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Guatemala: Human Rights Defenders Under Attack

The U.N. human rights office has recorded an alarming 884 attacks against human rights defenders

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Guatemala, Human Rights Defenders
FILE - Hundreds of indigenous people, peasant farmers and activists demonstrate in the streets of Guatemala City, demanding the end of the corruption and the persecution of political leaders, May 8, 2019. VOA

A report by the U.N. Human Rights Office finds human rights defenders, minorities and indigenous people in Guatemala are subject to widescale, wanton attacks by state and non-state actors. The report, prepared with Guatemala’s National Human Rights Institution, covers the period from January 2017 to April 2019.

The U.N. human rights office has recorded an alarming 884 attacks against human rights defenders, including 39 killings during the two-year reporting period. It says human rights defenders are subject to physical attacks, threats, intimidation, surveillance, stigmatization, and gender-based violence.

Guatemala, Human Rights Defenders

A report by the U.N. Human Rights Office finds human rights defenders, minorities and indigenous people in Guatemala are subject to widescale, wanton attacks. Pixabay

The report accuses the government of misusing criminal law to silence those defending peoples’ rights to lands, territories and natural resources. It notes indigenous peoples, women defenders, LGBTI defenders, and journalists are among those at particular risk of abuse.

In mid-June, Guatemalans will go to the poll to elect the President and Congress. U.N. human rights spokeswoman, Marta Hurtado said this is a particularly precarious time for human rights defenders. She said her office has documented a number of attacks against community and indigenous leaders targeted for their political involvement.

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“Three political candidates and two people with declared intentions to run for office have been killed since January 2019. Impunity in relation to these crimes is persistent and rampant. Independent judges — including from High Courts — and prosecutors have faced assaults, threats, reprisals and have been stigmatized,” said Hurtado.

The report warns these attacks and abuses of peoples’ civil rights bring into question the credibility of the electoral process. It says widespread violations will persist unless measures are taken to end the country’s endemic corruption, redress the lack of land tenure, improve security and institutional weaknesses.

The report recommends the government strengthen measures to prevent, protect, investigate and prosecute crimes committed against human rights defenders. (VOA)

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Chennai Experiences Most Cyber Attacks Among Metro Cities

Almost one in three netizens in India encounter cyber attacks, with users from Chennai more vulnerable to these attacks among users in the metros

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Cyber, Attack, Crime, Chennai, Technology
A majority of IoT device manufacturers and users were found to be ignorant about the necessity of optimised security. Wikimedia Commons

Almost one in three netizens in India encounter cyber attacks, with users from Chennai more vulnerable to these attacks among users in the metros, a new study said on Wednesday.

The study conducted by K7 Computing – a city-based cyber security major, tracks all critical components like Enterprise, Mobile, Mac, Windows and IoT, covering 20 Indian cities that include metros, tier-1 and tier-2 regions.

According to the report, amongst tier-1 cities, Chennai has recorded the highest percentile of cyber attacks with 48 per cent from April 2019-June 2019 followed by Kolkata with 41 per cent during the same period. Delhi has registered the lowest percentile of cyber attacks with 28 per cent.

“K7 Computing’s K7 Labs’ Cyber Threat Monitor highlights the ever evolving threat landscape around the country and addresses the growing necessity of being more proactive in the approach towards cybersecurity,” said K Purushothaman, CEO of K7 Computing.

Cyber, Attack, Crime, Chennai, Technology
IT Managers are most prone to cyber crimes and phishing emails. PixabayIT Managers are most prone to cyber crimes and phishing emails. Pixabay

“We see an increasing number of cyber attacks in tier-1 and tier-2 cities, and therefore, we urge concerned stakeholders to leverage specific intelligence for countermeasures and threat hunting,” Purushothaman said.

As per the report, cyber risk exposure steadily rises on working days in metros, starting from Monday and records the highest on Friday.

The average percentage of cyber attacks in the top dozen infected tier-2 cities was found to be worse when compared to metros and tier-1 regions.

From April 2019-June 2019, Patna experienced the highest percentile of cyber attacks (48 per cent), closely followed by Guwahati (46 per cent) and Lucknow (45 per cent), while Thiruvananthapuram stood safest among others at 35 per cent.

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The study also found that ransomware and fileless attacks continued to grow faster in the country.

Trojan attacks, at 72 per cent, were detected to be the major threat for Mac followed by Adware (18 per cent) and PUP/PUA (Potentially Unwanted Programmes/Potentially Unwanted Applications) that stood at nine per cent, the study said.

A majority of IoT device manufacturers and users were found to be ignorant about the necessity of optimised security, thus inviting massive-scale attacks

The report states that routers are the most vulnerable IoT devices existing in the country, followed by printers, NAS, IP cameras, media players, set-top boxes and smart TVs. (IANS)