The story of 'Zainab' who is killed by her father in Pakistan

A man in Pakistan who confessed to drowning his one-and-a-half year old daughter says he now regrets his actions. His family says it was because he wanted a son, but it highlights the grave issue, across South Asia, of female infanticide. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool met the family in Lahore.

We meet 28-year-old Umar Zaib as he waits, shackled, outside court.

"It was a mistake," he tells me. "I made a big mistake. I don't know what was going through my mind when I did it."

Umar Zaib is talking of the crime he committed against his daughter, Zainab, who was just one-and-a-half years old.

What is human rights?

Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal (applicable everywhere) and egalitarian (the same for everyone). These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in local, regional, national, and international law. The doctrine of human rights in international practice, within international law, global and regional institutions, in the policies of states and in the activities of non-governmental organizations, has been a cornerstone of public policy around the world. The idea of human rights states, "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights."

Applications of Multiple Systems Estimation in Human Rights Research

Human rights work generally conjures images of eld workers risking their lives to help people in exotic countries who are su ering horrendous abuse at the hands of sinister warlords. Less dramatic, but nonetheless increasingly vital in this e ort, is the role of the statistician. Recent trends have forced human rights workers to adopt stronger method-ology in counting the dead, the disappeared, and the damaged. One reason is that rigorous estimates signi cantly strengthen criminal prosecution, and can cast light on the role and responsibility of leaders who do not seem to be di-rectly accountable [Ball et al., 2002].

Death and the Mainframe: How data analysis can help document human rights atrocities

Between 1980 and 2000, a complicated war raged in Peru, pitting the country’s government against at least two political guerrilla organizations, and forcing average people to band together into armed self-defense committees. The aftermath was a mess of death and confusion, where nobody knew exactly how many people had been murdered, how many had simply vanished, or who was to blame.

Ushering in the Dot-NGO Boom: Protecting the Online Interests of Non-Governmental Organizations

Three little letters. That's all it takes to truly make an impact for global communities online. When the Internet as we know it first launched back in 1985, domain names like .COM, .NET and .ORG quickly became a natural part of our vernacular. Every TV commercial now touts a website; we saw first-hand the dot-com boom; and our iPhones even provide a ".COM" button to save you a few extra keystrokes. In fact, I'm willing to place a pretty hefty bet that in today's digital age, most Internet users don't even think twice before typing in a domain name to make a purchase, get donation information for their preferred charity, or learn more about a potential preschool or university.

Egypt NGO Trial: New Judges Appointed

CAIRO -- Egypt has appointed new judges to hear the trial of 43 democracy workers, days after six Americans among those charged left the country with nearly $5 million in bail posted, the state-run news agency reported Saturday.
The Middle East News Agency said the first hearing in the new trial will take place March 8. The announcement came as U.S. officials described the American-Egyptian relationship as "strong" and said that Washington would help Cairo to support the efforts of the International Monetary Fund to conclude an economic reform package, in a sign that the worst crisis in the two countries' relationship in decades was on the mend.
It also came as parliamentarians and lawmakers threatened to take action against Egypt's ruling military council for allegedly circumventing the rule of law by striking a backdoor deal with Washington to allow U.S. citizens to escape justice.
The 43 civil society workers, who include 16 Americans with the rest being Egyptians and other nationalities, have been accused of stoking unrest with foreign funding.
Seven of the Americans had a travel ban imposed on them. All but one of them left Egypt on Thursday after the U.S. posted almost $5 million in bail and the ban was lifted. The U.S. has said the decision about whether they return should their appearance at court be demanded was up to each individual.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement Saturday that the NGO issue is a matter of serious continuing concern for the United States, but affirmed that relations with Egypt are "strong."
"Despite the recent strains, and differences on certain issues, the fundamentals of this strategic relationship remain strong," she said.
She said the United States continues to support the efforts of the IMF to conclude an economic reform program with Egypt. The country is seeking a loan agreement for over $3 billion, a much-needed financial boost amid the ongoing economic crisis.
The case against the democracy groups brought U.S.-Egyptian relations to their lowest level in decades, with American lawmakers threatening to withhold the country's $1.5 billion aid package.
The sudden turn-around, including the swift lifting of the travel ban following extensive U.S.-Egyptian negotations, has sparked public anger against the ruling military council. It has renewed calls to purge the judiciary of Mubarak-era officials accused of trying to compromise judicial independence.
This reopens an old issue in Egyptian politics, but with a new twist: ousted President Hosni Mubarak was frequently accused by his critics of subverting judicial independence to suppress Egyptian democracy advocates, while his successors are now accused of manipulating the judicial system to let American democracy advocates go free.
Critics of the military council say that they are not pressing for the Americans' prosecution and that their guilt or innocence is not the issue, but that judges should decide the case rather than U.S. pressure.
Egypt's newly elected parliament on Saturday said it will question the prime minister on March 11 over the reasons behind lifting the travel ban and whether the judges looking into the case came under political pressure.
Local newspapers have reported that lawyers have filed independent suits against Egypt's military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and other officials accusing them of collaborating in helping the Americans to flee justice.
Outrage about a suspected deal spiked after three judges hearing the case abruptly pulled out on Tuesday citing "uneasiness." The presiding judge Mohammed Shukry hinted in interviews with Egyptian dailies that he was subject to pressure.
Senior judge Abdel-Moez Ibrahim said in a state TV interview that Shukry's son was asked to step down because he had partners who worked for the U.S. Embassy, and this could make it difficult for him to judge the case impartially. Shurky denies that his son works with anyone linked to employees at the U.S. Embassy.
The state-run Al-Ahram daily meanwhile quoted an unnamed government official as saying that lifting the travel ban on the Americans was part of a deal struck between the ruling military generals and the U.S. government. The report could not be verified independently.
According to the report, the official said the United States will help Egypt secure $50 billion in aid from U.S. and Arab countries and will help speed up the IMF loan, in addition to another $3.4 billion from the World Bank.
Egypt's economy has reeled from the overall effect of the uprising, with net international reserves down 50 percent year-on-year by the end of December.

Source:  huffingtonpost