The Nigerian army has been accused of committing crimes against humanity in a recent clash with Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram that left 600 people dead, Amnesty International said in a report, noting that the violence and death toll in the conflict has escalated greatly in 2014.
"The scale of atrocities carried out by Boko Haram is truly shocking, creating a climate of fear and insecurity. But this cannot be used to justify the brutality of the response that is clearly being meted out by the Nigerian security forces," said Netsanet Belay, Research and Advocacy director for Africa at Amnesty International, in a statement Monday.
"The summary killing of these detainees amount to extrajudicial executions and are crimes under international law. These killings follow an entrenched pattern of deaths in custody of detainees held in relation to the situation in the northeast." more >>
President Jimmy Carter has publicly denounced sex-selective abortion, considering it part of the global oppression of women.
In an interview with David Letterman on Monday, the 89-year-old former president said that sex-selective abortion and infanticide of female babies was the "worst human rights abuse on earth."
"160 million girls are now missing from the face of the earth because they were murdered at birth by their parents or either selectively aborted when their parents find out that the fetus is a girl," said Carter. more >>
U.S. and German representatives drew attention to the plight of American pastor Saeed Abedini at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, saying his human rights are being violated as he remains imprisoned in Iran.
"We take this opportunity to call once again for the release of dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Saeed Abedini, who is currently being held in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Paula Schriefer, who led the U.S. delegation, on Monday.
Schriefer noted that religious minorities in Iran, including non-Shia Muslims and Baha'is, are subject to harsh treatments. And despite Iran's change in administration, with the election of President Hassan Rouhani, there has been no significant improvement to the country's human rights situation, she added. more >>
Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby signed an agreement Monday to support an anti-slavery, anti-human trafficking initiative. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion backed the initiative known as the Global Freedom Network.
"Many are already engaged in the struggle and we join them with much to learn as well as much to contribute. All are called to join common cause to end this crime and suffering," said Welby. "We are struggling against evil in secret places and in deeply entrenched networks of malice and cruelty. No one of us is strong enough, but together we are ready for the challenge God is placing before us today, and we know that he will strengthen us so that all people may live in freedom and dignity."
In a statement released honoring the occasion, Welby said that the joint endeavor was part of the efforts to have Anglicans and Catholics united. more >>
India suffers from an abysmal literacy rate, weak infrastructure and rampant poverty. But one of the toughest challenges the world's second largest country must confront in the 21st century is how it will better serve its declining and vulnerable female population.
The causes discouraging families and communities from raising and protecting girls and women are explored in "Veil of Tears," a new documentary from Gospel for Asia, which releases in the U.S. on March 28. more >>
As Christians around the world were being called on to pray for 33 people reportedly facing execution in North Korea for their alleged involvement with a foreign missionary, a new film that dramatizes the stories of "secret Christians" living under the oppressive regime is being lauded for its powerful presentation.
The plot of the film, "The Apostle: He Was Anointed by God," revolves around a character named Chul-ho (Kim In-kwon) "who wants to lead villagers across the river to China and from there to South Korea. He, his family and friends, face varying degrees of terrorism by North Korean soldiers, some of them glad to accept bribes, others promising to get tough against dissidents in their midst," explains a review of the Korean-language film on Forbes.com.