Posts Tagged ‘HRD’

Armenian HRD says: Hospitals charge extra sums from parents

August 1, 2013

Here an example of what an ‘official’ human rights defender (the Armenian Ombudsman with the somewhat confusing title HRD)  can do in the area of social rights:

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender (HRD) issued a statement saying that the HRD has already examined omissions in the State Child Health Certificate Program in his previous annual report. Under the program children under the age of 7 shall receive free medical care. Yet parents, while having the necessary documents for free health care, often have to pay extra money to some doctors. “A year has passed since the problem was raised, but there has been no progress. Moreover, the Defender continues receiving complaints about such violations, especially complaints about Austrian Mother and Child Hospital of Gyumri CJSC. The Defender officially informed the Health Minister about it, but he has not received any definite answer about whether those guilty were held accountable or not. The Human Rights Defender, Karen Andreasian, calls upon citizens to apply to the HRD Staff in case of encountering such a problem.

via HRD: Hospitals charge extra sums from parents – – Hot news from Armenia.


Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, does interview with Protection International.

January 13, 2012


United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

Image via Wikipedia

On the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders (HRDs) on December last year Protection International issued a video interview with the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Ms Margaret Sekaggya. In 1998, after 14 years of negotiations with governments and under continuous pressure of human rights NGOs, the international community finally recognized the need of human rights defenders for a better protection. To support the implementation of the Declaration, the UN created a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, at present Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya.
The interview can be seen on:, in which Ms Sekaggya explains her motivations for promoting defenders rights, the difficulties defenders are currently facing and how they can rely on her mandate.
For more information on Protection International

HRDs and other democracy proponents in Pakistan under threat

January 9, 2012
English: Asma Jahangir, shortly after being aw...

Image via Wikipedia

ISLAMABAD: Dozens of prominent writers, doctors, intellectuals, lawyers from Pakistan and around the world have endorsed a statement expressing “grave concern” at the threats to “Pakistani human rights defenders for their stance in the ‘memogate’ case” and “at the danger this crisis poses to Pakistan’s democratic political process that had taken a step forward with the elections of 2008”. Over a hundred endorsements from around the world came in within hours of the statement put up online on Jan 4, 2012, at

The statement says that allowing the elected civilian government in Pakistan to complete its tenure and hand over power to the next government following democratic elections would be a first step in “an ongoing process that is essential to Pakistan’s peace, progress and prosperity in the long run.” The statement underscores the risk to the lives of former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Husain Haqqani, his lawyer, former Supreme Court Bar Association President, Asma Jahangir [both a Laureate and Patron of the MEA], columnist Marvi Sirmed, senior journalist Najam Sethi and their families, to name some of the journalists and activists living under threat.

The ‘memogate’ case may be a complex and highly politicized issue but it should not affect the essential freedom of anyone to speak out against the narrative of the ideological security state.

A typical Amnesty branch does typical work for HRDs

December 6, 2011

Ahmed Khaleel, an Iraqi citizen who is taking a PhD at York University, gave a talk about Arab poets as human-rights defenders for the Scarborough group of Amnesty International. Dr Jay Prosser, reader in humanities at Leeds University, spoke about his recent co-authored book, Picturing Atrocity: Photography in Crisis. Royalties from his book sales are being donated to Amnesty.

The seminar, at Hull University’s Scarborough campus, was attended by more than 40 people including the deputy mayor,  Helen Mallory, who said: “The work Amnesty is doing now is as valuable as it’s always been but possibly more so because there are more human-rights violations taking place around the world. Their work will be neverending because, sadly, atrocities will always be committed. I’m quite humbled by the work they do.”

Not world-shocking news perhaps but a fine example of the day to day work for HRDs that local groups can do…

source: Amnesty seminar on human rights – News – Scarborough Evening News.

Students in New York invited to compete with videos on Human Rights Defenders

October 6, 2011

With my predilection for the use of images in the protection of human rights I can only applaud the initiative of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and New York State United Teachers, who on 5 October   launched a student video contest based on the Speak Truth To Power human rights curriculum.  The contest invites New York State students to create a 3-6 minute video about a human rights violation and the defender(s) fighting to stop it. The project is aimed at demonstrating the capacity of each individual to create change.  “This video contest will engage students in what it means to be a defender against human rights violations.” said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi

Prior film-making experience or expertise is not required.  Details about the contest can be found at  All winning videos will be featured on the Speak Truth to Power web site, The grand prize video will be shown at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. The deadline for entries is January 31, 2012.