Rights watch

Rights watch

A round-up of human rights stories from around the world.

Coronavirus pandemic is becoming a human rights crisis, UN warns | The Guardian

The coronavirus pandemic must not be used as a pretext for authoritarian states to trample over individual human rights or repress the free flow of information, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has warned.

US: Nobel laureates condemn ‘judicial harassment’ of environmental lawyer | The Guardian

Twenty-nine Nobel laureates have condemned alleged “judicial harassment” by Chevron and urged the release of a US environmental lawyer who was put under house arrest for pursuing oil-spill compensation claims on behalf of indigenous tribes in the Amazon.

Syria: Torture trial opens in Germany under universal jurisdiction law | Middle East Eye

The first trial of suspected members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s security services for crimes against humanity, including torture and sexual assault, opened in Germany on Thursday.

Turkey: Judicial reform packages legitimise torture, consolidate autocracy | Ahval

Last-minute additions to a prisoner amnesty bill could see some of the government’s rendition and torture of detainees become backed by legislation, and the opposition’s appeal against the new laws could leave dissidents behind bars even if it is successful.

China: US implores China to let human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang reunite with family after ‘unjust detention’ | South China Morning Post

Wang Quanzhang was released into house arrest 14 days ago but has not been allowed to rejoin his wife and son in Beijing.

UK: ‘As a society we should be ashamed of how we treat and resource the NHS’ | The Detail

Northern Ireland human rights lawyer Niall Murphy writes following his recovery from COVID-19.

India: A new wave Of anti-Muslim anger threatens India’s virus fight | Bloomberg Quint

Attacks on Muslims, including farmers driven out of villages and others beaten by angry mobs, have been reported across the country – from rural hamlets to the cities of New Delhi and Mumbai, prompted by a lethal mix of WhatsApp messages accusing them of deliberately spreading the virus

Iran: Why Iran’s coronavirus pandemic is also a crisis of human rights | The Washington Post

States of emergency, such as wars, natural disasters and pandemics, have historically been fertile breeding grounds for human rights abuse. That’s exactly what we’re now seeing in Iran, the epicentre of COVID-19 in the Middle East.

Romania: Police accused of abuse as COVID-19 fines soar | Balkan Insight

Lawyers and human rights activists have voiced dismay after it was revealed that police had collected more than 90 million euros in fines since the state of emergency was imposed.

Australia: Clooney calls for new laws in the name of press freedom | The Sydney Morning Herald

The high-profile international human rights lawyer is calling on the Morrison government to help protect journalists from human rights abuses around the world.

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