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/ 29 May 2008

Tutu wraps up investigation of Gaza deaths

United Nations envoy Archbishop Desmond Tutu, concluding a fact-finding mission to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Thursday, condemned as a ”massacre” the killing of 18 members of a Palestinian family by Israeli shelling in 2006. Tutu planned to present a report about the incident to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva at a session in September.

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/ 4 April 2008

SA urged to ratify torture treaty

The South African government needs to ratify an international treaty on preventing torture, South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) chief executive Tseliso Thipanyane said on Friday. Thipanyane said he is concerned about the government’s ”terrible attitude” towards the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

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/ 27 March 2008

Lhasa monks accuse Beijing of lying over unrest

Tibetan monks stormed a news briefing at a temple in Lhasa on Thursday, accusing Chinese authorities of lying about recent unrest and saying the Dalai Lama had nothing to do with the violence. The incident was an embarrassment to the Chinese government, which brought a select group of foreign reporters to Lhasa for a stage-managed tour of the city.

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/ 26 March 2008

Tibet crackdown leaves 135 dead, says exiled leader

China’s crackdown on protests in Tibet has left at least 135 people dead, 1 000 injured and 400 arrested, the head of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile said in Brussels on Wednesday. ”Information from Tibet is very difficult to get, but we have sources who are very reliable, who phone us at the risk of their lives,” parliamentary speaker Karma Chophel said.

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/ 14 October 2007

In memory of Thomas Sankara

October 15 marks the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Thomas Sankara, the president of Burkina Faso — a stark reminder that we are still in the state Odinga Oginga called Not Yet Uhuru. We will be remembering that if Africa suffers today, it is because yesterday its best political minds, and its most fiery and committed sons and daughters, were assassinated.

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/ 15 September 2007

‘Press freedom does not exist’ in Egypt

Rights groups on Saturday accused Egypt of curbing press freedom after a Cairo court this week sentenced four editors each to one year in prison for criticising the president. ”Egypt continues to imprison journalists and editors who publish stories critical of President Hosni Mubarak and other high officials,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.