International Human Rights News: Weekly Roundup

By Floriane Borel, Anene Negeri, and Mitch Paquette

Each week students at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre prepare an overview of the past week’s human rights related news stories from around the world. This summary contains news articles from 25-31 March 2019.

This week’s story in focus

Massive protests took place in Algeria this week against the regime of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika demanding that he end his two decades-long rule and resign immediately. In response to the protests, with crowds estimated in the hundreds of thousands, army chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah stated publicly that it is time for the country to invoke Article 102 of the constitution, which could allow Algeria’s Constitutional Council to remove the president on account of his failing health. However, demonstrations continue with participants asserting that they will accept nothing less than a complete change in government and a wholesale removal of the current ruling class from public office. On Sunday, Bouteflika named a caretaker cabinet, replacing 21 of the country’s 27 ministers, before announcing on Monday that he would step down as President before his mandate ends on April 28th.

Bouteflika is credited by his supporters for his role in the fight for Algerian independence against colonial France as well as ending the 1990s civil war, but after 20 years as head of state, Algerians appear ready for a change. Mass protests began in February when the president announced he would seek a fifth term, despite his ailing health after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2013, which has largely kept him from appearing in public. In response to these early protests, internet shutdowns took place across the country while human rights groups reported cases of arbitrary arrests and issued calls for the government to exercise restraint in quelling the demonstrations.

International

UN launches Elsie Initiative Fund for more meaningful participation of women in peace operations – UNDP

Climate change impacts accelerating: WMO report – Al Jazeera

UN Security Council adopts resolution to combat terrorist financing – Washington Post

Africa

President Bashir’s ruling party postpones Sudan convention – Al Jazeera

Lion Mama: The woman who fought off her daughter’s rapists – BBC

UN tells Tunisia to free Libya sanctions expert – Al Jazeera

Car bomb blast ‘kills 15’ in Somalia’s Mogadishu – The New York Times

10 civilians killed in suspected Boko Haram attack in Niger town – Al Jazeera

Mozambique: One million people without aid after cyclone – News 24

Europe

Zuzana Caputova becomes Slovakia’s first female president – BBC News

Pope issues new legislation against child sexual abuse in Vatican – Al Jazeera

Latin America and the Caribbean

Male aggressors in El Salvador get prison, and masculinity class – Al Jazeera

Google revealed as unlikely go-between to help Trump-Cuba relations – The Guardian

Chile court opens door for more Church sex abuse victims to seek damages – Euronews

MENA

Lebanon court ‘acquits military personnel’ in sodomy case – Al Jazeera

UN investigator urges Saudi to make Khashoggi murder trial public – Reuters

Saudi Arabia temporarily frees three women’s rights activists – Al Jazeera

North America

President Trump Seeks to Cut Foreign Aid to 3 Central American Nations – TIME

Under the bridge: migrants held in El Paso tell of dust, cold and hunger – The Guardian

A Global Gag Rule Expansion Will Endanger More Women’s Lives , According to Critics – Bustle

Oceania

Australia plans tough social media law after Christchurch attacks – Al Jazeera

South and South-East Asia

Singapore Plans Law to Fight False News, but Critics Fear Repression – The New York Times

Tejshree Thapa, Defender of Human Rights in South Asia, Dies at 52 – The New York Times

UN: China Responds to Rights Review with Threats – Human Rights Watch

Brunei introduces death by stoning as punishment for gay sex – The Guardian


Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are the author(s) alone

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