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Malaysia: The story of a famous, yet invisible Bajau man 

The myriad islands off the east coast of the Malaysian state of Sabah in northern Borneo are renowned for their outstanding natural beauty, described in tourism literature as ‘pretty as a picture-postcard’ and ‘a chance to escape from reality’ (Tierney and Tierney, 2009: 129). After an invigorating speedboat ride from the mainland town of Semporna, visitors to Mabul island are greeted by dozens of...

Tanzania: October cyclical drought should not catch government unaware 

That time of year is upon us again in Tanzania. Pastoralists are asking will the rains come, or not? With many experts now claiming that the cyclical pattern of drought in east Africa is no longer accidental,  MRG Kampala office intern Maud Tournier looks at the impact of the drought that set in in mid-October, and how minorities and indigenous peoples are coping. ...

Egypt: Promotion and protection of the identity of religious minorities 

Thank you Mr. Chairman for the opportunity for this intervention.My name is Mamdouh Nakhla and I work as the head of Alkalema center for Human Rights, an organization concerned with the prevention of religious and ethnic discrimination in Egypt. I belong to the Coptic minority, which makes up 17 million of the total population of 87 million, about 20 per cent, and is considered...

Sri Lanka: Statement at 6th Session of the UN's Forum on Minority issues 

6th Session of the UN’s Forum on Minority Issues (26-27 November 2013) Madam Chair, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak. My name is Suhood Fasleem and I am speaking on behalf of the Muslim Community, a religious minority in minority who was forcibly expelled from Northern Province of Srilanka by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 1990.One of the most...

MRG’s Carl Soderbergh addresses the 6th UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva 

Carl Soderbergh, MRG's Director of Policy & Communications, addressed the 6th UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva, held on  the 26-27 November 2013.His speech focused on the topic of legal frameworks and key concepts, discussing the impact of discriminatory legal practices on many minority communities around the globe, in particular with regards to religious minority women.Read the full text of his intervention below:Madam...

Cambodia: Roza Dao speaks at the 6th UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva 

At the UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva on 26-27 November 2013, Mrs Roza Dao spoke to delegates on behalf of the Cham National Federation of Cambodia, an NGO representing the interests of the Champa minority community. The theme of the intervention was "beyond freedom of religion or belief: guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities". Read the full text of Roza Dao's speech below:Madam...

Georgia: Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze speaks at the 6th UN Forum on Minority Issues 

Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze of the Evangelist Baptist Church of Georgia spoke at the 6th Forum on Minority Issues on 26 November.Her intervention raised the issue of recent discrimination and attacks on religious minorities in Georgia and the failure of the authorities to provide adequate protection.Watch her speech in full below:...

Guatemala: Edgar Pérez - Genocide and justice 

In March this year former Guatemalan dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt made international headlines when he was convicted on genocide charges. Sadly, the conviction was swiftly overturned by Guatemala's Constitution Court. A new trial is set to begin in January 2015, but many fear that the same legal and political barriers will stand in the way of a conviction.Last month one of Guatemala's foremost...

Mauritania: Interview with lawyer Me Elid Mohameden 

Me Elid Mohameden is a lawyer supported by MRG to represent women and child victims of slavery in Mauritania.The Haratine form one of the largest ethnic groups in Mauritania, and during the post-colonial era they have struggled to assert their rights and break free of the slavery which has historically subjugated them; 10 to 20 per cent of Mauritania's population is still estimated to...

South Sudan: Interview with Paul Oleyo Longony, Boma Community Initiative 

As South Sudanese vote on becoming an independent state, in what has internationally been billed as a “new dawn” and “new chapter in history” for the long-suffering and neglected South, ethnic minority communities harbour guarded optimism.MRG’s Africa Regional Information officer, Mohamed Matovu, talked to Paul Oleyo, the Executive Director of Boma Community Initiative (a Sudanese organisation working on peace-building based in Boma, Jonglei State...

Palestine: Interview with Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, human rights activist 

MRG's Media Intern, Lovemore Luwizhu, interviews Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian Christian who firmly believes in civic engagement to effect positive change in society.The media regularly exposes us to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, often through the lens of the editorial policy of the news outlet in question. Professor Qumsiyeh, from the town of Beit Sahour in the West Bank, here sheds more light on the...

Afghanistan: Interview with Hazara activist Fakhria Ibrahimi 

MRG’s Media Officer, Emma Eastwood, spoke to Fakhria Ibrahimi, a Hazara woman who has high hopes for her embattled country.Seldom does a day go by without the latest atrocities of the war in Afghanistan being splashed across the pages of the world’s media. Yet, we rarely hear the voices of ordinary Afghans who continue to go about their daily lives despite the conflict."I live...

Kenya: The customary bylaws of the Chepkitale Ogiek of Mount Elgon 

As a result of an intense community process of mapping and dialogue, the Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya, have written down their customary bylaws for the first time, in order to ensure the continued conservation of their ancestral lands and natural resources.As one Ogiek community member explains:"We have never conserved. It is the way we live that conserves. These customary bylaws we have had...

Iraq: Religion and identity 

Throughout its long history, Iraq has been an incubator for different religions.Unfortunately, religion has often played a negative role, fuelling conflict between majority & minority communities and suppressing the development of a unifying civic identity.This document was produced by a participant in a training organised by MRG’s partner Iraqi Minorities Council, in Erbil, and talks about the history of religious diScrimination in Iraq, and the importance...

Philippines: KAMP condemns slay of Pablo survivor, IP rights defender  

Indigenous people's organization Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas lambasted the Aquino after another case of extrajudicial killing was reported yesterday. "The Aquino government is yet again showing its inutility in solving the nation's problems in the unabated extrajudicial killings," Piya Macliing Malayao KAMP spokesperson said. "Its failure to resolve the dire human rights situation in the country piles on this administration's inability...

Philippines: Junk the EPIRA, VAT to suppress energy rate hikes-IP group 

"BS Aquino's lame duck attitude towards pressing issues is sickening. A President who claims to be powerless to address the people's needs is no way for Aquino to act amidst crises," says Piya Macliing Malayao, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) spokesperson said. "BS Aquino’s impotency to protect its people and ensure their welfare makes this government worthless to its constituents." ...

Minorities at the UN: Javed Anis, Urban and Rural Growth Academy Bhopal, India 

Javed Anis, on the behalf of Urban and Rural Growth Academy spoke at the UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva on 26-27 November 2013 . His intervention was based on AGENDA ITEM # 3: Protection of the existence of and prevention of violence against religious minorities. Read the full text of his intervention below. Thank you Madam ChairMy name is Javed Anis....

Iran: Deliberate 'linguicide' of Arabic language in Al-Ahwaz 

By Rahim HamidNationality: Ahwazi- ArabPrefaceI begin my study by addressing some constructive questions about the common factors that can be attributed to the gradual extinction of language, which frequently occurs intentionally and systematically, particularly in multiethnic countries that one language strictly dominated on other languages as a discriminatory policy to assimilate the language of the ethnic minority or aboriginal people by imposing the most...

Burma: Kachin group slams China’s new CSR report on Myitsone dam 

Kachin activists have slammed a new corporate social responsibility (CSR) report aimed at bolstering support for seven China-backed hydropower projects along the Irrawaddy River in northern Burma, including the deeply unpopular Myitsone mega dam.The Upstream Ayeyawady Confluence Basin Hydropower Co. (ACHC), part of state-owned Chinese Power Investment (CPI), launched its “Ayeywady Dams Corporate Responsibility Report” in Rangoon in December, claiming the projects would be...

Burma: Systematic sexual violence in ethnic areas, new report 

Today marks the launch of an important new report documenting ongoing crimes of sexual violence-over 100 cases documented since 2010, including 47 gang rapes--perpetrated by the Burmese military in ethnic regions of Burma.The Women's League of Burma (WLB), consisting of thirteen women's organizations representing different ethnic areas in Burma, released the report, "Same Impunity, Same Pattern: Sexual abuses by the Burma army will not...


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