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Rights News

Torture 'routine' in Nigeria police, military: Amnesty

Abuja - From electric shocks and sexual violence to ripping out nails and teeth to extract confessions, torture has become so commonplace in Nigeria's criminal justice system that some police stations have an officer in charge of the practice, Amnesty Internat...

Argentina tries doctors for dictatorship baby thefts

Buenos Aires - Two doctors and a midwife went on trial in Argentina on Wednesday accused of delivering political prisoners' babies and helping the country's former military regime steal them from their parents.

German LGBT activist severely beaten in Belgrade

Belgrade - A German man who participated at a conference on LGBT rights was in intensive care Saturday after he was severely beaten by unknown attackers in Belgrade, a doctor said.

Kurdish female fighters face jihadists in Iraq's north

- Tekoshin stands on a mountain in north Iraq with a rifle slung over her shoulder and a grenade tucked into her belt, facing jihadists in "a struggle to liberate women".

Gay marriage set to make grand U.S. Supreme Court return

Washington - The U.S. Supreme Court this week made plans to revisit gay marriage, less than 15 months after its landmark decision that same-sex couples were entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals.

Chinese activist's trial postponed as lawyers protest

Beijing - Defence lawyers for a respected Chinese activist who organised protests against censorship boycotted his trial Friday forcing it to be postponed.The case is the latest step in a crackdown on dissent that has alarmed rights groups.

Israel likely to have committed Gaza war crimes: HRW

Jerusalem - Israel is likely to have committed war crimes in Gaza, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, a day after the army announced five criminal investigations into incidents involving its forces.

Qatar confirms holding Britons probing World Cup labour

Doha - Qatar has confirmed it is holding two British researchers who had been probing the labour conditions of migrants building facilities for the 2022 World Cup, saying they "violated" the emirate's laws.

Amnesty accuses Ukraine rivals of war crimes

Kiev - Amnesty International accused rival fighters in the Ukraine conflict of war crimes including indiscriminate shelling, abductions, torture, and killings, in a report compiled ahead of the ceasefire deal.

Bahrain extends activist's custody despite UN outcry

Dubai - A Bahrain court ruled Saturday that prominent rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja be kept behind bars for an extra 10 days despite a UN call for her release, her lawyer said.

One in 10 girls sexually abused worldwide: UN

Washington - Around 120 million girls around the world, close to one in 10, have been raped or sexually assaulted by the time they turn 20, a new UN report has found.

Iran frees Dutch human rights campaigner held on death row

Den Haag - A Dutch-Iranian human rights campaigner who had been sentenced to death in Iran has been freed and allowed to return home to the Netherlands, his son told a Dutch press agency on Friday.

Belgium told to compensate extradited terror suspect

Strasbourg - Belgium was wrong to extradite a former Tunisian professional footballer turned convicted Al-Qaeda fighter to the United States and must pay him compensation, Europe's top rights court ruled Thursday.

Turkey jails policeman for almost 8 years over protester killing

Ankara - A Turkish policeman was jailed for seven years and nine months on Wednesday after being convicted of shooting dead a protester during 2013 anti-government protests, a verdict denounced as lenient by relatives of the victim.

Turkey hosts Internet forum despite 'abysmal' web freedom record

Istanbul - Turkey on Tuesday began hosting a major UN-backed forum on Internet governance despite criticism of its "abysmal" record for limiting Internet rights.

Latin America's prisons in critical condition

Montevideo - Latin America's prisons are overcrowded, violent and sometimes lack even the most basic services, despite the fact that several of the region's current leaders themselves spent time behind bars.

'Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers' sent to Ukraine say rights groups

Moscow - Up to 15,000 Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine over the past two months, and at least 200 may have died in combat there, rights groups told AFP on Monday.

Islamic State jihadists using cluster bombs: Rights group

Damascus - Islamic State jihadists have used cluster munitions in Syria in at least one location and Syria's regime is continuing to use the widely banned weapon, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Death toll in east Ukraine conflict nears 2,600: UN

Kiev - The conflict raging in eastern Ukraine has killed nearly 2,600 people, the United Nations said Friday, voicing concern about atrocities committed by armed groups and the increasing involvement of foreign fighters.

Op-Ed: Rwanda, in crisis, uses coercive force to achieve justice

What happens when moral law is absent and the arbitrary exercise of power becomes the only means of delivering justice? Tyranny ensues.

Death toll soars from fighting in Ukraine: UN report

New York - Fierce fighting in east Ukraine over the past month has sent the death toll soaring, with at least 36 people killed every day, according to a UN rights report.

Executions a 'common spectacle' in jihadist-held Syria: UN

Geneva - Public executions, amputations, lashings and mock crucifixion are a regular fixture in jihadist-controlled areas of Syria, a UN probe charged Wednesday, also accusing Damascus of repeatedly using chemical weapons against civilians.

Low-caste Indians still forced to clean human waste: rights group

Mumbai - Low-caste Indians are still routinely forced into manually removing human excrement from toilets despite a highly-publicised law introduced last year to end the "discriminatory practice", a rights group said Monday.

'Chilean Schindler's List' saved leftists from regime

Santiago - During the darkest days of Chile's dictatorship, a man named Jorge Schindler saved dozens of leftist militants by employing them undercover at his pharmacies, risking his own life like a different Schindler during another of history's nightmares.

UN decries 'harsh' Thai sentences for royal slurs

Bangkok - The United Nations' human rights office has voiced alarm at recent arrests and jail sentences for insulting Thailand's monarchy, warning of "chilling effects" on freedom of expression under the junta.

Sri Lanka refuses entry to UN war crimes investigators

Colombo - Sri Lanka will not grant visas to UN investigators probing war crimes allegedly committed during the island's decades-long separatist conflict, President Mahinda Rajapakse said Tuesday.

Amnesty slams US over civilian deaths in Afghanistan

Kabul - The families of thousands of civilians killed by American forces in Afghanistan have been left without justice or compensation, Amnesty International said Monday, in a damning indictment of the US military as it withdraws.

New outcry as Erdogan tells female reporter to 'know your place'

Istanbul - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced a new outcry on Friday over his attitude to the media and women after he branded a prominent female journalist a "shameless woman" and told her "to know your place".

Long-lost Argentine grandson to testify before judge

Buenos Aires - The long-lost grandson of the leader of an Argentine rights group that fights to find babies stolen during the 1976-1983 dictatorship will testify before a judge investigating the case, officials said Thursday.

Russia grants Snowden three-year residence

Moscow - Fugitive US intelligence operative Edward Snowden has been granted a three-year residence permit in Russia, his lawyer said on Thursday, in the latest blow to Moscow's deeply strained relations with Washington.
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