Posts Tagged ‘Mary Robinson’

“Are You With Me?” – the life of Kevin Boyle

December 23, 2019

One Man’s War for Human Dignity: The Extraordinary Life of Kevin Boyleis the title of a piece by Charles Norchi (law professor) in Global Geneva of 6 December 2019. It is about the new book by Mike Chinoy about the life and work of Kevin Boyle, the Northern Irish human rights activist: “Are You With Me? Kevin Boyle and the Rise of the Human Rights Movement”. It chronicles the life of a man who spanned civil rights in Northern Ireland and the human rights movement from the halls of academia to international organizations and tribunals.

Boyle, a scholar-teacher-advocate-counselor who, like Eleanor Roosevelt, occupied multiple roles in the human rights movement, played a significant role in helping to bring an end to this turmoil which also affected the United Kingdom itself, Ireland, Europe and the United States. Yet he remained an unsung hero, until this book.

…Chinoy delivers the reader to a front row seat of the late 20th Century human rights canvass – the Northern Ireland civil rights movement, advocacy before the European Court of Human Rights, academia, civil society and the flowering human rights movement. Boyle was at the forefront of it all. From his perch at the Queen’s University Law Faculty in Belfast, he drafted proposals for resolving the Northern Irish conflict. He also shone a light upon the abuses perpetrated by the British army and Northern Ireland police in a landmark case to the European Commission on behalf of seven Northern Irish men who were interned without trial, beaten and tortured. He mobilized international law on behalf of victims of torture, unjust imprisonment, discrimination and defended freedom of expression, belief and association.

Boyle with former Irish president Mary Robinson during her stint as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (1997-2002).

Boyle also guided Amnesty International’s campaign against apartheid in South Africa, and spearheaded efforts to defend Salman Rushdie as Director of Article 19. Yet he never neglected human rights teaching, because students were the future. So he Directed the University of Essex Human Rights Law Centre and was founding Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland at Galway. When President Mary Robinson became United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, she wisely appointed Boyle her chief legal advisor – so he moved to Geneva.

This human rights law professor, advocate and activist died of lung cancer at age sixty-seven. At the time my University of Maine School of Law colleague Orlando Delogu who taught with Boyle at Galway observed, “He was single minded in his defence of oppressed people. The breadth of his interests was quite amazing, but always behind the scenes, the use of law – never violence.” Boyle helped lay the foundation for expanded human rights protections across the planet and inspired generations of scholars and activists.

How did Chinoy choose the title for this book? Boyle was first a university teacher. While lecturing he would pause and ask his students, “Are you with me?” It was a two-fold question. Did they understand the material? And would they be with him on the front line in the fight for human rights? “Are you with me?”

Are You With Me? will be launched at Essex University on 19 March 2020, with book events to follow in Dublin, Belfast, London, Galway and  Oxford. it can be pre-ordered through Lilliput Press: https://www.lilliputpress.ie/product/are-you-with-me

One Man’s War for Human Dignity: The Extraordinary Life of Kevin Boyle

Two human rights personalities join the Elders

January 25, 2019

Two personalities well-known in human rights circles have joined the Elders [see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elders_(organization)]

  1. Former UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
Former UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein will be joining The Elders. AP PhotoFormer UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. AP Photo

After four years as an outspoken defender of human rights for the United Nations, Jordanian royal Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is set to continue his work as a member of The Elders, the group of statesmen formed by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to promote equality and world peace. Mr Al Hussein stepped down as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last September after a four-year term in which he became became increasingly at odds with world powers he accused of failing to uphold the ideals of the very international system they created. His refusal to stand for a second term, because he expected to be opposed by these same countries, ended a stellar career of more than two decades in the United Nations. [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/zeid-raad-al-hussein/]

 

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  was Africa’s first female Head of State and former Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Also joined former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, also a Nobel Peace prize winner.

The Elders Group is chair by former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

Mary Robinson cancels appearance at Dubai festival over Ahmed Mansoor’s continued detention

January 15, 2019

On 14 January 2019 the Middle East Eye reported that former UN  High Commissioner, Mary Robinson, has confirmed she will not attend a Dubai literary festival in response to a call from academics and authors for the United Arab Emirates to release detained human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor. In a statement to The Guardian, the Mary Robinson Foundation said: “In response to the open letter received by the Guardian, Mrs Robinson has advised the organisers that she will not be attending the literature festival.” [see my: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/01/02/happy-new-year-but-not-for-ahmed-mansoor-and-nabeel-rajab-in-the-gulf-monarchies/]

The letter, organised by the International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE (ICFUAE), calls on the Emirati authorities to “immediately and unconditionally release prisoner of conscience Ahmed Mansoor“. It was signed by academics, activists, British politicians, and comedians, including linguist Noam Chomsky and actor Stephen Fry.

Joe Odell, a campaigns manager for ICFUAE, said: “We urgently call on other attendees to follow suit. The festival claims to celebrate freedom of expression, yet so many in the UAE have been detained for exercising this very right,” Other prominent writers billed to speak at the festival include Oxford University professor Peter Frankopan, Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland, and author Ian Rankin.

Robinson’s decision to withdraw from the festival may also be linked to a controversy surrounding her in relation to Sheikha Latifa al-Maktoum, the daughter of the Emirati Prime Minister.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/mary-robinson-cancels-appearance-dubai-festival-over-jailed-uae-activist-840835552

Mary Harvey: her goal is now human rights

December 12, 2018

New Global Center for Sport and Human Rights created to address abuses

June 27, 2018

On 25 June 2016 Hina Jilani gives International Human Rights Lecture at the Mary Robinson Centre

June 6, 2016

Hina Jilani will speak on the subject of “Protecting Human Rights Defenders Worldwide.” Ms Jilani, from Lahore in Pakistan, is a lawyer, civil rights activist, and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. She has been active in the movement for peace, human rights, and women’s rights in Pakistan for more than three decades and is internationally recognised for her expertise in critical human rights investigations. especially as the first UN rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. The event will incorporate an interview with Ms Jilani and Mrs Robinson. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. For more information or to reserve a seat visit www.maryrobinsoncentre.ie/events.

Hina Jilani 2014

Source: International Human Rights Lecture 2016 – The Mary Robinson Centre – Ireland’s first Presidential Library

 

More posts about Hina Jilani: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/hina-jilani/

 

She won the 2000 Ginetta Sagan award and the 2008 American Bar Association Human Rights Award.