CHT Commission urges the Government of Bangladesh to investigate allegations of human rights abuses
In a recent press release, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission detailed its sixth mission to Bangladesh from November 22nd to 29th, 2011, reporting allegations of human rights violations. The commission held meetings with government officials, along with non-governmental organizations, representatives from the international community and from local indigenous groups. They also gathered testimonies from victims of human rights abuses.
While the Commission acknowledges and lauded the commitment of some government officials and institutions to improving human rights conditions in the region, it generally found insufficient progress toward the goals set forth by the 1997 CHT Accord. The Commission reported continued human rights violation, most notably acts of violence and subjugation toward indigenous communities, but also including violent crimes against Bengalis. One of the most striking issues, according to the Commission, is that of land disputes, which have taken on a character of violence and intimidation. The Commission notes a "culture of impunity," and recommends thorough and impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations in the CHT.
Columbia professor Elsa Stamatopoulou serves as co-chairperson for the CHT Commission.
Attached file: Read the full press release (download)
Posted at 2011-12-09 10:38:06
George Andreopoulos publishes Op-ed piece on Troy Davis execution to Columbia Spectator
George Andreopoulos provides an analysis of the controversial execution of Troy Davis this September in the Columbia Spectator. In the piece, entitled "Living an International Lie: Keeping the Death Penalty in our domestic policy calls into question our commitment to democratic principles," professor Andreopoulos identifies the Troy Davis execution as an opportunity to revitalize discussion on the role of the death penalty in American culture and politics. Read "Living an International Lie"
Professor George Andreopoulos contributes reflection on 9/11 to Brittanica
George Andreopolos was one of several contributors asked by Brittanica to share a short reflection on the attacks of September 11 in light of the event's ten-year anniversary. Professor Andreopoulos reflects on that day and its legacy on the Brittanica blog.
ISHR Remembers Louis Henkin
It is with sadness that we learned yesterday of the death of Professor Louis Henkin, who embodied human rights at Columbia and beyond. Following are a few words from Paul Martin.
Director, Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Yasmine Ergas publishes article on surrogate motherhood in Ingenere
The Italian magazine, Ingenere, just published an article by ISHR's associate director, Yasmine Ergas, on surrogate motherhood, "Il mercato degli ovuli e quello delle pance" (The market for ovocytes and for uteruses").
Yasmine Ergas' Lecture at "Forty years of research on women, sex and gender"
Video of the talk (in French) is available from the Institut Émilie du Châtelet
Columbia faculty member under house arrest in Iran
Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, a Columbia University faculty member detained in Iran since July 2009, has been transferred from prison to house arrest, according to a family representative.
Dr. Tajbakhsh was scheduled to assume duties as an associate professor of urban studies last fall at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He was arrested while working in Iran as a consultant, providing nonpolitical urban technical advice with explicit permission from the Iranian government.
Dr. Tajbakhsh was found guilty of “political crimes” by an Iranian court on Oct. 20, 2009. He appealed his sentence only to then be accused of new espionage charges on Nov. 23.
Twenty Columbia faculty members sent a letter on Jan. 11, 2010, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to work for Dr. Tajbakhsh’s release.
According to news reports, Dr. Tajbakhsh’s sentence was recently reduced from 15 years to five years. He was transferred out of Iran’s Evin Prison and placed under house arrest, according to a Tajbakhsh family representative.
CSHR Board Chair Andrew Nathan Elected to Board of National Endowment for Democracy
CSHR congratulates Professor Andrew Nathan, Chair of CSHR's Board, for his election to the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy. Prof. Nathan was elected to a three-year term on January 15, 2010.
Attached file: Read NED's press release. (download)
CU Faculty Member Imprisioned in Iran: Faculty and Officers Urge Secretary Clinton's Support for His Release
Twenty Columbia faculty members and officers signed a letter requesting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton help secure the release of Kian Tajbakhsh from Iranian prison. Dr. Tajbakhsh was found guilty of “political crimes” by an Iranian court on October 20, following his support of the Iranian uprising against the government in the aftermath of the disputed election last summer. He appealed his sentence only to then be accused of new espionage charges on November 23, 2009.
Dr. Tajbakhsh, who earned a doctorate from Columbia in urban studies, was providing nonpolitical urban technical advice as a consultant with explicit permission from the Iranian government. He was scheduled to assume duties as an associate professor of urban studies last fall at Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
More information about Dr. Tajbakhsh's situation is available at http://www.freekian09.org/. A copy of the letter to Secretary Clinton is available as a PDF.
Yasmine Ergas Discusses Cluster Munitions on Al Jazeera's Inside Story
Posted at 2008-05-28 11:05:57
CSHR Welcomes Yasmine Ergas as Associate Director
The Center for the Study of Human Rights is delighted to announce the appointment of Yasmine Ergas to the position of Associate Director.
Ms. Ergas, a lawyer and sociologist who also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of International Law at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, is a graduate of the Universities of Sussex, Rome and Columbia Law School. Her experience spans research, teaching and legal practice, program-building and administration, and human rights activism. Ms. Ergas is a former member of the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University and Pembroke Fellow of Brown University. Among other honors, she has been awarded fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation and the Italian Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerca. Ms. Ergas served on the staff of the Social Science Research Council where she developed programs focused on the social consequences of HIV/AIDS, staffed the Committee on Western Europe and administered major fellowship programs. She has been a consultant to key international organizations, including the OECD and UNESCO. More recently, she has served as the coordinator of, and an advisor to, the gender program of the Millennium Village Project. Ms. Ergas has been involved in Human Rights Watch for many years and is a member of the Board of New York City Global Partners. Ms. Ergas has written extensively, focusing particularly on women’s rights and social movements. Her work has been published in English, Italian, French, German, Japanese and Portuguese.The Center is delighted to benefit from Ms. Ergas’ intellectual and organizational leadership skills, breadth of experience, and depth of commitment to human rights. We welcome her on board and look forward to working with her as we build on and expand the Center’s role at Columbia, in New York, and more generally, in the context of international human rights.