Rights & Wrongs: Slovakia, Trafficking, Uganda, and More

SLOVAKIA LAW SEEN AS DANGER TO PRESS FREEDOM — As of June 1, anyone mentioned in a Slovak newspaper article will be entitled to a rebuttal in the same publication, according to provisions of a new law that has angered media freedom advocates and raised fears that official and self-censorship may be the law’s result. Under the law, anyone who objects to the use of their name in an article may complain to newspaper editors, who then will be responsible for printing a response by the complainer to the original reference, unless the paper can convince a court it is […]

U.N. TO CLOSE ANGOLA OFFICES — United Nations officials announced April 18 the world body will close its Angola offices by the end of May at the request of Angolan authorities, who no longer wish to cooperate with the U.N. on formulating a comprehensive human rights policy. Angola, which is still struggling to recover from more than two decades of warfare that ended in 2002, has used growing oil revenues to insulate itself from Western criticism of its rights situation and to lay big plans for its own development. Human rights groups and U.N. officials, however, have expressed grave concerns […]

FORMER SLAVE SUES NIGER GOVERNMENT — Former slave Hadijatou Mani has sued the government of Niger, charging cruelty for its failure to protect her from exploitation. Mani, now 24, says she was sold into slavery at the age of 12 for just over $500 to a slave master who later sexually abused her. The case — being heard by the court of the Economic Community of West African States — is based on the government’s failure to enforce aspects of its own 2003 law banning slavery. The court has said it will announce a verdict in October. While slavery is […]

KOSOVO LEADER CLEARED OF WAR CRIMES CHARGES — A United Nations war crimes tribunal at the Hague acquitted former Kosovo guerilla commander and prime minister Ramush Haradinaj April 3 on charges of rape, murder and torture. The charges stemmed from the 1998 actions of Kosovo Liberation Army troops under his command against Kosovo Serbian civilians. Harandinaj, who resigned in 2005 as prime minister to voluntarily turn himself over to the court, was the most senior ethnic Albanian figure to stand trial for actions during the KLA’s battle against Serbian forces in 1998-1999. Haradinaj’s uncle, Lahi, was found guilty of mistreating […]