Posts Tagged ‘Hague’

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons Statements

August 29, 2013

English: Ban Ki-moon 日本語: 潘基文

The UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon gave the Annual Leiden Freedom Lecture, in the Netherlands, on 28 August 2013 and made a number of strong points relevant to human rights defenders: Read the rest of this entry »

Sri Lanka and the war-time massacres: how ideally the Government should react

March 4, 2013

In one of my posts of last week I referred to the panicked, knee-jerk reaction of the Sri Lankan Government to the showing of the film  No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka  at the UN in Geneva. Now I have come across a much more reasonable and constructive reaction published in the Sri Lankan The Island of 1 march 2013. The whole piece is worth reading; here follow just some excerpts for those pressed for time:

Every time, the United Nations Human Rights Council meets in session or one of the international Human Rights Organizations issues a statement on violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, the government of Sri Lanka gets into a combat mode. Their response follows the rule that attack is the best form of defence. The attack takes the form of personal abuse directed at the human rights defenders; there is no attempt to meet the issues of violations that have been raised. Its apologists and other hangers-on merely follow suit with hysterical outbursts against the United Nations, the international community and the local human rights defenders. None of them seem to care to read the reports released by the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights or by the different human rights organizations. Their criticism of the reports is therefore not informed and raises more issues than clarifying any. Mahinda Samarasinghe [the SL Ambassador] is normally not prone to such hysterical responses; his speech at the current sessions of the UNHRC therefore seems untypical of him.article_image Read the rest of this entry »

Tulip human rights award given in absentia to Dalit leader

January 10, 2013

Dutch newspapers and human rights groups concerned with the Dalits (untouchables) report that the winner of the Dutch Human Rights Tulip of 2012 has been barred from traveling to the Netherlands to receive his award in person on  Wednesday 9 January. Marimuthu Bharathan, a Dalit human rights defender from Tamil Nadu, was refused a passport by the Indian authorities, according to a press release by International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN).This is the second year in a row that the recipient of the Dutch Human Rights award will not be present at the ceremony in The Hague [Last year, Chinese activist Ni Yulan was in custody awaiting trial during the award ceremony.]The  jury of the Tulip has recognised Marimuthu Bharathan as a “tireless champion of better living and working conditions for his country’s Dalits”. Himself a Dalit, he works against caste discrimination by supporting Dalits who as manual scavengers are condemned to clean dry latrines with their bare hands. He also sets up Dalit organisations, campaigns for reforms of the corrupt police system, and fights for compensation and rehabilitation of Dalits who suffer human rights violations. Mr Bharathan’s work as director of the Human Rights Education and Protection Council in Tamil Nadu has put him on a collision course with the state’s authorities who consistently prohibit demonstrations for Dalit rights organised by him and disrupt his work.

According to Indian human rights organisations, this refusal appears to be connected with a false murder charge. “The passport refusal is yet another example of the disenfranchised position of the 200 million Dalits and the defenders of their rights in India. The Indian authorities clearly fail in combating discrimination and exclusion of Dalits and are themselves often the perpetrator of crimes against them. The systemic abuse and torture in police stations is an example of that,” said Gerard Oonk, director of the India Committee of the Netherlands and co-ordinator of the Dalit Network Netherlands.