Posts Tagged ‘human rights activists’

UN criticises China’s rights record at Geneva UPR meeting

October 23, 2013

On 22 October the BBC and others reported that many member states of the UN Human Rights Council expressed concern at the arrest of dissidents, the continued use of the death penalty and the use of torture in prison, but Chinese officials maintained major progress had been made in improving social and economic rights.  Julie de Rivero, of Human Rights Watch, told the BBC that China’s focus on economic progress was a way of avoiding the real issues: “The question is why does China continue to torture people in prisons and why is it systematic? Why do they not allow human rights defenders to raise questions that party members are even raising, about corruption? When it comes from the mouth of a human rights defender it earns them a place in prison”. Members of the UN panel also expressed concern about the treatment of a number of Chinese human rights activists in recent weeks.

Students for a Free Tibet banner
(Activists from Students for a Free Tibet defied security to display a banner
on scaffolding in front of the United Nations (via BBC))

Under the UPR system, all UN member states undergo the review by the UN once every four years. [The UN panel – with a rotating membership of 47 states that does not currently include China – has no binding powers.]  The report on China is expected later this week.

via BBC News – UN criticises Chinas rights record at Geneva meeting.

 

New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy: course for HRDs in Montenegro

October 22, 2013


Wallpaper (webb)
Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders is organising a five-day working conference in Przno, Montenegro, from the 22 – 27 October. The conference is entitled “Empowering people – ideas worth spreading“ and will gather human rights activists from Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The goal of the conference is to increase the participants’ capacities in using new media and technology as well as art in their advocacy work.

We want to truly empower activists in using new media and technology in their work as well as giving them the tools to be more effective. New media and social networks are used everywhere and therefore our advocacy efforts must follow the trend. Art is also a well-known tool for sending a powerful message and engage people in a debate. During the conference, the participants will share ideas, create new projects and be given a „communications upgrade“ to create online and offline communities, thus making them part of the human rights advocacy network“, said Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

Through intensive training and workshops, 40 activists from the Western Balkans will learn how to use new media, create communication strategies, learn about video production and theatre as well as civic journalism in advocacy. The participants will exchange ideas and create new ones at the conference, which will provide the foundation for future joint efforts and regional partnerships.

Civil Rights Defenders – New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy.

 

20th MEA ceremony broadcast live on 8 October 18h00

October 5, 2013

The 20th Ceremony of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders will take place  on Tuesday 8 October and can be followed live on www.martinennalsaward.org as from 18h00 Central European (Geneva) time.  The moment of the announcement of the laureate will be approximately  18:30.

 

poster 2013 nominees MEA English

As a reminder, the 3 Final Nominees are: Read the rest of this entry »

In Armenia, Like Father, Like Son

September 12, 2013

On 11 September EurasiaNet published a piece implying that powerful people in Armenia can get away with violence and even murder. At least that is how human rights defenders have reacted to the September 8 decision to drop all murder charges against the son of former strongman governor, Suren Khachatrian. In a shootout near the ex-governor’s mansion in the southeastern town of Goris, Tigran Khachatrian [junior] this June shot dead local businessman Avetik Budaghian. Budaghian’s brother Artak, a military officer, was wounded in the clash with Kachatrian’s son and his bodyguards. Tigran Khachatrian and one of the bodyguards were arrested on murder and illegal weapons possession charges, but were released after the military police, which are handling the case, decided that all the shots fired by Khachatrian were made in self-defense.  Human rights activists, the victims family and the familys lawyer all have condemned the ruling. A local representative of Human Rights Watch alleged in a conversation with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, a former defense minister, may personally have pushed for the ex-gubernatorial son. …It has been widely suggested that this quid-pro-quo relationship kept Kachatrian in office despite his long alleged record of violent behavior. Allegations like assaulting a journalist and a businesswoman had been piling up against Kachatrian, but never resulted in indictments or dismissal. Khachatrian père tendered his resignation after the shooting incident, but, critics say, he can still call in favors with the establishment.

via In Armenia, Like Father, Like Son | EurasiaNet.org.

Starting a Human Rights Association in This Country? Prepare to Face Jail Time

August 20, 2013

Mrinalini  Shinde wrote a post in Polymic of 17 August about the human rights situation in Saoudi Arabia in good polemic style under the title: “Starting a Human Rights Association in This Country? Prepare to Face Jail Time”. She is an undergraduate student of law at National Law School of India University, interested in gender and sustainability issues. .. She has volunteered with the Human Right Law Network, and has conducted research in family laws, and gender justice. see: Mrinalini Shinde

starting, a, human, rights, association, in, this, country?, prepare, to, face, jail, , time,

© Climber1 (Wikimedia Commons)

The article is not news but provides an excellent example of how students in human rights can write up information Read the rest of this entry »

Samantha Power’s First Week: Activist or Diplomat

August 14, 2013

English: Samantha Power, Director of Multilate...

 

Many of us have been looking forward to the first expressions of policy and position by the new US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. Thanks to Mark Leon Goldberg in UN Dispatch of 12 August 2013 there is now a confirmation that she does not intend to drop her earlier interest in Human Rights Defenders. I decided to copy the piece in toto and let you decide for yourselves: Read the rest of this entry »

Group of NGOs submits 10 Recommendations to European Parliament on Repression in Turkey

June 10, 2013

During the last week, Turkish citizens, human rights defenders, trade unions and civil society organisations have come under attack by the Turkish government. What started as a peaceful demonstration has turned into a violent clash with the Turkish police and security services. In the protests, at least 3 people died and more than 2800 people were injured in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Reports indicate that about 3000 people were taken into custody and Read the rest of this entry »

Vote for development of AI’s PANIC BUTTON

May 22, 2013

I reported earlier in this blog on the Panic Button idea of Amnesty International. Now I have learned that it has been chosen as a finalist in Google’s Global Impact Challenge for work on a mobile alert system that enables human rights activists to trigger rapid response from their network in an emergency. Four out of ten projects will win £500,000. Public voting is open until 31 May! You can watch the video and vote here: g.co/impactchallenge/amnesty

If AI wins this Challenge, the work could be scaled up substantially. Amnesty and partners would launch the mobile alert system and directly train and support activist networks globally to set-up and use the system safely as part of their security protocols. 

via Danna Ingleton, Research and Policy Adviser, Individuals at Risk.

 

Citizens with mobile phones intend to keep Kenya’s election clean and peaceful

February 24, 2013

IMG_7705b

Bukeni Waruzi – just back from a field trip to Kenya – posted an excellent piece on “Witness‘ blog on 23 February  under the title “Can Cell Phones Save Kenya’s Elections?. Here some excerpts:

The December 2007 elections were marred by unprecedented violence: killings, rapes, lootings, attacks on civilians, and massive displacement. Historically peaceful, Kenya devolved into violence that caught many unprepared—including human rights activists who were unable to use video to document the magnitude of what was happening.

ICSRF announces the creation of new “Freedom – Network of Human Rights Defenders”

February 5, 2013

The goal of the International Centre for supporting Rights and Freedoms (ICSRF) is “the provision of legal assistance to human rights activists in all countries of the world and its commitment to establish a new generation of cadres working in the field of defense of human rights“, although strangely its website http://www.icsrf.org/ is at the moment only in Arabic and the scope of its activities seems to be restricted to the Arab-speaking world.
The creation of the new network was announced at the conclusion of a regional training course entitled “supporting skills of the defenders of human rights in the Arab countries”, held from 24 to 25 January 2013 in Kuwait with the participation of 32 participants from Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman including human rights organizations, human rights defenders and activists monitoring and documenting human rights violations.
The ‘Freedom – Network of Human Rights Defenders’ is established under the management of the International Centre for supporting Rights and Freedoms (ICSRF) and the members of the network will be selected from the participants who attended one of the training courses of the ICSRF or from those who work closely with the ICSRF. They will be trained on how to use international law and communication skills with media – both at the theoretical and practical level – in addition to the role of each member in monitoring and documenting violations. The ICSRF aims to create “a new generation of human rights defenders who are able to practice human rights work in a professional manner in line with the international law and the latest international developments as well as to establish a network of human rights defenders.”

Although everything points more to a regional than an international network, one can only wish them success as the Middle East is a region where Human Rights Defenders require support and freedom.