From Dictatorship to Democracy – The Role of Human Rights Defenders. Streamed on 28 April 2016

April 27, 2016

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

in partnership with University College Dublin and Trinity College, Dublin, organize “Dictatorship to Democracy – The Role of Human Rights Defenders”  a lecture by Professor Jan Sokol. He was one of the first signatories of Charter 77, a petition drawn up and signed by a number of brave Czechoslovakian writers and intellectuals in 1977 which demanded that the Communist government of Czechoslovakia recognise some basic human rights. He will give an account of his own experience of the Czechoslovakian transition to democracy and his current views on the appropriateness and efficiency of a “dissident” position.

The lecture will be accessible on-line too, as it will be live-streamed on Thursday evening 28 April @ 6.30pm (GMT+1) at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gijJmeidFzQ

Source: From Dictatorship to Democracy – The Role of Human Rights Defenders Tickets, Thu, 28 Apr 2016 at 18:30 | Eventbrite


Breaking News: Final Nominees of the 2016 Martin Ennals Award are known

April 27, 2016

Just now the Martin Ennals Foundation announced that the three Final Nominees of the 2016 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders are: new MEA_logo with text Read the rest of this entry »


First MEA Laureate, Harry Wu from China, dies at age of 79

April 27, 2016

While waiting for the breaking news of who will be the Final Nominees of the 2016 Martin Ennals Award (in 2 hours) I received the sad news that the first winner of the MEA in 1994, Chinese human rights defender Harry Wu has died at the age of 79.

1994 march Harry Wu first MEA Laureate

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wu at the official award dinner in March 1994

His short bio and a film on his work can be viewed at: http://www.martinennalsaward.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87&Itemid=120&lang=en


Malaysian Bersih 2.0 (Walk for Democracy) wins Gwangju human rights award

April 26, 2016

Participants shout slogans during a rally organised by pro-democracy group Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic

Participants shout slogans during a rally organised by pro-democracy group Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic

Bersih 2.0 (also called the Walk for Democracy) has won South Korea’s 2016 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights for its efforts in pushing for electoral reform in Malaysia. The Bersih 2.0 steering committee, in a statement, said it was proud for being acknowledged for its work through the Gwangju award. “This acknowledgement is the result of the fight of the people of Malaysia who had gathered peacefully as many as four times in the city centre to seek a clean and fair electoral system in the country…The people have also proved their patriotic spirit when they walked the streets to defend the constitution, freedom to gather, voice an opinion and seek information,” it said. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all non governmental organisations overseas who have supported Bersih 2.0 all these years.”

The committee said Bersih 2.0 was nominated by Indonesian activist Mugiyanto from the International NGO forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) and Malaysian activist Yap Swee Seng. The award ceremony will take place on May 18 at the Memorial Foundation in South Korea.

Source: Bersih 2.0 wins South Korean human rights award | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bersih_2.0_rally


Inaugural Aurora Prize (1 million $) goes to Marguerite Barankitse, founder of Burundian orphanage

April 25, 2016

Marguerite Barankitse from Maison Shalom and REMA Hospital in Burundi was named as the inaugural Laureate of the $1 million Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. At a ceremony held in Yerevan on 24 April 2016, Barankitse was recognized for the extraordinary impact she has had in saving thousands of lives and caring for orphans and refugees during the years of civil war in Burundi. Read the rest of this entry »


Monday 25 April: what will happen in Egypt?

April 25, 2016

Brian Dooley, Director of Human Rights First’s Human Rights Defenders Program, wrote in the Huffington Post that today, Monday 25 April 2016, could be a watershed day for Egypt‘s military leader. This day is a national holiday Egypt which marks the 1982 withdrawal of Israeli troops from Sinai. President Sisi‘s agreement to hand over the two uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia may put a spark into the constantly simmering discontent in the human rights movement.

Read the rest of this entry »


A symposium on the 1965 massacre in Indonesia is not enough to address impunity

April 23, 2016

As the main author of a book on “Indonesia and the Rule of Law” published as far back as 1987 (Pinter Publishers ISBN 0-86187-919-8; International Commission of Jurists) I cannot be but very interested in the way the Indonesian government deals with the mass atrocities that took place in 1965. It had promised in the elections (Nawacita) to investigate and this is also laid down in its National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2015-2019. Under the title “Indonesia: What next after symposium on 1965 massacre, Mr. President?” the Asian Human Rights Commission on 21 April comments on the half hearted start the Government made with a symposium held on 18 and 19 April 2016 in Jakarta. The government, represented by the President’s advisory body, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), the Press Council, and also representatives from other government institutions attended the symposium. Read the rest of this entry »


Human Rights Defender Profile: Pedro Sica from Guatemala

April 21, 2016

Pedro Tzicá (or Sica) is a K’iche’ Guatemalan human rights defender working on human and environmental rights, as well access to justice and the right to development of indigenous peoples. Tzicá spoke to ISHR about his work, including organising community consultations to defend the indigenous peoples’ rights to land and natural resources in the face of mega-projects. The profile appeared in the ISHR Monitor of 7 March 2016. Read the rest of this entry »


Azerbaijani human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus allowed to leave for the Netherlands

April 19, 2016

Two of Azerbaijan‘s most prominent human rights defenders have arrived in the Netherlands after the authorities in Baku suddenly granted them permission to leave.

Leyla and Arif Yunus in happier times
Leyla and Arif Yunus 
RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service reported on 19 April 2016 that Leyla Yunus and her husband, Arif, were greeted by their daughter, Dinara Yunus, who lives in the Netherlands, upon landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on April 19, according to Dutch media reports. Welcoming the two, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said Leyla and Arif Yunus, who are seeking asylum in the Netherlands, “had put their own safety and happiness at stake in the struggle for democracy and human rights“.

Read the rest of this entry »


Goldman Environmental Prizes 2016 awarded to six activists

April 19, 2016

Six environmental activists from around the world received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize at a ceremony in San Francisco on 18 April 2016. This prize does not always go to human  rights defenders in the traditional sense of the word, but several well-known ones are among the recipients such as the recently killed Berta Carceres [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/exceptional-response-from-ngo-world-on-killing-of-berta-caceres/]. This year’s winners are:  Read the rest of this entry »


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