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human rights and civil liberties

Despite some tensions, evangelical churches booming in Cuba

HAVANA (AP) — Fidel Castro’s government sent the Rev. Juan Francisco Naranjo to two years of work camp in the 1960s for preaching the Gospel in a Cuba where atheism was law and the faithful were viewed as suspect. For years, Naranjo’s church was almost abandoned, with just a handful …

German Cabinet OKs plan to annul homosexuality convictions

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that would annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-World War II West Germany. The decision clears the way for compensation for those still alive who were among the …

Groups urge Thai action against torture, disappearances

BANGKOK (AP) — Rights groups are urging Thailand’s government to enact legislation banning torture and forced disappearances as its human rights record comes under United Nations review. Tuesday’s review in Geneva by the U.N. Human Rights Committee comes shortly after Thailand’s legislature unanimously ratified a U.N. treaty against forced disappearances. …

Rights group says Thai prisons fall short of world standards

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s prisons fail to meet international standards, with inmates routinely shackled, stuffed into overcrowded cells and forced to work in harsh conditions, an international human rights group said Tuesday. Thailand also has the highest incarceration rate in Southeast Asia, jailing 425 out of every 100,000 people, according …

Senior China government adviser criticizes web censorship

BEIJING (AP) — A senior Chinese government adviser has warned that the country’s internet censorship is hampering scientific research and economic development, in a rare public criticism of a sensitive policy that the government has vigorously defended. Slow access to overseas academic websites have forced domestic researchers to buy software …