Category Archives: Human Rights

Palestinians Mourn and Demand Justice After Israeli Snipers Murder Two Young Children in Gaza

“Israel’s use of deadly force against unarmed protesters on Friday is characteristic of its actions throughout the Great March of Return, during which more than 150 Palestinians have been killed.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-29-2018

Nasser Musabah’s classmates mourn him. Photo: @Mohammed pal/Twitter

After Israeli snipers massacred seven Palestinians—including two young children—and injured over 500 during protests against Israel’s brutal occupation on Friday, thousands of Gazans on Saturday attended funerals for those who were killed and demanded justice from the international community.

Among those killed by Israeli forces on Friday were 11-year-old Naser Azmi Musbeh and 14-year-old Mohammed Naif al-Houm. Continue reading

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‘Glimmer of Hope’ for Yemen as Khanna Invokes War Powers Act to End US Support for Saudi-Led Slaughter of Civilians

“This resolution should be a no-brainer for Congress. What more do they need to finally end this tragedy?”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-26-2018

These are the children the Trump adminstration claims to have helped. Humanitarian aid is still denied by US policy. Photo: Haidai Sumeri/Twitter

Amid reports that civilian deaths have “surged dramatically” in Yemen since June, when the Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to take control of the port city Hodeidah, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) on Wednesday officially introduced a highly anticipated resolution invoking the War Powers Act of 1973, in hopes of ending American support for the coalition’s attacks and the resulting humanitarian crisis.


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Amid Effort to Ram Kavanaugh Through Senate, House GOP Refusing to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

“Our efforts to combat violence against women should never waiver, should never be pushed to the margins, and should never be delayed or diminished by political gamesmanship or foot dragging.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-25-2018

Image: Jay Inslee/flickr

While Republican lawmakers have attempted to push through a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination amid multiple sexual assault allegations against him, none of the party’s members have signed on to support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expires at the end of September.

Democratic legislators have joined women’s rights and anti-domestic violence groups in calling for the law to be fully reauthorized and strengthened with proposals put forth in a version sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), while Republican leaders want VAWA to be extended only until December 7 as part of the House’s stopgap spending bill. Continue reading

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Israeli Gov’t Argues It Can Annex Any Land, Defy Any International Law It Chooses

With its government openly admitting Israel’s rogue-state status and its intention to act without regard to international norms or basic human decency, Israel has indicated that it is hell-bent on ethnically cleansing Palestine and eliminating the “demographic threat” once and for all.

By Whitney Webb. Published 9-21-2018 by MintPress News

Beit Hanoun region of Gaza, August 2014, after Israeli bombardments. Photo: btselem [CC BY 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

During an ongoing court case regarding the legality of Israel’s controversial Settlement Regularization Law, the Israeli government has argued that the Israeli Knesset can “legislate anywhere in the world” and is “allowed to ignore the directive of international law in any field it desires.” The statements, delivered to Israel’s Supreme Court last month, show clear proof that the Israeli government is openly defying international law with the full approval of its top officials in its bid to annex occupied Palestine and wipe out any hope of a future Palestinian state.

Following the passage of the Settlement Regularization Law last year, several Palestinian rights groups led by Adalah — The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel — filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court arguing that the Knesset is not legally permitted to enact or impose laws on territory occupied by the State of Israel that is not officially Israeli territory. As a consequence, according to the petition, the Knesset cannot pass laws that annex the West Bank or violate the rights of Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank. Continue reading

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Nationwide Walkout Planned to Show Solidarity with Sexual Assault Survivors as Ford Reaches Tentative Deal to Testify

Thousands of people across the country have pledged to walk out of their workplaces and schools on Monday at 1:00pm EST

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-23-2018

Protests at Senate offices are planned for Monday to demand senators vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Survivors and allies across the country will also walk out of their workplaces and schools to show solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. (Photo: CancelKavanaugh.com)

Women and men across the country are planning a national walkout on Monday afternoon in a show of solidarity with sexual assault survivors, as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify regarding her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

More than three dozen progressive organizations—including NARAL Pro-Choice America, CREDO, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund—announced the event late Saturday, calling on survivors and allies to wear black on Monday and to walk out of their workplaces, schools, and homes at 1:00pm EST. Supporters will also be posting photos of their participation online with the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors. Continue reading

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Sexual Assault Survivors Share #WhyIDidntReport in Response to Trump’s Ignorant Attack on Ford

“Two out of three sexual assaults are never reported. Might have something to do with the fact that for every 1,000 rapes, 994 perpetrators walk free.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-21-2018

Women and men shared their reasons for not reporting their sexual assaults after President Donald Trump attacked Christine Blasey Ford on Friday. (Photo: NARAL)

Immediately following President Donald Trump’s tweet attacking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for not reporting her alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when it happened more than three decades ago, women and men alike expressed outrage and shared the facts about why rape and sexual abuse are some of the world’s most under-reported crimes.

The hashtag #WhyIDidntReport took off almost instantly, with survivors documenting their experiences of having their allegations dismissed or ignored, facing systems in which they would have to prove the wrong-doing of their far more powerful assailants, and being shamed by their communities after confiding in others about their attacks. Continue reading

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How Does Trump ‘Even Sleep at Night’? Cuts to Cancer Research, Head Start, and Women’s Shelters Among $226 Million Diverted to Pay for Child Detention

“If you wrote this plot into a movie, I would have said it was over-the top.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-20-2018

Photo: US Customs and Border Control

Along with tens of thousands of children and families, cancer patients, Americans with substance abuse disorders, and victims of domestic violence are among the casualties of President Donald Trump’s detention of young immigrants—according to government documents outlining the administration’s plan to divert millions of dollars away from programs serving those populations.

Yahoo News reported that in order to continue detaining more than 13,000 children currently in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is proposing that up to $266 million be taken from other government health programs. Continue reading

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‘Unconscionable’ and ‘Appalling’: In Affront to Those Fleeing US-Backed Wars and Persecution, Trump Slams Door on Refugees

“The U.S. has a direct moral responsibility to open its doors, given that our own nation is an active combatant in many of the conflicts driving the global refugee crisis.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-18-2018

The White House’s resident immigrant hawk, Stephen Miller, and a group of like-minded aides are pressing ahead with policies designed to drastically reduce the number of people entering the U.S. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr

Launching yet another bigotry-driven attack on those fleeing wars and humanitarian crises in which the U.S. is playing an active and deadly role, the Trump administration announced late Monday that it is reducing America’s refugee admission limit for 2019 to a record-low 30,000.

Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, called it an “appalling” announcement.

“At a time when the world is facing the largest displacement crisis in recorded history, it is unconscionable that the Trump administration would further dismantle the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program by setting a cap of 30,000 refugee admissions for fiscal year 2019—the lowest resettlement cap in the program’s history,” Win Without War director Stephen Miles said in a statement slamming the White House’s decision. Continue reading

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Free Press Advocates Alarmed by US Government’s “Terrifying” Secret Rules for Spying on Journalists

“It makes me wonder, what other rules are out there, and how have these rules been applied?”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-17-2018

Press freedom advocates have obtained and released federal government documents detailing an invasive process officials can use to spy on journalists. (Photo: ACLU)

Journalists and free press advocates are responding with alarm to newly released documents revealing the U.S. government’s secret rules for using Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders to spy on reporters, calling the revelations “important” and “terrifying.”

The documents—obtained and released by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed last November—confirm long held suspicions that federal officials can target journalists with FISA orders. Continue reading

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After Cutting All UNWRA Humanitarian Aid, US to Award Israel with $3.3B/Year in Military Aid

The bill, combined with even more aid given to Israeli missile defense, would give $38 billion to Israel over the next ten years, roughly equivalent to $23,000 for every Jewish family living in Israel over the next decade.

By Whitney Webb. Published 9-14-2018 by MintPress News

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly. Photo: White House

A massive spending bill, which would deliver $3.3 billion dollars in military aid to Israel over the next year, passed the House on Wednesday under cover of a media blackout. The U.S. Senate had passed a different version of the same bill in early August, a vote that also went largely unreported.

Now, after the House’s passage of a slightly altered version of the Senate’s spending bill, officially titled the “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018,” all that remains is for the two chambers of Congress to reconcile their versions before the product is sent to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. According to Skopos Labs, the bill now hasa 90 percent chance of being enacted. If enacted, the bill will be the largest aid package in American history. Continue reading

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