March 8, 2013 |
Mary Robinson doesn't mind the tough stuff. As the United Nations chief advocate for human rights, she traveled the world in a hot-spot hopscotch - Rwanda, Chechnya, Dagestan, East Timor, the West Bank - for hard discussions with people who didn't necessarily want her around. No matter. "I've never found it difficult to stand up to bullies," says the former president of Ireland (1990-1997) and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). It's a matter-of-fact statement, not a boast.
January 17, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Libya made major strides toward establishing democracy and political rights last year, a pro-democracy watchdog group said in a report Wednesday. The findings counter a widespread impression of the country as anarchic after the deadly militia raid in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Freedom House's annual ranking of political rights and civil liberties around the world found worrying trends in many regions where it said the West was failing to promote and defend democracy.
December 24, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Taliban representatives at a conference did not insist on total power in Afghanistan and pledged to grant rights to women that the militant Islamist group itself brutally suppressed in the past, according to a Taliban statement received Sunday. The pledges emerged from a rare meeting last week involving Taliban and Kabul government representatives. The less strident substance and tone came in a speech delivered at a conference in France. The French hosts described it as a discussion among Afghans rather than peace negotiations.
June 9, 2012 |
MANAMA, Bahrain - Riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades Friday as tens of thousands of protesters staged the biggest antigovernment demonstrations in weeks in the divided Persian Gulf nation. Opposition groups called for major rallies after a prominent rights activist, Nabeel Rajab, was placed back in detention earlier this week on fresh charges linked to his social media posts. Bahrain has experienced near daily protests for 16 months caused by an uprising by the kingdom's Shiite majority seeking greater political rights from the Western-backed Sunni monarchy.
April 6, 2012 |
The Easter season is a celebration of deliverance, and the liturgical calendar sets up Easter Week as a kind of catharsis. Holy Thursday and the Last Supper have an ominous feel because they are preparation for Good Friday and the dolorous story of Jesus' crucifixion. Yet two days later, the tale ends in triumph and resurrection. Whatever questions Christians may have about the meaning of that empty tomb, most of us have experienced a sense of joy when the words "He is risen, alleluia!"
October 28, 2011 |
Douglas Shaps, 53, of Lower Merion, executive director of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee from 1997 to 2000, died of colon cancer Saturday, Oct. 22, at Keystone Hospice in Wyndmoor. Mr. Shaps was a former official for several groups representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Shaps was a member of the national board of governors of the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy organization for those groups. His companion, Sherard Knight, said Mr. Shaps was a member and officer of the Philadelphia Steering Committee of the campaign from 2000 to 2006 and executive director of Outfront Philadelphia, a political organization, in 2005-06.
September 18, 2011 |
On Friday, I delivered the keynote address at a convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in Chicago, the people who own, run, and program the nation's talk-radio stations. And unlike the spontaneity required to work in the business daily, this invitation afforded me plenty of time to plan what I wanted to say. I started by tracing my career path back to the old WWDB-FM (96.5), where the lineup of talkers then included Irv Homer, Frank Ford, Dominic Quinn, and Bernie Herman.
September 1, 2010
By Roger Pilon When we think of human-rights problems, most of us imagine arbitrary arrests, political repression, religious persecution, torture, show trials, censorship, and the like. In America, we don't often have those kinds of problems. Even the current controversy over an Islamic center near ground zero isn't about the right to build there; it's about the wisdom of doing so. All of which made it surprising to learn from the Obama State Department that America does indeed have human-rights problems.
April 12, 2009 |
When our forefathers broke from Britain, they left nothing to chance. They put it in writing. In unified thought, spirit, and action, the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 white, male landowners representing 13 colonies. Hardly reflective of America today, it formally challenged the notion of the "divine right of kings" and guaranteed wealthy men equal rights. The Declaration of Independence provides the rationale through which the U.S. Constitution is interpreted.
December 9, 2005 |
Jerome J. Shestack is a former U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and a past president of the American Bar Association Fifty-seven years ago, on Dec. 10, 1948, the fledgling United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt was then chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. She hailed the U.N. declaration as a "Bill of Rights for the World. " And Dec. 10 became known as Human Rights Day. This should be a day for celebration.