The Week in 1 Minute: Human rights all over the place (June 17 – 21 on openDemocracy)

openDemocracy editors are concerned at the lack of public debate around the week’s revelations of a new phase in the surveillance state. Magnus Nome shows his editors and readers how ‘not to leave your own front door open’, while Rosemary Bechler returns for inspiration to the Convention on Modern Liberty in the face of the UK’s snooper’s charter and collusion with torture

16 June 2003

This week we launched Emerging Powers and Human Rights - the first of four weeks of discussion commissioned by openGlobalRights (oGR), a global, multilingual conversation on where globalizations meets universal human rights. For this, Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, opens proceedings, calling on emerging powers to use growing international clout to shape global human rights efforts; Nukhet Sandal ponders how Turkey can reconcile its ambitions to promote Muslim rights worldwide with the recent shocking treatment of peaceful protesters at home; Stephen Hopgood asks whether western-led rights organizations have seen their day, and oGR Editor James Ron and colleagues use the latest research to question whether it is social class, not the dominance of western organisations, that has influenced global thinking on human rights too much until now.

Jack Snyder looks into how emerging powers are redefining human rights. They might help to break down the ‘west versus the rest’ dynamic, say Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch and Peggy Hicks, joined by Nahla Valji, Xiaoyu Pu, Camila Asano, and Meenakshi Ganguly, who comment respectively on the emerging diplomacy patterns of South Africa, China, Brazil and India.

But our global tour de horizons of human rights doesn’t end there. oDRussia has its own week on Queer Russia, a treasure trove of personal stories, courageous discussion and recent research into the experience of being gay in Russia, from Brokeback in Belarus by Alyona Soiko, to Life in the Chechen closet by Ksenia Leonova. Sergey Khazov maps Russia’s fragmented gay infrastructure; Svetlana Reiter discusses homophobia with psychologist Vladimir Shakhidzhanian; Olga Krause tracks deteriorating conditions for lesbians; and we dip into Sergey Khazov’s remarkable semi-autobiographical novel.

Over on Our Kingdom, David Rhys Jones, a UK human rights worker, takes us back to the theme of torture in reflections on a recent high court judgment.

Elsewhere on openDemocracy, millions of people are pouring onto the streets in BrazilArthur Ituassu explains why; Mustafa Dikeç and Firdevs Robinson do the same for Turkey; we visit democracy on ice with Thorvaldur Gylfason; and are treated to a Putin/ Erdogan comparison in Igor Torbakov’s meditation on Europe’s twin peripheral sisters.

Do not miss:

  • Also, William Rivers Pitt on what the Keystone XL pipeline has to do with Prism and why you should be worried…

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