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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...

Ahwazi Refugees plight in Al-Waleed camp 

Ahwazi people who faced death threats and fled Iran have found themselves in horrendous conditions in a displacement camp in the desert. The camp lacks adequate facilities and there is an absence of medical care amid extreme weather conditions. Children, women and the elderly have died due to the lack of adequate healthcare. The nearest hospital is four hours drive along a dangerous route. The tents are...

Iran: Mayor Fires 400 Ahwazi Workers  

The Ahwazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights would like to express its grave concern about the recent crime in Ahwaz city, southeast Iran. Ktanbaf Mansoor, mayor of Ahwaz and Iranian revolutionary guard official fired 400 Ahwazi workers apparently for participating in or supporting pro-democracy demonstrations in April and May. Mr Ktanbaf, who is newly elected was appointed on 7 May 2011. Many...

Foreign investment threatens Burma's ethnic minorities: report 

Foreign investment has risen dramatically over the past year, as international companies cooperate with Burma’s government to exploit the country’s natural resources. But those resources are concentrated in areas occupied by ethnic minorities, and projects such as hydroelectric dams have already sparked fighting between ethnic armed groups and government forces.The influx of investment threatens both ethnic minorities and the environment, according to a new...

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...

Interviews with activists: Johanne Ongbenok, Director of FONDAF, Cameroon 

Johanne Ongbenok is the director of FONDAF, an organisation working to support the Bagyeli community in southern Cameroon. The Bagyeli, a nomadic forest people living in the Campo Ma'an national park in southwest Cameroon who are commonly referred to as ‘Pygmies', have sustained themselves for centuries using their vast knowledge of the plant and animal life of the surrounding forest. They traditionally survived by...

Syria in change - Solution for the Kurdish issue 

Since 15th March of this year, citizens rose up against the regime in Syria, which is considered as one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the Arab world. The reaction of the Syrian regime on the protests of the Syrian people has showed this brutality. Thousands of Syrians have paid with their life for their demand for freedom, democracy and human rights.The...

The situation in the Syrian Kurdish areas worsens 

With an increase in anti-government protests in Syria’s Kurdish areas, concerns are rising that the already highly militarized towns may become the next major target for attack by government forces.The spark of the uprising against the Syrian regime was first lit in March 2011, in Deraa, the southern city near the border with Jordan. After a week of demonstrations in Deraa against the regime of President Bashar...

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...

Sri Lanka: Discrimination against Tamils continues after the war  

Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority continues to suffer discrimination despite the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebel group, activists say.Government forces in 2009 overwhelmed the Tamil Tigers, or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), ended a bloody war in which the rebel group fought to secure a separate state.Human rights activists and civil society groups say the end of the conflict has opened the...

Cambodia: Bilingual education offers opportunities to indigenous communities 

The Cambodian government has established Khmer language schools in the highland provinces of Rattanakiri, and Mondulkiri. However, minority people in these provinces are failing to gain a good education in the government system,
mostly because many of them do not understand Khmer, the national language and medium of instruction. This has resulted in successive generations growing up illiterate and unable to speak the national language....

India: Dalit women trained on advocacy 

These photos are of a training session with minority women, taken in January, 2011. The participants were Dalits in the Sundarban area of West Bengal state. Training was based around awareness creation on gender and empowerment, and the importance of children rights. The training focused on: community mobilisation, empowerment processes,  development leadership qualities, lobby and advocacy strategies The Christian Children Fund of Canada works on...

Sri Lanka: villagers denied right to return home 

During its push to defeat the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), the government uprooted many communities, some of whom continue to be displaced even though the war ended in 2009. One of these communities is the coastal village of Sampur. Sampur was the initial target of the advancing government forces and the entire village was moved to Batticaloa. From Batticaloa they were...

India: Anti-corruption movement excludes minorities 

[The following is the statement of Dr John Dayal, Secretary General, All India Christian Council, on behalf of the Council, on the apprehensions of the religious minorities and marginalised people on the so called Jan Lok Pal Bill, the proposed anti-corruption bill.]The All India Christian Council fully understands the angst of the common people, the Dalits, Tribals, Religious Minorities against the evil of corruption....


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