Human Rights Violations

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Schwartz, Dunne, Sekuler, Mercurio, Rafferty




-For many years, the Protestants of Northern Ireland withheld rights for Catholics.
- Ireland could trade with nobody other than Britain which greatly limited its economy.
- Between English repression and the potato famine, thousands of Irish emigrated to the United States.
-Catholics were discriminated against and had few rights until they rebelled.
- In 1919, the Irish would revolt as the War for


Repressive Laws Included:

◦ Preventing Catholics from carrying weapons and owning horses worth more than £5
◦ Restricting the availability of education to Catholics
◦ Preventing Catholics from buying land
◦ Banning Catholics from serving in the army
◦ Preventing Catholics from holding public positions
◦ Preventing Catholics from entering the legal profession
◦ Preventing Catholics from voting or serving as MPs

1916- Easter Monday- a nationalist uprising in Dublin. The leaders who were killed became martyrs.
Led to rise of Sinn Fein “Ourselves Alone”, the Irish political party. Its military wing was called the Irish Republican Army. (IRA)
1919- Sinn Fein declared independence

- The fighting was between the IRA and the British army
-The British army couldn’t defeat the guerilla tactics of the IRA

Eamon de Valera would be Ireland’s first president.

** - bloody sunday U2**

January 1972 - Bloody Sunday

-British paratroopers opened fire killing 14 and injuring 13 others.

Bloody Friday

-On Friday July 21, 1972, the IRA planted and exploded 22 bombs. Within 75 minutes, 9 people were killed and 130 more were injured.

Dublin and Monaghan
Four car bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan, Republic of Ireland, on Friday 17 May 1974.

- 33 civilians and one unborn child died as a result of the four explosions. Approximately 258 people were injured.
- The bombings resulted in the greatest loss of life in a single day of the conflict.
- No one was ever arrested or convicted of causing the explosions.

Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement - 1998

- Ireland shall not be one united country without the consent of a majority in Northern Ireland
- The people of Northern Ireland have the right to call themselves either Irish or British
- A multi party assembly will be elected to govern the community.
- A north/south council will be set up to consider areas of mutual interest
- An Anglo-Irish council be set up to consider areas of mutual interest
- All people shall have basic human rights, civil rights and equality
- Irish language may be taught in all schools
- Paramilitary groups to be decommissioned within two years
- A gradual reduction in the number of security forces deployed in Northern Ireland
- Political prisoners to be released providing the ceasefire is maintained


In 1967 the
Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed to demand liberal reforms, including the removal of discrimination in the allocation of jobs and houses, permanent emergency legislation and electoral abuses. The campaign was modelled on the civil rights campaign in the United States, involving protests, marches, sit-ins and the use of the media to publicise minority grievances. The local administration was unable to handle the growing civil disorder, and in 1969 the British government sent in troops to enforce order. Initially welcomed by the Catholic population, they soon provided stimulus for the revival of the republican movement. The newly formed Provisional IRA began a campaign of violence against the army. By 1972 it was clear that the local Northern Irish government, having introduced internment in 1971 as a last attempt to impose control, was unable to handle the situation. Invoking its powers under the Government of Ireland Act, the Westminster parliament suspended the Northern Ireland government and replaced it with direct rule from Westminster. This situation continued into the 1990s.

Ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Flag
Sri Lankan Flag
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Who is fighting?

The government forces against:

The "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam" (LTTE).

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LTTE claims to represent the rights of the Tamil minority

LTTE is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Canada, the EU and India

Also fighting on the side of the government are a small number of armed Tamil groups

Where is the fight?
Eastern Sri Lanka and on the coasts.

Who is winning?
Area under LTTE Control
Area under LTTE Control

There had been a truce in effect until January 16, 2008

Now, LTTE has been reported by Reuters to be defeated as a conventional force

LTTE now controls less that 3.8 square miles of Sri Lanka

Still, LTTE forces lurk in the bush and have attacked police and civilians

The conventional fight may be over, but the terrorist threat remains

Is Either Side Without Blame?

There have been many human rights violations on both sides:

International humanitarian law requires that both sides take steps to minimize harm to civilians and property

Human Rights Watch has reported that both sides have fired on heavily populated civilian areas

LTTE has been reported to have blocked civilians from leaving

LTTE has been reported to have used civilians as "human shields"

Sri Lanka’s army has been reported to have fired at populated areas including hospitals

Amnesty International reports that the government has shut down efforts by the media to report on the situation

Journalists and photographers have been barred from combat areas

At least ten media workers have been killed since May 2006

In honor of Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International has urged the Sri Lankan government and LTTE to protect journalists under international law

LTTE Members
LTTE Members

Ongoing Problems in India

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The focus of these violations have been religious.

The two major groups are the Hindus, which make up 80% of Indian population and the followers of Islam, which make up 13% of the Indian population.

Religious fundamentalism is the driver for all of these conflicts.

The religious violence has its roots in Indian history, religious activities and Indian politics.

Problems From British Rule

On August 16, 1946, there were widespread riots and manslaughter in Calcutta, known as Direct Action Day.

The power over India was being transferred from the British Raj to a new Indian rule.

A proposed two state system called for a Muslim state and a Hindu state.
Direct Action Day- 1946
Direct Action Day- 1946

When Britain rejected this, riots commenced.

More than 4,000 people lost their lives and more than 10,000 people living in Calcutta were left homeless.

To this day, Direct Action Day is still seen as an event that further divided the two religious groups.

Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits

About 300 Kashmiri Pandits were killed between 1989 and 1990.

Local newspapers urged them to wage jihad, or a religious duty to survive, against India.

All Hindus in the Kashmir region faced expulsion.external image hindus-vs-muslims.jpg

In the following days, masked men ran through the streets with guns shooting all Hindus.

Since March 1990, almost 300,00 Pandits have migrated from the region due to the persecution they faced.

Their population has declined 15% in all in the Kashmir region.

There have been many massacres, like the Wandhama Massacre of 1998.

Due to the amount of deaths of one ethnic group in the region, this has been termed as an ethnic cleansing.

Babri Mosque

On December 6, 1992, a Hindu radical group known as the Vishva Hindu Parishad destroyed the 430 year old Babri Mosque, said to be built over the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama.

This event caused much strain in the Muslim community.
Babri Mosque
Babri Mosque

Resulting from this were religious riots, which saw at least 1200 deaths.

In the aftermath of the Babri Mosque incident, more rioting took place in the city of Mumbai.

500 people died in the riot, and was one of the worst riots since Direct Action Day in 1946.

*To this day, violent religious conflicts are still happening. Temples are consistently being destroyed and people are still facing persecution based on their religious beliefs*

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Bosnian Genocide during the Bosnian War from 1992-1995


-After World War I Bosnia was united with other Slavic territories to form Yugoslavia, essentially ruled by Serbs.

-By 1980 the population of Bosnia consisted of 1.3 million Bosnian Serbs (Orthodox Catholic Christians), over 1 million Bosniaks (Sunni Muslim), and 0.7 million Bosnian Croats (Roman Catholic Christians).

-Slobodan Milosevic became Serbia's leader and he encouraged Serb nationalism, not only at home but also in the other republics where there were large Serb communities.

-Elections in 1990 brought nationalists to power in Croatia and Slovenia, which, together with Macedonia, declared independence in 1991. Alija Izetbegovic, the leader of Bosnia's multi-ethnic government, called for independence for Bosnia as well.

-Bosnia's Serbs, however, weren't happy. They saw themselves and the land they lived on as part of Milosevic's 'Greater Serbia'.

-By the end of 1993 the Serbs (led by Radovan Karadzic) had set up their own Republika Srpska in the east and a Bosnian Serb army (under Ratko Mladic). The Bosnian Croats had been mostly driven out. A small force continued fighting for its Bosnian territory until 1994.

-Apart from providing some troop convoys for humanitarian aid,the UN refused to intervene. Each so-called safe area fell to the Serbs and was 'ethnically cleansed.'

-Bosnia was the victim of one group's determined wish for political domination, which it was prepared to achieve by isolating ethnic groups and if necessary, exterminating them.


srebrenica_children.jpg-In July 1995 Serb troops and paramilitary groups led by Ratko Mladic descended on Srebrenica. They had already dealt with Muslim soldiers in the countryside villages. Now they were besieging Srebrenica's thousands of Muslim civilians. Food supplies and water began to dwindle, buildings were damaged, and people were injured.

-The UN military could do little as poorly equipped and had no back up.

-Muslims made for the Dutch compound - some killed by shells as they fled. Throughout the day a stream of refugees was slowly admitted inside: up to 6,000 by nightfall. 20,000 more were left waiting outside.

-Serb troops at once began separating off the men from women and children among the civilians outside the UN compound. Women and children were forced on to the trucks and buses. As they were deported, they could hear gunfire echoing around the hills and they saw corpses lying by the road. 

-The deportation of Srebrenica's population took 4 days.

srebrenica.jpg-Up to 7,500 men, and boys over 13 years old, were killed.
- Thousands of the bodies were buried in mass graves. Later many bodies were dug up and moved to more secret burial places.

-Mass killings and murder, systematic rape, torture, and other crimes against humanity were committed.

-Peace negotiations were held and Bosnia was now divided into a Croat-
2.gifMuslim Federation and Republika Srpska.

-In 1996, elections produced a three-man presidency representing the main Bosnian groups.
-There were no jobs, not much water, and few supplies.

-Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic have both been declared war
ratko-mladic-karadi_780286a.jpgcriminals. Radoslav Krstic, a commander working for Mladic, was arrested by NATO troops in December 1998 and charged with genocide for his part in the atrocities at Srebrenica.
-In August 2001 Krstic was sentenced to 46 years imprisonment.

- Some of the bodies have been found and some of the mass graves opened. Identification has proved almost impossible - just a few hundred have been given names. There are still 20,000 people listed as missing.


Located in Central Africa, Rwanda is one of Africa's smallest countries.
Population: 3 million
2 Major Ethnic Groups: The Hutu and the Tutsi


. In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which was composed of Tutsi refugees, invaded. This resulted in the Rwandan Civil War between the Tutsi and the Hutu.

. In 1990, this rebel army invaded Rwanda and forced Hutu President Juvenal Habyalimana into signing an agreement that said that the Hutus and Tutsis would share power. Tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi increased as the Hutu rose to power.

Ethnic tensions were heightened after the assassination of Habyarimana.

Rwanda Genocide: 1994
The mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Rwanda's Tutsis and Hutu political moderates by Hutus.


.The United Nation sent about 2,500 soliders to help promote ceasefire between the Hutus and Tutsis. However, peace was doubtful because the Hutu government didnot want to share power with the Tutsis.

. The killings began to get worse. Hutu militia began moving to the country side armed with machetes, clubs, guns and grenades. They began killing innocent Tutsi civilians.
. All individuals in Rwanda had to carry around an identification card that specifies their ethnic background. These cards would serve as a symbol in Rwanda to live or die.

The UN troops were overwhelmed with Tutsi families seeking protection.
. Ten soldiers from Belgium who were captured by the Hutus, tortured and murdered. As a result, the United States, France, Belgium, and Italy all began taking their soliders out of Rwanda

The Tutsi civilians sent out help signals to the rest of the world including the United States.

The United States didn't classify this event as a genocide because they would have been obligated tohelp.
The Hutu engaged in genocidal mania, clubbing and hacking to death defenseless Tutsi families with machetes everywhere they were found. The Rwandan state radio, controlled by Hutu extremists, further encouraged the killings by broadcasting non-stop hate propaganda and even pinpointed the locations of Tutsis in hiding.


The killings only ended after armed Tutsi rebels, invading from neighboring countries, managed to defeat the Hutus and halt the genocide in July 1994. By then, an estimated 800,000 people, had been killed.

Today, Rwanda is still trying to recover
from the horrific event known as the Rwanda Genocide.



The Islamic controlled government, located in East Sudan, started the Genocide as an ethnic cleansing of the Darfur region in West Sudan. They "hire" militia groups known as the Janjaweed to attack villages, rape, kill and loot.

In early 2003, two loosely allied rebel groups began a rebellion in Darfur, Sudan calling for the redress of social and economic grievances and demanding greater political power. Sudanese authorities saw the rebellion as a threat to the viability of the entire country, fearing other neglected regions would similarly rise up and demand larger degrees of autonomy.


The government then decided to exterminate all the Africans.

The Janjaweeb, are the large Arab militia. They are armed by the government and are sent out to kill civilians and perform other tasks such as burning down villages, and destroy crops and livestock.


To date, over 400,000 people have died as a result of the Sudan genocide campaign and 2.5 million have been internally displaced.
The Sudanese government has been accused of suppressing information by killing witnesses since 2004, and tampering with evidence (such as mass graves) to eliminate their probative value.

Violence in Darfur also targets aid workers and peacekeepers, limiting the ability of the international community to conduct humanitarian operations. The Government of Sudan itself has also been an obstacle to deploying peacekeepers and allowing them to perform there duties.
The scale of ongoing of the violence caused us to include Darfur as an Area of Concern in 2008 and engage in political advocacy and civilian protection projects to lessen suffering in the region.
As 2009 begins, fighting continues between the government and rebel groups.

Middle East Conflict
Israel vs. Palestine

external image pro-israel-crowd.jpg vs. external image palestinian_flag.jpe

· Anti-Semitism had been commonplace in Europe for centuries. It dates back to the simple fact that Jews were different.
· Christians, Jews, and Muslims all had ties to the Holy Land
· Anti-Semitism increased in the late 1870s as Jews were associated with economic stagnation. Organized Anti-Semitism arose in Germany and France (Dreyfus Affair).
· Anti-Semitic racial theories championed by Houston Stewart Chamberlain spread Anti-Semitism into European political life. The false book Protocols of the Elders of Zion was also formulated and spread during the 1870s.
· After the Balfour Declaration and Holocaust, Jewish immigration to future Israel greatly increased. The new tensions that arouse led to the modern Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The Zionist movement was founded by Theodore Herzl in 1896 to found a separate Jewish state. Herzl stated that the political and social situation of Europe could never fully protect Jews.

§ external image 8231.jpgTheodore Herzl

§ Great Britain held significant territories in the Middle East. In 1917, while promising the Arabs that they would create an Arabic state out of the Ottoman Empire, they issued the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration promised the Jews a national home in Palestine.
§ Between World Wars, many Jews immigrated to the area then governed by Great Britain. The Jews developed their own communities, laws, and way of life and often clashed with the Palestinians who saw them as intruders. During this time there was talk of placing the Jewish state somewhere in Africa which seemed reasonable to both sides.
§ However, the Holocaust brought about Jewish sympathies and the victorious powers believed the Jews deserved something (land in Palestine) after all they had gone through.
§ In 1947, the UN took control of the area and divided it into a Jewish and an Arab state.

§ In May 1948, Britain withdrew from the area and Israel declared independence. That same day, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq invaded Israel and the modern Arab-Israeli conflict was born.

Ø By the end of the War for independence, Israel had significantly increased its borders. Although it survived, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia among others did not recognize Israel.
Ø In the 1950s, the Soviet Union gave aid to the Arab nations and the US and Western Europe supported Israel. After receiving British and French help against Egypt in the 1956 Suez crisis, Israel was permanently tied to Western nations.

Ø WARS: 1967-Six Days’ War- Israel attacked Egypt after months of provocation on June 5th. Syria and Jordan entered with Egypt but by June 11th Israel had won. Israel then occupied the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and the Jordan River. 1973- Yom Kippur War- Egypt, led by Anwar el-Sadat, joined with Syria and launched an attack against Israel on Yom Kippur. A truce was arranged after about a month of fighting.

Ø Attempts at Peace: 1977- President Sadat flew to Israel and spoke with Prime Minister Begin. This was the first time the leader of an Arab state recognized Israel. 1978- US moderated the Camp David Accords which were supposed to lead to further peace discussions. Sadat would be assassinated in 1981 which strained the long term impact of the Accords.
Camp David Accords
Ø 1981- Israeli Parliament annexed the Golan Heights.

Conflict with the PLO
Ø The PLO- Palestinian Liberation Organization- was a major block to peace talks. Founded in 1964, the PLO demanded a separate Palestinian state which Israel believed would threaten its existence. Major action wouldn’t occur until Yasser Arafat became the leader in 1969.
Ø War of Attrition- From 1969 to 1970, the PLO (then based in Jordan) attacked Israeli civilians and cities. Israel raided PLO camps in Jordan who subsequently kicked out the PLO late in 1970.
Ø Ten Point Program- 1974- calls for a creation of a binational state where all citizens are treated equally. It would unify Arab territories held by Israel and because of this, Israelis are strongly opposed.
Ø 1982- Israel invades Lebanon, a base for the PLO, and expels them.
Ø First Intifada-1987- Arab uprising against Israeli rule on the West Bank. Since 1987, Israel has responded to trouble in the West Bank with deadly force. After the First Intifada, a number of nations recognized a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
Ø 1988- The PLO stated that Israel had a right to exist and that it would refrain from terrorist activity. However, the PLO also declared the existence of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
Yasir Arafat

Ø Oslo Accords-1993- Israel and PLO recognized each other and agreed to Palestinian self-government in Gaza and city of Jericho. The Palestinian Authority was created where Arafat was elected leader. Although Arafat continually stated that the peace was permanent and genuine, PLO members claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks and Israeli politicians oppose talks of independence because they doubt the PLO’s ability to create a peaceful state.

File:West Bank & Gaza Map 2007 (Settlements).png
File:West Bank & Gaza Map 2007 (Settlements).png

o The PLO has been somewhat replaced by two groups, Hezbollah (based in Lebanon) and Hamas (in Gaza). The two groups have been the main proponents of attacks on Israel for over a decade now.
o In 2007, Israel imposed a severe import-export ban on Gaza. They greatly decreased the amount of electricity, fuel, and water allowed into Gaza. Over 100 people died because they couldn’t receive medical aid. Israel states that what they do allow in is enough to maintain the necessities of life and that this is in part punishment for the various attacks of recent years.
o The most recent event in the ongoing conflict is the Gaza War of late 2008-early 2009. A six month truce between Hamas and Israel had expired and Hamas immediately began to bomb Israeli citizens. Israel sought to stop these bombings and began an intense campaign in the Gaza strip.
o International organizations have accused each side of war crimes and crimes against humanity.