Posts Tagged ‘LGTBI rights’

Assassination of human rights defenders proceed in Honduras, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and the Philippines

January 29, 2016

On 30 November I referred to the systematic killing of human rights defenders in 2015 [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/closing-civil-society-space-a-euphemism-for-killing-human-rights-defenders/] and mentioned the annual report by Front Line for 2015 listing Latin America and the Philippines as the most dangerous places [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/latin-america-philippines-most-dangerous-places-for-human-rights-defenders/]. If further illustration is needed, here some short summaries of cases of killing human rights defenders as reported by Front Line over the last few months:Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

Honduras: Killing of LGTBI rights defender Paola Barraza. On 24 January 2016, human rights defender Ms Paola Barraza was assassinated by unknown attackers in front of her house in the neighbourhood of Lempira, in Comayaguela. Paola Barraza, a trans woman, was a member of the board of directors of Asociación LGTB Arcoíris (LGTB Rainbow Association). The human rights defender was at home when  unknown persons knocked at her door and called her outside. When Paola Barraza answered the door she was fired upon five times. She died at the scene as a result of her wounds.  Paola Barraza was previously attacked in connection with her LGTBI rights work on 15 August 2015  [https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/29495] Between 23 June 2015 and 31 August 2015, three other LGTBI rights defenders working in country were killed https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/29495.
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Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans: “Support for Human Rights Defenders worldwide is a Top Priority”

April 18, 2013

The annual lecture on human rights in Maastricht with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, has quickly become a major event on the human rights agenda. As I was not able to attend, i have the great honor to introduce as my first guest author the well-known Theo van Boven, professor emeritus at Maastricht University, former Director of Human Rights in the UN, former Special Rapporteur on several subjects and a Patron of the MEA. With many thanks and in the hope that this will encourage others to contribute:

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Theo van Boven 2011 (c) THF

On Wednesday April 17th, the newly appointed Foreign Minister of The Netherlands, Frans Timmermans, came to a very well-attended meeting at Maastricht University where he made a passionate plea for human rights as one of the cornerstones of Dutch foreign policy. While the Foreign Minister was the main speaker, his appearance was framed in a broader setting with other lively presentations on such issues as the need for consistency between domestic and foreign human rights policy (“practise what you preach”), the role of women in the Syrian armed conflict and the Rights of Lesbian ,Gay, Trans, Bisexual and Intersex Persons (LGTBI rights).
 
Frans Timmermans expressed his strong personal commitment to human rights : “I passionately believe in human rights” and he recalled that no human right was achieved without struggle. He stressed that human rights, the rule of law, and democracy are strongly interconnected but that democratic majorities should respect the rights of minorities and individuals.
 
The Netherlands foreign minister praised the role of persons,groups and organizations who in situations of great risk are standing up for human rights. He pledged his support for human rights activists/defenders as a  “top priority“. It is of crucial importance to help human rights activists in expressing themselves and for The Netherlands to coöperate with other countries, bilaterally and through international organizations, in the defence and the promotion of the values enshrined in human rights instruments.
 
Among the points that came up in the Q and A discussion were the need to give due and equal weight to the promotion and protection of economic,social and cultural rights together with civil and political rights; the inherent and imminent danger to human rights of the use of drones; the serious reduction in the Netherlands budget for development coöperation ( although not implying the reduction of funds in support of human rights activities); and the persistent evil of human trafficking as a contemporary form of slavery.

Theo van Boven