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Chinese dissident who died in detention nominated for rights 'Nobel'

A Chinese dissident who died in detention last month is one of three nominees for an award often dubbed the Nobel prize for human rights, organisers said Wednesday. Cao Shunli, who died in mid-March at the age of 52, was hailed by the Martin Ennals Award organisers as an activist who since 2008 had "vigorously advocated for access to information, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly."

Iran mother spares life of son's killer after campaign

The young Iranian man who escaped a hangman's noose with just seconds to spare when his victim's mother intervened was the beneficiary of a high-profile campaign to save his life. In a case that has provoked surprise in Iran and across the world, the killer, known only as Balal, was saved dramatically on Tuesday, as a crowd looked on, awaiting his execution. He survived despite the mother of the man he murdered in a street fight seven years ago refusing an offer of so-called blood money until the very last moment at the gallows.

U.N. Security Council set to address N. Korean human rights issue

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, April 16 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council will begin informal discussions on human rights violations in North Korea later this week, the U.S. government said Wednesday, amid keen international attention to the problem following the release of a U.N. panel report in February. The council's members plan to open an "Arria formula meeting" on the issue at the U.N. headquarters in New York at 3 p.m. on Thursday, according to the State Department.

China angered by Britain's report on human rights, cancels talks

BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) - China accused Britain on Tuesday of interfering in its domestic affairs after the British government criticized Beijing's human rights record. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Britain's annual human rights made "irresponsible remarks...about the Chinese political system, rudely slandering and criticizing China's human rights situation".

U.N. warns Nepal against amnesty for civil war crimes

By Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal would weaken the foundations of "genuine and lasting" peace after a decade-long civil war if it gave amnesties for serious crimes committed during the conflict, the top United Nations human rights official said. Nepal, home to Mount Everest and birthplace of Lord Buddha, is still recovering from a brutal conflict that ended in 2006 in which more than 16,000 died, hundreds disappeared and thousands were wounded or displaced.

China condemns British rights report and cancels talks

China expressed anger at Britain Tuesday for a report criticising its human rights record, a day after London said Beijing called off a dialogue between the countries on the issue. China was last week listed as one of 28 "Countries of Concern" in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Human Rights Report, which said "civil and political rights remain subject to significant restrictions" in the country.

U.N. Security Council has mandate to work on NK human rights issue: COI chief

By Lee Chi-dong WASHINGTON, April 14 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council will be held accountable by history if it does not take the proper steps to address prevalent human rights abuse in North Korea, a chief U.N. investigator said Monday. Michael Kirby, head of the Commission of Inquiry (COI), said the role of the council is of more importance especially as dialogue with North Korea, including the six-way talks, is suspended.

Violated children get new path to rights thanks to Canadian champion

UNDATED, - A Canadian woman who has campaigned eight years to bolster children's rights around the world is celebrating a landmark addition to international law, although her own country has yet to get on board. Sara Austin, from Woodbridge, Ont., addressed a special event at United Nations headquarters in New York City on Monday as the global body called into force a new treaty she designed.

Nepal government urged to change amnesty plan

By Gopal Sharma KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal's government faced calls on Friday from human rights and victims' groups not to grant amnesties over atrocities committed during the country's civil war for which nobody has been brought to justice. Wedged between China and India, the nascent republic suffered a decade-long insurgency that pitted Maoist guerrillas against the army. More than 16,000 people died, hundreds disappeared and thousands were forced out of their homes.

Iran director screens film to save man on death row

An Iranian film director is to held a private screening of his latest movie on Saturday to raise funds to save the life of a 26-year-old on death row. Mostafa Kiaei, director of "Special Line", said he had learnt by accident of the young man's case and wanted to help raise the "blood money" to be paid to the family of a murder victim. "I didn't know the convict before and I learned about the case through a contact in the judiciary," Kiaei told AFP.
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