Turkey News | Advocates & Critics

Turkey halts activities of 370 NGOs as “purge” continues
  • Following the failed coup attempt of July 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has banned the activities of hundreds of organizations, including human rights and children’s organizations, arrested opposition lawmakers, and shuttered more than 100 media organizations on charges of collusion with terrorists.
  • Of the suspended, 153 were allegedly connected to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen (whom Erdogan has accused of masterminding the coup), 190 with Kurdish militant group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), 19 to far-left militant group DHKP-C, and 8 to the Islamic State.
  • More than 100,000 in the military, police, political administration, journalism, and academia have lost their jobs and tens of thousands have been arrested, prompting condemnation from human rights monitors and warnings from foreign governments.

Read more:
Turkey halts activities of 370 groups as purge widens” (Reuters)
Erdogan Renews Putsch Purge With Targets in Media, Academia” (Bloomberg)
Erdogan’s ‘One-Man Regime’ Sacks 10,000, Closes Kurdish Media” (teleSUR English)

Mauritania News | Writers

Mauritanian clerics push for application of death penalty for blogger convicted of apostasy
  • Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was convicted in 2014 over a blog post discussing Mauritania’s racial stratification and the history of racial discrimination in Islam.
  • The Forum of Imams and Ulemas recently issued a fatwa calling for Mkhaitir’s execution in line with absolutist laws regarding heresy in Islam.
  • If carried out, Mkhaitir’s execution would be the first in the country since 1987, prompting international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders to advocate for his pardon.

Read more:
Mauritanian clerics urge for blogger’s death penalty to be applied” (Reuters)
Millions of people rallied to the support of Raif Badawi – who will care for a poor young man in Mauritania?” (The Independent, August 2015)
Death Sentence in Mauritania for Islam ‘Insult’” (Reuters via The New York Times, December 2014)

Australia Features | Asylum-Seekers

Australia’s Refugee Hot Potato

Despite its reputation as a beacon—however imperfect—of multiculturalism in the Asia Pacific region, Australia has increasingly come under scrutiny for its asylum policies, which make it nearly impossible for refugees to find haven in the country. International outrage has grown over more than a decade as an evolving set of agreements and restrictions have made the country’s practices increasingly less transparent and, some advocates argue, more inhumane.

Rejection of refugee-carrying vessels, offshore processing, indefinite detention, poor conditions in detention centers, and questionable legal maneuverings have caused humanitarian monitors to sound the alarm, questioning Australia’s commitment to international human rights laws. The most recent development in Australia’s ever-evolving asylum-seeker drama has involved an agreement with the U.S. to take those currently held in offshore detention on the island of Nauru, but the election of Donald Trump has introduced uncertainty into a situation already defined by precarity.

Read:
Offshore detention: Australia’s recent immigration history a ‘human rights catastrophe’” (The Guardian)

Additional:
The Nauru files: cache of 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention” (The Guardian)
Refugees in Australia’s remote camps offered US resettlement” (AFP via Yahoo! News)

(Image Credit: Dean Lewins/AAP, via The Guardian)

Pakistan News | Sufi Muslims

More than 50 killed after bombing at Sufi shrine in Pakistan
  • The attack took place in the Khuzdar district of Baluchistan province, killing at least 52, wounding more than 100, and trapping an unknown number of others.
  • Security forces believe a suicide attacker carried out the massacre as hundreds were in the shrine for daily devotional activities.
  • The attack was the latest in a series targeting Sufis, members of a minority Islamic sect that has been the target of a number of attacks from extremist Sunni groups.

Read more:
Bombing at Sufi Shrine in Pakistan Kills Dozens” (The New York Times)
IS-claimed bombing kills at least 52 at Khuzdar shrine” (The Express Tribune)
‘No one was able to hear their cries’: Families ripped apart as terror strikes Khuzdar shrine” (AFP via DAWN.com)

(Image Credit: AP, via DAWN.com)

ClimateWatch: U.S.

ClimateWatch
The U.S. in the Era of Trump


Source: euronews YouTube

The conclusion of an election that saw an historic clash over the values of diversity, inclusion, and the meaning of “America” has brought with it a surge in uncertainty for minority and other historically disadvantaged communities in the U.S. The damage was extensive: the nearly year and a half of campaigning saw ethnic and religious minorities disparaged, immigrants targeted, women (including his opponent) subjected to misogynistic abuse, the mainstream press caught in the crosshairs of an anti-media campaign, and rhetorical and symbolic resonances in speeches and advertising that drew white supremacists and other far-right extremists out of the woodwork.

In what ways has Trump’s election reshaped the social and political climate for vulnerable American populations, including women, Latinos, black people, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities? How is the post-election retreat from data showing racial resentment as the highest predictor of Trump support endangering reality-based solutions for vulnerable communities, politicians, and analysts? And how has his rise to power connected to and amplified similar right-wing, ethno-nationalist politics globally?

Whether and how American conservatives and the Republican Party—now set to hold power in all three branches of government—are able to manage a resurgent coalition of ethno-nationalist voters as well as the capacity for progressive and Democratic activists to create social, political, and legal structures to protect vulnerable communities will determine what life in Trump’s America will look like for the at-risk. This ClimateWatch rounds up a number of key news items, analyses, and commentaries providing insight on what has happened and what could be on the horizon. Continue reading ClimateWatch: U.S.