Tag Archives: Human rights

In fashion, the color palette reflects the mood of the world, say designers | Instant News

Sanghmitra Singh, a national secretary and organization in charge (middle east), of an NGO- Human Rights Violations Control Cell (HRVC), is also a fashion stylist who has modeled for Hindi TV actors. Bringing a unique balance to her two passions – human rights activism and fashion, Singh says it’s all just a matter of following your heart, whether it’s wearing your clothes or wearing your empathy as a human being. Ask if fashion has been affected by the pandemic and she says, “Fashion is never affected by anything, it’s inspiration in itself.” He added that this year’s color palette will assume a contemporary pandemic scenario. “Color is a medium for analyzing the mood or perspective of the world today. So, yes, this season’s colors will be yellow and gray, symbolizing positivity and a gloomy mood.”

Having a celebrity style, she says, “They prefer basic elements in style to fashion. When it comes to showing who you are with your clothes, it’s very unique and individual. Some may say the dress is unique and others may not like it, it’s all very subjective. ”

In today’s era of social media, Singh says young people lose themselves to world influence, without sticking to their own distinctive style. “My advice for young people is, create a distinctive style that is yours and youthful. But anyone can start making their own style convincing their perception, but it has to be personal. Style is an experiment – you never know how beautiful it is. looks are waiting for you unless you are in the dressing room. Always playing with colors, experimenting, creating something extraordinary. ”


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Wadi-e-Hussain: Graves for Pakistani Shia victims | Civil Rights News | Instant News

Karachi, Pakistan – Miles from the hustle and bustle of Pakistan’s largest metropolis, Karachi, lies the Wadi-e-Hussain cemetery with its hundreds of graves. Each is a window to a life that ends too suddenly.

Protected from the city by large iron gates and high walls, there is an uncomfortable calm within its walls where many of the city’s Shia Muslims have been buried.

Pakistan is home to 220 million people, almost all of whom are Muslim. It is also home to one of the world’s largest Shia populations, as an estimated 20 percent of the Muslims there are Shia.

In Wadi-e-Hussain, a red flag is planted on the graves of Shia Muslims who have died in targeted killings, gun attacks or bombs.

Since 2001, more than 2,600 Shia Muslims have died in violent attacks in the South Asian country, according to the research organization South Asia Terrorism Portal. This year there has been an increase in targeted killings of Shias accused of blasphemy.

In September, tens of thousands of people attended a demonstration in Karachi organized by the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), a hardline Sunni group banned under Pakistani law because of its armed ties. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) group, which has carried out many of the largest bombings and attacks on communities since 1996.

In Wadi-e-Hussain, the people who pay their respects come and go, because the caretaker usually splashes water on the graves.

“Some bring flowers, some light candles every Thursday, sometimes relatives or mothers come with prayer books, spending time at the cemetery,” said caretaker Laal Mohammad.

As the scent of rose petals and incense wafted across the graves, this history of violence was emblazoned all over the headstone. A cluster of five graves marks a family killed in the 2013 city blast of Abbas. The grave of a mother lies near her four-year-old son, killed in the same explosion; The inscription says the woman died when she saw the body of her young child.

There are more than 300 graves belonging to people called “martyrs” in Wadi-e-Hussain. This is their story.

‘My brother is not back’

A woman sits by the grave, reading verses from a prayer book, crying while doing it.

Tehseen Abidi’s younger brother was also killed in a 2013 bombing in the city of Abbas, a popular Shiite Muslim-majority neighborhood in Karachi. Kashif Abbas Abidi was at the scene of the explosion when it occurred. The police never found his body.

For 40-year-old Tehseen, Kashif is her world. Sitting by her grave, she told a story about the day she lost her brother on attack, a series of bomb blasts that killed at least 45 people.

There are more than 300 graves belonging to people called “martyrs” in Wadi-e-Hussain [Sana Batool/Al Jazeera]

“He died in the first explosion, he was present at the scene of the explosion, he promised me he would come to see me at night, my brother did not come back,” she said.

Abidi owned a general store in the neighborhood and was working when the bomb exploded.

“It was March 3 and Sunday,” said Tehseen. She only got a few sentences before she burst into tears, remembering her “little boy”.

The government offered financial compensation to families whose relatives had died that day and in other attacks. But relatives say the money is just a little comfort.

“The government gave 1.5 million rupees [about $14,300] to his wife, but our losses are so great that no one can compensate for these losses, “said Tehseen.

“Even if our whole life is crying it’s not enough. Maybe if we all died crying in this sorrow, maybe only then would it be compensated. “

‘Something died in me that day’

On 6 June 1963 while preparing for a local ceremony, Ishtiaq Hussain and his mourning companions heard the news of an attack on the procession in Thehri town, 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) from Khairpur city in Sindh province. Hussain, now 80 years old, is still haunted by his memories of that day.

It happened a few days after Ashura, the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Ashura marks the anniversary of the mass murder of Karbala and is commemorated by Shia Muslims in grim rituals and processions.

“We had about 200 people who ran to save the Thehri congregation that day,” he said. “We didn’t know that the news was a trap, and there were thousands [attackers] waiting for us with axes and swords in their hands, to cut us all into pieces. “

Hussain made it out alive but he didn’t know how.

“I was among the survivors, but I don’t remember how I survived. There were about 10 people who attacked me with axes, I was badly injured, my neck and shoulders were bleeding, they kicked me in the stomach until I started spitting out blood, “he said.

I’m still safe, but something died inside me that day.

The attack on Thehri was one of the first significant sectarian attacks since Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947.

More than 118 people died that day. They will be the first of thousands to be killed for being Shia.

Silence protests

In August 2020, in the month of Muharram, a new wave of sectarian tension emerged across Karachi and across the country. The Shia scholars were accused of blasphemy after they gave sermons critical of the early caliph of Islam. Thousands of people rallied in Karachi under the ASWJ banner, calling Pakistan’s Shia leaders infidels.

After the protests ended, many Pakistanis denounced the hate speech of ASWJ supporters and said the government had not assigned the demonstrators.

Journalist Bilal Farooqi is one of the few who has spoken out in public.

A Sunni, Farooqi was arrested in October 2020 on charges of spreading “religious hatred” and “anti-state sentiment”. He had tweeted criticism of the ASWJ march and questioned the authorities over allowing organizations it had designated as “terrorists” to organize the march.

“Most of my posts, on that basis [a police case] was brought against me, regarding ASWJ’s involvement in anti-Shia activities, ”Farooqi said. Later released from police custody, he still faces the same court charges.

He has called on Sunni Muslim activists to speak out against police inaction against groups involved in attacks on Shia Muslims.

As ASWJ’s anti-Shia campaign continues, there has been a new right-wing religious group in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which has turned the so-called blasphemy issue as a rallying point.

Since 2017, the TLP and prominent clerics have seen a sharp increase in support for the issue and have pressured the government to punish those accused of blasphemy.

The movement and its leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi were behind days of protests in 2018 over one of Pakistan’s most notorious blasphemy cases. This involved the release of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, on charges of blasphemy. The TLP also blocked a major highway leading to the capital Islamabad for weeks in 2017 due to a change in election oaths. It is seen by them as blasphemy because it eases some restrictions on members of the Ahmadi sect, a branch of Sunni Islam which believes in a vassal prophet and has been declared non-Muslim under Pakistani law.

Farooqi said the TLP had also recently attacked Shia Muslims for what they said was blasphemy against some of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions.

Regional politics, local violence

Following the Islamic revolution in 1979 in majority Shiite Iran, which shares a border with Pakistan, there was an influx of Iranian and Shia Muslim influence into Pakistan, said Hasan Zafar Naqvi, a popular Shia Pakistani leader.

The real problem, he argued, arose after the United States and Saudi Arabia – who are predominantly Sunni and have long viewed Iran as its regional rival – began to see Iran’s perceived influence in Pakistan as a threat to the region.

Pakistan’s then ruler, General Zia ul-Haq, had seized power in a military coup in 1977 and is in the process of establishing a more theocratic state. During Haq’s reign until 1988, the role of religion in government affairs grew. It is also the basis for US-backed armed action by ‘mujahideen’ in neighboring Afghanistan.

Backed by Saudi Arabia, hardline Sunni groups are starting to counter the threat Shiites feel in the region. To that end, a group called Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP, later ASWJ) was formed in 1985 in central Pakistan.

Founded by Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, the party fights most of the Shia Muslim landlords in the area and seeks to exploit sectarian differences. It calls on Shia Muslims to be declared non-Muslim under Pakistani law and often organizes protests to highlight the issue. The rise of the SSP, and its ally LeJ in the 1990s, saw a sharp increase in incidents of violence against Shia Muslims across the country in the following decades, said Naqvi, the scholar.

Repeated attacks

In 2009, Syed Liaquat Hussain Zaidi, an influential Shia activist and leader in Karachi was shot dead by LeJ.

Zaidi’s killer was arrested two years later and confessed to police that he worked for the LeJ and had been given a list of targets for influential Shia Muslims in the city to kill, according to Zaidi’s family.

Zaidi is actively involved in charity and welfare activities and is the president of Pasban-e-Aza, a Shia welfare organization, said his sister, Rehana Zaidi.

On a winter morning in November, Zaidi took his young son to school but never returned, Rehana said.

Two motorcyclists shot three times in the head as he stopped at a traffic signal in the city. His nephew first reached the scene and found his uncle in a pool of blood, the car was surrounded by onlookers. No one tried to help him, he said.

A year after the murder, Zaidi’s killers returned – this time shooting Zaidi’s nephew, Rameez Hussain, just a few blocks from the family home.

Miraculously, the nephew survived. The killer, in his confession, told police he had fled the scene thinking that Hussain had been killed. “God saved him,” said Rehana.


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A Wave of Black Politicians Takes Control in Brazil | Instant News

BAURU, Brazil – In its 124-year history, this mid-sized, largely white city in Brazil’s affluent agricultural belt has never had an Afro-Brazilian as mayor. Until now.

The inauguration on Friday of Suéllen Rosim, 32, came as thousands of black and mixed-race politicians from across the political spectrum took office in municipalities across Brazil in what was hailed as a victory for people of color and a major step against racism in the largest country in Latin America.

Increasing appreciation of Brazil’s African heritage and the rising profile of influential black politicians have fueled change. Brazil has the largest black or mixed-race population of any country outside Africa, nearly 120 million – more than half of the population – but only 4% of politicians in Congress are black.

A Supreme Court decision in October that forced parties to allocate a percentage of their state-provided campaign funds to black and mixed-race candidates also lifted politicians of color and prompted more to identify as such.

“We showed that it was possible – to be a woman, to be black, and to become a mayor, state governor or even president,” said Miss Rosim, the gospel singer and former television anchor in the city. of 380,000 people.

Protests broke out in Porto Alegre and across Brazil in November after a black man was beaten to death by security guards outside a supermarket in the southern city.


silvio avila / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

In November municipal elections, for the first time, black and mixed-race politicians made up the majority of all candidates running for mayor and council seats across the nation of 210 million people. That’s up from 48% in the 2016 municipal elections. In the first round of voting, more than 40% of black or mixed-race candidates were elected, about 1,700 of them as mayors and nearly 26,000 as councilors, according to Brazil’s electoral court. The most common racial mix in Brazil is black and white; political candidates with black ancestry can identify themselves as black or mixed race.

Results in several corners of Brazil show a newfound strength: More than 50 people from quilombosremote communities of descendants of runaway slaves who had little political representation, would remain to work as councilors in cities outside of these settlements. Big cities like Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba, usually represented by white people, saw inroads by black politicians into city councils.

There are few black and mixed-race people in politics in Brazil’s top cities, and some Afro-Brazilian leaders say racial equality is coming too late. But change is happening. The share of Brazilians who embrace their African heritage and identify as black or mixed race has increased to 56% of the population in 2019 compared to 51% a decade earlier, according to the government’s statistics agency.

People in Rio de Janeiro celebrate Brazilian Black Awareness Day on November 20.


ricardo moraes / Reuters

While leftist parties have traditionally been the first to fight for racial equality in the country, a rising generation of black Brazilian politicians includes some who are left-leaning and many others who are religiously conservative.

Ms Rosim, the daughter of an evangelical Christian pastor, is running for the far-right Patriota Brasil party, which is allied with President Jair Bolsonaro, which opponents have accused of racist rhetoric. In 2017, Bolsonaro sowed anger when he said the people of the quilombo were “not even fit for procreation.”

Ms Rosim said Patriota party officials had proposed that she run, hoping to take advantage of the familiar face she had in Bauru.

Although he says he doesn’t always agree with the way the fiery Brazilian leader expresses himself, he shares his socially conservative agenda.

A third of Brazilians define themselves as evangelicals, according to a Datafolha poll, who espouse values ​​such as sexual abstinence to marriage, with Pentecostalism hugely popular in poorer black communities. But black conservatives are politically underrepresented.

“Being conservative, people wanted to put me in a box, they said I was acting against my own race,” said Mrs. Rosim.

Like many black Brazilian leaders, Ms. Rosim said he found inspiration in African-Americans, citing Michelle Obama as a role model despite their ideological differences. He said he hoped the election of black politicians in the local government could someday produce more representation at the federal level.

Brazil received far more African slaves than any other country in America and was the last to abolish the practice, in 1888. Unlike the US, there is no civil war, no large-scale civil rights movement, and no countrywide debate. about a national. racial calculations.

Instead, Brazilian leaders promote the idea of ​​”racial democracy”, presenting their society as one in which people of all skin colors mix harmoniously. Human rights activists say it is a myth that allows racism to persist in the shadows.

“I believe that racism is worse here than in the US,” said Paulo Paim, one of Brazil’s few black senators. “In the US there are problems and society is, one way or another, dealing with them…. But here people refuse to see it. “

White Brazilians not only dominate politics but are more likely to get richer, have college degrees, hold managerial positions, and live longer and healthier lives. Of the poorest 10% of Brazilians, three-quarters are black or mixed race.

Black Brazilians also account for three-quarters of homicide victims and nearly 80% of the 6,375 people killed by police in 2019.

Outrage over violence against black Brazilians escalated here and abroad in November when security guards were filmed beating a black customer to death outside a grocery store in Porto Alegre, a city in the south, a region mostly composed of immigrant descent. Europe.

For Miss Rosim, racism always presents itself in subtle ways, he said.

She remembers a university professor telling her to straighten her tight curls to get a job. She says she gets dirty looks from store employees, which she notes to them with the conclusion she lacks the money to make a purchase.

In politics, he said, prejudice is increasingly open and extreme. The death threat came via anonymous email at the weekend of the second round of elections in late November, calling him a “monkey”.

“It says, ‘I’m going to kill you, that awful hair, how can a city have a mayor like you, I know where you live,'” said Miss Rosim. Another anonymous message via WhatsApp called him a “seedy face”, saying that no people of color were competent enough to run the city.

Wall art in Rio de Janeiro depicts Brazilian councilor Marielle Franco near the site where she was murdered in 2018.


AFP via Getty Images

Despite the threat, social media has become a factor helping more black politicians get into politics, some of those politicians said. The murder of Marielle Franco, a black councilor in Rio de Janeiro who died in an unsolved 2018 murder, also raised Black political hopes.

“We are seeing new leadership figures emerge … I believe we are heading for a path of no hope,” said Bia Caminha, a 21-year-old, mixed-race student elected as the youngest city councilor ever. members in the city of Belem on the Amazon.

Recent affirmative action policies, including scholarship programs and racial quotas at universities, are also helping, rights activists and politicians of color say. However, there is also a growing appreciation of Black culture, with more Afro-Brazilians appearing on the covers of fashion magazines or starring in soap operas that the nation is so fond of.

For Mrs. Rosim, the most important thing, he said, was to be seen, both on television screens and in government. “I want people to see myself,” he said.

Write to Luciana Magalhaes and [email protected] and Samantha Pearson at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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Germany urges Britain to uphold human rights in Assange case | News | DW | Instant News

The German government on Wednesday urged Britain to abide by human rights and fulfill its humanitarian obligations in the whistleblower and extradition process Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

German Commissioner for Human Rights Bärbel Kofler said he was “following with concern” the British extradition process against Assange.

“The human rights and humanitarian aspects of possible extradition must not be ignored. Julian Assange’s physical and mental condition must be taken into account when deciding whether to extradite him to the US,” he said, adding that he would continue to monitor the case.

“Britain is bound by the European Convention on Human Rights in this respect as well as regarding possible sentences and conditions of imprisonment,” stressed Kofler.

‘Just because he practices journalism’

Washington is demanding Assange’s extradition on the basis of a US-UK extradition treaty. He was sued by the US for espionage.

Assange has been held in London’s Belmarsh maximum security prison since September 2019. Judge Vanessa Baraitser is scheduled to give a verdict. in London courton January 4. If extradited, Assange faces multiple life sentences, according to the indictment.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer condemned this case as a political accusation and a parody of justice, saying the US targeted him “simply because he practices investigative journalism.”

“The legal process {against Assange} itself does not respect basic human rights standards, due process and the rule of law. Already, the motivation behind the extradition request does not comply with basic legal standards, with protection from press freedom and so on,” Melzer told DW. .

If a British court decides to extradite him, Assange has the option to challenge the decision before the Court of Appeal within 28 days of the ruling and then take the case to the UK Supreme Court. The case can then be referred to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

According to the German foreign ministry, Berlin “does not have its own knowledge of Assange’s conditions of detention and health.”

As an Australian citizen, Assange is under the exclusive consular care of his country in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the ministry said.


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Neymar denounced a ‘secret party for 500’ in Brazil amid the country’s very large number of Covid deaths | Instant News

PSG superstar Neymar has come under heavy criticism after allegedly hosting a five-day party at a resort near Rio de Janeiro for 500 people who rejoice as his country mourns. corona virus die.

The footballer has a disco built with acoustic cover in a pavilion of a large house in Mangaratiba on Rio’s famous Green Beach to stop neighbors from hearing the noise, according to Brazilian newspapers. Or Globe.

The mega bash is said to have started on December 25th and will continue through the New Year.

Neymar owns a £ 6 million mansion in Mangaratiba with his own helipad and dock which he purchased in October 2016 and first used it during the Christmas holidays two months later.

But the property is undergoing renovation work at the moment and the footballer is said to have rented a luxury villa for the party according to reports in Brazil, although some conflicting reports outside Brazil suggest the main disco is in an underground bunker near his home. has – which he’s used in the past.

Neymar is said to have banned gleefuls from carrying cellphones – partly explaining his recent absence from social media – and hiring bands to play during parties.

Neymar with his family ahead of their Christmas celebrations
(Image: Instagram / Neymarjr)

Those invited to the party reportedly included her sister Rafaella Santos and Brazilian influencer Camila Loures.

There has been no immediate comment from Neymar, whose final post two days ago showed him with his family including his son Davi Luca, nine, and his divorced parents in front of a Christmas tree surrounded with gifts.

Neymar is used to throwing lavish parties
(Image: AFP / Getty Images)

Brazil has been one of the worst-hit countries in the world during the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 190,000 deaths.

The death toll only puts it behind the United States.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases currently stands at 7.5 million, more than any other country besides the United States and India.

Human rights lawyer Augusto de Arruda Botelho tweeted: “The idiot trophy for today goes to Neymar for his five day party.”

The PSG star is feared to have broken his ankle after being stretched from a Ligue 1 match earlier this month.

But subsequent medical examinations were said to be “convincing”.

Neymar recently suffered a severe ankle injury, but will need to be fit in early 2021
(Image: REUTERS)

Neymar’s lavish parties have made headlines in the past.

Former Man Utd player Ander Herrera said earlier this year how the Brazilian divided his team-mates into two groups on different floors of a Paris nightclub for his 28th birthday party in February.

Married players party upstairs while those who are single are placed downstairs so they can “have fun”.

Asked about what happened at the party on the Spanish TV show The Resistance, Herrera replied: “What didn’t happen!”

Neymar showed up for a party at YOYO near the Eiffel Tower looking neat in a white hat.

Mangaratiba is one of three municipalities on the Green Coast, a mountain range covered by rich Atlantic rainforest.

In front of the mountains lies the sea of ​​the Bay of Angra dos Reis.

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