Human Rights

China replaces top Hong Kong envoy after months of protests

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China’s ruling Communist Party replaced Wang Zhimin, the country’s official in charge of relations with Hong Kong. China’s ministry of human resources and social security announced on 4 January that he has been succeeded by...

Turkey keeps rights activist jailed despite European court ruling

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A Turkish court ignored the binding ruling by the European Court of Human Rights calling for the release of human rights activist Osman Kavala, and instead decided he should remain in jail. Kavala has been...

11 migrants found in refrigerated truck in Germany

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11 migrants were freed from a refrigerated truck reportedly loaded with fruit, at a highway service station in Bavaria, Germany’s police said. Officials say they found the migrants after hearing knocking sounds coming from the...

Saudi Arabia sentences five to death for Khashoggi murder

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A Saudi court sentenced five men to death for “committing and directly participating” in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, but the court absolved Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and former...

Turkey cannot handle new refugee wave from Syria, Erdogan warns Europe

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Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warned the European Union for an incoming refugee wave from Syria’s Idlib province, as tens of thousands civilians flee prompted by Russia's latest offensive. Russian-backed Syrian forces have stepped up...

Croatia court rules same-sex couple can foster children

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After a long legal battle, the Zagreb administrative court ruled on Thursday that a same-couple, Ivo Segota and Mladen Kozic, can become foster parents, in what campaigners have called a "historic decision" for LGBTI...

Lebanon president designates Hezbollah-backed academic as PM

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After weeks of political drama, Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has designated on 19 December the country's former education minister Hassan Diab, as the new prime minister. His nomination is backed by the country's Shia Islamist...

ECJ opinion says EU data transfer tools are legal in Facebook privacy case

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According to a non-binding opinion from an advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU Commission’s standard contractual clauses used for data transfers between EU and non-EU countries are...

Daughter of jailed Uyghur activist accepts 2019 Sakharov Prize

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Ilham Tohti, an advocate for China's Uyghur minority, who is serving a life sentence in China since 2014 on separatism-related charges, won the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. His daughter Jewher Ilham accepted...

EU Parliament slams Poland’s LGBTI-free zones, asks for an EU LGBTI Strategy

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MEPs adopted on Wednesday during Strasbourg’s plenary session a resolution condemning public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including the creation of LGBTI - free zones in Poland. The resolution was approved with 463...

China calls for free trade deal with the EU

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China's foreign minister Wang Yi called on the European Union to open the way a free trade agreement with China. During his official visit to Brussels on 15 and 16 December, Wang said that free...

China’s president praises Hong Kong leader amid unrest

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China's President Xi Jinping on 16 December expressed his "firm support" for the Hong Kong government, as well as for chief executive Carrie Lam. Xi praised Lam's courage during the city's "hard times", and supported...

India’s internet shutdown is the longest in history

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The Indian government's shutdown of the Internet in Kashmir is the longest in history, surpassing the previous blocks of Myanmar and China. The crackdown was ordered to prevent Kashmiri citizens from receiving and spreading information...

EU watchdog says Hungarian government’s control of media is unprecedented

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Following a recent visit to Hungary, seven press watchdog organisations have come to the conclusion that the Hungarian government's control over the media has reached an “unprecedented state for the European Union." According to the...

Republicans introduce LGBTQ non-discrimination bill

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Republicans lawmakers put forward a pro-LGBTQ legislation on Friday that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, commercial credit and jury duty, while also protecting religious organisations and churches that...

“We will not let technology turn against the people”, Jourová pledges

"Technology should serve the people, not the other way around", said Věra Jourová, Vice President for Values and Transparency, European Commission, during a Summit organised by the Financial Times and European Telecommunications Network Operations...

European Commissioner slams Turkey’s internet censorship

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Turkey's continued block of the internet is both unacceptable and a violation of the democratic principles of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects freedom of speech, according to the Europe Commissioner for Human...

UK’s Labour rolls out race and faith manifesto

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The UK's main opposition Labour Party has unveiled what they called an “ambitious” manifesto on race and faith that is designed to educate children about the historical injustices of colonialism and the role the...

FBI report says Jews are the target of most ethnoreligious hate crimes

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A recent FBI report revealed that in 2018 Jews and Jewish institutions were the main targets of crimes motivated by ethnoreligious hatred in the United States. In its annual report on hate crime statistics, the...

Vietnam jails Facebook user for ‘anti-government’ propaganda

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A Facebook user was sentenced to six years in prison after a court in Vietnam convicted him for posts he made that the Vietnam's Communist government said were ‘‘anti-government’’. According to the statement of the...

European Commissioner calls on Russia to scrap new foreign agent bill

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The Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic called on the Russian parliament, or Duma, to halt the adoption of a bill that will allow the Kremlin to label individuals who work for foreign...

Scottish court orders release of detained former Catalan minister

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A Scottish court ordered the release of former Catalan education minister Clara Ponsatí on Thursday, without travel restrictions, as she not considered a flight risk. Earlier that day, the former Catalan minister and current University of...

Sweden defies Chinese threat to award book publisher Gui Minhai

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Sweden’s culture minister defied a Chinese threat on Friday to award a Swedish human rights prize to detained Chinese-Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai. The Swedish section of the International organization PEN awarded its free speech...

Turkish Jihadi deportations to Germany continue

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Germany is bracing for the return of tens of suspected German citizens and Islamic State supporters that are deported from Turkey and repatriated. A family of seven German-Iraqi Islamists was expected to arrive in Berlin on...

Germany to ban gay conversion therapy

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German health minister Jens Spahn has drafted legislation that would ban so-called “gay conversion” therapy for all under 18 youths Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reports. Spahn is openly gay and is explicit about the desired political message...

WhatsApp sues Israeli company over hacking allegations

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp filed a lawsuit against Israel's NSO Group on Tuesday in California. The US-based platform alleges that the Israeli company staged cyber-attacks in April and May in order to infect 1,400 mobile phones. The...

Reported sexual assault cases up in Germany since reform of legal statutes

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The number of preliminary investigations into acts of sexual self-determination in Germany has increased by more than a third since stricter laws on sexual criminal offences were first introduced three years ago. Data published by...

UNICEF says at least 16 million children are malnourished in the Middle East and...

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More than 16 million children under five years of age suffer from acute malnutrition in the Middle East and North Africa, a trend that has stagnated or worsened since 2000, a new report by...

End of an era for gay marriage and abortion legislation in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland woke up to a new human rights regime on Tuesday, which allows access to abortion and same-sex marriage. That means that until abortion services are made available in Northern Ireland in April 2020,...

A week of protests in Barcelona

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The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, entered the seventh day of protests on Sunday. Spain’s acting prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, is expected in Barcelona on Monday to visit police officers injured. Clashes between protesters and police...

Nearly 70,000 children displaced because of hostilities in northeast Syria

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Nearly 70,000 children have been displaced because of the ongoing violence in northeast Syria, estimates UNICEF, which at the same time calls on all parties to the conflict and the ones who have influence...

EIB to announce new initiatives for climate action and inclusive development

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Europe should address today’s global challenges by following policies that respond to the climate emergency while also building a resilient and inclusive society, according to the core initiatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The...

Catalan separatists sentenced by Spanish court

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Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine pro-independence Catalan leaders for sedition and misuse of public funds, handing out sentences ranging between 9 and 13 years in jail. Three more defendants were issued with fines. Those issued...

Google wins court battle against “right to be forgotten”

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The Google search engine has won a court battle in the European Court of Justice against the “right to be forgotten” on Tuesday. Google pitted the public’s “right to know” against the European Commissions advocacy...

Snowden seeks asylum n France

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"The saddest thing of this whole story is that the only place an American whistle-blower has the chance to be heard is not in Europe but here in Russia," Edward Snowden said in an...

The mother of all hearings

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As soon as the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, revealed on 10 September that Hungary’s former Minister of Justice Laszlo Trocsanyi was her proposed Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy, alarm...

UK launches “Get Ready for Brexit” campaign

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The British government has launched a public information campaign called "get ready for Brexit" on Sunday. The £100 million campaign was launched on the website  gov.uk/brexit. The website begins with a survey, leading to recommended actions...