Posts Tagged ‘Frank LaRue’

Ban Ki-Moon calls civil society “an indispensable part of the United Nations”

March 27, 2014

Civil society actors must be able to do their work freely, independently, safe from fear, retaliation or intimidation. This requires collective action to denounce reprisals and defend free voices and protect those targeted,” said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, referring to civil society as “an indispensable part of the United Nations”. “We must expand the space for civil society to meaningfully participate and contribute,” he added in a video statement screened at a discussion on the promotion and protection of civil society space, in the context of the Human Rights Council’s 25th session.humanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen

Civil society actors around the world face risks ranging from threats and intimidation to horrible reprisals, even killings”, said UN Human Rights Deputy, Flavia Pansieri at a discussion on the promotion and protection of civil society space. “From the NGO who is prohibited from receiving funding to the whistle-blower who is imprisoned for revealing corruption… we must work to protect civil society from such practices,” she said.

Hina Jilani, Read the rest of this entry »

UN alarmed by reprisals against Chinese activists

October 16, 2013

A group of United Nations experts has expressed serious concern at reports that Chinese human rights defenders have suffered reprisals for seeking to participate in a major UN human rights assessment of China. Read the rest of this entry »

UN Rapporteurs call for end to persecution of human rights defenders in Bahrain

August 23, 2012

It is not often that three different UN Rapporteurs jointly take such a strong position on a particular country, but in the case of Bahrain that is exactly what happened today 23 August 2012:

A group of independent United Nations experts today voiced serious concerns about the “campaign of persecution” by the Bahraini authorities against those working to promote human rights in the country, and called for the prompt release of a prominent human rights defender recently sentenced to three years imprisonment.“It is time for the Bahraini authorities to comply with the rights to peaceful assembly and expression and immediately release those arbitrarily detained for exercising their legitimate freedoms,” the experts said in a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).They also called for the immediate release of human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, who was convicted on three charges of illegal assembly related to his participation in peaceful gatherings in favour of fundamental freedoms and democracy, including a peaceful protest to denounce the detention of fellow defender Abdulhadi Al Khawaja. Mr. Rajab was recently sentenced to three years imprisonment. The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights is one of the nominees for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders to be decided on 2 October in Geneva. Mr. Rajab is also currently serving three months imprisonment for alleged libel through a social networking site. After a series of postponements, a decision by Bahrain’s Higher Appeal Court on that sentence is reportedly due to be announced today, but this will not make much difference of his 3-year sentence referred to above.

“The sentencing of Nabeel Rajab represents yet another blatant attempt by the Government of Bahrain to silence those legitimately working to promote basic human rights,” said the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya. “The Bahraini Government must immediately cease its campaign of persecution of human rights defenders in the country”.

The Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, stressed that “the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly should not be subject to prior authorization from the authorities.” He noted that the criminalization of people participating in peaceful assemblies for the sole reason that they did not seek the approval of the authorities to hold such assemblies contradicts international human rights law.

“The continuing repression of free speech in Bahrain runs counter to international law and standards that individuals will not be prosecuted for peaceful political speech,” said the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue. He added, “The authorities must take all measures to guarantee the free expression of all individuals in Bahrain, whether through social media or otherwise.”

for the full text: Independent UN experts call for end to persecution of rights defenders in Bahrain.