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All in the name of progress

BEIJING (AsiaNews): A family of seven in Hanzhong, a village in Shaanxi province, northwestern China, was dragged from their home, bound and gagged, by a demolition team, The Beijing News has reported.
 
The family had refused compensation from local authorities, who responded on July 1 by sending in a wrecking crew.
 
Operating under the dictum, anything in the name of progress, the team secured the family with zip ties and tape, dragging all seven out of the house before beginning to demolish it.

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Sri Lanka called to act on forced disappearances

COLOMBO (UCAN): Journalists in Sri Lanka are demanding that the government act quickly to pass a law that would make forced disappearances a criminal offence.
 
The United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances ranks Sri Lanka as the second biggest offender in this area, as for decades people have simply been disappearing without a trace.
 

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Trampled rights in Tibet

MADRID (UCAN): Fifty-eight years ago, a large Tibetan protest against the Chinese government broke out in Lhasa, Tibet, on March 10, which eventually led to the political and spiritual leader of the country, the Dalai Lama, some government officials and tens of thousands of Tibetans fleeing to neighbouring India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries.

On March 10 this year, exiled Tibetans around the world held a variety of activities to mark the anniversary and called on the Chinese government to improve its policy towards Tibet and resolve the issues that cause so much discontent.

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Religious join Women’s March in Washington

WASHINGTON (SE): The large crowds that gathered on January 21, the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America (US), was originally billed as a protest by feminists against the anti-woman policies and attitudes of the new man in the While House.

But controversy quickly broke out and a week prior to the event the registration of what had described itself as a pro-life group, taken as being anti-abortion, was rejected by the organisers as being anti-feminist.

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Chinese Muslim website blocked

HONG KONG (Agencies): One of China’s most popular online communities for Muslims has been shut down after posting a petition asking the president, Xi Jinping, to stop his brutal suppression of human rights advocates.

The students who wrote the petition told Agence France Presse on December 14 that they demanded the immediate release of advocates still held by the state.

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Putting Christmas back on the rails

LAHORE (UCAN): The Railways and Human Rights Ministries in Pakistan ran a special train over the Christmas period to express solidarity with the minority Christian community and promote interfaith harmony.

State-run Associated Press Pakistan quoted unnamed officials as saying what they termed a special human rights train was the first rail service to celebrate a minority festival.

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Father Cullen honoured with humanitarian award

KILLARNEY (SE): Regular columnist for the Sunday Examiner, Father Shay Cullen, was awarded the Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award at a weekend festival in Killarney, Ireland, for his work in promoting human rights, justice and peace.

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China survives on United Nations rights council

HONG KONG (SE): “Voting to put China on the council again would be like picking a fox to guard the henhouse, while still wiping the feathers away from his mouth after his last meal,” Yang Jianli, wrote in the Washington Post on October 24 in an op-ed piece calling on the United Nations (UN) not to reelect China to the Human Rights Council.

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Rights with characteristics?

“EVERYONE HAS THE right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance,” Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says.