Human Rights Watch

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Darfur: Here is a link to an online exhibition showing the drawings of children caught up in the conflict in Darfur. The traumatic effect the violence is having on them is obvious and maybe disturbing.

Nepal: The State of Emergency has been lifted by King Gyanendra. At the same time an order went out against public gatherings, meetings or any kind of protest. The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Ordinance (TADO), is also still in effect which allows one year in detention with no communication. So many human rights organisations are wondering what it means for the state of emergency to be lifted.

Ivory Coast/Cote d'Ivoire:: The peace process in the Ivory Coast is very fragile at present. In view of this the UN Security Council will discuss keeping the UN peacekeeping mission in the country for a longer period. It is not known yet whether the government backed militia or the northern rebels have stopped recruiting.

I mentioned the peace talks here, although it looked as though trouble was brewing a peace agreement was signed in Pretoria. However two previous peace agreements were signed in 2003 and 2004 which never worked. It is hoped the present one will succeed.

Iraq/US Checkpoints: US forces have not been implementing basic precautions at checkpoints in Iraq, leading to the deaths of innocent civilians. These failures were realized two years previously and guidelines were advised such as marking the checkpoints more clearly with lights and signs in Arabic. Also Arabic interpreters should be available at all times.

The killing of an Italian intelligence officer, Nicola Calipari, on May 2, who was escorting an Italian reporter who had just been released from kidnap, showed how these precautions were not being used. It also polarised opinion against the US and created a lot of anger. The US military investigation did exonerate all US military personnel which angered many people further, though they did admit that they had not implemented lessons learned during two years of manning checkpoints.

Peru: A human rights prosecutor in Peru, Cristina Olazabal, has filed charges against the former president, Alan Garcia Perez, for his connection with a massacre which took place during his presidency. Cristina is now facing dismissal for this.

Although Peru's official Truth and Reconciliation Commission has concluded that more than 60,000 people died or 'disappeared' during the internal armed conflict during the 1980s and 1990s, nothing has been done to bring those responsible to justice.

Garcia's lawyers say that her case failed to substantiate the allegations and have therefore filed for dismissal. Cristina has specialised in the Ayacucho region which was hardest hit. She was appointed in 2003 as a special prosecutor for enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and exhumation of secret graves, so there is no doubt that she is skilled in this area or she would not have got the appointment. The charges she filed accuse the ex-president of failing to prevent the killing of 69 peasants during August 1985. She also is investigating many other cases where the president could have prevented killings.

Tibet To keep up-to-date with the human rights issues in Tibet
please refer to Tibet News by John–the-gardener.

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