Posts Tagged ‘Romania’

Iranian human rights defender charged with “dancing in prison” and alleged torturer may escape justice

June 17, 2020

Narges Mohammadi has "serious health problems," her brother says, but is not allowed out of prison to see a doctor.
Narges Mohammadi has “serious health problems,” her brother says, but is not allowed out of prison to see a doctor.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the latest “absurd charge” brought against jailed Iranian journalist and human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, who has been imprisoned since 2015. On 12 June 2020 RSF urged the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Javaid Rehman, to “intervene quickly and do everything possible to obtain the release of Iran’s longest-held woman journalist.

In a recent open letter to the Iranian judicial authorities, her brother revealed that she was now accused of “dancing in prison during the days of mourning” commemorating the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein, a revered figure in Shi’ite Islam. Mehdi Mohammadi, now a refugee in Norway, also wrote that his sister had serious health problems but “was not allowed out of prison to see a doctor, who went to her cell.” “This persecution of Narges Mohammadi is evidence of judicial discrimination at the behest of the Intelligence Ministry and senior justice system officials,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk.

Mohammadi, 47, has been awarded several prestigious prizes, including the Per Anger Prize in 2011 and the APS Sakharov prize in 2017 [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/10/28/imprisoned-human-rights-defender-narges-mohammadi-awarded-aps-sakharov-prize-2018/]. For more information on these and other awards see: http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest

In the meantime there is also an interesting case of an Iranian judge and former prosecutor who was arrested in Romania by Interpol for rights violations (13 June 2020 Radio Farda)

Gholamreza Mansouri, Iranian judge and former prosecutor.
Gholamreza Mansouri, Iranian judge and former prosecutor.

Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman confirmed that Interpol has detained Gholamreza Mansouri in Romania. He is accused of human rights violations by rights defenders, but he is also one of the defendants in a recent sensational corruption case in Iran who fled to Europe. Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili said Mansouri’s extradition is not possible now due to coronavirus restrictions but he will be returned to Iran and put on trial for corruption. He also told a local news network that Iran requested the arrest through the Interpol.

Iranian journalists and human rights activists want Mansouri to be put on trial in Germany or another European country for his grave human rights violations including the arrest and torture of journalists. SEE ALSO: Fearsome Prosecutor Of Journalists Accused Of Taking Bribes, Flees Iran

In a tweet on June 11, the Secretary-General of Reporters without Borders urged German authorities not to let him escape justice. Reporters without Borders (RSF) has supported the call of Iranian activists and filed a complaint with Germany’s Federal Public Prosecutor against Mansouri for the arrest and torture of at least 20 journalists in 2013….Mansouri is a highly influential prosecutor and judge notoriously famous for prosecuting journalists and putting them behind bars. In one instance in 2013 he ordered the simultaneous arrest of 20 journalists in one day.

Mansouri’s name came up as one of the recipients of bribes in the first trial session of Akbar Tabari, a former Judiciary deputy. The former judge allegedly received 500,000 euro in bribes from Tabari.

In a video published on social media on June 9, Mansouri claimed that he was abroad for treatment of a serious medical condition and could not return due to the restrictions introduced after the breakout of coronavirus. He did not reveal where he was but said he would go to an Iranian embassy to arrange for his return to defend himself against the corruption charges.

See also; https://iranian.com/2018/02/08/1000-days-counting/

https://www.rferl.org/a/jailed-iranian-journalist-faces-new-absurd-charge/30667834.html

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-prosecutor-wanted-for-corruption-and-rights-violations-arrested-by-interpol/30668621.html

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1689336/middle-east

Geneva Human Rights film festival went ahead via livestream: the winners

March 20, 2020

Geneva Human Rights film festival goes ahead via livestream amid Covid-19 outbreak
The 18th edition of the Geneva International Film Festival on Human Rights has revealed its prizewinners, despite the exceptional conditions caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. This year’s festival took place online [https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/03/03/another-covid-19-casualty-the-2020-human-rights-film-festival-of-geneva-fifdh/]. Whilst the public could not attend screenings and debates, they could follow them on Livestream on the festival website, Facebook or YouTube. (All the debates and lectures can be found on the festival website.)

The Jury also watched the films from a distance and announced the winners online:

The winner of the Grand Geneva Award for the Creative Documentary Competition was the film Colectiv by Bucharest-born filmmaker, Alexander Nanau. “Colectiv is a spectacular political thriller that details of a team of sports journalists who investigate the collective nightclub fire in Romania and, in doing so, uncover high-level government corruption in the Ministry of Health itself,” said President of the Jury Pamela Yates.

The Gilda Vieira de Mello Award for Peace and Reconciliation went to the film ‘Radio Silence‘ by Juliana Fanjul. “At the centre of this documentary is the figure of Carmen Aristegui. This fighter, this Mexican journalist, inspires us so much with her courage, a courage which in my eyes resonates strongly with the whole festival team who decided, despite the very complicated coronavirus situation, not to give up and to set up a 2.0 program to try to continue to communicate the messages of fight and defence that our films carry,” said the films director, Juliana Fanjul.

The Grand Prize for Fiction and Human Rights was awarded to the film Maternal by Maura Delpero. In a country where abortion is not yet legal, Delpero’s first fiction film deals with a significant social issue by setting it in a convent- a place where pregnant and often underage girls cohabit with women who will never be mothers.

https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/17/geneva-human-rights-film-festival-goes-ahead-via-livestream-amid-covid-19-outbreak

The three Child Rights Heroes for 2018 are announced

April 23, 2018

Three Child Rights Heroes are honoured by the World’s Children’s Prize (WCP) 2018. Learn more about them by clicking their names below.

Gabriel Mejía Montoya for his efforts over the course of more than 30 years to support Colombia’s street children, child soldiers and children in prison. Father Gabriel has suffered repeated attempts on his life because of his work.

Rachel Lloyd for her 20-year fight against commercial sexual exploitation, CSEC, and domestic trafficking of girls and young women in the US. Rachel is a survivor of sexual and mental abuse during her childhood in England and exploitation in the sex industry in Europe.

Valeriu Nicolae for his tireless struggle to protect the poorest and most vulnerable children in Romania’s Ferentari ghetto. Valeriu grew up in extreme poverty and was discriminated against because he was Roma.

The candidates were selected by a jury of children from 15 different countries.  Rachel Lloyd has been elected Child Rights Hero by millions of young people. Gabriel Mejía Montoya from Colombia and Valeriu Nicolae from Romania get the World’s Children’s Honorary Awards.

For more information on this and other human rights awards: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/worlds-childrens-prize-for-the-rights-of-the-child
http://www.worldschildrensprize.org/about-us