Posts Tagged ‘police brutality’

WCC consultation urges protection of human rights in Papua, Indonesia

October 16, 2013

On 16 October Scoop News reports on a consultation, held on 25 September 2013 in Geneva, entitled Isolating Papua which highlighted the increasing practice of limiting access to the Papuan provinces of Indonesia. Read the rest of this entry »

Kenya: Human Rights Defenders under attack but continue to speak out against skipping the ICC

October 15, 2013

Yesterday, 15 October, the Kenyan police arrested seven members of Bunge la Mwananchi on suspicion of illegal assembly as they were protesting a tax increase on commodities. Amongst those arrested was human rights defender Ruth Mumbi. Read the rest of this entry »

Angola rights groups denounce rising police violence but it continues

September 29, 2013

On 4 September human rights groups in Angola denounced an escalation in police brutality against civilians since the start of the year in the oil-rich nation. “In recent months we have seen high levels of police violence in Angola against peaceful protests, street vendors, journalists, activists and human rights defenders,” a group of 20 organisations said in a statement. The groups criticised the “inhumane and cruel” treatment of prison inmates, after a video showing police and firemen beating prisoners in the capital Luanda was widely circulated on social networks. The broad coalition of human rights, environmental and development organisations across the country collaborate under an umbrella organisation, the Working Group for the Monitoring of Human Rights in Angola. The country’s interior ministry has condemned the violence and launched an inquiry to find the culprits. Since the end of a civil war a decade ago Angola’s economy has grown fast, and the country is now Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria. But most of its citizens live in poverty, and civil society groups as well as international organisations regularly complain of police abuse. “Our political governance system was built on violence and the exclusion of the poor or those who are different. That is what we should attack,” said Elias Isaac from the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa.

“The arrests and assaults on peaceful protesters and journalists are a heavy-handed attempt to silence people who have every right to express their views. Angola’s government should swiftly reverse course, free those wrongly jailed, and investigate the police officers responsible.” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director of Human Rights Watch on 23 SeptemberOn September 19, 2013, police arrested 22 protesters who sought to demonstrate near Independence Square in Luanda and hand out leaflets calling for social justice. Two released that day were quoted in local media alleging that they were beaten and otherwise mistreated in custody. On September 20, three journalists who sought to interview some newly freed protesters were themselves arrested, threatened, and beaten by the police….The three journalists told Human Rights Watch that they were conducting the interviews on the street about three hundred meters away from the court when approximately forty heavily armed rapid intervention police officers arrived in five cars with sirens, including two armored vehicles. They arrested the three journalists, seven of the just-released protesters, and a businessman who had being filming the incident from a nearby office building. All were taken to a rapid intervention police command center where they were ill-treated and threatened. The mistreatment of the journalists was a clear attempt to intimidate the media, Human Rights Watch said.

Since 2011, inspired by popular uprisings in the Middle East, a small, peaceful movement of Angolan activist groups has sought to protest corruption, restrictions on free speech and other rights, and rising inequality in the oil-rich country. Angolan police and security agents have repeatedly disrupted peaceful protests organized by different groups, including youths and war veterans. Police regularly use unnecessary or excessive force and arbitrarily detain protesters. The state media have staged a campaign calling any antigovernment protest an attempt to “wage war.” In a country at peace for the first time in the last decade, such campaigns have raised fear among the population. Journalists and other observers who seek to document the protests and the government’s response have been regularly harassed, detained, and sometimes mistreated.

via Angola rights groups denounce rising police violence | GlobalPost and

http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/09/23/angola-new-crackdown-peaceful-dissent

 

Philippines Chief Human Rights Defender, Rosales, asked to resign for ‘incompetence’

July 30, 2013

The Business Mirror in the Philippines published on Monday 29 July 2013 a piece quoting the human-rights group Karapatan which asked the Chair of the Commission on Human Rights, Loretta Ann Rosales, to step down for allegedly failing to fulfill the mandate of her office. The group said that instead of doing her job as the country’s chief human-rights defender, Read the rest of this entry »

Greece: xenofilia with racist edge says HRW report today

June 12, 2013

I happen to live – and quite happily – in Greece but there are moments that I am almost ashamed. I reported on some of these moments before, but today’s report by Human Rights Watch Read the rest of this entry »

Criminalization of rights defenders and impunity for police in Burma

May 20, 2013

English: Map showing Sagaing Region in Burma

Sagaing Region in Burma (credit: Wikipedia)

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns in the strongest terms the announcement of the commander of the Sagaing Region Police Force, Myanmar, that the police will arrest and charge eight human rights defenders whom it blames for inciting protests against the army-backed copper mine project in Monywa. The Commission also condemns the latest round of needless police violence against demonstrators there. According to an undated announcement just issued by the regional commander of the Myanmar Police Force, a copy of which the AHRC has obtained, the police will lodge charges against eight persons for allegedly provoking demonstrations and other supposedly illegal actions. The persons named include six members of the Yangon Peoples Support Network. The other two persons are Han Win Aung of the Political Prisoners Families Beneficial Network and Thaung Taik Oo of the Yangon Institute of Technology Students Union (18 charges!). The announcement goes on to warn that failure to provide information leading to the apprehension of these persons or harbouring of them constitute criminal offenses. Read the rest of this entry »

Zambian Civil Society Groups Request Review of Human Rights Policy

March 6, 2013

Just an example of how politics and elections interact with the role of human rights defenders, always a touchy subject:

After the Zambian Police arrested and charged Zambia’s opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, on 27 January 2013, seven 7 Civil Society Organisations in Zambia have called upon the Zambia’s Human Rights Commission, Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, the Commonwealth and “other human rights defenders” to review Zambia’s human rights record and denounce the violations by the Zambian Government. The organisations have also called upon the Electoral Commission of Zambia to cancel by-elections in Livingstone and Mpongwe in accordance with Section 28 of the Electoral Act No. 12 of 2002. Reading the statement during the Press Briefing at FODEP House in Lusaka on behalf of the 7 organisations the Young African Leaders Initiative  President Andrew Ntewewe, called on the Deputy Inspector General of Police to immediately resign for violating fundamental political rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Zambia when he banned political rallies in the Livingstone. With a strong sense of exaggeration the organisations have advised the Zambian Police Command to resist the temptation of “turning the Police Service into a unit similar to NAZIs Gestapo under Hitler in Germany”. The 7 organisations have lambasted the Zambia Police for their continued unprofessionalism in handling matters that border on freedom of expression, assembly, movement and association. The organisations that appended their signatures to the statement included; Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), Operation Young Vote (OYV), Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP), Southern Centre for Construction Resolutions of Disputes (SACCORD), Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) and the Zambia National Womens Lobby Group (ZNWLG).

via allAfrica.com: Zambia: Civil Society Groups Request Review of Human Rights.