Posts Tagged ‘sexual violence’

TRIAL books success in two major cases against impunity

May 2, 2018

Two major cases of universal jurisdiction – after years of work – have finally borne fruit in the month of April 2018: One verdict in Switzerland (Sperisen) and one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Colonel “Marocain”) make the case that the mobilization of human rights defenders and civil society can really make a change.

TRIAL is also organising on 18 June  2018 a round-table <http://tracking.etapestry.com/t/35021127/1307643942/76621378/0/96504/?x=04c6288b> in Geneva on the fight against wartime sexual violence. This event will also be the occasion to celebrate the organization’s 15th anniversary.[see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/06/13/trial-at-14-has-a-facelift/]

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https://trialinternational.org/latest-post/affaire-sperisen-lancien-chef-de-la-police-du-guatemala-complice-dexecutions-extrajudiciaires/

https://trialinternational.org/latest-post/drc-head-of-militia-receives-20-years-sentence-for-mass-crimes/

Profile of Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo: an amazingly courageous doctor

April 12, 2016

Dr Denis Mukwege is a surgeon and the most prominent human rights defender from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He won several international awards as detailed in earlier posts [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/congolese-gynecologist-wins-europes-sakharov-prize-in-2014/https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/human-rights-first-honors-doctor-denis-mukwege-in-washington-on-21-october/]. He was in Geneva on the occasion of the 2016 International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights for the screening of the documentary film The Man Who Mends Women. The ISHR met with Mukwege on 31 March 2016 and published the following profile with details of his grassroots activities to defend women’s dignity and of the threats he faces due to his work: Dr. Denis Mukwege

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George Clooney speaks out on sexual violence in Darfur

February 26, 2015

Getty Images

Whatever your opinion of George Clooney as an actor, there is no doubt that he is one of the most willing to use his celebrity for human rights causes. The latest example is his Op-Ed piece in the The New York Times, entitled, “George Clooney on Sudan’s Rape of Darfur” (together with John Prendergast and Akshaya Kumar, published on 25 February 2015)  .

Because Sudan’s government routinely blocks journalists from going into the Darfur region and severely restricts access for humanitarian workers, any window into life there is limited,” Clooney says. “The government has hammered the joint peacekeeping mission of the United Nations and African Union into silence about human rights concerns by shutting down the United Nations human rights office in the capital, Khartoum, hampering investigators of alleged human rights abuses and pressuring the peacekeeping force to withdraw.

The 53-year-old actor then explains the evidence that has been received from citizen journalists and local human rights defenders with that videos have been smuggled out.

Read the complete piece here.

Human Rights First Honors Doctor Denis Mukwege in Washington on 21 October|

October 17, 2013

Dr. Denis Mukwege

As founder and medical director of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Denis Mukwege and his staff have treated over 30,000 survivors of sexual violence. The hospital not only addresses the immediate medical needs of survivors, but also provides legal and psycho-social services. Dr. Mukwege has received numerous awards for his tireless advocacy against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and for his courageous efforts to provide essential services to survivors of rape.

Human Rights First will honor Dr. Mukwege with its 2013 Human Rights Award, an honor dedicated to human rights defenders on the frontlines of the struggle for freedom. Physicians for Human Rights collaborates with Dr. Mukwege and the staff of Panzi Hospital to bolster local networks of collaboration among the health and legal communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to end impunity for sexual violence and support meaningful access to justice for survivors of these crimes.

On Monday 21 October 2013 (15h30) there is a public reception at the Stewart R. Mott House, 122 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.

 via Reception Honoring Dr. Denis Mukwege | Human Rights First.

 

Colombian Human Rights Defender dies under controversial circumstances

March 4, 2013

Colombian human rights defender Angélica Bello died on 16 February in controversial circumstancesFor years Angélica Bello, a human rights defender from Colombia, rarely spent a day alone – that would have been, simply, too dangerous. A number of threats against her because of her job helping the many survivors of sexual violence – women caught up in Colombia’s long-running armed conflict – meant that it was too dangerous for the 45-year-old mother of four to travel alone. In 2000, two of her daughters were kidnapped and kept as sexual slaves by paramilitaries, and were only released after Angélica personally intervened. Read the rest of this entry »

MEA Laureate files complaint against Uzbek government for forcible sterilisation and torture

February 28, 2013

mutabar in berlin zoo Duco oct 2008

Mutabar Tadjibayeva, one of Uzbekistan’s best known human rights defenders and Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award 2008, has filed a complaint against Uzbekistan for her brutal torture and forced sterilisation when she was serving an eight-year prison sentence for her human rights activities. The international human rights organisations FIDH and REDRESS recently filed the complaint on her behalf before the UN Human Rights Committee. This is the first known case before the Committee involving a Uzbek human rights defender being forcibly sterilised.

Tadijbayeva has repeatedly sought an investigation from Uzbek authorities into the serious human rights violations that she has suffered since 2002, but her claims have never been investigated and no-one has ever been prosecuted for them. Tadjibayeva is asking the Committee to order Uzbekistan to conduct an effective investigation, punish those found responsible and provide her with reparation, including compensation, as well as her full medical records about the surgery that left her infertile, among other things.
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Dutch Minister Ploumen demands protection for human rights defenders in Congo

February 9, 2013

Emergency workers and human rights defenders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC must be protected, stated Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation on 5 February 2013. The Minister was speaking after talks with Alexandre Luba, the Congolese defence minister and deputy prime minister, and trade minister Jean-Paul Nemoyato. During those talks she focused on the position of Dr Denis Mukwege. Last year human rights defender Dr Mukwege fled to Europe after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt in which one of his security guards was killed (as I reported in an earlier post in this blog). The gynaecologist has now returned to DRC but his life remains in danger, and his work for female victims of rape and mutilation continues to be obstructed.During the talks, the defence minister acknowledged that military personnel have been guilty of sexual violence against women, including rape. The Netherlands is supporting the United Nations stabilisation and reconstruction plan aimed at combating violence, is helping to fund MONUSCO rape investigations, and will be spending one million euros this year on projects providing care and shelter to victims. The Minister is on a visit to the Great Lakes Region, where she is finding out about the conflict in eastern DRC, security, the humanitarian situation, human rights and economic developments.

via Ploumen: human rights defenders in Congo need protection | News item | Government.nl.

Syria: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights does not mince words before General Assembly

February 16, 2012

While many of us are in despair over the inaction by the Security Council due to the exercise of a veto on geopolitical grounds, one high level official, Mrs Pillay, at least speaks out relentlessly, recently at the General Assembly of the UN in New York. The short video here embedded was uploaded by the UN:

States must “act now” to protect Syrian people, UN human rights chief tells General Assembly – YouTube.