January 29th, 2016
HART News Round-up 29/01/16
News from HART
- HART intern, Satya Tan, has written an excellent blog on the ways in which Dalits are treated when seeking medical care, titled India’s inequality in healthcare: the caste divide.
- On Wednesday Baroness Cox contributed to a panel discussion at Conway Hall for World Holocaust Day. She highlighted the situation of de facto genocide of civilians in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State, the Armenian genocide of 1915 and continued aggression in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- And in a busy week Baroness Cox was interview on Woman to Woman for Premier Radio on Thursday.
— Premier Christian (@PremierRadio) January 27, 2016
Preparations are underway for Burma’s Second Parliament to convene on 1st February:
- Outgoing Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann gave his final press conference today.
- Out of 491 elected MPs in the Upper and Lower houses,390 are from the National League for Democracy (NLD). The remaining 101 members represent various political entities including ethnic nationality parties and the USDP. 166 seats across both houses are reserved for military members.
- The military is reportedly making preparations ‘to engage in policy and legislative debates with the NLD.’
- Myanmar Now interviewed some of the ethnic minority MPs preparing to take their seats on Monday. Read their thoughts here.
- Malnutrition has spiked in Arakan State following the flooding of last summer, especially amongst the Rohingya communities. Yet it is an issue of a grave concern across the country and the World Food Programme is facing a funding shortfall saying that they have enough food to support IDPs fully until April.
- 5 student activists arrested during the police crackdown at Letpadan, Pegu Division on March 10 have been released for having ‘already served more time behind bars than their sentences required while awaiting a verdict’. 2 other students still await trial behind bars.
- BBC’s Jonah Fisher has visited Shan State and shares footage including interviews with IDPs displaced following the fighting in November.
- President Omer al-Bashir will participate in the upcoming African Union summit, the theme of which is titled “2016: African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women”.
- Sudanese human rights organisations and opposition parties have strongly denounced the passing of an amendment to the criminal code which increasing the maximum punishment for protesting to five years.
- UNAMID have released a press statement to reassert that they “remain constantly engaged with the ongoing displacements and serious humanitarian consequences caused by the fighting between government forces and armed movements.”
- A UN peacekeeping chief has informed the UN Security Council that the political process to resolve the conflict in Darfur through dialogue remains fragmented with limited progress.
- UNICEF estimates that it needs $174 million to reach 3.8 million children that have been targeted for humanitarian and development assistance in Sudan.
- Bashir has ordered the opening of Sudan’s borders with South Sudan for the first time since the South’s succession in 2011, paving the way for better economic links between the two nations.
- Minni Arko Minawi, a leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, has said talks in Ethiopia have failed between his side and the Sudanese Government.
- South Sudan has missed a key deadline to create a transitional government, as arguing over the expansion of the number of provinces continued.
- The Jieng Dinka Council of Elders has said that revoking Salva Kiir’s orders to create 28 states in South Sudan as opposition groups have demanded would cause another war.
- At least 2,000 children in South Sudan’s Unity state have started their primary leaving exams, 2 years after war broke out.
- The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge has said there should be no further delay to form South Sudan’s Transitional Government in accordance with the August 2015 peace accord. However, the government of South Sudan has said it may take three more months before a transitional government can be formed.
- The founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and five other entrepreneurs and human rights campaigners have written to the African Union to use the upcoming summit to sort of conflicts in South Sudan and Burundi as a matter of urgency.
- A new TV show in India will explore the history of the Devadasis – women who are forced into temple prostitution.
- Leader of the Indian National Congress Party,Mallikarjun Kharge, has said that his party would raise the issue of Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide in parliament.
The Indian government reveals plans to increase maternity benefits from 12 to 26 weeks of paid leave. This is still little in comparison to the UK, where there are 39 weeks of paid maternity leave, with 90% of pay for the first six weeks.
- In its World Report 2016, released this week, Human Rights Watch claim that the Indian government failed to address increasing attacks on free expression and against religious minorities.
- In the new ‘Freedom in the World 2016’ study, Freedom House, a US Human Rights organisation, asserts that Nagorno-Karabakh remains a ‘partly free’ territory in comparison to Azerbaijan which has been deemed ‘not free’.
- President Serzh Sargsyan met with Herbert Salber, the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia who stated that the EU is interested in a ‘speedy and peaceful’ resolution of the Karabakh Conflict.
- Tehran has offered to mediate in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
- UN officials have called for urgent reintegration and rehabilitation of the women and children who have escaped from Boko Haram captivity.
- Rat poison sales increase over fears of the spread of Lassa fever, an illness which is spread by rats. Lassa fever has spread to 17 states in Nigeria, killing over 76 people.
- At least 16 people have died after multiple suicide bombings in Chibok, the Nigerian town from which Boko Haram kidnapped scores of schoolgirls almost two years ago.
- Human Rights Watch has said that the overall political situation in East Africa, including Uganda, has sharply deteriorated, suggesting that patterns of repression, particularly intimidation and threats against journalists and activists have increased as the forthcoming election approaches.
- The Ugandan army has warned that it will not tolerate disturbances by any election loser, whether instigated by the ruling National Resistance Movement party or the Opposition.
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