Posts Tagged ‘Article 19’

China’s freedom of expression subject of side event on 13 March

March 4, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

In November 2018, China underwent its Universal Periodic Review and received many recommendations on freedom of expression, both online and off. This side event will elevate the views of civil society actors who are committed to seeing improvements in the protection of freedom of expression in China.

13 March 2019 , 13h30-14h30, in Room XXIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Panelists:

  • Judith Lichtenberg, Director of Lawyers for Lawyers
  • A 1989 democracy activist
  • Uyghur PEN representative
  • Steven Butler, Asia Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Sarah M Brooks, Asia Advocate, International Service for Human Rights.

Event co-organised by:

Download the event flyer

For some of my earlier posts re China: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/china/

Join the conversation on Twitter: #ChinaUPR

https://mailchi.mp/ishr/749qlxejj6-32025?e=d1945ebb90

Son of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia tells UN impunity continues

February 26, 2019

Andrew Caruana Galizia

As the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) began its 40th session in Geneva, the son of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Andrew Caruana Galiziasaid her targeted assassination was a culmination in failures of government protection, followed by libel suits against her estate, as reported by  on 25 February 2019. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/02/20/human-rights-defenders-issues-in-the-40th-session-of-the-un-human-rights-council/

Caruana Galizia spoke of the difficulty in maintaining international media and political attention around cases, and how weakening multilateralism made that even harder. It has fallen on her family and her children to sustain that, he said. He spoke at HRC urging them to ensure Malta accepts specific recommendations made at the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) five months ago for an independent public inquiry into his mother’s death. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/12/11/maltas-aditus-foundation-urges-government-to-improve-relationship-with-human-rights-defenders/]

The NGO Article 19, which organised the panel, stressed that impunity for attacks against journalists must end. It listed worrying trends of human rights violations, all of which pose a major threat to freedom of expression globally:

  • Continued impunity for attacks against journalists;
  • Failures by States to combat religious intolerance, while also failing to secure the rights to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression;
  • The abuse of counter-terrorism laws to target civil society and dissenting voices;
  • Attacks against women human rights defenders and environmental and land defenders.

https://theshiftnews.com/2019/02/25/impunity-persists-son-of-murdered-journalist-tells-un-human-rights-council/

India and South Africa in UN Human Rights Council remain reluctant towards civil society

October 1, 2014

Under the title “India dissociates itself from UN Human Rights Council resolution favouring pluralistic civil society“, Counterview of 30 September 2014, expresses its disappointment with the position taken by India (and other States such as South Africa) who one would normally expect to come out in support of a vibrant civil society, including specifically human rights defenders. They did not call for a vote – so the resolution passed – but expressed strong opposition. This is in line with earlier behaviour in the Council [see: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/india-and-south-africa-forsaking-their-human-rights-credentials/]. Here some extracts: Read the rest of this entry »

WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM initiated by Brasil and to be continued in Morocco and Argentina

January 20, 2014

 

For those who think that large international human rights meetings tend to take place in the ‘western’, you should check out the programme and website of the WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM which was held in Brasilia from 10 – 13 December 2013: http://www.fmdh.sdh.gov.br/index.php/en/program [representatives from 74 countries, more than 500 different activities and over 9.000 participants].

One such activity was the seminar “Comparative experiences for the protection of human rights defenders at the international level” chaired by Luciana García, director of the Department of Defence of Human Rights, from the Brazilian Human Rights Secretariat. Luis Enrique Eguren, President of Protection International, shared the table (picture above) with experts from other organisations, such as: Andrea Rocca of Front Line Defenders, Laura Tresca of Article 19, and Michelle Morais de sa Silva, General Coordinator for Accompaniment in Projects of International Cooperation.

The WFHR is an initiative of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency of the Brazilian Republic, whose main objective is to promote a space for the public debate on Human Rights in which the progress and challenges are addressed with respect for the differences and social participation, with the aims of reducing inequalities and fighting against human rights violations…The Minister Maria do Rosário, from the Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil: “We organise this forum in Brazil because we think governments must always be opened to dialogue with civil society, precisely because this strengthens democracy …..We learn with Mandela that it is ourselves who must be the actors for the promotion of peace”.

At the closing ceremony of the World Human Rights Forum it was announced which countries will host the next events: Morocco in 2014 and Argentina in 2015.

via PI INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM CELEBRATED IN BRASILIA | | Protection InternationalProtection International.

Media can help uphold human rights, says meeting in Dhaka

December 22, 2013

Lawyers, former diplomats and rights activists at a dialogue on 16 November 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, stressed that media should use national and international mechanisms in reporting on human rights issues. They also pointed out that pressuring the government by international mechanism and pressure groups, such as diplomats and international media, could help improve the human rights situation in the country. Former ambassador Harun Ur Rashid, Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan, Sayeed Ahmad of Forum Asia, Tahmina Rahman of Article 19, lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua, Nur Khan of Ain o Salish Kendra were the panelists at this dialogue entitled “Journalists as human rights defenders working together for the promotion and protection of human rights” organised by the human rights group Ain O Salish Kendra. Ambassador Harun ur Rashid said the media played an important role in creating awareness as well as acting as a pressure group to uphold human rights.“Individuals are now recognised not only in the national law but also in the international laws, so when his/her rights are violated, both state and the UN can intervene to protect the individual,” Harun ur Rashid added. Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said the government had a tendency to act unresponsively on human rights violations until the issue was being picked up by international media or watchdogs. “Still, the media is playing a great role here. Ultimately the international watchdogs and media mostly gather information from news published in local media,” he said, adding that media persons also have the duty to respect victim’s privacy and rights. Sayeed Ahmad of Forum Asia observed that accountability was much more needed than creating awareness on human rights among the government institutions and law enforcement agencies such as Rapid Action Battalion, police and armed forces to ensure human rights. Echoing Sayeed, Tahmina of Article 19 said if such groups always enjoy exemption from the laws in the country, a culture of impunity is hard to eliminate.

via Media can help uphold human rights: Dialogue | Dhaka Tribune.

Human rights defenders describe lack of freedom of expression in Africa

November 2, 2013

A three-day Forum on the participation of African NGOs at the 54th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights [ACHPR] and also the 28th African Human Rights Book Fair concluded on Sunday, 20th October, 2013 in Kololi. The forum brought together stakeholders dealing with various human rights issues from different parts of Africa. Various reports were presented that touched on media freedom and freedom of expression as well as on laws and principles governing media practice such as defamation, sedition and other draconian laws that prevail in many African countries. Kebba Jeffang reports in the Foroyaa newspaper of 21 October on the results:

Read the rest of this entry »

Southeast Asian Voices of HRDs being stifled

September 12, 2013

As concerns grow in Southeast Asia over the use of national security, anti-terrorist and defamation laws to limit freedom of expression on the Internet, a coalition of international and local NGOs and activists from Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia urged governments to stop using vague legislation based on ill-defined concepts such as “national security”, “sovereignty” or “lèse-majesté” to intimidate, harass and imprison independent voices. Speaking at an event in Geneva, which coincides with the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council, FIDH, IFEX, Article 19 and PEN International united to call for the urgent revision of these laws to bring them into line with international human rights standards. Independent and dissenting voices, including bloggers and netizens, journalists, activists and human rights defenders, have increasingly been subjected to repression in Southeast Asia.

A lot more detail in  Human Rights Council : Stifled Southeast Asian Voices: NGOs Unite … – FIDH.

Article 19 starts programme to protect journalists and human rights defenders in Tunisia

May 27, 2013

ARTICLE 19 is to launch a programme to protect journalists and human rights defenders in Tunisia, following a series of meetings with media workers and civil society groups in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

LARGEST EVER TRIAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN VIETNAM

January 10, 2013

ARTICLE 19 staff imageAND VIET TAN ON 9 JANUARY REPORT ON THE TRIAL AND CONDEMNATION OF 14 ACTIVISTS IN VIETNAM

  • Ho Duc Hoa (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
  • Dang Xuan Dieu (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
  • Paulus Le Son (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Van Duyet (6 years in prison, 4 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Van Oai (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)
  • Ho Van Oanh (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Dinh Cuong (4 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Xuan Anh (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Thai Van Dung (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Tran Minh Nhat (4 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Nong Hung Anh (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Dang Vinh Phuc (probation)
  • Nguyen Dang Minh Man (9 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Dang Ngoc Minh (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)

The men and women were convicted of “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the penal code. The criminal activities the group are said to have engaged in include writing commentary that is critical of the Government and distributing this on the internet, and both participating in and encouraging peaceful protest. ARTICLE 19 believes that these activities should not be considered to be criminal. The Vietnamese authorities have failed to recognise basic human rights and these convictions fail to meet international standards freedom of expression. “Thirteen people [one was given probation – ed] are now behind bars for doing nothing more than expressing legitimate political concerns.  They have been locked away for sharing views about matters of public importance on the internet and for taking part in peaceful demonstrations. These are not things which should be considered criminal. It seems that the real crime here is the appalling abuse of fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of expression, by the state” said Agnes Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

The group, many of them bloggers and citizen journalists, were arrested between August and December 2011 and held for more than a year before standing trial.

Three international Human Rights Groups Urge Gambia to Stop Crackdown on HRDs

January 2, 2013

The Gambian Government must stop immediately intimidation and harassment of HRDs, journalists, lawyers and government critics generally says a joint statement by ARTICLE 19, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Amnesty International. Since the beginning of December, at least nine cases of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention have been documented.

via Human Rights Groups Urge Gambia Govt to Stop Crackdown on Critics.