Posts Tagged ‘impuntiy’

Killing of human rights lawyer Rehman in Pakistan leads to low level response

May 17, 2014

The recent killing of the lawyer Rashid Rehman (or Rahman) in a case of blasphemy in Pakistan has created a lot of media attention. This report from the local newspaper The News International of 17 May throws an interesting light on the follow up within the police and alleges that two lower level policemen have been made the scapegoats:

“Police bosses have held their subordinates responsible for their incompetence and negligence in the murder of human rights activist Rashid Rahman. The Multan CPO has transferred Chyllyak SHO Ghulam Abbas and Shah Shamas SHO Akbar Kamboh for their negligence in providing security to Rashid Rahman. On the other hand, a senior police official has contradicted receiving any sort of application from Rashid Rahman for security protection. The official said the government could not provide security to each citizen on demand. The government only provides security to the accused and complainant in all cases, including in blasphemy cases, instead of providing security to counsels. Rashid Rehman was gunned down in his chamber on May 7 evening just a month after he had been threatened by the prosecution during a court hearing. No progress could be made on his murder after eight days of the high profile assassination, which had been condemned across the world. The UN and the US have urged the government to ensure the arrest of killers. Sources in the CPO office disclosed that the route of providing security shelter passed through the SSP Operations. “When someone seeks security, he submits his request to the CPO office who forwards it to the SSP Operation for looking into the matter whether the applicant is deserved for security or not,” they added. They said the HRCP Task Force had informed the Multan CPO office on receiving life threats. The CPO office directed Cantonment SP Mehmoodul Hassan to ensure security to Rashid Rehman. The SP asked Shah Shamas SHO Akram Kamboh to ensure security in jail while Chyllyak SHO Ghulam Abbas was directed to ensure security in his chamber at District Courts. They said that both the SHOs had been suspended in this regard. On the other hand, the Punjab IGP office had directed the Multan CPO to ensure security for Rashid Rahman at any cost on the report submitted by Punjab Special Branch on April 21. However, the CPO office did not comply with the IGP office order and assigned a task to SSP Operation to provide security to rights activist. The sources said that the senior officers had suspended two SHOs to save their skin. CPO Sultan Ahmed Chaudhry was repeatedly contacted on Friday, but his gunman Abdur Razaaq promised every time to ring back, but to no avail. Multan SSP Operations Shaukat Abbas, however, denied that the application was sent to the police by the slain for security. “The government does not provide security to everyone in blasphemy cases. The government only provides security to the complainant and the accused,” he said. The government cannot provide security to the defence counsel even in blasphemy cases, he added. Meanwhile, human rights activists criticised the police for adopting dual standards. The police did not provide security to Rashid Rahman despite his application, but security was provided to a Muhammad Latif Ansar Sial alias Prof Lajpal. He is not an academician but always shows himself as professor. Lajpal had contested in all general elections or local bodies held in the past. He participated in the 2013 elections from NA-151 and PP-198, securing only 59 and 9 votes as an independent candidate. He contested the 2008 elections from NA-151 and secured 183 votes. Rights activists observed police were not taking one of the valuable assassinations seriously and using delaying tactics. The United Nations declared it a cold-blooded murder and strongly condemned it on May 9, right after the second assassination. They urged the government to ensure prompt investigation into the matter so that lawyers, human rights defenders and journalists could work without any fear. The spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville in Geneva said the murder of Rashid Rahman had “brought into stark focus the climate of intimidation and threats that permeates the work of human rights defenders and journalists in the country.“ The UN had urged the government last month to investigate the threats and ensure security for Rehman. “We condemn the killing of Rehman and urge the government to ensure a prompt investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the UN spokesman said.

via MULTAN City News – thenews.com.pk.

UN Mission in Central African Republic Concerned About Reported Human Rights Violations By Rebel Groups

August 1, 2013

The United Nations political mission in the Central African Republic [CAR] is concerned about purported human rights violations in the country. A spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told journalists in New York on the 24th of July that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the CAR, Babacar Gaye, met yesterday with local human rights defenders and NGOs, who informed him of systematic killings of civilians, rape and other violations by soldiers from the Séléka coalition. Violence erupted in December 2012 when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks.  A peace agreement was reached in January, but the rebels again seized Bangui in March, forcing President François Bozizé to flee. Meanwhile, the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic, known by the acronym BINUCA, condemned last week of reports of multiple extrajudicial executions accompanied by torture and mutilation. Among the identified victims is Ngombet Jerome, an accountant at the Association of Women Lawyers of Central AFJC, a local NGO. “These executions were carried on, in all likelihood, at routine checks in the open countryside and in the city of Bangui,” BINUCA said in a statement. BINUCA also called on authorities to immediately open an investigation to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, and to continue the process of securing Bangui, the statement added. Speaking publicly earlier this month, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos urged national authorities to urgently re-establish the rule of law so that assistance and access can continue unimpeded, warning that the political crisis gripping CAR has affected its entire population of 4.6 million.

via allAfrica.com: Central African Republic: UN Mission Concerned About Reported Human Rights Violations By Rebel Groups.

 

Serbian Nataša Kandić receives first Civil Rights Defender of the Year awar

April 7, 2013

Natasa Kandic, Photo: Markus Junghard

(Natasa Kandic, Photo: Markus Junghard)

Nataša Kandić, founder of Humanitarian Law Center in Serbia and 1999 MEA Laureate, has been awarded the 2013 “Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award” for her “persistent and fearless work on documenting war crimes and the most serious human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia, and for supporting war crimes trials by providing courts with evidence and witnesses.” Nataša’s human rights work has put her life at risk but her concern has always been with the war crime victims and not her own persona. “Those who choose to work with human rights connected to war cannot be afraid. I have never thought about risks. I am always only thinking about uncovering the truth about the crimes that have been committed and seeking the conviction of those responsible. There is no room for fear”, she stated.  Read the rest of this entry »

German parliamentary team visiting Nepal to meet Human Rights Defenders

April 4, 2013

REPUBLICAKATHMANDU reported on 2 April that a high-level delegation of the German parliament [Bundestag] is arriving in Kathmandu on 8 April to get first hand information about latest human rights situation in Nepal. A four-member delegation of German parliamentarians led by Michael Brand, deputy chairman of the Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, will arrive in Kathmandu for a four-day visit to Nepal. “The objective of the visit is to exchange views on the current human rights situation in Nepal with human rights defenders and members of the Nepali civil society. The delegation wants to receive first hand information about the recent developments in Nepal,” said Tika Prasad Dhakal, political advisor at the German Embassy in Kathmandu. During the visit, the delegation is scheduled to meet representatives of government, Supreme Court, trade unions, media, human rights community and political parties as well as the German development coöperation partners. The high level visit of German parliamentarians comes amid protest from various quarters over some of the controversial provisions in the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission TRC. The diplomatic community, including European Union EU, have already expressed strong reservation over the proposed TRC, which they say aims to grant general amnesty even to those involved in serious cases of human rights violations.

via German parliamentary team visiting Nepal MYREPUBLICA.com – News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual, POLITICAL AFFAIRS, BUSINESS & ECONOMY, SOCIAL AFFAIRS, LIFESTYLE, SPORTS, OPINION, INTERVIEW, INTERNATIONAL, THE WEEK news in English in Nepal.

Igor Kalyapin, the 2nd OMCT Portrait against Torture and Impunity

December 3, 2012

The second portrait in the series of 10 HRDs against Torture is: Igor Kalyapin, founder and chair of Russian NGO Committee Against Torture (CAT).

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The main obstacle we have is the same to the reason of torture: lack of effective investigation and absolute lack of will to investigate. Every case is a challenge and we never know for how many years we have to commit ourselves to deal with each of them.

Do you feel threatened because of your activities? Do you face any interference in your work? If this is the case, can you kindly precise.

Recently, we have started to face threats: our lawyers are targeted, some of them are approached by state agents, some of them were arrested, some of them were insulted. I myself now am facing a real threat to be accused of a crime that I have never committed (speaking out of investigational secret).

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Public campaigns (as illustrated in the picture), support of the victims of torture, write support letters, can play a very important role in the fight against torture.

 

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/events/2012/12/d22055/