civil liberties

Bulgaria: Refugees illegally jailed and abused

There has been a huge rise in asylum seekers in Bulgaria as a direct result of instability in North Africa and the Middle East.

They use Bulgaria as a land entry into the European Union. The Bulgarian tabloid press has coined the phrase “wave”, which has now entered political and popular language.

In 2009, the newly-elected government greatly changed the way the law was interpreted and enforced. Before 2010, there was not a single “illegal immigrant” convicted and jailed in the criminal prisons.

New doco is your chance to meet Nina Simone

What Happened, Miss Simone?
Directed by Liz Garbus
Distributed by Netflix

Liz Garbus' beautifully composed and riveting documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? honours the African American musician and civil rights activist who came to be known as “The High Priestess of Soul”.

'Free' trade deals a corporate power grab

Three huge free trade deals are being negotiated right now, that will sacrifice workers' rights, health care and the environment across much of the world on the altar of corporate profits.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are being negotiated in secret, with privileged access for selected corporations.

Where does the threat of racism come from?

On the weekend of July 18 and 19 there was another round of right-wing Reclaim Australia (RA) protests.

The stated aim of RA and its offshoot, the United Patriots Front (UPF), was to defend what they call “Australian values” from the threat of “Islamicisation”.

Ecuador: Migrant rights bill says 'no one is illegal'; Two-thirds back Correa


Colombian Indigenous refugees in Ecaudor.

Migrant rights bill says 'no one is illegal'

Ecuadorian National Assembly deputy Esteban Melo said that under a new migration bill presented to the Ecuadorian National Assembly on July 16, “No human being will be considered illegal”.

Melbourne's radical medics call for help after police attack on anti-racist rally

The call for help below comes from the Melbourne Street Medic Collective in the aftermath of the police pepper-spray attack on an anti-racist protest on July 18. The group has launched a crowd-funding appeal for badly needed first aid supplies. Visit their crowd-funding page for more information and to donate.

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PHOTOS: Anti-racist protesters in Perth demonstrate against Reclaim Australia

3-400 anti-racist activists faced off against 4-500 "Reclaim Australia demonstrators in Perth on July 19. This was part of a national weekend of counter rallies against those called by the far right group 'Reclaim Australia'.

Britain: Unions slam 'biggest attack on workers for decades'

British unions slammed the ruling Conservative Party on July 15 for introducing a bill derided as the biggest attack on worker's rights in decades, TeleSUR English said that day.

The government's new Trade Union Bill would impose a slew of new regulations on unions, including new voting thresholds for strikes.

At least 50% of members would need to cast a ballot for a strike to move forward. Now, unions only need to secure a simple majority of votes for a strike to be valid.

Israeli military spies on social media, investigation reveals

The Israeli military may be flagging social media users as potential terrorists for using key words such as “boycott” or the Arabic name for Jerusalem “Al-Quds,” Israeli magazine +972 reported on July 15.

Bulgaria: Jock Palfreeman says prisoners campaigning to reform parole laws

The Bulgarian Prisoners Rights Association (BPRA) has made progress in its attempts to bring due process into Bulgaria's parole laws.

Founded in 2012, the BPRA has been represented on a Ministry of Justice working group on prison reform since May. Their representative is Valio Ivanov, who was released from Sofia Central Prison in February after serving 22 years — 20 in solitary confinement.

Ivanov succeeded in getting the working group to recommend changes in parole laws, BPRA chairperson Jock Palfreeman told Green Left Weekly.

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