Archive for human rights


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Eight years and eight months

I’m well aware that nobody reads this blog, and so its not the best venue for raising awareness of demonstrations and other activism. Nevertheless, I feel I owe it to a young Danish-Kurdish activist called Suzan Star Jabary (pictured!) to mention her demonstration against the proposed Ja’afari Personal Status law in Iraq, which will tend to reproduce all the inequities of the Iranian system.

The draft law will reduce the marriage age to eight years and eight months, institute legal polygamy, reduce women’s grounds for divorce and deny custody to mothers. HRW has condemned it. Iraqi women are protesting it. And for good reasons: Nadia Mahmood spells out some of the problems in the attached audiocast (below).

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The most dangerous job in the world

Written at Deeyah‘s request

Being a lawyer, journalist or trade unionist can be a job with more risk of physical injury than working in a mine or construction site – if those legal, literary or organisational skills are directed at securing human rights. It is those who work to secure the human rights of women, sexual and ethnic minorities and the poor who are the least secure themselves – vulnerable to state and corporate harassment from hired thugs, the forces of law and order, and armed groups, vulnerable to smear campaigns presenting them as terrorists, security threats or immoral persons, invasions of their privacy, harassment of friends and relatives, intimidation, imprisonment, the seizure of their assets and so on. Read more