The Question of Constitutionality, International Law and Women’s Protection after Turkey’s Withdraws from Istanbul Convention

The Question of Constitutionality, International Law and Women’s Protection after Turkey’s Withdraws from Istanbul Convention

By guest contributors Sarthak Gupta* The ‘Istanbul Convention’ officially referred to as the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence is the first legally enforceable international instrument in Europe addressingviolence against women. Turkey was the first country to sign the Convention in 2011. In 2012, on International Women Day, the Turkish Parliament overwhelmingly adopted the Convention, and the Law on the Protection of the Family and the Prevention of Violence Against Women (Law No. 6284) was enacted to integrate the Convention into domestic legislation. In March 2021, Turkey also became the first nation to withdraw from the Convention, ironically that too on International Women’s Day, following its 10th anniversary.  This withdrawal came during the time Covid-19 pandemic when women were more vulnerable to domestic violence. Istanbul Security Directorate statistics stated that there has been a 38% increase incases of domestic violence since March 2020. As per the Turkish Federation of Women’s Association, the physical violence...
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Political Apologies Database: Discussion with the Historical Dialogues Justice & Memory Network Seminar Series

Political Apologies Database: Discussion with the Historical Dialogues Justice & Memory Network Seminar Series

By: Lindsey Alpaugh, staff writer. On Tuesday, October 12th, the Historical Dialogues, Justice, and Memory Network Seminar Series hosted a discussion via Zoom, “Trends in Political Apologies Across the World: Insights From the Political Apologies Database,” featuring Dr. Juliette Schaafsma and Ph.D. Candidate Marieke Zoodsma from Tilburg University. Dr. Schaafsma and Zoodsma spoke about the nature of political apologies, as well as their recently launched resource, the Political Apologies Database. The database is part of a larger project the scholars are conducting, funded by the European Research Center, looking into the key questions surrounding political apologies.  The researchers began their lecture by outlining the larger discussion around political apologies. As states offer, or are asked to offer, political apologies for human rights violations, they may face skepticism or criticism for their motivations. Questions of sincerity, and how this apology might relate to norms of governance emerge for both those affected by the human rights violations, as well as the public at large....
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Catastrophe in Colombia: Examining the Police Brutality in Cali

Catastrophe in Colombia: Examining the Police Brutality in Cali

By guest contributors Dhanshitha Ravi* and Rishabh Guha** “...because here it’s easier to rain bullets than put food on tables.” - A Colombian protestor INTRODUCTION In April of 2021, Colombian conservative President Ivan Duque Marquez introduced tax reforms to bridge the fiscal deficit exacerbated by the pandemic which sparked the Paro Nacional 28A protests fueled by rampant corruption and inequality in healthcare across the country, the epicenter of which is traced to Cali. The President, an anathema to the netizens, deployed military personnel, the infamous mobile anti-riot squad (ESMAD) and labelled the peaceful protestors as 'terrorists.' Instances of police brutality were recorded leading to deaths, disappearances, and injuries using unrestrained force - violating human rights, contravening the Colombian Constitution and a multitude of international human rights conventions. BACKGROUND Firstly, in Operation Siloe, the guards used venom-system grenade launchers to fire directly into a candlelight vigil. The Popayan Court had previously ordered that such launchers firing non-lethal armaments like teargas must not be fired directly into...
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The Letter Condemning Criticism Against ICC’s Decisions: An Attempt to Stifle Free Speech

The Letter Condemning Criticism Against ICC’s Decisions: An Attempt to Stifle Free Speech

By guest contributor Pravah Ranka, a student at Gujarat National Law University. Introduction More than 50 former foreign ministers, prime ministers, and top international officials, including two former British Conservative ministers, have signed an open letter condemning political interference in efforts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged war crimes in Palestine. They state that attempts to delegitimize the International Criminal Court and hinder its operation will not be accepted if global justice is to be ensured. They have further stated that “the ICC must be shielded from any external pressures or threats including refraining from public criticism of the ICC’s decisions, which could contribute to undermining the independence of the court and public trust in its authority." Regardless of the alleged greater good it aims to achieve, the letter holds the potential to trample upon the civil liberties guaranteed by international law to the public at large. In this context, it is argued that the open letter is inconsistent...
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How Should We Look at War?

How Should We Look at War?

By guest contributor Julie Uszpolewicz* There is nothing as powerful in making the viewer realise the atrocity and the suffering of war, as an image. Statistics are too dehumanising, words leave too much to the imagination, but photography has the rare power of being apparently objective. However, looking at documented conflicts has been criticised by several post-modernist thinkers (such as Jean Baudillard) as being passive. In the contemporary world of social media, we are faced with images of horror more than we have ever been before, therefore, perhaps the question of the role of photography requires revisiting. Is there a right way to look at the war in the reality that is saturated with photographs of distant conflicts and human rights abuses? Perhaps this article will raise more doubts than give answers, but it seems worthwhile to stop for a second and ask what kind of pictures we are bombarded within the news. The question of ethics in political photography is nothing...
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The Point of No Return: Climate Apocalypse, Human Rights: Code Red

The Point of No Return: Climate Apocalypse, Human Rights: Code Red

By guest contributor Shelal Lodhi Rajput* Human Rights Code Red While the world is dealing with the adverse effects of its own actions,  the UN’s climate change panel dropped a bombshell in its latest report. Antonio Guterres termed our climate crisis as a “Code Red for Humanity”. We are on the brink of an impending apocalypse as we have failed time and again, gentle reminders, half-hearted summits, and conferences have not worked. Maybe the severe warning in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) report will inspire the international community to save what we can. Our seas are rising, forests burning, our islands are sinking and countries are at risk of catastrophic collapse. The effects of what many experts are calling “climate chaos” are ubiquitous and cannot be overlooked. The 42-page Climate Change 2021 report was authored by 200+ people, referenced over 14,000 climate studies, and was published with support from 195 countries. The climate emergency is a reality facing current and future...
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The Fate of Afghan Women after the US Withdrawal: A Legal Analysis

The Fate of Afghan Women after the US Withdrawal: A Legal Analysis

By guest contributors Ashutosh Anand* and Kaustubh Kumar**   INTRODUCTION The deal between the US and the Taliban signed in February 2020 stated that the US and its allies would withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan within 14 months. On August 31, 2021, all American forces have already withdrawn from Afghanistan, which has consequently unleashed havoc on the rights of Afghani women. When the US and its allies waged war on Afghanistan, the defense of women’s rights was one of their prime reasons to justify their invasion and subsequent occupation. The post-Taliban constitution, enacted in 2004, provided women with most of the basic human and civil rights. Moreover, under American troops’ presence, the post-Taliban regime followed a liberal policy towards women by providing access to healthcare, education, and work. For women’s empowerment in politics, the government also offered a 27 percent reservation of seats for women in Wolesi Jirga (House of People) of Afghanistan, which helped uproot the conservative mindset for women in Afghan...
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Finding Refuge: An NGOs Mission to End the Homelessness of Migrants, Refugees, & Asylum Seekers in Athens, Greece

Finding Refuge: An NGOs Mission to End the Homelessness of Migrants, Refugees, & Asylum Seekers in Athens, Greece

By: Noah Smith, staff writer.   In July 2020, there was a surge in homelessness for refugees and asylum seekers in Athens, Greece due to evictions by the Greek government. “Forcing people to leave their accommodation without a safety net and measures to ensure their self-reliance may push many into poverty and homelessness,” warned UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic. “Recognized refugees have to vacate much-needed accommodation for asylum seekers waiting in crowded reception facilities on the Greek Aegean islands. Over 31,000 women, men, and children live in five island reception centers with capacity for fewer than 6,000,” said Mahecic. However, the UNHCR has expressed their concerns that government aid for many recognized refugees is ending far too soon and before they have access to employment and social welfare programs. In total, the government of Greece has evicted 8,000 recognized refugees from camps and accommodations across the country. The first phase of evictions led to nearly 200 people sleeping in Victoria Square in Athens, where...
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Pegasus: A Clampdown on Global Democracy and Human Rights?

Pegasus: A Clampdown on Global Democracy and Human Rights?

By guest contributors: Shubhangi Verma* and Anushka Verma**   With new advancements in technology, we are on the cusp of a new age of revolution. New innovations keep on arriving in leaps and bounds, but these advancements carry with them some callous and fiendish predicaments. BACKGROUND In Greek mythology Pegasus refers to a white horse with wings, coming from heaven, which symbolizes peace and stability in life. In contrast to the real meaning enshrined in Greek mythology, Pegasus spyware, developed by Israeli cyber giant NSO Group Technologies is wreaking havoc internationally. Its most distressing role includes tracking human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials. Pegasus spyware has the ability to take full control of individuals’ mobile phones including accessing messages, phone numbers, videos, and locations. It even allows hackers to read encrypted messages. Pegasus developed zero-click installations in which attackers could enable the spyware in a mobile phone without any interaction by the phone’s owner. NSO earlier claimed that Pegasus is exclusively used by Government intelligence...
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Hungarian Curtailment of LGBTQ Rights: A Critical Analysis

Hungarian Curtailment of LGBTQ Rights: A Critical Analysis

By guest contributor, Akshita Tiwary* Recently, Hungary has been in the news for adopting a slew of legislation in the past year that severely curbs the rights of the LGBTQ community. The Prime Minister of the country, Mr. Viktor Orban, and his right-wing political party ‘Fidesz’ have been accused of eroding democracy on several fronts, including attacking LGBTQ rights. This article aims to discuss three of these legislations and highlight how these laws contradict Hungary’s own Constitution and violate international human rights legal standards. Further, it also sheds light on certain legal precedents and measures that can be helpful in tackling this issue. THE CONTROVERSIAL LAWS On June 15, 2021, the National Assembly of Hungary passed Bill Number T/16365. This law prohibits children under 18 years of age from being exposed to any content (educational or otherwise) that promotes an understanding of sexual and gender diversity. This bill forms part of a broader law that seeks to restrict pedophilia and sexual crimes against...
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