Tuesday, April 05, 2011

9/11 mastermind to face trial by Guantánamo military commission

World news | The Guardian
With all the sad news in newspapers nowadays, this is really one that hits me. My respect for Barack Obama has hit rock-bottom after this landmark U-turn.

A sad day for human rights.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Online only?

Why was such a serious case of maid abuse only an online article?

25 March 2011
Ng Jing Yng jingyng@mediacorp.com.sg

SINGAPORE - A maid abuser was jailed yesterday, after his wife had turned him in to the authorities.

In the Subordinate Courts, Chua Tian Hoe, 64, was jailed 12 months for commiting criminal intimidation.

The court heard that in December last year, Chua became angry after his Indonesian helper Atin Supriatin did not respond to his question and punched her in the right eye.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Building Human Rights Into Social Sites

SXSW - Technology Review
sgwatchDOG is not convinced that popular social media companies can be relied upon, especially in sensitive situations where potential personal information of human rights defenders may be released to oppressive governments.

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Serious in Singapore" - Seriously, Really?

Thomas Friedman makes several strange turns and ends up with a weird conclusion about "attitude".

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How Egypt Turned Off the Internet

Chilling details of how easy it was for the Egyptian government to switch off access to the Internet...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Private charity is never a substitute for public welfare

Comment is free | The Guardian
The above tagline is for those who are sick and tired of the "Many Helping Hands" tagline used by MCYS at every opportunity to abdicate responsibility...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sexual behaviour and Human Rights

Came across a thoughtful article in the September-October 2010 issue of the Japan Medical Association Journal.

JMAJ 53(5): 285-289, 2010

It is very easy for us to question the morality of youths these days, especially in light of the recent case of a 12-year-old suspected of having 15 sex partners.

Perhaps looking at it from the medical or health angle could come in useful.

A quote from the article
Although the promotion of reproductive health is not intended to endorse selfish sexual activities, it is important to maintain sexual health without intruding on sexual morality.

Tools and guides for organisations

Consumers International
Useful tools and guides to help consumer organisations, but these tools can also apply to any NGO out there.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Which version do you think is true?

2 reports on the same situation along the Thai-Burma border. Which one is more accurate, I wonder?

Burmese refugees sent back home

UNHCR urges Thailand against forced returns to Myanmar

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jon Stewart’s Advocacy Role in 9/11 Bill Passage

An article that highlights the role of Jon Stewart in the Zadroga Bill. He had been droning about it for the longest time, even before his Rally to Restore Sanity. Hopefully, this is just the start...

Is there a chance for something similar happening in Singapore? We can only hope.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Public Consultation on proposed Amendments to Consumer Protection Legislation

Ministry of Trade and Industry
Good to see the CPFTA being strengthened. Need to read through the details though. Hopefully, sgwatchdog can send in a submission...

Deadline is 31 January 2011.

Analysts urge closer scrutiny of landbanking business

Just saw an Order from CEA (via eGazette) excluding land banking from its purview. Sad...

The TODAY article above includes a ludicrous situation.
"CEA said it has consulted the land-banking industry and considered its views on the issue in reaching its decision."
It's akin to ringing up a thief/robber to ask if he wants to be regulated. This is the same kind of attitude that has allowed timeshare companies to flourish and cheat consumers.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Speak Up, Stop Discrimination, Human Rights Day 2010

United Nations
The full Human Rights Day 2010 website is up. Nice of them to showcase the profiles of some of the human rights defenders.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Criticism is not a crime

Human Rights Day 2010
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay's comments on the theme of human rights defenders for Human Rights Day 2010.

Friday, December 10, 2010

On eve of Nobel ceremony, China cracks down and lashes out

The more China suppresses this year's Nobel peace Prize winner, the more the world is going to look at China's human rights record...
As Chinese officials intensified their denunciations of prize organizers, police summoned restaurant and bar owners to local police stations and warned against allowing large gatherings on Friday. Some lawyers, writers and academics have been stopped at airports and blocked from boarding their flights; others have been forcibly taken to the countryside. Known activists are under house arrest. And Thursday, several foreign media Web sites and television stations were blocked.
Today is Human Rights Day. This year's theme is on human rights defenders. What an apt choice, yet we seem so powerless to help Liu Xiaobo.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Maynard vs. Norman: No name-calling here

The Day
First came across this story on a segment of The Daily Show.

Did a bit of Googling, and found a local newspaper story on this. It's such a great idea to have opposing candidates debate in a civil manner; hope it'll catch on.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dr Eric Gan Keng Seng v Singapore Medical Council [2010] SGHC 325

Singapore Law Watch
"On 12 April 2007, Mdm Neo Guat Dee (“Mdm Neo”), the Patient’s wife, lodged a complaint against Dr Gan with the SMC. The Complaints Committee, after considering the expert evidence of Dr Cheng Jun (“Dr Cheng”), specialist in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre (who later became the sole expert witness for the SMC in its case before the DC), decided that it sufficed to only issue a letter of advice to Dr Gan, advising him to review his practice.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the Complaints Committee, the Patient’s wife wrote to the Minister of Health, who invoked his powers under the Act to convene a Disciplinary Inquiry. Two charges were proffered against Dr Gan and they were set out in the Notice of Inquiry dated 12 August 2008. The first charge alleged that the Pre-cut Technique which Dr Gan had performed on the Patient was beyond the scope of his competence. However nothing in this charge should concern us here as Dr Gan was acquitted by the DC of the first charge (see [6] of GD). Of greater importance is the second charge (“the Charge”) in respect of which the DC had found Dr Gan guilty. The Charge read:
That you [Dr Gan] a registered medical practitioner under the Medical Registration Act (Cap 174), are charged that whilst practising at Alexandra Hospital and the attending physician to [the Patient] for the period 6 December 2005 to 8 December 2005, you were in wilful neglect of your duties and had grossly mismanaged the post-operative treatment of the Patient."

Monday, December 06, 2010 a.k.a. WikiLeaks
The WikiLeaks website seems to be down. A quick google search shows an alternative way to access it.

This reminds me of one of the final scenes in the V for Vendetta movie, where everyone starts to wear V's mask...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Watch, Cringe and Cry

The Huffington Post
The grainy, jerky 10-minute video, taken on a mobile phone, shows two men from Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua being horribly tortured by members of the Indonesian military. The elder of the two men screams in pain as the soldiers repeatedly burn his genitals with a smoldering piece of wood; the younger man bears a look of abject terror as a large knife is shifted from his throat to his face. No attractive realities of contemporary Indonesia are on display here, and Indonesian authorities have admitted the video is not a work of fiction.
A most vivid and powerful paragraph from the article by Sophie Richardson, Advocacy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Human rights – a central concern for the global HIV response

World Health Organization | World AIDS Day 2010
"People living with HIV should not only enjoy their right to health but also their right to access crucial social services such as education, employment, housing, social security and even asylum in some cases. Ensuring the rights of people living with HIV is good public health practice, by improving the health and well-being of those affected and by making prevention efforts more effective. A wide range of countries have enacted legislation to prevent discrimination against people living with HIV. However, in many cases, there is poor enforcements of such laws and stigmatization of people living with HIV and most-at-risk populations persist."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

25th November is a special day

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It also marks the start of the White Ribbon Campaign.

25th November is also the start of "16 Days of Activism", which links 3 days below together.
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th November)
- World AIDS Day (1st December)
- Human Rights Day (10th December)

But more importantly, it's AWARE's birthday, and it's 25 years old this year.

Happy Birthday. :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Myanmar's Sham Election

International Herald Tribune
I'm quite pissed at some of the articles I've seen, about giving a chance to the elections in Burma/Myanmar. We need to call a spade a spade. Nick Clegg's op-ed piece in the link above is one that calls for continued pressure on the military junta.

Speak Up Stop Discrimination

The theme for Human Rights Day 10 December 2010 is human rights defenders who act to end discrimination.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Understanding and Preventing Mass Atrocity Crimes: A Regional Perspective

The NUS Centre for International Law is organising a talk on genocide prevention.

Date: 11 November 2010 (Thursday)
Time: 11:00am-12:30pm
Venue: NUS Bukit Timah Campus, Block B, Level 3, Executive Seminar Room

More details in the link here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WHO simplifies treatment of mental and neurological disorders

World Health Organization
How is this related to human rights? See extract from the news release below for the clues.
"People with mental, neurological and substance use disorders are often stigmatized and subject to neglect and abuse."
The guide can be downloaded below.
mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings (PDF)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hong Kong - Public Consultation on enhanced consumer protection legislation

The Hong Kong government is launching a public consultation on proposals to strengthen its consumer protection legislation to tackle unfair trade practices.

The consultation paper

There's also a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ConsumerProtectionReview.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Tools and tactics for your digital security

Security in-a-box is one of a few toolkits crafted by the Tactical Technology Collective, the same group that did the 10 tactics film highlighted in the post below.

What I like about this toolkit is the way it's written. Each topic has a nicely-written background scenario, like the one below.
Assani is a human rights activist in a Francophone African country. His two teenage children, Salima and Muhindo, have offered to help him with some routine computer work he has been asked to do. After seeing the state of his computer, they offer to teach him the basics of how to keep it healthy and functional. Assani also likes the idea of using Free and Open Source Software, but he's not sure whether that would be more or less secure, so he asks for their advice.
Quite cool, if you ask me.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

BlackBerry Bans Suggest a Scary Precedent: Crypto Wars Again?

Electronic Frontier Foundation
The proposed bans on Blackberry service in several countries suddenly got me thinking; how are such transmissions monitored in Singapore?

Anyway, it really is sad that we allow governments around the world free rein to wiretap ordinary civilians just because they brandish the 'terrorist' card.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

10 tactics for turning information into action

1. mobilise people
2. witness and record
3. visualise your message
4. amplify personal stories
5. just add humour
6. manage your contacts
7. use complex data
8. use collective intelligence
9. let people ask the questions
10. investigate and expose

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why should death sentences be mandatory?

A commentary piece that asks for more discretion to be given to our judges. For me, besides the human rights angle to the issue, I think the simple way to advocate to the man on the street is to highlight that the death penalty is not reversible. For example, if new evidence is found after a person is executed, it is not possible to undo the sentence.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Burma annuls Suu Kyi poll victory

It seems the so-called "elections" in Burma this year will simply be a process to entrench the rule of the military junta.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A Women's Day forgotten?

Yesterday, I was having dinner at home at 9pm. My mum was watching the Channel U news. She remarked that it was Women's Day. I told her to see if there was any coverage on the TV news. By the end of the half-hour news, we heard no mention of it at all.

This morning, I took a quick check on ChannelNewsAsia (Chinese) and Straits Times, even The Online Citizen; no coverage :(

Was it because women's issues were no longer serious problem, i.e. women now have it good?

Sadly, it isn't so.

The stats below (a little outdated) show that women generally earn 73% of what men earn.

This statistic, simplistic as it may be; but it highlights that Singapore has a long way to go before we can start thinking about forgetting Women's Day.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Gendercide - The worldwide war on baby girls

The most extreme form of discrimination against women...