Instead of gossiping about the Kim dynasty, the world should focus on North Korea‚Äôs human rights atrocities

By Benedict Rogers

One of the very few non-COVID-19 stories that hit the headlines last month was the rumoured near-death of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-Un. For almost three weeks the speculation grew that he was dying or had died, and the discussion around who would succeed him reached near-fever pitch. Would it be his sister Kim Yo-jong? But would conservative North Korea be ready for a female leader? Would it be a senior military leader? But then what would that do to the regime’s credibility in the eyes of the North Korean people, if the Kim dynastic succession was broken?

But then, almost as mysteriously as he disappeared, the man known as ‚Äúthe Dear Leader‚ÄĚ re-emerged, opening a fertilizer plant outside Pyongyang. Precisely what had happened remains known only to the core leadership of the world‚Äôs most secretive state. There was no shortage of rumours. It was suggested that he may have had surgery, that he may have had coronavirus, that he may simply have escaped Pyongyang to avoid infection and even that he had been injured in a missile test. But will we ever know?

Continue reading “Instead of gossiping about the Kim dynasty, the world should focus on North Korea‚Äôs human rights atrocities”

FoRB on the Frontlines: “We were ready for one of the family to be killed”

Dabrina Bet-Tamraz is an Iranian Christian human rights defender who currently resides in exile in Europe. In her home country, her entire family faces intense pressure from the Iranian government; her father, mother and brother have been charged with national security-related crimes for participating in everyday religious activities.

Dabrina has dedicated her life to advocating for her family and others like them facing persecution in Iran. She has raised their cases at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, as well as with President Donald Trump when she attended the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in the USA. In this interview she sheds light on her experiences as a young Christian in Iran, and on the current situation for her family and other Christians in the country.

“Growing up as a Christian in Iran, it was always obvious we were treated differently. Until I was about ten, the church experienced a decade of severe persecution. Pastors were being killed, churches were under massive pressure, and my parents were regularly taken in for interrogation.

When I was a teenager we were constantly under surveillance; we were bugged and there were spies in the church. It began to make us question everything everyone says. We didn’t know who we could trust.

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Un Tema ling√ľ√≠stico: ¬ŅQu√© es la persecuci√≥n?

Los crímenes de lesa humanidad son uno de los cuatro crímenes atroces definidos en el derecho internacional.[1] La primera acusación por crímenes contra la humanidad ocurrió después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Se basaba en la creencia de que ciertos crímenes son una afrenta a la conciencia de la humanidad. La comunidad internacional trató de garantizar que no hubiera impunidad por los crímenes que violen la esencia de la dignidad humana.

Uno de ellos es el crimen de la persecución.

Persecución: un crimen de lesa humanidad

La jurisprudencia sobre crímenes de lesa humanidad fue desarrollada por dos tribunales creados ad hoc por el Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas: el Tribunal Penal Internacional para la ex Yugoslavia (TPIY) y el Tribunal Internacional para Ruanda (TPIR).

LEE M√ĀS

Language Matters: What is Persecution?

Crimes against humanity are one of four atrocity crimes defined in international law.[1] The first prosecution for crimes against humanity happened after the Second World War. It was underpinned by the belief that certain crimes are an affront to the very conscience of mankind.  The international community sought to ensure there would be no impunity for crimes that violate the essence of human dignity.

One of them is the crime of persecution.

Persecution – a crime against humanity.

Jurisprudence on crimes against humanity was developed by two ad hoc tribunals created by the United Nations Security Council: the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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Long read: The history of religious persecution in Egypt

In November 2018, seven Coptic Christians were killed and 18 injured when terrorists attacked the bus they were travelling in to visit the Monastery of Anba Samuel the Confessor in Minya, Upper Egypt. The attack took place in the same location where 28 Coptic Christians were killed and 23 injured less than 18 months previously by masked gunmen who opened fire on the vehicles they were travelling in.

These violent attacks are part of a wider, longer term pattern of religious discrimination and persecution faced by Egypt‚Äôs Coptic community. The term ‚Äėpersecution‚Äô is not used lightly; according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, persecution is ‚Äėthe intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity.‚Äô

In order to understand the root causes of religious persecution in contemporary Egypt, it is important to examine the ideological, socio-political and cultural factors that have historically underpinned the persecution of religious minorities in the country.

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