HUMAN RIGHTS


europe-s-rights-body-fears-virus-measures-hurting-democracy
COUNCIL OF EUROPE

Europe’s leading human rights body warned Tuesday that threats to democratic rights and personal freedoms have worsened during the pandemic, with some governments using health restrictions as a pretext to advance undemocratic political agendas.

European Union leaders may have hailed Joe Biden’s election as the return of a more traditional president to the White House, but this does not mean the transatlantic alliance will pick up where it left off before Donald Trump. [AP]
NEWS

US President Joe Biden has formally recognized that the systematic killings and deportations of hundreds of thousands of Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century were “genocide” – using a term for the atrocities that his White House predecessors have avoided for decades over concerns of alienating Turkey.


Athens-Clarke County commissioner and activist Mariah Parker speaks into a megaphone during a rally in support of Amazon workers, in Birmingham, Ala., on March 26. ‘To a degree greater than many of its competitors, Amazon has thrived by accommodating its customers’ desires. Consumers can now try to marshal that power on behalf of Amazon’s workers,’ writes New York Times opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo. [Charity Rachelle/The New York Times]
THE NEW YORK TIMES

As an inveterate Amazon shopper whose spending with the company soared to embarrassing heights during the pandemic, I have thought about the ethics behind those smiling boxes a whole lot recently. And I regret to say that my hottest take is irritatingly tepid: It’s complicated.

greece-criticized-over-treatment-of-migrants-in-state-department-report
NEWS

The US State Department’s annual report on human rights violations around the world published on Tuesday has criticized Greece over unsafe and unhealthy conditions for migrants and asylum-seekers detained in pre-removal facilities or residing at the country’s six reception and identification centers, including gender-based violence against refugee women and children in reception camps.


[Reuters]
HUMAN RIGHTS

In the runup to March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day, many men and women were likely wondering: “Is this really necessary?” “Is there a point?” or even “Can I just skip it?”



A woman teaching migrant girls at Moria refugee camp on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesvos, February 24. [AP]
REFUGEES

On this International Women’s Day, I am sitting in lockdown, still in touch with the women I met last year at the Moria refugee camp on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos after working with them over a two-week period in Mytilene on an empowerment workshop run by The Azadi Project. 

[Reuters]
US-TURKEY

One hundred seventy members of the US House of Representatives signed a bipartisan letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging President Joe Biden’s administration to address “troubling” human rights issues as it formulates policy for dealings with Turkey.


president-lauds-bekatorou-for-breaking-the-silence
HUMAN RIGHTS

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou (r) received veteran Olympian Sofia Bekatorou (l) at the Presidential Mansion Monday, after the sailing champion last week revealed that she had been sexually abused by a federation official in 1998. Sakellaropoulou expressed her support to Bekatorou for “breaking the silence” in Greece regarding the sexual abuse of women. A prosecutor has invited Bekatorou to make a deposition Wednesday despite the fact that the alleged crime cannot be prosecuted due to the statute of limitations. Judicial authorities are, however, hoping it will encourage other rape victims to come forward. [EPA]