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Rights Champion Wrote Definitive Account of Rwandan Genocide

Ten years ago today, our beloved colleague Alison Des Forges died in the crash of Flight 3407 traveling from Newark to her home in Buffalo. Alison had recently been in Uganda to meet with her research team that, to my great fortune,…
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Hundreds of Cases of ‘Disappearances’ and Torture Reported Under al-Sisi’s Government

Instead of protecting its citizens from torture and forced disappearances, the Egyptian government prefers to criticize and attack groups calling for investigations. Human Rights Watch published evidence several weeks ago…
Khaled Hassan
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Discriminatory Ruling Breaks Up Family

A Russian court ruled earlier this month that 40-year-old Yulia Savinovskikh is unfit to foster two children with disabilities, claiming that because she allegedly exudes a “style of male behavior,” she violated Russian family legislation as well…
“Sometime and somewhere there used to be summer,” Yulia Savinovskikh posted to Facebook in November 2017 after guardianship agency officials removed two foster children from her care.
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Discriminatory Assumptions Land Children in Orphanage

When Yulia Savinovskikh had a double mastectomy in July, she was aware of the likely physical side effects of the surgery. But she felt the procedure was worth it; after three pregnancies, her breasts were causing her pain and other…
Two boys who were under the care of foster parent Yulia Savinovskikh until August 2017.
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Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
201707Asia_Indonesia_Nigeria
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Embezzlement Allegations Highlight Unsuitability of Institutions for Children

This week, media reports announced that Armenian authorities charged the director of an orphanage for children with disabilities with allegedly embezzling the equivalent of US$95,000 over three years. The charges were leveled…
A boy sits on a swing in the courtyard of an orphanage for children with disabilities, Yerevan, Armenia.
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Explaining the Inhuman Treatment of Children with Disabilities

My 4-year-old son came home from school as I was reading an article about the abuse of children with disabilities in orphanages. This time it was in Belarus. But I’ve seen it with my own eyes in Serbia, India, and Ghana. “…
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Attacks on Education Persist

October 9, 2016 marks 20 years since the Lord’s Resistance Army abducted 139 school girls from St. Mary’s College in Aboke, Northern Uganda. The rebels raided the Catholic girls’ boarding school, ransacking the school clinic, attempted to burn down some…
Former abducted Ugandan girls from St. Mary's College in Aboke who returned from captivity by Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels walk with lit candles during a ceremony October 10, 2005 to commemorate the abduction day.
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The groundbreaking amendment to the Child Welfare Act that the Japanese Diet passed today opens up the possibility of a future in which all children in Japan can live with families. Credit goes to Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki for…
Beds in sleeping quarters for elementary school girls at a child care institution in Iwate prefecture. Eight girls share a room, and the space on their own bed is the only place children are allowed some privacy.
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week recognized the enormity of the country’s problem of enforced disappearances with a simple directive: identify the bodies. On February 10, the Supreme Court asked federal and provincial governments to ensure that “…
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“I hope to be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisition.” Today marks four years since Oslo’s City Hall reverberated with these words of Liu Xiaobo, along with his calm but fierce defense of the freedom of expression and his bedrock belief…
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Where is Sam Mugumya? This question is plaguing his family and Uganda’s opposition leadership. Sam, an ardent opposition party activist, disappeared from his home district of Rukungiri, on Uganda’s western border with Congo, in early November. His friends…
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Is it acceptable for children with disabilities in institutions to be kept in caged beds because of a shortage of staff to supervise them? As shocking as it may sound, for the government of Greece the answer appears to be yes. Last Friday, the BBC…
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A high-level Chinese official who’s overseen numerous rights abuses has come under official investigation. But hopes for real justice aren’t high. When the news broke today that the Chinese Communist Party will investigate China’s former domestic security…
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Last Monday, a 7-year-old boy with an intellectual disability died in a Russian orphanage after a health worker used cloth diapers to tie him to his bed. A preliminary account stated that the boy may have choked on his own vomit and that being tied down…
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Do your thoughts belong to you? Not if you’re one of the five 9/11 defendants facing charges at Guantanamo. But that may have changed with a new ruling at a secret hearing on Monday. Lawyers are still trying to puzzle it out. Of the many…
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On our way to a barbecue dinner where the ceiling fell in, we blew a tire. The two events here at Guantanamo Bay were not related, nor were they exactly big news in a week when a fresh set of hearings is getting underway for the five men…