Posts Tagged ‘banning’

Sudan sets tone for ‘legal’ repression of Human Rights Defenders in 2013

January 2, 2013

The new year starts with a report on Sudan where the Government is confirming a worrying trend – observed already in 2012 by several NGOs in a growing number of countries including recently Russia  – of hitting dissident voices and Human Rights Defenders with more sophisticated but equally effective measures such as stopping foreign funding or using this kind of funding as a reason to simply close the institution or revoke its license.

Based on information in the Sudan Tribune of 25 and 31 December, and Bakhita Radio of 1 January 2013 this is what happened to the Sudanese Studies Center (SSC) on Monday 25 December and hardly a week later the Al Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE), which were forced to close.

Sudan’s ministry of information cites activities aiming to overthrow the regime and financial support from outside the country. Aiming to promote peace, democracy and diversity, KACE organized workshops on the Darfur and South Kordofan crises, elections, and South Sudan and Abyei referendums as well as projects on violence against women and youth. Many of its different activities are indeed funded by foreign embassies in Khartoum, and international foundations. KACE is also working on a project about the reform of school curriculum funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and another one related to the civil society participation in public affairs supported by the Open Society Institute.

Albaqir Alafif (director of KACE) and Haydar Ibrahim Ali  and Abdallah Abu Al-Reesh (respectively the founder and director of the SSC) have denied the government accusations against their centers saying this support is free of any political agenda and aims to promote the different activities of the organizations.

To show that the ‘old’, crude methods of repression are still functioning, Sudanese security on Monday arrested the executive director of Sudanese Studies Center Abdallah Abu Al-Reesh, following a gathering of Sudanese activists outside the National Human Rights Commission in Khartoum to deliver a memo against its closure. Abdallah’s family said security agents came in the early morning of Monday and conducted him to unknown destination. His family members said they are concerned for his health as they refused to allow him to bring his medications.

Uganda to ban 38 NGOs for “promotion” of homosexuality

June 21, 2012

As I reported recently the Ugandan Government raided a regional workshop of gay rights NGOs as part of its continuing crusade against homosexuality. It is not surprising that on 20 June the news agency AFP reported that Uganda will ban 38 nongovernmental organisations for spreading homosexuality. According to AFP the minister for ethics and integrity, Simon Lokodo: “I have investigated and established beyond reasonable doubt that these NGOs have been involved in the promotion and recruitment in terms of the [gay] issues”. Lokodo did not specify which organisations would be de-registered but said that the list included international and Ugandan group.

“We will tell them to stop operating and they will not have the legal right to practice here”. Lokodo said he submitted the names of the organisations to the internal affairs ministry and hoped they would be de-listed in the near future. “The sooner we can do this the better,” Lokodo added for good measure.

MEA Laureate Kasha is likely to be in the firing line again.

Belarus: continued refusal to cooperate

October 6, 2011

In the ‘series’ crime pays, Belarus is one of the top contenders. On September 30th, 2011 one more HRD, Ukrainian civil society activist Volodymyr Senko, was prevented from crossing the Belarusian state border. He is a member of the All-Ukrainian Youth Public Association “Foundation of Regional Initiatives”. Volodymyr is the 12th representative of the Committee on International Control who has been banned entry to the territory of Belarus.

It should be noted that just the day before, on September 29th, 2011, at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw the Belarusian authorities were once again reminded of the necessity to fulfil the obligations in the field of freedom of movement that they undertook, particularly, not to prevent international human rights observers from entering the territory of Belarus for conducting monitoring of human rights observance. In response to that the representative of the Belarus official delegation de-facto admitted the existence of “black lists” of human rights defenders, who are banned entry to the country, as well as the absence of will of the Belarusian authorities to bring the situation in conformity with the international standards.

The International Observation Mission was created by the Committee on International Control over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus, which brings together representatives of the human rights organisations from the OSCE participating states, as well as international civil society networks and organisations for carrying out monitoring of the general situation with observance of fundamental rights in the Republic of Belarus, as well as the issues of defending human rights defenders and ensuring their professional activities. for more information on this NGO with the rather convoluted name http://hrwatch-by.org/en