Posts Tagged ‘human rights monitoring’

African human rights defenders were trained in Banjul on effective monitoring

November 10, 2017

 

Human rights defenders from across Africa were in The Gambia undergoing a three-day training to consolidate their knowledge and skills on relevant human rights instruments for effective monitoring at the continental and international levels. The training on international and regional human rights mechanisms, was held from 25 – 29 October 2017, was organised by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, CIVICUS, ISHR, ACHPR and the United Nations Human Rights Council. The training was held on the margins of the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the 61st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and 36th African Human Rights Book Fair.

The training was designed to sharpen the knowledge and skills on the procedures for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. It was divided into three main parts: the international and the regional systems and mechanisms for the two days, and freedom of association and assembly, the SDGs, and human rights monitoring. Hannah Forster of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS – http://www.acdhrs.org) said: “This, we believe, will enable us to better understand opportunities available as we engage governments in the fulfillment of their mandates to promote and protect human rights and it will equip us with the knowledge and skills to lobby our governments to domesticate and implement their commitments while assisting participants to frame a strategy as they seek redress for violations of human rights”.

 

Source: African human rights defenders train on effective monitoring – The Point Newspaper, Banjul, The Gambia

“Writing Human Rights and Getting It Wrong” – revealing piece by Alex de Waal

June 10, 2016

Alex de Waal {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_de_Waal} published on 6 June 2016 a long piece entitled “Writing Human Rights and Getting It Wrong” in the Boston Review. There is no way I can give you a summary but reading the whole article is certain worth the time. It is bound to be controversial – especially within the international human rights movement – and stands out by being critical and mostly self-critical about the role of human rights monitors. The focus of the narrative is on Africa (Sudan, Rwanda) and genocide but the former HRW staff reaches out to the general questions of context and impartiality that human rights defenders struggle with, still today.  READ IT!

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Syrian citizen-journalist Abdalaziz Alhamza’s talk at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum

June 8, 2016

Abdalaziz Alhamza and his team of citizen journalists risk their lives to smuggle video out of Syria to expose the shocking brutality of both the Assad regime and ISIS. Now ISIS has put a price on his head. Abdalaziz took the stage at the 2016 Oslo Freedom Forum of the Human Rights Foundation to talk about his work and his hopes for a brighter future in Syria.

Academic Freedom monitored by Scholars at Risk which celebrates its 15th anniversary in Montreal

May 27, 2016

Attacks on higher education threaten the safety and well-being of scholars, administrators, staff and students; undermine academic work and instruction; and deny everyone the benefits of expert knowledge and scientific and creative progress. Too often such attacks go unreported. Scholars at Risk (SAR) publishes an Academic Freedom Monitor which tracks key attacks with the aims of protecting vulnerable individuals, promoting accountability and preventing future violations. In the period February – April 2016  SAR reports 20 incidents:

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Possible funding for training independent journalists exposing human rights abuses

May 19, 2016

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Giselle Portenier (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma)

Independent documentary-makers and freelance journalists working to expose human rights abuses can compete for a bursary to help them obtain hostile environment training, more usually made available to journalists working in war zones. The 2016 Portenier Human Rights Bursary competition, offered by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, opened on 16 May and closes on June 30. The annual bursary, introduced last year, is sponsored by the documentary-maker Giselle Portenier. Read the rest of this entry »

Russian Foreign Agents Law starts to affect monitoring in detention centers

February 4, 2016

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

reports that on 26 January 2016, the Russian Duma (lower chamber of Parliament) adopted at first reading amendments to the law regulating the work of Public Monitoring Commissions (PMCs). There is serious concern that if passed, the draft  amendments will put an end to the independent and effective monitoring of places of detention by excluding the many human rights defenders labeled as foreign agents.  Read the rest of this entry »

Fly Emirates? If the Emir lets you!

September 15, 2015

The Emirates proudly sponsor major clubs such as AC Milan, Real Madrid, Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, but when it comes to flying out of the country there is a problem for those who do not toe the line. A case in point is Ahmed Mansoor, one of 3 finalist for the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

Today – 15 September 2015 – the 10 international NGOs on the Jury of the MEA (see list below) came out with an exceptional joint statement calling on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities to lift the travel ban imposed on Ahmed Mansoor and to issue him a passport before the ceremony on 6 October in Geneva (in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights participates).

Widely respected as one of the few voices within the UAE to provide a credible independent assessment of human rights developments, Ahmed Mansoor regularly raises concerns regarding arbitrary detention, torture or degrading treatment, and failure to meet international standards of fair trial. He also draws attention to other human rights abuses, including against migrant workers. As a result, Ahmed Mansoor has faced repeated intimidation, harassment, and death threats from the UAE authorities or their supporters, including arrest and imprisonment in 2011 following an unfair trial. He and four other activists who called for democratic rights in the UAE were jailed in 2011 on the charge of “insulting officials”. Although pardoned and released later that year, Ahmed Mansoor has been banned from travel and had his passport confiscated.

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

The Martin Ennals Award Jury today said: “Ahmed Mansoor’s absence at the ceremony would mark a very disappointing position for the UAE, which is a country that prides itself as one of the hubs of international business and tourism in the Middle East, as well a safe haven in the region. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, which is running for a second term, we expect the UAE authorities to honour their obligations to uphold human rights and protect human rights defenders. The UAE government must match its rhetoric on the international stage with meaningful actions at home, starting with immediately lifting the travel ban on Ahmed Mansoor, to returning and renewing his passport, and allowing him to travel to Geneva for the ceremony.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/the-emirates-not-a-paradise-for-human-rights-defenders/

 

 Jury:
–    Amnesty International,
–    Human Rights Watch,
–    Human Rights First,
–    Int’l Federation for Human Rights – (FIDH)
–    World Organisation Against Torture – (OMCT)
–    Front Line Defenders,
–    International Commission of Jurists,
–    EWDE Germany,
–    International Service for Human Rights,
–    HURIDOCS.

for the full text of the statement see: www.martinennalsaward.org or those of the NGOs on the Jury.

About Russia’s report on human rights in the EU and the need to support human rights defenders

January 28, 2014

In my post of  17 January I mentioned Russia‘s report on human rights in the EU (https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/russia-publishes-report-on-human-rights-in-the-eu/) and I now want to refer to a thoughtful comment by Aaron Rhodes (founder of the Freedom Rights Project and former Director of the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights) in The Commentator of 27 January. He argues inter alia that:

The report is thus likely to be dismissed as little more than a bad-faith political attack, especially in view of Russia’s own problems — a case of “the pot calling the kettle black.” In fact, Read the rest of this entry »