assassination. Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Duterte reportedly stated that most journalists killed in the country have done something wrong. ‘You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong,’ the President-elect…

Read More

UN expert deplores harsh sentencing of Tajikistan opposition leaders and warns of radicalization

UN expert deplores harsh sentencing of Tajikistan opposition leaders and warns of radicalization Russian | Tajik GENEVA (7 June 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, today expressed his dismay at the lengthy sentences imposed on 2 June 2016 on the leadership of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). The deputy party heads, Saidumar Husaini and Muhammad Hayit were sentenced to life imprisonment. According to reports, eleven other high-ranking officials were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 2…

Read More

Press briefing notes on Flogging in Iran, unfair restrictions on NGO access to the UN and executions in Gaza

Press briefing notes on Flogging in Iran, unfair restrictions on NGO access to the UN and executions in Gaza Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert ColvilleLocation: GenevaDate:  31 May 2016 (1) Flogging in Iran We condemn the outrageous flogging of up to 35 young men and women in Iran last week, after they were caught holding a graduation party together in Qazvin, north of Tehran. According to State media, the students were arrested on Thursday, interrogated and sentenced by the Prosecutor’s Office to 99 lashes each and then…

Read More

Ukraine: after two years of conflict, situation in east remains “grim” – UN report

Ukraine: after two years of conflict, situation in east remains “grim” – UN report French | Russian | Ukrainian GENEVA/KYIV (3 June 2016) – A new report by the UN Human Rights Office shows that, after two years of conflict, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains volatile and continues to have a severe impact on human rights, especially for those living near the contact line and in territories controlled by armed groups. According to the latest report on Ukraine by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights*,…

Read More

Iran: Most recent backlash against Baha’is exposes authorities’ extreme intolerance for religious minority group

Iran: Most recent backlash against Baha’is exposes authorities’ extreme intolerance for religious minority group  GENEVA (8 June 2016) – Two United Nations human rights experts today said that the current wave of incitement of hatred of the Baha’i community reflected in speeches made by religious, judiciary and political officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran “has exposed the Iranian authorities’ extreme intolerance for adherents of the religious minority group.” “Verbal attacks by state officials against an already vulnerable community like the Baha’is are extremely troubling not only because they directly…

Read More

Civilians fleeing Fallujah “facing double jeopardy” – Zeid

Civilians fleeing Fallujah “facing double jeopardy” – Zeid Arabic | French GENEVA (7 June 2016) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday urged the Iraqi Government to take immediate measures to ensure that all people fleeing the ISIL-occupied city of Fallujah are treated in strict accordance with international human rights and international humanitarian laws. “There are extremely distressing, credible reports that some people who survive the terrifying experience of escaping from ISIL, then face severe physical abuse once they reach the other side,” the…

Read More

MALAYSIA NOW – May 2016

NEWS Sarawak State Election The Sarawak state election was held on 7 May 2016. The National Front (BN) won 72 (more than two-thirds) of the 82 state seats, with 87.8 percent of the House. The United Bumiputera Heritage Party (PBB) and the Sarawak Peoples’ Party won all seats that they contested for. PBB is led by Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem. The opposition suffered a crushing defeat. The Democratic Action Party (DAP) lost five out of twelve urban seats it had previously held. It also saw defeat in all the…

Read More