Search results for category: Religion/Religious minorities

Bangladesh: Rohingya refugees suffer from lack of documentation 

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled repression in Burma have no protection from abuse , starvation, and detention in Bangladesh because of a lack of documentation, Refugees International highlighted in a recent report. In the report, Bangladesh: The Silent Crisis, Refugees International is urging the international community to work with the Bangladeshi government to register undocumented refugees and improve protection for...

Iran: Baha’i educational programme targeted in raids 

GENEVA, 22 May 2011 – A coordinated series of raids have been carried out against the homes of several Iranian Baha’is, active in a community initiative to provide a higher education programme for young members who are barred from university.Initial reports indicate that raids took place yesterday on houses in Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, and Shiraz. As many as 30 people may have already been...

Minority religious places of worship Malaysia 

Malaysia prides itself on being a multi-cultural Muslim country. Its majority population are Malays in ethnicity who follow the Islamic religion. Some eight percent are Indians and about 40 percent Chinese. These ethnic groups profess different religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism,  and Christianity. The country also has a significant indigenous population known as Orang Asli. While most of these communities live peacefully in Malaysia...

Religious minority activists in Malaysia discuss problems facing their communities 

Malaysia prides itself on being a multi-cultural Muslim country. Its majority population are Malays in ethnicity who follow the Islamic religion. Some eight percent are Indians and about 40 percent Chinese. These ethnic groups profess different religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism,  and Christianity. The country also has a significant indigenous population known as Orang Asli. While most of these communities live peacefully in Malaysia...

Nepal: activists call for Dalit rights to be enshrined in new constitution 

Activists are calling on Nepal’s government to make special provisions for the rights of Dalit in the new constitution. A recent conference organized by the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) yielded the “Kathmandu Proclamation”, which will be submitted to authorities in charge of formulating Nepal’s new constitution.Among other measures, the proclamation suggested that the constitution ensure proportional representation for Dalit women in all government bodies...

Nepal: UN welcomes new law on caste-based discrimination 

United Nations human rights officials and their counterparts in Nepal welcomed a new law prohibiting discrimination against people who are considered members of low castes and are known as “untouchables” or “Dalits.” The Bill on Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability that was passed May 25 had been before Parliament for the past two years, according to a joint statement issued by the UN Office...

India: Dalits unable to access government disaster relief programs 

Despite the fact that caste-based discrimination is illegal in India, prejudice against Dalits seeps into government-run programs, including disaster relief. Lee Macqueen Paul, documented the impact on Dalit communities during heavy flooding last year. The photo report can be downloaded below. The report was commissioned by National Dalit Watch, an initiative of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights. In an interview below, Lee...

Cambodia: in advance of Khmer Rouge trial, a new book detailing Cham women's experiences under the regime 

As four former Khmer Rouge leaders prepare to stand trial at an international tribunal for charges including genocide, a new book sheds light on a minority community targeted by the regime during it's bloody rule between 1975 and 1979. In “The Hijab of Cambodia: Memory of Cham Muslim Women after the Khmer Rouge”, author Farina So examines Cham Muslim women’s experiences under the...

State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2011 

Women from minority and indigenous communities are targeted for rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and killings specifically because of their ethnic, religious or indigenous identity, Minority Rights Group International says in its 2011 annual report launched today. In the flagship annual publication, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2011, MRG documents cases from across the world showing how...

Nepal: Dalits hope their true numbers will be revealed in census 

Dalits in Nepal are hoping their numbers will be accurately reflected in the 2011 census after civil society groups carried out a public education campaign. Previous figures show that Dalits make up for 13 percent of Nepal’s population. But civil society groups have long claimed this figure is inaccurate. They claim that Dalits may account for more than 20 percent. ...

China pressured Cambodia to deport Uighur refugees: Wikileaks 

China put considerable pressure on Cambodia to deport Uighur refugees requesting political asylum, leaked US diplomatic cables suggest. The refugees arrived in Cambodia after fleeing China following deadly rioting and a police crackdown in Xinjiang province. Cambodia deported the Uighurs, a Muslim minority, two days before China’s vice president visited Phnom Penh in December 2009, and signed off on a loans and...

India: Gauri's story 

In recent years Dalit and human rights organizations have shed light on the daily abuses suffered by almost one-fifth of the population of India. Unfortunately however the widespread practice of untouchability is often excluded from discussions and monitoring of human rights violations in the country.Since 1989 MRG partner organisation Navsarjan Trust has been working to visibilise and eliminate discrimination based on untouchability practices and...

Nepalese Minority Groups; Struggle for Identity & Representation 

Nepal has experienced a series of remarkable changes over the past few years as it has evolved from being a Hindu Kingdom with a Maoist insurgency to a secular Republic with a Maoist-led government. The people’s movement of April 2006, the November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the armed conflict, and the April 2008 Constituent Assembly election all marked critical steps towards the...

MRG Podcast: August 2011 

Welcome to Minority Rights Group International’s August 2011 podcast. This month we visit an isolated cow-herding community in Cameroon and hear about how competition for land and resources leads to conflict between neighbours, and learn about the challenges Dalits in Nepal face to escape the age-old caste system. Our minority music selection this month comes from Colombian superstar Toto la Momposina, whose tunes, like...

Malaysian police raid AIDS fundraiser at a church 

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) unreservedly condemns the unwarranted raid on the premises of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) on the evening of 3 August 2011. Officers of the Selangor lslamic Religious Department (JAIS) and the police clearly breached the constitutionally guaranteed, and internationally recognised, sanctity of a holy place of worship. They raided...

India: Dalit homes destroyed without warning by Delhi authorities 

Imagine sitting in your home. It’s ten o´clock in the morning and you suddenly see a bulldozer, with its jaws wide open, drive up to your front door. You are told that you have thirty minutes to collect your belongings and get out of the family home you have lived in for decades, before it is completely destroyed, reduced to a worthless pile of...

Pakistan's leaders promise equal rights for minorities 

Pakistan’s political leaders have affirmed their government’s commitment to equal rights for religious minorities. President Asif Ali Zardari addressed the country on August 11, World Minorities Day. He said the government stands committed to ensuring equal rights for all the minorities as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. He said: “Minorities Day, every year on August 11...

Recent attacks on women in the north and east of Sri Lanka - impunity and lack of rule of law. 

In the month of August 2011 many women in the north and the east of Sri Lanka have been attacked individually, and the female population terrorized more generally, by unidentified men, attackers now colloquially referred to as ‘Grease Yakas’. These incidents and the response of law enforcement and government agencies indicate a larger problem in the law and order situation in the north and...

India: Why Dalits and Minorities fear Freedom Struggle  

The media has finally noted the absence of the Dalits, OBCs and religious minorities from the mobilisation for the Kejriwal-Kiran Bedi-Hazare gathering at Ram Lila grounds. This was perhaps because former Union ministers and OBC leaders Sharad Yadav and Lalloo Yadav exposed the ulterior motive of the campaign in their forceful speeches in the Lok Sabha. Religious minorities and the Dalits kept...

Indonesia: local governments pass laws discriminating against the Ahmadiyah community 

PROTECTING THE VICTIM, NOT DEFENDING THE ACTORSWhile the minority Ahmadiya Muslim community suffers violent attacks, local government are using the legal system to perpetuate discrimination against them. The Association of Human Rights Lecturers of Indonesia examines the implications of such laws in this position paper, entitled The issuance of Regional Laws and Policies on the Prohibition of Religious Activities of the Jamaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia...


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