Posts Tagged ‘Ministry of Justice’

Russia: The Supreme Court rejects a lawsuit filed against “Memorial”

February 9, 2015

On  6 February 2015, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, an OMCT-FIDH joint programme, welcomed the decision of 28 January of the Russian Supreme Court to reject the complaint filed by the Ministry of Justice against the Society “Memorial”.

[Since its foundation in the final years of the Soviet Union, the network “Memorial”, consisting in a number of independent NGOs under the same society, is known for exposing Soviet-era repression, commemorating victims of violations and monitoring the current human rights situation in the Russian Federation and other post-Soviet countries.]

The complaint filed by the Justice Ministry, was a clear attempt to harass and discredit the Society “Memorial”, undermine its tremendous human rights work and expeditiously lead to its closure. It followed years of harassment, in the form of defamation through slandering media campaigns and acts of vandalism targeting the group’s headquarters in Moscow.Russian civil society organisations are facing a deep and systematic clampdownsaid OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock.OMCT-LOGO

[Human Rights Center “Memorial” is currently fighting a separate battle against an official move to label it a “foreign agent” under the controversial law targeting NGOs that receive foreign funding. Moreover, under a newly proposed piece of legislation, currently debated in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, foreign organisations would face being labelled as “undesirable” and closure and local NGOs engaged in cooperation with such bodies would face criminal charges.]

While the decision of the Supreme Court dismissing the complaint against the Society “Memorial” should be welcomed, we remain deeply concerned by the constant threats to human rights defenders in the Russian Federation in the context of an ever increasing repressive legal framework and frequent attacks targeting human rights defenders”, said FIDH President Karim Lahidji.

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The Observatory recalls in this context the recent brutal attack on lawyer Mourad Magomedov, who works with the Human Rights Centre Memorial in Daghestan, by five unknown men in Makhachkala, Dagestan.

Russian Federation: The Supreme Court rejects the lawsuit filed against the renowned Historical, Educational, Human Rights and Charitable Society “Memorial” (Society “Memorial”) / February 6, 2015 / Statements / Human rights defenders / OMCT.

New Pakistani Government wants to do away with Ministry of Human Rights

August 5, 2013

Several newspapers and NGOs, including the Asian Human Rights Commission, have criticized the new government of  Pakistan for deciding to do away with the Ministry of Human Rights and merge it with the Ministry of Justice. Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Watch demands fair trial for 94 defendants in UAE

March 16, 2013

United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should guarantee the safety of 94 defendants facing trial on state security charges says Human Rights Watch. They should also establish an independent investigation into the defendants’ allegations of ill-treatment in detention. The second session of their trial begun on 11 March 2013.HRW_logo

At the first trial session on March 4, authorities brought 84 of the 94 accused before the court to enter pleas. The remaining 10 are being tried in absentia. All 84 of the defendants denied the charges, which, local activists say, are largely based on confessions obtained from two of them, apparently while they were detained incommunicado in 2012. One of the two, Ahmed al-Suweidi, told the court he is innocent and asked for its protection. He told the judges: “I know that what Im going to say may cost my life, but I deny the charges and I ask the court to protect my life and the life of my family,” according to witnesses present in the courtroom.  Many of the other defendants told the court that they had been seriously ill-treated during months in detention, including prolonged solitary confinement, exposure to continuous fluorescent lighting that made it difficult to sleep, inadequate heating, and hooding when they were taken from their cells, including while being taken to the toilet or for interrogation. They said they had been repeatedly insulted by prison guards. Lawyers acting for the defendants have repeatedly pressed the judicial authorities to investigate these allegations, but they have yet to do so. “This trial raises serious questions about the UAE’s willingness to respect the fundamental right of all accused to receive a fair trial,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The court shouldn’t admit evidence obtained through ill-treatment or coercion. And the UAE government should ensure allegations of ill-treatment of detainees are properly investigated at once.” Authorities prevented a group of international observers and journalists from entering the court on March 4, stating that they had not requested permission from the Ministry of Justice. Security officials also denied entry to the UAE to two international human rights observers who attempted to enter the country to monitor the trial. “The UAE authorities seem intent on keeping this trial as much under wraps as they can,” said Whitson. “If they are interested in ensuring a fair trial, they should allow international observers to attend the court sessions, not block their presence.”

via UAE: Ensure Safety of 94 on Trial | Human Rights Watch.