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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nar Yu Right by Star Zee Promotes Human Rights Day in Sierra Leone

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, Advocaid sent a powerful message to the masses in Sierra Leone through music. Advocaid used the date to launch a song meant to educate women about their rights. 

Nar Yu Right is an upbeat tune sung by Sierra Leonean hip hop artist Star Zee.  Lyrics in the song are used to educate women on their legal rights. Some of the items mentioned are not signing anything that isn’t understood and that when taken into custody a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Advocaid is a defender of human rights. The non-profit seeks to educate women, provide free legal aid to women who cannot find a lawyer, and seeks to put an end to gender violence. 

Nar Yu Right’s music video was shot in a female prison in Freetown, according to Sonia Osho-Williams, a program officer with Advocaid. Many of the women in the prison received a free education from the creators of the video and shared their stories. 

“When you hear some of these stories about these women, a lot of them are victims of domestic violence, a lot of them are victims of gender-based violence. A lot of them, it’s as a result of retaliating or self-defense that they become perpetrators, become in conflict with the law,” said Osho-Williams.

Obama Shakes Hands with Castro on International Human Rights Day

Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project

President Obama is coming under a lot of criticism for his behavior on International Human Rights. The most recent criticism comes after Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa.

Freedom House rated Cuba as “not free” in a 2013 report on human rights. The report pointed to a rise in short-term detentions of political dissidents. The detentions spiked in Cuba on several occasions last year. There was a spike in March when the late and former Pope Benedict XVI visited the country. Another spike took place in July when activists Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero became involved in a car crash that killed both of them. And another took place on Human Rights Day. It has been alleged that the crash that killed Paya and Cepero happened after Paya’s car was deliberately forced off the road. 

Obama’s administration has attempted to improve relations with Cuba since the death of Fidel Castro.
“More serious thinking has to be given to an American diplomatic strategy that will encourage freedom in Cuba, and we should assess what might work and what hasn’t worked in the past,” said Arch Puddington, Vice President of Freedom House.

“Cuba is still a hellish dictatorship, but at the same time it is a country that is undergoing a measured amount of change,” he said.

Criticism of the handshake came from several lawmakers in the United States. 

The most powerful statement came from Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) who told Fox News, “It is nauseating. He shook the hand of a murderer, a thug, and those are bloody hands.”

Ros-Lehtinen fled Cuba with her family when she was a child.