Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: human rights

Race Based Restrictions on Marriage Live on in Louisiana via Justices of the Peace

Race Based Restrictions on Marriage Live on in Louisiana via Justices of the Peace

    While it is no secret that racism lives on in the United States, it was nonetheless shocking news that a justice of the peace in Louisiana had refused to marry an interracial couple because he doesn’t “believe in mixing the races that way.”  Keith Bardwell, the justice of the peace in question, has […]

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Kidnappings of Migrants in Mexico on the Rise

As if the passage northward were not dangerous enough for a migrant trying to enter the US without documentation, human rights organizations now report an epidemic of kidnappings. Irregular migrants are often beaten and detained by their captors until they provide the contact information of family members, who must then send money for their release. […]

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The Math of Human Rights

Numbers can be a difficult thing.  While statistics can be a powerful form of evidence, they can also be misleading or take a situation out of its proper context.   Human rights organizations like numbers – casualty counts and similar statistics can demonstrate the magnitude of a problem in a way that mere prose cannot.  However, […]

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Iran's Human Rights Shadow

Months after Iran made headlines for human rights violations following the presidential elections in June, Iran is making headlines again.  Earlier this week Amnesty International condemned the execution of a 21 year old convict who was just 17 when he was accused of murder.  He is the third juvenile offender to be executed in Iran […]

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Senator Al Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment Closes Government-Corporate Loophole

Senator Al Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment Closes Government-Corporate Loophole

  In a strange legal loophole, American companies—including those that receive government contracts such as Halliburton—can require their employees to sign contracts waiving their right to bring a civil trial against fellow employees that rape or otherwise sexually assault them. This egregious loophole was first spotlighted when Jamie Leigh Jones, a former contractor for one-time […]

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And the Ignominious Trials Continue

And the Ignominious Trials Continue

Last week as the world buzzed with discussions about whether President Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Price or not, a grave human rights injustice was taking place in Iran.  Three protesters arrested for demonstrating against the disputed June reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been given the death penalty. The Amnesty International has a press […]

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Got a Shia Rebellion? Solution: Blame Iran.

Got a Shia Rebellion? Solution: Blame Iran.

Anytime there is a Shia rebellion in the Arab world, Iran gets excoriated.  Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran for fomenting Shia unrest in their country, and now Yemen is following the same footsteps.  A leading Yemeni religious leader has accused Iran of inciting violence in the north of the country, where a predominantly […]

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The People's Republic at 60

The People's Republic at 60

On Thursday, China marked its 60th anniversary of communist rule.  The expected parades took place in Tiananmen Square as communist party officials cheered China’s growing position as an economic powerhouse its military might.  But while the world watched the celebrations more closely than they have in the past, the publicity that the anniversary has garnered […]

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The Future of Human Rights in Africa

The credibility of the African regional human rights system suffered a serious setback last week when President Yahaya Jammeh of The Gambia made comments threatening human rights activists.  This is not the first time an African head of state has made disparaging remarks about human rights activists and unfortunately will probably not be the last.  […]

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Yaz Birth Control Controversy: Pharmaceutical Profits, Unnecessary Risks, and the Gendered Distribution of Family Planning

Yaz Birth Control Controversy: Pharmaceutical Profits, Unnecessary Risks, and the Gendered Distribution of Family Planning

  The current Yaz birth control controversy illustrates the continued tension between what pharmaceutical companies and the doctors that they pay claim is safe for consumption, and contrary scientific evidence. Natasha Singer of the New York Times is reporting that Yaz, a birth control pill manufactured and marketed by Bayer, is under fire as an […]

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Holocaust Denial

Holocaust Denial

Last week, Iranian President Ahmadinejad once again outraged the world by calling the Holocaust a “myth”. To be honest, it is embarrassing to me as a Muslim when I see a Muslim leader espouse such vitriol. This summer I went to the Dachau concentration camp and it was one of the most heart wrenching experience. […]

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U.N. Secretary General Calls Attention to the Plight of the World's Working Poor

As the United Nations headquarters in New York prepares to host what is being hailed as the largest General Assembly gathering to date, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is disseminating a report designed to call attention to the plight of the world’s working poor.  Mr. Ban prepared a report entitled “Voices of the Vulnerable,” and today […]

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Finally, Health Care for All? U.S. Unveils a New Plan That Could Change the Rules About Pre-Existing Conditions

Today, after a much-anticipated wait, U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus laid out a health care reform plan. One of the key features of this plan is that it would prohibit private insurance companies from denying insurance to people because of preexisting conditions that they may have, and from discriminating against them because of […]

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Engaging with Iran: A Step Forward.

Mark your calendars. October 1st is the date when Iran and the five UN Security Council members plus Germany will hold talks about the Iranian nuclear program.  The State Department spokesman Ian Kelly announced yesterday that Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns – who was also at the Geneva talks – would […]

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Law-Breaking Trousers in Sudan: Lubna Hussein's Fight Against a Vague, Discriminatory "Indecency" Law

Governments and religions around the world remain intensely interested in what women, but not so much what men, are wearing in public. On September 6, 2009 I wrote about the proposed parliamentary ban on the public wearing of the niqab in France. On September 8, media outlets lit up with discussions of the recent trial […]

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