In the News

News Update

Published April 8, 2014

by Chelsea Matson, News and Policy Associate

Rwanda: Marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, thousands of people gathered in the capital, Kigali, to begin a week of official mourning. Many people at the ceremony were overcome by emotion; some suffered fits or had to be escorted from the stadium. Read More

Bosnia: The leader of the Bosnian Serb Republic, Milorad Dodik, is calling for Bosnia to become a confederation of three states, threatening secession if this does not happen. Currently, the area is separated into two autonomous regions, the Serb Republic and the Federation, joined by a weak central authority. Many believe that Dodik is posturing for votes, in the light of his party’s declining polling numbers. Read More

Burma/Myanmar: The Burmese government is conducting its first census since 1983, yet the country’s estimated 1.3 million Rohingya Muslims will not be counted. The government considers them to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, despite the fact that most Rohingya have lived in Burma for generations. Despite earlier promises to allow citizens to self-identify their ethnicity, the Burmese government reneged on its promise shortly before the census was set to begin. Human rights workers warn that this can potentially inflame racial tensions in the country. Read More

Cambodia: The Norwegian government has pledged $1 million to aid the Khmer Rouge tribunal, yet the tribunal still needs $60.5 million to continue operating. Read More

Côte d’Ivoire: INTERPOL and Ivoiran law effacement rescued 76 trafficked children, believed to be from Mali and Burkina Faso. Eight traffickers were arrested and the children are receiving care from the Ivoiran government and Dutch NGO KidsRights. Read More

Nigeria: Amnesty International recently released a report stating that more than 1500 people have been killed in northeastern Nigeria in 2014. The murders stem from violence caused by Boko Haram and retaliations by Nigerian security forces. One incident occurred on March 14, when Boko Haram members fought their way into a detention facility, freeing several hundred detainees. When the Nigerian military regained control over the facility, an additional 600 detainees were shot. Amnesty International is urging the international community to investigate the violence and prevent future bloodshed. Read More

Russia: On April 2, a Russian Court found activist Mikhail Savva guilty of fraud and sentenced him to three years in prison with a 70,000 ruble ($1,945) fine. While the prison sentence was suspended and Savva released, this conviction is an attempt to intimidate Savva, his family, and other Russian activists. Savva is a university professor known for his work on ethnic relations, particularly in the North Caucasus region of Russia. Read More Read More on Savva’s background

Sri Lanka: Last week, the UN Human Rights Council approved a year-long investigation into crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war. In response, the Sri Lankan government has banned the activities of any pro-Tamil organization, freezing their assets and accusing them of spreading unrest and terrorism. Read More

Sudan: In recent weeks, the Janjaweed has stepped up its attacks of IDP camps in South Darfur. While the UNAMID peacekeeping forces were able to protect a majority of the population, the Janjaweed set fire to the camp, kidnapped numerous local leaders, and destroyed water wells, homes, and a hospital. 215,000 Darfuris have been newly displaced by this increase in violence. Read More

Syria: The French government is planning to propose a UN Security Council resolution, referring Syria to the ICC for war crimes. If successful, this will be the first time that the Security Council has held war criminals accountable, even though Syria did not sign the Rome Statute, recognizing the authority of the court. Read More Yet there continues to be no end in sight for the Syrian conflict, as government forces continue to violently retake rebel-held towns. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and numerous Western governments, have boosted their financial and military support for the rebels, which have been infiltrated by known terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda. Read More

 

 

Legislative Update

Published April 8, 2014

By Chelsea Matson, News and Policy Associate

American Indian

H.R.4329: Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2014

Sponsor: Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2] (introduced 3/27/2014)

Cosponsor: Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] – 3/27/2014

Latest Major Action: 3/27/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

 

H.R.4350: To direct the Secretary of the Interior to take lands and mineral rights on the reservation of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana and other culturally important lands into trust, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Daines, Steve [MT] (introduced 4/1/2014)

Latest Major Action: 4/1/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

 

H.R.4388: To establish the American Indian Trust Review Commission, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Rep Gosar, Paul A. [AZ-4] (introduced 4/3/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Carney, John C., Jr. [DE] – 4/3/2014
Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] – 4/3/2014
Rep Daines, Steve [MT] – 4/3/2014
Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. [AS] – 4/3/2014
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-8] – 4/3/2014
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-17] – 4/3/2014
Rep Kirkpatrick, Ann [AZ-1] – 4/3/2014
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] – 4/3/2014
Rep Mullin, Markwayne [OK-2] – 4/3/2014
Rep Salmon, Matt [AZ-5] – 4/3/2014
Rep Schweikert, David [AZ-6] – 4/3/2014
Rep Tipton, Scott R. [CO-3] – 4/3/2014
Rep Young, Don [AK] – 4/3/2014

Latest Major Action: 4/3/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

 

S.2160: To amend the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act to require background checks before foster care placements are ordered in tribal court proceedings, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen Hoeven, John [ND] (introduced 3/26/2014)

Cosponsors: Sen Barrasso, John [WY] – 3/26/2014
Sen Heitkamp, Heidi [ND] – 3/26/2014
Sen Tester, Jon [MT] – 3/26/2014

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2014 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Indian Affairs. Hearings held.

 

Armenia

S.RES.410: A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Sponsor: Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] (introduced 4/3/2014)

Cosponsor: Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] – 4/3/2014

Latest Major Action: 4/3/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

 

Burma

H.R.4377: To place conditions on assistance to the Government of Burma.

Sponsor: Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] (introduced 4/2/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-14] – 4/2/2014

Latest Major Action: 4/2/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

Syria

S.2209: A bill to require a report on accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.

Sponsor: Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] (introduced 4/3/2014)

Cosponsors: Sen Kaine, Tim [VA] – 4/3/2014
Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] – 4/3/2014
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 4/3/2014

Latest Major Action: 4/3/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

 

Turkey

H.R.4347: To require the Secretary of State to provide an annual report to Congress regarding United States Government efforts to survey and secure the return, protection, and restoration of stolen, confiscated, or otherwise unreturned Christian properties in the Republic of Turkey and in those areas currently occupied by the Turkish military in northern Cyprus.

Sponsor: Rep Royce, Edward R. [CA-39] (introduced 3/28/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-16] – 3/28/2014
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-2] – 4/3/2014

Latest Major Action: 3/28/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

H.RES.532: Calls on the Government of Turkey to allow free expression and Internet freedom.

Sponsor: Rep Eshoo, Anna G. [CA-18] (introduced 4/1/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-13] – 4/3/2014
Rep DelBene, Suzan K. [WA-1] – 4/2/2014
Rep Farenthold, Blake [TX-27] – 4/2/2014
Rep Johnson, Henry C. “Hank,” Jr. [GA-4] – 4/2/2014
Rep Keating, William R. [MA-9] – 4/1/2014
Rep Kennedy, Joseph P. III [MA-4] – 4/1/2014
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-19] – 4/3/2014
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 4/1/2014
Rep Meng, Grace [NY-6] – 4/2/2014
Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] – 4/3/2014
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-30] – 4/2/2014
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] – 4/2/2014

Latest Major Action: 4/1/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

Ukraine

S.2183: United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions

Sponsor: Sen McConnell, Mitch [KY] (introduced 3/27/2014)

Related Bills: H.R.4278

Latest Major Action: Became Public Law No: 113-96

 

United Nations

H.R.4362: To prohibit United States contributions to the United Nations Population Fund.

Sponsor: Rep Salmon, Matt [AZ-5] (introduced 4/1/2014)

Latest Major Action: 4/1/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

For information on the UN Population Fund, Read More