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Two books isn’t enough protection: Britain deports writer Ishtiyaq Shukri

Many of you who are familiar with South African literature know that writer Ishtiyaq Shukri was detained and questioned for over nine hours at Heathrow Airport in London on the 14th of July 2015, and summarily deported. He also had his British residency revoked, although he had been a resident of that country for twenty years. Whilst held in detention, he was questioned about why he visited Yemen – even though thousands of people do for ordinary, non-sinister reasons, and Shukri’s reasons were no different: at the time, his wife was working there as the Country Director of Oxfam Yemen, one of the UK’s largest international humanitarian aid agencies.

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Discrimination: SA’s courts give religious beliefs and practices a free pass

Why do religious beliefs and practices – especially the religious beliefs and practices of powerful and dominant religious groups – so often get a free pass from society and the courts? Should certain religious beliefs and practices not be evaluated in the same manner that all other beliefs and practices are evaluated to determine whether they are true and whether they infringe on the rights of others?

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Let’s Have Part Time Legislators

I recall a testy exchange in 2009 at the Westin Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island between a ranking member of the Nigerian House of Representatives and a US-based, Nigerian-born attorney. Both men were attending the inaugural edition of the Chinua Achebe Colloquium on Africa. During a break in the proceedings, this US-based attorney as well as two other Nigerians cornered the representative.

How much do you make as salary in a year?” the lawyer asked with the kind of directions that Americans display when face-to-face with public officials.

The lawmaker was in no haste to divulge the information. Instead, he asked, “Why do you want to know?”

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Government officials aiding human trafficking – report

Kampala - Despite a ban on recruiting domestic workers for employment overseas, licensed and unlicensed agencies continue to recruit Ugandans for employment abroad, which has turned into trafficking, a new report indicates.

The 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released on Tuesday by the US Department of State notes in some of these cases, there is complicity of government officials. This “official complicity hindered government oversight of labour recruitment agencies,” the report reads in part.

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Africa’s Growing Population: An Untapped Dividend or Curse?

Africa’s rapidly growing population presents a unique set of challenges as well as opportunities for the continent. If properly harnessed, the potential for economic development in the long term could be enormous.

While Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)’s population currently stands at approximately 856 million, the World Bank estimates that another half a billion people will be added to the continent by 2030. They further project that the continent will be home to two billion people by 2050, and that three out of every four persons added to the global population between now and 2100 will be in Africa.

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In Germany, are some refugees more equal than others?

Family gatherings can be a pleasant but occasionally dreadful experience. At one such dinner three weeks ago, my grandmother’s cousin complained to us about the, in her opinion, never-ending flow of refugees and asylum-seekers to Germany and, in particular, her local municipality. “It’s only a matter of time before these young men start raping our girls”, she declared shamelessly. “But, of course, I don’t mind Syrian families, they can stay here!”, she added apologetically. In Germany, this reveals a simple truth: all refugees are equal, but some refugees are more equal than others.

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