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Democracy Now! stories, posts and pages that relate to our coverage of human rights.

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    For Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Nobel Peace Prize announcement comes as she wraps up her reelection campaign. Voters in Liberia head to the polls on Tuesday. The other Liberian Nobel winner, Leymah Gbowee, is the founder of the Women for Peace movement, credited by some for bringing an end to the civil war in 2003. The movement started humbly in 2002, when Gbowee organized a group of women to sing and pray for an end to fighting...
    Oct 07, 2011 | Story
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    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says Georgia’s execution of high-profile death row prisoner Troy Davis last Wednesday may have violated international law, citing serious concerns that the rights of Davis to due process and a fair trial were not respected. We speak with Davis’s older sister, Martina Correia, one of his most steadfast advocates. "I know the fight is not over," says Correia. "Millions...
    Sep 26, 2011 | Story
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    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations in defiance of U.S. and Israeli threats. A new joint Israeli-Palestinian poll shows the Obama administration’s stance on Palestinian recognition at the United Nations is more extreme than that of a strong majority of Israeli citizens, with 69 percent of Israelis saying their government should accept U.N. recognition of an independent...
    Sep 23, 2011 | Story
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    "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" is no more. The military’s longstanding ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers officially expired at 12:01 a.m. EDT earlier today. Congress passed a repeal of the ban last year, but President Obama had deferred its implementation until military leaders gave their approval. The Pentagon now says it will no longer enforce the ban, meaning gays and lesbians can openly serve. We play excerpts...
    Sep 20, 2011 | Story
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    A U.S. appeals court has ruled oil giant Chevron cannot escape an $18 billion fine for massive pollution of the Amazon rain forest. Amazonian residents won the damages in an Ecuadorian court earlier this year, and Chevron says it will appeal the decision. It is the latest development in a complex, 18-year legal battle that has gone before judges not just in Ecuador and the United States, but also The Hague. We speak with Atossa Soltani, executive...
    Sep 20, 2011 | Story
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    A retired military general has won the first round in Guatemala’s presidential election, leading to a runoff election in November. If elected, General Otto Pérez Molina would become the first former military official to win the presidency since the end of the military dictatorships in 1986. Human rights groups have accused Pérez of being directly involved in the systematic use of torture and acts of genocide in Guatemala in the 1980s....
    Sep 15, 2011 | Story
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    A new documentary links Guatemala’s turbulent past with those who are active players in its present. The film, "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator," which is part political thriller and part memoir, spans four decades, following several people as they search for the details that can be used to hold accountable those responsible for the genocide in which Guatemalan military and paramilitary soldiers killed more than 200,000 people....
    Sep 15, 2011 | Story
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    On the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we look back at several national and international events linked to that day. This year on September 11, India will mark the 105th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi launching the modern nonviolent resistance movement. We play part of a 2003 interview with Gandhi’s grandson, Arun. On September 11, 1990, renowned Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack was assassinated...
    Sep 08, 2011 | Story
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    In Libya, rebel forces say Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold of Bani Walid is ready to come under the National Transitional Council’s authority, despite pockets of resistance. Meanwhile, rebel troops say they have advanced about five miles towards Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte in heavy fighting today. Reuters reports the U.S. government has urged Niger to detain senior officials from the Gaddafi government who it believes crossed...
    Sep 07, 2011 | Story
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    Human Rights Watch has uncovered hundreds of letters in the Libyan foreign ministry proving the Gaddafi government directly aided the extraordinary rendition program carried out by the CIA and the MI6 in Britain after the 9/11 attacks. The documents expose how the CIA rendered suspects to Libyan authorities knowing they would be tortured. One of the most prominent suspects rendered to Libya was an Islamic militant named Abdelhakim Belhaj, who...
    Sep 07, 2011 | Story