Posts Tagged ‘BELA (NGO)’

Tang Prize recipients in rule of law category make clear the challenges they face

September 21, 2020

On 21 September 2020 William Yen reported in Taiwan Focus on the Tang Prize 2020. Three NGOs that have won the 2020 Tang Prize for their significant contributions to the rule of law participated on-line in the Tang Prize Masters’ Forum in Rule of Law, organized by the Tang Prize Foundation and National Taiwan University’s College of Law. [see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_Prize]
See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/22/2016-tang-prizes-to-louise-arbour-and-us-sinologist/
They are:
  • The Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA),
  • The Colombian Dejusticia: The Center for Law, Justice and Society, and
  • The Legal Agenda, Lebanon.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of BELA, which promotes environmental justice and works toward sound environmental jurisprudence, said :”Corporate interests often take over public interests and the state loses its entity as a regulator and sides so much with the corporation that you can’t really differentiate which one is the state and which one is the corporation,”. This greatly impacts NGOs, as 430 environmental human rights defenders in Bangladesh were killed last year because they were fighting against mining projects or defending the rights of indigenous communities, Hasan said. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2014/04/27/abu-bakar-siddique-released-but-worries-remain-for-human-rights-defenders-in-bangladesh/Authoritarian regimes are increasingly branding NGOs as foreign agents, enemies of the state and anti-development elements. They are trying to criminalize our entity and our functioning, they are trying to seize powers so they can assess our performances and delicense us if we go against their developmental narratives,” Hasan said.

Rodrigo Uprimny Yepes, co-founder of Dejusticia, which aims to strengthen the rule of law on issues such as discrimination against race and gender, said the challenges his organization, like many other NGOs will face in the future, will be the question of how to obtain financial sustainability without losing independence.

Samer Ghamroun, co-founder and current board member of The Legal Agenda, which focuses on promoting the independence of the judiciary and defending the rights of vulnerable groups, said that while religious equality is guaranteed in Lebanon, many other individual rights are sacrificed. “So religious equality coexists with social economic inequalities, huge social economical inquiries and lack of respect for individual rights,” Ghamroun said.

Yeh Jiunn-rong a professor at National Taiwan University, chair of the Tang Prize selection committee for the rule of law and moderator of the forum, expressed his gratitude for the organizations in sharing with Taiwan and the world their activisms and values. “Thank you very much to the representatives of these three laureates for the 2020 Tang Prize for Rule of Law,”.

Abu Bakar Siddique released but worries remain for human rights defenders in Bangladesh

April 27, 2014

While the world received with great satisfaction the announcement of Bangladeshi human rights defender Adilur as Final Nominee of the MEA, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture and the International Federation for Human Rights, draws attention to the strange and disquieting case of Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique, the husband of Ms. Rizwana Hasan, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyer’s Association BELA. He had been abducted on 16 April by unidentified men while traveling to Dhaka from Narayanganj by car. The vehicle with the unidentified men hit Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique’s car in Fatulla. When Mr. Siddique and the driver of his car exited the car, the unidentified men sprayed something into the driver’s eyes, and took Mr. Siddique away. On April 17, 2014 – about 33 hours after his abduction – Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique was left by his abductors blindfolded in Mirpur. Read the rest of this entry »