Wang Quanzhang is a lawyer. He spent four and a half years in jail for doing his job. It says a lot about the state of the rule of law in China when even lawyers are persecuted for representing victims. He is no exception. In a nationwide operation in summer 2015, the Chinese authorities rounded up more than 200 lawyers and dissidents. For three years, Wang's wife Li Wenzu knew nothing about his fate; their son had to grow up without a father. Yet, Li Wenzu's spirit was unbroken. She herself became an activist. Watch video 03:23 Share '709 Crackdown' five years on Send Facebook Twitter reddit EMail Facebook Messenger Web Whatsapp Web Telegram linkedin Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/3f0ix China: Freed human rights lawyer tries to rebuild his life Long-term coverage DW's China correspondent Mathias Bölinger accompanied this courageous woman's battle for four years. Their many encounters provided the … [Read more...] about DW reporters in China: Documenting the erosion of fundamental rights
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The Ugandan Parliament on Monday passed the Sexual Offenses Bill, which contains a clause to criminalize same-sex relationships. The bill prescribes a five-year-jail term for anyone guilty of same-sex acts, and awaits the signature of President Yoweri Museveni. For many, the bill sounds like a repeat of a similar law passed in the Ugandan parliament in 2013, which, however, was annulled by the country's Supreme Court based on technicalities. The new bill explained The focus of the new bill is to primarily clamp down on sexual violence in general, increasing punishments for sexual offenders while also boosting the protection of victims during sexual offense trials. The overarching objective of the new piece of legislation is to provide for a broader application of the law while repealing some provisions of the Penal Code Act. Pride events like this one in the Ugandan city of Entebbe in 2014 could become a thing of the past According to Jacob Oboth-Oboth, chairperson of … [Read more...] about Uncertain future for LGBT+ rights in Uganda as controversial bill is passed
Dozens of armed groups have operated for years in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) North Kivu and Ituri provinces, and civilians have been subjected to horrifying massacres. Armed militias and inter-communal violence have killed more than 300 people so far in 2021. Presidential spokesman Tharsice Kasongo Mwema said on Tuesday that the two provinces would be declared under siege for 30 days starting on Thursday May 6. "To respond to the situation during the state of siege, the provincial governments of Ituri and North Kivu ... will be replaced by offices of the armed forces of the DRC or the national police," he said. Security and judicial vacuum It was the first time since the Democratic Republic of Congo's independence that a president used the exceptional "state of siege" or state of emergency. President Felix Tshisekedi said he wanted to eliminate insecurity in the two provinces, where the Congolese government has failed to enforce the rule of law. "There is a … [Read more...] about DRC: Is President Tshisekedi’s ‘state of siege’ a cover-up?
US President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind efforts by India, South Africa and dozens of other countries to temporarily suspend intellectual property (IP) protections for coronavirus vaccines, offering hope for countries struggling for doses and leaving vaccine makers exasperated. The reversal of the previous US position comes as a deadly second wave of the coronavirus sweeps through India, leaving tens of thousands dead and many more infected over the past few weeks. The virus has overwhelmed the country's already dilapidated health care system with patients struggling for hospital beds and medical oxygen. Public health activists say the easing of patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines will allow drugmakers in poor countries to start production of effective vaccines sooner and speed up the end of the pandemic, which if allowed to rage could see the emergence of vaccine-resistant COVID variants. "This [the US move] is very significant. The US government has a long … [Read more...] about Access to COVID vaccine patents is not the same as access to vaccines
Pressure is growing to expand access and production to COVID vaccines, as the US announced Wednesday it would support a proposal to temporarily suspend intellectual property (IP) patents on vaccine technology. The proposal, originally brought by India and South Africa to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in October 2020, contends that allowing drugmakers in poorer countries access to the technology will speed up the production of vaccines. The US had previously opposed the waiver proposal, arguing it would stifle innovation. The EU and the UK have also opposed the idea. On Thursday, the EU cautiously said it is "ready to assess" how the proposal could ramp up global vaccine production. The term "vaccine nationalism" has long been used to describe how high-income countries have prioritized securing vaccines for their own populations, while lower-income countries must wait for doses. Health officials around the world have warned since the beginning of the pandemic that … [Read more...] about Will waiving vaccine patents end ‘vaccine nationalism?’