Category Archives: Human Rights

‘Enshrining Apartheid Into Law,’ Israeli Legislature Approves Bill Making Nation’s Palestinian Arabs Second-Class Citizens

“What a disaster. Literally the only good thing that can be said about this discriminatory law is that they took out the part that explicitly legalized segregation.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-19-2018

Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, a coalition of Israel’s four Arab-dominated political parties, said that with this new law, Israel has told Arabs “that we will always be second-class citizens.” (Photo: @AyOdeh/Twitter)

The Knesset, Israel’s legislature, provoked immediate outrage early Thursday when it passed a controversial law that critics within and beyond Israel have denounced as “an apartheid bill.” It proclaims “the state of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people” and “the actualization of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

Following the 62-55 vote—with two abstentions—Arab lawmakers reportedly ripped up paper copies of the legislation in protest, then were forced to leave the Knesset hall. Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, a coalition of Israel’s four Arab-dominated political parties, said in a statement that Israel has “declared it does not want us here,” and that it “passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us that we will always be second-class citizens.” Continue reading

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Finnish Newspaper Greets Trump and Putin With Billboards Defending ‘Free Press’

With protesters in the streets of Helsinki, U.S. and Russian presidents get cold and critical greeting in nation’s capital city

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-15-2018

Finland’s largest newspaper put out clear markers for both President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin ahead of a one-on-one meeting in Helsinki on Monday. (Photo: Helsingin Sanomat/Finland)

Like every other place the U.S. president has traveled in Europe over the last week, large protests also took place in the Finnish capitol of Helsinki on Sunday—a day ahead of a highly anticipated and much-hyped meeting with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin.

Both leaders were also greeted with a large billboard advertisement purchased by Helsingin Sanomat, the nation’s largest newspaper, which bashed the Trump and Putin as being enemies of journalism and a free press. Continue reading

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US Airstrike Kills 54 Civilians in Syria in Push to Control Syrian Border

With the U.S. now unable to prevent Syrian government control of the Syria-Jordan border, Friday’s strikes are a sign that the U.S. effort to oust the Syrian government from Abu Kamal is likely to only grow stronger as its occupation of Syrian territory faces an uncertain future.

By Whitney Webb. Published 7-13-2018 by MintPress News

Abu Kamal after a January airstrike. Screenshot: Qasioun News

Around midnight on Friday, U.S.-led coalition warplanes in Syria conducted intensive airstrikes near Abu Kamal in the Deir ez-Zor province, with estimates of civilian casualties ranging from 30 to 54. Syrian state media agency SANA has claimed that at least 30 were killed and that most of the dead were women and children. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), often cited by international and particularly Western media, has asserted that 54 were killed.

According to local reports, the U.S.-led coalition strikes targeted the towns of al-Souseh and al-Baghouz Fowqani, east of the Euphrates river in the countryside around Abu Kamal. The bombings resulted in dozens of houses in the towns collapsing, resulting in numerous civilian deaths, as whole families were crushed by the rubble while they were sleeping. Continue reading

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With ‘Carefully Calculated Strategy’ to Slash Safety Net Underway, White House Claims War on Poverty ‘Largely Over’

New Trump administration report calls for imposing work requirements for federal benefits programs, which anti-poverty advocates warn would harm poor Americans

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-13-2018

Photo: Pinterest

Anti-poverty advocates are rejecting a new Trump administration report that ridiculously declares the “War on Poverty is largely over and a success.” In the words of Rebecca Vallas at the Center for American Progress, it is “part of a carefully calculated strategy to reinforce myths about the people these programs help” and “to smear these programs with a dog-whistle of welfare, in order to make them easier to cut.”


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Claims That ICE Agents Were ‘Just Following Orders’ Won’t Save Them From Liability for Children’s Suffering, Legal Scholars Warn

“While such employees may say they were ‘just following orders,’ their highest command is to uphold the Constitution. This overrides any contrary decision from ICE or even Trump himself.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-11-2018

Screenshot: Fox News

A new report finds that individual Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents could be held personally liable for the suffering of families and children under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy—and warns that the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court could harm the chance of anyone being held accountable for the forcible separation of families.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw’s order that the government reunite all children under the age of five with their parents went largely unheeded yesterday, as the court-imposed deadline passed with fewer than half of the children being returned to their families. Continue reading

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Intensifying ‘Genocidal Policies of Collective Punishment,’ Israel Shuts Down Gaza’s Main Cargo Crossing

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, called the move “a new Israeli crime against humanity.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-10-2018

Israel announced on Monday new restrictions for the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main cargo entry point into Gaza. (Photo: David Katz/The Israel Project/Flickr)

In a move condemned by human rights advocates as another of the Israeli government’s “genocidal policies of collective punishment” in Gaza, Israel has announced stringent new import rules for the territory’s main cargo crossing.

As Israel and Egypt have maintained a naval, aerial, and land blockade of the occupied territory for more than a decade, the Kerem Shalom crossing is how most commercial goods and foreign aid reach Gazans. Under the new restrictions, only food, medicine, and “humanitarian equipment” can come through the entry point. Continue reading

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Just Who Is ICE Targeting? Journalist Claims His Arrest Retaliation for Critical Reporting

At the time of his arrest while covering a protest, “I was doing my work and nothing more, like any other journalist does,” says Manuel Duran.

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-9-2018

Manual Duran, seen on the left, is arrested by police on April 3, 2018. (Photo: screengrab/YouTube)

Amid new revelations showing that Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appears to be increasing its indiscriminate arrests of undocumented immigrants—not prioritizing those with serious criminal records—one journalist in custody and facing possible deportation says in a new interview that he believes his arrest was absolutely the result of his reporting critical of the Memphis Police Department and Department of Homeland Security.

At the time of his arrest in April, “I was doing my work and nothing more, like any other journalist does,” 42-year-old Manuel Duran told The Daily Beast in Spanish. He said he believes he was apprehended “without a doubt” as a result of his reporting. Continue reading

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Outrage Grows as Trump Official Complains Deadline for Putting Kids Back in Parents’ Arms Too “Extreme”

“This is a cruel and harmful policy that was aggravated by the administration’s lack of basic humanity in thinking ahead of time about how it would bring these families back together.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-6-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans protested against the Trump administration’s forcible separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border last weekend, days after a federal judge ordered officials to reunite families. (Photo: Lindsey Turner/Flickr/cc)

Outrage over the Trump administration’s treatment of families who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, many seeking asylum, grew on Friday as officials told a U.S. District court that they would likely not be able to meet a deadline set more than a week ago for reuniting parents with their children.


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On Fourth of July, Statue of Liberty Protesters Declare: “Abolish ICE”

“ICE has proved to be a threat to our liberty and way of life, and should be abolished,” said group member behind the protest

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-4-2018

“Reflecting the sentiments of Saturday’s nationwide End Family Separation protests, members of Rise and Resist staged a visual protest at the Statue of Liberty on Independence Day. An ABOLISH ICE banner was hung from the statue, and activists spelled out the same message on their shirts. Dozens of tourists cheered on the activists, and the protest was broadcast via live stream over social media.” (Photo: Screenshot/Rise & Resist)

Protesters taking a stand against the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane immigration and border policies were arrested at the Statue of Liberty in New York City on Wednesday, the Fourth of July—a potent and symbolic day to remind Americans of the essential role that those who emigrated and sought shelter in the United States have played in the nation’s history.

While one group was arrested after dropping a banner that read “Abolish ICE,” a separate individual scaled the statue while police attempted desperately to end the dramatic action. Continue reading

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Supreme Court Ruling Gives Any President a Blank Check to Detain American Citizens

MintPress speaks with legal expert and law professor Ryan Alford, who warns that hidden within the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Trump administration’s “Muslim travel ban” is a massive power giveaway to the executive branch that allows any president to order the mass detention of American citizens without worrying about a challenge from the courts.

By Whitney Webb. Published 6-29-2018 by MintPress News

Though the recent Supreme Court ruling on Trump vs. Hawaii, which upholds President Trump’s “Muslim ban,” has been widely covered by the press, very few outlets – if any – have explored some truly unnerving implications hidden within the court’s majority opinion. In order to explore these implications further, MintPress spoke to Ryan Alford, Associate Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and author of Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and the Demise of the Rule of Law.

MPN: Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, talks a lot about whether the judicial branch even has the authority to rule over executive orders like Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban.” Is he accurate in asserting that the Supreme Court has limited authority in this matter or is this another power giveaway to the executive branch? Continue reading

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