(Tech Defenders links tech community to protect human rights defenders) Read the rest of this entry »
To boycott or not: Rebecca Vincent devotes a post to this issue after seeing the Malmo Eurovision song festivalMay 20, 2013
A long and very interesting blog post on Al-Jazeera (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/2013519690697916.html) by Rebecca Vincent goes back to Azerbaijan 2012 and reflects on the pros and cons of boycotts as an action to tool for human rights defenders:
“As an estimated 125 million viewers tuned in to watch the grand final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, on May 18, I could not help but think how different this year’s Eurovision experience was from last year’s, when the contest was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Read the rest of this entry »
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns in the strongest terms the announcement of the commander of the Sagaing Region Police Force, Myanmar, that the police will arrest and charge eight human rights defenders whom it blames for inciting protests against the army-backed copper mine project in Monywa. The Commission also condemns the latest round of needless police violence against demonstrators there. According to an undated announcement just issued by the regional commander of the Myanmar Police Force, a copy of which the AHRC has obtained, the police will lodge charges against eight persons for allegedly provoking demonstrations and other supposedly illegal actions. The persons named include six members of the Yangon Peoples Support Network. The other two persons are Han Win Aung of the Political Prisoners Families Beneficial Network and Thaung Taik Oo of the Yangon Institute of Technology Students Union (18 charges!). The announcement goes on to warn that failure to provide information leading to the apprehension of these persons or harbouring of them constitute criminal offenses. Read the rest of this entry »
According to the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the work of human rights defenders is little known and recognized in Mexico. In many cases, the authorities themselves are guilty of defaming those who defend human rights. In recent years, human rights defenders have been threatened, monitored, harassed, slandered, and physically assaulted as a result of their work in support of victims and various causes. Defamation and under-appreciation of the work of human rights defenders have allowed these violations to continue. In 2012, the Mexican Congress approved the Law for the Protection of Defenders and Journalists, which requires the federal government to implement measures that are intended to prevent attacks against defenders. In this context, the Red TDT has launched “Defend Hope: A National Campaign in Support of Human Rights Defenders.” The campaign will disseminate information on various organizations’ efforts to defend and promote human rights. Each organization will be able to showcase its history and the voices of those that tirelessly defend human rights. Through these stories, the campaign will highlight not only the organizations’ work, but also the efforts of victims and their family members, as well as the fact that each case featured in the campaign remains in impunity. The campaign will last for one year and will boost public awareness through activities throughout the country. http://www.redtdt.org.mx/
After an absence for a few days for a fascinating meeting of and on HRDs in York university, UK, on which I will report more on another occasion, I return to my regular blog with a case that involves two kinds of hearing: Read the rest of this entry »
Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent Awarded to Ali Ferzat, Park Sang Hak and the Ladies in WhiteMay 13, 2013
The New York based Human Rights Foundation today announced the recipients of the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent 2013 laureates Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, North Korean democracy activist Park Sang Hak, and Cuban civil society group the Ladies in White. They will be honored at a ceremony during the 2013 Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway on 15 May (broadcast live online at www.oslofreedomforum.com beginning at 4:00pm Central European Time).
The Havel Prize for Creative Dissent was founded with the endorsement of Dagmar Havlová, widow of the late poet, playwright, and statesman Václav Havel. The inaugural laureates in 2012 were Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Saudi women’s rights advocate Manal al-Sharif, and Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The laureates will share a prize of 350,000 Norwegian Kroner.
The prize, which is awarded to individuals or organizations every five years was first given out 45 years ago on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
145 Organizations Urge US and Meso-American Presidents to Change Course on the war on drugs which harms human rights defendersMay 13, 2013
The Heads of State from Mexico, Central America and the United States met for the Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in Costa Rica on May 4 and 5. The Fellowship of Reconciliation, collaborating with Just Associates, the Americas Program, the Guatemala Human Rights Commission-USA and the Latin America Working Group, presented a letter to the meeting signed by more than 145 international, regional and local organizations from ten countries in the Americas. The letter addresses inter alia civil society concerns about security issues, human rights violations, violence against men and women human rights defenders. It is time to refocus regional dialogue and resource investment to address the root causes of violence, understanding that for many citizens and communities, drug trafficking is not the principal cause of insecurity. Harmful “development” policies have similarly caused increased conflict and abuses, while forced migration and criminalization of migrants and human rights activists continues to divide families. Most importantly, the region’s challenges must be addressed without violating fundamental rights and human dignity. The groups said that “the lack of effective gun control in the U.S. has led to the massive and nearly unrestricted transfer of arms to criminal networks throughout the region” and called on the presidents to “take executive action in the United States to stop the flow of assault weapons and other firearms across the U.S.-Mexico border.” The letter also provides analysis and recommendations related to: Militarization in the name of addressing the drug war which has caused unprecedented levels of violence while failing to provide citizen security. The imposition of large-scale extractive projects on marginalized communities do not constitute “development. ”Violations of migrants’ rights and the lack of consideration of root cause of migration in policies. Read the full text of the letter in pdf. on John Lindsay-Polands blog