Posts Tagged ‘Denmark’

Bahrain practices hospitality for Formula One: stuck in airport

April 5, 2018

Human rights defender Brian Dooley and Danish MP Rasmussen were not only refused entry into Bahrain but kept in the airport without a passport, reports the Irish Independent on 4 April 2018.

Brian Dooley has been held alongside Danish MP Lars Aslan Rasmussen for more than 12 hours in Bahrain International Airport after they travelled there to visit jailed Bahraini-Danish human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a prominent pro-democracy campaigner in Bahrain, who founded the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and worked  for the Dublin-based group Front Line Defenders. He received a life sentence in April 2011 for charges of terrorism and attempting to overthrow the government.

Brian Dooley is in Bahrain alongside Danish MP Lars Aslan Rasmussen (L)
Brian Dooley in Bahrain alongside Danish MP Lars Aslan Rasmussen (L)

Mr Dooley, who is from Dingle in Co Kerry and is now based in the UK, told Independent.ie: “Formula One fans planning to arrive this week should know what they’re getting into. Bahrain has become an out and out police state.” See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/11/30/closing-civil-society-space-a-euphemism-for-killing-human-rights-defenders/

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/irish-human-rights-campaigner-refused-entry-to-bahrain-36774371.html

 

“RightDocs” the information gateway for official documentation of HRC35

June 7, 2017

 

HURIDOCS developed RightDocs to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of these resources for human rights advocates and others around the world, as well as to support the transparency and accountability of the Human Rights Council. With the 35th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, it has updated the information on RightDocs with the most recent final Council resolutions and reports – now including all past sessions other than HRC34. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/03/07/human-rights-resolutions-count-at-rightdocs/]

RightDocs is the complete, searchable, and filterable collection of official Human Rights Council resolutions, amendments, presidential statements, decisions and reports. This platform allows users to:

  • Search full-text resolutions, amendments and reports
  • Filter by topic, agenda item, session, (co)sponsor States, voting results and dates
  • Discover voting patterns on topics over time, and compare those patterns
  • Identify prospective co-sponsors or supporters to approach

To access the RightDocs site, go to: www.right-docs.org 

Developed by HURIDOCS and Ketse with generous support from Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN in Geneva.

Source: [RightDocs] Your information gateway for HRC35

“Breaking the Silence” received Danish Poul Lauritzen award

March 2, 2017

The banquet hall at the National Museum in Copenhagen played host to the presentation of the PL Foundation Freedom Award on 12 December 2016, an annual prize given in honour of a Danish resistance fighter that recognises the exercise of human rights in an extraordinary manner. The winner was Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organisation that collects and shares testimonies (some anonymous) from soldiers who have served in the West Bank and Gaza – over a thousand at the last count. “Breaking the Silence shows great personal courage to talk about their own experience in the West Bank” commented the PL Foundation, named after the Danish resistance fighter Poul Lauritzen. Previous winners include Turkish publisher Ragıp Zarakolu and Turkish playwright Ali Tuygan. One of Breaking the Silence’s co founders, Yehuda Shaul, 33, along with spokesperson Achiya Schatz, appeared in person to receive the award, which included a prize of 100,000 kroner, from Poul Søgaard, a leading judge at the Supreme Court.

Founded in 2004, Breaking the Silence initially published the testimonies of the soldiers in an art gallery in Tel Aviv. Today, it publishes them in booklets and articles and shares them in lectures and guided tours of cities like Hebron in the West Bank.

israel1
Achiya Schatz in front of the testimonies at the Breaking the Silence office in Tel Aviv. (all photos: Cornelia Mikaelsson)

Banned by the Israeli authorities from speaking to soldiers or schoolchildren, Breaking the Silence has been accused of spreading mistruths and of betraying the Israeli military. Threats are an occupational hazard. “To remain silent is no longer an option,” explains Achiya Schatz, 31, who did his national service in the Israeli army from 2005-08. Schatz recalls that many of his missions to search Palestinian residences were pointless – commanding officers would throw away the gathered intelligence without reading it. “After completing my service I got time to think. One question led to another and all of a sudden I asked myself: how can you ever occupy morally?”
Over half of Breaking the Silence’s funding comes from abroad (7 million kroner in 2014 alone) and one of its biggest supporters is Danish – Dan Church Aid, the humanitarian NGO. And this has led to extra suspicion in Israel. Earlier this year, the Israeli government passed a transparency bill forcing NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign sources to declare them openly. Those who voted for the bill claimed that it served a democratic purpose. Critics, however, argued that it only was an attempt to target NGOs critical of Israel’s governmental policies. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wrote a statement on his Facebook page, claiming that the bill aims to “prevent an absurd situation, in which foreign states meddle in Israel’s internal affairs by funding NGOs, without the Israeli public being aware of it”. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/01/05/michael-sfardjan-israels-human-rights-activists-arent-traitors/]

israel3
Ido Even-Paz, one of the guides on the Breaking the Silence tour of Hebron

Source: Former Israeli soldiers pick up Danish freedom award in Copenhagen – The Post

HURIDOCS launches RightDoc to improve access to UN human rights documents

February 25, 2016

huridocs-signature-logo launches its new RightDocs tool with a Demo on 29 February 2016, from 18:00-19:30 in the Palais des Nations, Delegates Restaurant, Geneva.

RightDocs is a new tool to search, sort, filter, and discover resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council online and public.

 

The RightDocs tool is supported by the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN in Geneva.  Read the rest of this entry »

Turkish human rights defender Ragip Zarakolu receives PL Foundation Peace Prize

December 17, 2015

 On December 10 Turkish publisher, human rights defender Ragip Zarakolu was awarded PL (Paul Lauritzen) Foundation Peace Prize for his extraordinary efforts in the areas of freedom of thought and expression. Zarakolu is an author of a number of works on Armenian Genocide. The prize amounting to 100.000 Danish krone is awarded to organizations and people who struggle for democracy without resorting to violence within the scope of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. [Ragıp Zarakolu was born in 1948 on Heybeliada, in İstanbul. He started publishing with his wife, Ayşe Nur Zarakolu in 1977. He never abandoned his struggle for “popularizing respect for different ideas and cultures in Turkey” despite pressures, his books being seized or destroyed, heavy fines and being sent to prison. Zarakolu serving as the President of Publishers’ Union of Turkey Committee of Free Publishing has worked on Kurdish question and condition of minorities in Turkey. Zarakolu lastly was arrested together with his son Deniz Zarakolu within the scope of Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) case in 2011. He remained in prison until April 2012. (EA/TK)]

President of the PL Foundation Paul Sogaard noted in his opening remarks that Ragip Zarakolu was chosen as a recipient of the prize for his long struggle for the freedom of thought and human rights, as well as for his efforts targeted at raising awareness about the Armenian Genocide committed at the hands of the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago. Zarakolu said, in turn, he dedicates the award to the memory of Hrant Dink, the slain editor-in-chief of the Turkish Armenian Agos weekly, and Armenian linguist and architect Sevan Nisanyan, who’s currently serving a term in Turkey. He urged to do the utmost to speak out against and condemn the radical intolerance in Turkey and contribute to the release of detained intellectuals.

 

Sources:

http://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/169901-ragip-zarakolu-receives-pl-foundation-peace-prize

Ragip Zarakolu receives PL Foundation Peace Prize, criticizes radical intolerance in Turkey | Public Radio of Armenia

Deportation of Human Rights Defenders: two European cases next to each other

September 1, 2015

Just two cases (unrelated) to show how media report differently (or not at all):

Antifascists hold an action protesting public events held on the occasion of the day of memory of the Latvian Legion Waffen-SS at the Freedom Monument in Riga
© SPUTNIK/ ILYA PITALEV Anti-Nazi Activism Now Seen As ‘National Security Threat’ in Lithuania

On 1 September Sputnik reports under the title “Moscow slammed Vilnius for persecution of human rights defenders” how Moscow is concerned about Lithuanian authorities’ recent decision to deport three rights activists. “Lithuanian authorities handed over decisions to three well-known Latvian human rights activists that they had to leave the country within 24 hours, with two being banned entry for five years,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “This shameless move by Lithuanian authorities, which can only be interpreted as persecution of human right defenders, causes serious concern.

Source: Russia Criticizes Lithuania’s ‘Shameless’ Deportation of Rights Activists

Then I remembered an old case from a Danish newspaper of 21 May 2015 which read: “Russia moves to deport Danish activist group“.

It said that 3 members of a Danish human rights group faced possible deportation after being accused of breaching immigration rules. The Danish, German and Latvian citizens were participating in a workshop jointly organized by the prominent Russian rights group Committee Against Torture and the Danish Institute Against Torture (Dignity). Migration officials had stormed the hotel venue in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia’s fifth-biggest city, and demanded that the foreigners accompany them for questioning. A court in Nizhny ruled that German lecturer Uwe Harlacher, a psychologist, had entered the country with the wrong visa, said the head of the Committee Against Torture, Igor Kalyapin.
[Last year, four American students were deported after attending a leadership conference. Russian officials said they had tourist visas but were not engaged in tourism.]

Not enough detail in any of these cases to judge definitely who is right and wrong, but interesting to note how authorities like to play with rules which suit them.

World’s largest collection of documents on torture still a well-kept secret

November 20, 2014

The DIGNITY Documentation Centre and Library near Copenhagen holds the world’s most extensive collection of published documents on torture and related subjects with more than 40,000 items, ranging from books and articles to journals and images. See:

 

World’s largest collection of documents on torture still a well-kept secret.

Bahrain sets October 1 trial date for Maryam al-Khawaja

September 20, 2014

Bahraini human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja (R), sister of jailed activist Maryam al-Khawaja, lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi (2-R) and Zainab's husband Wafi al-Majed (2-L), near the Bahrain court building in Manama on September 6, 2014

Bahraini human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja (R), sister of jailed activist Maryam al-Khawaja, lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi (2-R) and Zainab’s husband Wafi al-Majed (2-L), near the Bahrain court building in Manama on September 6, 2014

AFP reports from Dubai that Bahraini human rights defender Maryam al-Khawaja is to stand trial from October 1 charged with assaulting a police officer. Her lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi told AFP the prosecutor general had also decided to extend her custody pending the trial. A conviction could carry a five-year prison sentence, he said. Khawaja, a director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights who also has Danish nationality, was arrested after arriving at Manama airport on August 30.

via Bahrain sets October 1 trial date for key activist – Yahoo News.

for previous posts: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/maryam-al-khawaja/

Bahrain: Travails of a Family of Human Rights Defenders

September 12, 2014

On Tuesday, 16 September, Maryam Al Khawaja, the Bahraini human rights defender will return to court for her second hearing on charges of assaulting a police officer, which she denies. It’s now been nearly two weeks since Maryam was arrested at the airport following her return to Bahrain to visit her father. She was initially detained for seven days, but over the weekend a Bahraini judge ruled to extend her detention by an additional 10 days. This is a good occasion to draw your attention to a long but fascinating piece by Lawrence Weschler on Truthdig of 11 September 2014. Under the title “Terrorizing a Family of Human Rights Champions” he describes in detail what happened to the remarkable al-Khawaja family of democratic non-violent human rights defenders [it is rumored that for the first time a family as such was considered for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize].  Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Defender Maryam Al Khawaja stopped at Bahrain airport; may appear in court tomorrow

September 1, 2014

HRF logo today (1 September 2014) expressed fears for leading human rights defender Maryam Al Khawaja, who landed at Bahrain airport last night on a visit home and has been held by Bahraini authorities. Reports state that al Khawaja, a Danish citizen, was immediately detained and will be held at the airport until tomorrow. Bahrain is consistently revealing itself as a place where voices on human rights are not welcome,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “In the last two months, a U.S. diplomat, a member of Congress, and the NGO Human Rights First have either been kicked out of or not allowed into the country. Now Maryam has been taken into custody and will appear in court tomorrow after trying to visit her family, including her father who is on hunger strike in prison there. Lets hope the United States, United Kingdom, and other governments  will respond to whats happening to her with more than just an awkward silence.

For more information please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at bowsersoderb[at]humanrightsfirst.org.

via Leading Bahrain Human Rights Defender Stopped at Airport, May Appear in Court Tomorrow | Human Rights First.