Women have been banned from wearing face veils in Sri Lanka as part of emergency measures brought into force after the Easter Sunday blasts.The measure is being used to help identify potential suspects with security services on high alert following the attacks which killed more than 250 people.Officials say the terrorists behind the blasts are planning more strikes and could be disguised in military uniforms, while the police chief in charge at the time of the bombings has been sent on "compulsory leave". Blood on the walls and torn-up pews - inside bombed Sri Lanka church Sky's Tom Cheshire reports from inside the shattered remains of St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe promised a significant shake-up of several departments after admitting there had been a breakdown in communication that led to key intel on the attacks not being acted upon.As a result, Pujith Jayasundara has lost his job as head of the police, replaced by Chandana Wickramaratne, … [Read more...] about Sri Lanka bans face veils over fear of more bomb attacks
Country report on human rights practices
This project was produced by Dawning, an organization devoted to investigative journalism. It is an independent effort, self-funded, non-partisan and non-ideological, in the tradition of journalism in the public interest. Forty years ago, Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo hid together in safe houses around Costa Rica’s capital while waiting for the imminent fall of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza. Today, thousands of their exiled compatriots hide in the same city, San José, awaiting the fall of the presidential couple. Food and secondhand clothing from the US are distributed to Nicaraguan refugees at this refugee center in San José. Nicaraguan exiles come from every walk of life. All of them have one thing in common: if they returned home, they say they would be arrested, tortured or killed. They are some of Ortega’s most wanted. Nicaraguans wait to apply for asylum. As of March 2019, almost 30,000 have formally filed asylum applications. … [Read more...] about Daniel Ortega’s most wanted: Nicaragua’s exiles in Costa Rica
The cable car floats over the mountainside above rickety rooftops, labyrinthine streets, palms and pylons of a barrio built by, and named after, the most renowned criminal of all time – Pablo Escobar. Below it lies what was until recently the fortress of the cocaine king, on the northeast edges of Medellín in Colombia. There is strange silence up here where vultures soar above the bustle, but eventually the cable car reaches its terminus, disgorging passengers into the animation of the place now optimistically renamed Santo Domingo – after the patron saint of hopeful mothers. A donkey-drawn cart full of mangoes, an ostentatious SUV, many old Volkswagens and crowds of young people vie for right of passage along the vivacity of the main street. The cable car is an articulation of the change since the street and warrens were Escobar's fiefdom. As is the building that towers above the barrio's skyline, a granite cliff of award-winning modernist design, the parque … [Read more...] about Medellín, Colombia: reinventing the world’s most dangerous city
An analysis of Syrian survivors' interviews from 2012 to date details new accusations of what authors call systematic sexual and gendered violence at state-controlled detention facilities, government checkpoints and house raids by the Syrian army. The report, entitled "Do you know what happens here?," was named after testimony from one witness who, during interrogation, was said to have been asked the question before being led into a room where a detainee was being sexually assaulted by a guard. The Washington-based Syrian Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC) penned the report as part of efforts to deliver transitional justice, including reducing shame and stigma, potential truth commissions and possible prosecutions. Of the 315 interviews collected at random in areas researchers had access to in Syria and neighboring countries, 91 were identified as possibly containing evidence of sexual or gender-based violence (SGBV). Fifty-six of those were said to indicate crimes … [Read more...] about Syria’s sexual violence survivors seek justice
Audrey Calkins, a 33-year-old lawyer, had already voted in two elections in her county in the US state of Tennessee when she showed up to vote in the Republican presidential primary on March 1, 2016. That morning, she showed up at the polls bright and early, presented her ID and her voter registration card to the election official, who looked her up in the system. "They told me I wasn't on the list," Calkins said. "I said, 'Check that you’re spelling my name right.'" The official turned his computer screen around so that Calkins could see he was spelling her name correctly, and indeed, she was not on the list. "They said I wasn't a registered voter," Calkins said. "I was blown away, because obviously I had just voted a couple of months before in both October and November." Calkins was turned away from voting. Read more: Fear of Russian hacking of election is real in Georgia, USA In New York City, Turner Cowles, a 28-year-old journalist, tried to vote … [Read more...] about Has US voter suppression become systematic?