FORUM-ASIA 25th Anniversary Event in Geneva on 16 November 2016

November 7, 2016



The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), together with the Martin Ennals Award and the Right Livelihood Award, will host a panel discussion on the 25th Anniversary of its founding and 10th Anniversary of its presence in Geneva, entitled 50 Years of the International Bill of Human Rights and 10 Years of the UN Human Rights Council – What does this mean for Asia?’,  on 16 November 2016 at 18:30 at the Ivan Pictet Auditorium, Maison de la Paix, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The panelists are:

– Jose Ramos-Horta (Laureate, Nobel Peace Prize)

– Ruth Manorama (Laureate, Right Livelihood Award) []

– Adilur Rahman Khan (Finalist, Martin Ennals Award) []

The panel discussion will be followed by a reception.

If you’re interested in attending, please register on

Source: FORUM-ASIA 25th Anniversary Event in Geneva, Switzerland (16 November 2016) « FORUM-ASIA

2 Responses to “FORUM-ASIA 25th Anniversary Event in Geneva on 16 November 2016”

  1. lenguyenhoangminh Says:


    On the occasion of the PEN International Imprisoned Writer Day, 15 November 2016, the Writers in Prison Committee expresses concern over repression with impunity against freedom of expression, freedom of press and freedom of artistic creativity. Hundreds of writers, journalists, bloggers and artists were attacked during the last 12 months. Some were killed or missing. The murder of Anna Politkoskaya remains unpunished 10 years later.

    At the PEN International Congress held in September in Ourense, Galicia, Spain, a dozen of adopted resolutions presented a grim picture of the situation, still insufficient and partial. In truth, the list of high-risk countries for literature and freedom of expression and opinion is not exhaustive.
    With 10 killed and many injured, Afghanistan lived, in 2016, the deadliest year for media professionals, writers and intellectuals. In Bangladesh, a flagrant impunity for murders of editors, bloggers, academics, activists of civil society and religious minorities. Cuba continues to harass and arrest journalists, writers and bloggers for crime of beliefs or convictions.
    In Egypt, a disturbing number of writers and journalists persecuted or imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression, of the press, or of artistic creativity. In Eritrea, absence of independent media for 15 years. Systematic arbitrary arrests, violent disappearances and extrajudicial executions. 17 journalists victims of enforced disappearances, including Dawit Isaak, a Swedish-Eritrean journalist, playwright and poet, held in September 2001.

    China mercilessly punishes writers and human rights defenders of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Some prisoners have been tortured. The Tibetan language is severely threatened because Mandarin is the main language taught in schools. Brutal crackdown hit the autonomous regions of Uygur Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and the special region of Hong Kong. Everywhere in China, freedom of expression is muzzled. At least 40 writers remain in prison, including the Nobel Peace Prize Liu Xiaobo. In Vietnam, dissident writers, journalists and bloggers are subject to arbitrary arrest, sentenced to particularly long prison terms in unfair trials. Some have been forced into exile in exchange for their release of the forced labour camp, as the woman poet Tran Khai Thanh Thuy and woman journalist Ta Phong Tan. In their place in prison, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, founder of the Vietnamese Bloggers Network and mother of two small children, has been imprisoned for ‘’propaganda against the socialist State’’. She risks 20 years in prison. India has experienced a disturbing deterioration of freedom of expression. Writers, artists and journalists are harassed and silenced for expressing the concerns of religious, social and linguistic minorities.

    In Honduras, freedom of expression remains a major concern. Since 2003, 57 journalists have been killed while in the majority of cases, the perpetrators have not yet been identified. Self-censorship in the media is motivated by the threat of criminal defamation and slanders lawsuits. Moreover, students are not guaranteed the right to peaceful protest as an essential element of freedom of expression. Cesario Padilla, journalist and co-founder of Honduras PEN Centre, was being followed by armed men. Mexico
    continues to be one of the deadliest country for media professionals: from 2005 to June 2016, more than 100 murdered journalists and 25 disappeared journalists. Nine communicators were murdered in the first half of 2016. Authors of crimes remain unpunished in 9 cases out of 10.

    In Iran, of the 61 persecuted writers, journalists, bloggers, filmmakers and composers identified, 16 were in prison and 8 detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression and artistic creativity. Among these victims were two sentenced to death, the writer and poet Arzhang Davoodi and the author Hesameddin Farzizadeh. In Israel, Dareen Tatour was arrested on 11 October 2015 after posting one of her poems on social networks. Israeli citizen, the Palestinian woman poet faces up to 8 years in prison for ‘’incitement to violence’’. On 14 January 2016, she was released and placed under house arrest until her trial scheduled towards the end of the year.

    In Turkey, following the state of emergency, as of 28 July 2016, the authority ordered the closure of 131 media, including 3 news agencies, 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishing houses, including the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem. 97 writers and journalists are known actually under arrest or in custody. Novelist Asli Erdogan, one of the major voices in contemporary Turkish literature, was arrested on 17 August 2016 for making ‘’propaganda for a terrorist organization’’. The Great Repression continues on 31 October 2016, with the arrest of the editor Murat Sabuncu and several journalists of Cumhuriyet, the main opposition daily. As a reminder, Turkey is a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Nguyên Hoàng Bao Viêt,
    Vice president of PEN Suisse Romand
    for the Writers in Prison Committee.

  2. […] Ruth Manorama is India’s most effective organiser of, and advocate for, Dalit women, belonging to the “scheduled castes” sometimes also called “untouchables.” She is, among other things, President of the National Alliance of Women (NAWO) and National Convenor to the National Federation of Dalit Women. Ruth called for counter-narratives to combat the negative view of human rights defenders in the media. In India, for instance, activists are routinely called “enemies of the State,” “militants,” “anti-nationals,” “traitors,” and “terrorists.” She stated: “I am a patriot. I am an Indian citizen. I must enjoy my constitutional rights. (…) Protecting human rights defenders is a state obligation.” Dalit women are particularly vulnerable to systematic sexual abuse at work, forced sexual slavery such as the Devadasi system, and forced labour. Manorama received the Right Livelihood Award in 2006 “for her commitment over decades to achieving equality for Dalit women, building effective and committed women’s organisations and working for their rights at national and international levels.” See also:… […]

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