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Sudanese women activist, Amira Hamed, wins prestigious Human Rights Prize

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A Sudanese women’s rights activist, Amira Osman Hamed, has won the 2022 edition of the Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

Hamed, who is also an engineer, picked up the prestigious award on Friday following her consistent advocacy for Sudanese women and girls rights which has spanned over two decades, while also facing several arrests and detentions over the years, the award organisation said in a statement while conferring the award on her.

Earlier this year, Hamed was also among defenders from Afghanistan, Belarus, Zimbabwe and Mexico who received the 2022 Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

Hamed’s brushes with the law in Sudan began in 2002 after she was first arrested and charged for wearing trousers in public which drew international condemnation and support.

In 2013, she was also detained and threatened with flogging for refusing to wear a headscarf, both charges falling under the morality laws during the rule of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir who was overthrown in a military coup last October.

In 2009, Hamed established “No to Women Oppression”, an initiative to advocate against the Public Order Law which was seen as being discriminatory to women who were banned from wearing trousers and skirts and offenders were publicly flogged.

Due to Hamed’s persistence with her group, the obnoxious law was finally repealed in 2019 after Bashir’s ouster following a popular mass uprising.

In late January 2022, Hamed told journalists at a press conference that “30 masked armed men” had stormed her house in Khartoum in the middle of the night, “taking her to an unknown location.”

She was freed in early February following international outcry led by the United Nations mission to Sudan which called for her release.

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Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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