Weekly World: Top Five Human Rights News Stories

By Francoise Makanda

Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning update

An Iranian television station broadcasted a statement made by the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning in which she calls herself “a sinner,” the Associated Press Reports.

The television report shown Monday identified a woman whose face is blurred and words voiced. It was believed to be Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who calls herself a sinner in Azeri Turkish.

Ashtiani’s sentence has been put on hold and is under review at the Iranian Supreme Court. Despite the hold, she is still facing a death sentence.

Various international communities have urged the Tehran government to withdraw the execution.

X-rays and pat-down violate American Travelers’ rights says civil liberty group

American travelers will have to choose between a full body scan through x-rays and a “vigorous pat-down” with its new security screening procedures, Al Jazeera reports. These measures are infuriating some civil liberties groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“People are faced with two intolerable choices: let someone take naked images of you or let someone grope your body,” Christopher Calabrese, a member of the ACLU, told Al Jazeera. “The searches have become more aggressive.”

“It is clearly the policy that women’s breasts will be patted down. If a woman is wearing a skirt at the airport, the pat-down is going to go up inside the skirt.”

UN Expert Urge US to conduct investigation on torture allegations

George W. Bush’s memoir is putting the former administration in the hot seat once more. A new United Nation’s expert is urging the United States to conduct a full investigation on torture allegations of detainees, Reuters reports.

“The United States has a duty to investigate every act of torture. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much in the way of accountability,” Juan Ernesto Mendez said to Reuters.

He suggests that the US should prosecute offenders and senior officials who ordered the abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

In regards to Bush’s statements in his memoir, he says that his comments were “very disingenuous.”

Speaking of the United Nations…

Sudanese Refugees Relocation efforts

The UNHCR and the Central African Republic government are relocating 3,500 Sudanese refugees from the northeast of the Central African Republic to the south-centre, the United Nations reports.

Recent reports suggest that 500 people have been relocated already. The measure began last Wednesday but it is expected to be completed in about a month.

Photo Credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Haitians blame UN workers for cholera spread

Haitians are protesting the United Nations’ presence as they suspect that some UN workers were responsible for the spread of cholera, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

It is believed that Nepalese workers from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) have introduced the disease. The mission has been operational since 2004 with a 12 000 person peacekeeping force. The government says that the death toll from cholera has now surpassed 1000 people.

“Gunshots, throwing bottles, barricades of burning tires will not help us eradicate cholera bacteria,” said Haitian President René Préval. “On the contrary, it will prevent the sick from receiving care and to deliver medicine where it is needed.”

The protests are undermining aid workers’ treatment efforts and delaying the national election.

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