Archive for January, 2011

Mr. David Kato

RightsNOW Pakistan condemns the murder of human rights defender in Uganda. A Ugandan human rights defender, Mr.David Kato was an active human rights defender, striving for the protection of human rights particularly for sexual minorities (LGBT) in  Uganda., was  reportedly killed on 26th January, 2011.

Initial reports revealed that on 26th January, 2011 a man entered in his house who severely beaten him to death. Sources says that Mr. Kato had death threats. RightsNow Pakistan contacted human rights activist from Uganda based in Boston for comments onn Mr. Kato’s murder. He shared that he is also following the incident and according to him, “Ugandan Security forces have condemned the act and continue searching for the suspects, who seem to be fellow locals.

Uganda has been unfavorable place for LGBT right activists  where  sexual minorities have beaten and threatened.  Mr. Kato’s murder will stir a new discussion on the rights of LGBT in Ugandan society.






Hungry child eats chiken bones in Sindh (Pic by CBS News)

According to Reuters reports- Pakistan‘s Souther province, Sindh is suffering levels of malnutrition. Province was hit hard by last year’s flood which hit both North and South Pakistan. Reports compare the situation of malnutrition with Chad and Niger.The grimness of situation can be judged from the fact that hundreds of thousands of children at risk, according to UNICEF authorities, reported by Reuters.

Reports also mention about a survey conducted by the provincial government and the U.N. Children’s Fund revealed malnutrition rates of 23.1 percent in northern Sindh and 21.2 percent in the south.

The report claims that Northern Sindh also had a 6.1 percent severe acute malnutrition rate and southern Sindh had 2.9 percent, both far above the WHO thresholds. Reuter reported UNICEF head saying, “We are looking at hundreds of thousands of children at risk.” A full report would be released Friday by the Sindh government, according to UNICEF authorities, along with the province’s response plan. Monsoon floods starting in late July last year devastated Pakistan. More than one-fifth of its territory was inundated and 20 million people affected. Ten million were left homeless and nearly 2,000 people died. Six months later, many communities in Sindh are still surrounded by floodwaters. In Sindh and Baluchistan, some 600,000 people are still living in temporary camps, according to the World Food Program. The United Nations appealed for $2 billion in emergency aid, but only 56 percent has been delivered, according to Oxfam.

Source: Reuters:


Bruce Riedel, South Asian Expert

Bruce Riede, South Asian Expert, a former CIA Officer and chair of President Obama’s inter-agency review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan speaks at the Fletcher School-Tufts University on Wednesday, 26 January, 2011, at 5 :30 pm at Cabot 205. Speaker is also  a senior fellow in Foreign Policy and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. The former adviser to four U.S. presidents on Middle East and South Asian issues. He is the author of the highly acclaimed ‘The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future’ and is a regular contributor to ‘The Daily Beast.’

Riedel will be promoting his new book, ‘Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad’. One of America’s foremost authorities on national security, South Asia, and terrorism, Bruce Riedel chaired President Obama’s 2009 strategic review of policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. He helped write the speech where the president referred to the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands as the most dangerous region in the world.’

In his introduction to Deadly Embrace, Riedel writes: ‘Pakistan and America have been gripped together in a deadly embrace for decades. For reasons good and bad, successive American presidents from both parties have pursued narrow short-term interests in Pakistan that have contributed to its instability and radicalization. This has set the stage for the development of the global jihad. Explaining how and why this has happened is the subject of this book.’

The book will be available for purchase at the event. Co-sponsor: Tufts History Department

NEPAL Government adds new category in its census

Source: by Sexologist Syed Ibrahim Shah

Nepal government, for the first time, has decided to create a new category for transgender people in its latest census, which is expected to begin in May. Before Nepal had only two categories, men and women and now one more have  been included as a “third gender” category, as per report.

Nepal’s Central Bureau of Statistics has started its new census with the inclusion of a new category for the third sex in accordance of the landmark verdict of Nepalese Supreme Court on December 21, 2007 that directed the government to guarantee the rights of trans gender, gay, lesbian and bisexual people. This is a good beginning and a positive gesture for the rights of the third sex, said transgender activist Sunil Babu Panta, who is also the country’s first gay Parliament member. This will certainly help in ensuring rights of the sexual minorities, he said, adding but we don’t have enough preparations to carry out the census. Due to lack of awareness and fear of social exclusion many gays and lesbians may not express their real sexual identity, he pointed out.

The number of sexual minorities is estimated to be more than two million, said Panta, who heads Blue Diamond Society dedicated to the cause of lesbian and gay he said adding but the correct picture may not come out due to the conservative nature of the society. But only 350,000 third sex people including 50,000 gays and lesbians have so far been identified, according to Panta. The census will be completed within five months, according to the officials. Nepal conducts population census in every 10 years and the latest estimate puts the population of the country at 26 million.

Heroes of Nonviolent Movements

Posted: January 19, 2011 in News and Views

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday was Celebrated.

Martin Luther King,Jr. day was celebrated on 17th January 2011 in United States and different other parts of the world. There were different ways to honor King; people recognized his achievements, his struggle for the rights of black people and leading a nonviolent struggle. In the United States, in 1986 , it was declared a federal holiday.


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi mostly known as Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, a small town on the western coast of India.

Mahatma Gandhi

Martin Luther King

Gandhi a practitioner of Ahimsa, swore to speak the truth and advocated that do the same. He was modest, vegetarian and always wore dhoti and shawl, woven from yarn that he had spun by hand himself. He pioneered Satyagraha, defined as resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa or nonviolence.

Mahatma Gandhi first employed civil disobedience while an expatriate lawyer in South Africa during the local Indian community struggle against their rights. Returned to India in 1915, and organized a nonviolent movement in India. He assumed the leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921 and led nation-wide movement against British Empire. Gandhi spent a number of years in jail in both South Africa and India.

On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot while he was walking to a platform from which he was to address a prayer meeting. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi responsible for weakening India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan. More information please check:

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born Michael Luther King, Jr., on January 15, 1929 but later his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.  (Reference :

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan


Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Alias Baacha Khan also known as Pakistani Gandhi simple, deep and true humanist and disciplined. Bacha Khan was born in 1890 know one of the nonviolent oppose to the British rule. He was a Pashtun Pakistani. Bacha Khan in Pashto mean “King Khan” and also had other titles like Fakhr-e-Afghan (Pride of Afghan) and Sarhadi Gandhi (frontier Gandhi).

He was initially encouraged by his family to join the British Indian Army; however the treatment of a British Raj officer towards a native offended him, and a family decision for him to study in England was put off after his mother’s intervention.

Having witnessed the repeated failure of revolts against the British Raj, he decided social activism and reform would be more beneficial for Pashtuns. This ultimately led to the formation of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement (Servants of God). The movement’s success triggered a harsh crackdown against him and his supporters and he was sent into exile. It was at this stage in the late 1920s that he formed an alliance with Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. This alliance was to last till the 1947 partition of India.  Once a companion told Baacha Khan about the cruel and torturous handling of Khudai Khidmatgar (servant of God) by the law-enforcing agency of foreign regime.

Baacha Khan consoled his companion and said. Do not loose heart. Go and visit the tortured ones. Attend to the sick, minister to their wants and relate to them of the consolation of religion. Baacha Khan further added that he had often tried this process himself and founded it an effective remedy of the lonely, afflicted and heavy hearts.


Noam Chomsky Speaks on Gaza

Posted: January 17, 2011 in News and Views

Date: Friday, January 21, 2011, Time: 4:00pm–5:30pm , Location: E51-Wong Auditorium, Speaker: Noam Chomsky, Nancy Murray

Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky addresses the ongoing crisis in Gaza followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Joining Chomsky is Nancy Murray, the director of education at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts. She is the author of Rights Matter: the Story of the Bill of Rights. Nancy holds a B.Phil. and Ph.D. in modern history from Oxford University. She has experience as a teacher, scholar and social activist in Great Britain, Kenya, and the Middle East as well as the United States, and has written widely on the themes of civil liberties, civil and human rights.

Open to: General public, Sponsored by: Center for International Studies: For more information:

Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)

Posted: January 16, 2011 in News and Views

Protection of human rights defenders should be Legitimate, Legal and Comprehensive

Who is Human Rights Defender?

Someone who promotes and protects human rights

Who respects good laws

Who is independent and impartial

Who does not support or/and believe in violence

Who does not have her/his political agenda

Who does not discriminate one group against other or one rights against others

Who does not exploit people for his/her own benefits

Someone who believes in human rights principles



    Present trend of target killings of journalists in Pakistan shows low protection level of journalists in Pakistan.

    Workshop on Citizen Journalism and Civil Resistance– Madrid, Spain / March 20-23, 2011

    To learn more or to apply, please see the flyer and application attached or email Today hundreds of civilian-based movements and campaigns for human rights, democracy, social justice, political freedom and other causes are being waged with participation by ordinary people, all over the world. Unfortunately, major global media broadcasters, newspapers and news services give little if any attention to the causes and work of these movements. This workshop will cover key strategic and tactical lessons of successful movements, examine the role of independent media in civil resistance, look at the impact of digital resistance and international actors, and offer practical guidance to citizen or authentic journalists in developing stories, doing investigative field reporting, initiating video reports, and other practical aspects of citizen journalism in countries where civil resistance is now being used. Co-hosting this workshop will be the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (, a nonprofit foundation based in the United States, and Narco News (, the world’s pioneering organization in authentic journalism and an online newspaper that covers democracy, the drug war, and other social and political events in Latin America.

    If for some reason you are unable to open the documents attached, please feel free to email to request the application or flyer.

    The deadline to apply is January 31, 2011 (Received from ICNC).