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.
Climate change impacts accelerating: WMO report – Al Jazeera
UN Security Council adopts resolution to combat terrorist financing – Washington Post
UN tells Tunisia to free Libya sanctions expert – Al Jazeera
Car bomb blast ‘kills 15’ in Somalia’s Mogadishu – The New York Times
Latin America and the Caribbean
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