New Internationalist JANUARY/FEBRUARY Issue 408 Human Rights From this month’s editor
Even if it ends as routine, the abuse of human rights usually begins in disguise, as an intricate dilemma, a delicate balance, an exceptional circumstance. But there is nothing exceptional at all about the sight of people with too much power cultivating yet more of it, since they can think of little else. Their weakness is that they don’t know just how transparent they have become. Seeing through them is easy, but acting accordingly can be dangerous. For that we tend to rely, perhaps too heavily, on inspiration from the kind of people who crowd the magazine pages that follow. All of them – and many, many more – would, in another world, be
revered above any number of athletes manufactured at great expense for the Beijing Olympics. Another world is made not just more necessary but more possible because the stories told here contain, like human rights themselves, the very stuff of life.
David Ransom for the New Internationalist Co-operative firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Human rights in a time of terror Thanks to the War on Terror, argues David Ransom, the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights marks a low point in its history alongside a propaganda festival at the Beijing Olympics.
7 Race for Rights Gold Medal Women of Zimbabwe Arise.
8 the Race for Rights Portrayed by Dan Jones.
10 Breathless in Beijing Sam Geall reports on broken promises at the Olympics.
12 Race for Rights Gold Medal Sex rights campaigners in Poland and Latvia.
13 too late for Martha Denied treatment while pregnant, she died in agony after her child was born. Jens Erik Gould tells a tragic story that changed the law on abortion in Colombia.
27 sPECIAL FEAtURE the eternal minority The Roma – still widely known as ‘Gypsies’ – have had a raw deal for centuries and are only now starting to raise their voice on the international stage. Eleanor Harding looks at their plight in Romania, while the NI traces their history back to India.
15 Race for Rights Gold Medal The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed).
16 A guide through the maze The Declarations, Covenants and Conventions that make
up the International Bill of Rights.
18 Who killed Maksim Maksimov? Not that no-one knows. Maria Yulikova reports on the brutal assassination of a journalist in Russia.
20 HUMAn RIGHts – tHE FACts
22 Race for Rights Gold Medal Survivors of the Bhopal gas explosion.
23 Bitter crop Brandon Astor Jones writes from death row in the US about race, class and songs.
24 Rwanda – why I support the abolition of the death penalty Though Jean Baptiste Kayigamba lost most of his family and friends to the genocide, he doesn’t think the Government should kill even more people.
Regular Features 2 Letters Corporations running scared of tax; NI ‘brainwashed’ on Zimbabwe; yet more religious controversy. PLUS: Letter from Cairo.
31 Currents Indian farmers demand land rights; dumping toxic waste to avert global warming; gays face clampdown in Uganda. PLUS: Big Bad World and Seriously
34 Southern Exposure Remembering Brazilian slavery in the capoeira dance, photographed by Tatiana Cardeal.
35 Worldbeaters In Turkey the political story is unusual: a liberal Islamic government is holding the line against the fascist-tinged nationalism of Devlet Bahççeli and his Grey Wolves youth movement.
36 NI Jumbo Prize Crossword
37 Mixed Media Including the Best of 2007, plus a Coen Brothers film, music from West Africa and stories from Guantáánamo.
26 Race for Rights Gold Medal The Water and Energy Users’ Federation of Nepal.
40 View from New Delhi Urvashi Butalia feels betrayed by politicians on the Left who embrace globalization.
41 Making Waves The work against the odds of activists in the Tunisian Association Against AIDS.
42 Country Profile: Kazakhstan
Front cover: Ian Nixon / MM Studios. Magazine design: Ian Nixon. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.