human rights news & views

Drone victims must be identified: Register of war casualties needed

A London think-tank argues that international law requires “those who use or authorise the use of drone strikes to record and announce who has been killed and injured in each attack." Drones — known in military jargon as ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ or UAVs — are miniature aircraft with no human crew on board. They are […]

Yorta Yorta elder a hero of the Jews

Australia has a human rights defender on a par with Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler for his stance against Nazi Germany, yet William Cooper is little known in Australia today. Appalled by the vicious carnage of Kristallnacht, the watershed pogrom of November 1938, Aboriginal leader Bill Cooper (right) led a protest walk from his home […]

How Australians can take back their rights

Dear National Human Rights Consultation Committee, I would like to submit to the Committee Geoffrey Robertson's Statute of Liberty: How Australians can Take Back their Rights (Vintage, Sydney 2009) in its entirety. I hope he has done so already. I'm sure you have it. I work in human rights, and I thought I had heard […]

Political prisoners executed for their organs

It couldn’t last. Two good-news posts in a row (25 July), but now I’m afraid my subject matter turns to human rights hell. Since the de facto privatisation of the health system in China in the early 1980s, most Chinese can’t afford decent medical care. Meanwhile, human organs are sold to rich Chinese and foreigners […]

Iran intensifies persecution of Bahá’ís

Attention to Iran's nuclear status has overshadowed its human rights record.  The UN has condemned Iran's treatment of Bahá'ís more than 56 times.  Now the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief has made public her grave concerns for members of the Bahá'í faith in Iran.  Opposition politician Jennie George has succeeded in […]