Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Egypt: Victim of virginity test by the army speaks out

Last week, women's rights activists, human rights organizations and individuals of good conscience around the world were outraged by allegations that women protesters in Egypt were subjected to forced virginity tests by the Egyptian army. Eighteen (18) women were reportedly arrested in Tahrir square when the army stormed the historic square to clear it of protesters. The women were strip searched, beaten, subjected to electric shocks and forced virginity tests by male military personnel. A victim of forced virginity test and other forms of abuse by the Egyptian army has spoken out on camera and added weight to these allegations.

In the following video, a woman reports that she was subjected to virginity test while in custody of the Egyptian army. The video was posted on The New York Times website, alongside a compelling opinion column by Nicholas D. Kristof titled, Freedom's Painful Price.

The fact that these women told their stories on camera, despite the dangers involved, adds weight to the allegations of forced virginity tests exacted by the Egyptian army and highlights the urgent need for an impartial investigation into the matter.

After the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, the army took over control of Egypt and promised to facilitate a smooth transition to a democratically elected government that represents and respects the rights and will of ALL Egyptians. Allegations of forced virginity tests and other human rights violations by the army undermine this promise and goes to show that Egypt under the military is not significantly different from Egypt under Hosni Mubarak.

On 25 March 2011, in an email to its supporters in relation to forced virginity tests in Egypt, Amnesty International USA pointed out that "the Egyptian military may have just hit a disturbing, new low..." and urged supporters to call for an immediate investigation into forced virginity testing and other acts of torture and ill-treatment committed against women in Egypt. Please, heed the call by signing the petition.

The so-called "virginity test" must be condemned in the strongest terms.

My Google Analytics tells me that many people are searching online for the meaning of "virginity test" and petitions against virginity tests. This is a good sign and an indication that more people are becoming aware of the prevalence of this degrading practice. More importantly, many are willing to sign a petition against it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Barack Obama's video message to the people of Ivory Coast

This morning, I watched a video message posted on the White House Blog from President Barack Obama to the people of Ivory Coast. In the message, the president of the United States recognized Alassane Ouattara as the democratically elected president of Ivory Coast and expressed concern about the on-going power struggle and it's implications on the Ivorian people.

Obama unequivocally condemned Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to relinguish power since he was declared loser of the November 2010 presidential election, and commended the internationally recognized president of Ivory Coast - Alassane Ouattara - for seeking a peaceful solution to the stalmate. Obama urged Laurent Gbagbo to follow the "example of leaders who reject violence."

President Barack Obama's 1 minute 43 seconds long video message ends with a direct appeal to the people of Ivory Coast.

After watching the video, I have no doubt that some people will argue that "the west" is once again meddling in the internal affairs of a "sovereign" state because of "self interest" and the desire to exploit "natural resources". This argument is all too common, but as far as I'm concerned,  it defends the status quo and does not hold water; neither does it provide a solution to today's human rights challenges. People of good conscience do not expect the so-called "west" to sit back and silently watch innocent civilians in any part of the world die in the name of "sovereignty".

Where a state proves to be unwilling or incapable of protecting civilians within its borders from untold large scale violations, the international community has a moral and legal obligation under international law to take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians caught in a deadly conflict.

Ivory Coast is in chaos and there're allegations of crimes against humanity committed by supporters and troops loyal to Laurent Gbagbo. The United Nations reports that about a million people have fled their homes as a result of post-elections violence.

I welcome President Obama's message to the people of Ivory Coast, but more concrete steps should be urgently taken to protect civilians on the ground. More importantly, those who have participated in any way in perpetuating human rights violations in Ivory Coast since the disputed November 2010 presidential elections should bear the full weight of the law.

Read the country profile of Ivory Coast for more information about the country and please take the POLL on the top right hand corner of this blog [UPDATE: Poll closed].

Saturday, March 26, 2011

5 favorite national anthems and global unity

A national anthem is an officially recognized song that binds people of a nation together and evokes the spirit of patriotism, national pride and most importantly, unity - whenever it is played and/or song. An anthem is one of the few things that unite people who disagree on key issues. National anthems are widely used under different circumstances, including national celebrations, festivals, peaceful protests and sporting events. The power of a national anthem can be seen in places like parliament, senate or congress for instance, where politicians from different political parties disagree, but identify themselves with one anthem at the beginning of heated sessions. In Tahrir Square - Cairo, Egypt - during the pro-democracy demonstrations that culminated in the ousting a dictator, we saw how the national anthem of the Arab state united protesters - Muslims, Christians, men, women and children - calling for change. There is no denying that national anthems break barriers and inspire a sense of identity and national pride and unity among nationals of a particular country.

It is on this note that I present my 5 favorite national anthems:

1) National anthem of Cameroon:

2) National anthem of Finland:

3) National anthem of South Africa:

4) National anthem of the United States:

5) National anthem of France:

Mindful of the powerful uniting force of anthems, it is easy to conclude that the world would be a more progressive and harmonious place with an anthem - a global anthem that would unite all citizens of the world, irrespective of national, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and other boundaries.

What's your favorite national anthem? I like to hear from you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Women subjected to virginity tests by Egyptian Army

Security forces under the Mubarak regime were famous for all the wrong reasons - brutality, extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and other forms of cruel and inhuman practices - and the fall of the regime was seen by many as a new dawn for Egypt. This vision of a new Egypt where rights are respected has been tainted in many ways, including fresh allegations that the Egyptian army subjected women to forced "virginity tests" and other forms of torture, a few weeks after a repressive regime was toppled.

According to Amnesty International, 18 women were arrested in Tahrir Square on 9 March when the army was ordered to clear the square of protesters after Hosni Mubarak was kicked out of office. The women were allegedly strip searched, photographed naked by male soldiers, beaten, subjected to electric shocks and virginity tests. Out of the 18 women arrested, only 1 was released hours later while the other 17 were transferred to a military prison.

Earlier today, Amnesty International called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate these serious allegations and urged members of the medical profession to refrain from conducting virginity tests because the purpose of the "test" is to "degrade" women.

It is my opinion that the so-called "virginity test" strips victims of dignity and privacy. The bizarre practice is also discriminatory since only women have to face the ordeal.

The Egyptian army is a trusted and respected institution in Egypt, but such a degrading practice sanctioned by military personnel must be fearlessly condemned.

You're encouraged to sign a petition by Amnesty International USA calling for an investigation and an end to forced virginity testing in Egypt.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gbagbo's youth minister incites violence in Ivory Coast

It is no secret that power struggle between beleaguered Laurent Gbagbo and the internationally recognized President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, as well as incitement of violence by Gbagbo's youth minister - Charles Ble Goude (pictured) - has pushed Ivory Coast to the brink of another civil war.

Since Laurent Gbagbo was declared loser of the November 2010 presidential election, his refusal to relinguish his firm grip on power has lead to bloodshed and loss of innocent lives. Young Gbagbo supporters, under the influence of his youth minister, have reportedly committed horrific crimes against supporters of  Alassane Ouattara and foreigners. These crimes, according to the UN and Human Rights Watch, could amount to crimes against humanity.

Charles Ble Goude has been instrumental in shoring up support for Gbagbo and inciting violence against opposition supporters. According to Human Rights Watch, on 25 February 2011, Charles Ble Goude urged "real" Ivorians to "denounce" foreigners. His statement was followed by coordinated violence against foreigners

Earlier today, the BBC reported that thousands of youths have responded to Goude's call to "join the army" and "liberate" the country. The youth minister reportedly encouraged youths to fight against supporters of the opposition. Responding to the youth minister's call, thousands of young Ivorians showed up at an army base to enlist.

Incitement of violence in Ivory Coast should be unequivocally condemned at all levels. It undermines calls for an end to violence and human rights abuses in the west African country. The country is yet to recover from damaging consequences of the 2002 -2003 civil war, hence Ivorian youths should exercise restraint and reject manipulation and calls that could spark another civil war.

Charles Ble Goude should use his influential position as youth minister to unite; rather than incite violence and divide the youths of Ivory Coast along political lines.

These are tough times for human rights around the world and free people all across the globe are closely watching events in Ivory Coast. Perpetrators of violence, including those who use the privilege of leadership to incite violence, will be brought to book.

Charles Ble Goude, Gbagbo's militant youth leader and minister, is currently under UN sanctions for inciting violence. More sanctions should be considered.

Since November 2010, more than 425 people have died and 500,000 people have fled their homes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Twitter mobile restored in Cameroon

Last week, in a move that echoed social media censorship in Cameroon, the government ordered MTN - a major mobile phone operator in Cameroon - to suspend Twitter mobile - locally known as Twitter SMS. The suspension of Twitter mobile was widely criticized by Twitter users at home and abroad. One week after the suspension, Twitter mobile has been restored in the sub-Saharan country.

The restoration of the service in Cameroon was announced on 18 March 2011 on Twitter, when the official Twitter page of Twitter Mobile was updated with the following tweet:

"Twitter SMS service on MTN Cameroon is live once again! New users should send START to 8711 to sign up."

In closed totalitarian and highly censored societies, Twitter is instrumental in sending out information. In Egypt for example, during the recent pro-democracy demonstrations, twitter was widely used by protesters to organize and share information and pictures with the rest of the world.

In countries where press censorship is the order of the day, Twitter is a cherished service which gives oppressed people a unique opportunity to freely express themselves and share uncensored information with the rest of the world.

Over the years, the 28-year-old regime of Cameroon has been widely criticized for press censorship and imprisonment of journalists, hence the suspension of twitter mobile was perceived by many as another attempt by the regime to stifle free expression and any possible attempt by the growing number of anti-government activists to organize online.

It is worth mentioning that Twitter SMS was suspended two weeks after government forces brutally quashed peaceful anti-governmnent demonstrations in Cameroon's economic capital. A Cameroonian blogger described the suspension as a government bid to "insulate itself against digital activists."

The restoration of Twitter mobile in Cameroon is welcomed. People have the right to freely express themselves or peacefully organize through any available means - without government interference.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crimes against humanity in Ivory Coast

This afternoon, while watching Impact with Mishal Husain on the BBC, I was taken aback when the anchor of the program failed to mention the volatile situation in Ivory Coast - even after saying the program covers "stories that matter from across the globe." Of course Libya, Japan and Bahrain were on the headlines, but the entire 30 minutes program ended without any mention of Ivory Coast. This goes to show that the situation in Ivory Coast does not matter to western media - despite the fact that yesterday, a renown human rights organization - Human Rights Watch - reported on-going crimes against humanity by Gbagbo forces in the west African country.

The BBC and other western media outlets might downgrade the conflict in Ivory Coast and look away while Gbagbo forces slaughter civilians, but people of good conscience around the world cannot look away.

Since the disputed November 2010 presidential election in Ivory Coast, forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo have committed horrific crimes, including extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, gang rapes, attacks against national minorities and political violence against opposition supporters.

On 3 March 2011, in a show of barbarism and uttered disregard for human life, forces loyal to Gbagbo opened fire on unarmed women calling for the removal of Laurent Gbagbo. On this day, seven women were brutally killed and many wounded. In the spirit of endemic impunity, no one has been arrested in relation to the incident which sparked domestic and international outrage.

A lot has been said and written about the volatile situation in Ivory Coast, but concrete steps are yet to be taken by the international community and other actors to restore the inherent dignity of Ivorians and bring perpetrators of violations to book.

Now that Human Rights Watch has published detailed allegations of crimes against humanity by Gbagbo forces, it remains to be seen whether governments and the UN Security Council will divide their attention equally between Libya and the Middle East - where the oil and money is - on the one hand, and Ivory Coast on the other hand.

The Security Council should refer the equally deadly situation in Ivory Coast to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In December 2010, the ICC warned that those who perpetrate violence against civilians in Ivory Coast will be prosecuted. Over the past couple of months, we have seen violence against unarmed civilians and opposition supporters escalate. Now is the time to take concrete steps to bring perpetrators to book.

* Photo: allWestAfrica

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sweden should do more to Protect victims of rape

This afternoon, I was appalled by news that a 20-year-old man found guilty for rape in Sweden was sentenced to probation - a suspended sentence on the promise of good behavior - for such a serious crime. This case is yet another reminder that Sweden ought to do more to protect victims of rape by slapping sex offenders with more severe sentences.

According to The Local - a local news outlet in Sweden - the 20-year-old sex offender was charged with raping an intoxicated 25-year-old woman after a party in December 2010. The 20-year-old denied all charges but later confessed on his Facebook page.

A district court in Solna - a municipality north of Sweden's capital, Stockholm, found the offender guilty on grounds of his Facebook confession and sentenced him to probation.

Another man who assisted the offender during the incident was slapped with a mere 6,000 Swedish Kronor ($940) fine.

With due respect for the Swedish judicial system - this court verdict gives the unnamed offenders in question an easy way out of an abominable crime. Light sentences for serious crimes do not adequately deter offenders. Sweden should do more to protect victims of rape and other forms of violence by ensuring that offenders bear the full weight of the law.

It is worth mentioning that many in Sweden are concerned that convicted sex offenders in the Scandinavian country are not named or identified. They enjoy absolute privacy while victims remain at risk.

In 2009, a 28-year-old woman and her 29-year-old boyfriend were found guilty for rape of two minors (17-year-old girls). The two sex offenders were not named or identified.

Sex offenders should be identified. This will go a long way to prevent repeat offences since potential victims will identify a predator and take necessary steps to avoid an incident.

Sweden reportedly has the "highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe" and a corresponding "low conviction rate."

The state should do more to protect victims of rape and ensure that sex offenders do not enjoy impunity.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Illinois bans death penalty

This might be staled news, but the time is always right to applaud a move in the right direction. Last week, the State of Illinois, with the signature of Governor Pat Quinn (Patrick Quinn), 41st Governor of Illinois, abolished the death penalty. To this effect, no one in Illinois will be subjected to State-sponsored killing.

On 9 March 2011, the governor signed a historic bill - abolishing the death penalty. He also substituted the death sentence of 15 inmates in Illinois with life in prison - without parole or "any chance of release."

According to Chicago Tribune, the death penalty had been in place in Illinois since it was reinstated 1977, and the system was tainted by "bias, error and incompetence."

Personally, I oppose the death penalty because I believe it is an immoral and degrading form of punishment. It undermines the principle of human dignity which states have the moral and legal obligation to uphold. States ought to punish; not commit murder.

Besides, given the high rate of wrongful or discriminatory convictions in many states, including Illinois, Texas, and other states and countries around the world, the risk of claiming an innocent life is real.

I welcome the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois under the leadership of Governor Pat Quinn, and commend the governor - and lawmakers who support the ban - for restoring human dignity and respect for human life in Illinois.

The death penalty violates respect for human life. By practicing it, a state shoots itself in the foot.

Amnesty International notes that Illinois is the 16th state in the U.S. to abolish the death penalty.

Watch a video statement from Governor Pat Quinn on the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cameroon ratifies African Youth Charter

The government of Cameroon ratified the African Youth Charter on 11 January 2011 when the country's Head of State for 28 years (see photo) signed Degree No. 2011/002 in the nation's capital, Yaounde. This is a commendable move in the right direction - which goes to show that the 28-year-old regime acknowledges the need to promote and respect human rights and basic freedoms.

But given the present sorry-state of human rights in the west-central African country, the ratification of the African Youth Charter appears to be cosmetic.

The African Youth Charter is a human rights instrument designed to protect the rights of youths in the continent. It lays down the rights, freedoms and duties of youths, as well as States Parties' obligations. The Charter was adopted in Gambia in July 2006 by the African Union and it is open to ratification by member states of the Union.

A good number of Cameroonian youths are unaware of the existence of this Charter - despite the fact that Article 27 obligates States Parties to popularize the Charter - and many do not enjoy the basic rights and freedoms laid down in the Charter. For instance, the right to freedom of expression and association as laid down in Article 4 and 5 respectively are not guaranteed in Cameroon.

Only 12 days after the Head of State signed the Degree that ratified the African Youth Charter, security forces brutally cracked down on  youths peacefully calling for democracy and human rights in Cameroon.

Many Cameroonian youths are yet to enjoy other rights laid down in the Charter, including, but not limited to the following:
  • Right to adequate standard of living
  • Right to be free from hunger
  • Right to be protected from economic exploitation
  • Right to enjoy the "best attainable" state of health
  • Right to be treated with humanity
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of association
Ratification of the African Youth Charter by the government of Cameroon is good news for youths and rights advocates, but the government should do more than ratify international human rights standards. Implementation is much more important.

The state should respect its obligations under international law and restore basic rights for youths.

African youths are encouraged to promote and demand the rights and freedoms laid down in the African Youth Charter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cameroon government suspends Twitter mobile

In November 2010, social networking giant - Twitter - partnered with MTN, a major mobile phone operator in Cameroon, in an effort to make Twitter more accessible to people living in Cameroon - many of whom have limited access to internet. Sadly, this effort to give people in Cameroon a voice online through Twitter mobile (Twitter SMS) has been thwarted by the government which has reportedly ordered the suspension of service.

Twitter SMS, as the service was locally called, allowed users to send and receive Twitter updates via SMS, as explained in the video below:

It is unclear why the service was suspended, but earlier today, a source posted on Twitter that it's "Pour des raisons de sécurité" (for security reasons).

The government's decision to suspend Twitter comes two weeks after Cameroonians - inspired by calls for democracy and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa - mobilized online and took to the streets of Cameroon's economic capital to demand an end to a 28-year-old iron-fisted regime. Needless to say - the peaceful protesters were brutally suppressed by security forces.

Mindful of the role of Twitter and other social networking sites in the recent pro-democracy uprisings around the world, its easy to see the suspension of Twitter mobile in Cameroon as an attempt to stifle the free flow of information and co-ordinated calls for democracy and respect for human rights through social media.

The Committee to Protect Journalists recently took the government of Cameroon to task for "obstructing" free reporting on issues of public interest. The suspension of Twitter SMS adds weight to this assertion and highlights state-sponsored limitations on basic freedoms in Cameroon.

Following this suspension, people living in Cameroon can only tweet from internet cafés. This greatly limits the free flow of information - especially if for some reason, users are unable to go to internet cafés.

It remains to be seen whether Twitter (and other social networking sites) will be banned altogether in Cameroon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

CNN joins fight against modern-day slavery

This morning, I woke up to good news that CNN has joined a noble cause - the fight against modern-day slavery. The mega news network has launched a year-long project: The CNN Freedom Project which is designed to "...shine a spotlight on the horrors of modern-day slavery, amplify the voices of victims, highlight success stories and help unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life."

It's shocking to note that it's cheaper to buy a slave nowadays than it was in the 19th Century.

CNN reports that today, the price for a slave is about $90 - compared to $40,000 in the 19th Century. There're about 10 million to 20 million people held in slavery worldwide.

  • Asia-pacific accounts for 1.4 million slaves.
  • Latin America accounts for 250,000 slaves.
  • Middle East accounts for 230,000 slaves.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 230,000 slaves.

This cruel, inhuman and degrading practice is reminiscent of the lowest point in human history and violates every international human rights standard.

The CNN Freedom Project underscores the necessity and urgency to end slavery in all it's forms and bring slave traders and owners to justice. It will bring to light the realities of modern-day slavery in the backyard of modern democracies - including the "land of the free", and challenge governments to stop looking away.

Thank you CNN for joining the fights against modern-day slavery and for raising the bar of media reporting. It takes reputable news networks, human rights organizations and people of good conscience worldwide to challenge governments to move quickly and put an end to untold violations of basic rights.

For more information about the project and how you can help, visit

Friday, March 4, 2011

Disability rights in Kenya: "Locked up and Forgotten"

I don't remember the last time I watched a more disturbing documentary. "Locked Up and Forgotten" is a documentary by David Mckenzie, CNN Correspondant based in Nairobi, Kenya. The documentary shines light on the sorry-state of disability rights, precisely the rights of Kenya's mentality ill.

I must warn you - "Locked up and Forgotten" is hard to watch. Below is Part I of the documentary:

From the above video clip, it's evident that Kenya's mentally ill are literally locked up and forgotten.

Ironically, Kenya ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - a convention that promotes and protects the rights of disabled persons, on 19 May 2008.

The state has violated it's obligations to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities as laid down in the Convention. The government should cooperate with the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) - which checks implementation of the Convention - to ensure that the rights and dignity of mentally ill persons under its jurisdiction are restored.

Unfortunately, Kenya is not a party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which gives individuals the power to submit complaints to the CRPD. Thus, people of good conscience have their hands tied since the CRPD does not have the power to receive individual complaints "from or on behalf of" victims of violations of disability rights in Kenya.

Watch Part II and Part III of "Locked Up and Forgotten."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sub-Saharan Africans in desperate need of evacuation from Libya

It is no secret that following the outbreak of violence against pro-democracy protesters in Libya in February 2011, many states scrambled to evacuate their nationals, but sub-Saharan Africans are still in desperate need of evacuation from the North African country. The prompt evacuation of some nationals from Libya goes to show that some states care about the well-being and safety of their citizens - living both at home and abroad - while others don't.

Human Rights Watch reports that "day after day, some governments are managing to send boats to evacuate thousands of their nationals, but Africans, who are most vulnerable and destitute, are left behind." The organization reveals that sub-Saharan Africans are "at greatest risk" in Libya.

Since the outbreak of unrest, more than 30, 000 Chinese and 10,000 Europeans have been evacuated from Libya. The Philippines, U.S., Morocco, Algeria, Syria and a host of others have also evacuated their nationals to safe ground. Unfortunately, states like Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso have abandoned their citizens caught in the deadly unrest in Libya.

Sub-Saharan Africans are reportedly targets of abuse and violence in Libya because pro-democracy protesters belief that the repressive Gaddafi regime hired mercenaries from the region to crackdown on demonstrators.

While reading a news release about the plight of sub-Saharan Africans in Libya, I was saddened by the story of two desperate sub-Saharan Africans who tried to board a ship that was evacuating Tunisians from Benghazi. They were apprehended by security forces and beaten with sticks and knives.

This is particularly disturbing because no African Head of State has publicly condemned violations against sub-Saharan Africans in Libya.

Many of these stranded Africans in need of evacuation from Libya come from countries that are relatively stable and rich in resources. For instance, according to CIA World Factbook, Nigeria is a major oil producing nation (2.211 million barrels per day), Cameroon produces 77,310 barrels of oil per day, Ivory Coast, although a recent power struggle is pushing the country to the brink of civil war, is a major producer of cocoa. These countries and many other sub-Saharan African nations can afford evacuation operations (or at least work with countries that have sent ships to Libya), but corruption and misappropriation of state funds have gone a long way to leave innocent citizens stranded and unprotected abroad.

This is testament to the fact that corruption undermines basic rights, including the right to protection and safety.

It is worth reiterating that sub-Saharan Africans are targets of abuse in Libya and are in desperate need of evacuation. Their governments and the international community have an obligation to protect them from persecution. Those who manage to board evacuation ships should not be returned to Libya - where their lives are at risk.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Christian Dior firing John Galliano sends a strong message

French fashion powerhouse, Christian Dior has fired its artistic designer, 50-year-old John Galliano, for making racist remarks - targeting Jews. Firing Galliano sends a strong message that those who racially vilify a vulnerable group of people will be held accountable.

John Galliano was initially suspended from his role at Christian Dior on 25 February after he was arrested on allegations of making anti-semitic remarks in a cafe in Paris, France.

After his arrest, a video surfaced on the internet showing the designer in another occasion saying, "I love Hitler" to two women in a cafe and spurting anti-semitic slurs. In this video that led to his dismissal, Galliano was smoking a cigarette and appeared intoxicated.

Racist insults are offensive, unacceptable and should be unequivocally condemned in strong terms. It is in this vein that together with people of good conscience around the world, I welcome the firing of John Galliano. Businesses and employers should distance themselves from employees with prejudice against people because of their race, ethnicity, skin color, you name it.

Galliano was reportedly Christian Dior's artistic designer for 14 years.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wear human rights t-shirts

The Council of Europe, a political organization that promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of law throughout Europe, has launched a campaign called "Wear Your Rights." Through this campaign, the organization encourages people to wear human rights t-shirts inscribed with articles of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

The Council has produced a number of t-shirts that quote articles of the ECHR such as:
  • "Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law."
  • "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude."
  • "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
  • "Everyone is entitled to a fair trial."
  • "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion."
  • "Everyone has the right to say and write what he or she thinks and to receive and impart information. This right includes freedom of press."
Personally, I'll wear two of the human rights t-shirts produced by the Council of Europe. One will read: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" and the other t-shirt will scream: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion."

For more information about the human rights t-shirts, visit

It is worth mentioning that this is a non-profit campaign and I'm not affiliated to the campaign. However, I encourage you to wear human rights t-shirts and be "an ambassador for a great cause: the defence of human rights."

Search this Blog

Related Posts with Thumbnails