Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Travel bans against human rights defenders remain popular in the Middle East

November 10, 2016

Travel bans on human rights defenders are popular with all kind of autocratic regimes but seem to enjoy special status in the Middle East. The video clip above (part of a joint campaign by AI and HRW) focuses on Egypt and so does the statement by 6 other NGOs issued on 9 November.  They strongly condemn the travel ban against Malek Adly, prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer and director of the Lawyers Network of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR). But there is more: Read the rest of this entry »

2013 report by Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders

October 1, 2014

The Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) today released its 2013 Annual Report detailing its activities in support of individuals, groups and NGOs who are defending human rights in a wide variety of distinctly challenging contexts across the Arab region. In 2013, when access to internal and external funding sources in the region remained limited and difficult, the Foundation faced the dual challenges of protecting defenders in increasingly repressive and violent environments and of consolidating positive civil society dynamics in countries where tentative steps were taken toward democratisation.

In countries such as Syria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt, Read the rest of this entry »

ISIL kills human rights defender Sameera Salih Ali Al-Nuaimy

September 26, 2014

 

Sameera Salih Ali Al-Nuaimy

The United Nations human rights High Commissioner for human rights today condemned the recent brutal, cold-blooded slaying by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) of Iraqi human rights defender Sameera Salih Ali Al-Nuaimy, as well as the continuing detention, sexual exploitation and sale of hundreds of women and girls in areas captured by the militant group. Read the rest of this entry »

Nabeel Rajab on the situation in Bahrain and lack of western pressure

August 18, 2014

On 17 August 2014 Nabeel Rajab, who heads the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (the MEA Final Nominee of 2012), posted a strong piece in the Huffington Post which contains an impressive stand on why he takes the risks he does as well as a scathing attack on the western governments, especially those of the UK, for putting (arms) business before human rights consideration.

Nabeel Rajab, Final Nominee MEA 2012

Nabeel Rajab, Final Nominee MEA 2012

Read the rest of this entry »

Amnesty Ireland expresses concern about possible foreign policy change

February 2, 2014

Newstalk image

Amnesty Ireland has voiced serious concern about the government’s failure to raise human rights issues during its trade mission to the Middle East. The group wrote to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Jobs to ask if it is now part of our foreign policy to allow trade issues to trump the government’s human rights commitments, sending a copy of its report from November 2013 which details abuses of the rights of migrant workers in Qatar.

Colm O Gorman, executive Director of Irish Amnesty, says Ireland needs to show leadership on human rights issues: “It is of grave concern to us Read the rest of this entry »

Petty: Human Rights Watch Refused Entry to the Emirates

January 27, 2014

The United Arab Emirates [UAE] authorities have refused to allow Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, to enter the country on 24 January, 2014, for a planned two-day visit to Dubai. The move followed the country’s forced cancellation on 23 January of a Human Rights Watch news conference to release its annual World Report 2014 in the UAE. Whitson had traveled to the UAE on numerous occasions.“These petty tactics by the UAE authorities to muzzle Human Rights Watch only demonstrate the government’s intolerance of free speech and fear of critical discussion,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director. “Human Rights Watch will continue to document abuses in the UAE and to urge the government to comply with its most basic human rights obligations.” “While UAE newspapers regularly use the work of Human Rights Watch from around the world, it’s a pity the government can’t tolerate any review of its own record,” Roth added.

via UAE: Human Rights Watch Official Refused Entry | Human Rights Watch.

“We are the Giant” – film about the Arab spring – here is the trailer

January 23, 2014

WE ARE THE GIANT by Greg Barker, former war-correspondent-turned-filmmaker, is a full-length documentary about human rights people in the context of the Arab spring. It comes out in the Sundance Film festival 18-26 January. English and Arabic with English subtitles, 2014, 90 minutes, color, U.S.A./United Kingdom.

http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/14064/we_are_the_giant

Five Women Human Rights Defenders from the Middle East

December 13, 2013

On 12 December 2013 Tasnim Nazeer published a list of 5 women human rights defenders who in spite of setbacks in the “Arab Spring” have no plans to stop fighting:

  1. Tawakkol Karman. The first Yemeni and the first Arab woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize. A Yemeni journalist, human rights activist and politician member of the Al-Islah political party, Karman is the leader of the renowned group “Women Journalists Without Chains,” which she co-founded in 2005. She became the international public face of the Yemeni “Arab Spring” uprising in 2011. The people of Yemen know her as the “Iron Woman” and “Mother of the Revolution” due to her courage in sticking up for human rights injustices in Yemen.
  2. Razan Ghazzawi Razan, an award-winning Syrian blogger, campaigner and human rights activist. She has been actively involved in the events during the Syrian Civil War, and has been particularly outspoken on activists’ arrests and the violations of human rights committed by the Bashar al Assad regime.Razan, who has been arrested by the Syrian regime several times and is forbidden to leave Syria, was named as an “iconic blogger and leading activist” by The Telegraph as well as awarded the 2012’s Human Rights Defenders at Risk award by the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders foundation.
  3. Moushira Mahmoud Khattab, an Egyptian human rights activist, former politician and diplomat. She has previously held the positions as Minister of Family & Population as well as ambassador to South Africa, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Khattab is a renowned human rights activist who speaks up for the rights of children and women in Egypt and the MENA region. Her efforts to advocate human rights have been recognized internationally through numerous awards, including the two highest honors that can be bestowed on any foreign national in South Africa and Italy.
  4. Nawal El Saadawi,  an Egyptian feminist writer, human rights activist, physician and psychiatrist. Saadawi has authored many books on the subject of women and Islam and advocates human rights issues involving women. The founder and president of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association and co-founder of the Arab Association for Human Rights, she has been awarded numerous honorary degrees on three continents.
  5. Manal al-Sharif. Women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia who helped start a groundbreaking women’s right to drive campaign in 2011. An outspoken voice on the rights of women in the Kingdom, she was detained and released on 21 May and rearrested the following day on the conditions of returning for questioning if she were to continue talking to the media about rights for women to drive in Saudi Arabia.

via Five Women Human Rights Activists who are Changing the Middle East | Informed Comment.

 

The use of SMS against torture in Egypt highlighted

December 10, 2013

In the context of 10 December, Human Rights DayCurt Goering of the Centre for Victims of Torture posts in the Huffington Post a piece on the value of information technology to prevent torture. .. Read the rest of this entry »

Today Rafto announces that its Award goes to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights

September 26, 2013

The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, whose founder and director are both jailed, wins Norway’s Rafto Prize for rights defenders. The award hopes to “turn the spotlight on systematic violations of human rights in a region where abuse is too often met with silence from Western governments,” the Rafto Foundation said in a statement on 26 September.  The founder of the centre, Abdul Hadi al-Khawaja, is serving a life sentence in jail after he and several other leading opposition figures were convicted of plotting to overthrow the monarchy. They were arrested in April 2011, in the wake of the Sunni-monarchy’s crackdown on a month of Shiite-led protests that demanded political reforms. Meanwhile the centre’s director, Nabeel Rajab, has been in jail for more than 14 months, serving a three-year jail term for taking part in unauthorised protests. The prize jury commended the rights group for its non-violent protests and documentation of human rights violations, despite government attempts to shut it down. The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was, inter alia, also one the Final Nominees for the MEA of 2012 and received the Baldwin Medal

The annual Rafto award was founded in 1986 in memory of Norwegian economic history professor Thorolf Rafto, a longtime human rights activist. The 15,000 Euro prize will be presented on November 3 in Bergen.

via Bahrain rights group wins Norwegian award | GlobalPost.