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Human Rights

According to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And yet around the world, many people are denied basic human rights, or find their rights under threat. Pulitzer Center stories tagged with “Human Rights” feature reporting that covers the fight for equality under the law, civil rights and the basic dignity afforded every person. Use the Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder to find and create lesson plans on human rights.

 

Reports of torture in Ethiopia are widespread

(04-16) 04:00 PDT Ghimbi, Ethiopia -- First, the police threw Tesfaye into a dark cell. Then, each day for 17 days, it was the same routine: Electric shocks on his legs and back, followed by beatings with rubber truncheons. Four or five officers would then surround and kick him. At last, a large bottle of water would be tied around his testicles. He'd pass out.

Ethiopia's offenses noted by State Dept.

The State Department's 2006 human rights report for Ethiopia cited "numerous credible reports that security officials often beat or mistreated detainees." It included more than 30 pages of detailed accounts of violations, ranging from the beating of teenagers to arbitrary arrests to the banning of theater performances that send the wrong political message.

Ethiopia: Tainted Ally?

U.S.-backed Ethiopian troops grabbed headlines this winter, invading Somalia to drive the Islamic Courts Union from power. Less known is the Addis government's massive persecution of its own people.

Zoe Alsop and Nick Wadhams spent a month in Ethiopia interviewing people across some of the country's least-visited regions, capturing the strains of a people under siege -- by their own government.

Their reports will be appearing in U.S. publications over the next few weeks.

Ethiopia's jails nice, say Al-Qa'eda suspects

Ethiopia has launched a campaign to offset reports that hundreds of al-Qa'eda suspects are being held in appalling prison conditions.

Several suspected terrorists were shown on state television praising their guards on Tuesday evening.

The Ethiopian government had previously confirmed that it had detained 41 terrorism suspects who allegedly fought against Ethiopian troops in Somalia. The government said most of the prisoners had now been released. advertisement

Vasco Galante

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center

I exchanged a few emails today with Vasco Galante, the communications director at the park. He has been reading this blog, and wanted to share a story about running into a herd of elephants yesterday... It is still the rainy season at the park, which means it's extra special to see animals - the grasses are very tall and thick, and even elephants can disappear quickly.

Who took that picture?

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Since we received a question about this... unless we include a caption that says otherwise, the pictures on this blog came from Steve. They're still images taken from his video footage. We'll try to post more soon!

Landmines

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

So we've gotten some comments about the whole landmine issue.

During the Mozambican civil war, there were landmines all over the place. And sometimes, at least according to what people on the ground have told us, nobody kept track of where the mines were buried. (And in a really cruel turn of events, big flooding in 2000 and 2001 moved a bunch of the landmines, making mine maps of the area all but worthless.)

animals

Stephanie Hanes, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Hi. I realize there have been a couple of questions about animal reintroductions, and I haven't really answered those yet.

The whole question about how to bring animals back to the park has been the focus of a lot of research and analysis. See, ecosystems are super complicated. Every species has a role to play, and each animal impacts every other animal. So the park staff has to be really careful.

Answers to some St. Louis questions

Hi there. So Steve and I flew back to Johannesburg (where I live) this weekend, and then Steve went back to DC. I think we are finally feeling clean. We are still working on the story though, and are happy to continue chatting online. Also, if anyone has a question for someone at the park, we can try to get answers for you.

Here are some questions from St. Louis:

Gorongosa Day 6

Stephanie Hanes and Stephen Sapienza, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

So a question from St. Louis:
"I was reading about your time over in Mozambique and I was wondering if you could describe what exactly you are seeing and how it is affecting you physically and emotionally."

Gorongosa Day 5

Stephanie Hanes and Stephen Sapienza, for the Pulitzer Center
Gorongosa, Mozambique

Yet another complication for the Carr Foundation crew:

Officially, the rural communities that live around the park don't really exist. They've been around for generations, and have traditional rules about land use, but they've never registered with the government, and have never mapped out their land in any modern or formal way.

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