human rights

As Thailand's military dictator, Prime Minister and former General Prayut Chan-o-cha visited Europe last week in a desperate attempt to woo more foreign investment, Thai democracy rights protesters rallied in Paris, London and Bonn, calling for his arrest for crimes against his own people. They also called upon European governments to put human rights before profits.

The fate of more than 600 people rescued at sea by the Doctors Without Borders rescue ship Aquarius is one more example of the impact of right wing populism on human rights in Europe today.

More than 100 community and social activists were assassinated in Colombia between January 1 and August 18 this year, according to a new report released by the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (Indepaz). The report showed that a further 194 activists received death threats during this same time.

The report also found that 12 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were assassinated between April 14 and August 17, as were 11 relatives of FARC members.

Three important recent events are intensifying the pressure on the federal government and opposition over their bipartisan cruel treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, particularly those held in offshore detention.

The first event was the tabling of a damning UN report, the second was the world premiere of a new documentary, Chauka Please Tell Us the Time, (filmed inside the Manus Island prison) and the third was news of an out-of-court settlement by the federal government over the wrongful imprisonment of detainees on Manus Island.

Jose Maria Lemus, president of the Tibu Community Board in Colombia’s North of Santander state, has been killed, the Peoples’ Congress reported June 14.

His murder adds to the growing list of recently assassinated social, Indigenous and human rights activists in the South American country.

A group of Free West Papua supporters attended a morning tea fundraiser in Darwin on August 2. The special guest was foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop. We wanted to meet her to discuss human rights in West Papua.

Bishop was the key speaker. She took a few questions from the crowd but, although she knew I wanted to speak to her, she ignored me every time.

Today we visited one of the solidarity clinics that operates in the suburb of Peristeri. We met with some of the volunteers that work in the clinic that included two doctors as well as other activists. The clinic is staffed by 60 volunteers, including 20 doctors, and offers free medical consultations and pharmaceuticals.

Peristeri is largely a working class suburb of 400,000 people and is located in west Athens, which has a population of 1 million. Before the economic crisis most residents worked in blue-collar industry or were self-employed in small businesses.

Human rights and other social activists in Cambodia are shocked at the unprovoked use of three water cannon against a peaceful protest in the capital Phnom Penh by a group (mainly women) from a community evicted from their homes around Boeung Kak Lake. Three protesters were injured.

The Sydney Al-Nakba rally and march - marking 64 years since the brutal dispossession of Palestinians from their homeland - was successful despite police attempts to derail it. Around 500 people protested, after the Supreme Court dismissed the NSW Police Commissioners attempts to derail the march, which was organised by the Palestine Action Group Sydney.

Footage from the 'Malaysian Spring': the inspiring 250,000-strong Bersih ('clean') rallies for free and fair elections in Malaysia PLUS from Australian support rallies in Melbourne (1200 people), Sydney (500) and Perth (400).

Also includes footage of the brutal police repression which saw 500 people arrested along with widespread use of water cannon and tear gas.

Justice for the Malaysian people - take the power back!

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