Posts Tagged ‘MEA nominees 2013’

Iran’s Larijani attacks human rights report by UN and Sotoudeh expresses faith in the future

March 20, 2014

When it comes to the human rights situation in Iran one could refer to numerous recent reports that lament the continued repression and ill-treatment of human rights defenders in spite of the change of President at the top (as I did e.g. in: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/iran-human-rights-defenders-arbitrarily-detained-are-made-to-suffer-again-through-lack-of-medical-care/), but perhaps another way to demonstrate the enormous gap between the fanatics in power and those who struggle for a better Iran is two contrasting quotes:

The first comes from the Head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, Mohammad Javad Larijani, who in a 2-hour press conference rejected again any criticism and attacked the UN Rapporteur on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, saying that his report was biased and filled with inaccurate reports and double standards.Larijani said that “he was turned into a media actor for propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran”. [from Iran rejects latest human rights report by the UN | Iran Pulse: Must-Reads from Iran Today.]

The other comes from http://www.arsehsevom.net/2014/03/nasrin-sotoudeh-equality-will-prevail/, quoting human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, one of the Final Nominees of the MEA in 2012 and recently released:

nasrin-sotoudeh

Not much more to say!

Haiti HRD Mario Joseph uses his appearance in the MEA ceremony well

October 14, 2013

Mario Joseph Final Nominee MEA 2013

Mario Joseph, Haiti – Final Nominee MEA 2013

An unintended consequence of the MEA ceremony on 8 October was that Mario Joseph – one of the 3 Final Nominees for this award – used his speech to make clear how disturbed he was by the UN’s refusal to assume its responsibility for the cholera epidemic caused by UN troops in Haiti. Mrs Pillay – the UN High commissioner for human rights – in her speech replied to the challenge by repeating an earlier position that had mostly gone unnoticed: “I have used my voice both inside the United Nations and outside to call for the right — for an investigation by the United Nations, by the country concerned, and I still stand by the call that victims of — of those who suffered as a result of that cholera be provided with compensation”. Associated Press reported this on 8 October but left out the context by just stating: ‘Pillay said at an awards ceremony for human rights activists in Geneva… streamed live on the Internet.’  So, now you know!

via UN human rights official urges compensation for Haiti cholera victims – Washington Post.

Mona Seif continues her work: campaign to free Hassan Mustafa

May 4, 2013

Mona Seif – on of the 2013 MEA nominees – calls on people to campaign for the liberation of Hassan Mustafa, a leading human rights defender in Alexandria, Egypt, who was sentenced 2 years in prison.

Hassan was arrested on 21 January 2013 as he was filing a complaint inside Mansheyya Courts Complex, at the prosecutor general’s office, against the random detention of protesters & children from a protest outside the same Court on the previous day. The protest was taking place during the trial of police officers accused of killing protesters in the 25 January Revolution. He was then falsely accused of attacking a prosecutor causing prosecutors cheeks to turn red (“the prosecutor actually supplied a medical report claiming so !”). Read the rest of this entry »

Egyptian HRD and MEA Nominee, Mona Seif, under attack

May 3, 2013

As readers of this blog know I would have readily reported on any developments surrounding the MEA especially since the Final Nominees 2013 were announced recently. A few days ago a controversy arose around the nomination of Mona Seif, the courageous Egyptian human rights defender who was selected because of her campaign against military trials for civilians. UN Watch, an NGO affiliated to the American Jewish Committee,  and famous for its strident monitoring of anything that smacks of  criticism of Israel, accused Mona Seif of being a terrorist sympathizer on the basis of 3 older tweets in which she strongly defended the right of Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation. The organisation started a twitter campaign to have Mona recalled as nominee.

Mona Seif, Egypt - Final Nominee MEA 2013

Mona Seif, Egypt – Final Nominee MEA 2013

The problem is that I am – in a personal capacity – the Chair of the Jury which is composed of ten of the world’s leading human rights NGOs (see list http://www.martinennalsaward.org). I am a non-voting chair whose only role is to facilitate the process and I do not participate in the selection. The board of the Martin Ennals Foundation also has no role in the selection as the Statutes provide for a fully independent Jury. Only the NGOs on the Jury can vote on the recipient of the MEA. Still, I feel that my capacity of Chair of the Jury obliges me to show restraint in speaking out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Annual Report 2013 of the Observatory focuses on the issue of funding of NGOs

April 24, 2013

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In its  2013  Annual Report, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders focuses on a new setback impeding the work of human rights defenders. Access to funding, in particular foreign funding, is increasingly being hindered by governments, whose primary intentions are to silence human rights defenders. The Report of the Observatory, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), provides a global review of the violations of NGOs’ right to funding via various forms of restrictions imposed by States. It provides a detailed picture of this as yet insufficiently studied problem. This analysis is illustrated by concrete cases in 35 countries.
As also highlighted by Maina Kiai, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, in the Foreword to the Report, “The topic of this year’s Report is most pertinent as lately we have witnessed increased stigmatization and undue restrictions in relation to access to funding and resources for civil society organizations, in an attempt to stifle any forms of criticism […]”.
Based on the legal framework surrounding the right to access to funding and the embryonic jurisprudence on this subject, the Report seeks to foster an in-depth analysis of the negative impacts of these restrictive measures, and addresses recommendations to all stakeholders – beneficiaries, donors, governments and intergovernmental organisations.
Two of the three Final Nominees of the MEA this year (in Egypt and Russia) have to deal with these kind of restrictions.

For those who missed the publication when announced in February: Annual Reports : OBS Annual Report 2013: Violations of the right … – FIDH.