Tag Archives: FIDH

The Philippines: Crackdown Against Critics Intensifies

January 17, 2019

Activists hold a candle light vigil for victims of the extra judicial killings in the drug war of the government in front of a church in Manila on September 16, 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration heightened its repression in 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.

The government’s murderous “war on drugs” expanded to cities outside Manila. Attacks escalated against activists, journalists, and critics of the government. Donor governments should intensify pressure on Duterte to end targeted killings and to drop politically motivated criminal cases.

“President Duterte has used the killing of thousands of largely poor drug suspects as a tool to bolster his popularity,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “He’s also targeting anyone who might undermine that popularity, from outspoken senators to journalists documenting his abuses.”

In the 674-page World Report 2019, its 29thedition, Human Rights Watch reviewed human rights practices in more than 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the populists spreading hatred and intolerance in many countries are spawning a resistance. New alliances of rights-respecting governments, often prompted and joined by civic groups and the public, are raising the cost of autocratic excess. Their successes illustrate the possibility of defending human rights – indeed, the responsibility to do so – even in darker times.

The government vilified activist groups, calling them communists, and terrorists. In March, the foreign affairs secretary accused human rights groups of being “unwitting tools” of drug syndicates. In November, gunmen killed a rights lawyer, Benjamin Ramos, in Negros Occidental. Ramos represented the families of victims of a recent massacre of peasants in the province. There were violent attacks against human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, environmentalists, indigenous group members, peasants, and farmers.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/philippines-crackdown-against-critics-intensifies

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/philippines-killing-of-human-rights-lawyer-benjamin-ramos

http://bulatlat.com/main/2018/12/30/resistance-unity-and-hope-a-look-back-at-the-year-2018/

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/01/17/rapport-mondial-2019-resistance-aux-attaques-des-autocrates-contre-les-droits (FRANCAIS)

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Crimea/Russia/Ukraine: Russian Authorities Increase Pressure on Crimean Human Rights Lawyer

January 14, 2019

Justice Ministry Calls for Emil Kurbedinov’s Expulsion from Bar Association

 

Few human rights lawyers are brave enough to work in Crimea these days. A recent letter from Russia’s Ministry of Justice to Crimean defense lawyer Emil Kurbedinov threatening his profession is yet another stark reminder that Russian authorities intend to keep it that way.

Last month, Kurbedinov was arrested on charges of “public distribution of extremist materials” and sentenced to five days in jail for a 2013 social media post about a meeting in Crimea of supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist political movement opposed to violence. Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization but operates legally in Ukraine. Kurbedinov had previously spent ten days in jail in 2017 after the court sentenced him on the same charges and for the very same post, but made on a different social media site.

Shortly after his release on December 25, Russia’s Justice Ministry sent Kurbedinov and the Crimean Bar Association letters requesting that Kurbedinov be expelled from the bar association by March 1 because of alleged involvement in “extremist activities.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/14/russian-authorities-increase-pressure-crimean-human-rights-lawyer

https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/halya-coynash-russia-launches-dangerous-attack-on-lawyers-in-crimea.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/112-ua-russia-search-houses-of-crimean-tatars-on-occupied-peninsula.html

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyer-s-expulsion-from-bar-association/29708692.html

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/rfe-rl-russian-justice-ministry-calls-for-brave-crimean-lawyers-expulsion-from-bar-association.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/russia/2019/01/d25201/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/russia-imminent-disbarment-of-emil-kurbedinov?fbclid=IwAR0GtoVbcF0bzXljxjv5u3GLFPSAuicOsUTVZEmYC7AKNNNRixgf6wklCYs

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/russia-bleak-year-human-rights

http://old.qha.com.ua/tr/toplum/hak-savunuculardan-uluslararasi-topluma-kurbedinov-cagrisi/176069/ (TURKCE)

Egypt: Imprisoned rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan reports deteriorating health, poor detention conditions

December 25, 2018

An Alexandria prosecutor’s office renewed on Tuesday the detention of Alexandrian rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan for 15 days as he continues to suffer from a series of health complications and a lack of proper medical care in custody, according to lawyer Mahienour al-Massry.

Ramadan — who is being held in solitary confinement at the Alexandria Security Directorate in a cell with no bed — was ordered detained pending further investigations into accusations of “joining a terrorist group and promoting its ideas, spreading false news, possessing pamphlets and yellow vests to call for protests against the government, similar to the ‘Yellow Vest’ protests in France, and using social media to promote a terrorist group,” Massry said.

He was arrested on December 10 by plainclothes security personnel as he returned home after attending an interrogation session with one of his clients. He was taken to a National Security Agency (NSA) office, where he was held overnight. His whereabouts remained unknown to his family and lawyers until he appeared before the prosecution the next day, when he was ordered to be held in remand detention for 15 days.

https://madamirror7.appspot.com/www.madamasr.com/en/2018/12/25/news/u/imprisoned-rights-lawyer-mohamed-ramadan-reports-deteriorating-health-poor-detention-conditions/

https://afteegypt.org/en/breaking_news-2/2018/12/25/16810-afteegypt.html?fbclid=IwAR11YMnpuukz6xWXKdZKSWy6Ua4qGpb0n9WOcCAVg8tr_ClqOabBX0BqlH4

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/gilets-jaunes-france-egyptian-protests-media-security.html

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-and-detention-human-rights-defender-and-lawyer-mohamed-ramadan

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/egypt-human-rights-lawyer-mohamed-ramadan-detained-for-a-yellow-vest

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-investigates-disappeared-citizens-in-egypt/a-46989169

https://madamirror7.appspot.com/madamasr.com/ar/2018/12/25/news/u/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A-%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF-%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%83%D9%88-%D9%84%D9%84%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A9-%D8%A3%D9%88%D8%B6%D8%A7%D8%B9/ (ARABIC)

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ar/contents/articles/originals/2018/12/gilets-jaunes-france-egyptian-protests-media-security.html?fbclid=IwAR35NryupNyLdDhvE4bwiaaWfAqwKnKLEATv0WQ7rc8l_db3pt3nmGXV1iQ (ARABIC)

Image result for lawyer Mohamed Ramadan

Iran: Lawyer & Law Professor Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi released from Evin Prison

December 5, 2018

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

IRAN – 4 novembre 2018 Ghassem Sholeh-Sadi remis en liberté sous caution. Il était détenu depuis le 18 août pour avoir manifesté pacifiquement devant le Parlement en faveur d’un vote libre, équitable et transparent.

(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 04/12/18)

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/iran/2018/11/d25142/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/iran-judicial-harassment-and-arbitrary-arrest-of-several-human-rights

https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-detains-outspoken-lawyer-who-called-for-free-elections/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghasem_Sholeh-Saadi

Venezuela/AI: Stand with Geraldine Chacón (Petition)

Image result for geraldine chacón

Geraldine started her peaceful campaigning when she was just 14 as a youth leader in Caracas.

Since then her activism has only grown – she started an Amnesty youth network and supported individuals who were at risk of imprisonment and persecution, and later joined the NGO Community Ambassadors Foundation running outreach programs with impoverished young people in Venezuela.

Now, Geraldine finds herself in need of the same help she has given many others. This year the Venezuelan authorities arrested her, and she spent four months in prison with limited access to sunlight, food and water.

Geraldine was released conditionally which means she cannot leave the country, and she risks being sent back to prison at any moment.

Sign this petition and demand the Venezuelan authorities drop the case against Geraldine. 

With enough global pressure, we could get the Venezuelan authorities to drop the charges – add your voice now.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/venezuela-geraldine-chacon/

http://writeathon.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Venezuela.pdf (TAKE ACTION! AMNESTY WRITEEATHON)

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/22/venezuela-2-activists-held-despite-court-order

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/amnesty-international-launches-worlds-biggest-human-rights-campaign/

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/amnesty-international-usa-in-partnership-with-sofar-sounds-host-write-for-rights-concert-and-letter-writing-event-on-12-8-with-special-performance-from-singer-songwriter-lauren-jauregui/

https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/g25398606/amnesty-international-write-for-rights/?fbclid=IwAR1B_bjNapVpkmwoLgi9Pyum2YryTT8eypWZYKX0_CFzG1dVbs4VM-mxc5k&slide=8

NEW: Rule of law and human rights in Cuba and Venezuela and EU engagement

https://nowtoronto.com/news/amnesty-international-write-for-rights/

https://www.amnesty.org/es/latest/news/2018/11/amnesty-international-launches-worlds-biggest-human-rights-campaign/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.fidh.org/es/region/americas/venezuela/venezuela-liberacion-y-continuacion-de-la-criminalizacion-en-contra (ESPANOL)

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldine_Chac%C3%B3n (ESPANOL)

https://www.amnesty.fr/liberte-d-expression/petitions/geraldine-chacon?fbclid=IwAR36BtoZtxwZocM8kX5mr3inRUrmmYWzIDlFziuGadF1T7i34RcCBfiZgVI (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/campagne-mondiale-10-jours-pour-signer-2018-i-amnesty (FRANCAIS)

https://www.ruhrnachrichten.de/Nachrichten/Schwerte/Schwerter-Amnesty-Gruppe-ruft-zur-Unterstuetzung-von-Menschenrechts-Aktivistinnen-auf-1351233.html (DEUTSCH)

https://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20181129_OTS0026/briefmarathon-2018-seite-an-seite-mit-starken-frauen (DEUTSCH)

https://www.teckbote.de/startseite_artikel,-briefe-schreiben-fuer-die-freiheit-_arid,223387.html (DEUTSCH)

https://destadamersfoort.nl/deel-je-nieuws-artikel/amnesty-amersfoort-organiseert-write-rights-schrijfactie-520347 (NEDERLANDS)

http://www.committee.co.kr/38577 (KOREAN)

Image result for geraldine chacón

Thailand: Judicial harassment of Mr. Anon Nampa

November 16, 2018

THA 004 / 1118 / OBS 135
Judicial harassment
Thailand
November 16, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Thailand.

 

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment of Mr. Anon Nampa, a human rights lawyer working with Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) [1] since 2014. Mr. Anon is the lawyer of Mr. Thanakorn Siriphaiboon, who has been charged with violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code (lèse-majesté), Article 116 of the Criminal Code (sedition), and the 2007 Computer Crimes Act for having shared information about alleged corruption in the construction of the Rajabhakti Park [2], and for having ‘liked’ a Facebook post deemed insulting to King Rama IX’s dog.

According to the information received, on October 2, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court issued a summons dated September 25, 2018 for Mr. Anon to be investigated for disseminating on the TLHR website a statement [3] from a prosecution witness, Pol. Maj. Gen. Wijarn Jodtaeng, without the permission of the same military court in relation to Mr. Thanakorn’s case. If convicted under Article 30 of the Civil Procedure Code (‘contempt of court’), Mr. Anon could face up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 500 Bahts (approximately 13,50 Euros).

On October 3, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court argued that the public dissemination of the testimony could negatively impact the case and asked Mr. Anon to ask TLHR to delete the content published on their website within 24 hours. The Court also banned any other individual or organisation from publishing witness testimonies related to the case in the media, and indicated that this would be considered contempt of court.

On October 4, 2018, Mr. Anon submitted a motion to revoke the Bangkok Military Court’s order, arguing that Mr. Thanakorn’s trial should be conducted publicly, as provided for under Article 172 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the 2017 Constitution, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Mr. Anon added that TLHR’s publication did not distort the military officer’s testimony and did not directly disseminate any military court documents.

On October 5, 2018, the Bangkok Military Court dismissed the motion arguing that the case was still pending, and that publishing the witness testimonies could have a negative influence on society.

On October 8, 2018, Mr. Anon submitted an appeal to the Bangkok Military Court’s decision from October 5, on the grounds that the dismissed motion order had violated Mr. Thanakorn’s right to a fair trial and the performance of his duties as a lawyer.

Mr. Anon dedicates his efforts to providing legal aid to those facing politically motivated charges. He is facing another 10 legal cases against him [4] (among others for sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code and insulting a court under Article 198 of the Criminal Code). Three of the cases have concluded, while eight are still ongoing. Two cases are being tried in military court for violations of National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order 3/2015.

The Observatory condemns the judicial harassment of Mr. Anon and considers that this investigation over the dissemination of a witness’ testimony is emblematic of the violations of the right to a fair trial of the accused and of the continuous judicial harassment of human rights lawyers in Thailand.

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/thailand-judicial-harassment-of-mr-anon-nampa?fbclid=IwAR0_cg67nqacEPUVEhkGERBJ2icrpCcDjnuSivk9KEcBxIhE0HItGceo0Nc

http://www.omct.org/fr/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/thailand/2018/11/d25116/

https://prachatai.com/english/node/7547

Saudi Arabia/Canada: Arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of prominent women human rights defenders Samar Badawi and Nassima Al-Sadah

August 14, 2018

OMCT LogoOMCT logo

URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY
SAU 005 / 0818 / OBS 103
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment /
Incommunicado detention
Saudi Arabia
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Saudi Arabia.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of Ms. Samar Badawi[1] and Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah [2], two prominent women human rights defenders[3].
According to the information received, on July 30, 2018, security forces arrested Ms. Samar Badawi and Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah. No information is available about neither the circumstances nor the reasons of their arrests. The two human rights defenders are currently held in an unknown location and no information has been provided on their whereabouts and conditions of detention.
The Observatory recalls that over the past years, Ms. Samar Badawi has been repeatedly harassed, interrogated and arrested by the authorities for her human rights activities. Prior to her arrest, Ms. Samar Badawi appeared before the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution, on February 15, 2017, regarding previous issues related to her human rights and civil activities, including women’s campaign against male guardians. On January 12, 2016, she was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Authority of Jeddah without any reason, and released on bail the next day. On December 2, 2014, while on her way to participate to the 16th European Union NGOs Forum on Human Rights in Brussels, Belgium, she was informed by a staff from the airport that she was under a travel ban, without any reason given or prior investigation.
The Observatory condems in the strongest terms the arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of Ms. Samar Badawi and Ms. Nassima Al-Sadah and urges the Saudi authorities to immediately disclose their whereabouts as well as to insure unhindered access to their families and lawyers.
The Observatory further recalls that ahead of the official lift of the driving ban the Saudi authorities launched a crackdown on human rights defenders – and especially women human rights defenders[4]– in the country. As of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Ms. Hatoon Al-Fassi, Ms. Nouf Abdulaziz, Ms. Mayya Al-Zahrani, Ms. Eman al-Nafjan , Ms. Aziza al-Youssef, Ms. Loujain al-Hathloul, Mr. Mohammed al-Rabiah, Mr. Mohamed al-Bejadi, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Mesha’aland Mr. Ibrahim al-Mudaimeegh remain detained. While pro-governmental media outlets reported that they have been arrested under vague accusations of “suspicious contacts with foreign entities” and “financial support to enemies overseas”, no formal charges have yet been reportedly pressed against them. Moreover, they are reportedly all detained in solitary confinement, without access to their lawyers and they could only speak with their families once or twice since their arrests.

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/saudi-arabia/2018/08/d24993/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/12/saudi-arabia-spat-canada-mohammed-bin-salman-true-colours

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/badawi-saudi-trudeau-freeland-1.4785075

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2159135/saudi-arabia-brings-gun-knife-fight-canada-over-samar-badawi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samar_Badawi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abulkhair

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2018/08/10/01003-20180810ARTFIG00216-rien-ne-va-plus-entre-le-canada-et-l-arabie-saoudite.php (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waleed_Abu_al-Khair (FRANCAIS)