Posts Tagged ‘coup d’etat’

Hrant Dink Award 2016 to Diyarbakir Bar Association and human rights defender from Malawi

September 26, 2016

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ARMENIANHRANT DINKNEWSWORLD

On 22 September 2016 a ceremony took place for the 8th annual ceremony of the Hrant Dink Award Granted. The laureates of the International Hrant Dink Award are the Diyarbakir Bar Association and Malawian human rights defender Theresa Kachindamoto, who works for children’s right.

Ahmet Insel, Head of the Selection Committee, made the opening speech: “It’s been almost 10 years since Hrant Dink was murdered. Nowadays, we are going through much darker times compared to 2007. The abominable coup attempt was foiled, but the state of law is completely suspended. Tens of thousands innocent people are detained without any legal procedure. Hundreds of journalists, academics, lawyers, teachers, artist and human rights defenders, meaning the usual suspects of the authoritarian regime are arrested, suspended and denied right to travel. We witnessed the arrest of Sebnem Korur Fincanci and Ahmet Altan, whose struggles were granted with Hrant Dink Award. Granted with Hrant Dink Award in 2013, Saturday Mothers (Cumartesi Anneleri) have been staging the longest civil obedience action in Turkish history; its their 600th week of protest. In times like these, the significance of the award increases. We greet the ones who struggle for creating a just and free world without violence.”

Diyarbakir Bar Association Chair Tahir Elçi was murdered on 28 November 2015 in Diyarbakir, while he was making a press statement. Deputy Chair Ahmet Özmen received the award on behalf of the association. Ahmet Özmen said inter alia: “I gratefully commemorate our dear chair Tahir Elçi, who devoted his life to the struggle for peace and freedom and sacrificed his life for this struggle….Tahir Elçi and Hrant Dink are two heroes, two human rights defenders who made history. People will remember them as intellectuals who made efforts for establishing a democratic order for the peoples of Turkey. Their only measure was rightfulness and justice. The ones who ordered their murder thought that their strong legacy will vanish and we won’t be able to follow their lead, but they are wrong.”…“Today, our most important duty and historical responsibility is to preserve and improve the legacies of Tahir Elçi and Hrant Dink. Demanding peace and speaking up for building peace is the only way.” During the ceremony, a video titled “Inspirations” was shown. People and institutions from Turkey and all around the world, who gave people hope about the future with their actions, were featured in the video. There were also people who objected to the coup and defended democracy on July 15.

 

dinkodul3Theresa Kachindamoto is the paramount chief, or Inkosi, of the Dedza District in the central region of Malawi, one of the poorest counties of Africa. For years, she has been working for preventing child marriages and defending their right to education. Becoming the chief of a tribe with 900,000 people, Kachindamoto started to struggle against child marriages, when she saw that half of the girls in the tribe are forced to marry at the ages of 12 or 13. She banned “marriage camps”, where children are abused under the name of sexual education. She managed to convince 50 tribe chiefs to abandon the traditions encouraging child marriage and to annul 850 marriages. Receiving the award from Yildiz Tar on behalf of last year’s laureate KAOS GL and Michèle Marian, Kachindamoto told the story of her struggle: “It wasn’t easy to fight against this problem. For majority of people, this practice was one of the most fundamental traditions of Malawi and encouraged by the society. We had to inform all people about the dangers and consequences of child marriage and abolish the accepted opinion which deems this practice as normal. There is no doubt that I need to push against more of the old ways of thinking to achieve my ultimate goal of removing child marriage from Malawi, and giving all girls and boys the opportunity to complete their education. I am proud of what we have achieved so far, but I am aware that there is still a long way ahead of us. I am grateful to every one who walked this way with me. I hope more people will join us and fight for the rights of Malawian girls. God bless you all.

Source: Hrant Dink Annual Award Granted to Diyarbakir Bar Association and Malawian Activist Theresa Kachindamoto | Armenian News By MassisPost

 

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/turkish-human-rights-defender-ragip-zarakolu-receives-pl-foundation-peace-prize/

Thai journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk about (self)censorship under the junta

June 19, 2015

On 26 May 2015, at the 2015 Oslo Freedom Forum, Thai journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk describes his fight for democracy in his home country following the May 2014 military coup. Talking about his own arrest, Rojanaphruk denounces the limitations to the right to assembly, expression and movement in Thailand, as well as the regime’s efforts to build the illusion of a happy Thailand. Rojanaphruk concludes his presentation by reminding us that tolerance and dialogue are essential if Thailand is to become a democracy again.

for more on Thailand: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/thailand/

OHCHR expresses concern about fate of human rights defenders in Burundi

May 16, 2015

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued the following statement after the failed coup d’etat in Burundi:

“We are very concerned by developments in Burundi over the past two days, and call on all armed forces and non-state actors to refrain from taking actions which may endanger the lives of civilians and to ensure their protection from the effects of conflict. There is a clear risk that the instability may be prolonged, or even made worse, if there are violent reprisals.

We have received reports of numerous attacks on both private and state media with radio and television stations destroyed, endangering the lives of the journalists who were still inside them at the time. We call for a re-opening of all media outlets and the respect of the independence of journalists. There is also an urgent need to ensure the safety of human rights defenders and journalists. To give just one example, one of Burundi’s most prominent human rights defenders, Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa [Laureate of the MEA in 2007 – ed], has had to go into hiding after receiving death threats.

Those who incite or engage in acts of mass violence are liable to be prosecuted by competent judicial bodies, as reflected in the recent statement by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

We are also very concerned that political instability and reports of intimidation of civilians could result in an even greater humanitarian crisis. There is a significant increase of refugees fleeing Burundi to neighbouring countries, with reports of rapidly deteriorating sanitary conditions in some locations where large numbers of refugees have gathered, such as Kagunga in Tanzania.”

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/high-commissioner-leaves-burundi-and-the-repression-goes-up/

via OHCHR PRESS BRIEFING NOTE – (1) South East Asia / migrants boats (2) Burundi (3) International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia » Press releases » News – StarAfrica.com – News – StarAfrica.com.

Thai Junta summons human rights defenders

June 2, 2014

The Asian Human Rights Commission reports that only a few hours ago (around 9 pm) on 1 June 2014, the National Council on Peace and Order Maintenance [NPCO] in Thailand issued Orders No. 42-44/2014 – broadcast on the radio and television – demanding that 38 persons report themselves to the Jamjuree Room at the Army Club on Thewet Road between 10 am and noon. Similar to earlier orders, the penalty for not obeying the summons carries a prison term and a 40,000 baht fine.The list includes a number of human rights defenders, activists, academics, and journalists, such as:

  • Jittra Kotchadet, long-time labour rights activist and human rights defender.
  • Tewarit Maneechay, human rights defender and journalist for the independent media site Prachatai.
  • Suthachai Yimprasert, a historian at Chulalongkorn University, and
  • Kengkij Kitirianglarp, a political scientist at Chiang Mai University; the two academics have consistently acted in support of human rights.
  • Pranee Danwattananusorn, the wife of Surachai Danwattananusorn (a former political prisoner) and who has worked to support the rights of political prisoners and human rights defenders.
  • Karom Phonpornklang, a lawyer who has defended numerous political prisoners.

The full lists can be found in:  THAILAND: Junta summons additional human rights defenders, activists, academics, and journalists — Asian Human Rights Commission.