Posts Tagged ‘Human right’

Guatemalan Human Rights Defenders Unit gets a Human Rights Award from the Guatemala Human Rights Commission

December 5, 2013

The Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defenders Award recognizes an individual, organization or community from Guatemala who has demonstrated a commitment to the defense of human rights through non-violent methods, and for which he/she has been exposed to threats, violence and/or other attacks. The award serves as a means to highlight the struggle of the recipient on an international level and represents a commitment by GHRC to provide ongoing support.

The award giver, the Guatemala Human Rights Commission [GHRC] presented the 2013 Award to the Guatemalan Human Rights Defenders Unit (UDEFEGUA) Read the rest of this entry »

Susan Rice speech at Human Rights First Summit considered positive

December 5, 2013

Following a major human rights speech delivered by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, at the Human Rights First Summit, CEO Elisa Massimino issued the following statement: “Today’s speech was a welcome affirmation of the Obama HRF logoAdministration’s commitment to protecting human rights at home and abroad. Ambassador Rice made a compelling case for why this effort is squarely in the national interest, arguing that short term trade-offs cannot alter our foundational values, and that respect for human rights is essential to our security. Detailing not just the ‘easy cases’ but also those where the United States has competing interests, Rice spelled out the ways the administration balances these interests, while seeking to uphold American ideals.  She underscored the administration’s commitment to following through on promises to shutter Guantanamo and take the nation off of its current war-footing. We encourage the administration to double down on efforts to more actively and creatively support human rights defenders in places like Egypt, Bahrain, and Russia, priorities that Ambassador Rice touched on today. We look forward to working with the administration to keep human rights at the heart of U.S. foreign policy today, and in the long term.”  After her speech Susan Rice met with human rights defenders from Bahrain, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and the international LGBT community.

via Rice Delivers Major Human Rights Speech at Human Rights First Summit | Human Rights First.

 

Retaliation against HRDs: GA Third Committee takes a step back – will General Assembly rectify?

December 4, 2013

The Monitor of the ISHR reports that in the Third Committee there was a serious setback in establishing an high-level ‘anti-reprisals focal point’ in the UN. In an unprecedented move, a group of States, led by Gabon and joined by others such as China and Russia, was successful in securing the passage of a resolution in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly to defer the appointment of such a senior UN official despite Read the rest of this entry »

Taking stock, Pillay delivers ‘mixed report’ on human rights worldwide, singling out reprisals against HRDs

December 3, 2013

On 2 December 2013 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights delivered a “mixed report” on human rights progress around the world, with slow and steady advances in some areas alongside causes for alarm in others. “As we look around the world at the end of 2013, we see examples of situations where that readiness of the international community to act in time is already being sorely tested,” Navi Pillay said during a press conference in Geneva. In addition to Syria, where the scale and viciousness of the abuses being perpetuated by elements on both sides almost defies belief, the situation in the Central African Republic is deteriorating rapidly, and the alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. “Elsewhere, there is much turbulence,” Ms. Pillay said, highlighting the “serious politically-driven instability” in Bangladesh which is claiming a lot of lives in the run up to the election, the “heavy-handed attempts” by successive administrations in Egypt to quell people’s right to peaceful protests. Meanwhile, reprisals against civil society organizations, individual human rights defenders and journalists working on rights issues are “extremely worrying” in a number of countries, she said. The High Commissioner also drew attention to the situation of migrants, who continue to be treated as second-class citizens in many countries, as well as the continuing political exploitation of xenophobia and racism in Europe and other industrialized areas. “Amidst all this, there is nevertheless progress, sometimes taking place slowly and steadily out of the limelight, sometimes the subject of major policy shifts – including a number of reforms announced over the past two weeks by the Government of China,” Ms. Pillay stated. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and she noted that overall, the UN human rights system is a great deal stronger than it was two decades ago. “The UN human rights institutions, however well they function, are not enough by themselves,” she added.“The rest of the United Nations – individual Member States, powerful bodies such as the Security Council and the General Assembly, and all the UN’s myriad agencies, funds and programme – need to pull their weight in the common cause of improving human rights for everyone everywhere, in accordance with the UN Charter.

via United Nations News Centre – Taking stock, UN official delivers ‘mixed report’ on human rights progress worldwide.

 

Inputs requested for making a “context guide” for LGBTI security in Africa

December 3, 2013

For 10 years, Tactical Technology Collective have worked with human rights defenders, in order to help them better to protect their sensitive data, their communications, themselves and their communities when carrying out their work, through developing online resources, books, and carrying out regular trainings around the world. As part of this process, it has developed the “Security in a Box” book and toolkit (https://securityinabox.org) which now receives around 200,000 visits per month.
However, in order to continue improving our materials and make digital security easier to understand and contextualise for specific communities of human rights defenders, they have begun a process of creating “context guides” which make the guide more accessible for certain communities at risk. The idea of this survey is to help create and improve such a guide, for LGBTI activists from Africa, which would help the community understand the need for healthy digital security practices by demonstrating the risks they face and providing stories of best practices from others in the community.
You can find the survey at https://tacticaltech.org/africa-survey. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Daniel Ó Clunaigh: dan@tacticaltech.org.
[to get an idea of such a guide, created for LGBTI human rights defenders from the Arabic-speaking world, see in English: https://securityinabox.org/en/context/01]

Mary Lawlor: Making attacks on human rights defenders a “red line”

December 1, 2013

(Nasrin Sotoudeh was recently released from prison in Iran – EPA)

On 1 December Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Ireland-based Front Line Defenders, published an opinion piece in Al-Jazeera on the place of human rights defenders in the recent developments concerning Iran and Syria. In order not to lose the coherence of the argument I give it here in full: Read the rest of this entry »

Side event on environmental rights defenders on 3 December in Geneva with live webcast

November 30, 2013

Human rights defenders play a critical role in exposing and ensuring accountability for business-related human rights violations. Despite this, around the world, there is an increase in attacks, judicial harassment, restrictions, surveillance, intimidation and reprisals against defenders who work on land and environment issues associated with business activities. A side event on 3 December in Geneva (Palais des Nations Room XX  from 13h00 to 15h00) will pay special attention to challenges engendered by the increasing criminalisation or repression of those peacefully denouncing adverse human rights impacts of corporate projects, discussing the role of both States and companies. Read the rest of this entry »

This is how Zimbabwe celebrated Women Human Rights Defenders Day:

November 30, 2013

Scores of peaceful marchers from Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were beaten and some arrested by police in anti-riot gear on Friday. The women were on their way to the Mhlahlandlela Government Complex, where they submitted a petition outlining the needs and expectations of Zimbabwean women in the context of the on-going campaign against gender-based violence. WOZA leader Jenni Williams said baton-wielding officers, who were accompanied by dogs, pounced on the group of women, chasing and beating them up.

She added: “We have long argued that police in Bulawayo have seemingly a tribal and regional agenda. Why is it that when we demonstrate in Bulawayo our demos are either stopped before they even start or our members are beaten up? Yet I can go to parliament (in Harare) and nobody will arrest me?”Some women were arrested and then released without charge three hours later, at the intervention of the officer in charge at Drill Hall in Bulawayo, who simply said the women were free to go, without offering any explanation why the women had been violently and brutally arrested in the first place. Williams explained: “He just came in and said we could go, there was no problem. We said to him ‘Just like that? When people have been beaten up and dogs almost set on them and you say there is no problem?’.” The WOZA leader, who has been arrested more than 50 times, expressed concern at the heavy-handedness of Bulawayo police.

WOZA activists brutalised on Women Human Rights Defenders Day | SW Radio Africa.

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 »

My post number 1000: Human Rights Awards finally made accessible for and by True Heroes

November 27, 2013

To mark my post number 1000, I have chosen the subject of human rights awards, timely as today, 27 November, is also the LAUNCH OF THE TRUE HEROES AWARDS DIGEST on www.trueheroesfilms.org.  The number of human rights awards has exploded with over 50 new awards created in just the last decade, bringing the total number to well over 100. Most of the research was done when I was writing an article on Human Rights Awards for the Special Issue of the OUP Journal of Human Rights Practice on ‘The Protection of Human Rights Defenders” which comes out on 29 November (for more info go to: http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/). Doing the research I found that the information on awards is scattered all over the internet and that human rights defenders would greatly benefit if the dat were put all together in a searchable way in a single Digest.

Read the rest of this entry »