Tag Archives: YEMEN

Final session of the UN Human Rights Council | Instant News

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australia is proud of our consistent and strong record of promoting and protecting human rights as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC45).

The HRC’s 45th session has concluded in Geneva, Australia’s last session as a member.

Australia’s contribution as a member of the HRC from 2018-2020 reflects our values ​​and commitment to advancing human rights globally. As a pride of liberal democracy, we believe in the inalienable, universality and inalienable rights of the individual.

In a recorded speech at the opening of HRC45 in September, I emphasized Australia’s commitment to international rules, norms and institutions that promote stability and prosperity, support human rights and enable global cooperation. Through our diplomatic network, Australia remains committed to advancing the rights of women and girls, the rights of indigenous peoples around the world, the abolition of the death penalty, the rights of persons with disabilities, equality for LGBTI people and freedom of expression, media and religion or belief. .

As we have done during our membership, we spoke during HRC45 candidly and consistently about human rights issues around the world. Australia has raised serious concerns including with regard to the DPRK, Venezuela, Yemen, Syria, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Myanmar. We express our deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus during the HRC45 Urgent Debate.

Australia, together with Indonesia, is leading the joint statement on family violence, which is being joined by countries from all regional groups. This demonstrates strong support for the priority we place on gender equality and the human rights of women and girls.

Supported by 16 Pacific states, we deliver a joint Pacific statement on the importance of multiple voices being heard at HRC. Australia is pleased to see Pacific representation on the rise in HRC during our membership, with Fiji and the Republic of the Marshall Islands joining the Council in recent years.

We congratulate France and the UK on their selection to the UN Human Rights Council from 2021 to 2023 as representatives of Australia’s regional group. We look forward to working with them more closely than ever to further advance our shared democratic, liberal values ​​and to bring attention to the appalling abuses of human rights, including by HRC member states.

Australia also joined a cross-regional group to express our concern over the politically motivated arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment of foreign nationals.

I have instructed the Australian Ambassador and High Commissioner to ensure that engagement on human rights issues is a core part of the fabric of our bilateral relationship.

As we complete our three-year term by the end of 2020, Australia will continue to play an active and constructive role as Council observer and pursue our important work advancing human rights internationally.

My address to HRC45 on 14 September 2020 is available here.

/ Public Release. Material in this public release comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.


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Iranians most affected by travel ban | Instant News

Editor’s Note: Over the next month, Documented will take a look at the Trump administration’s immigration policies over the past four years and examine their impact on New Yorkers. Debbie Almontaser remembers how quickly her phone rang after President Donald Trump signed a travel ban barring citizens from a list of majority Muslim countries from entering the United States. “Yemeni Americans are calling me to ask what this would mean for the community and their families and if they should leave the United States,” said Almontaser, co-founder of the Yemeni American Merchants Association, or YAMA. Since that day in January 2017, the ban has seen many versions as it faced challenges in court. The United States Supreme Court upheld an amended order in June 2018. The travel ban – also referred to as the Muslim ban, to critics – significantly reduced the number of visas issued to affected countries between 2016 and 2019. Ultimately , it reduced the number of immigration visas issued to citizens of the listed countries by 60%, from 31,748 visas in 2016 to 11,873 visas in 2019, according to data released by the State Department. All visas issued to people from countries not on the list fell by 23%, from 588,554 in 2016 to 450,729 visas in 2019. The region encompassing Central America and the Caribbean was the most affected , where immigration has declined by 34% from 222,924 visas issued in 2016 to 147,303 in 2019. Also read: Muslim families continue to fight over travel ban The ban has changed the lives of Muslims in 13 countries, leaving panicked families divided, their immigration status in limbo, some stuck in third countries and trying to reunite with relatives in US State Department data shows the impact is mainly focused on countries where almost all residents are Muslims. That was Trump’s focus, starting with his promise during the 2016 presidential campaign to ban Muslims from entering the United States. He called potential migrants terrorists: “Many foreign-born people have been convicted of or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11,” Trump said when he announced his executive order on January 27, 2017. The first version banned entry. from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria for 90 days. The policy also banned the entry of refugees from these countries for 120 days and banned the entry of Syrian refugees for an unlimited period. Trump then signed an order exempting those with green cards and visas. Ultimately, six new countries were added to the ban – Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Myanmar, Tanzania and Kyrgyzstan – and some were subsequently dropped, such as Iraq and the Chad; According to a timeline established by the American Civil Liberties Union, Sudan was indefinitely ineligible for US Diversity Lottery visas. As a first response, Almontaser gathered around 40 Yemeni-American leaders from across the country and agreed that they would all call and inform Yemenis in the United States of what was going on and advise them not to travel. Also read: Yemeni New Yorkers react to Supreme Court decision to ban travel An analysis published in June by The Middle East Research Information Project described the Trump order as a “brown and black ban – a set of policies designed to reduce immigration and choose who is allowed to be American. “The ban affected three significant American populations, including Iran, Yemen and Syria. Under Presidential Proclamation 9645, the three countries along with Libya and Somalia were placed under an unlimited ban on issuance of immigrant and non-immigrant visas, but Iran is allowed to obtain student visas. Citizens of these countries are often trapped in a protracted visa application and ban exemption process. travel for their family members, leading many transnational families to debt and financial instability. The waiver is ostensibly expected to allow certain humanitarian exceptions to the ban. As of July, 64,286 immigrant and non-immigrant applicants of the 13 countries were considered for a waiver, but only 35 percent were approved, according to State Department data.There is no waiver form or process to which the c andidats can join and it is still unclear which situations qualify for waivers, according to attorneys who worked on the process. Iranians suffered the most from the travel ban, followed by Yemenis and Syrians. Between January 2017 and July 2020, more than 45,000 Iranians applied for a visa waiver and 36,859 were considered. Of the requests examined, only around 7,000 Iranians were granted a waiver. A total of 86,492 people – from the 13 countries mentioned on the travel ban list – applied for visas during the same period, but only 6,893 were approved as an exception to the travel ban. . New York is home to 3.1 million immigrants in 2018, the largest in the city’s history, with the majority being naturalized U.S. citizens. About 1,456 Syrians and 7,135 Iranians live in New York City, according to 2019 data from the American Community Survey, while more than 20,000 Yemeni Americans live in New York City, according to the latest census data. Also read: The high cost of the travel ban: Yemenis pay thousands to reunite families.

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UN Secretary-General Welcomes Yemen Prisoners Release Pact | Voice of America | Instant News

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN chief “welcomed” an agreement reached by the warring parties in Yemen to swap more than 1,000 prisoners; a move designed to revive the peace process stalled by more than five years of conflict.

Stephane Dujarric said in a statement Monday that Guterres “urged the parties to build on this momentum and finalize arrangements for the release of all remaining prisoners.”

The Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, and the Houthis reached a prisoner swap agreement after meeting for more than a week in the Swiss village of Glion.

The two sides will now release 1,081 prisoners.

Dujarric also said Guterres was “grateful to the International Committee of the Red Cross for its tireless efforts as co-chair of the Oversight Committee to ensure implementation of the prisoner-mediated release agreement in Sweden in 2018, as well as to the Swiss Government for hosting parties over the past week. “

Dujarric said that the secretary-general encouraged “the parties to engage with its Special Envoy to agree a Joint Declaration covering a national ceasefire, economic and humanitarian measures and the resumption of a comprehensive and inclusive political process to end the war.”

Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict between the Houthis and the coalition. The Houthis toppled Yemen’s internationally recognized government in 2014. A Western-backed coalition stepped in in 2015.

The United Nations says the country is the site of the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis where millions of people face hunger.


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Macron Says Old Belarusian Leader ‘Must Go’ | Instant News

Riot police detain a protester during an opposition rally to protest against the presidential inauguration in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in for his sixth term at an unannounced inauguration ceremony ahead amid massive protests over weeks of saying that the authoritarian leader’s re-election was rigged. Hundreds of people took to the streets in several cities at night to protest the inauguration. (AP / TUT.by Photo)

France is increasing pressure on long-time Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, with President Emmanuel Macron telling the leading French weekly that “Lukashenko must leave.”

The European Union said Thursday it did not recognize Lukashenko as the president of Belarus because of massive protests by Belarusians who questioned the outcome of last month’s presidential election which Lukashenko claims he won so much. Opposition members and some polling officials in Belarus say the vote was rigged.

Ahead of Monday’s trip to Lithuania and Latvia, Macron was quoted as saying in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday as saying it was “clear that Lukashenko had to leave.”

“What is happening in Belarus is a crisis of power, an authoritarian force that cannot accept the logic of democracy and endures violence,” the paper quoted Macron as saying.

In a speech Saturday before the UN General Assembly, Belarus’ foreign minister warned Western countries against meddling or imposing sanctions over the country’s disputed presidential election and government crackdown on protesters.

Thousands of Belarusians have taken part in major rallies since the August 9 elections, which they say were rigged in support of Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years and has just taken secret oaths of office for a new term.


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The Yemeni warring parties agreed to swap 1,081 prisoners: UN envoys | Instant News

Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen speaks at the closing plenary of the fourth meeting of the Oversight Committee on the Application of the Prisoner Exchange Agreement in Yemen, in Glion, Switzerland, 27 September 2020. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse

GLION, Switzerland (Reuters) – The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to swap 1,081 prisoners and detainees during talks in Switzerland, United Nations Special Envoy Martin Griffiths said on Sunday.

The Iran-aligned Houthi group will release 400 government prisoners, including 15 Saudis and four Sudanese, while the Saudi-backed government will release 681 Houthi fighters, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“I urge the parties to immediately move forward with the release and not try hard in building this momentum to immediately agree to the release of more prisoners,” Griffiths told reporters.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai; Edited by Catherine Evans


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