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LGBT Rights: Changing Hearts and Minds

In the grand scheme of things, whom you love is your own business, a private matter. The things of politics lie elsewhere: armed conflicts, the spread of infectious diseases, poverty, hunger, and lack of accessible drinking water, all these are the pressing issues that plague the world’s populations and that societies must decide together. Unless […]

A Licence to Torture

The police officer touched his index finger to his lips, signalling silence. With his other hand he shooed pedestrians away. The quiet gloom of a foggy November night had just been disrupted. At 1:00, 15 police cars with glaring lights had barricaded the residential street in the 2nd District, and dozens of troopers, including heavily […]

Yulia Tymoshenko: Letter from Prison

It has been said that there are no atheists in a foxhole. Here, after my show trial and four and a half months in a cell, I have discovered that there are no atheists in prison, either. When, despite unbearable pain, you are interrogated – including in your cell – for dozens of hours without […]

Articles of Faith: Are Human Rights Still Relevant?

As Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad continues his bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in defiance of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the question of the human rights movement’s political force is as timely as ever. As such, this was the topic of November’s “political salon” convened by the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM). Some 40 […]

Letters to the Editor: Sept. 2011

An Open letter to Viviane Reding and Thomas Hammarberg  EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, and Commissioner for Human Rights for the Council of Europe Dear Commissioners,  On Jul. 12, Hungary’s Parliament passed a “church law” depriving over 100 religious denominations of their official status, in blatant violation of the freedom and equality of religions enshrined […]

Proposed anti-terror law

Austria’s Ministers of Justice and the Interior, Beatrix Karl (ÖVP) and Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP), clarified plans for a new anti-terror law in late Aug. The law would extend police powers to search databases held online and by foreign intelligence agencies relating to individual suspects, rather than just groups of at least three as is currently […]

EXIT: Out of Prostitution

Let’s call her Elisa. Or, better, let’s just call her “She,” because her story is exemplary of the stories of many Nigerian women: “She” was young, still a teenager. She lived in Benin City and dreamt of a better future in Europe. She heard from a female relative that there was an opportunity to travel […]

Big Money Merges with Big Brother

All over the world, Internet users entertain romantic delusions about cyberspace. To most of us Web surfers, the Internet provides a false sense of complete freedom, power, and anonymity. Every once in a while, of course, unsolicited messages and ads that happen to be mysteriously related to our most intimate habits intrude. They remind us […]

Trafficking: No Good Numbers

It’s hard to get people’s attention on the issues of Human Trafficking, noted Evelyn Probst, Coordinator of the Austrian Anti-Trafficking Organization, LEFO-IBF. So it seemed particularly frustrating when the room set up for the press conference at Vienna’s Palais Epstein on the Dr. Karl Renner Ring, Oct. 21, was still nearly empty just minutes before […]

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