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    Human rights Tag

    As Mary noted when she wrote about Erdogan's issuance of a three-month state of emergency, the purges have indeed continued and dramatically expanded beyond their initial scope: "What began as an effort to root out members of the military and security forces directly involved in the July 15 coup attempt has been extended to eliminate the Gulen movement’s influence from education, academia and the civil service." Reports are emerging that Turkey has moved forward with its plans to "purge" all purportedly Gulen-linked institutions and organizations. Bloomberg reports:
    The Turkish government’s decision to shut down and seize the assets of organizations linked to the alleged mastermind of last week’s failed coup has come into force, and ministers continued to reassure foreign leaders and investors that the country isn’t backsliding on democracy and economic reforms.

    The Turkish parliament has formally approved a three month state of emergency after a failed coup last Friday. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promises its needed to protect Turkey's democracy:
    “The aim is to rapidly and effectively take all steps needed to eliminate the threat against democracy, the rule of law and the people’s rights and freedoms,” Mr. Erdogan said.

    The United Nations has shown they care more about money than children's rights as they removed Saudi Arabia from a list of countries who committed atrocities in Yemen. The kingdom threatened to pull money from numerous UN programs if they remained on the list. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon immediately gave into their demands and will remove Saudi pending a review. Not just human rights. This list only mentioned countries that violated CHILDREN'S rights. The UN put money above innocent children. The list claimed that "the Saudis' campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen was blamed for causing 60% of child deaths in the conflict."

    So, this is pretty gross, but to each her own (placenta smoothie). ::shudders:: After extensive research, pregnant Jordan Thiering decided she wanted to take the afterbirth (placenta) and whip it up in a smoothie. When she talked to her OBGYN, she was told to check with the delivering hospital. The hospital told her she would need a court order. “I grew my baby, I grew my placenta,” Thiering said. “There should be no one that can tell me what I can or can’t do with it.”

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has concluded that mustard gas was used during a late-August attack on the Syrian town of Marea. The chemical weapon was detected during a battle between Islamic State insurgents and rebel fighters just north of the ISIS stronghold in Aleppo. OPCW's confidential report (the media was given a peek at a summary) shows that at least two people were exposed to "sulfur mustard." What officials don't know is which side unleashed it. Via Reuters:
    "It is very likely that the effects of sulfur mustard resulted in the death of a baby," it said. The findings provide the first official confirmation of use of sulfur mustard, commonly known as mustard gas, in Syria since it agreed to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, which included sulfur mustard. The report did not mention Islamic State, as the fact-finding mission was not mandated to assign blame, but diplomatic sources said the chemical had been used in the clashes between Islamic State and another rebel group taking place in the town at the time.

    Recently, refusing to take any Syrian refugees, Fahad Alshalami, a senior official of Kuwait explained to the media that “it is not right for us [Kuwait and other Gulf States] to accept a people that are different from us. We don’t want people that suffer from internal stress and trauma in our country.” Alshalami glossed over the fact that 800,000 migrant Indian workers living in his country too might be suffering from the same “internal stress and trauma.” About 40 percent of Kuwait’s 4 million population comprises of Asian workers. In total about 7 million Indians work in the 6 oil-rich nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain). They are often at the mercy of their employers and work under dangerous conditions. According to an investigative report published by IndiaSpend, at an average an Indian living in Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait is “at ten times the risk of death, compared to an Indian living in the US”:
    On an average, there are 53.6 deaths per 100,000 [expat Indians] annually. However, this number conceals a sharp discrepancy. The average for the six GCC nations is 69.2 deaths, while the figure for rest of the world is 26.5 deaths, almost 60% lower. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Kuwait report between 65 and 78 deaths per 100,000 Indian workers.
    Indian government that heavily benefits from remittances, worth billions of dollar from Gulf States annually, is reluctant to raise concerns about the safety and wellbeing of its citizens.

    The 2016 Presidential candidates from both parties are giving only sporadic attention to the refugee crisis currently gripping most of Europe. Hillary Clinton has been relatively quiet, aside from comments stipulating a need for the "entire world" to play a part. Democrat hopeful Martin O'Malley has been a bit more vocal, asking for the United States to take in 65,000 refugees:
    "I support the call from humanitarian and refugee organizations for the United States to accept at least 65,000 Syrian refugees next year," he said in a statement Friday. "If Germany -- a country with one-fourth our population -- can accept 800,000 refugees this year, certainly we -- the nation of immigrants and refugees -- can do more."
    On the Republican side, Carly Fiorina has been out front on the issue. She was asked about the subject on Face The Nation and didn't hold back:

    A report from the London Times has revealed that a senior employee of Amnesty International failed to disclose ties to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the greater global Islamist network. Yasmin Hussein, 51, was until recently head of Amnesty's international advocacy division, and played an active role in the charity's advocacy at the United Nations. An investigation into Hussein's connections uncovered ties to "a secretive network of global Islamists" both through her husband, who was investigated for working closely with the Muslim Brotherhood, and via her activities with a UK-based aid agency that was banned from Israel for their alleged support of Hamas terrorism. More from the Times of London (hat tip to UN Watch):
    Ms Hussein, who is understood to receive a salary of more than £90,000, told The Times that she had “never had any association whatsoever with . . . the Muslim Brotherhood”. Her husband, Wael Musabbeh, was one of several alleged British Islamists, none of them defendants, named in documents released after a 2013 trial in the UAE that led to the jailing of more than 60 Emirati citizens who were tried for conspiracy and sedition.

    The US State Department has problems. Whether we're talking about major, deadly problems like the Benghazi scandal, or their mere inability to keep it together for a press conference, you can always count on State to show time and again what it means to achieve mediocrity at the highest levels. There's mediocrity, though, and then there's plain disregard for the welfare of the human race. Every year, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) puts out a report publicly shaming the worst offenders in human trafficking. The results are no small deal; it may flow from a US agency, but the report is used worldwide as other governments and organizations attempt to balance their interests with the overall goal of improving human rights and putting an end to human trafficking. Correction---we say we have that goal. An independent investigation by Reuters has revealed that this year's J/TIP report was willfully manipulated by diplomatic officials to better address the current geopolitical climate.

    Today, the House of Representatives voted 420-3 to approve the Justice For Victims of Trafficking Act, a piece of legislation that stands to put a major dent in the big business of modern day slavery. Last we heard of the JVTA, it had just escaped partisan gridlock in the Senate over abortion funding language Democrats argued would lead to an expansion of the Hyde Amendment. Republicans, however, reworded the language of the bill, kept federal funds away from abortion clinics, and forced Harry Reid's hand on the issue. The bill passed out of the Senate, and made its way to the House where it passed easily. Now, it's finally heading for the President's desk. For all the posturing from Democrats that held up passage of the bill for so long, today's vote was remarkably...unremarkable:

    It seems incomprehensible that in 2015, I would have to write a headline hinting at begrudging support on the part of Democrats for modern day slaves. And yet here I sit, after watching more than a month's debate over the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, finally able to report that the Democrats have finally relented in their all-out war against the JVTA, and we should see a vote soon. We finally have a deal. In a battle that mostly came down to optics, Democrats have finally agreed to a fee structure benefiting victims of trafficking that would flow through the appropriations process. This system will still invoke the Hyde Amendment's abortion funding prohibitions, but avoid the spectre of a Hyde "expansion" that Democrats used to block the bill's passage. This means that, once the JVTA is taken care of, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow a vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general. The bizarre and infuriating part about all this is that Reid recently played games with an idea very similar to the one currently on the table---a fact that JVTA sponsor John Cornyn highlighted in a speech pushing for final passage:

    Maybe it's just me talking here, but I think that if you're going to choose a hill to die on, one involving a bill that helps put an end to modern day slavery seems like a pretty good choice. Not so if you're a Democrat, or have a seemingly vested interest in seeing Loretta Lynch become our next Attorney General. Democrats are digging in on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act over the application of the Hyde Amendment, a decades-old add-on to federal spending legislation that will prevent the use of fee dollars collected via the Act to be used to pay for abortions. Again, Democrats are obstructing the passage of a bill that would protect victims of rape and forced prostitution because of the inclusion of a provision that they have approved in decades of federal spending legislation. You can't tell me this is about being pro-choice; I think this is about being pro-obstruction for the sake of obstruction itself. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to delay a vote on the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as the new AG until Democrats put an end to their little game, and guess what hasn't happened yet? Dems are still playing games, so Loretta Lynch is still waiting on a confirmation vote.

    I think it's time to finally say it: Senate Democrats don't care about the victims of human trafficking. They don't care about helping the victims of kidnapping and forced prostitution. They don't care about prosecuting rapists and child molesters. They don't care about putting an end to modern day slavery. If they did, they would stop talking and start casting their votes in favor of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) currently awaiting approval in the Senate. I've written a lot about this bill; it's important. Most people don't realize that human trafficking still exists outside the context of horror stories out of southeast Asia or Central America. It's not just an illegal immigration problem, and it affects human beings in all 50 states. Hence the once-bipartisan bill that Democrats now refuse to support because the Hyde Amendment applies to its fee structure. Don't be fooled, though; this obstructionism has nothing to do with Hyde itself. The Amendment has been included in bipartisan spending bills for decades. JVTA author and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) recently offered changes to the language in the bill that would have addressed Dems' purported concerns, and still they refuse to relent.

    Democrats in the Senate are playing politics with a bill that would take major steps to protect the victims of human trafficking. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a bipartisan effort spearheaded by Texas Senator and Majority Whip John Cornyn, would would crack down on traffickers themselves, while providing more resources to the victims of modern day slavery. Democrats are blocking the bill because of language that would use the Hyde Amendment to prevent fee revenue from being used to pay for abortions. They're posturing on the issue in an effort to look strong on women's issues, but the mainstream media is turning on the minority caucus. Some of the nation's most widely-read publications have come out in favor of the bill, in spite of its invocation of the Hyde Amendment. The Washington Post ed board has their quibbles with the bill, but they still want Dems to do it...for the children:

    "Human trafficking" is a pretty whitewashed term for something so ugly. Peel away the layers and you'll find stories that don't sound like they should come from the United States. You'll find rape, and sexual assault. And abuse. And slavery. And Democrats are refusing to fight it. Back in January, members of Congress used the Super Bowl to help draw attention to one of the more commonly-known ventures associated with human trafficking---prostitution. Members of the House majority used examples of how organized crime rings import men, women, and children into event hubs (like Phoenix) and sell sex in exchange for tourist dollars. The House sent a dozen bills to the Senate, all with the goal of improving law enforcement's ability to fight human trafficking, and making sure victims get the help and care that they need to come back from the abuse they suffer. The Senate introduced its own bill, called the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Sponsored by Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), the JVTA has similar goals to the House bills described above, and passed out of the Judiciary Committee in February with unanimous bipartisan support. Now, however, Democrats are attempting to throw the bill away over what they argue are "anti-choice" provisions that use the Hyde Amendment to prevent money placed into a victims' restitution fund from being spent on abortions. That's right---Democrats are throwing modern day slaves under the bus, and playing politics with the lives of abused and abandoned men, women, and children. The kicker? We only need six Democrats to turn their backs on the the gamesmanship and vote in favor of the bill.

    While American "feminists" prattle on about "Manterruptions" and other trivial nonsense, lawmakers in East Java (the island that houses Indonesia's capitol, Jakarta) are considering imposing virginity tests on school girls. Jember's City Council wants to institute virginity tests as a prerequisite for high school graduation. Test would be administered only to girls. According to the Jakarta Globe:
    “What surprises us the most is they have had sex several times and with different partners,” Habib Isa Mahdi, a lawmaker from the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), told on Friday. “Moreover, the Ministry of Social Affairs said that Indonesia is in an emergency situation against pornography — that’s what drives us to make such regulation.” The idea was first debated during a meeting between the city council’s Commission D and the Jember Education Agency on Wednesday. The council is drafting a regulation on “good conduct,” which includes an article installing a virginity test as a requirement for female students’ graduation. The city council argued the regulation was necessary because many secondary and high school students were engaging in pre-marital sexual activities. Isa claimed that based on the data gathered from local hospitals, around 10 percent of Jember’s approximately 1,200 HIV/AIDS patients were students. The Jakarta Globe could not immediately verify Isa’s claims.
    "For the children" -- the leftist control-centric mantra that's now gone global.
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