Posts Tagged ‘Criminal Investigation Department’

State media in Sri Lanka lead attacks on Human Rights Defenders

June 4, 2013

According to a statement from the Federation of Media Employees Trade Unions forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on 4 June there is an ongoing attack in Sri Lanka on Human Rights Defenders, NGOs & opposition politicians through the Independent Television Network (ITN). The statement give concrete and detailed indications to show that ITN – in spite of its name – has continued to follow the government line and started a fresh round of attacks in May this year. Read the rest of this entry »

HRD George Reginald Freeman attacked and threatened in Sierra Leone

May 24, 2013

On 22 May 2013 human rights defender George Reginald Freeman was driving to a guest house when he was intercepted by two unknown assailants on motorbikes. One of the men threw a stone through his car window and Freeman was  badly beaten as he attempted to escape. The assailants also robbed valuables from his car after he escaped. George Reginald Freeman is the director of Pride Equality, an organisation which works on LGBTI rights in Sierra LeoneFrontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped Read the rest of this entry »

Human rights defender Abdullah Fairouz arrested in Kuwait for insulting the judiciary via Twitter

April 15, 2013

On 9 April 2013, the Criminal Investigation Department in Kuwait detained human rights defender Mr Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - croppedAbdullah Fairouz on charges of insulting the judiciary using social media. The Prosecution Office has ordered ten days of detention pending interrogation on the charges. Abdullah Fairouz is a prominent Kuwaiti human rights defender and writer who has worked for several years on the rights of the Bedoun (citizens without identity cards or any prove of their citizenship). The human rights defender is also a member of the Bedoun Committee at the Kuwait Society for Human Rights.  Hours after the disappearance of the human rights defender, it was confirmed that he had been detained at the Criminal Investigation Department after a judge ordered his arrest on accusations of insulting the judiciary by publishing tweets and blog posts. The human rights defender had been criticising the issue of a default judgement against Dr Obaid Al Wasmi and Saud Asfour. The defendants had not been notified of their hearing date and the judgement was issued without their knowledge.  A request to visit the human rights defender by Mr Khalid Al-Hamidi, director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, was rejected by the Criminal Investigation Department without motive.

Front Line Defenders believes that the detention of  Abdullah Fairouz is solely motivated by his peaceful and legitimate human rights work, and views this act as part of an ongoing campaign of judicial harassment against human rights defenders in Kuwait.

Somalian radio journalist and human rights defender Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim sentenced to one year in prison

February 7, 2013

With in mind that 13 February will be World Radio Day I report via Front Line that on 5 February 2013, human rights defender, Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim, also known as Koronto, was sentenced to one year in prison following an attempt to investigate the case of a woman who claimed to have been raped by state security forces. Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim is a radio journalist working for two private radio stations, Radio Dalsan and Radio Ergo, both broadcasting from Mogadishu.

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - croppedThe trial of Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim opened on 2 February 2013, approximately three weeks following his arrest and detention by police officers of the local Central Investigation Department (CID). During the hearing, the prosecution alleged that Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim fabricated the reported rape in a news story and intended, by so doing, to insult a state institution. The human rights defender was tried under Islamic Sharia law. Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim was also accused of entering a house without consent from the owner. The human rights defender had reportedly gone to the house of the reported rape victim to conduct an interview with her. In closing the case on the morning of 5 February, the prosecution accused Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim of distributing false information to various media outlets causing prejudice to the public trust of Somali security forces. On the same day, the court handed down its decision, convicting the journalist to one year in prison. Journalists and human rights defenders who observed the trial report gross due process irregularities as the trial was dominated by the prosecution and the accused journalist was not afforded sufficient opportunity to defend himself. Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim’s lawyer has announced his intention to appeal the conviction.

On 15 January, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) had released a public statement requesting that Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim be immediately and unconditionally released and expressing concern over reports that some members of the police were putting pressure on the reported rape victim to retract her story.

Harassment and illegal arrest of HRD in Sri Lanka – backlash against testimony in the UN

November 30, 2012

Today Front Line Defenders reports the case of  arbitrary arrest of human rights defender Mr Sanjeewa Samarasinghe in Sri Lanka.

On 27 November 2012, human rights defender Mr Sanjeewa Samarasinghe was taken into custody by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and questioned for 13 hours without a reason given or a lawyer present, before being released. Sanjeewa Samarasinghe is a journalist and the chairman of the State Media Workers’ Association, which defends press freedom and the rights of media workers in Sri Lanka. The human rights defender was taken to the CID office in Colombo 1 with a friend present, although his friend was told to leave the interrogation after 15 minutes. The defender asked the police officers to wait for his lawyer to arrive before questioning him, but this request was ignored and the police proceeded to question him in the absence of his lawyer. The defender’s lawyer was not permitted to enter the CID premises for the entire duration of the interrogation. It is reported that Sanjeewa Samarasinghe was subsequently questioned throughout the night for a period of 13 hours until he was eventually released around 9.30am the following morning on 28 November. Although no reason was given for the arrest, he was reportedly asked during the questioning whether he had been supplying information on human rights violations in Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Sanjeewa Samarasinghe works as a journalist and leads the State Media Workers’ Association, which works on issues related to media freedom, the right to freedom of expression, and which holds conferences, campaigns, and demonstrations on the rights of media workers.

It would seem another case of backlash against those HRDs who testify in the UN on which I reported previously and which has been condemned in the strongest terms by the United Nations.