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human rights

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Once a refuge for foreign journalists fleeing repression at home, the U.S. risks losing that status.

Like other migrants, journalists who come to the U.S. seeking safety are much more likely to wind up in prisons or federal detention centers - sometimes for months - as their immigratiom cases are considered. Their claims are also being heard by immigration courts that are much more likely to deny asylum requests than they were even a few years ago.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the stories of a Cuban journalist and a Mexican journalist who both found themselves locked up in a country they hoped would provide safety. 


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Thousands of children have been used as soldiers in at least 18 countries around the world in the past two years.

For the children who survive, the trauma of war can have long-lasting impacts.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we’re going to hear about how two aid groups are trying to address this issue in South Sudan and Uganda. We'll also hear from two ex-child soldiers about how the trauma of fighting in wars shaped their lives.

This program first aired Nov. 29, 2018.

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When Sudan's dictator of 30 years was ousted in April following months of protests, many were hopeful that the African nation might transition towards democracy.

Yet less than three months after Omar al-Bashir's arrest, the country's military turned its guns on the protesters and a general linked to the genocide in Darfur is ascendant.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at the political crisis in Sudan and the prospects for a transition to civilian government.


AP Photo

Cuba has long been one of the world’s least connected countries. Cubans weren’t allowed to buy personal computers until about a decade ago, and didn’t have access to the Internet until 2013.

But things are slowly changing in the Communist country. In December, the state telecom company launched the country’s first mobile internet network. At the end of March, the country’s government signed a deal with Google that could significantly boost speeds on the country’s painfully slow network. President Miguel Diaz-Canel even opened a Twitter account.

Still, Cubans face big challenges in accessing information about the outside world.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Cuba’s slow march in to the digital age and what it means for the government’s efforts to control access to news and information – as well as the independent journalists who try to provide it.


AP Photo

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at eugenics laws and forcible sterilization in both Japan and the U.S. – two countries with a surprisingly recent legacy of sterilizing people against their will.

In Japan, a postwar eugenics law in force until 1996 cleared the way for the government to sterilize 25,000 people deemed unfit to reproduce. In the U.S., 32 states passed laws allowing authorities to sterilize people without their consent - and as many as 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized, some as late as the 1970s.

Hundreds of the victims of these policies are still alive, and in many cases are still waiting for apologies and compensation from the governments that took away their ability to reproduce.


European Pressphoto Agency

Over the past year, China has vastly increased repression of the country’s Uighur minority.

A Turkic group that practices Islam, the Uighurs have long faced restrictions from Beijing – but over the past year as many as 1 million have been forced into “re-education” centers where they’re forced to learn Mandarin Chinese, sing songs praising the Communist Party and encouraged to turn away from their religion.

The Chinese government denies it is discriminating against Uighurs and says that it faces threats from Islamic radicals. Others see a massive effort to destroy the culture of 14 million Uighurs and coerce them into assimilating into Chinese society.  

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the situation for China’s Uighurs in the country’s western Xinjiang Autonomous Region.


AP Photo

Just over a year ago Myanmar security forces were wrapping up a massive offensive against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. 

In a matter of weeks, more than 720,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh in what the head of Myanmar’s military called a “clearance operation” in the country’s Rakhine State. A recent U.N. report has shed new light on what happened in Myanmar, and accused the military of murder, mass rape and torture. It also called for several of Myanmar's top generals to be prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity.  On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at whether the UN report may galvanize the international community to hold Myanmar's generals to account and what the prospects are for the 1 million Rohingya now living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

The situation in Nicaragua has taken a dark turn in recent months. President Daniel Ortega's growing authoritarian streak has led to months of protests against his rule - and a violent response from pro-government militias.

With hundreds dead and many more arrested, some observers fear the country is slipping towards a new civil war. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the political crisis in Nicaragua and what lies ahead for a country still recovering from a debilitating civil war in the 1980s.


King Rodriguez/PPD/via Wikimedia Commons

In recent days Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he would withdraw his country from the treaty governing the International Criminal Court. That move came just over a month after the ICC’s top prosecutor announced that she had opened a preliminary investigation into atrocities carried out as part of Duterte’s “War on Drugs.”

In the 20 months since Duterte took office promising to “slaughter” drug users and drug dealers, more than 12,000 people have been slain in extrajudicial killings in the southeast Asian nation. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at death squads in the Philippines and government efforts to quash reporting on them.

 


  The City of Columbia Commission on Human Rights met yesterday to review the possible addition of new protected categories. Protected categories shield citizens from being discriminated against for reasons such as race, religion and sexual orientation. The commission agreed to send a memo to City Council proposing up to six new categories, including receipt of government assistance and refugee status.

 

Almigdad Mojalli / VOA

The civil war in Yemen has garnered many superlatives since it began in force in March 2015. It's generated the world's most dire humanitarian crisis and the largest cholera outbreak in a single year ever recorded – even Forbes ranked its economy as the world's worst

Yet despite a conflict that has left 7 million on the brink of starvation, there is little end in sight to fighting between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and the country's Saudi-backed government. Attempts to spur a U.N. investigation into war crimes committed by both sides have so far failed. Complicating efforts is support for the Saudi-backed government by the U.S., U.K. and France. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss Yemen's humanitarian crisis, the collapse of independent media in the country and the role of outsiders in fueling a conflict that has generated startling levels of human suffering. 


Emergency Response Centre International (Courtesy)

Back in 2015, the immigration crisis in Europe was in headlines all over the world. Since then the numbers of people crossing the by sea to the continent has declined from more than 1 million annually to just 126,000 through early September of this year, according to the U.N.'s migration agency. 

But many problems remain unresolved. Not least for the tens of thousands of migrants who arrived in Europe over the past few years and still find themselves in legal limbo. On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Europe's tortured efforts to address the problem, and get an up close view at conditions for migrants in France and Greece. 


EPA

After more than 16 years in power, the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila was to step down after his term expired in December.

Instead his government has repeatedly postponed elections, spurring violence across sub-Saharan Africa's largest country and raising fears that Kabila may not intend to relinquish power peacefully. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at rising tensions in a country still recovering from a horrific war. Also: an interview with the Congolese radio journalist who exposed the use of mass rape and sexual violence during Congo's civil war.


AP Photo

Over the past year, authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have reportedly arrested dozens of gay men, in some cases imprisoning them for weeks and torturing them with electric shocks.

Combined with a 2013 law banning what President Vladimir Putin's government called "homosexual propaganda," the Chechen crackdown seems to indicate that Russia is becoming increasingly homophobic even as LGBT rights are being strengthened in many other countries.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at gay rights in Russia, including an interview with the first openly gay comedian to appear on Russian television.


AP Photo

Even as the number of executions is set to hit a 25 year-low in the U.S., the use of the death penalty is on the rise globally. One country that is leading the rise is Saudi Arabia, which executed at least 158 people last year. 

Saudi Arabia's growing use of capital punishment has drawn criticism from human rights groups, who argue that the Saudi policy of publicly beheading the condemned is inhumane and that executing people for non-violent crimes such as drug-smuggling or apostasy is unjust. They also criticize Saudi laws that allow for convicted adulterers to be stoned to death. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at capital punishment in Saudi Arabia and the international campaign against it. 


AP Photo

Until recently, Ethiopia has been hailed as an African success story. After a decade of strong economic growth, the country has begun to shed its image as a famine-struck wasteland.

But repression by Ethiopia’s authoritarian government has sparked demonstrations that have led to the deaths of hundreds of protesters this year.

The movement gained worldwide attention at the Rio Olympics when the country’s silver medal-winning marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his wrists above his head at the finish line in a symbol of the protest movement.

AP Photo

The central Asian nation of Uzbekistan is known for its spectacular mosques, vast fields of cotton and immense natural gas reserves.

It's also one of the world's most repressive police states, where the government reportedly once disposed of two political prisoners by boiling them alive.

But Uzbekistan's regime has been shaken by the death last month of President Islam Karimov - the only president the country has had since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Uzbekistan after the dictator's death.


AP

Eritrea is sometimes described as "the North Korea of Africa." And it's a deserved title.

The tiny nation, located on the continent’s northeastern coast bordering Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti is ranked dead last out of 180 countries on Reporters’ Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. All privately-owned media outlets were shuttered more than a decade ago. In 2015, Eritreans were by far the largest source of African migrants making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing into Europe.