Archive for the 'EMHRN' Category

Rasmus Alenius Boserup new Executive Director of EuroMed Rights

May 21, 2019

On 16 May 2019 the NGO EuroMed Rights announced that it has appointed Rasmus Alenius Boserup as its new Executive Director. He will assume the position on 1 June, 2019, succeeding Marc Schade-Poulsen, who will take up a position as consultant and research fellow at the University of Roskilde.

A Danish national, Rasmus Alenius Boserup has a background in social science research and organisation management. Until 2019, he worked as Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies focusing on power and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to this, he served as Executive Director of the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute in Cairo from 2008 to 2011. An expert and opinion writer in Danish and international media, Boserup holds a doctoral degree in culture and civilisation from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and a PhD degree in Arabic Studies from the University of Copenhagen.

Boserup said: “I look forward to take up the position with EuroMed Rights. I have followed the network since its creation in 1997 and have collaborated with several of its outstanding member organisations in the South and in the North.”  “Today we face numerous worrying trends in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The crumbling of the liberal order and rise of international authoritarianism add fuel to populism and illiberalism in Europe. And it further emboldens repressive and autocratic leaders in the Middle East and North African. Under these urgent conditions, I look forward to engage fully in promoting and defending human rights and democracy as a part of a prestigious organisation like EuroMed Rights.”

EuroMed Rights President Wadih Al-Asmaradded: “We are pleased to have Rasmus on board and look forward to leveraging his expertise in steering EuroMed Rights forward. Our network has grown to occupy a strategically important position while Marc Schade-Poulsen held the position of Executive Director and we are eager to capitalise on this with Rasmus Alenius Boserup”.

https://mailchi.mp/euromedrights/euromed-rights-appoints-new-executive-director?e=1209ebd6d8

Human Rights Day 2018: just an anthology

December 10, 2018

There is so much going on on this day – International Human Rights Day – that I can only give a cursory overview of some highlights in 2018 like I did in previous years [see e.g. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/12/09/sampling-international-human-rights-day-2016-be-a-human-rights-defender/, and https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/12/11/human-rights-day-2017-in-asia-mind-the-gap/]. Here is my selection of 10: Read the rest of this entry »

Shackled Freedoms : what space for human rights defenders in the EuroMed?

September 7, 2016

 

cover-en-shackled-freedomThe recent report SHACKLED FREEDOMS : WHAT SPACE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE EUROMED? depicts the obstacles and repression against civil society in the region and showcases first-hand accounts from Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Syria, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories among others. The report also features recommendations by CSOs for joint action and seeks to influence EU policies to that effect. The report also focuses on the impact of security and anti-terrorist policies and lists the growing arsenal of repressive measures – both in law and practice – that civil society organizations (CSOs) face on a daily basis: judicial harassment, surveillance, arbitrary arrests, torture and assassination.

Despite legal safeguards and the human rights “shared values” rhetoric in the EU, EuroMed Rights argues that European civil society is under increasing pressure. Austerity measures and anti-terrorism laws are increasingly used to legitimise practices that go against individual freedoms and rights of assembly, association and expression, such as in France, Spain or the UK, for instance. The report – published on 7 September 2016 – is the result of a seminar organised in April 2016 as an open dialogue between EU representatives, South Mediterranean activists and Brussels-based CSOs.

 DOWNLOAD THE REPORT


 

Source: Shackled Freedoms : What Space for Civil Society in the EuroMed? – EuroMed Rights – Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network

Egypt’s al-Sisi’s visits Berlin: speaking notes for Angela Merkel

June 2, 2015

Angela Merkel
Egypt’s Abdel Fattach El Sisi is due to meet German chancellor Wednesday 3 June

On the eve of the visit to Germany by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a number of leading international human rights organisations (AI, HRW, EMHRH, OMCT and Front Line) wrote an open letter to the German chancellor Ms Angela Merkel. It reads in essence: Read the rest of this entry »

2013 report by Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders

October 1, 2014

The Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) today released its 2013 Annual Report detailing its activities in support of individuals, groups and NGOs who are defending human rights in a wide variety of distinctly challenging contexts across the Arab region. In 2013, when access to internal and external funding sources in the region remained limited and difficult, the Foundation faced the dual challenges of protecting defenders in increasingly repressive and violent environments and of consolidating positive civil society dynamics in countries where tentative steps were taken toward democratisation.

In countries such as Syria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt, Read the rest of this entry »

Two national level human rights awards (Uganda and West Papua)

July 4, 2014

Although I try to be as complete as possible on international human rights awards (see http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/), there is a plethora of interesting awards at the national level of which follow here two examples: 

1. Uganda: The annual “European Union Human Rights Defenders Award” is given by the EU Member States, Norway and the EU Delegation in Uganda to recognise the achievements of Human Rights Defenders in Uganda. In 2014 the award (which could be named more clearly) is shared among:

  • Ms. Gladys Canogura, Executive Director of Kitgum Women Peace Initiative.
  • Ms. Christine AlaloC, Head Uganda Police Child and Family Protection Unit.
  • Mr. Mohammed Ndifuna, Chief Executive Officer Human Rights Network Uganda.

Dr. Simone Knapp, Head of the Austrian Development Cooperation in Uganda and host of the 2014 Ceremony stated the following: “Human rights defenders and civil society organisations are indispensable partners for governments, the European Union and equally the United Nations in highlighting violations of human rights and analysing their causes. The internet and social media tools have enabled sharing of information and concerns even more effectively. They are the ones that work in the field every day and experience first-hand what the great challenges are to the realisation of all human rights. At the same time, human rights defenders, the same as journalists, face increasing harassment, inhibition and even violence as a consequence of their commitment to human rights. We must better protect human rights defenders and promote their work. Civil Society can help us develop policies and instruments for tackling these challenges.”  

http://www.norway.go.ug/News_and_events/pressrelease/Winners-of-the-2014-EU-Human-Rights-Defenders-Award/#.U7b5tyjKzZQ

2. West Papua: Two New Zealanders have been awarded the 2014 John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award for their work pushing for improved human rights in Indonesia’s Papua region. The West Papua Advocacy Team says the Green Party’s Catherine Delahunty has challenged the New Zealand governments community policing project in Papua and sought to provide a platform for Papuan rights advocates in the New Zealand Parliament. The Advocacy Team says the second recipient, activist Maire Leadbeater, has worked tirelessly to inform New Zealand about the human rights crisis in West Papua. Ms Delahunty says she is honoured to be considered.”There are many people working all around the world and the Pacific to support the campaign for human rights and independence in West Papua. Im one of the small players, have got the privilege of working in Parliament with the Green Party fully supporting my work. So yes, it’s an incredible honour, I was most surprised to receive it and very, very humbled.” John Rumbiak had worked in Papua for many years, raising concerns on human rights issues.

via NZers win West Papua advocacy award | Radio New Zealand News.

THE SILENCED VOICES OF SYRIA: Special campaign aimed at Human Rights Defenders

March 16, 2014

While the whole of the Syrian population suffers terribly, it is important to recognize that human rights defenders, activists, media and humanitarian workers have been particularly targeted for their work since the beginning of the Syrian uprising three years ago. Many have been arrested or abducted by either government forces and pro-government militias or by non-state armed groups. The channels for obtaining reliable information are drying up and that is certainly not a coincidence.

Now several international NGOs such as Amnesty International, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, FIDH, Frontline Defenders, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders have come together to work jointly, with other international, regional and Syrian organizations, to campaign for the release of  these Silenced Voices of Syria.  The campaign is starting with the documentation of 37 emblematic cases.

This campaign will use a three-pronged strategy  of 1. Research and Documentation, 2. Information/Sensitisation and 3/ Mobilization.

via FREE SILENCED VOICES OF SYRIA | Civil society activists, media and medical workers targeted for their work.

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/one-more-disappearance-in-syria-roshdy-el-sheikh-rasheed/

Algeria and Egypt: more non-cooperation and less access

February 13, 2014

Here two recent examples of non-cooperation in relation to requests for access by international human rights mechanisms:

  • On 11 February 2014 five international human rights organisations issued a statement decrying Algeria’s lack of cooperation in allowing UN human rights experts and international human rights organizations to visit the country. Algeria may have joined the UN Human Rights Council in January 2014, but it  has not agreed to visits by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, despite their repeated requests. Similarly the Algerian authorities have refused to grant visas to nongovernmental  human rights organizations for several years. “Algeria remains the only country among its neighbors that generally restricts access to human rights organizations,” said Eric Goldstein, of Human Rights Watch. [The 5 NGOs making the appeal are Amnesty International, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, Human Rights Watch and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint program of the International Federation for Human Rights FIDH, and the World Organization Against Torture OMCT].
  • Today, 14 February it became known that the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, was denied a request to visit prisoners during his visit to Egypt [he announced this on Twitter after meeting with Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat.] Lambrinidis described the refusal as a “direct contradiction” to the Ministry of Interior’s “press release promising greater openness to such visits”. Only two days earlier – amid mounting allegations of torture inside places of detention – the Ministry of Interior had issued a statement welcoming requests from NGOs wishing to visit prisons. [Lambrinidis held an open discussion with 30 human rights defenders  from local and international NGOs earlier this week, stating that the Egyptian government must respect peaceful free expression and human rights communities.]

via:

http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/02/13/eu-human-rights-envoy-denied-access-prisoners/#sthash.hEciHx9r.dpuf

Algeria: Allow Rights Groups to Visit – No Response from Algiers to Requests from UN Bodies / February 11, 2014 / Urgent Interventions / Human rights defenders / OMCT.

Trial against Muharrem Erbey, in pre-trial detention for 4 years, resumes on 13 January in Turkey

January 11, 2014

While all attention is focused on the political power struggle in Turkey, human rights defenders there continue to be harassed and detained. A glaring example is the case of Muharrem Erbey who is in pre-trial detention since 4 years. On 13 January 2014, the trial against Muharrem Erbey, the recipient of the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize for 2012, will resume. On 24 December 2009, Mr. Muharrem Erbey was arrested by the Anti-Terror Unit of the Diyarbakır Security Directorate as part of an operation launched simultaneously in 11 provinces in Turkey. His arrest and detention Read the rest of this entry »

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation Supporting Human Rights Defenders focus on Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt in 2012 report

October 15, 2013

Euro Med Foundation for HRDs
Almost three years after the onset of its “Revolutions”, the Arab region continues to bear stark contrasts within its democratic track. Whereas a new era has been instigated and elections have been held in five countries Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Algeria, major violations of human rights persist on multiple levels and by different actors including non-governmental players. On 8 October The Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) released its Annual report on 2012. Driss El Yazami, President of the EMHRF, notes that “an irreversible process is ongoing and involves emancipating countries from authoritarianism and political despotism. The Arab people have entered a new and decisive era for the future of democracy and human rights. Beyond the complexity of this transition, the initiated process is strongly influenced by the strengthened role played by human rights defenders. They are key players in overcoming new challenges and working peacefully towards the realization of a democratic and citizen-driven model for living together.”
The civil society movement continues to prove to be extremely dynamic and effective in guaranteeing respect for fundamental freedoms and preventing any appropriation of the newly acquired freedoms. Nonetheless, this movement is weakened by significant threats, shortages in human and financial resources and difficulties in joining forces. Particular attention was paid to Syria, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.
This report is available in Arabic, English and French.

http://www.emhrf.org/en/activityreports.php <http://www.emhrf.org/en/activityreports.php