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India: Orissa Freedom of Religion Act 1967 is Anti-Minority  

“My religious conversion is not inspired by any material motive. This is hardly anything I cannot achieve even while remaining an Untouchable. There is no other feeling than that of a spiritual feeling underlying my religious conversion. Hinduism does not appeal to my conscience. My self-respect cannot assimilate Hinduism. In your case change of religion is imperative for worldly as well as spiritual ends....

Thailand: Education desperately needed for migrant and stateless children 

Thailand has accepted less than 16% of registered migrant children into its education system, according to the Foundation for Rural Youth (FRY). In Bangkok, the situation is particularly critical with less than 4% of migrant children enrolled in registered schools, says FRY, which is working to increase registration of migrant children in Thai schools.Since 1984, there has been mass migration of people from Burma...

India: Warrant issued for police officer who removed turban 

17 April 2011, Mohali, Panjab –A bailable warrant of arrest was issued yesterday against the concerned officer of Mohali Phase VIII Police Station for failing to attend court to report on a complaint filed by UNITED SIKHS concerning the removal of a turban of a Sikh youth by two Punjab Police officers last month.Judicial Magistrate First Class, Jaswinder Singh, said that the warrant is...

Vietnamese and Thai authorities blocked launch of human rights report 

The Vietnamese and Thai governments prevented a human rights report from being launched in Bangkok. Authorities in Thailand cancelled a press conference scheduled at a private venue, while human rights representatives were prevented from traveling to the Thai capital. The report, which accused Vietnam of violating the rights of groups including ethnic minorities, was complied by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)...

Argentina: IT'S HARD TO BE BLACK HERE  

Racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination in Argentina English language audio interview with activist Nengumbi Celestin Sukama, president of IARPIDI (Instituto Argentino para la Igualdad, Diversidad e Integración).  The NGO works in Argentina to defend the rights of asylum seekers and political refugees from the African continent, and to combat racial discrimination against native Afro-Argentinians and African descendants from other countries in the hemisphere. The...

Argentina: 2010 Census - Successful or not? 

Afro-Argentinian reaction to latest census exercise.For the first time since 1895 the Argentina national census of 2010 took measures to include a count of people of African descent.  In October the many thousands of census-workers who fanned out across every province were supposed to collect data on the number of people in the country including those who self-identify as Indigenous people  and African descendant....

Nepal: impunity for perpetrators of communal violence 

Nepal's government has failed to achieve justice for the victims of communal violence that exploded in 2007 in the Kapilvastu district. On June 2, human rights groups met to discuss their efforts to push the government to take action. The Kapilvastu Violence Victim Struggle Committee (KVVSC) reported that the organization was able to obtain official government reports on the violence that killed 13 people...

San Andres, Colombia - We stay with nothing 

Transcript of an interview with Ras Rolando, an artisan and tourist guide on the Colombian administered Caribbean island of San Andres.  The Colombian controlled Caribbean islands of San Andres and Providence are located some 500 miles from the South American coastline. In contrast, they are just 80 miles from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua in Central America.After some 120 years of semi isolation and...

Young Journalist Award runner up: Street racing queen of Ramallah 

Minority Rights Group International, in March 2011, announced the winner of the Minority Voices Young Journalist Award - a prize for young professional and student journalists keen to cover issues affecting minorities and indigenous communities in developing countries.The three-member panel of judges, formed both from journalism and development experts, recognised the excellent level of the entries received. In particular the committee named five applicants...

Iran: Stop Ethnic Cleansings In Ahwaz  

To: UN Secretary-General 3 May 2011 Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, The Secretary-General of The United Nations We write to you out of deep concern for Iran’s increasingly brutal crackdown on the Ahwazi Arabs human rights activists and peaceful protesters in recent days. At this juncture, it is imperative that the United Nations take a stand and urges Iran to immediately desist its oppression...

Burma: Kachin women trafficked into forced marriages, prostitution in China 

Ethnic Kachin women are being trafficked across the border into China and sold into forced marriages and prostitution, according the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT). The organization has documented more than 130 such cases during the past year, some including children. KWAT blames the practice on widespread poverty in Burma brought about by decades of military rule. “According to the latest information we have...

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...

Bangladesh: 'Rohingya – a people without hope', winner of the Minority Voices young Journalist Award  

The English translation of the story below won the Minority Voices Young Journalist Award, a prize awarded by Minority Rights Group (MRG) to young professional and student journalists covering issues affecting minority and indigenous communities in developing countries. Journalist Per Liljas’ entry was described by judges as “outstanding, brilliant and a cut above the rest”. Winners were announced in March and Liljas, who took...

Al-Ahwaz: Iran's best-kept dirty secret 

Ahwazi's have not only been denied their most basic civil, political and human rights, they have been tortured, imprisoned and killed in the most brutal ways on a regular basis by Iranian intelligence and Iranian revolutionary guards. Journalists and human rights activists who have dared to speak up have been also been silenced, imprisoned or killed. These harsh conditions have caused more and more...

MRG Podcast: May 2011 

Click above to listenWelcome to Minority Rights Group International’s May 2011 podcast. This month we hear about how it’s hard to be black in Argentina, learn how minorities in Libya are being affected by the country’s bloody revolution and experience the pleasure and the pain of Spain’s gypsies through flamenco music.First up we have an interview with Nengumbi Celestin Sukama, president of the...

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...


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