Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Defending the Defenders: networking in the USA

May 23, 2014

With the introduction: “Human rights defenders are people like you – people who stand up for the right of others in the face of risk. In the U.S., human rights defenders face specific threats that impact their collective ability to work and seek justice“,  five NGOs based in the USA and working for human rights in the US call on other human rights defenders to register for a training course on human rights education on Wednesday 28 May 2h00 pm to 3h00 pm (EDT). Dream Defenders, Maryland Legal Aid, the US Human Rights Network [USHRN], the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Center for Reproductive Rights come together to teach about the work of U.S.-based human rights defenders and the special protections they have under international law; and to have the opportunity to hear from fellow human rights defenders about how they have successfully used these international protections and other forms of international advocacy to protect themselves and their ability to work. Speakers:

  • Ejim Dike, Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network
  • Sunita Patel, Staff Attorney at Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Karla Torres, Human Rights Fellow at Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Ahmad Abuznaid, Legal and Policy Director at Dream Defenders
  • Reena Shah, Director of Human Rights Project at Maryland Legal Aid

For more information and to download the flyer in PDF:  Defending the Defenders | US Human Rights Network.

Jimmy Carter’s new book on the rights of woman and how religions have kept them suppressed

April 8, 2014

Former President Jimmy Carter (89 years old!!) has incredible stamina but his latest book – A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power – is remarkable not just because of that high age but because it is incredibly blunt in describing how religions have systematically denigrated women, leading to prejudice, infanticide and horrific violence. The highlights of the interview below with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, about “the human and civil rights struggle of our time”, in too interesting to try and summarize and the same goes for the long excerpt from the book following: Read the rest of this entry »

American Civil Liberties Union sees Snowden as a Human Rights Defender!

December 20, 2013

Whether Edward Snowden is a human rights defender or a criminal has been much debated and was also reported on in this blog. He was nominated for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize and received the Netizen’s award from the NGO Reporters without Borders. Now the highly respected American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), through its Executive Director Anthony Romero, has taken a clear stand and his article of 17 December 2013 is provided here in full:Snowden photo

Edward Snowden is a Patriot

Read the rest of this entry »

Susan Rice speech at Human Rights First Summit considered positive

December 5, 2013

Following a major human rights speech delivered by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, at the Human Rights First Summit, CEO Elisa Massimino issued the following statement: “Today’s speech was a welcome affirmation of the Obama HRF logoAdministration’s commitment to protecting human rights at home and abroad. Ambassador Rice made a compelling case for why this effort is squarely in the national interest, arguing that short term trade-offs cannot alter our foundational values, and that respect for human rights is essential to our security. Detailing not just the ‘easy cases’ but also those where the United States has competing interests, Rice spelled out the ways the administration balances these interests, while seeking to uphold American ideals.  She underscored the administration’s commitment to following through on promises to shutter Guantanamo and take the nation off of its current war-footing. We encourage the administration to double down on efforts to more actively and creatively support human rights defenders in places like Egypt, Bahrain, and Russia, priorities that Ambassador Rice touched on today. We look forward to working with the administration to keep human rights at the heart of U.S. foreign policy today, and in the long term.”  After her speech Susan Rice met with human rights defenders from Bahrain, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and the international LGBT community.

via Rice Delivers Major Human Rights Speech at Human Rights First Summit | Human Rights First.

 

USA Human Rights Defender Award given to Syrian HRD Hanadi Zahlout

November 19, 2013

On 15 November 2013 William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary of State of the USA, spoke at a ceremony honoring Syrian human rights defender Ms. Hanadi Zahlout, who was accorded the 2013 Human Rights Defender Award of the US Government. He said inter alia: Read the rest of this entry »

Human Rights Defenders Demonstrate at Coca-Cola Headquarters in Atlanta

October 31, 2013

In an effort to solicit a response from the longtime Olympic partner Coca Cola, New York-based NGO ‘All Out’ dispatched three mobile billboards to Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. The billboards bore messages: “Don’t Stay Bottled Up,” and “Speak Out Against Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws.” Trucks carrying the messages circled the company’s campus as All Out supporters displayed posters across the street from the main gates.

(trucks roll by Coca-Cola headquarters – ATR)

150,000 people have sent messages to Coca-Cola asking them to speak up and speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws,” says Wesley Adams, COO of All Out. “Coca-Cola’s been a strong supporter of gay and lesbian people in the United States. We’re asking them to extend that commitment to Russia as a Top Olympic Sponsor.

(A protester holds a sign across from the company’s main gate – ATR)

We’ve asked for three things,” he says. “One is to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Two is to financially support Russian human rights defenders who are working on the ground there and three is to ask the IOC to change their rules so that future Olympics will only go to countries that respect human rights.

Written and reported by Nick Devlin in Atlanta  On-the-Scene — Human Rights Group Demonstrates at Coca-Cola HQ

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RFK Center Expands Human Rights Video Contest to Students from the whole USA

October 12, 2013

On Thursday 3 October the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights [RFK Center] launched its third annual “Speak Truth to Power Student Video Contest“. This year, the contest is for the first time open to student filmmakers from all of the USA in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, the New York State United Teachers and the Tribeca Film Institute. The video competition, originally launched in New York State in 2011, invites students to create a 3-6 minute video examining a human rights issue or violation and profiling the defenders who are fighting to restore justice.

Last year’s prize went to students of the Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn, who made a film about the work of sexual slavery and trafficking activist Juliana Dogbadzi of Ghana.

Additional details can be found at http://www.speaktruthvideo.com

via Teachers, RFK Center Expand Annual Human Rights Video Contest to Students and Schools across America – The Paramus Post – Greater Paramus News and Lifestyle Webzine.

Right Livelihood Awards 2013 announced today

September 26, 2013

Today were announced as the 2013 Right Livelihood Laureates:

Paul Walker (USA), 

Raji Sourani (Palestine),

Denis Mukwege (Democratic Republic of Congo) and 

Hans Herren/Biovision Foundation (Switzerland).

for more information see: http://www.rightlivelihood.org/

 

Ford Foundation Grants $6 Million to Seven Organizations to Reshape the Global Human Rights Movement

September 24, 2013

On 18 September the Ford Foundation announced $6.25 million in grants to seven leading human rights organizations that will strengthen and diversify the global human rights movement. The 7 grants focus on human rights organizations that operate in numerous countries and international forums, underscoring the foundation’s long commitment to supporting collaboration. Combined with a five-year, $50 million initiative announced last year to support human rights organizations based outside Europe and the United States, Ford is spurring innovative thinking about the way the global human rights system functions and its capacity to address 21st century issues such as economic and social inequality.

The human rights movement has arguably been the most effective and wide-reaching social movement of our time,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “But the movement faces a notably different set of challenges today than it did even 15 years ago, along with a new set of opportunities for advancing human rights in today’s world. The grants we make today will enable these institutions to more actively adapt, diversify and retool the way the movement works for all of us.

The seven grants announced today will support: Read the rest of this entry »

American Bar Association Writes to Nigerian Justice Minister about HRDs

September 21, 2013

In the Guardian of Nigeria of 21 September, Joseph Okoghenun writes that the American Bar Association [ABA] yesterday expressed their disappointments on the inability of the Nigerian Government to enforce rule of law and respect the rights of Nigerians, especially of those defending human rights in the country.  In letter specifically addressed to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, the Center for Human Rights of the ABA, said it was deeply  “concerned at recent events in Nigeria that threaten the rights and activities of human rights defenders and undermine the rule of law.” The letter cited several reports it received from Nigerian NGO Civil Liberties Organisation [CLO] about conduct that “reflect a pattern of ongoing human rights abuses by security forces in Nigeria, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and extortion”. The ABA strongly but respectfully urged the minister of justice  to look into this matter.

via American Lawyers Write Justice Minister, Seek Enforcement Of Human Rights.