A Christian pastor is among 30 prisoners who were badly beaten during a raid in Iran's notorious Evin Prison last week, when prison guards are said to have assaulted inmates who protested against an aggressive inspection.
"CSW is extremely concerned by the reported events in Evin Prison. The treatment meted out to these prisoners is unacceptable and is in clear violation of Iran's obligations under article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that prisoners should be treated with humanity and with respect for their inherent human dignity. We call on the authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident, sanctioning those responsible," Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper said.
According to the Christian watchdog group, Evangelical church leader Farshid Fathi, who is serving six years in prison for what it says are false political charges, suffered a broken foot and toe during the raid. At least 29 other prisoners were also reportedly wounded, with injuries ranging from fractured skull to broken ribs and limbs. more >>
The Nigerian army has been accused of committing crimes against humanity in a recent clash with Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram that left 600 people dead, Amnesty International said in a report, noting that the violence and death toll in the conflict has escalated greatly in 2014.
"The scale of atrocities carried out by Boko Haram is truly shocking, creating a climate of fear and insecurity. But this cannot be used to justify the brutality of the response that is clearly being meted out by the Nigerian security forces," said Netsanet Belay, Research and Advocacy director for Africa at Amnesty International, in a statement Monday.
"The summary killing of these detainees amount to extrajudicial executions and are crimes under international law. These killings follow an entrenched pattern of deaths in custody of detainees held in relation to the situation in the northeast." more >>
Angelina Jolie was reduced to tears in Bosnia recently while promoting a campaign to end sexual violence against women in war.
The Hollywood actress, who is a goodwill ambassador for the UN's refugee agency, spoke to rape victims and paid tribute to the thousands raped during the Bosnian War on Friday. She was accompanied by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and both applauded Bosnia's decision to include rape prevention in military training.
"The use of rape as a weapon of war is one of the most harrowing and savage of these crimes against civilians," an emotional Jolie told a conference in Sarajevo reporrted independent.co.uk. more >>
A deaf couple from Texas has received a formal apology from American Airlines after their missing luggage was returned with an insulting note attached.
"Please text, deaf and dumb," the note on the luggage said. It had been written by an American Airlines employee who wanted to make sure the couple was reached properly – by text – but then added that the couple was "deaf and dumb" for an unknown reason.
James Moehle and Angela Huckaby were horrified at the note and took immediate action, writing to American Airlines about their disappointment with the note's offensive label. more >>
U.S. and German representatives drew attention to the plight of American pastor Saeed Abedini at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, saying his human rights are being violated as he remains imprisoned in Iran.
"We take this opportunity to call once again for the release of dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Saeed Abedini, who is currently being held in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Paula Schriefer, who led the U.S. delegation, on Monday.
Schriefer noted that religious minorities in Iran, including non-Shia Muslims and Baha'is, are subject to harsh treatments. And despite Iran's change in administration, with the election of President Hassan Rouhani, there has been no significant improvement to the country's human rights situation, she added. more >>
Human right groups reminded the international community that a promise was made never to allow the atrocities of Nazi Germany to be repeated again, and in that light pushed Congress to approve a bill detailing new sanctions and action steps against North Korea and the human rights abuses it is inflicting on its own people.
"When the full scale of the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish people was realized, the international community vowed never again would the world stand by and allow this type of cruelty to occur again," Suzanne Scholte, chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, said in a statement at a Capitol Hill panel on North Korea on Wednesday.
"Yet, if you are a North Korean these words ring hollow because we have known of these atrocities for decades and yet we are allowing them to continue. Consider that the North Korean political prison camps have been in existence 10 times longer than the Nazi death camps, three times longer than the Soviet gulag, and existed even longer than the China's laogai." more >>