Posts Tagged ‘parliamentarians’

Five Asian human rights defenders speak about anti-torture work in their region

February 2, 2017

The weekly video service of Just Asia of 26 January 2017 is a special focus on the regional meeting of Asian Parliamentarians & Human Rights Defenders Against Torture, held in Hong Kong in December. During the meeting focusing on modernizing criminal institutions, Just Asia interviewed several parliamentarians and human rights defenders.

Just Asia speaks to Dr. P. M. Nair, Chair Professor at the TATA Social Sciences Institute. According to Dr. Nair, institutions need to work together in India to combat torture, and he is confident that once this occurs, things will improve quickly. Dr. Nair also noted the importance of persons implementing laws and regulations to have a human rights perspective, which would particularly help vulnerable and marginalized sections of society.

Just Asia interviews Pakistani Member of National Assembly Imran Zafar Laghari, to learn his views on the rising incidents of torture and corruption in the policing and judicial systems.

In Nepal, the February 2017 deadline for the transitional justice commissions to complete their work is fast approaching. However, other than collecting over 60,000 complaints and starting preliminary investigations, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) have not succeeded in anything meaningful. Meanwhile, Nepal’s Anti-torture legislation is pending in the Parliament. With Colonel Kumar Lama being released by the UK court, there are nominal chances for the Parliament to pass the anti-torture legislation and put it into practice. Just Asia speaks to Mr. Dipendra Jha, a practicing lawyer at the Supreme Court of Nepal, for his views.

Indonesia also faces a rise in executions and the use of the death penalty. At the same time, the revision of the country’s penal code has been ongoing for over a decade. Member of the drafting committee and parliamentarian Mr. Arsul Sani speaks about his views on the penal code revision process and rule of law in Indonesia.

Bangladesh has seen considerable violence and political manipulation in the last year. Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of Citizens for Good Governance shares with Just Asia his views on free and fair elections and the Bangladesh electoral system.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/01/16/amila-sampath-the-man-behind-the-video-service-of-just-asia/

For comments write to: news@ahrc.asia.

Murdered British MP Jo Cox ‘always fought against the hate that killed her’

June 17, 2016

As you will all have read Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire, UK, died on Thursday 16 June after she was shot and stabbed in Birstall in her constituency. She had previously spoken out against the “racism and fascism” of Britain First, an anti-Islam Right-wing group. There are strong indications that she was killed by the hate she fought against.[Her attacker is reported to have shouted “put Britain first” at least twice. A 52-year-old man, named locally as Tommy Mair, has been arrested, the BBC has reported.]. She showed that politician can be human rights defenders.

Colleague MP Cat Smith said in the Lancaster Guardian: “Her life was cut short at 41 but she didn’t waste a day of it…To stand up for human rights, the campaign on behalf of Syria and child refugees, and making sure we don’t forget about people who are suffering.”   “Before she became an MP she worked for Oxfam and was passionate about international development and childrens’ human rights in war zones.” “She did a lot of work on human rights in Gaza.” She spoke out in the House of Parliament on several human rights issues.

Her husband Brendan, with whom she had two young children, Cuillin and Lejla, released a statement after her death. He said: “Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo”

Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who died today after being shot and stabbed in the street outside her constituency advice surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Previously unreleased photo dated 06/06/16 of Labour MP Jo Cox, who died after being shot and stabbed in Birstall, West Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 16, 2016. See PA story POLICE MP. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

 

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/16/labour-mp-jo-cox-shot-in-leeds-witnesses-report/

Lancaster MP: Jo Cox ‘always fought against the hate that killed her’ – Lancaster Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/16/the-guardian-view-on-jo-cox-an-attack-on-humanity-idealism-and-democracy

Human rights defenders participate in MP4Freedom campaign

April 2, 2014

US-based NGO Freedom House, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Parliament and Belarusian human rights defenders, launched on 26 March 2014 the MP4Freedom initiative inviting Lithuanian MPs to become “godparents” of political prisoners in Belarus.As neighbors, Lithuanians should care about the future of the Belarusian nation,” said Petras Austrevicius, deputy speaker of the Seimas, who championed the initiative on behalf of the Lithuanian Parliament.  “The idea behind this initiative is to encourage Lithuanian MPs to engage on the issue personally by becoming ‘godparents’ of political prisoners in Belarus.”

To make this initiative effective, Lithuanian MPs should address the Belarusian authorities and demand the release of political prisoners,” said Marina Lobava, the mother of a political prisoner Eduard Lobau. “MPs can write to the heads of detention facilities requesting information about the health of a particular political prisoner. They can also help by contacting the International Red Cross and facilitating its visits to prisons. International advocacy in the EU to keep the political prisoners issue on the foreign policy agenda towards Belarus is also necessary.”

Under this campaign, the participating Lithuanian parliamentarians, who represent the governing and opposition political parties alike, take the responsibility to follow the cases of particular political prisoners in Belarus, meet with their relatives, and speak publicly both at Lithuanian and international venues on human rights violations in Belarus. There are currently 10 political prisoners in Belarus, according to the Human Rights Center Viasna.

Freedom House, the Lithuanian Parliament and human rights defenders launch initiative to support Belarusian political prisoners | Belarus: civil society under attack | Freeales.fidh.net.

Death threats in Colombia on the rise again

February 12, 2014

Martha Díaz at the 2013 FLD Platform for Human Rights Defenders
(Martha Díaz at the 2013 FLD Platform for Human Rights Defenders)
Death threats abound again in Colombia:
Front Line Defenders report that on 9 February 2014, human rights defender Martha Díaz received the fifth text message to declare her a military target and threaten her with death within three days. All five threats have come from the same phone number. Martha Díaz is the director and legal representative of the Asociación de Familiares Unidas por un Solo Dolor (Association of Relatives United by a Single Sorrow – AFUSODO), an organisation for family members of victims of extrajudicial killings, particularly false positives. She is also the technical secretary of the Atlantic chapter of MOVICE (National Movement of Victims of the State).On Wednesday 12 February,  the President of Parliamentarians for Global Action Ross Robertson has expressed his concern and condemnation of the death threats against a well-known Colombian parliamentarian, Ivan Cepeda is a well-respected Colombian MP and human rights defender as well as against Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro and human rights defender Alirio Uribe Muñoz (the latter is the 2003 Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, portrayed here with his wife in 2003). Alirio Uribe Munoz and spouse MEA 2003

via:

Colombia: Series of death threats against human rights defender Martha Díaz | Front Line.

MP deplores death threats against Colombian MP | Voxy.co.nz.

Asian Parliamentarians and Human Rights Defenders meet again on the issue of Torture – 11-13 November

August 27, 2013

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in collaboration with DIGNITY, has made the practice of custodial torture and ill-treatment a core area of engagement. With a view to counteract the widespread practice of torture, the AHRC and DIGNITY have formed an Asian Alliance against Torture and Ill-treatment (AAATI) in 2012. The first conference of Asian Parliamentarians and Human Rights Defenders was held in Hong Kong in 2012 [ see report Torture – Asian and Global Perspectives Vol. 1, No. 3 ].

The focus for the second meeting [scheduled for 11-13 November 2013] will be to identify the reluctance of governments to achieve a substantial change in the nature of policing in their countries to bring these institutions at par with the policing systems of advanced democracies.

The link below refers to the announcement which in fact is a CONCEPT PAPER:

ASIA: Second Regional Conference of Asian Parliamentarians & Human Rights Defenders on Elimination of Custodial Torture and Ill-treatment in Asia November 2013, Hong Kong — Asian Human Rights Commission

For details please contact: Bijo Francis, Executive Director, Email: ahrc at ahrc.asia