Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: torture

30 Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment in Nigeria: A Time for Legislative Intervention

Authors: Kolawole Oyekan


Torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is one of the issues dealt with by the United Nations in its development of human rights standard. Torture and other ill -treatments is banned at all times in all places including in times of war. There is no justification for torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under any law in Nigeria. All statutes; local, regional and international on human rights prohibits all forms of degrading treatment. This paper examines the definition of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and the prevalence of confessional statements obtain through torture by security agencies during the interrogation of crime suspects and are mostly relied upon during trial even in cases involving capital punishment. The paper further reviews the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act 2015 which prohibits torture and other forms of ill-treatment. Presently, the Act is applicable only to the federal Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Consequently, the paper concludes that the Act should be adopted as a matter of urgency by the 36 states of the Federation of Nigeria and in addition, cogent steps must be taken to ensure that the provisions of the Act are strictly complied with in order to eliminate torture, cruel and inhuman degrading treatment in Nigeria.

Keywords: confessional statement, human rights, torture, United Nations

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29 Torture and Turkey: Legal Situation Related to Torture in Turkey and the Issue of Impunity of Torture

Authors: Zeynep Üskül Engin


Looking upon the world’s history, one can easily understand that the most drastic and evil comes to the human from his own kind. Human, proving that Hobbs was actually right, finally have agreed on taking some necessary measures after the destructive effects of the great World Wars. Surely after this, human rights have been more commonly mentioned in written form and now the priority of the values and goals of a democratic society is to protect its individuals. Due to this fact, the right of living is found to be valuable and all the existing forms of torture, anti-human and humiliating activities have been banned. Turkey, having signed the international papers of human rights, has aimed for eliminating torture through changing its laws and regulations to a certain extent. Monitoring Turkey’s experience, it is likely to say that during certain periods of time systematic torture has been applied. The urge to enter the European Union and verdicts against Turkey, have led to considerable progress in human rights. Besides, changes in law and the comprehensive training for the police, judges, medical and prison staff have resulted in positive improvement related to this issue. Certainly, this current legal update does not completely mean the total elimination of the practice of torture; however, in the commitment of this crime, the ones who have committed are standing a trial and facing severe punishments. In this article, Turkey, with a notorious reputation in international arena is going to be examined through its policy towards torture and defects in practice.

Keywords: torture, human rights, impunity of torture, sociology

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28 Jurisprudencial Analysis of Torture in Spain and in the European Human Rights System

Authors: María José Benítez Jiménez


Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (E.C.H.R.) proclaims that no one may be subjected to torture, punishment or degrading treatment. The legislative correlate in Spain is embodied in Article 15 of the Spanish Constitution, and there must be an overlapping interpretation of both precepts on the ideal plane. While it is true that there are not many cases in which the European Court of Human Rights (E.C.t.H.R. (The Strasbourg Court)) has sanctioned Spain for its failure to investigate complaints of torture, it must be emphasized that the tendency to violate Article 3 of the Convention appears to be on the rise, being necessary to know possible factors that may be affecting it. This paper addresses the analysis of sentences that directly or indirectly reveal the violation of Article 3 of the European Convention. To carry out the analysis, sentences of the Strasbourg Court have been consulted from 2012 to 2016, being able to address any previous sentences to this period if it provided justified information necessary for the study. After the review it becomes clear that there are two key groups of subjects that request a response to the Strasbourg Court on the understanding that they have been tortured or degradingly treated. These are: immigrants and terrorists. Both phenomena, immigration and terrorism, respond to patterns that have mutated in recent years, and it is important for this study to know if national regulations begin to be dysfunctional.

Keywords: E.C.H.R., E.C.t.H.R. sentences, Spanish Constitution, torture

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27 Contextualizing Torture in Closed Institutions

Authors: Erinda Bllaca Ndroqi


The dilemma with which the monitoring professionals are facing in today’s reality is whether to accept that prisons all over the world constitute a place where not all rights are respected (ethical approach), or widen the scope of monitoring by prioritizing the special needs of people deprived of their liberties (human right approach), despite the context and the level of improved prison condition, staff profiling, more services oriented towards rehabilitation instead of punishment. Such dilemma becomes a concern if taking into consideration the fact that prisoners, due to their powerlessness and 'their lives at the hand of the state', are constantly under the threat of abuse of power and neglect, which in the Albanian case, has never been classified as torture. Scientific research in twenty-four (24) Albanian prisons shows that for some rights, prisoners belonging to 'vulnerable groups' such as mental illness, HIV positive status, sexual orientation, and terminal illness remain quite challenged and do not ensure that their basic rights are being met by the current criminal justice system (despite recommendations set forwards to prison authorities by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)). The research orients more discussion about policy and strategic recommendations that would need a thorough assessment of the impact of rehabilitation in special categories of prisoners, including recidivists.

Keywords: prisons, rehabilitation, torture, vulnerability

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26 Conflicts and Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS: Gender Dimension in Rain Forest Zone of Nigeria

Authors: K. K. Bolarinwa, A. F. O. Ayinde, B. B. Abiona, O. Oyekunle


Conflict and HIV/AIDS infection have had a profound impact on the Sub-Saharan African societies, individually and collectively. Nigeria has been experiencing several violent conflicts in many communities across the geographical spread of the country. These conflicts which often lead to loss of lives, properties and loss of livelihoods are mainly felt by women in terms of increased responsibility towards affected family members with attendant decrease in livelihood options. Despite these, conflict issues have not really received enough focal attention by Nigerian academics. It is against this backdrop that this study was undertaken to describe the respondents, the most prevalent conflict repercussions and most prevalent STDs, in conflict areas. Data were collected using interview schedule to elicit a response from 122 respondents in Southwest Nigeria, through a multi-stage sampling technique involving stratification of respondents into violent conflict areas (VCA) and non-violent conflict areas (NVCA). The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. Results revealed that majority (86.5% and 70.5 %) of the respondents were in the age bracket of 10-39 years in both the VCA and NVCA respectively; 35.5% and 40.2% of the respondents were literate in VCA and NVCA, respectively while 76.5% and 55.8% of the respondents were in the lower income groups in VCA and NVCA, respectively. HIV/AIDS and gonorrhoea were the more predominant (75.2% and 55.6% respectively) STDs in the VCA as against 33.2% and 38.3% respectively in the NVCA. Further, significant (p<0.05) correlation existed between conflict incidence and spread of HIV/AIDS, rape and torture, maltreatment of women as well as sexual harassment; in both VCA and NVCA among others. The study concluded that conflict situations in the study area aggravated incidence of HIV/AIDS and made the women more vulnerable to inhuman treatments such as rape, torture and harassment with attendant reduction in sources of livelihoods. The study recommended among others that sensitisation on control and preventive measures of HIV/AID and other sexually transmitted diseases should be included in programme designed to mitigate against conflicts in the study areas.

Keywords: conflict, gender dimension, HIV/AIDS epidemiology, Nigeria

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25 Stop Forced Child Marriage: A Comparative Global Law Analysis

Authors: Michelle J. Miller


Millions of girls are forcibly married during the transitional period between puberty and adulthood. At a stage of vulnerability; cultural practices, religious rights, and social standards place girls in a position where they are catapult into womanhood. An advocate against forced child marriage could argue that child rights, cultural rights, religious rights, right to marry, right to life, right to health, right to education, right to be free from slavery, right to be free from torture, right to consent to marriage are all violated by the practice of child marriage. This paper will present how some of these rights are violated and how they establish the need for change.

Keywords: child marriage, forced child marriage, children's rights, religious rights, cultural rights

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24 Nazi Experiments during World War II: Dismal Period for Bioethics

Authors: Catharina O. Vianna Dias da Silva, Amanda F. Batista, Ana Clara C. Burgos Lessa, Carolina S. Lucchesi Ramacciotti, Maria Clara B. de Andrade, Roberto de B. Silva


This article aims to analyze the bioethical aspects related to the historical practices of experiments on humans that occurred in Nazi Germany during the period of World War II (1939-1945). The method was based on the bibliographic review of articles published in databases such as SciELO and Pubmed. In the discussion, historical and humanistic aspects that contributed to the construction of a genocidal culture practiced during this period were analyzed. Additionally, an ethical question arises: should the information acquired during this dark period be used by science? After analysis, it was found that these Nazi experiments went over medical and ethical principles, being a deplorable milestone in history. It was also concluded that, although they generated potentially 'useful' results in the scientific field, they should be discarded as an ethical question of principle, of never daring to validate such a deplorable way of obtaining knowledge.

Keywords: Nazism, bioethics, human experimentation, human rights, genocide, torture, medicine

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23 Enhancing Police Accountability through the Malawi Independent Police Complaints Commission: Prospects and Challenges That Lie Ahead

Authors: Esther Gumboh


The police play a critical role in society and are an integral aspect of the rule of law. Equally, respect for human rights is an integral part of professional policing. In view of the vast powers that the police enjoy and the attendant risk of abuse and resulting human rights violations, the need for police accountability and civilian police oversight is internationally and regionally recognised. Policing oversight springs from the duty to investigate human rights violations. Those implicated in perpetrating or covering up violations must be disciplined or prosecuted to ensure effective accountability. Police accountability is particularly important in Malawi given the dark history of policing in the country during the 30-year dictatorial era under President Kamuzu Banda. Described as one of the most repressive regimes in Africa, the Banda administration was characterised by gross state-sponsored violence, repressive policing and human rights violations. Indeed, the police were involved in various forms of human rights abuse including arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions, torture, and excessive use of force in conducting arrests and public order policing. This situation flourished within a culture of police impunity bolstered in part by the absence of clear oversight mechanisms for police accountability. In turn, there was immense public mistrust of the police. Unsurprisingly, the criminal justice system was one of the priority areas for reform when Malawi adopted its first democratic Constitution in 1994. Section 153 of the Constitution envisions a police service that is, for all intents and purposes, there to provide for the protection of public safety and the rights of persons in Malawi according to the prescriptions of the Constitution and any other law. This position reflects the view that the duty to protect and promote human rights is not incompatible with effective policing. Despite this, the police continue to engage in questionable behaviour in public order policing, excessive use of force, deaths in police custody, ill-treatment, torture and other forms of abuse including sexual abuse. Perpetrators of abuses are occasionally punished, but investigations are often delayed, abandoned, or remain inconclusive. Police accountability remains largely elusive. Commendably, the law does subject the police to significant oversight both internally and externally. However, until 2010, Malawi lacked a wholly independent civilian oversight mechanism specifically mandated to monitor the activities of the Malawi Police Service and held it accountable. This void has since been filled by the Independent Complaints Commission established under the Police Act. This is a positive development that reiterates Malawi’s commitment to the investigation of human rights violations by the police and to ending police impunity. This contribution examines the legal framework for this Commission to project the effectiveness of the Commission. While the framework looks promising on various fronts, there are potential challenges that lie ahead. Malawi must pre-emptively deal with these challenges carefully if the Commission is to have any practical significance in transforming police accountability in the country. Drawing on lessons from other jurisdictions like South Africa, the paper makes recommendations for legislative reform to strengthen the Commission’s framework.

Keywords: civilian policing oversight, Malawi, police, police accountability, policing, policing oversight

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22 An Informetrics Analysis of Research on Phishing in Scopus and Web of Science Databases from 2012 to 2021

Authors: Nkosingiphile Mbusozayo Zungu


The purpose of the current study is to adopt informetrics methods to analyse the research on phishing from 2012 to 2021 in three selected databases in order to contribute to global cybersecurity through impactful research. The study follows a quantitative research methodology. We opted for the positivist epistemology and objectivist ontology. The analysis focuses on: (i) the productivity of individual authors, institutions, and countries; (ii) the research contributions, using co-authorship as a measure of collaboration; (iii) the altmetrics of selected research contributions; (iv) the citation patterns and research impact of research on phishing; and (v) research contributions by keywords, to discover the concepts that are related to phishing. The preliminary findings favour developed countries in terms of quantity and quality of research in the domain. There are unique research trends and patterns in the developing countries, including those in Africa, that provide opportunities for research development in the domain in the region. This study explores an important research domain by using unexplored method in the region. The study supports the SDG Agenda 2030, such as ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all other forms of violence and torture of children through the use of cyberspace (SDG 16). Further, the results from this study can inform research, teaching, and learning largely in Africa. Invariably, the study contributes to cybersecurity awareness that will mitigate cybersecurity threats against vulnerable communities.

Keywords: phishing, cybersecurity, informetrics, information security

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21 National Security Threat and Fear of Rising Islamic Extremism in Bangladesh due to Influx of Rohingya Refugees

Authors: Afsana Afsar Tuly


The Rohingyas are a group of minority Muslimsin Myanmar who witnessed series of persecution, violence, and torture from Burmese military since 1948. In 2017, around 700,000 Rohingyas fled to the neighboring country Bangladesh and took shelter as refugees after facing clashes with Myanmar security forces. The number increased to 1.8 million in 2020, creating one of the largest refugee crises of recent times. This research focuses on the vulnerability and poverty faced by Rohingyas in refugee camps and how thelack of long-term solution and silence from international communitycan pose national security threat and increasing Islamic extremism in Bangladesh. Islamic religious and terrorist groups have used the Rohingyas position as stateless people to influence them into speaking against the secular government of Bangladesh. There has been increasing crime rates and formation of different rebel groups in refugee camps, causing clashes with Bangladeshi police and authority. Human trafficking, illegal drug dealings, prostitution, and other illicit activities have continuously gone up in the southeastern part of Bangladesh. Some economic, social, and environmental factors are studied and analyzed to show the change in Bangladesh between 2017 and 2020.

Keywords: national security threat, islamic extremism, rohingya refugees, refugee studies, Bangladesh, myanmar

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20 Breast Cancer as a Response to Distress in Women with or without a History of Precancerous Breast Disease

Authors: Viacheslav Sushko, Viktor Sushko


Pre-cancerous breast diseases are pathological changes that precede the appearance of adenocarcinoma. The most common benign breast disease is mastopathy. We examined the life and disease history of 114 women aged 58-69 who were diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the breast at different stages of development. They filled out the Reeder Scale to determine the level of stress. The results of the study revealed that 62 of them had mastopathy at the age of 30-45 years old. These women refused surgical treatment for mastopathy. Five to six years before their diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the mammary gland, 84 women had experienced severe stress (death of a beloved close relative, torture accompanied by rape, prolonged stay in extreme conditions (under bombardment and bombardment). In the assessment of data from completed Reeder scales, 114 women had a high level of mental stress, with a score from 1-1.72. The 84 women who suffered from severe stress showed overeating or a significant decrease in food intake, insomnia, apathy, increased irritability and restlessness, loss of interest in sexual relationships, forgetfulness, difficulty in performing routine work, prolonged uncontrollable headaches, unexplained fatigue, heart pain, reduced capacity for work. In conclusion, it is important to provide psychotherapy for breast cancer patients as the diagnosis, and the different stages of treatment are very stressful. It is also advisable to see a psychiatrist at an early stage and prevent distress and treat precancerous breast disease.

Keywords: breast cancer, distress, mastopathy, severe stress

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19 The International Constitutional Order and Elements of Human Rights

Authors: Girma Y. Iyassu Menelik


“The world is now like a global village!” so goes the saying that shows that due to development and technology the countries of the world are now closely linked. In the field of Human rights there is a close relationship in the way that rights are recognised and enforced. This paper will show that human rights have evolved from ancient times through important landmarks such as the Magna Carta, the French Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the American Bill of Rights. The formation of the United Nations after the Second World War resulted in the need to codify and protect human rights. There are some rights which are so fundamental that they are found in international and continental instruments, national constitutions and domestic legislation. In the civil and political sphere they include the right to vote, to freedom of association, speech and assembly, right to life, privacy and fair trial. In the economic and social sphere you have the right to work, protection of the family, social security and rights to education, health and shelter. In some instance some rights can be suspended in times of public emergency but such derogations shall be circumscribed by the law and in most constitutions such limitations are subject to judicial review. However, some rights are so crucial that they cannot be derogated from under any circumstances and these include the right to life, recognition before the law, freedom from torture and slavery and of thought, conscience and religion. International jurisprudence has been developed to protect fundamental rights and avoid discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language or social origin. The elaborate protection system go to show that these rights have become part of the international order and they have universal application. We have now got to a stage where UDHR, ICCPR and ICESCR and have come to be regarded as part of an international bill of rights with horizontal and vertical enforcement mechanisms involving state parties, NGO’s , international bodies and other organs.

Keywords: rights, international, constitutional, state, judiciary

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18 The Nexus between Migration and Human Security: The Case of Ethiopian Female Migration to Sudan

Authors: Anwar Hassen Tsega


International labor migration is an integral part of the modern globalized world. However, the phenomenon has its roots in some earlier periods in human history. This paper discusses the relatively new phenomenon of female migration in Africa. In the past, African women migrants were only spouses or dependent family members. But as modernity swept most African societies, with rising unemployment rates, there is evidence everywhere in Africa that women labor migration is a growing phenomenon that deserves to be understood in the context of human security research. This work explores these issues further, focusing on the experience of Ethiopian women labor migrants to Sudan. The migration of Ethiopian people to Sudan is historical; nevertheless, labor migration mainly started since the discovery and subsequent exploration of oil in the Sudan. While the paper is concerned with the human security aspect of the migrant workers, we need to be certain that the migration process will provide with a decent wage, good working conditions, the necessary social security coverage, and labor protection as a whole. However, migration to Sudan is not always safe and female migrants become subject to violence at the hands of brokers, employers and migration officials. For this matter, the paper argued that identifying the vulnerable stages and major problem facing female migrant workers at various stages of migration is a prerequisite to combat the problem and secure the lives of the migrant workers. The major problems female migrants face include extra degrees of gender-based violence, underpayment, various forms of abuse like verbal, physical and sexual and other forms of torture which include beating and slaps. This peculiar situation could be attributed to the fact that most of these women are irregular migrants and fall under the category of unskilled and/or illiterate migrants.

Keywords: Ethiopia, human security, labor migration, Sudan

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17 The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in Combating Human Trafficking in South India: An Overview

Authors: Kumudini Achchi


India, being known for its rich cultural values has given a special place to women who are also been victims of humiliation, torture, and exploitation. The major share of Human Trafficking goes to sex trafficking which is recognised as world’s second most huge social evil. The original form of sex trafficking in India is prostitution with and without religious sanction. Today the situation of such women reached as an issue of human rights where they rights are denied severely. This situation demanded intervention to protect them from the exploitative situation. NGO are the proactive initiatives which offer support to the exploited women in sex trade. To understand the intervention programs of NGOs in South India, a study was conducted covering four states and a union territory considering 32 NGOs based on their preparedness to participate in the research study. Descriptive and diagnostic research design was adopted along with interview schedule as a tool for collecting data. The study reveals that these NGOs believes in the possibility of mainstreaming commercially sexually exploited women and found adopted seven different programs in the process such as rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration, prevention, developmental, advocacy and research. Each area involves different programs to reach and prepare the exploited women towards mainstreamed society which has been discussed in the paper. Implementation of these programs is not an easy task for the organizations rather they are facing hardships in the areas such as social, legal, financial, political which are hindering the successful operations. Rescue, advocacy, and research are the least adopted areas by the NGOs because of lack of support as well as knowledge in the area. Rehabilitation stands as the most adopted area in implementation. The paper further deals with the challenges in the implementation of the programs as well as the remedial measures in social work point of view having Indian cultural background.

Keywords: NGOs, commercially sexually exploited women, programmes, South India

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16 Non-State Actors and Their Liabilities in International Armed Conflicts

Authors: Shivam Dwivedi, Saumya Kapoor


The Israeli Supreme Court in Public Committee against Torture in Israel v. Government of Israel observed the presence of non-state actors in cross-border terrorist activities thereby making the role of non-state actors in terrorism the center of discussion under the scope of International Humanitarian Law. Non-state actors and their role in a conflict have also been traversed upon by the Tadic case decided by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. However, there still are lacunae in International Humanitarian Law when it comes to determining the nature of a conflict, especially when non-state groups act within the ambit of various states, for example, Taliban in Afghanistan or the groups operating in Ukraine and Georgia. Thus, the objective of writing this paper would be to observe the ways by which non-state actors particularly terrorist organizations could be brought under the ambit of Additional Protocol I. Additional Protocol I is a 1977 amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions relating to the protection of victims of international conflicts which basically outlaws indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations, forbids conscription of children and preserves various other human rights during the war. In general, the Additional Protocol I reaffirms the provisions of the original four Geneva Conventions. Since provisions of Additional Protocol I apply only to cases pertaining to International Armed Conflicts, the answer to the problem should lie in including the scope for ‘transnational armed conflict’ in the already existing definition of ‘International Armed Conflict’ within Common Article 2 of the Geneva Conventions. This would broaden the applicability of the provisions in cases of non-state groups and render an international character to the conflict. Also, the non-state groups operating or appearing to operate should be determined by the test laid down in the Nicaragua case by the International Court of Justice and not under the Tadic case decided by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in order to provide a comprehensive system to deal with such groups. The result of the above proposal, therefore, would enhance the scope of the application of International Humanitarian Law to non-state groups and individuals.

Keywords: Geneva Conventions, International Armed Conflict, International Humanitarian Law, non-state actors

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15 Representation of Agamben's Concept of 'Homo Sacer': Interpretative Analysis in Turkish TV Series Based on Turkey's 1980 Military Coup

Authors: Oyku Yenen


The notion of biopolitics, as studied by such intellectuals as Foucault, Agamben, and Negri, is an important guide for comprehending the current understanding of politics. While Foucault evaluates biopolitics as a survival policy, Giorgio Agamben, German legist, identifies the theory with death. Agamben claims the fact we can all considered to be homo sacer who are abandoned by the law, left in the field of exception, and whose killing does not require punishment. Agamben defines the person who is tried by the public for committing a crime but is not allowed to be sacrificed and whose killing is not considered a crime, as 'homo sacer'. This study analyzes how the concept of 'homo sacer' is made visible in TV series such as Çemberimde Gül Oya (Cagan Irmak, 2005-2005), Hatırla Sevgili (Ummu Burhan, 2006-2008), Bu Kalp Seni Unutur Mu? (Aydin Bulut, 2009-1010) all of which portray the period Turkey's 1980 military coup, within the framework of Agamben's thoughts and notions about biopolitics. When the main plots of these abovementioned TV series, which constitute the universe of this study, are scrutinized closely, they lay out the understanding of politics that has existed throughout history and prevails today. Although there is a large number of TV series on the coup of 1980, these three series are the only main productions that specifically focused on the event itself. Our final analysis will reveal that the concepts of homo sacer, bare life, exception, camp have been embodied in different ways in these three series. In these three series, which all deal with similar subjects using differing perspectives, the dominant understanding of politics is clearly conveyed to the audience. In all three series, the reigning power always decides on the exceptions, those who will live, those who will die, and those who will be ignored by law. Such characters as Mehmet, Sinan, Yıldız, Deniz, Defne, all of which we come across in these series, are on trial as a criminals of thought and are subjected to various forms of torture while isolated in an area where they are virtually deprived of law. Their citizenship rights are revoked. All of them are left alone with their bare lives (zoe).

Keywords: bare life, biopolitics, homo sacer, sovereign power, state of exception

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14 Creating a Rehabilitation Product as an Example of Design Management

Authors: K. Caban-Piaskowska


The aim of the article is to show how the role of a designer has changed, from the point of view of human resources management and thanks to the increased importance of design management, and is to present how a rehabilitation product, through technology approach to designing, becomes a universal product. Designing for the disabled is a very undiscovered area on the pattern-designing market, most often because it is associated with devices which support rehabilitation. In consequence, it means that the realizations have a limited group of receivers and are not that attractive for designers. The relation between using modern design in building rehabilitation devices and increasing the efficiency of treatment and physiotherapy. Using modern technology can have marketing significance. Rehabilitation products designed and produced in a modern way makes an impression that experts and professionals are involved in the lives of the user – patient. In order to illustrate the problem presented above i.e. Creating a rehabilitation product as an example of design management, the case study method was used in the research. The analysis of the case was created on the basis of an interview conducted by the author with a designer who took part in meetings with people who use rehabilitation and their physiotherapists, and created universal products in Poland in the years of 2012 to 2017. Usually, engineers and constructors deal with creating products which remind us of old torture devices, however, they are indestructible in construction. Such image of those products for the disabled clearly indicates that it is a wonderful niche for designers and emphasizes the need to make those products more attractive and innovative. Products for the disabled cannot be limited to rehabilitation equipment only e.g. wheelchairs or standing frames. Introducing the idea of universal designing can significantly broaden the circle of pattern-designing receivers – everyday-use items – with the disabled people. Fulfilling these criteria will decide about the advantage on the competitive market. It is possible due to the usage of the design management concept in the functioning of an organization. Using modern technology and materials in the production of equipment, and changing the role of a designer broadening the circle of receivers by designing a wide use process which makes it possible to use the product by people with various needs. What is more, introducing rehabilitation functions in everyday-use items can also become an innovative accent in designing. In the reality of the market, each group of users can and should be treated as a problem and a realization task.

Keywords: design management, innovation, rehabilitation product, universal product

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13 The Role of Women in Criminal Organizations

Authors: Rossella Marzullo


Family plays a central role in the Calabrian criminal organization, which draws its strength from blood ties and gender stereotypes that still impose a strong verticalization of intra-family relationships for the benefit of men. However, female figures are of great importance in the organizational structure of the 'Ndrangheta families, despite the fact that they appear to be formally suffocated by the culture of gender subordination still strongly present in the archaic world of criminal organizations. And this is so much true that over time, the women of the 'Ndrangheta have added to the function of ‘internal containment’, the increasingly explicit function of intermediaries in the ‘external’ activities of the clan. But what happens in the 'Ndrangheta if women break the bond and decide to speak? The results are shocking. When a woman starts talking to ask the institutions for help, the system ‘goes crazy’, because the woman is considered the means of consolidating and transmitting family codes: she educates, forges, holds the structure together. If a woman from the 'Ndrangheta decides to speak out and get out of the family bottlenecks of the clan, she does not exclusively destroy the family; she destroys the system. This happens because, while not playing the same roles as men within organizations, women carry out support activities as intermediaries for the circulation of communications, thus ensuring the operability of the gang in practice and on a daily basis. Crossing the border means breaking the bonds of belonging, thus questioning one's own identity and reconstructing it according to other points of reference. How much these disruptive choices are feared by the men of the 'Ndrangheta has been seen in the dramatic stories of Lea Garofalo and Maria Concetta Cacciola: the fear of the breaking of the family pact, of the earthquake that arises from within, has marked their fate of death, useful both to stop the judicial action and to recompose the organization's estate under the aegis of terror. With physical, psychological violence, underhanded torture, and moral blackmail, the men of the mafia family tried to heal the shock caused by the voices of women, relying on violence and yet another attempt to subordinate them. This proves that the 'Ndrangheta is really afraid of them. The female voices of the 'Ndrangheta, who have shaken a consolidated and considered intangible system, represent the anti-'ndrangheta par excellence; in their choices, there is an even stronger desire to break with the mafia world.

Keywords: families, gender, ‘Ndrangheta, stereotypes

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12 Integrating Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights in Promoting Gender Equality, Equity, and Empowerment of Women

Authors: Danielle G. Saique


Introduction: Promoting Gender Equality, Equity and Empowerment of Women (GEE&EW) can be attained by practicing thereby exercising Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Gender Inequality is manifested thru Violence Against Women (VAW). Objectives: This study presents causes, prevalence, effects of Gender Inequality for not practicing and violating SRHR. This proposes Action Plan by promoting, integrating SRHR in the “holistic approach” of Social Work education, practice and service-delivery in any work-set-ups. Limitations: VAW cases showed victim and violator are known, related and living together. Cases transpired at home, reported, investigated in the police and filed in the legal court of law for the year 2013. Methods: Data from blotters, reports, filed cases, case studies gathered by the Social Worker (SWr). Qualitative analysis identified cause, prevalence of VAW related in violating SRHR. SWr serves innovative interventions in any work settings by applying SRHR background, skills in educating, counseling client-victims. Results: 65 VAW cases on non-negotiation or refusal of practicing SRHR. Non-acceptance of Family Planning yielded unwanted, unplanned pregnancies, abandoned children, battered women. Neglected pre-post natal maternal care caused complications or death. Rape, incest led trauma or death. Unsafe, unprotected sex transmitted STDs. Conclusions: Non-availing SRHR from health facilities, from Medical Health SWr concluded to non-practicing or violating rights to life, health care, protection, rights to information, education, rights to plan family, rights from torture, ill-treatment. VAW brings undesirable effects to the well-being, wellness and humaneness of the victim. Recommendations: The innovative intervention services on SRHR of a SWr and the findings, results in violating SRHR are recommendations in Action Planning by adding “The SRHR Concepts” in Social Work thereby preventing VAW; empowering women’s rights to development, gender equality, equity liberty, security, freedom; resilience and involvement in promoting, practicing, exercising SRHR at home. Recommended therefore to duplicate this innovative practice and experience on SRHR as implemented by the SWr in any work setting.

Keywords: women development, promoting gender equality, equity, empowerment of women

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11 Human Insecurity and Migration in the Horn of Africa: Causes and Decision Processes

Authors: Belachew Gebrewold


The Horn of Africa is marred by complex and systematic internal and external political, economic and social-cultural causes of conflict that result in internal displacement and migration. This paper engages with them and shows how such a study can help us to understand migration, both in this region and more generally. The conflict has occurred within states, between states, among proxies, between armies. Human insecurities as a result of the state collapse of Somalia, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the whole region, recurrent drought affecting the livelihoods of subsistence farmers as well as nomads, exposure to hunger, environmental degradation, youth unemployment, rapid growth of slums around big cities, and political repression (especially in Eritrea) have been driving various segments of the regional population into regional and international migration. Eritrea has been going through a brutal dictatorship which pushes many Eritreans to flee their country and be exposed to human trafficking, torture, detention, and agony on their way to Europe mainly through Egypt, Libya and Israel. Similarly, Somalia has been devastated since 1991 by unending civil war, state collapse, and radical Islamists. There are some important aspects to highlight in the conflict-migration nexus in the Horn of Africa: first, the main push factor for the Somalis and Eritreans to leave their countries and risk their lives is the physical insecurity they have been facing in their countries. Secondly, as a result of the conflict the economic infrastructure is massively destroyed. Investment is rare; job opportunities are out of sight. Thirdly, in such a grim situation the politically and economically induced decision to migrate is a household decision, not only an individual decision. Based on this third point this research study took place in the Horn of Africa between 2014 and 2016 during different occasions. The main objective of the research was to understanding how the increasing migration is affecting the socio-economic and socio-political environment, and conversely how the socio-economic and socio-political environments are increasing migration decisions; and whether and how these decisions are individual or family decisions. The main finding is the higher the human insecurity, the higher the family decision; the lower the human insecurity, the higher the individual decision. These findings apply not only to the Eritrean, Somali migrants but also to Ethiopian migrants. But the general impacts of migration on sending countries’ human security is quite mixed and complex.

Keywords: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa, insecurity, migration, Somalia

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10 Executive Order as an Effective Tool in Combating Insecurities and Human Rights Violations: The Case of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Youths in Nigeria

Authors: Cita Ayeni


Following countless violations of Human Rights in Nigeria by the various arms and agencies of government; from the Military to the Federal Police and other law enforcement agencies, Nigeria has been riddled with several reports of acts by these agencies against the citizens, ranging from illegal arrest and imprisonment, torture, disappearing, and extrajudicial killings, just to mention a few. This paper, focuses on SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad), a division of the Nigeria Police Force, and its reported threats to the people’s security, particularly the Nigerian youths, with continuous violence, extortion, illegal arrest and imprisonment, terror, and extrajudicial activities resulting in maiming and in most cases death, thus infringing on the human rights of the people it’s sworn to protect. This research further analyses how the activities of SARS has over the years instigated fear on the average Nigerian youth, preventing the free participation in daily life, education, job, and individual development, in turn impeding the realization of their full potentials for growth and participation in collective national development. This research analyzes the executive order by the then Acting President (Vice-President) of Nigeria, directing the overhauling of SARS, and its implementation by the Federal Police Force in determining if it’s enough to prevent or put a stop to the continuous Human Rights abuse and threat to the security of the individual citizen. Concluding that although the order by the Acting President was given with an intent to halt the various violations by SARS, and the Inspector General of Police’s (IGP) subsequent action by releasing a statement following the order, the bureaucracy in Nigeria, with a history of incompetency and a return to 'business as usual' after a reduced public outcry, it’s most likely that there will not be adequate follow up put in place and these violations would be slowly 'swept under the rug' with SARS officials not held accountable. It is recommended therefore that the Federal Government through the NPF, following the reforms made, in collaboration with the mentioned Independent Human Rights and civil societies organizations should periodically produce unbiased and publicly accessible reports on the implementation of these reforms and progress made. This will go a long way in assuring the public of actual fulfillment of the restructuring, reduce fear by the youths and restore some public faith in the government.

Keywords: special anti-robbery squad, youths in Nigeria, overhaul, insecurities, human rights violations

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9 A Comparative Human Rights Analysis of Deprivation of Citizenship as a Counterterrorism Instrument: An Evaluation of Belgium

Authors: Louise Reyntjens


In response to Islamic-inspired terrorism and the growing trend of foreign fighters, European governments are increasingly relying on the deprivation of citizenship as a security tool. This development fits within a broader securitization of immigration, where the terrorist threat is perceived as emanating from abroad. As a result, immigration law became more and more ‘securitized’. The European migration crisis has reinforced this trend. This research evaluates the deprivation of citizenship from a human rights perspective. For this, the author selected four European countries for a comparative study: Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. All these countries face similar social and security issues, vitalizing (the debate on) deprivation of citizenship as a counterterrorism tool. Yet, they adopt a very different approach on this: The United Kingdom positions itself on the repressive side of the spectrum. Sweden on the other hand, also ‘securitized’ its immigration policy after the recent terrorist hit in Stockholm but remains on the tolerant side of the spectrum. Belgium and France are situated in between. This contribution evaluates the deprivation of citizenship in Belgium. Belgian law has provided the possibility to strip someone of their Belgian citizenship since 1919. However, the provision long remained a dead letter. The 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris sparked a series of legislative changes, elevating the deprivation measure to a key security tool in Belgian law. Yet, the measure raises profound human rights issues. Firstly, it infringes the right to private and family life. As provided by Article 8 (2) European Court of Human Right (ECHR), this right can be limited if necessary for national security and public safety. Serious questions can however be raised about the necessity for the national security of depriving an individual of its citizenship. Behavior giving rise to this measure will generally be governed by criminal law. From a security perspective, criminal detention will thus already provide in removing the individual from society. Moreover, simply stripping an individual of its citizenship and deporting them constitutes a failure of criminal law’s responsibility to prosecute criminal behavior. Deprivation of citizenship is also discriminatory, because it differentiates, without a legitimate reason, between those liable to deprivation and those who are not. It thereby installs a secondary class of citizens, violating the European Court of Human Right’s principle that no distinction can be tolerated between children on the basis of the status of their parents. If followed by expulsion, deprivation also seriously jeopardizes the right to life and prohibition of torture. This contribution explores the human rights consequences of citizenship deprivation as a security tool in Belgium. It also offers a critical view on its efficacy for protecting national security.

Keywords: Belgium, counterterrorism strategies, deprivation of citizenship, human rights, immigration law

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8 A Comparative Human Rights Analysis of the Securitization of Migration in the Fight against Terrorism in Europe: An Evaluation of Belgium

Authors: Louise Reyntjens


The last quarter of the twentieth century was characterized by the emergence of a new kind of terrorism: religiously-inspired terrorism. Islam finds itself at the heart of this new wave, considering the number of international attacks committed by Islamic-inspired perpetrators. With religiously inspired terrorism as an operating framework, governments increasingly rely on immigration law to counter such terrorism. Immigration law seems particularly useful because its core task consists of keeping ‘unwanted’ people out. Islamic terrorists more often than not have an immigrant background and will be subject to immigration law. As a result, immigration law becomes more and more ‘securitized’. The European migration crisis has reinforced this trend. The research explores the human rights consequences of immigration law’s securitization in Europe. For this, the author selected four European countries for a comparative study: Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. All these countries face similar social and security issues but respond very differently to them. The United Kingdom positions itself on the repressive side of the spectrum. Sweden on the other hand also introduced restrictions to its immigration policy but remains on the tolerant side of the spectrum. Belgium and France are situated in between. This contribution evaluates the situation in Belgium. Through a series of legislative changes, the Belgian parliament (i) greatly expanded the possibilities of expelling foreign nationals for (vaguely defined) reasons of ‘national security’; (ii) abolished almost all procedural protection associated with this decision (iii) broadened, as an extra security measure, the possibility of depriving individuals condemned of terrorism of their Belgian nationality. Measures such as these are obviously problematic from a human rights perspective; they jeopardize the principle of legality, the presumption of innocence, the right to protection of private and family life and the prohibition on torture. Moreover, this contribution also raises questions about the efficacy of immigration law’s suitability as a counterterrorism instrument. Is it a legitimate step, considering the type of terrorism we face today? Or, is it merely a strategic move, considering the broader maneuvering space immigration law offers and the lack of political resistance governments receive when infringing the rights of foreigners? Even more so, figures demonstrate that today’s terrorist threat does not necessarily stem from outside our borders. Does immigration law then still absorb - if it has ever done so (completely) - the threat? The study’s goal is to critically assess, from a human rights perspective, the counterterrorism strategies European governments have adopted. As most governments adopt a variation of the same core concepts, the study’s findings will hold true even beyond the four countries addressed.

Keywords: Belgium, counterterrorism strategies, human rights, immigration law

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7 Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Definition of Inhuman Treatment in International Law

Authors: Sonia Boulos


The prohibition on ‘inhuman treatment’ constitutes one of the central tenets of modern international human rights law. It is incorporated in principal international human rights instruments including Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, in the absence of any legislative definition of the term ‘inhuman’, its interpretation becomes challenging. The aim of this article is to critically analyze the interpretation of the term ‘inhuman’ in international human rights law and to suggest a new approach to construct its meaning. The article is composed of two central parts. The first part is a critical appraisal of the interpretation of the term ‘inhuman’ by supra-national human rights law institutions. It highlights the failure of supra-national institutions to provide an independent definition for the term ‘inhuman’. In fact, those institutions consistently fail to distinguish the term ‘inhuman’ from its other kin terms, i.e. ‘cruel’ and ‘degrading.’ Very often, they refer to these three prohibitions as ‘CIDT’, as if they were one collective. They were primarily preoccupied with distinguishing ‘CIDT’ from ‘torture.’ By blurring the conceptual differences between these three terms, supra-national institutions supplemented them with a long list of specific and purely descriptive subsidiary rules. In most cases, those subsidiary rules were announced in the absence of sufficient legal reasoning explaining how they were derived from abstract and evaluative standards embodied in the prohibitions collectively referred to as ‘CIDT.’ By opting for this option, supra-national institutions have created the risk for the development of an incoherent body of jurisprudence on those terms at the international level. They also have failed to provide guidance for domestic courts on how to enforce these prohibitions. While blurring the differences between the terms ‘cruel,’ ‘inhuman,’ and ‘degrading’ has consequences for the three, the term ‘inhuman’ remains the most impoverished one. It is easy to link the term ‘cruel’ to the clause on ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ originating from the English Bill of Rights of 1689. It is also easy to see that the term ‘degrading’ reflects a dignatarian ideal. However, when we turn to the term ‘inhuman’, we are left without any interpretative clue. The second part of the article suggests that the ordinary meaning of the word ‘inhuman’ should be our first clue. However, regaining the conceptual independence of the term ‘inhuman’ requires more than a mere reflection on the word-meaning of the term. Thus, the second part introduces philosophical concepts related to the understanding of what it means to be human. It focuses on ‘the capabilities approach’ and the notion of ‘human functioning’, introduced by Amartya Sen and further explored by Martha Nussbaum. Nussbaum’s work on the basic human capabilities is particularly helpful or even vital for understanding the moral and legal substance of the prohibition on ‘inhuman’ treatment.

Keywords: inhuman treatment, capabilities approach, human functioning, supra-national institutions

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6 Kidnapping of Migrants by Drug Cartels in Mexico as a New Trend in Contemporary Slavery

Authors: Itze Coronel Salomon


The rise of organized crime and violence related to drug cartels in Mexico has created serious challenges for the authorities to provide security to those who live within its borders. However, to achieve a significant improvement in security is absolute respect for fundamental human rights by the authorities. Irregular migrants in Mexico are at serious risk of abuse. Research by Amnesty International as well as reports of the NHRC (National Human Rights) in Mexico, have indicated the major humanitarian crisis faced by thousands of migrants traveling in the shadows. However, the true extent of the problem remains invisible to the general population. The fact that federal and state governments leave no proper record of abuse and do not publish reliable data contributes to ignorance and misinformation, often spread by the media that portray migrants as the source of crime rather than their victims. Discrimination and intolerance against irregular migrants can generate greater hostility and exclusion. According to the modus operandi that has been recorded criminal organizations and criminal groups linked to drug trafficking structures deprive migrants of their liberty for forced labor and illegal activities related to drug trafficking, even some have been kidnapped for be trained as murderers . If the victim or their family cannot pay the ransom, the kidnapped person may suffer torture, mutilation and amputation of limbs or death. Migrant women are victims of sexual abuse during her abduction as well. In 2011, at least 177 bodies were identified in the largest mass grave found in Mexico, located in the town of San Fernando, in the border state of Tamaulipas, most of the victims were killed by blunt instruments, and most seemed to be immigrants and travelers passing through the country. With dozens of small graves discovered in northern Mexico, this may suggest a change in tactics between organized crime groups to the different means of obtaining revenue and reduce murder profile methods. Competition and conflict over territorial control drug trafficking can provide strong incentives for organized crime groups send signals of violence to the authorities and rival groups. However, as some Mexican organized crime groups are increasingly looking to take advantage of income and vulnerable groups, such as Central American migrants seem less interested in advertising his work to authorities and others, and more interested in evading detection and confrontation. This paper pretends to analyze the introduction of this new trend of kidnapping migrants for forced labors by drug cartels in Mexico into the forms of contemporary slavery and its implications.

Keywords: international law, migration, transnational organized crime

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5 Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Human Rights in Nagaland

Authors: Khrukulu Khusoh


The strategies and tactics used by governments throughout the world to counter terrorism and insurgency over the past few decades include the declaration of states of siege or martial law, enactment of anti-terrorist legislation and strengthening of judicial powers. Some of these measures taken have been more successful than the other, but some have proved counterproductive, alienating the public from the authorities and further polarizing an already fractured political environment. Such cases of alienation and polarization can be seen in the northeastern states of India. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which was introduced to curb insurgency in the remote jungles of the far-flung areas has remained a telling tale of agony in the north east India. Grievous trauma to humans through encounter killings, custodial deaths, unwarranted torture, exploitation of women and children in several ways have been reported in Nagaland, Manipur and other northeastern states where the Indian army has been exercising powers under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. While terrorism and the insurgency are destructive of human rights, counter-terrorism does not necessarily restore and safeguard human rights. This special law has not proven effective particularly in dealing with terrorism and insurgency. The insurgency has persisted in the state of Nagaland even after sixty years notwithstanding the presence of a good number of special laws. There is a need to fight elements that threaten the security of a nation, but the methods chosen should be measured, otherwise the fight is lost. There has been no review on the effectiveness or failure of the act to realize its intended purpose. Nor was there any attempt on the part of the state to critically look at the violation of rights of innocent citizens by the state agencies. The Indian state keeps enacting laws, but none of these could be effectively applied as there was the absence of clarity of purpose. Therefore, every new law which has been enacted time and again to deal with security threats failed to bring any solution for the last six decades. The Indian state resorts to measures which are actually not giving anything in terms of strategic benefits but are short-term victories that might result in long-term tragedies. Therefore, right thinking citizens and human rights activists across the country feel that introduction of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was as much violation of human rights and its continuation is undesirable. What worried everyone is the arbitrary use, or rather misuse of power by the Indian armed forces particularly against the weaker sections of the society, including women. After having being subjected to indiscriminate abuse of that law, people of the north-east India have been demanding its revocation for a long time. The present paper attempts to critically examine the violation of human rights under Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. It also attempts to bring out the impact of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act on the Naga people.

Keywords: armed forces, insurgency, special laws, violence

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4 State Violence: The Brazilian Amnesty Law and the Fight Against Impunity

Authors: Flavia Kroetz


From 1964 to 1985, Brazil was ruled by a dictatorial regime that, under the discourse of fight against terrorism and subversion, implemented cruel and atrocious practices against anyone who opposed the State ideology. At the same time, several Latin American countries faced dictatorial periods and experienced State repression through apparatuses of violence institutionalized in the very governmental structure. Despite the correspondence between repressive methods adopted by authoritarian regimes in States such as Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Peru and Uruguay, the mechanisms of democratic transition adopted with the end of each dictatorship were significantly different. While some States have found ways to deal with past atrocities through serious and transparent investigations of the crimes perpetrated in the name of repression, in others, as in Brazil, a culture of impunity remains rooted in society, manifesting itself in the widespread disbelief of the population in governmental and democratic institutions. While Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay are convincing examples of the possibility and importance of the prosecution of crimes such as torture, forced disappearance and murder committed by the State, El Salvador demonstrates the complete failure to punish or at least remove from power the perpetrators of serious crimes against civilians and political opponents. In a scenario of widespread violations of human rights, State violence becomes entrenched within society as a daily and even necessary practice. In Brazil, a lack of political and judicial will withstands the impunity of those who, during the military regime, committed serious crimes against human rights under the authority of the State. If the reproduction of violence is a direct consequence of the culture of denial and the rejection of everyone considered to be different, ‘the other’, then the adoption of transitional mechanisms that underpin the historical and political contexts of the time seems essential. Such mechanisms must strengthen democracy through the effective implementation of the rights to memory and to truth, the right to justice and reparations for victims and their families, as well as institutional changes in order to remove from power those who, when in power, could not distinguish between legality and authoritarianism. Against this background, this research analyses the importance of transitional justice for the restoration of democracy, considering the adoption of amnesty laws as a strategy to preclude criminal prosecution of offenses committed during dictatorial regimes. The study investigates the scope of Law No 6.683/79, the Brazilian amnesty law, which, according to a 2010 decision of the Brazilian Constitutional Supreme Court, granted amnesty to those responsible for political crimes and related crimes, committed between September 2, 1961 and August 15, 1979. Was the purpose of this Law to grant amnesty to violent crimes committed by the State? If so, is it possible to recognize the legitimacy of a Congress composed of indirectly elected politicians controlled by the dictatorship?

Keywords: amnesty law, criminal justice, dictatorship, state violence

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3 Prosecution as Persecution: Exploring the Enduring Legacy of Judicial Harassment of Human Rights Defenders and Political Opponents in Zimbabwe, Cases from 2013-2016

Authors: Bellinda R. Chinowawa


As part of a wider strategy to stifle civil society, Governments routinely resort to judicial harassment through the use of civil and criminal to impugn the integrity of human rights defenders and that of perceived political opponents. This phenomenon is rife in militarised or autocratic regimes where there is no tolerance for dissenting voices. Zimbabwe, ostensibly a presidential republic founded on the values of transparency, equality, freedom, is characterised by brutal suppression of perceived political opponents and those who assert their basic human rights. This is done through a wide range of tactics including unlawful arrests and detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman degrading treatment and enforced disappearances. Professionals including, journalists and doctors are similarly not spared from state attack. For human rights defenders, the most widely used tool of repression is that of judicial harassment where the judicial system is used to persecute them. This can include the levying of criminal charges, civil lawsuits and unnecessary administrative proceedings. Charges preferred against range from petty offences such as criminal nuisance to more serious charges of terrorism and subverting a constitutional government. Additionally, government sponsored individuals and organisations file strategic lawsuits with pecuniary implications order to intimidate and silence critics and engender self-censorship. Some HRDs are convicted and sentenced to prison terms, despite not being criminals in a true sense. While others are acquitted judicial harassment diverts energy and resources away from their human rights work. Through a consideration of statistical data reported by human rights organisations and face to face interviews with a cross section of human rights defenders, the article will map the incidence of judicial harassment in Zimbabwe. The article will consider the multi-level sociological and contextual factors which influence the Government of Zimbabwe to have easy recourse to criminal law and the debilitating effect of these actions on HRDs. These factors include the breakdown of the rule of law resulting in state capture of the judiciary, the proven efficacy of judicial harassment from colonial times to date, and the lack of an adequate redress mechanism at international level. By mapping the use of the judiciary as a tool of repression, from the inception of modern day Zimbabwe to date, it is hoped that HRDs will realise that they are part of a greater community of activists throughout the ages and should emboldened in the realisation that it is an age old tactic used by fallen regimes which should not deter them from calling for accountability.

Keywords: autocratic regime, colonial legacy, judicial harassment, human rights defenders

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2 Domestic Violence Against Women (With Special Reference to India): A Human Rights Issue

Authors: N. B. Chandrakala


Domestic violence is one of the most under-reported crimes. Problem with domestic violence is that it is not even considered as abuse in many parts of the world especially certain parts of Asia, Africa and Middle East. It is viewed as “doing the needful”. Domestic violence could be in form of emotional harassment, physical injury or psychological abuse perpetrated by one of the family members to another. It is a worldwide phenomenon mainly targeting women. The acts of violence have terrible negative impact on women. It is also an infringement of women’s rights and can be safely termed as human rights abuse. In cases pertaining to domestic violence, male adults often misuses his authority and power to control another using physical or psychological means. Violence and other forms of abuse are common in domestic violence. Sexual assaults, molestation and battering are common in these cases. Domestic violence is a human rights issue and a serious deterrent to development. Domestic violence could also take place in subtle forms like making the person feel worthless or not giving the victims any personal space or freedom. The problematic aspect is cases of domestic violence are very rarely reported. The majority of the victims are women but children are also made to suffer silently. They are abused and neglected. Their innocent minds are adversely affected with the incidents of domestic violence. According to a report by World Health Organization (WHO), sexual trafficking, female feticide, dowry death, public humiliation and physical torture are some of the most common forms of domestic violence against Indian women. Such acts belie our growth and claim as an economic superpower. It is ironic that we claim to be one of the most rapidly advancing countries in the world and yet we have done hardly anything of note against social hazards like domestic violence. Laws are not that stringent when it comes to reporting acts of domestic violence. Even if the report is filed it turns out to be a long drawn process and not every victim has that much resource to fight till the end. It is also a social taboo to make your family matters public. The big challenge in front now is to enforce it in true sense. Steps that are actually needed; tough laws against domestic violence, speedy execution and change in the mindset of society only then we can expect to have some improvement in such inhuman cases. An effective response to violence must be multi-sectoral; addressing the immediate practical needs of women experiencing abuse; providing long-term follow up and assistance; and focusing on changing those cultural norms, attitudes and legal provisions that promote the acceptance of and even encourage violence against women, and undermine women's enjoyment of their full human rights and freedoms. Hence the responses to the problem must be based on integrated approach. The effectiveness of measures and initiatives will depend on coherence and coordination associated with their design and implementation.

Keywords: domestic violence, human rights, sexual assaults, World Health Organization

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1 Voices of Dissent: Case Study of a Digital Archive of Testimonies of Political Oppression

Authors: Andrea Scapolo, Zaya Rustamova, Arturo Matute Castro


The “Voices in Dissent” initiative aims at collecting and making available in a digital format, testimonies, letters, and other narratives produced by victims of political oppression from different geographical spaces across the Atlantic. By recovering silenced voices behind the official narratives, this open-access online database will provide indispensable tools for rewriting the history of authoritarian regimes from the margins as memory debates continue to provoke controversy among academic and popular transnational circles. In providing an extensive database of non-hegemonic discourses in a variety of political and social contexts, the project will complement the existing European and Latin-American studies, and invite further interdisciplinary and trans-national research. This digital resource will be available to academic communities and the general audience and will be organized geographically and chronologically. “Voices in Dissent” will offer a first comprehensive study of these personal accounts of persecution and repression against determined historical backgrounds and their impact on collective memory formation in contemporary societies. The digitalization of these texts will allow to run metadata analyses and adopt comparatist approaches for a broad range of research endeavors. Most of the testimonies included in our archive are testimonies of trauma: the trauma of exile, imprisonment, torture, humiliation, censorship. The research on trauma has now reached critical mass and offers a broad spectrum of critical perspectives. By putting together testimonies from different geographical and historical contexts, our project will provide readers and scholars with an extraordinary opportunity to investigate how culture shapes individual and collective memories and provides or denies resources to make sense and cope with the trauma. For scholars dealing with the epistemological and rhetorical analysis of testimonies, an online open-access archive will prove particularly beneficial to test theories on truth status and the formation of belief as well as to study the articulation of discourse. An important aspect of this project is also its pedagogical applications since it will contribute to the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER) to support students and educators worldwide. Through collaborations with our Library System, the archive will form part of the Digital Commons database. The texts collected in this online archive will be made available in the original languages as well as in English translation. They will be accompanied by a critical apparatus that will contextualize them historically by providing relevant background information and bibliographical references. All these materials can serve as a springboard for a broad variety of educational projects and classroom activities. They can also be used to design specific content courses or modules. In conclusion, the desirable outcomes of the “Voices in Dissent” project are: 1. the collections and digitalization of political dissent testimonies; 2. the building of a network of scholars, educators, and learners involved in the design, development, and sustainability of the digital archive; 3. the integration of the content of the archive in both research and teaching endeavors, such as publication of scholarly articles, design of new upper-level courses, and integration of the materials in existing courses.

Keywords: digital archive, dissent, open educational resources, testimonies, transatlantic studies

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