Posts Tagged ‘Souhayr Belhassen’

Side event on Egypt as a human rights emergency

September 8, 2014

During the current session of the Human Rights Council there will again many side events in Geneva. I will refer to some of them not only in the hope that you may able to attend, but also to illustrate the concerns of the NGO movement:

On Tuesday 9 September from 12.00 to 13.30 (Palais des Nations, Room XXI) there will be a side-event organised jointly by Amnesty International, CIVICUS, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, ISHR and the International Bar Association. Speakers are:

  • Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
  • Souhayr Belhassen, Honourary President, International Federation for Human Rights FIDH
  • Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Program, Amnesty International
  • Phillip Tahmindjis, Director, International Bar Association Human Rights Institute
  • Moderator: Yves Magat, Journalist, Télévision Suisse Romande
via Egypt: A human rights emergency | ISHR.

Respected Iranian lawyer in exile, Karim Lahidji, elected President of the FIDH

May 28, 2013
Iranians are 'against' a conflict with the West
(Karim Lahidji, President of the International Federation of Human Rights(c) FRANCE 24)
Today Karim Lahidji was elected as new President of FIDH. He succeeds to Souhayr Belhassen who headed the Federation for six years. The vote was held during the 38th FIDH Congress in Istanbul where the FIDH member organisations were meeting to elect the new International Board and define the main FIDH orientations for the next three years. “It is an immense honour Read the rest of this entry »

Russia goes ahead with hundreds of inspections against HRDs to paralyse human rights work

March 26, 2013

I have reported extensively over the last days on the question of growing judicial and administrative harassment of NGOs and human rights defenders, including the adoption of a resolution last week by the UN Human Rights Council recalling that “domestic law and administrative provisions […] should facilitate the work of human rights defenders, including by avoiding any criminalization, stigmatization, impediments, obstructions or restrictions thereof contrary to international human rights law”. Still, this is exactly what the Russian Federation is doing at the moment according to a statement by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders: Hundreds of NGOs are being subjected to inspections by Government officials across the Russian Federation. This follows the adoption in 2012 of several laws contradicting the right to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression. …Since the end of February until today, dozens of inspections of NGOs have been launched in at least 13 regions of the Russian Federation, including Krasnodar, Moscow, Orenburg, Penza, Perm and Altai territories, St. Petersburg, Primorsky, Saratov and Rostov provinces. In St. Petersburg, the Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor declared on March 19, 2013 that over the month some 5,000 inspections would be conducted to check compliance with the laws on terrorism, extremism as well as other offences. After this date, dozens of NGOs were inspected in St. Petersburg, including LGBT, human rights and environmental NGOs. Across the country, these operations have been conducted by prosecutors, together with, in some cases, officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Security Service FSB, the Ministry of Emergencies, the Federal Service for Supervision of Protection of Consumer Rights and Human Well-Being, the Tax Inspectorate, the Centre E, a unit specialised in anti-extremism, and even the fire service. According to the information received, inspections have particularly targeted groups that supposedly receive foreign funding and conduct monitoring or advocacy work. The scope of the inspections appears to be far-ranging, though inspectors have particularly insisted on the issue of funding. The massive character as well as methods used during inspections disproportionately interfere with the right to freedom of association: the number of inspections is massive, most inspections are unannounced, NGOs have been given short deadlines to provide a huge amount of documents and vague and non-exhaustive lists of requirements. In the case of prominent NGO Human Rights Centre “Memorial”, a pro-government TV crew was informed and present during the inspection. The news report entitled “Memorial hides its income from the Prosecutors Office” was broadcast the same day before the end of the inspection, in flagrant violation of the presumption of innocence. “Information on NGOs sources of funding are public. 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.
Read the rest of this entry »

Full report of observer mission to trial of Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain now available

February 17, 2013

BCHR_NABEEL_RAJAB_SPEECHThe Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), published on 14 February 2013 a report, which presents the findings of a judicial observation mission conducted on the trial in appeal of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. The report concludes that a series of violations of the right to fair trial marred the judicial process and that  Nabeel Rajab is suffering judicial harassment (and was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment) for merely advocating for and exercising the right to peaceful assembly in Bahrain. The report is available in English and Arabic. 

Nabeel Rajab is President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Deputy Secretary General of FIDH, and the BCHR was 2012 nominee for the MEA. Read the rest of this entry »

FIDH devotes 90th anniversary to Human Rights Defenders in detention

December 16, 2012

Ales Bialiatski, Nabeel Rajab, Nasrin Sotoudeh… I dedicate this evening to them” With these words Souhayr Belhassen = the President of one of the oldest human rights NGOs in the world (the Anti-Slavery Society is older I think) – assigned the 90th anniversary of FIDH to its 26 activists currently in detention. Interesting to note that two of the three were nominees of the MEA tyhis year,

These human rights activists are fighting for their freedom and their rights; they are fighting for our freedom and our rights. It is to them that I dedicate this gala evening. Your presence here this evening is a sign of your support for our fight. In their name, and in the name of FIDH, I thank you.”

read more on Human Rights Defenders : Souhayr Belhassen dedicates the 90th anniversary … – FIDH.