MINELRES: MRG eBulletin / Sept-Dec 2006

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Minority Rights Group International eBulletin

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News highlights

** India has failed to replicate success in Tamil Nadu to halt other
ethnic conflicts**

** 14 December 2006**

India has successively failed to manage its festering ethnic
conflicts despite having a rare example of conflict resolution within
its own shores, a London based human rights group says. 

Minority Rights Group International says in its latest report that
India has failed to replicate the strategies that helped avert a
violent conflict in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in other areas
like Punjab, Kashmir and Nagaland. 


** International support needed to help Turkey's displaced people **

** 30 November 2006 **

Turkey lacks the capacity and commitment to resolve the problems of
its more than one million displaced people living in appalling
conditions in the country's big cities and is in need of crucial
international support, says a new report by Minority Rights Group
International and three Turkish based human rights groups. 


** MRG deplores UN inaction on Declaration to protect rights of
indigenous peoples **

** 29 November 2006 **

Minority Rights Group International accused the UN of failing
indigenous peoples across the world by effectively quashing a
landmark resolution aimed at protecting their rights.


** Turkey's Christian and other religious minorities face
discrimination and rights violations **

** 28 November 2006 **

Increasing religious extremism and discriminatory laws in Turkey are
stifling the rights of Christians and other religious minorities, an
international human rights group says. 

As Pope Benedict XVI pays a landmark visit to Turkey Minority Rights
Group International warns that the plight of Christians and other
religious minorities must not be swept aside amidst populist concerns
over Muslim-Christian relations. 


** Many electoral systems across the world still exclude minorities -
new MRG report **

** 20 November 2006**

The marginalisation of minorities in electoral systems can result in
conflict, and in countries like Bosnia the post-war electoral systems
entrench and aggravate ethnic division, a landmark new report by
Minority Group International (MRG) says. 

The report, which is the first global survey on minorities in
electoral systems, says electoral systems are the skeletons on which
the body of a peaceful or a conflict-ridden society grows. 


** More than a decade after the death of Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa
Niger Delta's ethnic groups continue to pay the high cost of oil
extraction **

** 10 November 2006 **

As a memorial is unveiled in London to executed Nigerian activist Ken
Saro-Wiwa, the living conditions of the people whose cause he
championed have worsened, Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

In November 1995, news that Saro-Wiwa and 8 other activists had been
executed by Nigeria's then military junta, drew international
attention to the plight of the people of the Niger Delta, a region of
20 million people which takes its name from the Niger River basin in
the south of the country. 


** Turkey human rights abuses rise amidst rising religious and
nationalist extremism **

** 7 November 2006 **

Turkey is dragging its feet over urgent human rights reforms and
abuses against minorities are on the increase amidst rising religious
and nationalist extremism, says Minority Rights Group, in advance of
the European Commission's influential annual report on Turkey on


** Pastoralist women unite as tensions rise in northern Kenya **

** 26 October 2006 **

In the first meeting of its kind, women from nomadic communities
from all over Kenya, met in Narok in South-West Kenya to discuss ways
of improving their participation in political and economic


** Less protection for those who change religion will deepen
discrimination for India's most marginalized group, says MRG **

** 17 October 2006**

India's most marginalized social group, the Dalits or 'untouchables'
will continue to face atrocities and discrimination, despite changing
religion to try and escape the negative treatment they are subject to.


** UN could have averted Darfur catastrophe - new MRG report **

16 October 2006

The catastrophe in Darfur could have been averted if the UN and the
wider international community had heeded early warning signals and
acted upon them, Minority Rights Group International (MRG) says in a


** Dominican Republic must implement landmark judgement and end
discrimination against Haitian minority urges MRG **

** 7 October 2006 **

Dominican Republic: Haitians in the Dominican Republic continue to
suffer violations to their basic rights despite a landmark ruling a
year ago which could have opened the way for hundreds of thousands of
people of Haitian-descent to claim full citizenship.


** Zengin v. Turkey at the ECHR highlights plight of Turkey's biggest
minority group, the Alevis **

** 3 October 2006 **

Strasbourg: A case concerning Turkey's largest but most overlooked
religious minority will be heard before the European Court of Human
Rights today. Hasan Zengin, 46 and his daughter Eylem, 26, adherents
of Alevism, will challenge the compulsion that forced Eylem to attend
classes in religious culture and ethics that are based on the
teachings of Sunni Islam while she was a pupil at state school.


** Trilateral relationship between Afghanistan, Pakistan and US must
focus on human rights not solely military action **

** 28 September 2006 **

London: As President Bush meets with Presidents Musharraf of Pakistan
and Karzai of Afghanistan yesterday to discuss building their
trilateral relationship, Minority Rights Group warns that this must
not add fuel to the tacitly endorsed repression of minorities in the
three countries.


** Women from minority communities must be better supported to
participate in peace processes - statement to mark International Day
of Peace **

** 21 September 2006 **

London: Women from minority communities are often among the worst
affected in armed conflict and governments should do more to ensure
they take an active role in conflict resolution and peace building
mechanisms, Minority Rights Group International (MRG) says in a
statement to mark International Day of Peace. 


** MRG welcomes first report by UN Independent Expert on Minority
Issues to Human Rights Council **

** 19 September 2006 **

Geneva: Minority Rights Group Int. on Tuesday welcomed the report
presented by the Independent Expert on Minority Issues Gay McDougall
to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and called for her mandate to be
further strengthened. Ms McDougall is the first UN expert on minority
issues and this was her first report to the HRC. &lsquo;As the member
states are aware, no other UN special procedure mandate has a
comprehensive minority rights approach and the mandate of the
independent expert is crucial to filling this gap,&rsquo; MRG said in
a joint statement with five other organizations. 


** Comment and analysis

** Could Peace Beget Rights for Nepal's Dalits? **

**Preti Taneja, MRG
8 December 2006**

As the signing of an historic peace agreement on 21 November brought
the decade-long bloody civil war in Nepal to an end, the people took
to the streets to celebrate. But in a sober committee room in
London&rsquo;s House of Commons, we sat in shocked silence, our eyes
open with disbelief as we watched the TV screen.


** Why tyrants and warmongers must face the music **

** Ishbel Matheson, MRG
21 November 2006 **

The deals that threaten international justice.

In the conflict-ridden, resource-rich heart of Africa, the
horse-trading has begun. Jean-Pierre Bemba, the wealthy
businessman-turned-rebel, has lost the first presidential election in
the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than 40 years, and is crying


** First Rwanda, then Darfur, and next? How we can help to end these
horrors **

** Ishbel Matheson, MRG
16 October 2006 **

IN MAY 2004, it seemed almost on a whim, the Sudanese authorities
finally granted permission for two journalists and their cameramen to
travel to the remote desert region of Darfur. For months there had
been reports of a catastrophe unfolding there. Government-backed Arab
militia were on the rampage, burning villages, driving people from the
land, in an orgy of mayhem, rape and murder.


** 'In 20 years, there will be no more Christians in Iraq' **

** Mark Lattimer, MRG
6 October 2006 **

Three years after the invasion of Iraq, it is believed that half the
Christians in the country have fled, driven out by bomb attacks,
assassinations and death threats. So why haven't the coalition forces
done more to protect them? Mark Lattimer reports


** Global War On Minorities **

** Preti Taneja, MRG
2 October 2006 **

Since the "war on terror" was declared five years ago, the Bush
administration has shown the world that human rights can be
compromised in the name of counterterrorism. Minority communities
around the globe have suffered as a result.


** In Nicaragua, an Historic - and Unlikely - Alliance for Peace **

** Chris Chapman, MRG
21 September 2006 **

On the International Day of Peace, Chris Chapman, head of conflict
prevention at Minority Rights Group International, reports from
Nicaragua, where an historic alliance that supports minority rights
is being formed


** Britain is failing Sri Lankan Muslims **

** Farah Mihlar, MRG
September 1 2006 **

British foreign policy offends Muslims not only because of Tony
Blair's pro-American stance on Iraq and the Middle East, but also
because of Britain's thorough indifference to crises faced by smaller
Muslim populations outside of Europe.


Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is a non-governmental
organization working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples worldwide, and to
promote cooperation and understanding between communities.MRG is a
registered charity no. 282305, and has consultative status with the
United Nations Economic and Social Council and observer status with
the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights.

Minority Rights Group International
54 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LT, UK
Tel: 020 7422 4200
Fax: 020 7422 4201

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