Posts Tagged ‘Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’

Call for nominations for Front Line and PACE awards 2016

January 16, 2016

Calls of nomination for two major human rights awards are now open:

The Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedFront Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk was established in 2005. The Award seeks to focus international attention on the human rights defender’s work, thus contributing to the recipient’s personal security, and a cash prize of Euro 15,000 is awarded to the Award recipient and his/her organisation in an effort to support the continuation of this important work. If you would like to nominate a human rights defender for the Twelfth Annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk (2016), please click on the following link to access a secure online nomination form: (English). Age deadline is Friday 19 February 2016.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in partnership with the Vaclav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, has today issued a call for nominations for the 2016 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which will be awarded on 10 October in Strasbourg. The Prize aims to reward outstanding civil society action in defending human rights in Europe and beyond. Candidates should have made a real difference to the human rights situation of a given group, been instrumental in uncovering systemic violations on a large scale, or have successfully mobilised public opinion or the international community for a given cause. The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize consists of a sum of €60,000. The deadline is 30 April 2016.  More details can be found at


For more on these and other awards see True Heroes’ awards Digest:áclav-havel-prize-human-rights

First administrative case opened against election watchdog GOLOS in Russia

April 11, 2013

I have expressed concern in earlier posts about the efforts of several governments – especially Russia – who use legal and administrative means to stop or restrict the work of NGOs. Russia uses the gimmick of requiring NGOs that receive funding from abroad to register as ‘foreign agents’. Many organisations have vowed to refuse. The campaign however grinds on and now Front Line reports the first case:Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

On 9 April 2013, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation opened a case of administrative violation against the NGO ‘GOLOS’ Association for the defence of the rights of voters and its executive director Ms Lilya Shibanova. The Ministry of Justice stated on its official website that GOLOS receives foreign funding and participates in political activity, so the organisation should have registered as a ‘foreign agent’ and, by failing to do so, has infringed Article 19.34(1).  On 10 April 2013, the Ministry of Justice will transmit the administrative case against GOLOS to the court. As GOLOS and its executive director have already made public their decision not to register as ‘foreign agent’ under any circumstances, the administrative conviction may be the first step to the closure of the organisation. Read the rest of this entry »

Azerbaijan: Arrest as reprisal for speaking out before the Council of Europe ?

January 26, 2013

The Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) was informed today by its partners that prominent human rights defenders were arrested in Baku, Azerbaijan, in connection with a protest held on Saturday 26 January 2013:

Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Azerbaijan’s capital to express solidarity with recent protests in the central town of Ismayilli.More than 40 participants to the peaceful protests were detained, including prominent blogger Emin Milli,  Rafto Prize winner 2009 Malahat Nasibova, human rights lawyer Intigam Alieyev, as well as investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova.The arrests happen to come two days after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan and called upon the authorities to stop attacks and harassment against  human rights defenders. The Azerbaijani human rights defenders present in Strasbourg held a joint press conference in the Council of Europe buildings on Wednesday 23 January 2013.
“By arresting within a crowd of protesters also these prominent human rights defenders, Azerbaijan authorities show that they use detention as a tool to punish critical voices, few days after those critical voices expressed their opinions at the Council of Europe” says HRHF.