Sudden Leap into Darkness: The case of Maasai Exclusion and marginalisation in Ngorongoro, Northern Tanzania

Joseph Moses Oleshangay[1]

Ngorongoro, a World Heritage Site, Man and Biosphere Reserve, Global Geopark by UNESCO, and home for over 80,000 Maasai is under siege. The Maasai, a Nilotic ethnic group, have moved around the Ngorongoro and Serengeti areas while conserving the land and wildlife for approximately 500 years. Over the centuries the Maasai have developed a finely honed symbiotic relationship with the local environment, which has allowed the domestication of livestock and people to coexist in a dryland and therefore a resource-scarce environment. In addition, their local knowledge has allowed the large mammal population as well as ecological diversity to grow under their stewardship. However currently they are being accused by the government, international conservation lobbyists, and wildlife hunting firms, of threatening what they have kept safely over centuries. As history demonstrates, nothing could be further from the truth. As this article will demonstrate, the ongoing pressure against the Maasai is largely influenced by the potential financial gain resting with the land, wildlife, and ecological biodiversity, rather than their own role in threatening nature and wildlife.

Continue reading

The Aban Tribunal: Targeting Impunity and Supporting Victim-Survivors

Marilena Stegbauer

When the Aban atrocity took place, nobody ever thought that a Tribunal would be held after two years to bring to justice those responsible. You are putting [them] on trial. While they are not accountable, and we have to cover our faces to testify here, I’m sure that one day, they will have to cover their faces, and our positions will change.

Witness before the Aban Tribunal

From the 10th to the 14th of November 2021, the Iran Atrocities Tribunal, also known as “Aban Tribunal,” in reference to the month in which the nationwide protests erupted, convened in London. “Aban” is the month in the Persian calendar, in which the nationwide protests erupted and partially corresponds to November and is the term widely used by victim-survivors to refer to the bloody protests that left thousands of Iranians dead, severely injured, arrested and detained, with a significant number facing torture, inhumane and/ or degrading treatment in prison. The Tribunal is the latest offspring amongst a continuous trend of International People’s Tribunals emerging over the last few years alone. Other notable People’s Tribunals focusing on gross human rights abuses include The Iran Tribunal (2012), The Uyghur Tribunal (2020-2022), The China Tribunal (2018-2020) and the ongoing People’s Tribunal on the Murder of Journalists (2021-2022).

Continue reading

Employing Enforced Disappearance as a Framework; a Game Changer in Seeking Justice for Iran’s 1980s Atrocities

Shadi Sadr*

“It’s been over thirty years, but my mum won’t let us change the key to our home. She keeps saying if my brother comes back and we are away, he must be able to use his key and not to linger outside.” The sister of a victim of disappearance during the decade-long political cleansing by the newly established Islamic regime after the 1979 revolution in Iran once told me this.

Continue reading

Custodial Killings: What Goes Wrong Behind Bars

Shriya Gambhir

Prisons of the modern era, is a concept which was unknown to the people in the medieval times. In those times, the prisons were used to confine the debtors, persons accused of crimes that awaited their trial, religious or political offenders, and the convicts who awaited their sentencing. In the late 18th century, the use of capital punishment began to decline, the use and purpose of prisons was significantly increased. By the onset of the 21st century, Courts extensively started using the prisons as correctional and rehabilitation institutions for the offenders. The institution of a prison has eventually become a chief means to detain and punish the serious offenders. Continue reading

Breaking the blade: Takeaways from Sudan’s ban on FGM

Priyal Sepaha

FGM: violations and risks

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to the practice of removal (the extent varies) of the external female genitalia or any damage inflicted due to mutilation injury. FGM is a worldwide human rights issue, affecting an untraceable number of girls. Continue reading