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Ecumenical News: Police in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have arrested a human rights lawyer who drew public ire when he said a government agency handling Islamic affairs spreads extremism.
C-Fam Friday Fax: Hungarian leaders have passed a law protecting the traditional family, defying ongoing criticism that their new constitution would curtail abortion and homosexuality.
News from The Associated Press: An international rights group warned Tuesday that Egypt’s ruling generals may try to cover up the circumstances surrounding the killings of more than 20 Coptic Christian demonstrators when the military broke up their protest by force earlier this month.
Washington Post / On Faith: “Human Rights Watch is calling on the United States to return Vietnam to a list of the world’s worst abusers of religious freedom, accusing it of continuously harassing some groups trying to worship peacefully.”
Associated Press: “Democracies around the world are ignoring abuses by repressive regimes and opting for improved relations rather than condemning rights violations and curtailing aid, Human Rights Watch said Monday.”
CNSNews: “The continued use of torture, illegal detention, censorship and other offenses means China has failed to deliver on its first human rights action plan, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.”
Boston.com [AP]: “Iranians convicted for same-sex activities are on death row and awaiting hanging, including several who were minors when arrested, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.” Access the report here.
LifeSiteNews: “Flush with a recent $100 million donation from leftist billionaire George Soros, the abortion lobby Human Rights Watch (HRW) is setting its sights on Argentina, where it hopes to pressure the government to remove ‘obstacles’ to abortion and sterilization, and allow the distribution of contraceptives to children as young as 13 years of age, without parental approval.”
Islamist Watch: “By shielding Islamic people, religion, ideologies, governments, and societies from the open criticism routinely applied to all others, these rights groups effectively favor oppressors over victims . . . Their unwillingness to apply the same standards to critics of Islam, Islamists, and the Muslim world as to those supporting them amounts to hypocrisy and dereliction of a self-imposed duty to promote rights standards evenhandedly. In the struggle against Islamist attempts to claim special privileges at others’ expense, victims are well advised to seek help from alternative sources to vindicate their rights.”
Associated Press: “A leading rights watchdog is accusing Saudi courts of empowering men to abuse their positions as guardians of female relatives.”
Anne Bayefsky writing at National Review Online: “George Soros’s enormous gift of $100 million to the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch is a serious shot across the bow for Republicans and conservatives . . . The significance of his gift can be understood only by appreciating the web of connections associated with this human-rights organization and its resulting influence . . . Soros has recognized what Republicans ignore at their peril — namely, the power of human-rights claims, legitimate or not. Soros, logged as one of President Obama’s frequent White House guests, appreciates that a human-rights mantra, particularly when amplified with the U.N.’s global megaphone, is a formidable tool for manipulating public policy. A tool, mind you, and not a principle.”
Kenneth Anderson writing at The Volokh Conspiracy: “Most interesting to me [about Soros' gift to Human Rights Watch] was that the gift is aimed, in part, at diversifying the organization, staff, and board away from its current US-centric arrangement . . . ”
Associated Press: “Philanthropist George Soros has announced a 10-year, $100 million grant to Human Rights Watch.” More from Human Rights Watch: “The grant is intended to support the internationalization of Human Rights Watch, enabling it to staff advocacy offices in key regional capitals around the world and to deepen its research presence on countries of concern. Human Rights Watch plans especially to increase its capacity to influence emerging powers in the global South to push a pro-human rights agenda.”
C-FAM: “A report released last week by the human rights advocacy group Human Rights Watch promotes abortion in Argentina and criticizes Argentina for not complying with international law . . . The report erroneously cites several international human rights treaties and committees . . . for its claim that international law requires Argentina to provide abortion-on-demand. In fact, no international human rights treaty contains a right to abortion. When CEDAW and ICCPR were negotiated, many of the negotiating countries had pro-life laws on the books that still remain in place today.”
UPI: “Human Rights Watch congratulated the government of Albania on its new anti-discrimination law in a letter to the prime minister Tuesday.”
Houston Chronicle: “Human rights activists are criticizing Vietnam for expelling followers of a renowned Buddhist monk from a monastery, calling it part of a pattern of religious persecution by the Communist government.”
Robert L. Bernstein, chairman of Human Rights Watch from 1978 to 1998, writing in the New York Times: “Now the organization, with increasing frequency, casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies. Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East. The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.”
Digital Journal: “Now, in a new report issued by Human Rights Watch, an international organization headquartered in New York City and in existence since 1978, Burundi faces fresh criticism for making the lives of the LGBT community even more difficult than they were before the law was passed.”