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Human Rights in the lucky country

19 September 2014 |  by  |  Freedom of Expression  |  No Comments

The comedian Fred Dagg once famously penned what I think is one of the greatest understatements to come out of a New Zealander about New Zealand: “you don’t know how lucky you are mate”. Among the many things we are lucky to have that millions do not is the right to vote without fear of retribution.

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A time to grieve and a time to dance

19 September 2014 |  by  |  LGBTI  |  No Comments

Ekaterina Khomenko’s throat was slit when a street cleaner found her in a car with the engine still running in St Petersburg earlier this month. According to media reports, police initially suggested – somewhat incredibly – that she might have committed suicide. An investigation is now under way into the actual cause of the 29-year-old’s death.

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It’s time for the US to stop fuelling the conflict in Israel and Gaza

19 September 2014 |  by  |  MENA  |  No Comments

As the UN General Assembly begins its meeting in New York City, Amnesty International is delivering 187,563 signatures to the White House in a global call to cut off weapons fuelling abuses in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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Ukraine: War of words takes a global toll

18 September 2014 |  by  |  Armed Conflict, Crisis  |  No Comments

Men with guns stand menacingly on the streets of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine, but it is the words from across the border that are feeding fears and fuelling human rights abuses on the ground.

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Friend request from an ISIS militant

16 September 2014 |  by  |  Armed Conflict, MENA, Syria  |  No Comments

There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite how nice they are, you eventually have to block on the basis of sheer annoyance. At my university in Canada, Collin Gordon was that person.

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African healthcare laid bare by Ebola epidemic

16 September 2014 |  by  |  Africa  |  No Comments

Two years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Freetown and other parts of Sierra Leone where Amnesty International was training maternal health volunteers to monitor antenatal care. It was evident then that Sierra Leone’s health infrastructure was in a very poor state, undermined by years of war and lack of investment. But today, the outbreak of Ebola has meant that its struggling healthcare system, and others in neighbouring African countries – particularly Liberia and Guinea – have been completely overwhelmed.

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