Zimbabwe: valg, vold, og kampen for en demokratisk forfatning

Det kommende valg i Zimbabwe ser ud til at ende i vold og hetz mod præsident Mugabes politiske rivaler, som landets foregående valg har gjort det. Et valg hvor ”de fleste internationale observatører ikke mener at forudsætningerne for frie og retfærdige valg er til stede”, fastslår en ny rapport fra International Crisis Group.

Alligevel håber Zimbabweanere på at deres forhold vil ændre sig til det bedre efter valget. For 30% af befolkningen i Zimbabwe er underernærede, middellevealderen er på 42 år, og Zimbabwe rangerer som nummer 173 ud af 187 – lige under Afghanistan – på FN’s Human Development Index, som bruger sundhed, vidensniveau, og levestandard som parametre. Read more of this post

Danmark efterspørger handling i Vestsahara

Danmark efterspørger handling i forhold til det af Marokko besatte Vestsahara under Marokkos Universal Periodic Review (UPR) i Geneve. UPR er en mekanisme under FNs Menneskerettighedsråd, der undersøger hvorvidt menneskerettighederne overholdes i FN’s medlemslande i en dialog med de andre medlemslande, NGO’er, og andre interessenter.

Tirsdag [22 maj] udtalte Danmark blandt andet at man ”beklager at de FN-ledede forhandlinger Read more of this post

Morocco criticised for Western Sahara human-rights violations in Amnesty report

“Security forces used excessive force against protesters. Critics of the monarchy and state institutions continued to face prosecution and imprisonment, as did Sahrawi advocates of self-determination for Western Sahara. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees persisted,” Amnesty International writes about Morocco and Western Sahara in their 2012 annual report on human rights throughout the world that was released today [24 May]. Read more of this post

Amnesty International annual report criticises “brutal” Swazi regime

“Arbitrary and secret detentions, political prosecutions and excessive force were used to crush political protests,” Amnesty International writes about Swaziland in their 2012 annual report on the state of human rights throughout the world that was released today [24 May].

Swaziland is an absolute monarchy where all political parties are banned, where the monarch King Mswati III rules by decree and where two thirds of the population survive on under a dollar a day whilst the royal family spend lavishly on luxury items and prestige projects. Read more of this post

Hvor er dækningen af Vestsahara-konflikten i danske medier?

Vestsahara-konflikten burde ret beset være dækket i langt højere grad i de danske medier, ikke mindst fordi konflikten er en principiel sag om afkolonisering, retfærdighed og menneskerettigheder der har pågået i over 37 år.

En hurtig søgning på de store landsdækkende avisers hjemmesider på ”Vestsahara” viser dog, at dækningen af konflikten er minimal. Politiken og Ekstra Bladet har ingen artikler om Vestsahara-konflikten i det seneste år, Berlingske Tidende og BT har to, Information har fire, og Jyllandsposten har otte.

Til sammenligning er dækningen af Palæstina-konflikten, som er sammenlignelig med Vestsahara-konflikten, langt mere massiv. Politiken har over tredive artikler om Palæstina online fra det seneste år, Ekstra Bladet tretten, Berlingske over halvtreds, BT over fyrre, Information over halvtreds, og Jyllandsposten over tres. Read more of this post

Western Sahara ”not free”

Western Sahara has been rated “not free”, and has been given the lowest score of 7 in freedom, civil liberties and political rights in a report released yesterday [May 18] by Freedom House, an American human rights monitoring NGO. Western Sahara has been colonized by Morocco since 1975.

According to Freedom House’s 2012 Report, Morocco and Moroccan settlers profit from its colonization of Western Sahara while leaving the indigenous population, the Saharawis, impoverished. “Although the territory possesses extensive natural resources, including phosphate, iron ore deposits, hydrocarbon reserves, and fisheries, the local population remains largely impoverished.” Read more of this post

Siemens criticised over Western Sahara deal

A spokesperson for the United Nations Global Compact has said that they “are looking into the issue” of the deal between Siemens Denmark and the Moroccan government to build 22 windmills near El Aaaiun in occupied Western Sahara. Siemens is a participant of Global Compact, a policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with principles of human rights.

Global Compact was answering a letter from Danish solidarity organisation, Africa Contact, urging them to investigate the deal between Siemens and the Moroccan government. “It seems clear to us that Siemens, in pursuing this order, is in violation of international law – because Western Sahara is illegally occupied by Morocco and because it is illegal to deal with resources from non-self-governing territories such as Western Sahara,” the letter stated. Read more of this post

Vor tids ”slaver”

”Grækernes demokrati byggede på slaveri”, står der på forsiden af det seneste nummer af Illustreret Videnskab (7/2012). ”Slaver skabte verdens første demokrati” hedder overskriften på artiklen inde i bladet, der pointerer, at ”dette system [demokratiet] imidlertid aldrig var blevet til noget, hvis det ikke havde været for den store skare af slaver, der holdt det athenske samfund i gang, mens de frie mænd styrede riget. Demokrati er nemlig en tidskrævende proces”.

Da jeg læste dette, synes jeg, udover at det var en spændende historisk kendsgerning, at pointen er relevant også i moderne tid. Prøv at erstatte ”grækerne” med ”befolkningerne i den rige del af verden” (og eventuelt ”slaverne” med ”befolkningen i u-landene”), så forstår du måske hvad jeg mener. Read more of this post

Let them eat cake, Princess Sikhanyiso

“Most people have the Internet on their phones – I think almost everyone in Swaziland is on Facebook.”

Princess Sikhanyiso, the eldest daughter of Swaziland’s absolute monarch, King Mswati III, is speaking about the telecommunications industry in Swaziland at her graduation at Sydney University, where she also told the Australian tabloid, The Daily Telegraph, that she wishes to put her newly attained Master’s Degree in Digital Communication to good use when she returns to Swaziland next week.

She might as well have said “let them eat cake,” though – the infamous remark erroneously attributed to France’s Queen Marie Antoinette when she was supposedly told that her people had no bread during a famine. Read more of this post

Maxwell and Musa on indefinite bail?

“We may be acquitted or the government will do as it always does, keep us on indefinite bail,” says president of the Swaziland National Union of Students, Maxwell Dlamini. “We are just hoping that the trial will be over very soon. We are to know the direction it will take after the 16th of May 2012, where the next [court] sitting will be. Until now they haven’t led any evidence that links us to the charges.”

He and his fellow accused, law graduate and former student leader Musa Ngubeni, are on trial for allegedly being in possession of explosives in connection with last April’s protests against Swaziland’s absolute monarchy on the 38th anniversary of the country’s state of emergency and banning of all political parties. Read more of this post

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