Tag Archives: UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

Libya/Tunisia: Euro-Med addresses UN Rapporteur to provide protection

May 18, 2019

Euro-Med addresses UN Rapporteur to provide protection against threats to Libyan lawyer

An urgent letter was sent to Mr. Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, by the Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights regarding death threats to Almoaaz Sadek Warshfani, a Libyan lawyer and human rights defender.

Mr. Warshfani ran for his life and left Libya to Tunisia under the cover of the night after he received serious death threats for his role in defending victims of civil war and torture, including detainees held by the government without a legal justification, leaving his family behind.

The Libyan lawyer was kidnapped and warned against his involvement in defending certain human rights-related cases and was asked to stop using the word militias in his radio and press meetings and in courts.

The kidnappers also tried to force him to change his position, and to recognize the armed groups as legitimate security bodies, in addition to denying his previous statements regarding the recruitment of children and minors in those armed groups.

The Libyan judge promised the kidnappers to fulfil these demands immediately after his release, but his house was attacked two days after his release. He decided to leave the country to save his life, leaving by land to Tunisia.

The Libyan lawyer’s family lives under very bad conditions. The daily activities of his wife and children were halted as a result. The wife stopped going to work and the children left their schools because of the incident.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1905/S00132/euro-med-addresses-un-rapporteur-to-provide-protection.htm

https://euromedmonitor.org/en/article/2901/Euro-Med-addresses-UN-Rapporteur-to-provide-protection-against-threats-to-Libyan-lawyer

https://euromedmonitor.org/uploads/reports/Libyan-Judge-Complainte-letter.pdf

https://www.facebook.com/EuroMedHR

Iran/UN: UN Experts: Iran Must Protect Women’s Rights Advocates

November 29, 2018

Farhad Meysami (left), Nasrin Sotoudeh (middle) and Reza Khandan were all arrested in 2018 for peacefully advocating for human rights, including the right of women to choose whether to wear a hijab.

UN human rights experts* have called on Iran to guarantee the rights of human rights defenders and lawyers who have been jailed for publicly supporting protests against the mandatory wearing of the hijab in Iran.

“We urge the Government to immediately release all those who have been imprisoned for promoting and protecting the rights of women,” the experts said.

In particular, the experts expressed alarm at the critical health of Farhad Meysami, a medical doctor, who was arrested in July after his advocacy in support of women protesting against the hijab law. Mr. Meysami began a hunger strike in August in protest at the charges and the lack of access to a lawyer of his choosing. Reports indicate that he has been moved to the medical centre in the prison, where he has been restrained in a bed and given intravenous injections. He is being held in isolation.

The experts said they were deeply disturbed by the reported lack of due process guarantees and said authorities had an obligation to respect the wishes of those who use hunger strikes as a form of protest.

The experts also reiterated their concern at the in-absentia conviction and subsequent imprisonment of Nasrin Sotoudeh, legal counsel for a number of the women protesters. She was convicted on security-related charges which appear to stem from her work representing the protesters. In September, her husband, Reza Khandan was arrested for “spreading propaganda against the system”, amongst other charges, and was accused of “promoting the practice of appearing in public without a veil”.

The experts called on Iran to urgently address Mr. Meysami’s grievances, and to guarantee the rights of Mr. Meysami, Ms. Sotoudeh, and of Mr. Khandan to not be deprived arbitrarily of their liberty. They also urged authorities to guarantee their right to fair proceedings before an independent and impartial tribunal.

The UN experts have notified the Government of Iran about their concerns.

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2018/11/un-experts-iran-must-protect-womens-rights-advocates/

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23947&LangID=E

http://radioallen.cl/2018/iran-27/

https://www.rferl.org/a/un-rights-experts-call-on-iran-to-protect-women-s-rights-advocates/29630800.html

https://women.ncr-iran.org/iran-women-news/5604-nasrin-sotoudeh-begins-hunger-strike-in-evin-prison

https://www.queensjournal.ca/story/2018-11-29/news/iranian-political-prisoner-suggested-for-honorary-degree/

https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2018/11/prominent-imprisoned-lawyer-nasrin-sotoudeh-hunger-strikes-for-fellow-prisoner-farhad-meysami/

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2004

https://sensday.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/amir-saalaar-daavudi-human-rights-lawyer-arrested/

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

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

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

https://persian.iranhumanrights.org/1397/09/new-charge-for-receiving-sakharov-prize-for-nasrin-sotoudeh/?fbclid=IwAR1JZjJlTs-ehPpXxuJJIQ7jEL-rWD4m1u1EUA85mw6pvuZNiRkmCQKyhkA (FARSI)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/en-iran-les-combats-de-lavocate-nasrin-sotoudeh (FRANCAIS)

 

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2005 (ARABIC)

#FreeNasrin

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, textImage may contain: Reza Khandan, textImage may contain: Reza Khandan, text

India: Bhima Koregaon case: Do not criminalise human rights defenders, UN experts urge India

October 5, 2018

They said they were concerned the terrorism charges were being used to silence people who work to protect the rights of Dalit, tribal and indigenous groups.

Bhima Koregaon case: Do not criminalise human rights defenders, UN experts urge India

Human rights experts from the United Nations on Friday expressed concern about the arrests of activists in the Bhima Koregaon case, and urged India to ensure that their cases are “promptly heard in line with international law”.

Ten activists have been arrested since June under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Five of them are in prison, four under house arrest, and one has been released since.

The human rights experts said the vague definition of “unlawful activities” and “membership of terrorist organisations” in the law “confers discretionary powers upon state agencies, which weakens judicial oversight and diminishes civil liberties in the process”.

The Pune Police had arrested activists Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson and Sudhir Dhawale on June 6 as part of their investigation into violence during an event in Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1. On August 28, they arrested Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Varavara Rao.

On October 1, the Delhi High Court said Navlakha’s detention was untenable by law and ended his house arrest, but the Maharashtra government has now challenged it in the Supreme Court.

“We are concerned that terrorism charges brought in connection with the commemoration of Bhima-Koregaon are being used to silence human rights defenders who promote and protect the rights of India’s Dalit, indigenous, and tribal communities,” a statement by the UN experts said.

https://scroll.in/latest/897152/bhima-koregaon-case-do-not-criminalise-human-rights-defenders-un-experts-urge-india

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1810/S00037/india-terrorism-charges-are-pretext-to-silence-human-rights.htm

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/arun-ferreira-vernon-gonsalves-file-bail-pleas-in-pune-court/articleshow/66093187.cms

https://www.oneindia.com/india/bhima-koregaon-case-bail-application-filed-activist-arun-ferreira-in-pune-2788522.html

http://zeenews.india.com/india/bhima-koregaon-case-bail-application-filed-for-activist-arun-ferreira-in-pune-sessions-court-2146151.html

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/activists-welcome-sc-verdict-say-arrests-diversionary-tactic/article25100171.ece

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bhima-koregaon-case-sc-not-interfere-arrest-5-activists-declines-sit-probe-89139

http://zeenews.india.com/india/bhima-koregaon-case-bail-applications-for-surendra-gadling-shoma-sen-to-be-heard-on-oct-10-2146366.html

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

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Chief_Minister_Release_activists_arrested_in_connection_with_Elgaar_Parishad_NOW/edit (SIGN THE PETITION!)

https://www.newsstate.com/india-news/bhima-koregaon-case-surendra-gadling-and-shoma-sen-bail-applications-adjourned-by-pune-court-article-64655.html (HINDI)

https://teles-relay.com/inde-le-gouvernement-du-maharashtra-engage-le-sc-contre-lordonnance-du-hc-mettant-fin-a-la-detention-a-domicile-du-militant-navlakha-inde-nouvelles/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.lahaine.org/mm_ss_mundo.php/y-idonde-esta-la-izquierda (ESPANOL)

https://www.agenzianova.com/a/0/2111584/2018-10-03/india-operazione-anti-naxaliti-liberato-uno-dei-cinque-attivisti-arrestati-2 (ITALIANO)

Moldova: UN expert urges Moldova to end its “punitive attitude” to human rights defenders

June 29, 2018

Image result for un office on human rights

The Government of Moldova must adopt a more positive approach to human rights defenders and publicly recognize the crucial role played by civil society, says a UN human rights expert.

“Despite a globally satisfactory legislative framework, the situation of human rights defenders requires improvement in the Republic of Moldova,” says UN Special Rapporteur Michel Forst in a statement ending his first official visit to the country.

“Human rights defenders and journalists are victims of stigmatization campaigns, lawyers face politically motivated criminal charges or are threatened whenever they defend people with dissenting voices, and journalists’ access to information is restricted,” he added.

“Moreover, officials from Moldova’s National Human Rights Institutions feel disregarded in practice,” said Mr. Forst, the Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights defenders.

“The Government must end its punitive attitude towards human rights defenders, and embrace a more supportive approach to civil society in spite of possible disagreements and criticism” said Mr. Forst.

“While civil society organizations and human rights defenders have the right to freely conduct their human rights work and the Government has publicly declared its openness to engage with them, in practice human rights defenders face several challenges,” Mr. Forst emphasized.

“I have received allegations of intimidation and threats towards human rights defenders by public authorities, particularly after having expressed criticism of decisions taken by the Government,” he said.

https://www.ohchr.org/CH/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23295&LangID=E

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders: #HRC34 | Global NGO coalition calls for renewal of mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders

March 7, 2017

In a letter to member States of the Human Rights Council, a global coalition of leading civil society organisations has called for the consensus renewal of the mandate of the UN expert on human rights defenders.

Read more about the renewal in ISHR’s Human Rights Council Alert.

The undersigned civil society organisations, coming from all regions, urge your delegation to support the renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

The work of human rights defenders is vital to promoting human rights, upholding the rule of law, and achieving sustainable and inclusive development. Despite this critical role, the Special Rapporteur notes that defenders are under ‘unprecedented attack’ with ‘the number killed around the world continuously rising’.

In turn, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur is key to provide visibility of the situation of defenders and highlight the need for their protection. Since the creation of the mandate in 2000, successive mandate holders have made concrete contributions to the protection of those defending human rights and the dissemination and implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The mandate has also made significant contributions to acknowledging gender specific attacks targeting women human rights defenders and the need to develop intersectional responses.

During the Human Rights Council’s 34th session, States are considering a resolution extending the mandate for a further three years. The proposed renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate provides a key opportunity for the HRC to strengthen the recognition of the crucial role defenders play in our societies, and towards the creation of a fair, just and equal world.

We call upon all States to show their commitment to human rights, peace and sustainable development through strong and unconditional support for the renewal of the mandate.

https://www.ishr.ch/news/hrc34-global-ngo-coalition-calls-renewal-mandate-un-special-rapporteur-human-rights-defenders

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (A/HRC/34/52)

January 23, 2017

Note by the Secretariat

In his report, prepared pursuant to General Assembly resolutions 66/164 and 68/181 and Human Rights Council resolutions 16/5 and 25/18, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, provides a detailed summary of the activities he carried out during his first mandate, including statistics and trends based on the communications that he sent to States, his visits to a number of countries, the dialogues established with the authorities of various States, and the close cooperation developed with key stakeholders in the protection of human rights worldwide. The Special Rapporteur also presents the work in progress and the challenges and issues on which he plans to focus during his next mandate. The report includes suggestions for diversifying working methods, broadening the scope of cooperation with other key actors, and enhancing the visibility and accessibility of his mandate. Human rights defenders and the promotion of their work and their protection will remain at the core of the Special Rapporteur’s work.

I. Introduction

  1. After spending the past three years travelling around the world and documenting the situation of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur is more appalled than ever to see attacks against them multiplying everywhere, assailing bloggers, indigenous peoples, journalists, community leaders, whistle-blowers and community volunteers. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur has become convinced that the incidents in question are not isolated acts but concerted attacks against those who try to embody the ideal of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a world free from fear and want.

http://reliefweb.int/report/world/report-special-rapporteur-situation-human-rights-defenders-ahrc3452