Posts Tagged ‘labour movement’

Chinese Human Rights Defender Xu Youyu gets Olof Palme Prize

December 16, 2014

.Chinese activist wins Swedish rights prize

(Olof Palme – Photo: TT)

The Stockholm-based Olof Palme Memorial Fund said in a statement today that the Chinese pro-democracy activist Xu Youyu, who was among key signatories of a 2008 manifesto seeking sweeping political reforms in China, has won the Olof Palme human rights prize []. Born in 1947, Xu is a philosophy professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Science and was one of the most prominent signatories of the 2008 Charter 08 manifesto that urged a series of reforms in China. He was detained in May this year in a crackdown on dissent ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

He has worked consistently for a democratisation of Chinese society, while condemning any form of violence as a political method,” the Fund stated. “Through his research and dialogue-oriented debate articles, Xu Youyu has made a great contribution to the peaceful and democratic development in China.”

Trial Observation report re Turkish human right defender Osman İşçi, by EMHRN

July 5, 2013

Observation of the trial of Osman İşçi, human rights defender and trade-unionist

On 25 June the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) published the trial observation report concerning its Executive Committee member, human rights defender and trade unionist M. Osman İşçi. He was arrested in Ankara, Turkey, one year ago on 25 June 2012, and detained at the high-level security prison of Sincan, Ankara, along with another 27 trade unionists arrested on the same date facing proceedings for allegedly supporting a terrorist organization.

The first hearing of Osman İşçi’s trial took place on 10 April in the Ankara Special Court, after ten months of pre-trial detention. Following this hearing, M. Osman İşçi and 21 other trade unionists and human rights defenders were released, however the charges against them remain and a new hearing is scheduled for the 8 July 2013. The trial observers noted that it had been conducted with courtesy by all participants, and defendants and their lawyers had been permitted to take an active part in the hearing. Nevertheless they noted with concern that a number of central features of international fair trial standards appeared to be absent from the hearing, and from the proceedings generally. To read the trial observation report please control/click here

via Observation of the trial of Osman İşçi, human rights defender and trade-unionist | Euromedrights.

Kazakhstan: 5 year prison sentence of human rights defender Roza Tuletaeva upheld

June 10, 2013

Roza TuletaevaRoza Tuletaeva

On 28 May 2013, the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan upheld the five-year prison sentence of human rights defender Roza Tuletaeva, Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysian trade union asks: “Do we really want guys like Wahid to be in our Cabinet?”

May 30, 2013

519 police reports filed: Do we really want guys like Wahid to be in our Cabinet? The National Union of Banking Employees NUBE  in Malaysia will be filling cases against former Maybank Chief Executive Officer Abdul Wahid Omar at the Jalan Duta Court. Wahid has been appointed as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Economic Planning. What is interesting is that the trade union takes a proactive stand by saying that someone who has shown blatant disregard for workers rights should not be a minister in the government! Read the rest of this entry »

Defamation charges against Hall will chill labor rights in Thailand says Human Rights Watch

April 11, 2013

Proceedings in this case, brought by a fruit processing company before the South Bangkok criminal court, are scheduled for today April 11, 2013. The charges stem from a defamation complaint filed on February 14 by the Natural Fruit Company Limited against Andy Hall for an investigative report about serious labor rights violations at the company’s factory in Prachaub Kirikhan province. If convicted, Hall faces up to two years in prison. He is also facing civil damages of 300 million baht  (US$10 million).“Criminal charges against Andy Hall reflect an attempt to stifle serious reporting on alleged abuses by one of Thailand’s top fruit processors,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Freedom to investigate abuses by corporations is critical to ensure compliance and accountability under Thai law and human rights standards.” The Natural Fruit Company, using a workforce comprised primarily of migrant workers from Burma, asserted that Hall defamed and damaged the company by “broadcasting false statements to public media.”HRW_logo

Hall’s report, “Cheap has a high price: Responsibility problems relating to international private label products and food production in Thailand,” researched and written with the Finnish nongovernmental organization FinnWatch, investigated the production practices of private label juices and fruit sold in Finland, including by Natural Fruit Company Limited. The report alleged that Natural Fruit Company Limited had committed serious labor rights abuses, including poor working conditions, unlawfully low wages, confiscation of workers’ official documents, use of child labor, and excessive overtime. Human Rights Watch, along with an increasing number of states and international authorities, believes that criminal defamation laws should be abolished, as criminal penalties are always disproportionate punishments for reputational harm and infringe on free expression.  Criminal defamation laws are open to easy abuse, resulting in very harsh consequences, including imprisonment. As repeal of criminal defamation laws in an increasing number of countries shows, such laws are not necessary for the purpose of protecting reputations. “The prosecution of Andy Hall strikes at the very core of efforts by human rights defenders to end pervasive abuses of workers in Thailand’s export industry,” Adams said. “International companies sourcing from Thailand should raise concerns with the government that using criminal charges to silence rights critics could adversely affect the overall reputation of Thailand’s major export sectors. The Thai government should welcome efforts to protect worker’s rights, not penalize them.”

via Thailand: Defamation Charges Chill Labor Rights Inquiries | Human Rights Watch.



Human Rights Defender Carlos Hernández Mendoza killed in Guatemala

March 14, 2013

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped reports that on 8 March 2013, human rights defender and trade union leader Carlos Antonio Hernández Mendoza was shot dead as he travelled back from Honduras. Carlos Hernández Mendoza was a leader in the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Salud de Guatemala – SNTSG (National Health Workers Union of Guatemala), as well as a member of several other social movements.  A prominent defender of labour and land rights, Carlos Hernández Mendoza was also actively engaged in struggling for prior consultation rights for indigenous communities whose lives and livelihoods are affected by large-scale dam construction and mega projects in the region. On 8 March 2013, at approximately 8.30am, Carlos Hernández Mendoza was travelling in a vehicle through the municipality of Camotán, department of Chiquimula, returning from a trip to Honduras, when he was stopped by individuals asking for a lift. When the human rights defender descended from his vehicle to assist them, he was shot and killed.

Carlos Hernández Mendoza had previously reported incidents of alleged surveillance when cars with darkly tinted windows were noticed in the vicinity of his residence. In November 2010, he was detained in Chiquimula and accused of carrying out activities that threatened national security and of holding illegal meetings. The charges were a result of the human rights defender’s participation in mobilising community protest to defend natural resources.


Tunisian and Saudi Human Rights Defenders recipients of the Olof Palme Prize 2012

February 2, 2013

Radhia Nasraoui, human rights defender and lawyer, is awarded the 2012 Olof Palme Prize, for her untiring work against torture and impunity for more than three decades. As a concerned and patriotic citizen, she has under severe pressure defended human rights in Tunisia and challenged authorities under the motto “We must use our voices. Not saying anything makes us accomplices of the oppression”.

Waleed Sami Abu al-Khair receives the 2012 Olof Palme Prize for his strong, self-sacrificing and sustained struggle to promote respect for human and civil rights for both men and women in Saudi Arabia. Together with like-minded citizens and colleagues, Waleed Sam Abu AlKhair does so with the noble goal of contributing to a just and modern society in his country and region.

THE OLOF PALME PRIZE, the Swedish labor movement’s most prestigious award since  1987 when the Olof Palme Fund’s Board decided to establish an annual prize for a particularly significant achievement in the spirit of Olof Palme. The prize consists of USD 75 000.