Posts Tagged ‘tribute’

Sir Nigel Rodley – a giant human rights scholar – passed away

January 26, 2017

It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of my old friend Nigel Rodley at the age of 75. From 1973 to 1990, he was the first Legal Adviser of Amnesty International (I was Executive Secretary of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva at the time) and in that capacity we met often and worked together on many projects, in particular the coming about of the International Convention Against Torture. Nigel went on to become the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture, President of the International Commission of Jurists, Chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee and a long-time professor and Chair of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex. We saw each other last year at the anniversary party of our common friend Leah Levin and he was as sharp as ever. Reed Brody on his Facebook page wrote rightly: “Sir Nigel Rodley, one of the legends in the field of international human rights“. We will miss him.

If you would like to see and hear him, go to the minutes 34-48 in the video report of 2016 contained in: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2016/02/10/video-to-learn-more-about-the-nels… Read the rest of this entry »

Please contribute to AWID’s Tribute to Women Human Rights Defenders!

September 12, 2015

 

As part of this year’s 16-Days Campaign Against Gender Based Violence (November 25 – December 10 2015), join AWID in commemorating the women human rights defenders (WHRDs) who have died in the last 12 months and help us celebrate their lives and contributions to the defense of human rights.


WHRD Tribute screenshot

AWID’s Tribute to Women Human Rights Defenders Who Are No Longer With Us is an online photo exhibition featuring photographs and biographies of women’s rights leaders from around the world – honors WHRDs who have died and whose contributions to the advancement of human rights are very much missed.

While many of these women have passed away due to accidents, illnesses and natural disasters, about one third of those honored in the tribute were killed or disappeared due to their activism.

For the submission guidelines follow the link: Call for Submissions: Contribute to AWID’s Tribute to Women Human Rights Defenders! | AWID and send your contribution to awidtribute@gmail.com with the subject line “AWID Tribute 2015” by 30 September, 2015.

 

‘Unsung Heroes’ – EU Tribute to Human Rights Defenders on 2 December in Geneva

November 28, 2014

Under the title “Unsung Heroes” the EU Delegation to the UN in  Geneva is organizing a Tribute to Human Rights Defenders on 2 December 2014 at 13h00 in the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

In light of the 10th anniversary of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and ahead of the Human Rights Day, Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, will discuss interactively with NGOs, Human Rights Defenders and International Organisations the challenges of speaking up for human rights. The event will also include the Geneva launch of a study conducted by the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation on Women Human Right Defenders’ exposure to threats and violence.

The debate on questions such as “What does it take to stand up for human rights?”, “What risks do human rights defenders face, in particular if they are women?” and “What can we do to provide better support?” will be followed by the screening of the film documentary “Six Days”, portraying three women in three different countries, fighting for change in the wake of war and conflict.

I should add that the choice of the title ‘Unsung Heroes’ leaves to be desired as it has been used a lot by different organisations, including the US State Department, the Carter Foundation, the Martin Ennals Foundation for its 2001 study, the OHCHR, PBI, Freedom etc.

See also my post from two days ago: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/tribute-remembering-women-human-rights-defenders/

 

South Africa disappoints terribly in the Human Rights Council: support for China’s silencing the silence

March 27, 2014

A column in the South African City Press under the title “A chilling point of order for SA” written by Juliette De Rivero on 26 March 2014 makes a punchy statement about the disappointment felt all though the human rights movement when South Africa opted to support China’s point of order in the UN Council of Human Rights. In my post about this ‘court drama’ (reference below) I did not list all the countries coming out against allowing a moment of silence for the deceased Chinese human rights defender Cao Shunli and indeed the position of South Africa was in many way the most surprising, in de Rivero’s words: “…The South African delegate took the floor and warned that allowing the activists to proceed with the moment of silence would “create a dangerous precedent” that the council would not be able to sustain in the future.He noted that the action was “irregular and incompatible with the rules of procedure of this council”.South Africa’s choice to stand with the government that prevented Cao Shunli from participating in the UN came as a blow to the activist community – a community that was willing to stand up for Cao just as it had been willing to denounce the injustice of apartheid.South Africa’s concern that the moment of silence – not the death of the activist – was setting a bad precedent in the UN body sent such a chilling message to the human rights community that it should not be ignored…”

Let me add: That silence is a way of speaking should be clear to all, including South Africa, e.g. when on 6 December 2013 the General Assembly held a moment of silence to honour the memory of Nelson Mandela (“Madiba”).

full piece in:  A chilling point of order for SA – City Press.

background in: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/china-in-the-un-human-rights-council-manages-to-silence-cao-shunli-as-well-as-ngos/