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Lead poisoning ‘epidemic’ around Nigerian gold mines sickens thousands

LAGOS — A lead poisoning epidemic in Nigeria’s north that has killed 400 children and affected thousands is the worst in modern history, but cleanup has not even begun in many areas, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. “Thousands of children in northern Nigeria need immediate medical treatment and dozens of…

Iraq falling back into ‘authoritarianism’: Human Rights Watch

Iraq is falling back into authoritarianism and headed towards becoming a police state, despite US claims that it has helped establish democracy in the country, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. The criticism from the New York-based HRW comes less than a year after thousands of Iraqis took to the…

Human Rights Watch urges support for Arab democracies

Human Rights Watch urged world powers to support the rights of Arab Spring protesters to build real democracies after they ousted long-time strongmen once backed by the West, in its annual report on Sunday. “Many democracies have allowed their ties with repressive allies to temper their support for human rights…

Up to 40,000 children mine gold in Mali: rights group

BAMAKO — Between 20,000 and 40,000 children work in artisanal gold mines in Mali, Africa’s third-largest producer of the precious metal, Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday. In a statement, HRW said that “children as young as six dig mining shafts, work underground, pull up heavy weights of…

China “black jails” prompt fears of wider security crackdown

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s campaign to stifle dissenters like artist Ai Weiwei through secret detentions could come cloaked in a thicker veneer of legality if proposed crime law changes go through, a prominent rights advocacy group said on Thursday. China has clamped down hard on dozens of prominent critics…

U.S. urges Libya to probe alleged executions

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday urged Libya to uphold human rights and to probe a report of summary executions of Moamer Kadhafi loyalists, calling the allegations “extremely disturbing.” The US State Department also called on Libya to respect the rights of women after Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the interim…

Fighters move in for kill in Kadhafi town

orces of Libya’s new regime were looking to move in for the kill against Moamer Kadhafi’s diehards in his hometown Sirte on Wednesday after meeting little resistance and taking several key landmarks. A day after seizing Sirte’s police headquarters, the National Transitional Council (NTC) forces were still locked in skirmishes around eastern districts and…

US condemns death of Syrian activist

The United States has condemned the killing of a Syrian rights activist, as rights campaigners reported that the security forces were continuing their deadly crackdown on anti-regime dissent. New York based Human Rights Watch said Ghiyath Matar, 26, had been a key player in organising protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s…

Rights groups slam terms of British torture inquiry before withdrawing

British rights groups and lawyers withdrew Thursday from an inquiry into alleged secret service involvement in the torture of terror suspects, criticising its lack of “credibility or transparency.” Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and legal charity Reprieve were among 10 groups that said they would not submit any more evidence…

UN condemns ‘cluster bomb use’ by Libyan regime

GENEVA — The UN human rights chief on Wednesday slammed the Libyan regime for the alleged use of cluster bombs in Misrata, saying such attacks on densely populated urban areas could be international crimes. In a statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay “condemned the reported repeated use…

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