Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: human rights

France to Ban Burqas, Niqabs? What is at Stake–Rights to Religion, Rights to Gender Equality, and the Rights of a State to Remain Politically and Religiously "Neutral"

France’s center-right and left political parties are coalescing around a controversial issue: the idea of a national, parliamentary ban on the niqab.  Proponents of the ban cite the threat of Islamism to France’s position as a secular state, and argue further that the niqab is both a symbol of and an act of the oppression of […]

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The Kurdish Issue

The Kurdish Issue

The recent announcement by the Turkish government that it is preparing a serious plan to address its Kurdish problem should also serve as a reminder to the Iranian government that it needs to address the Kurdish issue as well.  Iran, which contains the second largest population of Kurds, has also treated its Kurdish population egregiously.  […]

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A Sorry Spectacle

A Sorry Spectacle

The juxtaposition of the two images of former Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi – one before his arrest and the other at his hearing- show the absurdity of the trials taking place in Iran.  Abtahi, best known as the “blogging mullah,” is the ebullient cleric interviewed in the Daily Show. In the interview, as Jason Jones […]

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The Dual Voice of Iran

The Dual Voice of Iran

Iranian political system is characterized by its duality of power: In the executive branch we have the dual offices of the President and the Supreme Leader, in the legislative branch we have the Parliament and the Council of Guardians, and in the military we have the regular forces and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  […]

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A New Chapter in the Roma Human Rights Debate

A recent incident where Madonna was booed by concert goers after speaking out against the widespread discrimination against Roma in Romania has reignited the debate over the general treatment of Roma in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe.  Roma, more colloquially referred to as Gypsies, have suffered rampant institutional discrimination since their arrival in Europe centuries […]

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Guatemala's Children Continue to Starve, Despite Right to Food Laws

Guatemala can be considered a vanguard country in ensuring the right to food, in that it has developed legal and institutional protections designed to protect and promote this right. Several national laws exist to promote and ensure the right to food, such as the law (SINESAN) to operationalize the national food security and nutrition plan […]

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Water for Diamonds

Water for Diamonds

Botswana is frequently championed for responsible use of its diamond resources in development.  In an industry too often marked with stories of brutality and exploitation, Botswana is a success story for diamonds as much as diamonds have benefited Botswana.  Supported by diamond revenues – Botswana is the largest producer in value of diamonds in the […]

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Police Detain Colombians and Consulate Official in Caracas

On August 16th a staff person from the Colombian Consulate and between 20 and 30 Colombian migrants were detained by the police in Caracas. Despite diplomatic immunities, consular documents and a computer were also confiscated. The Consulate was carrying out a documentation exercise for residents of the barrio Catía. Although accused of not receiving authorization […]

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A Tale of Two Afghanistans

It appears that for now, while some improvements are being made, women are still fighting for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

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Swifter Justice or a Way to Silence Dissidents? China Bans Traveling to the Capital to File a Legal Petition

In an unusual and unprecedented move, the Chinese government sent a strong message to its citizens seeking legal redress in Beijing: stay home, or be seriously penalized. Petitioners routinely travel to the capital to seek assistance regarding what they see as the failure of their local system, such as corruption in the courts, land-grabbing by […]

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Problem with Criticizing Iran’s Human Rights Record

In his op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Alexander Benard urges the United States to “propose a conversation with Iran about human rights” instead of negotiating with Iran on its nuclear program.  His reasoning is simple: Focusing on Iranian nuclear program will ignite patriotism in Iranian people and they will “in large part rally […]

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More Than Just a Random Tragedy—Pennsylvania Shooting was a Gender Motivated Hate Crime and Congress Should Ensure Updates to Federal Hate Crime Legislation

The August 4 mass shooting of a women’s dance class in Collier, Pennsylvania, in which three women were killed and six others wounded, should be considered a bias motivated hate crime and should reinvigorate our work to end gender based violence. There is a tendency when hearing a story like this one—in which 48 year […]

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Going Beyond the Numbers

Today a senior Iranian official admitted that about 4,000 people were detained in June’s post-election street protests.  Judiciary spokesman Ali-Reza Jamshidi stated that 3700 detainees arrested during post-election incidents have been released and only 300 people were held for longer than a few days for being “involved in the riots.”  Among those 300 people are […]

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Fearing the Rule of Law, Chinese Government Arrests Prominent Human Rights Lawyer

The blogosphere is abuzz with the unsettling news that the Chinese government has arrested Xu Zhiyong, a 36-year-old attorney, thereby dealing another blow to the growing Chinese rule of law movement. In authoritarian countries or nations in transition, lawyers often play a key role in bringing greater democracy through the judicial protections, accountability, and transparency […]

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Another Round of “Confessions”

Another Round of “Confessions”

While the second day of the trial of protesters arrested in post-election turmoil in Iran might not have provided the same shock level as the day one of the trial, it still had its share of extremely interesting confessions.  Though in today’s hearing no one accused high-level reformist leaders of conspiring against the Islamic Republic, […]

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