This week we’re watching for major protests in Cambodia, creative protests in Saudi Arabia, and documentation of human rights violations in the Western Sahara and Brazil. Here’s a roundup of the human rights news we’re monitoring via citizen reporters around the world:
Major rallies in Cambodia – Opposition rallies have gained steam slowly but steadily following a July election which many opponents of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party claim was rife with fraud and irregularities. A massive three-day protest begins Wednesday, and considering the escalating violence at these protests, which left one person dead last month, we are monitoring the situation on the ground. Cam News is one of the online outlets we’ll be following for citizen footage.
Women’s rights protests in Saudi Arabia – Activists are planning a day of action this Saturday to urge Saudi authorities to stop enforcing a de facto ban on women drivers. We’ve compiled some of the YouTube videos of women behind the wheel that have helped galvanized support from within Saudi Arabia and beyond for the reform. We also looked in depth at one of the videos from that playlist in this recent blog post.
Sudan and South Sudan
Tensions in the South Kordofan region of Sudan – The Satellite Sentinel Project warns of heightened activity among the Sudan Armed Forces, particularly in the contested Abyei area. Leaders of Sudan and South Sudan have planned to meet today in Juba to try to resolve the issue. We’re keeping an eye on Nuba Reports, a community media outlet based in the region that files video reports and updates from the region. Their latest video tells the story of one woman displaced by the violent conflict who has struggled to find a peaceful home for her family.
We’re also following these two issues:
UN envoy Christopher Ross visited Western Sahara last week ahead of talks in the UN Security Council about the status of the disputed territory as well as allegations of human rights violations committed by Moroccan authorities who refuse to recognize its sovereignty. We are looking into a series of videos that appears to document such allegations. In the meantime, this citizen video shows protesters confronting a UN vehicle, before peaceful protesters were reportedly violently dispersed by the police.
Though the international spotlight has dimmed, Brazilians continue to take to the streets calling for a greater focus by their government on social services. On October 15th, police arrested approximately 200 people in Rio de Janeiro, representing the greatest single-day arrests since the massive uprising began in June. For background and videos that document excessive use of force by police officers, see this writeup by WITNESS Program Manager Priscila Néri.
The most recent citizen videos of human rights issues can always be found on our Citizen Watch and Watching Syria video playlists. Both are updated daily. Catch the latest citizen videos by following the Human Rights Channel on Twitter (@ythumanrights).