Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Prioritize tackling human rights violations

Amnesty International Urges Presidential Candidates in Guatemala to Address Human Rights Problems affecting hundreds of thousands
WashingtonD.C: Amnesty International today urged Guatemalan presidential candidates to prioritize tackling human rights violations affecting hundreds of thousands in the country. In an open letter sent to all presidential candidates, Amnesty International wrote that the new government should improve investigations into past human rights abuses, tackle the alarming rate of violent crime and killings of women, provide long term solutions to land conflicts and protect the work of human rights activists. “Human rights abuses are a common problem in Guatemala today. Those particularly affected tend to be the most vulnerable, the ones who are most discriminated against: women, indigenous peoples and those living in poverty,” said Sebastian Elgueta, Guatemala researcher at Amnesty International. “The political will of the future President will be crucial in ensuring human rights are protected in Guatemala. This is why it is so crucial that candidates commit to addressing the human rights challenges ahead,” he said.Elections are scheduled for Sept. 11 2011. If none of the candidates receives more than fifty percent of the votes, a second round will take place on Nov. 6 2011. Municipal and legislative elections are scheduled on the same day. Violence against candidates has been reported, including the killing of three candidates since their campaigns started in May 2011. Over the past decades Amnesty International has documented alarming levels of human rights abuses in Guatemala. The internal armed conflict, which ended in 1996, left 200,000 victims of torture, killings and enforced disappearances. Those responsible for the harm have only been brought to justice in a handful of cases and few victims have received reparations. Today Guatemala is a country with one of the highest rates of homicide and violent crime in the Americas. Many of the victims are women –695 were violently murdered in 2010 alone, according to official figures. Most of those responsible for the abuses never face justice. Land conflict and forced evictions are two issues that most affect rural communities across Guatemala. The country’s government has so far failed to address the underlying causes of land conflicts and instead prioritized short-term violent solutions. In recent years, Amnesty International has also documented a large number of threats and attacks against human rights activists, particularly those who focus on economic, social and cultural rights such as activists who work on land disputes, mining projects and labor disputes.In the first six months of 2011, local human rights organizations reported 273 incidents of intimidation, threats and or attacks against activists. The vast majority has not been investigated. “Justice for human rights abuses in Guatemala can be done. What is needed are efficient investigations, effective prosecutions and the political will of the authorities,” said Elgueta. “We urge all presidential candidates to commit to protecting and improving human rights in Guatemala.” Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. 
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Joy of freedom enjoyed


Ludhiana, :: The 65th Independence Day celebrations were celebrated in a grand way at Christian Medical College Ludhiana, yesterday at 9:00 am at the College campus of CMC.  Earlier there was a special service conducted at the College Chapel led by Rev. Stanley Thomas, to thank God for the freedom we received as a Nation and all those who made it possible.   Dr. George Koshy, Registrar and Vice Principal of the Christian Dental College exhorted from the Holy Bible that God blesses the Nation which builds on righteousness.
The Chief Guest of the occasion was Brig. M. George Jacob, Station Commander for the Army Unit at Ludhiana.  During the occasion the Chief Guest took the salute from the march past led by the students of all the five colleges of the institution and security personnel.  Dr. Abraham G. Thomas, Director of CMC Ludhiana welcomed the gathering and reminded  everyone present that CMC Ludhiana had played a critical role in the freedom struggle and  it is important to carry on the legacy of our fore-fathers with dedication and perseverance.Chief Guest of the occasion Brig. M. George Jacob said during his Independence Day address that CMC Ludhiana is an institution of national importance and he encouraged all the students to be good citizens and to carry on with passion.  He also highlighted how different sections of the society played a key role in our freedom struggle. 
After this students of the various colleges of CMC presented a cultural programme depicting the various facets of our freedom struggle through songs, dance and choreography.  This years Independence Day celebrations were co-ordinated by Christian Dental College.