Anti-discrimination organisations have expressed shock after the European court of human rights ruled that France has the right to ban women from wearing the full-face veil in public in the interests of everyone "living together". The judges ruled that the contested ban affected a group of Muslim women but did not take away their freedom to wear in public clothing or items that did not hide their faces. "The question of accepting or not that the full veil can be worn in public is a society's choice," they ruled on Tuesday. Shami Chakrabarti, director of the UK human rights pressure group Liberty, said the ban "has nothing to do with gender equality and everything to do with rising racism in western Europe". She added: "How do you liberate women by criminalising their clothing? If you suspect bruises under a burqa, why punish the victim, and if you disapprove of the wearer's choices, how does banishing her from public engagement promote liberal attitudes?" The law, active in France and … [Read more...] about French Muslim women on burqa ban ruling: ‘All I want is to live in peace’
The universal declaration of human rights
ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on the case of the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi (all times local): 4:25 p.m. The U.N. human rights chief says an international investigation is needed into the “awful” killing of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Michelle Bachelet made the comments at a news conference Wednesday timed for the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, alluding to similar calls from outside experts linked to the U.N. human rights office. “We also call for international investigation,” she said. “We mentioned to the (U.N.) secretary-general that we thought it was needed, a criminal investigation — international investigation.” She said her office doesn’t have the mandate to conduct a criminal investigation, however. “I do believe that it’s really needed in terms of ensuring what really happened and who are the responsible for that awful … [Read more...] about The Latest: UN rights chief says Khashoggi probe needed
KOLKATA/LUCKNOW (Reuters) - Demonstrators in eastern India set fire to more than a dozen buses and vandalized at least six railway stations on Saturday, as violent protests against a new citizenship law continued for a fourth straight day. FILE PHOTO: Protesters run for cover amid tear gas fired by police during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, a bill that seeks to give citizenship to religious minorities persecuted in neighbouring Muslim countries, outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, India, December 13, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the new law will save religious minorities such as Hindus and Christians from persecution in neighboring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan by offering them a path to Indian citizenship. But critics say the law, which does not make the same provision for Muslims, weakens the secular foundations of India. The law’s enactment has stirred up … [Read more...] about Violent protests rage in India for fourth day over citizenship law
Thailand's army declared martial law at dawn on Tuesday – a surprising move after six months of deadly clashes in a protracted battle to overthrow the elected government. It remains unclear whether this is an attempt to restore peace and order, as the military has indicated, or the beginning of another political ousting in a nation that has seen 18 coups in the last 80 years. Why is Thailand in crisis? Thailand has been divided for years between pro-establishment, mostly urban "yellow shirts" and largely working class, rural "red shirts" who support the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin's removal in military coup in 2006 is still a sore point for the millions of red shirts who continue to vote for variations of his party, which has won every election for the past decade. Yellow shirts have been protesting for the past six months to remove the current manifestation of the Thaksin-aligned government from office, claiming it is corrupt. Thaksin's sister Yingluck, who … [Read more...] about Thailand Q&A: is this another coup?
Nagameh Adedini, seen here with her husband in undated photo, is hoping to make her case to the president. (Courtesy of ACLJ) Recent news of the January 21 Iranian trial of Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini before a Revolutionary Guard Court lit up social media and religious freedom activists and circles with sheer outrage over his plight and the rampant increase in Iran of persecution of religious minorities. But is religious liberty and these litmus cases a priority for the leader of the free world? Pastor Abedini did nothing more than convert from Islam to Christianity 13 years ago and begin preaching his message in an underground network of churches in Iran. He then came to the United States and became an American citizen raising his family in Idaho. His family reported that he returned last fall to Iran to start an orphanage and was snatched from a bus by the Iranian regime on Sept. 26, 2012. He was sent to the infamous Evin Prison in Tehran. The regime’s bogus claim? … [Read more...] about Where is the US Government in defense of Pastor Abedini and religious freedom?