Posts Tagged ‘destruction’

Destruction of cultural heritage is also an attack on human rights defenders

October 31, 2016

When cultural heritage is under attack, it is also the people and their fundamental human rights that are under attack, a United Nations expert warned the UN General Assembly, issuing an urgent call to step up international action against the destruction of heritage such as monuments, historic sites and sacred places, reports Just Earth News on 28 October 2016.

Destruction of cultural heritage is an attack on people and their fundamental rights – UN expert
 Destruction of cultural heritage is an attack on people and their fundamental rights – UNESCO
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Syria are all in our minds on Thursday, but many more countries are to be added to this list, where acts of intentional destruction harm all, target free thinkers and disproportionately affect people belonging to minorities,” the UN Special Rapporteur on cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, stressed in her briefing to the General Assembly’s Third Committee.

According to Special Rapporteur, in order to protect cultural heritage, including precious monuments, sites and sacred places, the first step that has to be taken is protecting human rights and people. “Destruction is often accompanied by other grave assaults on human dignity and human rights. We must care not only about the destruction of heritage, but also about the destruction of the lives of human beings. They are interrelated,” Bennoune stated…

…At the end of her report, the Special Rapporteur paid tribute to all those who had sacrificed their lives to preserve world’s cultural heritage. “In many cases we must consider cultural heritage professionals on the frontlines of the struggle against destruction as human rights defenders,” Bennoune stated, adding that it is vital that we ensure their safety and security, grant them asylum, and create necessary work conditions for them.

Source: Destruction of cultural heritage is an attack on people and their fundamental rights – UN expert | Indiablooms – First Portal on Digital News Management

Example of harassment from Cameroon reads like a film scenario

April 1, 2014

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedOn 28 March 2014, human rights defender Mr Musa Usman Ndamba, a defender of the rights of the Mbororo community in Cameroon, appeared before the Bamenda Court of First Instance, and the trial was once again adjourned to the 23rd of May 2014. The trial of 28 March 2014 was the eighth such hearing in an ongoing trial against Musa Usman Ndamba led by a local wealthy landowner, Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, who has never attended any of the hearings. Meanwhile, two other defenders of the rights of the Mbororo, Messrs Abdulkarim Shehu and Mallam Yunusa are in detention whilst an arrest warrant has been issued for human rights defender Mr Fon Christopher Achobang. Musa Usman Ndamba is the Vice-President of Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association (MBOSCUDA). Abdulkarim Shehu is a male nurse and social development worker, as well as founder and co-ordinator of the Angel of Hope Foundation, a health centre that caters for people with disabilities. Mallam Yunusa is an organiser of the Mbororo community of Banjah. Fon Christopher Achobang is a land rights campaigner and journalist sympathetic to the plight of the Mbororo.

Members of the community and their defenders have long been facing severe judicial and other harassment owing to disputes over their land.  ……On 19 March 2014, authorities of the Catholic Church, led by a representative of the Archbishop of the Bamenda Archdiocese, directed a group of hired militias with a bulldozer to demolish the homes of the Mbororo in the Ndzah village. The community mobilised and stopped the demolition from taking place. However, during the stand-off both the representative of the Archbishop and Fon Christopher Achobang were injured. After the incident, at which he was not present, Abdulkarim Shehu reportedly took members of the police to the site to show them what had happened. Fon Christopher Achobang was forced to go into hiding after threats on his life following the incident. According to lawyers for the Mbororo Banjah community, the invasion took place in spite of a court case pending in the Bamenda Administrative Court with a Stay of Execution of the Order on the now disputed land, as a contested eviction notice had been issued the week before. Additionally, despite having been alerted to the impending invasion, government officials did nothing to stop it from going ahead, in complete violation of the law and the legal rights of the Mbororo community.

Front Line Defenders issued a previous urgent appeal regarding the ongoing judicial harassment against MBOSCUDA and Musa Usman Ndamba on 14 May 2013, while  the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders also sent a communication to the Cameroonian government regarding the same.

Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights reports two human rights defenders kidnapped in Nablus

February 26, 2014

On 25 February 2014 the International Middle East Media Centre [IMEMC] carries a report from the Palestinian Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights (SFHR) that Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Tuesday its lawyer and its researcher, after the army violently invaded their homes in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The lawyer is Fares Riyad Abu al-Hasan and the researcher Ahmad Hamed al-Beetawy. The NGO said dozens of soldiers invaded the home of Abu al-Hasan, in the Rojeeb Housing Projects area, east of Nablus, and kidnapped him after violently searching his home causing property damage. The soldiers detonated the door of Abu al-Hasan’s home, invading the place and terrifying the family. They also interrogated Abu al-Hasan’s father for more than an hour, and confiscated documents and files. Abu al-Hasan was moved to the Petah Tikva interrogation facility. The  soldiers also detonated the front door of the home of Ahmad al-Beetawy, and invaded the property in the Dahia area, south of Nablus, searched it for more than an hour and kidnapped him.

The foundation said that the soldiers also invaded its office in al-Isra’ building, in the center of Nablus city, and confiscated computers and files after violently searching the property.

via Two Palestinian Human Rights Defenders Kidnapped In Nablus – International Middle East Media Center.