Detention of migrant children in the United States is only getting worse; bauxite mining boom threatens rights in Guinea; upsurge in killings in DR Congo's "ebola zone"; hope for Eritrea's political prisoners?; new domestic workers law takes effect in Morocco; cynical Romanian referendum tries to redefine "family"; repression against activists in Vietnam; and HRW discusses human rights concerns with Lebanon's leaders.
Guinea’s fast-growing bauxite mining industry is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of people, according to a new Human Rights Watch report released today. Mining has destroyed ancestral farmlands, damaged water sources and coated homes and trees in dust.
Unidentified fighters have killed more than 1,000 civilians in Beni territory in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in a series of massacres beginning four years ago, HRW said today. In the past two weeks alone at least 17 people have been killed and 16 abducted. The attacks complicate efforts to stem an Ebola virus outbreak that has left at least 70 people dead since August.
The recent arrest of Eritrea’s former finance minister is a troubling sign that repressive tactics continue despite changes in Eritrea’s diplomatic engagements. Today HRW released a video about Eritrean political prisoners including 21 senior government officials and journalists detained in 2001 after they criticized President Isaias Afewerki.
Romanian polls open this weekend for a referendum that will subject the rights of minorities to the whims of the majority. If approved, the referendum would change the constitution to define marriage as one between “a man and a woman,” replacing the existing gender-neutral reference to the union of ‘spouses.’
The authorities in Vietnam should drop politically motivated charges against five pro-democracy campaigners from a political group that challenges the Communist Party of Vietnam’s monopoly on power. The government should immediately release them without conditions.