By Mirjam van Reisen* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
BRUSSELS (IDN) - In the early morning of October 3 a tourist was enjoying the beautiful quiet beach of the Italian Mediterranean Island when three swimmers appeared. Three African young men frantically asked for help. They had left their mothers behind in a ship on sea that was on fire.
By Mirjam van Reisen* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint
BRUSSELS (IDN) - The Italian government has published the names of the occupants of the boat that drowned near Lampedusa on October 3. All those on the list appear to be Eritreans. At the weekend hundreds of bodies were recovered, washed ashore on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The European Union is soul-searching and identifying the problems of its increasingly repressive refugee and asylum policy.
A meeting of Ministers of Home Affairs has been called in Luxemburg to consider a package of measures, in a first response to the Lampedusa tragedy. Observers are pointing out that the effect of the European policy to effectively control the ‘safe routes’, forces the most desperate refugees to take ever bigger risks in their attempt to reach safety.
By J C Suresh | IDN-InDepth NewsReport
TORONTO (IDN) - There are miles and miles to go before capital punishment is at last accepted as a remnant of the gory past and abolished. But indications are that it is slowly on its way out. Amnesty International has welcomed an upsurge in global support for abolition of the death penalty, after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
In the vote on December 20, the fourth such vote by the plenary session of the UNGA since 2007, 111 states voted for the resolution – an increase of two from the last vote in 2010. There were 41 votes against, with 34 abstentions.
By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani*
CAIRO (IDN | GCC) - Throughout the course of Egypt's January 25 Revolution, which culminated in the ouster of longstanding President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, female protesters stood on the frontlines of the uprising alongside their male counterparts. But as Egyptians continue to celebrate the downfall of Mubarak's oppressive regime, many female activists say the lot of women hasn't improved – either socially or politically – in the post-Mubarak era.
By Mel Frykberg*
TRIPOLI (IDN | GCC) - Following the Libyan revolution, in which women played a crucial part, and the participation of large numbers of female citizens in the July 2012 elections, Libyan women are now looking forward to a partnership and full equality with their male counterparts.
"Libyan women were instrumental in the country choosing a liberal and progressive government in the recent elections as many of them voted for the winning National Forces Alliance (NFA) of Mahmoud Jibril," said Nadine Nasrat, from the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
By Martin Khor*
GENEVA (IDN) - The use of drones by one state to kill people in other countries is fast emerging as an international human rights issue of serious public concern. This was evident in the recent session (June 18-July 6, 2012) of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, both in the official meetings and in NGO seminars.
By Jaya Ramachandran
GENEVA (IDN) - The United Nations has in a new report expressed grave doubts about the widespread practice of detaining migrants. States use a variety of reasons to justify this practice and some see irregular migration as a national security problem or a criminal issue, notes the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, in his latest report to the Human Rights Council. However, he warns, there are a number of human rights issues at stake.
By R. S. Kalha*
NEW DELHI (IDN) - When most people in India saw Jamphel Yeshi, a young 27-year old Tibetan, setting himself on fire – on March 26, 2012 – to protest the arrival in India of the Chinese leader Hu Jintao, they could not but have pondered over the sad fate that has befallen a forgotten people.
By Richard Johnson
GENEVA (IDN) - Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, has expressed concern about rising racism and xenophobia in Switzerland, and called for an overhaul of the Swiss criminal law to do away with impunity for perpetrators of racism.