Tag Archives: Atrocities

Report Shows How Governments Reach Beyond Their Borders to Crush Dissent

Human Rights Watch examines how repressive governments use harassment, surveillance, and assassination to target dissidents.

By Jake Johnson. Published 2-22-2024 by Common Dreams

Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Kremlin/Wikimedia Commons

report published Thursday by Human Rights Watch details how governments around the world relentlessly target dissidents, journalists, and others beyond their borders, resorting to threats, harassment, and even abduction and assassination to silence those perceived as threats.

“Transnational repression looks different depending on the context,” notes the new report. “Recent cases include a Rwandan refugee who was killed in Uganda following threats from the Rwandan government; a Cambodian refugee in Thailand only to be extradited to Cambodia and summarily detained; and a Belarusian activist who was abducted while aboard a commercial airline flight. Transnational repression may mean that a person’s family members who remain at home become targets of collective punishment, such as the Tajik activist whose family in Tajikistan, including his 10-year-old daughter, was detained, interrogated, and threatened.”

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Record 50 Million Children Now Displaced as Wars, Climate Crisis Rage

“When children lose their homes, they lose almost everything: their access to healthcare, education, food, and safety,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 2-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Children in the area of Shangil Tobaya, Sudan. Photo: United Nations Photo/flickr/CC

The 10 biggest global crises—including Israel’s war on Gaza—forced more than 10 million children to flee their homes in 2023.

That figure likely puts the total number of displaced children at more than 50 million, a new record, Save the Children said in an analysis published Tuesday. The number of children displaced worldwide has also more than doubled from around 20.6 million in 2010. While the number of displaced people overall reached a record 114 million in October 2023, children are being pushed from their homes at an even faster rate than adults and face unique vulnerabilities.

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Tracking of Planned Parenthood Visits ‘Should Terrify Every Single American’

Sen. Ron Wyden warns that “if a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists” send ads to clinic visitors, “a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Planned Parenthood- Manitowoc, WI. Photo: Michael Steeber/flickr/CC

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and privacy rights advocates this week are sounding the alarm about an anti-abortion group using cellphone location data to send misinformation to people who visited hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

“If a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists target misinformation to people at hundreds of Planned Parenthood locations across the United States, a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail,” Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Tuesday.

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Despite Human Rights Concerns, El Salvador’s Bukele Reelected in Landslide

“Human rights violations have been constant during the Bukele administration,” said one activist. “We can only expect it to continue growing.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Donald Trump and Nayib Bukele in 2019, Photo: Public Domain

As right-wing Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on Sunday night declared victory in his bid for a constitutionally proscribed second term, critics underscored the human rights costs of a state of emergency that’s sacrificed civil liberties in the name of security.

Although votes are still being counted, there was no doubt on Monday of Bukele’s landslide reelection to another five-year term. The self-described “world’s coolest dictator” claimed to have won 85% of the vote, a figure roughly equal to exit polling figures published by Salvadoran and international media.

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Yes, Republican states are now starting to emulate the Civil War-era south

The Texas governor rejecting federal immigration laws has echoes of the Confederate states

By Chrissy Stroop. Published 2-1-2024 by openDemocracy

A “border security” rally in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 3, 2024. Screenshot: KENS5

We’re not even a full month into a crucial election year in the United States, and it already feels like the country is coming apart at the seams.

In a standoff that has dragged on for weeks now, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a right-wing Catholic, has refused to allow federal Border Patrol agents to enter a public park along the Rio Grande where refugees and asylum seekers are known to cross. As summarised by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, reporting for CBS: “Federal law requires Border Patrol to process migrants who enter the US illegally to determine whether they should be deported, transferred to another federal agency, sent to a long-term immigration detention centre or released pending a review of their asylum claims.”

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GOP Congressman Suggests ‘Pinochet Air’ Death Flights for Migrants

“We wonder why the right-wingers aren’t freaking out about Trump’s dictator talk but we shouldn’t,” said one local Democratic leader in Georgia.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-2-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) is seen here in a December 6, 2023 photo. 
(Photo: Mike Collins/Facebook)

A Republican congressman from Georgia on Thursday suggested a novel way to stem the influx of migrants at the southern border: throw them from helicopters into the sea.

Responding to a photo showing a migrant flipping off the camera following his release without bail from a New York City court, Rep. Mike Collins took to social media to reply to a post by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.) advising the young man to “holla at the cartels and have them escort you back.”

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Arizona GOP Bill Would Let Legislators Overrule Voters in Presidential Elections

“This is a full sound-the-alarm moment for American democracy,” said one critic.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-30-2024 by Common Dreams

Arizona state Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27), an ally of GOP former President Donald Trump, is spearheading a resolution that says “the Legislature, and no other official, shall appoint presidential electors.” (Photo: Anthony Kern)

Just months away from a potential rematch between Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump, democracy defenders are sounding the alarm about an Arizona bill recently introduced by a GOP state legislator.

State Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27) is spearheading Senate Concurrent Resolution 1014, which says that “the Legislature, and no other official, shall appoint presidential electors.” If it passes both chambers, the measure could appear on the November ballot.

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‘Dangerous’: Pelosi Calls for FBI to Investigate Cease-Fire Supporters

“She is calling for effectively more surveillance and potential criminalization of protestors by suggesting (falsely) that they have foreign links,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley Published 128-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

As The New York Times reported Sunday that more than 1,000 Black American pastors have joined the widespread call for a cease-fire in Gaza, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi suggested the demand was “Putin’s message” and said the FBI should investigate groups that are speaking out about Biden’s pro-Israel policies.

On CNN, the former House speaker, a California Democrat, told Dana Bash that the “call for a cease-fire is [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s message” and said she thinks some of the protests that have erupted across the U.S. since October to demand the U.S. push for an end to Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza “are connected to Russia.”

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‘Dear Children of Gaza,’ Says Viral Letter, ‘I Am Sorry’

“You may ask the world why there was swift action when trade routes and economic interests were at risk but deafening silence when 10,000 children were killed,” wrote a British lawmaker. “The world might not like your questions, but you deserve your answers.”

By Julia Conley. Published 1=27-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Libertinus/CC

In a viral video released Friday, British member of Parliament Naz Shah, who represents the Labour Party, issued an apology to the roughly 1 million children of Gaza on behalf of world leaders who—despite Palestinian journalists’ live-streaming of Israel’s assault on the enclave and an international court’s finding that Israel is plausibly committing genocidal acts—refuse to see the impact the bombardment is having on civilians, including its youngest residents.

The video shows Shah writing a letter addressed to the “children of Gaza,” along with images of children being treated in hospitals, buried under rubble, and living in shelters since Israel began bombarding the enclave in retaliation for Hamas’ attack on October 7. Children are also seen gathered on a playground prior to the air and ground assaults that have so far killed more than 13,000 children.

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Biden Urged to Take ‘Control of the Texas National Guard’ as State Defies Supreme Court

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, accused Gov. Greg Abbott of “using the Texas National Guard to obstruct and create chaos at the border.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-24-2024 by Common Dreams

Members of the Texas National Guard patrol the U.S. border with razor wire. (Photo: Greg Abbott/X)

Texas officials are defying a Monday Supreme Court ruling prohibiting them from blocking the federal government from removing razor wire installed by the state along the U.S. border with Mexico, prompting calls for the Biden administration to respond.

The Texas National Guard is barring the federal government from entering an area in Eagle Pass where it has installed the wire, as CBS’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reported Tuesday.

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