Pambazuka News 425: Beware of human rights fundamentalism

The Casablanca court of appeals in Morocco should overturn two suspended jail sentences and fines of an independent newspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists has said. On Monday, a court in Casablanca sentenced Managing Editor Ali Anouzla and Publishing Director Jamal Boudouma of the independent daily Al-Jarida al-Oula to two-month suspended jail terms each and a fine of 200,000 dirhams (US$24,190) for "defamation" and "insulting the judiciary," according to local news reports. Anouzla more

On 24 March 2009, Akin Orimolade, the Abuja bureau chief of "National Life" newspaper, regained his freedom after one week of detention, when a Magistrate's Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, rescinded a warrant of arrest issued for him and two others over a publication involving Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa state.

For the past year, Karen Awuor*, 15, has had a new daily ritual– taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. She discovered she was HIV positive during an unintended pregnancy that forced her to drop out of school; her baby died after just four months. “When I was in class seven, I got into a relationship with one of my teachers; he promised to pay my school fees if I agreed to be his wife,” she told IRIN/PlusNews.

When three attempts to cure Abdulhakim*, 42, of tuberculosis failed, the father of nine living in Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia, took his doctor's advice and tested for HIV - the result came back positive. His family's reaction was predictable: his brothers stopped grazing their goats and sheep alongside his, and many of his relatives wouldn't touch him. "My wife and children are the only ones who have stood by my side," he told IRIN/ more

The National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), led by military junta head Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, arrested three former ministers of the late President Lansana Conté on 23 March for allegedly embezzling national funds, but human rights officials say the nature of the arrests shows impunity continues