Tag Archives: Human Rights

Scholars’ Circle -German History of Gay rights during the period of Cold War; LGBTQ rights struggle in US – May 8, 2022

What was the experience of gay people in East and West Germany during the Cold War? We speak with Samuel Clowes Huneke author of States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany [ dur: 32mins. ].

Since the 2020 election, anti-transgender campaigns have been growing in the United States. What are these efforts? We look at the campaigns to curtail and reverse gay and transgender rights, in particular we explore campaigns such as Florida’s Parental Rights in Education act (dubbed by critics as “Don’t Say Gay” bill) and attempts to ban trans athletes in all levels of competition. [ dur: 25 mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Importance of Preserving All Presidential Documents; Uzbekistan Denies Protection of Religious Freedom – April 24, 2022

Former President Trump’s administration took the presidential documents to Mar-a-Lago instead of submitting them to the U.S. archive. Why does this matter? [ dur: 26mins. ]

In recent months, investigators discovered that a significant number of records from the Trump White House were relocated to his personal residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. This removal of official papers from the White House poses a significant threat for the security of classified information. But perhaps most importantly, it serves as a major concern for future historians to write accurate and detailed histories of the presidency. We explore the Presidential Records Act and how the law is applied.

We turn our attention to a country rarely in the news, Uzbekistan. What do we know about the country, particularly its religious freedoms? Uzbekistan is an Islamic country. But does it respect the rights of its Muslims? If so, why does the country imprison its people considered prisoners of conscience and religious prisoners? We discuss a new report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom on Uzbekistan’s Religious and Political Prisoners. [ dur: 32mins. ]

  • Steve Swerdlow is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). He was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted extensive field work internationally with a particular focus on Central Asia and the Caucuses. He was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted extensive field work internationally with a particular focus on Central Asia and the Caucuses. He is the author of Uzbekistan’s Religious and Political Prisoners.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Historical and Current Practices to Redress Crimes Against Humanity – April 10, 2022

After mass atrocities and crimes against humanity, how can societies reconcile? How is justice performed and how should we recognize these crimes? And what of the clash between international interests and local needs when dealing with the punishment and acknowledgment of atrocities? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This interview was recorded on April 18, 2021.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – War Crimes and Justice for Victims and Survivors- April 3, 2022

President Biden has called Russia’s attack on Ukraine a war crime. What does that mean in term of legal remedies? When and how are war crimes adjudicated? Prosecuting those who commit crimes against humanity or war crimes is one part of justice, the other part is redressing the victims and survivors. What can be done to redress them? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Sanctions, what we learned from it’s use and impact on Russia – March 13, 2022

Just how effective are sanctions? How are they used and what exactly do they entail? Can sanctions be applied in a way that they would not cause harm to citizens? And what does sanctions research suggest about their impact on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Kazakhstan Protests and Government Violence ; Omicron Variant Rages and Global Vaccine Distribution Issues – January 9, 2022

Kazakhstan has erupted in protests and government violence this week. We explore the potential that these protests leads to greater democratization in this authoritarian government, and detail its recent human rights abuses.[ dur: 34mins. ]

  • Erica Marat is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Regional and Analytical Studies Department at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University. She is the author of The Politics of Police Reform: Society against the State in Post-Soviet Countries.
  • Robert English is Associate Professor of International Relations and Co-Director of Central European Studies Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is the author of Russia and the Idea of the West.
  • Steve Swerdlow is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). He was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted extensive field work internationally with a particular focus on Central Asia and the Caucuses.

Vaccine hesitancy slows the effective response to Covid 19 in the Global North. Lack of vaccine distribution slows the response in the Global South. And the new omicron variant rages on. We may be fatigued of the virus, but it’s not over. We discuss vaccine inequity and distribution. [ dur: 24mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Capital Punishment in USA and reasons why it faces increased opposition – October 17, 2021

The death penalty in the United States has faced increased opposition based on ethical, political, and legal concerns. Several states have outlawed it, but the federal government has returned to its use with a feverish wave of state executions last year. We discuss the implications of the use of the death penalty in the US and examine additional forms of extreme sentencing, such as life without parole. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Examining Disability and Ableism – October 10, 2021

The rights of persons with disabilities is a growing and important area of human rights. But what does it mean to ensure equal treatment under the law? What exactly is a disability, and who makes the judgment? And what do we mean by ableism? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Impact of American Lawyers on International Human Right Cases ; One Year after Armenia and Azerbaijan war – October 3, 2021

We interview Maria Armoudian who has published a book on international human rights and the role that lawyers have played at advancing cases against human rights abusers. Maria Armoudian is the author of Lawyers Beyond Borders : Advancing International Human Rights Through Local Laws and Courts. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

Then, we explore the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan a year after the war over the disputed region of Ngoro-Karabagh. What is the current status of the region following the cease-fire? Is there possibility of lasting peace? [ dur: 26 mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Afghanistan, US ends 20 year stay and Taliban Takeover – August 29, 2021

The conflict in Afghanistan has transformed with the US withdrawal. We examine why the government fell and the impact on the country and the region.

What are the security threats within the country and the potential for increased violence with the fall of the government in Afghanistan? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.