News (handpicked)

Justicia al fin en Ciudad Juárez

La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos hace pública una sentencia histórica contra el Estado mexicano por no haber evitado tres 'feminicidios'

Se llamaba Esmeralda y tenía 15 años. Se llamaba Laura y tenía 17. Se llamaba Claudia y tenía 20. Las tres fueron halladas muertas, sus cuerpos ultrajados, el martes 6 de noviembre de 2001. Aunque en vida no se conocieron, las encontraron juntas en un descampado de Ciudad Juárez, la ciudad mexicana fronteriza con Estados Unidos donde desde 1993 vienen desapareciendo "mujeres jóvenes, incluso niñas, trabajadoras -sobre todo de las fábricas manufactureras-, de escasos recursos, estudiantes o migrantes".

Eso dice la sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos que acaba de condenar a México por no evitar que las mataran, por no buscar a los asesinos, por ni siquiera dar consuelo a sus madres. Lo que no dice la sentencia es que Esmeralda, ya a sus 15 años, tenía un sueño: "Me decía: madre, yo voy a estudiar y la voy a quitar a usted de trabajar. Usted va a ser mi reina, madre, usted va a ser mi reina...".

La voz de Irma Monreal, la madre de Esmeralda, se quiebra a través del teléfono. Han pasado ya ocho años. Los mismos que ella y las madres de Laura y de Claudia han empleado en buscar justicia para sus hijas. En su nombre y en el de las 379 niñas y mujeres, tal vez más, que hasta 2005 fueron secuestradas, torturadas, violadas y asesinadas en la ciudad fronteriza, sin que en la mayoría de los casos sus verdugos hayan pagado todavía por ello.

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Two arrested over Moscow deaths

Russian police have arrested two people suspected of killing a top human rights lawyer and a journalist last January. Stanislav Markelov, who had worked on numerous human rights cases, was shot dead in broad daylight in Moscow with reporter Anastasia Baburova. Those detained are both Moscow residents, a man and a young woman, Russian investigators said. There has been a series of killings of human rights workers and journalists in recent years in Russia.

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Global crisis 'hits human rights'

The global economic crisis is exacerbating human rights abuses, Amnesty International has warned. In its annual report, the group said the downturn had distracted attention from abuses and created new problems.

Rising prices meant millions were struggling to meet basic needs in Africa and Asia, it said, and protests were being met with repression. Political conflict meant people were suffering in DR Congo, North Korea, Gaza and Darfur, among others, it said.

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Italian court finds CIA agents guilty of kidnapping terrorism suspect

Abu Omar, who was abducted by the CIA from Milan. Twenty-three Americans were tonight convicted of kidnapping by an Italian court at the end of the first trial anywhere in the world involving the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" programme for abducting terrorist suspects. The former head of the CIA in Milan Robert Lady was given an eight-year jail sentence for his part in the seizure of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, who claimed that he was subsequently tortured in Egypt. Lady's superior, Jeff Castelli, the then head of the CIA in Italy, and two other Americans were acquitted on the grounds that they enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

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Critic of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov abducted in Moscow

Fears for safety of Russian human rights campaigner Arbi Khachukayev after he is flown to Chechnya. Russian human rights group today said that gunmen loyal to Chechnya's pro-Kremlin president had abducted a human rights activist in Moscow and flown him to Chechnya. Chechen security officials grabbed Arbi Khachukayev this afternoon and then bundled him on to a flight to Chechnya's capital, Grozny, Memorial said. Its staff were deeply concerned for his safety, it added. Khachukayev runs a Chechen human rights organisation, Law. It has exposed human rights abuses allegedly committed by forces loyal to Chechnya's Kremlin-appointed president, Ramzan Kadyrov. Last night Chechnya's interior ministry claimed that Khachukayev had been seized for taking part in an "armed assault".

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Uganda detiene al arquitecto del genocidio de Ruanda


Idelphonse Nizeyimana era el jefe de los servicios secretos del régimen de Habyarimana cuando en 1994 se produjo la matanza de 800.000 personas.

Uganda ha detenido a una de las personas más buscadas por el genocidio de Ruanda en 1994, Idelphonse Nizeyimana, uno de los arquitectos de la matanza, según informan fuentes policiales ugandesas.Nizeyimana fue arrestado ayer en Kambala y hoy ha sido enviado al Tribunal Internacional de Arusha, en Tanzania, para ser procesado por crímenes contra la humanidad. Era el jefe de los servicios secretos del régimen del presidente Juvenile Habyarimana, cuyo asesinato fue el detonante del genocidio ruandés, y en la actualidad es uno de los principales acusados de la matanza de unos 800.000 tutsis y hutus moderados en Ruanda en 100 días de 1994, según cifras de la ONU. Aparte de organizar la matanza de miles de personas, a Nizeyimana se le acusa en concreto del asesinato de la antigua reina de Ruanda, Rosalie Gichanda.

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Refugees fleeing Yemen head for Saudi Arabia's closed border

Saudi Arabia must not close its borders to civilians fleeing the conflict raging in Yemen's Sa'da region, Amnesty International said on Thursday in a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior.

The warning comes amid reports that some have been denied entry and others have been forcibly returned to the conflict zone where a reported bombing raid by government forces on Wednesday was said to have killed about 80 people.

"The Sa'da region has been largely sealed off to the outside world by Yemeni forces since the current upsurge in fighting between government troops and armed Zaidi Shi'a militants began last August, but it is clear that civilians are bearing the brunt of the conflict," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"Scores, perhaps hundreds, of civilians have already been killed and for many now, fleeing into Saudi Arabia is the only way to get out of the firing line. They must be allowed to enter and be afforded adequate protection."

At present, the situation along the border between Yemen's Sa'da region and Saudi Arabia is unclear. News reports suggest that more than a dozen members of one Yemeni family who crossed into Saudi Arabia in late August were rounded up and pushed back across the border and that others are said to have been prevented from entering Saudi Arabian territory.

Saudi Arabia has never become party to the main UN treaty governing the treatment of refugees.

It is nevertheless bound under international law not to turn away people seeking asylum, either by sealing its borders or by forcibly returning people on its territory, if on return they may be at serious risk of human rights abuses.

"While the Saudi Arabian authorities have been playing a positive role in helping organize the flow of humanitarian assistance to beleaguered civilians in Sa'da governorate, they must not force the return of any people seeking safe haven," Malcolm Smart added.

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The CIA's willing torturers

The CIA report into prisoner abuse reveals a new, ugly reality: America's torturers weren't simply following orders. There is a moment in the still heavily redacted CIA inspector general's report into its use of harsh interrogation techniques against al-Qaida suspects that speaks volumes of how torture is allowed to become acceptable.

Oddly it is not to be found in the details of the most egregious abuses: the mock executions, the simulated drownings and physical abuse, the intimidation with power drills or guns or the threat that one's family may be killed or raped. Instead it is to be found in a discussion between a CIA interrogator and the agency's headquarters about a technique an officer had found to be effective.

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