MINELRES: MRG eBulletin: October 2007 - March 2008

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Tue Mar 4 15:59:57 2008

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News features

Turkish military moving into Iraq will put minorities under severe risk
25.10.07 - Turkish military action in the Kurdish Region of northern
Iraq will put the lives of Iraqi minorities, who are already facing
violence and persecution, at severe risk, Minority Rights Group
International (MRG) warned on Thursday.


MRG regional elders council in East Africa up and running
1.11.07 - As Kenya concludes celebrations to mark pastoralist week,
Minority Rights Group International urges East and Horn of African
states to better recognize the historical role of elders in conflict
prevention in indigenous areas.


Ahead of crucial EU report MRG warns of dramatic rise in intolerance
against minorities in Turkey
5.11.07 - Violence and intolerance against religious and ethnic
minorities in Turkey has dramatically increased in the last year with a
proliferation of targeted attacks on smaller communities, Minority
Rights Group International says ahead of the European Commission’s
influential annual assessment report on the country.


UN Special Rapporteur placed under house arrest in Pakistan
9.11.07 - Dr Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of
Religion or Belief, and former MRG Council member, has been placed under
house arrest for 90 days by forces loyal to President Musharraf in


MRG calls for the tourism industry to respect indigenous rights on World
Responsible Tourism Day 
10.11.07 - On World Responsible Tourism Day, Minority Rights Group
International (MRG), warns that in many countries with tourism
industries, minority and indigenous communities have been forced out of
their land in order to build wildlife and nature resorts. They continue
to be denied access to their ancestral homes and rarely benefit from the
income generated through tourism.


MRG hails 'stunning legal victory' as European Court of Human Rights
finds Czech Republic has discriminated against Roma children
14.11.07 - Minority Rights Group on Tuesday welcomed the landmark
decision by the European Court of Human Rights that found the Czech
government had systematically discriminated against Roma children by
sending them to special needs schools.


Minorities from South East Europe respond to EC progress reports
21.11.07 - Minority rights are not just important to Europe, they are
central to the stability of the region and a crucial criteria in the
accession process of South East European states, Mark Lattimer, Director
of Minority Rights Group International (MRG) says.


Lasting solution for Kosovo lies in protection of minority rights, says
international human rights group
7.12.07 - The violation of minority rights lies at the heart of Kosovo’s
problems. A lasting settlement for the region must include effective
protection for minorities if further ethnic violence is to be avoided,
says Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in a new briefing
launched today.


New report on minorities' quest for equality in Turkey
10.12.07 - Millions of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities
remain unrecognized by the Turkish state, face discrimination and are
now increasingly under threat as a result of a growing wave of violent
nationalism, Minority Rights Group says in a new report.


Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamils and Muslims worst affected in country's human
rights crisis
13.12.07 - One year since the Sri Lankan government promulgated tough
anti-terror laws the country’s human rights situation has hit a new low,
resulting in serious violations against ethnic Tamil and Muslim
minorities, Minority Rights Group International says in a new briefing


Peru earthquake: for Afro-descendants, the slow road to recovery
20.12.07 - MRG's Cecile Clerc reports on the impact of Peru’s
devastating earthquake on one minority community. 


MRG concerned over Kenyan violence says minorities and indigenous groups
could be seriously affected
4.01.08 - Minority Rights Group International on Friday said it was
concerned about the ethnically targeted violence in Kenya that according
to reports have left more than 300 people killed and 100,000 displaced
in just a few days.


International human rights monitors now ever more crucial for Sri Lanka
4.01.08 - Minority Rights Group International on Friday expressed deep
concern over the Sri Lankan government’s announcement on Wednesday that
it was formally withdrawing from a cease-fire agreement signed with
Tamil Tiger rebels in 2002, which is likely to result in a decline of
international scrutiny of human rights abuses.


Greek human rights activist target of hate campaign following conviction
of Holocaust denial author
21.01.08 - A prominent anti-racism activist who gave evidence in the
trial of a Greek author who denies the Holocaust, has found himself the
target of a hate campaign, waged across the internet. 


Minority voices from Kenya
14.02.08 - Kenya is an ethnically diverse country and its 33.4 million
people encompass some 40 ethnic groups. As violence and tension grips
the country people from minority ethnic groups tell us how they have
been affected. 


Australian apology welcome but compensation vital
14.02.08 - On 13 February Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an historic
apology to Australia's indigenous population for past wrongs committed
by successive Governments.


Spread of conflict makes Africa's peoples the most threatened in the
world - new global survey
25.02.08 - Over half of the top twenty countries in the world where
people are most under threat of genocide or mass killing are in Africa,
says Minority Rights Group International (MRG) as it launches the first
ever online database of the world’s minorities and indigenous peoples.


Comment and analysis

Britain has a moral duty to give sanctuary to Iraqis
Ishbel Matheson
16 October 2008
The Herald

Last week in the House of Commons, the government announced the result
of its summer review into the asylum rules applying to Iraqi translators
and other staff helping British forces in Basra. You will recall that
the pull-out from the city had left our former employees dangerously
exposed. While governments such as Spain and Denmark had airlifted out
their local staff at the end of their missions, we, the Brits, proposed
to do nothing. It was only after a campaign in the press, and pressure
from senior army officers, that Downing Street was prodded into action.


Britain's dilemma
Farah Mihlar
9 November 2007
The Guardian 

With the arrest of Karuna Amman, Britain now has on its soil a man
accused of war crimes. Will it let him go?


Freedom lost
Mark Lattimer
13 December 2007
The Guardian

After the invasion of Iraq, the US government claimed that women there
had 'new rights and new hopes'. In fact their lives have become
immeasurably worse, with rapes, burnings and murders now a daily


An abnormal calm
Samia Khan
28 December 2007
The Guardian

As I stand in my garden in Karachi, the usual sounds of traffic, street
hawkers and kids playing outside are all absent.


La violencia en Kenia no es espontanea
Ishbel Matheson
2 February 2008
Un nuevo y aterrador panorama esta surgiendo en los campos de la muerte
en Kenia. Segun informes, la violencia postelectoral que estallo tras la
cuestionable victoria del Presidente Kibaki no es tan espontanea como
aparento ser en un principio.


Little cheer in Lanka
Farah Mihlar
21 Feb 2008
Times of India

This should have been a month of celebrations for Sri Lanka as it
reached 60 years of independence on February 4. Instead, it was marked
by battles and Tamil Tiger bombings.


MRG in the news – a selection of the major stories featuring MRG’s views 

Turkey haunted by Ottoman deed of a century ago
"The men were usually led away and shot down just outside their
villages. A far worse fate awaited the women and children: they were
forced to walk southwards in huge convoys to the burning deserts of
northern Syria. Few survived the privations of these terrible death


Must the rainbow turn monochrome in parliament?
The political representation of racial minorities troubles in almost
every country, rich or poor. At one end of the income scale, Switzerland
held an election on October 21st that turned on the treatment of
foreigners—perhaps understandably in a country where a fifth of the
population is foreign-born but which has hardly any minority members of
parliament. At the other end of the scale, Sudan took a jolt recently
when a party representing the black, mostly Christian south pulled out
of the predominantly Arab and Muslim coalition that runs the government. 


Chaldean patriarch seeks ties to Muslims
The Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, recently named Iraq's first cardinal,
said Tuesday that rising violence has made life worse for Iraqi
Christians since the U.S.-led invasion, but he is optimistic that "peace
will prevail."


Court rules on Roma 'segregation' 
Roma children in the Czech Republic should be educated in mainstream
schools, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.


World Responsible Tourism Day
Wednesday is “World Responsible Tourism Day.” And the Minority Rights
Group International says in many countries with tourism industries,
minority and indigenous communities have been forced from their land in
favor of wildlife resorts.


Kosovo threatens to be flashpoint again
Kosovo, one of the smallest territories in Europe, is casting a large
shadow on the diplomatic landscape as the deadline nears for determining
its international status.


New report on minorities' efforts for equality in Turkey
Millions of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities remain
unrecognized by the Turkish state, face discrimination and are now
increasingly under threat as a result of a growing wave of violent
nationalism, according to a recent report by the Minority Rights Group


Sri Lankan government wins fight for survival, declares victory in
crucial budget vote
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government survived a crucial
budget vote Friday, fighting off a strong opposition challenge that
could have frozen an escalating military offensive against separatist


SRI LANKA: Full-Scale War Threatens Civilian Lives
The Sri Lanka government, which has announced the abrogation of a 2002
Norwegian-brokered ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is planning a do-or-die military battle against the
separatists in the politically-troubled northern and eastern provinces.


Rights activist harassed, threatened with death, after testifying in
trial of Holocaust denier
A prominent anti-racism activist who gave evidence in the trial of a
Greek author who denies the Holocaust, has found himself the target of a
hate campaign involving death threats being waged on the Internet.


Africa es el continente donde las minorias etnicas y religiosas estan
mas amenazadas
El 60% de los 20 paises del mundo en los que las minorias estan mas
amenazadas pertenecen a Africa, segun un nuevo informe de la
organizacion Minority Rights Group International (MRG).


Pakistan is among top 10 countries with persecuted minorities
If the threat to ethnic and sectarian minorities is the criterion to
rank countries, Pakistan will be among the top ten, according to the
London-based Minority Rights Group (MRG).


'Contagious' wars put minorities at risk
Is war contagious? That's a question posed in a new report that finds a
growing number of minority groups at risk of genocide, mass killing or
violent repression as ethnic conflicts spill across borders. From the
Horn of Africa to Central Asia, minorities are in the firing line.


Coming up

MRG will be publishing its flagship annual report ‘State of the World’s
Minorities 2008’ on 11 March, with a focus this year on the impact of
climate change on the world’s minorities and indigenous peoples. MRG
will also be launching publications tackling issues affecting minorities
in Sudan, Turkey and the Great Lakes region of Africa in the coming
months. Check our website for details. 

What’s new? MRG’s blogs, reports, briefings and online resources 

MRG's World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 
MRG is pleased to announce its launch of the first online database of
the world's minorities and indigenous peoples. The World Directory of
Minorities and Indigenous Peoples covers 220 of the world's countries
and dependent territories, and features profiles of about 700
minorities/indigenous peoples. It is a unique resource for
policy-makers, governments, journalists, academics and all those with an
interest in the growing field of minority rights.


MRG Blog – Minorities in Focus
In November 2007 MRG Programmes Officer, Neil Clarke, blogged from the
African Commisson on Human and Peoples Rights in Congo-Brazzaville.


Report: Assimilation, Exodus, Eradication: Iraq's minority communities
since 2003 (Arabic edition)
Since the US-led coalition forces ended Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party
rule in 2003, the civilian population in Iraq has been subject to
escalating violence. For Iraq’s minorities, the consequences of the war
have been particularly grave. Their assimilation, exodus and eradication
from Iraq means some communities – many of whom have been present in
Iraq for millennia – may be permanently lost from the region.


Report: A Quest for Equality: Minorities in Turkey
Though Turkey is a land of vast ethnic, linguistic and religious
diversity – home not only to Turks, Kurds and Armenians, but also, among
others, Alevis, Ezidis, Assyrians, Laz, Caferis, Roma, Rum, Caucasians
and Jews, the history of the state is one of severe repression of
minorities in the name of nationalism.


Rapor: Bir esitlik aray?s?: Turkiye’de az?nl?klar
Turkiye topraklar? genis bir etnik, dilsel ve dinsel cesitlilige ev
sahipligi yapmakla birlikte –yaln?zca Turklerin, Kurtlerin ve
Ermenilerin degil, ayn? zamanda, digerlerinin yan? s?ra, Aleviler,
Yezidiler, Suryaniler, Lazlar, Caferiler, Romanlar, Rumlar, Kafkaslar ve
Musevilerin de yurdudur– devletin tarihi, milliyetcilik ad?na
az?nl?klara yoneltilen sert bir bask?yla yaz?lm?st?r.


Briefing: Minorities in Burma
Burma has over 100 ethnic groups, languages and dialects and is said to
have the richest ethnic diversity in Asia. Such diversity is attributed
to the country’s geographic location on a strategic crossroads, where
historically it had acted as a buffer between the neighbouring powers of
India, China and Thailand. Over 2,000 years of cross border migration
and intermixing between cultures has led to the development of diverse
ethnic settlements and communities residing both in mountainous frontier
zones and lowland plains areas of the country. 


Briefing: Five essential elements for a long-term solution for Kosovo
The violation of minority rights lies at the heart of Kosovo’s problems.
A settlement for the region must allow for minorities to practise their
language, religion and culture freely if further ethnic violence is to
be avoided.


Briefing: One year on: counter-terrorism sparks human rights crisis for
Sri Lanka's minorities
One year since the Sri Lankan government promulgated tough anti-terror
laws the country’s human rights situation has hit a new low, resulting
in serious violations against ethnic Tamil and Muslim minorities,
Minority Rights Group International says in a new briefing paper.


For more information on Minority Rights Group’s publications see

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental
organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to promote
cooperation and understanding between communities.

MRG is a registered charity no. 282305, and has consultative status with
the United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with
the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights.

Minority Rights Group International
54 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LT, UK
Tel: 020 7422 4200
Fax: 020 7422 4201
Email: minority.rights@mrgmail.org
Website: http://www.minorityrights.org

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