Strategy Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun
(Photo: University of Wisconsin)

Sources: Yonhap report,The Korea Times report

More than half of the senior advisers at six major South Korean law firms are former bureaucrats with expertise in finance, warned this month the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ, national focal point of Social Watch).

Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi.
(Photo: Government of Tunisia)

Source: World Organisation Against Torture

The Tunisian transitional government will deposit this week the ratification documents for the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture at the United Nations in New York. A mission of experts of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), an international coalition of NGOs, made the announcement public this Monday, after visiting this North African country and meeting with representatives of the new authorities. 

General Than Shwe. (Photo: Peerapat
Wimolrungkarat/Government of Thailand)

Source: FIDH

The announcement on 16 May by Burmese dictator Thein Sein that all prisoners will receive a one-year sentence reduction is so woefully inadequate that it should be regarded as nothing but another attempt to present a façade of change while the regime continues to restrict fundamental freedoms and commit serious crimes against civilians, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma) and the Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC, national focal point of Social Watch) said this Monday.

Abdullah al-Durazi, head of BHRS.
(Photo: Habib Toumi's blog)

Sources: Financial Times, Human Rights Watch, Bahrain News Agency, UPI, Gulf News, Tehran Times.

Bahraini government questioned Abdullah al-Durazi, who was heading the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS), the oldest body tracking human rights abuses, when its board was disbanded last year. The authorities accused Al-Durazi of taking part in protests and disseminating false information, though no formal charges have been filed yet, reported the Financial Times on Thuesday.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan
heads the Assembly. (Photo: WHO)

Sources: Third World Network, LiveScience, The Wall Street Journal

The World Health Assembly decided on Tuesday in Geneva to keep, for now, the world's remaining smallpox virus samples, kept alive by U.S. and Russia, with the opposition of developing countries and civil society organisations headed by the Third World Network (TWN). 

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