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In the wake of terror, UN Watch too castigates Pakistan, Iran, and Burma for violation of Women’s Rights in one of its Minority Forum Session

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights consider education to be a basic human right

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Wome being used as carriers of Islamic Militant attacks Images source:Wikimedia Commons

August 27, 2016: When a human is tagged and discriminated on the basis of religion and gender, humanity dies right at that moment. UN Watch, whose stated mission is “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter” has come up with the list of countries which are a shame on humanity.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights consider education to be a basic human right. Access to education in many parts of the world is challenging, but it is especially difficult in areas where minority women face bigotry because of their gender and their status as a minority.

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In one of its UN Minority Forum sessions of Human Rights Council, UN Watch too had focussed on the issues related to discrimination against minority women in certain countries, under the agenda of Right to education. An intern with the UN watch, Angela Farmer pointed out that Iran, Pakistan, and Burma; routinely discriminate against women belonging to minority groups of their respective countries.

Pakistan has a history of sectarian attacks, which continue with impunity, particularly against minorities. Hindu girls bear the brunt of religious discriminations and face massive obstacles on their way to education.

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Female teachers often face threats from militants, and the schools open for women are less than 25% of the total number of schools in Pakistan. There are holidays for Muslim and Christian festivals but not for Hindus.  Some regions do not allow educations to girls at all citing “religious beliefs” as the reason.

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The discrimination against Baha’i women in Iran is of grave concern, which has caught the attention as well as received criticism of both, Mr. Ban-ki moon, the UN-secretary, and the UN general assembly’s third Committee- which deals with human rights. While Muslim women have access to education; Baha’i women are barred from the university education.

Burma persecutes women of Muslim minority groups of Rohingyas, denying them citizenship. The Rohingyas women have been inflicted upon with atrocities by the government itself. Mass military rapes of Rohingyas have been reported by the Freedom House, a US-based research agency. Due to Fear of their lives, many Rohingyas women have fled to Bangladesh. The special rapporteur on human rights in Burma has expressed serious concern for the Rohingyas population, referring to “Endemic discrimination against the Muslim minority.”

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U.N. Urges Egypt To Halt All Executions Based On Confessions Obtained Against Torture

“There is significant cause for concern that due process and fair trial guarantees may not have been followed in some or all of these cases, and that the very serious allegations concerning the use of torture were not properly investigated,” Colville said.

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Family members of those convicted and executed for the killing of public prosecutor Hisham Barakat gather at Zynhom morgue in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 20, 2019, as they wait for their bodies to be released. VOA

The U.N. Human Rights Office is urging Egypt to halt all executions and to conduct investigations into all allegations that people are subjected to the death penalty based on confessions obtained under torture.

Egypt has executed 15 people in February and the U.N. Human Rights Office notes the month is not yet over. The agency reports nine people were executed this week in a case related to the killing of Egypt’s General Prosecutor, Hisham Barakat.

Regarding six other killings earlier this month, it says three men were convicted of assassinating a police officer and three others in connection with the murder of the son of a judge.

Human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said in all cases the defendants have told the court they were subjected to torture to make them confess to the crimes of which they were accused.

FILE - A defendant is seen caged in a courtroom in Torah prison, southern Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 22, 2015.
A defendant is seen caged in a courtroom in Torah prison, southern Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 22, 2015. VOA

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In June 2017, the U.N. Committee against Torture completed a four-year confidential inquiry and concluded that torture is “practiced systematically” in Egypt. Colville told VOA the recent allegations of torture, in almost all of these cases, come against this well-established backdrop that torture is endemic in Egypt.

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“If torture was used to make a confession a considerable part of the prosecution’s case, then that should not be admitted in court. That confession produced under torture should not be admissible. And when these allegations have been brought up by the defense lawyers and so on, our belief is they are not being taken seriously enough by the courts,” he said.

Colville said a number of individuals convicted under similar circumstances in Egypt have exhausted all legal proceedings. He says they currently are on death row at imminent risk of execution. (VOA)