Saudi Arabia has proved itself to be an ardent opponent of human rights, despite MBS’ PR campaigns proclaiming reform. The kingdom has, some argue, also managed to damage human rights in totally novel fields. In a highly successful publicity stunt, Riyadh granted citizenship to a robot, Sophia. Granting citizenship – and thereby rights – to a machine calls into question the value that the Saudi regime places on human rights at all.
Results for Category: Human Rights
Local and international human rights organizations have documented the inhumane conditions in Syrian detention facilities, and testimonies from the prisoners who managed to be released focused on the torture they faced inside. Prisons are overcrowded and unsanitary. Detainees are given inadequate food and sometimes starved, and suffer from medical neglect. Torture is routinely and systematically implemented, on a very large scale. Women, and men, have suffered rape and sexual abuse.
It seems that tangible progress in human rights not only depends on the efforts of Sudanese civil society, which has been severely hampered by government restrictions, but also on the pressure exerted by the international community on the government, which needs international acceptance more than ever.
The UAE is also implicated in abuses against detainees in UAE-controlled prisons in Yemen, according to Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor. The human rights organization says that hundreds of detainees in Yemen have been subjected to physical and sexual torture as well as mass assault in prisons run by armed groups from the UAE, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebellion.
The Moroccan female porters made headlines nationally and internationally when two women were killed at a stampede in Ceuta on August 29, 2017. Nicknamed “mule women” on the Spanish side of the frontier, the female porters struggle under burdens heavier than their own body weight, risking their lives for the job. The image of women crumbling under heavy loads of goods and harnessed like working animals went viral around the world.
Israel has always proudly described itself as the sole democracy in the Middle East. A strong pillar of a healthy democracy is freedom of the press. Yet members of the foreign media have been summoned to a Knesset hearing on the foreign press and put on the defense to explain an apparently skewed reality. Is the Israeli government clamping down on the press, both international and domestic?
“The human rights situation is the worst it has been in the country’s modern history,” Khalid Ibrahim, director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, told Fanack. “There is no one to speak up, no space for civil society. Most of the prominent human rights defenders are in jail, sometimes tortured, have fled the country or are banned from leaving it if they work with the international community.”
Under Article 308 of the penal code, rapists who married their victims and remained married for at least three years were pardoned. Some legislators pushed to retain an article that allowed the provision to remain in place in cases of statutory rape of minors aged 15 to 17, but in the end, the entire code was repealed. Advocates hailed the decision as a major step forward for women’s rights.
On 11 July 2016, the Israeli Knesset passed a law requiring non-governmental organizations that receive more than half of their funding from ‘foreign political entities’ to disclose this in all official publications. The so-called NGO bill affects 27 organizations, of which 25 are human rights NGOs that identify with the Israeli left.