Posts Tagged ‘defenders of human rights’

Also in USA helping migrants is criminalised: Scot Warren in court on 29 May 2019

May 29, 2019

Not just in Italy [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/05/15/european-governments-should-stop-treating-solidarity-and-compassion-as-a-crime/]. Front LIne Defenders on 28 May 2019 reports that in the United States Scott Warren is facing 20-year prison sentence for “harbouring” migrants.

On 29 May 2019, Scott Warren is due to face a felony trial at the District Court for the District of Arizona. The human rights defender is charged with two counts of “harbouring” migrants in Ajo, Arizona, and one count of “conspiracy to transport and harbour” migrants. If found guilty, he might be sentenced to up to 20 years of imprisonment.

Dr. Scott Warren [https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/scott-warren] is a human rights defender working on migration issues in Ajo, Arizona. For over ten years, he has provided humanitarian aid to migrants and asylum seekers who attempt crossing the United States – Mexico border through the Sonora desert. He helped establish the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths or No Más Muertes which provides water and medical aid on migration routes, and documents the deaths of migrants in the desert.

On 29 May 2019 at 9:30am, Scott Warren is due to be tried at the District Court for the District of Arizona for two counts of “harbouring” migrants and one count of “conspiracy to transport and harbour” migrants. On 21 May 2019, the judge assigned to the case rejected a motion to dismiss the indictment. Scott Warren’s lawyers argued that his arrest “arose from selective enforcement of the laws by the Border Patrol” and that he was being targeted specifically for his work in defence of migrants’ rights.

On 17 January 2018, Scott Warren was arrested at a volunteer gathering point known as the “Barn”, located in Ajo, by a convoy of U.S. Border Patrol agents from a specialised anti-smuggling unit. The agents were wearing plain clothes and did not present the human rights defender with a warrant. Earlier on that day, No More Deaths had published a report denouncing the involvement of Border Patrol officers in the destruction of water gallons left by volunteers for migrants crossing the desert. After the publication of the report, Scott Warren gathered evidence of surveillance activities carried out against him by the U.S. Border Patrol.

The arrest of Scott Warren represents an escalation of existing patterns of harassment against humanitarian volunteers and human rights defenders in Arizona. In 2018, officers of the Fish and Wildlife Services cited Scott Warren and other volunteers of No More Deaths for entering the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most deadly migrant corridors along the Mexico-US border, to provide life-saving aid, including water, food and medical supplies, to migrants crossing the desert.

…..
On recent country visits, Front Line Defenders found that defamation and criminalisation of humanitarian activity is increasing along the migrant caravan routes. Human rights defenders in Mexico and the United States have been detained, harassed and criminalised for the provision of humanitarian aid, including distributing food, water and medical supplies, and operating emergency shelters for migrant families. Moreover, the authorities in the United States have increased efforts towards the criminalisation of all forms of immigration, including through coordinated action with other states in the region.

Front Line Defenders condemns the criminalisation of Scott Warren, as it is believed to be directly motivated by his humanitarian work assisting migrants and documenting their deaths. Front Line Defenders is further concerned about the increased use of the judiciary to target human rights defenders and organisations who assist migrants at the United States – Mexico border, including by selective enforcement of the law.

See latest: https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/press-release/human-rights-first-statement-new-trial-against-arizona-human-rights-defender

Conclusions of Side Event on Reprisals against Human Rights Defenders

October 14, 2013

To launch its new In-Brief on reprisals against human rights defenders, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights organized a side event at the 24th Session of the Human Rights Council. The round table discussion was presided by Prof. Andrew Clapham  The main Conclusions are: Read the rest of this entry »

Malala Receives another award: the RAW – Anna Politkovskaya Award

October 5, 2013

Malala Yousafzai has been declared the winner of an award for female defenders of human rights in war and conflict. The 16-year-old from Pakistan was due to accept the 2013 RAW in WAR Reach All Women in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award at a London-based ceremony on 4 October. The award is named after Politkovskaya, a Russian human rights journalist and outspoken government critic, who was murdered in October 2006 – and whose assassin has still not been brought to justice. Named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in April 2013, Malala began blogging for the BBC in 2009 about her life in Pakistan’s Swat Valley region and her desire to attend school freely and safely, reported the BBC. Her increasingly public profile led to her being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman on her way home from school in October last year. She was then flown to the U.K. for treatment and currently lives in Birmingham, where she continues to campaign for education for girls and boys.

via Malala Yousafzai Receives Women’s Human Rights Award | TIME.com.