Amnesty’s New Executive Director, and Other Human Rights News

human rights newsSeptember has quickly come and gone, and a lot has happened in the past month. Here are the latest and greatest human rights news articles from the past month.

Bringing Human Rights Home: A Message from Amnesty USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins – Human Rights Now – “We have to view human rights abuses as a call to action to do everything in our power to improve the world,” as Hawkins said. Amnesty International has a new leader, and so far, things seem hopeful. We, as Americans part of Amnesty International, are in a unique place to connect human rights abuses in our country with abuses around the world. We are in a unique place to use our voices and to fight injustice in ways that others can’t.

Where There’s No Emergency Phone Number, Kenya Tweets for Help – Global Voices – This is a neat article on how social media facilitates human rights advocacy. It’s also a nice reminder on how we can take things, like calling 911, for granted. In Kenya, since there isn’t such a number, people can tweet the Kenyan Red Cross with information about an incident. The Kenyan Red Cross gathers additional information, such as location, and then sends security forces or first responders to the scene. Because the recent shooting in Nairobi, the Twitter account now reaches over 50 million people around the world.

Does the US Meet Its Own International Human Rights Standards? – MSNBC – The U.S Human Rights Network says it’s doesn’t, and has filed a joint submission to the United Nations to ask the Obama administration to meet it’s own international human rights standards. The filing particularly details concerns regarding racial profiling, gun violence, and stop-and-frisk policies, although it includes information on a series of issues, and that these concerning laws violate international treaties such as the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights.

Snowden Among Nominees for a European Human Rights Prize – The New York Times – Edward Snowden, along with Malala Yousafzai,  Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, Erdem Gunduz, and others, has been nominated for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Previous winners of this prize include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. The winner will be announced later on this month, and is meant to honor to individuals or organizations who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery is the only other American, and the only organization, nominated this year.

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