Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Mexican human rights defenders successful: civilian courts for soldiers in the future

May 1, 2014

Human Rights Defenders do not only suffer repression but campaign to get things improved. Success is not always as widely reported as drama, so I draw your attention to the AP story (as it appeared in the Washington Post of 1 May 2014) that Mexico’s parliamentarians have unanimously agreed to change Mexico’s military justice code that will allow members of the armed forces who commit crimes against civilians to be tried in civilian courts. This is a historic change that human rights defenders have been demanding for years.

[The changes come after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in five cases filed by Mexicans who suffered abuse at the hands of soldiers. It ordered that those cases be tried in civilian courts and told Mexico to change its military code of justice.]

Mario Patron, deputy director of Mexico’s Human Rights Centre Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, said the military code “was subjecting civilian victims to a jurisdiction that is neither independent nor impartial.” He said the reform is a clear step forward, but suggested that cases of soldiers whose human rights have been violated by other soldiers should also go to civilian court

Mexico lawmakers OK civilian courts for soldiers – The Washington Post.

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 »

Example of how universities can link up with human rights defenders: Minnesota and Colombia

September 18, 2013

Hailey Colwell on 18 September describes how: Read the rest of this entry »

Kyrgyzstan follows bad example set by Russia: foreign agents

September 13, 2013

On 6 September 2013 members of the Kyrgyzstan‘s Parliament Mr Tursunbay Bakir Uulu and Mr Madaliev introduced a draft law on “non-commercial organisations fulfilling the role of foreign agent” for public discussion.  The text of the draft law is inspired by [the ‘success’] similar provisions adopted in the Russian Federation in 2012.   Read the rest of this entry »

ICJ launches two innovative legal databases on sexual orientation

August 1, 2013

icj_logo_pantone launched two innovative legal databases: the Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity (SOGI) UN Database and the SOGI Legislative Database. Read the rest of this entry »

Transgender activist harassed by Greek police

June 14, 2013

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (a joint programme of two reputed international NGOs: the FIDH andOMCT) has been informed by the Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) about the police harassment of Ms. Electra Koutra,  GHM legal counsel, in the framework of police profiling operation against transgender persons in Thessaloniki.logo FIDH_seul
Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt and its laws on NGOs: concrete example of abuse

June 6, 2013

In a recent post I discussed problems surrounding the new law on NGOs in Egypt. In case there was any doubt on the need for a new and IMPROVED legal regime, see here what Front Line Defenders reported yesterday, 5 June:

43 NGO staff members were condemned to prison termsFrontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped Read the rest of this entry »

Russia now tries to cut CAT under ‘Foreign Agents’ Law

May 2, 2013

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedreports that on 22 April 2013 the Committee Against Torture (CAT) is the next NGO received a letter of warning from the local Prosecutor’s Office. The letter alleges that CAT is violating the controversial new ‘Foreign Agents’ Law, which states that any Russian NGO involved in political activity and receiving foreign funding must register as a foreign agent.

CAT processes complaints about torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, carries out public investigations, represents the victims’ interests in court and before investigative bodies, and provides assistance with obtaining compensation.  The letter from the Prosecutor’s Office states that CAT receives funds from sources outside of Russia, information which is freely available on CAT’s website. The letter also states that CAT has taken part in certain public events, unidentified in the letter, which the authorities consider to be political. According to the authorities, therefore, CAT should have registered as a foreign agent.  Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Watch video on Russian civil society under Putin

April 29, 2013

This video accompanies a new 78-page report, “Laws of Attrition: Crackdown on Russia’s Civil Society after Putin’s Return to the Presidency,  which describes some of the changes since Putin returned to the presidency in May 2012. The authorities have introduced a series of restrictive laws, begun a nationwide campaign of invasive inspections of nongovernmental organizations, harassed, intimidated, and – in a number of cases – imprisoned political activists, and sought to cast government critics as clandestine enemies. The report analyzes the new laws, including the so-called “foreign agents” law, the treason law, and the assembly law, and documents how they have been used. Many of the new laws and the treatment of civil society violate Russia’s international human rights commitments, Human Rights Watch said.HRW_logo

Human rights Defenders in the Ukraine call for speedy adoption of law on freedom of assembly in line with new ECHR judgement

April 15, 2013

Interfax-Ukraine on 15 April reports that Ukrainian human rights activists have called for a quick adoption of a law regulating the freedom of demonstration after the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Verentsov versus Ukraine. The Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) Arkadiy Buschenko said at a press conference today that human rights defenders had earlier called for the settlement of the legislation on freedom of peaceful assembly and now that the ECHRs judgment recommends that Ukraine liberalize the law in this area, the adoption of such a law becomes even more relevant. In the case of “Verentsov versus Ukraine” the court recognized the violation of Verentsov’s rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and obliged Ukraine to pay EUR 6,000 in compensation to Ukraine. The ECHR also proposed that Ukraine urgently reform the laws and administrative practices in order to determine the requirements for the organization and holding of peaceful assemblies, in particular, in the context of determining the grounds for restricting rallies. Human rights defenders have already prepared a draft law and submitted it for consideration by a number of MPs.

via Human rights activists call for speedy adoption of liberal law on freedom of assembly.