Posts Tagged ‘final nominees 2013’

Pillay criticizes new anti-demonstration law in Egypt and …Mona Seif is arrested

November 27, 2013

(High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. UN Photo/Sarah Fretwell)

 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, had hardly pronounced herself on the new ‘demonstrations law’ in Egypt, issued on Sunday, and a number of high-profile demonstrators was arrested. Yesterday Mona Seif, the MEA Nominee of 2013, and a group of other human rights defenders were arrested when they were protesting in-front of the Shura Council against the suggested constitutional article that guarantees the continues referral of civilians to military trials. Observers believe that the authorities want to send a message in the context of the new law referred to above. Read the rest of this entry »

Russia pursues its policy of labeling human rights defenders as ‘foreign agents’

April 26, 2013

In spite of protests by many NGOs and Governments around the world (including earlier posts in this blog), Russia seems bent on pursuing its idea of requiring all organisations which receive foreign funding and are engaged in political activity to register as ‘foreign agents’ [‘Foreign Agents’ Law of 21 November 2012] . After the passing of the law, GOLOS, Memorial and the Joint Mobile Group (just made the Final Nominee of the MEA 2013) and many other organisations declared that out of principle they would not register as ‘foreign agent’.

Yesterday, 25 April 2013, the Russian election watchdog GOLOS became the first NGO to be fined. The decision was taken by the Presnensky Court of Moscow. GOLOS is a Russian non-profit organisation which was founded in 2000 for the protection of voters’ rights and the development of civil society.  The court found that GOLOS had been receiving foreign funding, thereby implying that it considered the 2012 Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award  as such, despite testimony given by a representative of Norwegian Helsinki Committee who confirmed that GOLOS actually refused to receive the 7700$. The court also found that the advocacy work of GOLOS aimed at the introduction of amendments to the Electoral Code constitute ‘political activity’. The law does not define political activity, the precise definition of which depends on state officials’ interpretation.  The court ruled that GOLOS and its executive director Lilya Shibanova failed to comply with the obligation to register as a ‘foreign agent’ and fined them 300,000 roubles (approximately €7500) and 100,000 roubles (approximately €2500) respectively. They intend to appeal the decision.

And on 24 April Front Line Defenders reported that the Russian NGO ‘Man and the Law’ has been warned under the same Foreign Agents Law. Man and the Law, which is based in the Mari-El Republic in Russia, received a warning from the local Prosecutor’s Office re ‘political activity’, evidence for which has allegedly been found in their Charter and on their website.  Man and the Law is a local non-governmental organisation which monitors local officials’ and civil servants’ compliance with human rights standards. The NGO also works on prisoners’ rights and monitors detention facilities and organises seminars and workshops for local officials, especially from the Federal Penitentiary Service. The warning also states that the latest inspection of the organisation revealed foreign sources of funding, in which case Man and the Law should have registered as a foreign agent.Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

Related articles

Breaking News: Final Nominees Martin Ennals Award 2013 made public

April 24, 2013

The Martin Ennals Jury just announced today (at 11h00 local time) the three Final Nominees for the Martin Ennals Award 2013. The MEA is the main award of the whole human rights movement thanks to its international Jury composed of 10 well-known human rights organisations (see below). The aim of the award is to provide protective publicity.  The Final Nominees are:

Mona Seif, Egypt - Final Nominee MEA 2013

Mona Seif, Egypt – Final Nominee MEA 2013

Mona Seif, Egypt: Core founder of the ”No To Military Trials for Civilians”, a grassroots initiative which is trying to stop military trials for civilians. Since February 2011, Mona has brought together activists, lawyers, victims’ families,local stakeholders and started a nationwide movement against military trials.  As part of the recent crackdown on the freedom of speech in Egypt she has been charged along with other Human Rights activists. She noted that “International solidarity, and I mean people’s support not governments’, empowers us to continue our battle and stop military trials for civilians“.
JMG final nominee MEA 2013

Read the rest of this entry »