Sunday, February 27, 2011

Situation in Libya referred to the International Criminal Court

Leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi.
On 26 February 2011, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) called for an end to violence against pro-democracy protesters in Libya and imposed sanctions on Libya, including arms embargo, travel ban, as well as asset freeze on the leader of Libya - Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gadaffi, and some government officials. Above all, and even more significant (in my opinion) is the fact that the Security Council referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC has jurisdiction over the most serious crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression, as laid down in Article 5 of the Rome Statute that created the Court.

Article 13(b) of the Statute gives the Court power to exercise jurisdiction over cases referred to the Prosecutor by the UNSC. The February 26 referral is significant because it is an indication that the Council unanimously believes serious crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC have been committed by the Gaddafi regime against its own people.

Following this referral, the prosecutor of the ICC is expected to open an investigation into the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011 to determine whether crimes under the jurisdiction of the court have been committed, and bring charges against perpetrators.

It is worth recalling that following the outbreak of massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Libya, Colonel Gaddafi, in a televised speech, promised to "cleanse" Libya of pro-democracy demonstrators - "house by house."

Since the outbreak of demonstrations more that one thousand people have lost theirs lives (according to the UN) and the situation in Libya has been described as a "humanitarian crisis."

Now that the deadly situation in Libya has been referred to the ICC, the Prosecutor should move quickly - investigate the alleged atrocities committed by Gaddafi's regime against pro-democracy demonstrators and charge those responsible for grave crimes in Libya.

Historically, all 15 members of the UNSC backed Resolution 1970 (2011) that imposed sanctions on the Libyan regime and referred the situation in the country to the ICC.

This is only the second time the UNSC has made a referral to the ICC. The first was the referral of the situation in Darfur, Sudan in March 2005 that culminated in the indictment of President Omar Hassan al- Bashir of Sudan for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Gaddafi has been in power for 41 years - since 1969

Friday, February 25, 2011

Horrific crimes committed by Laurent Gbagbo forces in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast Police crackdown on demonstrators. Photo: PicsfromAfrica.
While the world is focused on calls for democracy in the Middle East, security forces and militias loyal to Laurent Gbagbo - who is believed to have lost the disputed November 2010 presidential election in Ivory Coast - are committing horrific crimes against civilians and supporters of Alassane Ouattara - the internationally recognized winner of the November election.

Since the African Union, United Nations, European Union and ECOWAS recognised Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the disputed elections in December 2010 and asked Laurent Gbagbo to step down, security forces loyal to Gbagbo have repeatedly clashed with supporters of Ouattara and committed horrific crimes - leaving many civilians dead or wounded and on the run.

Horrific crimes by Gbagbo loyalists against civilians and members of the opposition are well-documented and include the following:
  • Abductions
  • Forced disappearances, 
  • Extrajudicial killings
  • Gang rapes
  • Intimidation and brutal crackdown on demonstrators. 
Families in pro-Ouattara neighborhoods told Human Rights Watch that Laurent Gbagbo security forces conduct raids in opposition strongholds and abduct supporters of Ouattara. Many abductees remain missing and unaccounted for.

UN peacekeepers have also been attacked by pro-Laurent Gbagbo security forces - who reportedly opened fire on a UN vehicle in December 2010.

Even more disturbing are reports of the presence of Liberian mercinaries in Ivory Coast, recruited to reinforce Gbagbo's security forces. During the 24 February clash with forces loyal to Ouattara, Liberian mercinaries fought alongside Gbagbo's troops.

Gang rapes, forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and other horrific crimes committed by Laurent Gbagbo forces against a civilian population amount to "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes." When it's all said and done, those commanding such operations will be held to account. We've seen justice take its course in DR Congo - where a Lieutenant Colonel was recently jailed for commanding a mass rape operation.

In December 2010, the International Criminal Court (ICC) warned perpetrators of crimes in Ivory Coast that they would be prosecuted.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brutal crackdown on protesters in Cameroon

February 23 was another bad day for human rights and the rule of law in Cameroon, as riot police brutally cracked down on peaceful protesters calling for human rights and an end to a 28-year-old regime. Inspired by calls for change in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen - you name it - Cameroonians took the streets in the economic capital - Douala - to demand change. The protesters met with a brutal crackdown typical of Cameroon's security forces.

Below is a video footage of the February 23 brutal crackdown on protesters, including a 2011 Presidential candidate, in Cameroon:

It's shocking to think of the fact that the woman yanked by security forces toward the end of the video is - Kah Walla - a Presidential Candidate for the upcoming 2011 presidential election.

Brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters is totally unacceptable and should be unequivocally condemned. It's torture and amounts to a violation of the right to free speech, expression and assembly.

Brutalisation of civilians by state agents also goes a long way to show what a regime is made of.

According to Amnesty International, about 100 civilians were killed in February 2008 by security forces in Cameroon during a demonstration against high cost of living.

It is worth noting that over the years atrocities committed by Cameroon's security forces have been well-documented and victims are uncountable, but perpetrators who should have their day in court walk free in plain sight. This puts the state of human rights and the rule of law in the west-central African country into question.

Colonel Kibibi Mutware jailed for mass rape in DR Congo

Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware. Source: BBC.
Yesterday 21 February 2011, a mobile military court convicted and sentenced Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware and some of his comrades to jail for mass rape in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

According to UN News Centre, Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware was found guilty for crimes against humanity and jailed - for his role in mass rape that took place in Fizi on 1 January 2011 - when the Colonel deployed troops to loot, brutalize civilians and commit mass rape in the village of Fizi in eastern DR Congo.

The military Court sentenced Lieutenant Colonel Mutware to 20 years behind bars. Five other soldiers under Kibibi Mutware's command were also slammed with jail sentences in connection with the mass rape in Fizi.

This is good news, and of course - a victory for human rights and the rule of law.

The conviction of a commanding military officer for his role in mass rape and other atrocities against civilians sends an unequivocal message that crimes against civilians are unacceptable and perpetrators - irrespective of position of responsibility or rank - will have their day in court and bear the full weight of the law.

DR Congo has been termed the worst place to be a woman  and "rape capital of the world" because of frequent systematic mass rapes and other forms of violence against women and girls. The imprisonment of Colonel Kibibi Mutware signals an end to decades of impunity for rape in DR Congo.

More than 60 women were raped during the military operation under the leadership of Colonel Kibibi Mutware on 1 January, and 49 women testified in court.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Video of police brutality in Cameroon

With the winds of change blowing across the Middle East and North Africa, there have been speculations on whether this phenomenon would travel as far as Sub-Saharan Africa. The region has its share of repressive longstanding regimes which routinely use security forces to crackdown on political dissent. The ousting of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia has inspired many people living in fear and repression to demand change, and has put regimes with poor human rights records on high alert. One of such countries in Sub-Saharan Africa - where police brutality is no secret - is the Republic of Cameroon which has been governed by one man since 1982.

A recent video of police brutality in Cameroon posted on the internet on 21 February 2011 adds weight to this assertion. The video shows police officers in Cameroon's economic capital - Douala - brutalizing unarmed civilians in broad day light. Watch...

Scenes like the above are not uncommon in the African nation, and goes to show that the government is on high alert and ready to use brute force to stifle free speech and possible peaceful demonstrations

Last year, a video surfaced on the internet showing state agents subjecting university students to torture. A concerned onlooker captured the incident with a hidden camera. Watch...

In 2009, Amnesty International expressly criticized the 28-year old Cameroon government for violently repressing dissent, and noted with dismay that in January 2008, security forces killed 100 civilians with impunity during a protest against high cost of living.

Many Cameroonians live below the poverty line and have genuine concerns about the sorry-state of democracy and human rights. However, they have been silenced. The right to free expression and speech is limited. Anyone who dares to speak out is a target and potential victim of military or police crackdown.

The state should take concrete steps to put an end to brutality by security forces, sanction perpetrators in accordance with the law and restore the right to free speech, expression and peaceful assembly.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Russia not doing enough to stop racially motivated crimes

In February 1969, the Russian Federation ratified the landmark International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination. Forty two years later, the commitment of Russian authorities to eliminate racial discrimination and racially motivated crimes against national or ethnic minorities in Russia remains questionable. In Russia, non-slavic people, blacks and Asians remain easy targets for Russian so-called white supremacist groups which make no secret of their intentions.

This morning - thanks to Afro-Europe International Blog - I came across a disturbing video report that shines light on the surge in racially motivated crimes in Russia.

WARNING: You might find the following video offensive.


It is evident from the above video that the perpetrators of such crimes against ethnic minorities are known and within reach. They are not afraid to be identified and filmed - inciting racial violence in the 21st Century. This highlights the level of impunity for racially motivated crimes in Russia.

The victims - in this case Africans - are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Back home in Africa, repressive regimes deny them basic rights. In Europe, they face sub-human conditions in a land far from home. Either way, they're victims of man's inhumanity to man and are in desperate need of protection.

Like all Russians, racial or ethnic minorities have the right to security of person and to be protected by the state against such mental and physical harm inflicted by racist groups. The government of Russia has an obligation to protect racial or ethnic minorities living within its borders. The authorities should therefore take concrete steps without delay to stop racially motivated crimes and restore the dignity of victims.

In March 2010, a Russian court imprisoned 9 members of white supremacist group for the brutal killing of a Cameroonian. But a lot more can and should be done to stop such crimes.

Russia will be hosting the FIFA 2018 World Cup. This compounds the urgency to curb hate crimes and ensure that racist criminals do not walk the streets.

You can watch Part II of the above video, here.

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." - Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human rights.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cameroonians living in fear and repression

The Republic of Cameroon is one of the few countries in Africa that has enjoyed relative stability for decades. It is true that many Cameroonians have never experienced a civil war or other forms of mass atrocities that have plagued neighboring countries, but it is also true that peace is not the absence of war. For decades, despite the absence of war, Cameroonians have been living in fear and repression under a 28-year-old regime.

After 28-years under the leadership of one man, Cameroonians around the world - like the brave people of Algeria, Yemen, Libya, Jordan and Bahrain - have been inspired by recent peaceful protests and demands for democracy and human rights that culminated in the ousting of longstanding dictatorial repressive regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Many now believe they too can write their own story of liberation and freedom by organizing online. But there's a problem.

After all these years of repression, a good number are yet to break the chains of fear.

There's a general atmosphere of fear and lack of freedom to freely express opinions and organize in Cameroonian discussion platforms - even online. In one Facebook forum, a participant clearly expressed his fear and concern for the safety of fellow Cameroonians calling for change. Here is what he wrote on 18 February 2011, in his own words:

"... if you really love urself, ur family, wants to secure ur generations, please keep urself out of Cameroon politics. This also goes to all English speaking Cameroonians. Take this time, knowledge, inpsiration and strength to build a better future for urself and ur family without involving Cameroon politics. A word to a wise is sufficient. God Bless..."

 Although in broken English, the message is clear. It's a message of caution and concern for oneself and family when expressing political dissent in Cameroon. This should not be the case in a free society.

The 28-year-old government of Cameroon is party to key international human rights standards that make provisions for basic rights and freedoms. The greatest human rights document of all - the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) - has even been incorporated into the Constitution of the Republic.

The government therefore has an obligation under international law to ensure that basic rights of its citizens are respected. But for two decades, basic freedoms have been systematically denied and many, including the "Facebook Generation" live in fear.

On a side note: The President of Cameroon has been in power since 1982 - when he succeeded his predecessor - and has been ranked in the same category with ousted Hosni Mubarak of Egypt  and Ben Ali of Tunisia. The Constitution of the west-central African Republic was recently amended - eliminating presidential term limits. An ensuing protest was brutally cracked down by the regime. Dissidents were intimidated and jailed, including a famous musician.

A presidential election is scheduled to take place in October 2011. The free world is waiting to see whether 78-year-old President Paul Biya will run for re-election after 29 years in power.

For more information about Cameroon, please read Cameroon country profile.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Swiss freezing of Hosni Mubarak's assets and basic rights in Egypt

In a media release on 11 February 2011, Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs announced the freezing of assets of Mohammad Hosni Mubarak, the ousted president of Egypt. The department also announced the freezing of assets of "parties close to" Mubarak so as to avoid "misappropriation of Egyptian government assets."

It is believed that like Mubarak, many repressive leaders and dictators all across Africa swindle state funds and stash staggering sums of tax-payers' money in bank accounts in Switzerland. This thievery has damaging consequences on millions of suffering Africans - many of whom languish in poverty while the Swiss economy flourishes with money that was meant to build roads, construct schools, hospitals and lift one of the world's poorest people from poverty.

Institutionalized corruption in the backyard of one of the world's most developed democracies undermines core principles of democracy, including good governance, accountability and transparency, and goes a long way to deprive many Africans of the basic right to a decent life - in a continent where numerous families can't afford one decent meal a day; thoughtless of sending children to school.

By doing business with corrupt repressive leaders, Switzerland endorses corruption and the violation of basic rights that go with it.

The only way the Swiss government can "avoid misappropriation" of assets is by not accepting to bank misappropriated state funds.  By upholding principles of transparency and accountability, Switzerland would not have to always go through the cosmetic process of freezing assets of ousted African Heads of States. Commonsense suggests that prevention is better than cure.

The freezing of Hosni Mubarak's assets is good news for rights advocates and millions of Egyptians who have suffered repression and poverty for almost 30 years under the leadership of one man. Misappropriated state funds stashed in Switzerland should be returned to Egypt to help bolster the struggling economy.

Some have argued that Switzerland is a "staunch ally of corrupt third world leaders and a great beneficiary of third world corruption."

The exact amount of assets linked to Hosni Mubarak in Switzerland has not been made public.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Human rights abuse report hotline

Many readers have contacted me asking whether they could submit stories of human rights violations and other forms of inequities to be published on this blog. Mindful of the fact that exposing human rights violations can go a long way to deter perpetrators and perhaps help bring them to justice, I have created a human rights abuse report hotline which is powered by a Human Rights Abuse Report Form.

The hotline is a channel through which victims and witnesses of human rights violations and other forms of abuse can submit detailed reports of violation. Submitted reports will be reviewed and published on this blog.

Help keep violators grounded by making them famous online! The power of the internet is enormous in the fight for human rights and social justice.

The HotLine is available on the top right-hand corner of this blog. It is presently on a trial period after which it will be evaluated and its future decided based on the quality of submissions. Suggestions on how the human rights abuse report hotline can be improved are welcomed.

Please use the hotline responsibly. Rumors or hearsay information will not be published.

UPDATE (2 June 2011): The trial period of the HotLine is now over and the page has been removed. It is worth stating that most reports submitted were unverifiable hence could not be published. However, reports could still be submitted via Contact Zuzeeko. I appreciate all those who took time to submit reports.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt: Ousting of Hosni Mubarak is not enough

Photo: We are all Khaled Said.
It is no secret that yesterday 11 February 2011 marked the end of a 30-year-old oppressive dictatorial regime in Egypt; a regime that tortured thousands of Egyptians and claimed many lives. After 30 years in power, Hosni Mubarak was kicked out of the presidential palace in Cairo by peaceful protesters calling for democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Egypt. The ousting of Mubarak is good news, but it is not enough.

Hundreds of civilians lost their lives during the 18-day struggle for human rights that culminated in the ousting of Mubarak. Human Rights Watch estimates that about 302 protesters were killed during the peaceful uprising that met with brutal police crackdown.

Today, Egyptians and the rest of the world rightfully celebrate the historic fall of a strongman, but it should be noted that the ousting of an autocratic regime is not enough since it does not guarantee justice for the many victims of oppression and systematic police brutality under the regime.

The military which acted responsibly to an extent during the protests, should work in close collaboration with the Egyptian people and ensure a peaceful transition to a democratic civilian rule.

The government of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak should bring all perpetrators of torture and other forms of violations under the 30-year-old Mubarak regime to justice. Until then, the ousting of Hosni Mubarak is not enough.

Victims of violations under Mubarak are uncountable - including Khaled Mohammed SaidAhmed Shaaban and many others.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hana Begum: Beaten to death in the name of justice in Bangladesh

Hana Begum. Photo: BBC.
It's hard to ignore the story of a young Bangladeshi girl who was publicly whipped - in the name of justice under the Sharia law - and "bled to death" in January 2010

Hana Begum, 14-year-old, was reportedly accused of having an affair with a married man. On the basis of this accusation, the teenager was sentenced to 80 lashes by a village Islamic court in Shariatpur, Bangladesh. Her family told the BBC that the teenager died six days after she was flogged.

It's worth mentioning that initial post-mortem results conflict with a second post-mortem ordered by the High Court.

After her body was exhumed on the orders of the High Court, doctors found "injuries" and reported that Hana died "because of bleeding." This finding conflicts with initial post-mortem results, and corroborates a statement made by her father - "my daughter has been beaten to death in the name of justice."

Bangladesh is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which it acceded to on September 2000.

Article 6 of the ICCPR states that "everyone has the inherent right to life. The right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life."

Article 7 stipulates that "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

The People's Republic of Bangladesh is also party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which accords all children (including Hana Begum) the right to protection of the law. Article 19 of the CRC obliges States Parties to protect children from all forms of violence or abuse, maltreatment or exploitation.

Drawing from the above covenants - the government of Bangladesh has failed in its obligations under international law.

The state should thoroughly and impartially investigate the death of Hana Begun, bring those responsible to justice and protect all children within its borders from such cruelty.

Some noticeable steps have been taken in this direction. A police investigation for murder is on-going; doctors who carried out the initial autopsy have been summoned by the High Court for questioning and five other people have been arrested in relation to the case.

This cruel punishment that was levied on Hana Begum under Sharia law was outlawed in Bangladesh by the High Court in 2010, but a lot more needs to be done to eradicate the practice.

Culprits of such unspeakable violence against a minor should bear the full weight of the law.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DUNIA Magazine gives back: Vote for your favorite cause

I'm part of the core team at DUNIA Magazine and I'm excited to announce that the magazine is giving back to the community by making a donation in support of a cause voted for by readers.

You're invited to vote online for your favorite cause and nominate an organization that champions the cause.

Please visit for more information about how to nominate and vote.

Your participation will go a long way to help DUNIA Magazine select a suitable cause and organization to support.

You're encouraged to do something good today. Vote for a cause you're truly passionate about. Your vote can make a difference.

DUNIA will make a donation in support of the cause with the most votes.

Violation of basic right to take pictures in Cameroon

The renovated Bamenda grandstand. Photo:
I visited Cameroon in December 2010 and was taken aback by the almost total absence of civil liberties, social rights and fundamental freedoms in the country I call home. Besides the fact that millions of people are deprived of a life of dignity by a 28-year-old regime and live on or below the poverty line, basic rights like the right to freely take pictures of public structures are commonly denied by oppressive state agents.

During my stay in Bamenda, the capital of the North West region of Cameroon and stronghold of the opposition, I visited the city centre - known locally as the Commercial Avenue. I was impressed by the level of development on the avenue which had fallen into a state of "chaos" and disrepair a fews years back. The roads have been paved, the sidewalks cleared and most importantly, the dilapidated grandstand has been given a much-needed make-over.

I could not resist taking a picture of the grandstand.

As I pulled out my camera and focused in the direction of the grandstand, a concerned shop owner nearby approached me and told me to be cautious because the enlisted military personnel guarding the grandstand would confiscate my camera if they see me taking pictures of the public structure. The shop owner told me he once witnessed the confiscation of a camera by the guards a few weeks back.

This experience reminded me of another incident recounted by a reliable source.

During a recent official visit of the Head of State to Bamenda, law enforcement officers stopped many people from taking pictures of the presidential motorcade.

People reserve the right to take pictures in public. This is the general rule and it should be respected in a free state, unless a picture violates privacy or poses a threat to national security. A  picture of the grandstand in Bamenda does not violate any privacy law or threaten national security, neither does a picture of the president or his motorcade.

The authorities should take concrete steps to ensure that security officers and military personnel stationed to guard public property do not resort to violation of basic rights of harmless citizens - either through intimidation or illegal confiscation of private property.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog of Note!

This morning, I woke up to news that this blog - - has been chosen as a noteworthy blog on the network and showcased by the blogger team on blogger's Blogs of Note.

Blogs of Note is a blog that showcases noteworthy blogger blogs on a daily basis. It replaced blogger's "Blog to the Week." In fact, the blogger team describes it as a blog that highlights "interesting and noteworthy blogger-powered blogs."

Courtesy warrants me to thank the blogger team for selecting and showcasing this blog as one of blogger's "awesome" noteworthy blogs. This "recognition" by the blogger team is testament to the fact that human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are principles worth promoting. Blogs of Note has driven unprecedented traffic to this blog since it was listed, thereby amplifying the voice of the oppressed and the call for mutual respect of rights and freedoms around the world.

Courtesy warrants me to give a shout out to Steve from Common Cents whose comment on Somalian imprisoned for attacking cartoonist in Denmark called my attention to the fact that this blog has gone down into the archives of blogger's Blogs of Note.

On The Road To Success was listed as a noteworthy blog on Monday, February 07, 2011.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Somalian imprisoned for attacking cartoonist in Denmark

A court in Aarhus, Denmark has sentenced Mohamed Geele, a 29-year-old Somalian man to 9 years in prison in relation to the attempted murder of Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist famous for drawing Prophet Mohammed
75-year-old Kurt Westergaard. Photo: BBC World Service.

In 2005, Kurt Westergaard's depiction of Prophet Mohammed angered the Muslim world and triggered protests and a diplomatic storm between Denmark and the Muslim world. The cartoon which was published in a Danish newspaper resulted in death threats against the cartoonist. 

As a result of all the controversy surrounding his work, Westergaard - the cartoonist - was placed under police surveillance - for his own safety.

Many people around the world, including Mohamed Geele considered Westergaard's cartoon an insult to islam. In January 2011, Mohamed Geele broke into the house of Westergaard, armed with an ax, in a bid to get "revenge", but the intruder was stopped by the police before he could reach his target.

Mohamed Geele was found guilty of attempted murder and terrorism on February 3, 2011. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison, after which he will be expelled and permanently banned from Denmark.

This court verdict upholds democratic principles of free thought, free speech and the right to hold and express opinions. Although I would not exercise these rights and freedoms in a way that would be considered offensive or insulting, any attempt to murder or silence anyone who chooses to do otherwise is unacceptable.

You might like to listen to Kurt Westergaard speak to the BBC about the attack.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Release Amnesty International's staff member arrested in Egypt

There's untold oppression and violation of basic rights and freedoms in Egypt despite President Hosni Mubarak's call for reforms. This assertion is confirmed by news of the arrest and detention of Amnesty International's staff member (UPDATE. 04/02/2011: Two staff members) in Cairo this morning by the notorious Egyptian police.

According to a first-hand account from Amnesty International workers on the ground in Egypt, the arrest took place at the office of Hisham Mubarak Law Centre (HMLC), a local human rights organization. Police raided the office in a building which is also home to the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights and rounded up human rights activists.

An email from Amnesty International USA this evening titled: "BREAKING: Amnesty delegate detained in Egypt!" reveals that a delegate from Human Rights Watch - another prominent international human rights organization - was also arrested during the raid. Worst of all, the email states that "we do not know their current whereabouts."

This is frightening because President Mubarak's security agents are famous for torture and brutality which sometimes results to serious bodily harm or death. This should not happen to the human rights observers in question.

It is worth recalling that in June 2010, 28-year-old Khaled Mohammed Said was brutalized to death by police in Alexandria. Five months later, another young Egyptian - 19-year-old Ahmed Shaaban - disappeared in police custody and allegedly met his end in the hands of President Mubarak's "no-nonsense" security agents.

News of the arrest of human rights observers in Egypt is therefore disturbing, and of course a blow to human rights and the rule of law.

Human rights observers should be allowed to monitor the situation on the ground without government interference. If the government cracks down on international human rights observers, it is hard to imagine what is in store for the voiceless citizens with no international backing.

Amnesty International urges supporters to TAKE ACTION to secure the release of it's staff and other human rights workers. Please heed the call to take action, here.

Amnesty International is a organization campaigning to end human rights violations around the world.

UPDATE. 05/02/2011: The arrested activists have been freed. Thanks to all who took action.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Award Winning International Affairs Blogger Blogs

There's a growing need nowadays to be informed and educated on human rights and other important global issues that affect us all either directly or indirectly. The advent of the internet has made information more accessible and education easier. At the same time, information is flowing at a break-neck speed from a variety of sources. Understandably, many internet users are overwhelmed by this "information avalanche" and don't know where to find quality and sometimes impartial content online. This is where "Award Winning" blogs come in.

Blog Catalog has made things easier for blog readers by categorizing blogs so that readers can easily find the category of blogs they're interested in reading. One of such categories is: "Award Winning International Affairs Blogger Blogs" in which this blog - - is listed together with a host of other blogs. In this category, you'll find interesting blogs that provide unique perspectives into key global issues, including the rule of law, human rights, the economy, policy, conflicts and other issues that would help you better understand today's ever-changing world.

Make sure you stay informed, especially in this age of information technology. Oppressive regimes in countries like Egypt and China don't hesitate to violate the right to access information either through arrests or internet shutdown simply because information is power.

Search this Blog

Related Posts with Thumbnails