Daily Archives: 07/10/2017

Egypt: Human Rights lawyer Mohammed Zaree a finalist for Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders

October 6, 2017

Bonjour/Hello! Today we are sharing with you a preview of Mohamed Zaree‘s film portrait. He is one of our finalists. The full version will be aired on 10th October during the MEA ceremony at the University of Geneva, which is open to the public. #Egypt #FreedomOfAssociation

(Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders Facebook)

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 Organisé par la Ville de Genève et la Fondation Martin Ennals, le Prix Martin Ennals, créé en 1993, a pour objectif d’offrir une protection immédiate aux défenseur-e-s des droits humains, par la médiatisation de leur situation. Le Prix contribue également à l’amélioration de leurs conditions de travail à travers un soutien financier.

Considérée comme le « prix Nobel des droits humains », cette récompense est attribuée chaque année à une personne qui s’illustre de manière exceptionnelle dans le combat contre la violation des droits humains par des moyens courageux et innovants, souvent au péril de sa vie.

Trois finalistes sont choisi-e-s en mars par la communauté internationale desdroits humains (voir ci-dessous la composition du Jury du Prix), et le ou la lauréat-e reçoit le Prix en octobre lors d’une cérémonie. Ouverte au public, cette cérémonie est organisée par la Ville de Genève. Depuis 2013, elle s’inscrit dans le cadre de la Semaine des droits humains organisée à l’Université de Genève.

De courts documentaires sur la vie des finalistes seront projetés lors de cette soirée. Celle-ci se terminera par un apéritif offert par la Ville de Genève au cours duquel le public pourra interagir avec la communauté genevoise et internationale des droits humains.

Le Prix Martin Ennals est rendu possible grâce à une collaboration unique des dix plus importantes organisations non-gouvernementales au monde actives dans la protection des droits humains. Le jury est composé de : Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, l’Organisation mondiale contre la torture (OMCT), Front Line Defenders, Human Rights First, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), HURIDOCS et EWDE Allemagne.

Pour plus d’information et inscription à la cérémonie: http://www.martinennalsaward.org/

Rencontre avec Karla Avelar le mercredi 11 octobre.



Organized by the City of Geneva and the Martin Ennals Foundation, the Martin Ennals Award, created in 1993, aims to provide immediate protection to human rights defenders through widespread media coverage of their work. The award also contributes to the improvement of their working conditions through financial support.

Considered the “Nobel Prize for human rights”, this award is given annually to an individual who demonstrates exceptional leadership in the fight against human rights violations in a courageous and innovative way, often risking his or her life.

Three finalists are chosen in March by the international human rights community (see below the Jury), and the winner receives the award in October at a ceremony. Open to the public, this ceremony is organized by the City of Geneva. Since 2013 it is part of the Human Rights Week held at the University of Geneva.

Short documentaries on the finalists and their work will be screened during the event. Following the event, the City of Geneva will host a reception, during which the public will be able to interact with the Geneva and international human rights community.

The Martin Ennals Award is possible thanks to a unique collaboration of the world’s ten largest non-governmental organizations active in the protection of human rights. The Jury consists of: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), Front Line Defenders, Human Rights First, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), HURIDOCS and EWDE Germany.

For further information and registration to attend the ceremony: http://www.martinennalsaward.org/

Meet Karla Avelar on Wednesday October 11: https://www.facebook.com/events/164758884074627/ Rencontre avec Karla Avelar


Tajikistan: Lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov arrested two years ago

October 4, 2017


Lawyers for Lawyers has grave concerns about the situation of lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov. Two years ago, on 28 September 2015, Yorov was arrested. Since then he has been imprisoned. Recently, Yorov’s family members have reported that he allegedly is being subjected to regular beatings – accompanied by threats, insults and harassment – by officials at the detention centre. Lawyers for Lawyers called on the Tajik authorities to release Buzurgmehr Yorov immediately.

At the time of his arrest, Yorov had just started to represent thirteen senior leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). These leaders were arrested by the authorities on various charges on 16 September 2015. The IRPT was the only Islamic political party legally registered in Central Asia before the Supreme Court of Tajikistan banned the party and declared it a terrorist organization on 29 September 2015.

On 6 October 2016, the Dushanbe City Court sentenced Yorov to 23 years in prison. The court found Mr. Yorov guilty of, amongst other things, “fraud” and “public calls for undertaking extremist activities”. Yorov pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing, insisting in his closing statement on 3 October 2016 that he was “not an extremist, but a lawyer”.

Since then, a further three cases have been instigated against Yorov on charges of fraud, “disrespecting” the court, insulting government officials and insulting “the leader of the Nation”, and he has been sentenced to an additional five years in prison.



Click to access EN_HRL_20171116_Tajikistan_Concerns-regarding-the-continuing-detention-and-ill-treatment-of-lawyer-Buzurgmehr-Yorov.pdf

China/Hong Kong/USA: Human Rights in China Worsen as Beijing Extends Reach to Hong Kong: Report

October 6, 2017

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (standing, center-R), chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, tells journalists that the commission will nominate jailed Hong Kong activists and the 2014 'Umbrella Movement' for the Nobel Peace Prize, in Washington, Oct. 5, 2017.

Freedoms of speech and religion, the rule of law, and individual rights and freedoms have worsened during the past year under the ruling Chinese Communist Party, an annual congressional-executive report has found, calling on the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to do more to halt the decline in basic freedoms.

“As President Trump heads to China next month, he must press China to uphold international human rights norms, respect the rule of law, and adhere to universal standards,” Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) chairman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told journalists on Thursday as the report was published.

The report found that the Chinese Communist Party continues to “use the law as an instrument of repression to expand control over Chinese society,” and that “the criminalization of China’s human rights lawyers and advocates is ongoing, including credible reports of torture in detention.”

Meanwhile, in the former British colony of Hong Kong, “the long-term viability of the ‘one country, two systems’ model … is increasingly uncertain given central government interference,” it said.

Wang Yanfang, wife of jailed rights lawyer Tang Jingling, called on Trump to raise the issue of political prisoners on his forthcoming visit to China.

“I hope that Trump will raise the issue of Tang Jingling and many other prisoners of conscience,” Wang said. “They are in a dire situation.”



Egypt: Human Rights Council condemns reprisals amidst unprecedented rate of cases in MENA region

October 6, 2017

Xinhua/SIPA USA/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.

Closing its 36th session on September 29, 2017, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution strongly condemning acts of intimidation and reprisals against those who cooperate with the United Nations. Among the 19 states that abstained from the resolution were Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This resolution followed the presentation of a report to the HRC on September 20, in which UN Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres cited 29 countries where individuals have been subjected to reprisals for reporting human rights violations to UN mechanisms. No less than a third of these countries are in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Over the past year, human rights defenders in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates faced reprisals for daring to speak up at the UN level against their government’s abuses. They suffered from various forms of reprisals, ranging from asset freezes and travel bans to arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, and in some cases, torture.

During his speech before the HRC, Gilmour highlighted the case of Ebrahim Metwally, an Egyptian lawyer arrested at Cairo International Airport on September 10 while en route to Geneva to meet with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID).

Metwally was charged with “spreading lies” and “conspiracy with foreign entities, including the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.” The UN letter of invitation was included in the evidence held against him.