Tag Archives: United Nations

China: HRIC among 40 NGOs Worldwide Urging UN Resolution on China’s Rights Abuses

January 30, 2019

In an open letter sent to heads of government missions to the UN in Geneva, Human Rights in China joins 39 other NGOs to press for a UN resolution to address the deteriorating human rights situation in China.

The NGOs call for governments to use the upcoming session of the Human Rights Council (February 25-March 22, 2019) as an opportunity to push with “one voice”: for accountability for the steeply worsening rights abuses in China which have been gaining increasing international attention.

Two reviews of China’s rights practices at the UN last year, in particular—by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and China’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR)—highlighted deeply concerning developments, including the mass internment of Uyghur and other ethnic Muslims in so-called “vocational retraining camps,” in gross violation of religious and cultural rights; the broadening control over information and expression especially online in the name of cybersecurity; the continued persecution of human rights lawyers and defenders; and the erosion of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, in violation of the “one country, two systems” principle.

Reaching beyond its borders, China has also been waging a sustained challenge to the existing international human rights framework, which is based on the principle of the universality of human rights.

https://www.hrichina.org/en/press-work/hric-bulletin/hric-among-40-ngos-worldwide-urging-un-resolution-chinas-rights-abuses

https://www.hrichina.org/en/press-work/joint-statements/ngo-joint-letter-upcoming-session-human-rights-council-states-should

https://www.lrwc.org/china-at-upcoming-session-of-human-rights-council-states-should-pass-resolution-to-address-human-rights-violations-in-the-peoples-republic-of-china-letter/

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/2019/01/d25220/

https://www.lrwc.org/china-statement-demanding-an-acquittal-of-lawyer-wang-quanzhang-joint-statement/

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/NGOs-urge-UN-to-adopt-resolution-on-China-s-human-rights-abuses

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190130/p2a/00m/0in/018000c

https://www.courthousenews.com/white-house-presses-china-for-release-of-human-rights-lawyer/

https://chinachange.org/2019/01/30/acceptance-speech-for-the-2018-french-republic-human-rights-prize/

https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/jailing-reaction-01302019114154.html

Turkey: Turkey more oppressive than ever – rights activist

January 28, 2019

Image may contain: 3 people, text

Turkey’s anti-democratic mentality has not changed since its foundation, but it has never been as oppressive as today, said award-winning Turkish human rights lawyer Eren Keskin.

Over the years, Keskin played a vital role in strengthening civil society awareness in Turkey. She became involved with the Human Rights Association (IHD) three years after its 1986 founding and headed its Istanbul branch for years.

She has been arrested and imprisoned numerous times, accused of terrorist ties for defending Kurdish rights, and won several international honors for her activism, including the Aachen Peace Award, the Theodore Haecker Prize, and just last year, the Helsinki Civil Society Award.

“Turkey’s undemocratic mentality has not changed since its foundation,” said Keskin. “There is no change in the mind or understanding of the state. I have been part of the struggle for human rights for nearly 30 years. I have not experienced a period in which freedom of thought and freedom of expression have been contravened this much. Turkey is more oppressive today than ever.”

Keskin said she had been brought before the courts more than 100 times and convicted on numerous occasions.

“I see the struggle for the defence of human rights as respect for those who have died. It is out of respect for them that I am part of the struggle for human rights,” she said. “We experienced a lot of pressure, but our friends were killed. They were killed fighting for human dignity. I am lucky to be alive…I was assaulted twice with firearms, imprisoned and threatened with death, but never gave up.”

https://ahvalnews.com/human-rights/turkey-more-oppressive-ever-rights-activist

http://www.martinennalsaward.org/martin-ennals-award-finalists-2019/

http://www.martinennalsaward.org/hrd/eren-kesken/

http://www.martinennalsaward.org/

Eren Keskin, MEA nominee 2019, speaks out fearlessly: Turkey more oppressive today than ever

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/judge-on-international-court-quits-over-alleged-interference-from-turkey-and-the-white-house

https://ahvalnews.com/human-rights/call-international-action-lawyer-even-keskin

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

https://www.demokrathaber.org/guncel/eren-keskin-e-basbakanlik-karari-yla-pasaport-yasagi-h112241.html (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/371691/ozgur-gundem-davasi-7-mayisa-ertelendi (TURKCE)

https://ahvalnews-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/ahvalnews.com/tr/node/37741?amp (TURKCE)

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/1225007/41_avukata_2_yila_kadar_hapis_istemi.html?fbclid=IwAR1aBwJ3NBobJU8K15uGUYLDL7BmNMzdZiAyQb2IchCY9e9urLlJdpTfim8 (TURKCE)

https://www.barreaudeparis.tv/embed/378 (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eren_Keskin (FRANCAIS)

https://anfdeutsch.com/menschenrechte/ai-kampagne-fuer-eren-keskin-9197 (DEUTSCH)

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)

Hong Kong/China: Hong Kong NGOs to highlight China’s suppression of lawyers, labour groups at United Nations

October 3, 2018

A representative from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) will speak at a United Nations conference next week to highlight human rights abuses in China such as the suppression of lawyers and labour unions.

Ming Lam, Albert Ho Emily Lau

Ming Lam of HKCTU will be speaking at a pre-session of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, which examines the human rights performance of member states once every five years. The pre-session is designed for civil organisations to raise issues before the Human Rights Council conducts its inquiry in November.

Lam will travel to Geneva next week accompanied by Albert Ho and Emily Lau, both representatives of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG).

Ho will also represent the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, one of the largest pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.

Ho said the group will prioritise the issue of oppressed dissidents: “We have to pinpoint the imprisonment or detention of a number of dissidents [who were detained] simply because of their exercise of the freedom of speech in a peaceful and non-violent manner,” he said.

The group demanded that China release all detained dissidents and stop the persecution of human rights activists. It raised examples including Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer who has been detained for over 1,100 days without trial, as well as lawyers Yu Wensheng, Li Yuhan and Jiang Tianyong.

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/10/03/hong-kong-ngos-highlight-chinas-suppression-lawyers-labour-groups-united-nations/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/even-stars-like-fan-bingbing-can-disappear-under-chinas-ironfist-brf6vd2ln

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/06/its-been-1000-days-wife-of-jailed-chinese-lawyer-on-march-for-answers

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

Vietnam: Failure to Comply with International Human Rights Obligations | Joint Submission

July 30, 2018

  1. Lawyers for Lawyers (“L4L”) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (“LRWC”) jointly submit this report on the state of human rights in Viet Nam, especially in respect of the legal profession, with recommendations for the 32nd session of the UPR Working Group in the UN Human Rights Council in January-February 2019. This report was co-signed by Viet Tan.
  2. L4L is an independent and non-political Netherlands foundation, which was established in 1986 and is funded by lawyers’ donations. L4L promotes the proper functioning of the rule of law through the free and independent exercise of the legal profession around the world. L4L has special consultative status with ECOSOC since 2013.
  3. LRWC is a committee of Canadian lawyers and other human rights defenders who promote human rights and the rule of law through advocacy, education, and legal research. LRWC is a volunteer-run NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
  4. This submission highlights key concerns regarding Viet Nam’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to guarantee the right to independent counsel as set out in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers [1] (“Basic Principles”) and other international human rights instruments, focusing the lack of effective guarantees for the functioning of lawyers, including the lack of freedom of expression and association of lawyers. Non-compliance with the Basic Principles undermines the proper functioning of the judicial system, in particular the right to fair trial and effective access to justice.

https://www.lrwc.org/viet-nam-failure-to-comply-with-international-human-rights-obligations-joint-submission/

Poland: Poland’s Top Judge Rings Alarm as Populist Makeover Takes Hold

June 7, 2018

As Italy’s new government prepares to challenge the European Union, Poland has a timely lesson for how quickly a particular brand of politics can change a country.

 

Poland is so far the biggest example of how the sort of populism pioneered by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has inspired anti-establishment firebrands across Europe. With the new Italian cabinet’s euroskeptic rhetoric and budget-busting spending plans spooking financial markets, the concern is those tendencies are spreading and will undermine the world’s biggest trading bloc.

 

Two-and-a-half years after winning power and setting out to drain the Polish swamp, the Law & Justice party has propelled a deep transformation of the nation’s 29-year democracy. The head of the country’s Supreme Court says that a “terrifying” new system is emerging, where a single party makes all the rules and puts pressure on independent judges.

 

“Poland is on a path to authoritarian rule and judges are being bullied,” Malgorzata Gersdorf, the chief justice, said in an interview last month. “What can still be salvaged from Poland’s democracy? I don’t know. Maybe the Supreme Court can be safe for some time.”

Unprecedented Conflict

The Supreme Court and Gersdorf herself are at the heart of Poland’s unprecedented conflict with the EU over what the 28-nation bloc’s executive says is an erosion of the rule of law. The government says its efforts to overhaul the judiciary are meant to modernize a justice system weighed down by red tape and the influence of what it calls a self-serving “caste” of communist-era judges.

 

The standoff has turned the country of 38 million people from a poster-child for eastern Europe’s transition to democracy and market economy to one of the EU’s biggest headaches, while raising the prospect of political sanctions and risking billions of euros in aid.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2018/06/06/top-polish-judge-raises-alarm-over-populist-court-revamp

https://www.politico.eu/article/poland-article-7-test-for-eu-on-rule-of-law/

https://vaaju.com/poland/the-un-criticizes-the-reform-of-the-polish-judiciary-report-details/

https://www.liberties.eu/en/short-news/21912/21912

http://www.dw.com/en/poland-ex-president-lech-walesa-leads-fight-against-judicial-reform/a-44162285