Friday, May 21, 2010

[socialactionfoundationforequity:2670 Good News: US Supreme Court Ruling | Conflict in Thailand

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--- On Fri, 21/5/10, Human Rights Watch <webadmin@hrw.org> wrote:

From: Human Rights Watch <webadmin@hrw.org>
Subject: Good News: US Supreme Court Ruling | Conflict in Thailand
To: "Avnish Jolly" <avnishjolly@yahoo.com>
Date: Friday, 21 May, 2010, 5:19

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The Week In Rights
May 20, 2009
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US Supreme Court Ruling Gives Some Minors Hope for Possible Parole
Ruling Recognizes Children's Capacity for Rehabilitation
In a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida ruled that sentences of life without parole for juveniles who didn't commit homicide are unconstitutional.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, in writing for the majority, noted the "global consensus" against such sentences, and mentioned the 2005 Human Rights Watch report, The Rest of Their Lives, because of the information included on this practice outside of the United States. The United States is currently the only country in the world to sentence juvenile offenders to life without parole.
This ruling should convince California's State Assembly to pass SB 399, a bill already approved by the senate. The bill would require that all cases of youth offenders serving life sentences without parole in California be reviewed to determine whether parole should be made available.
California's use of this sentence for youth is among the most unjust in the nation, Human Rights Watch concluded in its 2008 report, When I Die, They'll Send me Home. An estimated 45 percent of juveniles serving life without parole for murder in California were not the killers.
Many were convicted because they acted as lookouts or were taking part in a robbery when a murder took place. The majority were first-time offenders, and most of the youth acted with an adult co-defendant.
Read more »
Photo: © 2005 Private
HRW Researcher Ejected from Burundi
Government Demands Researcher Cease Activities and Leave by June 5
Human Rights Watch today expressed disappointment at the Burundian government's decision to withdraw the work authorization of Neela Ghoshal, Human Rights Watch's researcher in Burundi. The government made its decision following the publication of a report last week on pre-election violence in the country.
Read more »
All Sides in Conflict Committed Abuses
Thai Government's Emergency Decree Raises Fears of Mistreatment
Thai soldiers broke up the anti-government "red shirt" protesters' camp in central Bangkok. Since the disturbances began in Bangkok, at least 52 people have died and more than 450 have been injured in armed confrontations.
Human Rights Watch condemned abuses by both sides and called for restraint, along with protection for emergency medical personnel, firefighters, and journalists. Human Rights Watch also called for the Thai government to stop its broad-brush censorship of the media, as information is critical to enable people to assess the situation, helping them stay safe amid the violence. 
Numerous red shirt demonstrators were arrested under the authority of the government's Emergency Decree, which provides officials with blanket immunity. The decree also allows officials to hold those arrested in unofficial detention centers, like military camps, increasing the risk of torture and "disappearances."
The Thai government should ensure that the recently arrested protesters aren't held in secret jails or mistreated. It should also make sure all those detained are provided with prompt access to legal counsel and to family members. Where evidence is available, those accused of committing serious violence should be charged and fairly prosecuted.
Photo: © 2010 Reuters
Most Popular Headlines
Burundi: Ensure Zero Tolerance for Election Violence
If the police and judicial authorities don't investigate and punish politically motivated attacks related to Burundi's elections, perpetrators will continue to believe they are above the law. The situation is already extremely tense, with a number of party militants armed and ready to resort to violence to intimidate their rivals.
Israel: Investigate Unlawful Destruction in Gaza War
Almost 16 months after the Gaza War, Israel has not held accountable troops who unlawfully destroyed swaths of civilian property in areas under their control. Israel's blockade continues to keep Gazans from rebuilding their homes, meaning that Israel is still punishing Gaza's civilians long after the fighting is over.
Chinese Corruption is Hazardous to Your Health
by Joe Amon
Asia Wall Street Journal

At the end of March, a Chinese newspaper reported that four children died and many more fell ill in Shanxi province after receiving vaccines that were not properly stored. The result? An untold number of children are now vulnerable to polio and other diseases.
Editor's Picks
Sudan: Bashir Inauguration Should be No-Go Zone
Sudan's President Omar Al-Bashir is a fugitive from justice who should be arrested, not feted. Attendance at al-Bashir's inauguration would send a terrible message to victims in Darfur, and globally.
Time to Speak up on Military Abuse in Mexico
by José Miguel Vivanco
Foreign Policy

When President Felipe Calderón of Mexico is received at the White House as part of his official state visit this week, he can expect President Barack Obama to reaffirm the United States' full support for Mexico's struggle against its violent drug cartels. What it hasn't included -- and should -- is pressure to uphold the human rights requirements to which both governments have agreed.
Immigration Enforcement Already Fraught with Problems
by Alison Parker
Detroit Free Press

A Latina immigrant victim of sex trafficking gets locked up for months. A 40-year lawful resident is deported for shoplifting. Sounds like Arizona's new immigration law - but it isn't. Under current U.S. federal immigration law, cases like these happen every day.
Videos Videos
"When I Die, They'll Send Me Home"
Sara Kruzan talks about being sentenced to life in prison for killing her pimp when she was 16 years old.
join US AT THE Human Rights Watch Film festival IN NEW YORK, JUNE 11 - 24.  
The film Mountains and Clouds  focuses on a seminal moment in the push for immigration reform. The filmmakers had access to powerful US Congress members.
Out in the Silence captures the controversy when the filmmaker's same-sex wedding announcement appears in his hometown newspaper.
Youth Producing Change shares stories from young filmmakers around the world as they film their own lives and share their visions of change.
Publications
World Report 2010
"We'll Tie You Up and Shoot You"

Lack of Accountability for Political Violence in Burundi
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