Posts Tagged ‘national campaign’

Iranian human rights defender Emad Baghi continues his campaign against the death penalty

July 10, 2019

Emadeddin Baghi, seen in a picture uploaded April 28, 2012.

Can fiction help an anti-death penalty campaign in Iran? MEA laureate 2009 Emad Baghi thinks so. He published a 456-page semi-autobiographical work bwith the aim to turn the public against the death penalty in his country. [see e.g.]

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Human Rights Defenders in Tanzania start public education campaign re arrest

January 22, 2019

THRDC national coordinator Mr Onesmo Ole

THRDC national coordinator Mr Onesmo Ole Ngurumo
Josephine Christopher reports that two human rights groups have initiated a special campaign on Tuesday, 22 January 2019, seeking to encourage the public to speak against violation of rights of suspects when they get arrested by the police force. The campaign titled: “Tetea haki za watuhimiwa (Defend the rights of suspects)” is a brainchild of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) in association with the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC). [see also:]

Speaking in Dar es Salaam, the THRDC national coordinator Mr Onesmo Ole Ngurumo said violation of rights of suspects – held by law enforcers – was becoming a new normal in Tanzania, citing the recent ‘unlawful’ detention of three human rights defenders and two citizens at the Loliondo Police Station. “While in custody, the suspects were badly beaten badly. Besides, though they needed emergency medical care, the police continued to hold them in cells until their fellow inmates start rioting for their rights,” he said “Putting suspects under police custody for more than 24 hours without any legal assistance is a violation of human rights, considering that police don’t have the skills and resources to hold people for such long time,” he said.

Profile of Fahma Mohamed, a young British anti-FGM human rights defender

February 19, 2016

19 year-old British human rights defender, Fahma Mohamed, is committed to freeing the world of female genital mutilation (FGM), starting with her own community in Bristol, UK. From when she first heard about the practice of FGM from a teacher at the age of 14, Fahma Mohamed started to challenge its practice, one that studies estimate affects up to 137,000 women and girls in the UK alone.

‘I remember being in complete shock. I’m from an FGM affected community. Why didn’t anyone talk about it? Why isn’t anyone doing anything to stop it? Then I tried to put myself in their position. I couldn’t.’

Miss Mohamed is trustee of Integrate Bristol, an organization working, among other things, to eradicate FGM. Along with colleagues she spearheaded a petition campaign that collected over 230,000 signatures and earned the support of Malala Yousefzai and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. The campaign resulted in mandatory training for all education staff on FGM.

‘We are still fighting for awareness on FGM to be taught in all classrooms across the UK. So many girls, both in the UK and further afar, are going through this absolutely traumatic experience. I saw it as my responsibility to give a voice to these young girls, many of whom have no support system and suffer entirely alone.’

Miss Mohamed identifies as a human rights defender, seeing it as a means to give voice to victims and encourage and empower other women and girls to voice their own opposition to FGM.

‘Many women from my Somali community were once afraid to speak out. Now, they’ve joined our campaign and, most notably, pledged not to put their daughters or their daughters’ daughters through it.’ Fahma is quick to underline the vast difference in her work as a defender and the particularly precarious situation of many defenders elsewhere.

‘For me it’s inspiring to hear people put their lives on the line for freedom. My battles are incomparable to theirs.’

However, Fahma’s FGM campaign has received its fair share of backlash. When Integrate Bristol first started to work on the issue, FGM wasn’t mentioned in the media much. Many voices argued that the problem was being exaggerated. On one occasion a group of 75 men, led by a female councilor in Bristol, protested outside the premiere of their film on FGM, Silent Scream.

‘They protested and chanted against us, we were 14 at the time! Some men even approached the families of the actors in our film, trashing the movie as a “porn film”. They were insisting that our teacher was forcing us.’

Integrate Bristol works to encourage young people to get involved in the fight against FGM. They have produced YouTube films and songs, including ‘Buckle Up’ and ‘Use Your Head’, as means to spread the word. These resources on challenging FGM have been shared with anti-FGM activists in other parts of the world, notably in Africa.

Miss Mohamed welcomes the UN response to FGM, including the first General Assembly resolution on the issue in 2012. As the General Assembly Third Committee continues its negotiations of a new resolution, Ms Mohamed stressed the importance of ensuring an explicit reference to FGM as a human rights violation.

‘Young girls are irreversibly mutilated against their will, and devastated physically, emotionally and mentally. Surely the deprivation of rights over your own body can only be described as a gross violation. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of girls are being cut right at this moment. If the UN skirts around the issue, or hides behind euphemistic language, how will we help these girls? Or worse, how will we ever eradicate the custom if we can’t even say what it is?’

Miss Mohamed noted that if the UN did characterize FGM as a violation, this would resonate through the world, highlight the severity of FGM and underscore a global condemnation of the practice. She noted in particular that this could push the agenda in schools in countries such as Nigeria and Gambia where FGM is prevalent.

‘With education as our main weapon in this fight, we will end FGM once and for all.’

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This profile appeared in the Monitor of the ISHR of 10 November 2014: Fahma Mohamed: British anti-FGM human rights defender | ISHR

Amnesty International India goes into elections with 14 point human rights programme

February 27, 2014

On 27 February 2014 it was reported by that Amnesty International India is asking political parties contesting the 2014 parliamentary elections to commit to and adopt as part of their manifestoes 14 key goals to improve India’s human rights record. … India’s political parties need to show their commitment to respect, protect and fulfill fundamental human rights. Amnesty representatives are meeting leaders from various political parties with the following 14 points of the ‘Human Rights Charter’:

  1. Protecting the rights of communities affected by corporate-led projects.
  2. Ending torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances.
  3. Ending arbitrary detention and reducing excessive under-trial detention.
  4. Protecting the rights of all persons in custody.
  5. Ending the use of the death penalty.
  6. Ensuring justice for marginalized communities who have suffered abuses.
  7. Reforming the criminal justice system to better tackle violent crime.
  8. Tackling all forms of violence against women more effectively.
  9. Holding armed forces accountable for human rights abuses.
  10. Protecting people’s rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
  11. Protecting the rights of migrant workers and domestic workers.
  12. Strengthening human rights institutions and protecting human rights defenders.
  13. Building a culture of respect for human rights through education.
  14. Adopting a more principled approach to human rights abuses around the world.

via Amnesty International puts forward 14 human rights charter for coming election |

Today Woman Human Rights Defenders in Nepal launch national campaign against rape

September 21, 2013

The Himalayan Times of 20 September reports that the National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders in collaboration with more than two dozen other organisations working for the rights of women and children is all set to launch a ‘National Campaign Against Rape’ today.  The campaign will continue till December 10 when the Human Rights Day is observed.  The main objective of the campaign Read the rest of this entry »