Posts Tagged ‘medical’

“I shall not hate” message of Palestinian doctor not enough (for some)

April 13, 2016

A post in the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) by Myron Love (on 11 April 2016) reports that University of Manitoba professor Haskel Greenfield expressed outrage about an exhibit at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights that highlights, among 17 other human rights defenders, the story of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor from Gaza who lost three daughters and a niece when an Israeli missile hit his home during Operation Cast Lead in 2009. In Greenfield’s words, the interactive exhibit that includes Abuelaish is “a disgusting, one-sided portrayal of a complex situation. It completely ignored the fact that Hamas used yards and roofs of residences, schools and hospitals to launch their missiles. The Palestinian family portrayed was a tragic example of collateral damage in a war started by their Hamas government.” Greenfield is an archeologist and acting head of U of M’s Judaic studies program. He said it’s “very clear to me that the exhibit is not about human rights at all. It is an opportunity for Israel bashing and subtle anti-Semitism. The exhibit only focuses on what the Israelis have done to Palestinians – and, in particular to one Palestinian family – without any context as to why it happened.” 

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News from Burundi: Release of human rights defender Pierre Claver Mbonimpa

September 30, 2014

Yesterday, 29 September 2014, human rights defender Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was conditionally released from prison on grounds of ill health in Burundi. [He was arrested on 16 Mat this year:]

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is the President of the Burundi Association for the Promotion of Human Rights and of Detained Persons (Association Burundaise pour la Promotion des Droits Humains et des Personnes Détenues APRODH), one of the most active human rights organisations in Burundi. For several years, the human rights defender has documented torture and the poor conditions of detention in prisons, and has campaigned against extra-judicial killings in the country. Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was the MEA Laureate in 2007.

MEA Laureate Mbonimpa, Burundi

MEA Laureate Mbonimpa, Burundi

Only two weeks ago the High Court of Bujumbura had still rejected a request by his defense lawyers for his provisional release due to serious illness. However, the court had ordered the establishment of a medical commission to assess the health of the human rights defender (see> . As conditions of his release, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is not permitted to travel beyond the borders of Bujumbura city, nor is he permitted to be in the proximity of the airport, train station or ports without judicial authorisation. Moreover, the human rights defender must appear before the judge when required.

On 18 September the European Parliament adopted a resolution which condemned Mbonimpa’s detention and deemed it “representative of the mounting risks facing human rights defenders” in Burundi. The resolution also called on the EU High Representative and the 28 EU Member States to ensure “a clear and principled EU policy vis a vis Burundi that addresses the on-going serious human rights violations” in the country.


To read more about the case of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa:

Critically Ill Human Rights Defender Abdurasul Khudoynazarov Freed in Uzbekistan

June 6, 2014

A court in Uzbekistan ordered the release of a human rights defender on medical grounds on 31 May 2014. The Uzbek government should now meaningfully investigate credible allegations that Abdurasul Khudoynazarov was tortured and denied appropriate medical care in prison, and allow him to resume his human rights work.

via Uzbekistan: Critically Ill Activist Freed | Eurasia Review.

Serious concern for health of detained human rights defender Cao Shunli

February 25, 2014

Activists gather at the Beijing hospital where rights defender Cao Shunli was hospitalized in critical condition on Feb. 16. The rights defenders in the photo were not allowed to see Cao. She had been denied medical treatment while in detention, and was in a coma by the time authorities took her to an emergency facility. (Sound of Hope)

(human rights defenders in the photo were not allowed to see Cao – Sound of Hope)

Critically ill human rights defender Cao Shunli, who was prevented from attending a United Nations human rights review of China last fall, was taken to intensive care on 16 February 2014 after being denied medical treatment for months while in detention. “Cao Shunli is unconscious and on a ventilator,” her lawyer Wang Yu explained to Radio Free Asia. “She can’t talk and her condition is extremely serious… We think her life is in danger, but the hospital won’t give us any details; they just mumble something when we ask them,” he continued. A nurse blocked the entrance to the intensive care unit and told rights defender Wang Ling that Cao was “deeply unconscious” and would not recognize him, according to Human Rights in China (HRIC). Though Cao was initially taken to Beijing’s Qinghe Emergency Center, she was then transferred to an Army hospital, though her family requested that she be taken to an acute care hospital. Police at the hospital prevented activists from entering the hospital, and about 20 of them were taken to police substations for questioning, Wang Ling told HRIC.

[Cao and fellow rights defender Chen Jianfang were detained on 13 September, 2013 at Beijing’s International airport as they were leaving to fly to Geneva to take part in activities associated with the United Nations Human Rights Council UPR review of China’s human rights record. On the eve of the review, 21 October, she was formally arrested and charged with “creating a disturbance,” and has been detained since then. See earlier posts: and


Bahrain’s Persecution of Human Rights Defenders Continues

March 4, 2013

Several NGOs continue to follow closely the development in Bahrain, sadly the subject of may posts in this blog. Here HRF’s and Frontline’s recent statements:

Human Rights First (HRF) says that this week will see a series of high profile court hearings in Bahrain, exposing the authorities continued use of judicial harassment against human rights defenders and activists. On Sunday March 3, Halima Abdulaziz al Sabag is due to hear an appeal verdict. She is a dental assistant and was sentenced to a year in prison after she was convicted for allegedly taking first aid material from the hospital where she worked to treat injured protesters. On Monday March 4, the Bahrain government will continue to press a case against leading human rights defender Said Yousif Al Muhafda of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights for information he tweeted about police using birdshot against protesters. On Tuesday March 5, the appeal of 23 medics is due to return to court. They have all been convicted and sentenced to three months in prison after treating injured protesters in 2011. “This continuing crackdown in the courts tells us more about the reality of what’s happening in Bahrain than the speeches its officials are giving to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva this week,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley…….. Other prominent human rights leaders, including President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab, remain in jail. Please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at or 202-370-3323. HRF logo

via Bahrain’s Targeting of Civil Society with Judicial Harassment Continues | Human Rights First.

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Threats against women’s rights advocate Denis Mukwege in DRC mobilize medical community

October 30, 2012

I am referring to this blog post by Dr Jocalyn Clark because it is so good to see that the medical community comes out to support a Human Rights Defender in DRC and considers the attack on him as “another wake-up call for us all”.

Last Thursday evening, as many of you will have seen via media reports, a true hero of women and human rights Dr Denis Mukwege narrowly escaped death during an assassination attempt on his life that killed his security guard. Amnesty International is now rightly calling for a full investigation and asking whether his recent criticisms of the Congolese government played a role. Attacks against human rights defenders and humanitarian workers are said to be increasing in DRC, where conflict has raged for years. Denis Mukwege, winner of many international accolades including the UN Human Rights Award, has long championed the rights of women and highlighted to the world the extent and the brutality of systemic rape against women in the conflict zones of DRC…”

Threats against women’s rights advocate Denis Mukwege are another wake-up call for us all | Speaking of Medicine.