HEADLINES

Human Rights Watch: Report ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights

January 27, 2016. HRW: World Report 2016 - Summary. (Photos added).

Asylum seekers and migrants descend from a fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, October 11, 2015. © 2015 Zalmaï for Human Rights Watch). Asylum seekers and migrants descend from a fishing vessel used to transport them from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, October 11, 2015. (© 2015 Zalmaï for Human Rights Watch).

World Report 2016 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide.

The politics of fear led governments around the globe to roll back human rights during 2015. 

The video playing is from Alistair Reign News channel‘s on YouTube.

Human Rights Watch’s 26th edition of its World Report reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 17In his introductory essay,  Human Rights Watch Executive Director, Kenneth Roth writes that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of refugees spawned by repression and conflict led many governments to curtail rights in misguided efforts to protect their security.

At the same time, authoritarian governments throughout the world, fearful of peaceful dissent that is often magnified by social media, embarked on the most intense crackdown on independent groups in recent times. [01]

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 10“Fear of terrorist attacks and mass refugee flows are driving many Western governments to roll back human rights protections,” Roth said. “These backward steps threaten the rights of all without any demonstrated effectiveness in protecting ordinary people.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 18Significant refugee flows to Europe, spurred largely by the Syrian conflict, coupled with broadening attacks on civilians in the name of the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS), have led to growing fear-mongering and Islamophobia, Human Rights Watch said.

But as European governments close borders, they are reviving old patterns of shirking responsibility for refugees by passing the problem to countries on Europe’s periphery that are less equipped to house or protect refugees.

The emphasis on the potential threat posed by refugees is also distracting European governments from addressing their homegrown terrorist threats and the steps needed to avoid social marginalization of disaffected populations.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 8Policymakers in the United States have used the terrorism threat to try to reverse recent modest restrictions on intelligence agencies’ ability to engage in mass surveillance, while the United Kingdom and France have sought to expand monitoring powers.

That would significantly undermine privacy rights without any demonstrated increase in the ability to curb terrorism.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 2Indeed, in a number of recent attacks in Europe, the perpetrators were known to law enforcement authorities, but the police were too overwhelmed to follow up, suggesting that what’s needed is not more mass data but more capacity to pursue targeted leads, Human Rights Watch said.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 11The tarring of entire immigrant or minority communities, wrong in itself, is also dangerous,” Roth said. “Vilifying whole communities for the actions of a few generates precisely the kind of division and animosity that terrorist recruiters love to exploit.

Europe’s response to the influx of refugees has also been counterproductive.

The effect of leaving most asylum seekers little choice but to risk their lives on rickety boats at sea to reach Europe has created a chaotic situation that would-be terrorists can easily exploit.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 5Creating a safe and orderly way for refugees to make their way to Europe would reduce lives lost at sea while helping immigration officials to screen out security risks, increasing security for everyone,” Roth said.

  • Popular movements launched by civil society organizations with the aid of social media left many authoritarian governments running scared.

The precedents of the Arab uprisings, Hong Kong’s “umbrella protests,” and Ukraine’s Maidan movement sparked a determination among many autocrats to prevent people from banding together to make their voices heard.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 4Abusive governments have tried to smother civic groups by enacting laws that restrict their activities and cut off their needed international funding.

Russia and China are among the worst offenders.

Repression of this intensity – including shuttering critical groups in Russia and arresting rights lawyers and activists in China – has not been seen in decades, Human Rights Watch said. Turkey’s ruling party has presided over an intense crackdown, targeting activists and media critical of the government.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 12Ethiopia and India, often using nationalistic rhetoric, have restricted foreign funding to fend off independent monitoring of government rights violations.

Bolivia, CambodiaEcuador, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, and Venezuela have enacted vague and overly broad laws to rein in activists and undermine independent groups’ ability to operate. Western governments have been slow to speak out against these global threats.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 14Despite these enormous threats to rights, 2015 also brought positive developments.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, who are often subject to abusive laws and violent attacks, made great strides towards equality with the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland, Mexico, and the US, and the decriminalization of homosexuality in Mozambique.

At the United Nations Human Rights Council, a statement by 72 countries affirmed a commitment to end violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 16Landmark elections in Burma passed off peacefully in November, and Nigerians also celebrated the peaceful transfer of power to the opposition. In September, the UN adopted 17 ambitious development goals that for the first time are universal and grounded in human rights; they include goals to achieve gender equality and to provide access to justice for all.

  • At the UN climate summit in Paris, governments agreed for the first time to “respect, promote and considerhuman rights in their response to climate change, especially with regards to indigenous people, women, children, migrants, and others in vulnerable situations.

World Report 2016 ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights Human Rights Watch 9The failure of punitive approaches to drug use has prompted increased dialogue and steps towards decriminalization in many places, including Canada, Chile, Croatia, ColombiaJamaica, Jordan, Ireland, Tunisia, and the US.

And victims cheered the trial of Hissene Habre, the former Chad dictator prosecuted in Senegal for crimes against humanity during his rule in the 1980s – the first trial of a former head of state by the courts of another country.

Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch. Executive Director. www.AlistairReignBlog.com).

The wisdom enshrined in international human rights law provides indispensable guidance to governments that seek to keep their nation safe and serve their people most effectively,” Roth said. “We abandon it at our peril. [02]

🔝

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • A question I have been asked many times since I began covering the humanitarian crisis in Yemen; who is taking care of the war orphans in Yemen? It appears the world has forgotten them, perhaps because they are not considered refugee orphans, nobody is paying attention to the gross crimes against these little ones - committed at the hands of an invading regime - Saudi Arabia.. children isleep nside a pitt in the ground, it is now normal for adults to put children to sleep in a large hole to ptotect child from snipers andcluster bombs that spray shrapnel Yemen.
  • The month is also a time of community; it is the custom for Muslims to invite their neighbours and friends to share their evening meal – iftar – and recite special Tarawih prayers in congregation. It is also a time when Muslims try to reconnect with the Qur’an, which they believe is the word of God. However, Children, people who are sick or who have mental illness, elderly people for example do not have to fast.
  • Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia.
  • Painted on the side of a building in Bristol, southwest England - home of the celebrated graffiti artist Banksy - the image reprises a 1979 photograph of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker kissing, which was later turned into a mural on the Berlin Wall. It was commissioned by pro-EU campaign group "We are Europe" as what they call a warning of things to come if Britons vote to leave the 28-member bloc on June 23, as advocated by both Johnson and Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate in November's U.S. presidential election. Johnson is the "Out" campaign's best-known leader and Trump has said Britain would be "better off without" the EU, which he has blamed for Europe's migration crisis.
  • Faces of the women who had their lives cut short by Pickton.
  • Mona Relief Delivering Lifesaving Food, clothing, blankets and medicine to villages dying under the siege of Saudi War on Yemen. (Photo: Mona Relief) alistairreignblog.com
  • And now - a country with more than 10,000 people killed in the ensuing violence, over 10,000 more died of starvation under the blockade of humanitarian aid and supplies - the Middle East’s poorest nation, Yemen is reduced to the brink of famine.
  • ery same government who deliberately allowed this occupation to take place last fall. Regardless of what is happening with a possible injunction application, I urge every person to call the Premier’s office in the morning, telling her she has to get her administration working overtime to get rid of tent city and under no circumstances to move this horror story a block away into Mt. Edwards where we’ll then have a PERMANENT tent city indoors, with all the same shit going on every day and night!
  • The Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, May 1945. (Photo: Public Domain). (Alistair Reign News Blog www.AlistairReignBlog.com).
  • Mona Relief Charity on Go Fund Me makes it easy and safe to donate. No amount is too small, or too large.
  • Documentary: Part One - A Year In Space With Scott Kelly

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Who is PM Stephen Harper
  • What if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States?
  • Includes Meryl Streep's full Golden Globe speech, a peek at her stage performance where she play Donald Trump, SAG Speeches: Ashton Kutcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, Lily Tomlin and others, as well as talk show host's comments and interviews. Tied together with indie music and skits of Peter Griffin of Family Guy playing Donald Trump.
  • GOP Caption winner first place on AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Way-back Machine: Who Vogue'd It Best? Take our poll at Alistair Reign News Blog: AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Way-Back Machine: Who Owned It Best? Come on in and pick out your favorite Dracula cape! Who flaunted the full-length cape better than the rest?
  • Putin Pumpkin Head
  • What Donald Would Do!
  • Comic Strip: Terror News with Chuck. (Alistair Reign News Blog - Comic Strips: www.AlistairReignBlog.com).