Report of a UN consultation on law enforcement’s role in peaceful protests
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
21h ago
On 16 February, 2024 Sandra Epal Ratjen & Nicolas Agostini in Global Rights reported on a UN consultation on law enforcement’s role in peaceful protests which brought together practitioners and human rights defenders. Over two days in Geneva, the UN special rapporteur on freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, Clément Voule, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) convened a consultation on the facilitation of peaceful protests by law enforcement. The event followed several regional workshops, organized in accordance with Human Rights C ..read more
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Tribute to James Lawson of the Council of Europe
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
5d ago
Bert Verstappen – retired from HURIDOCS – wrote the following tribute to a person who – from an intergovernmental position – contributed greatly to the development of the NGO network: It is with deep sadness that HURIDOCS has to announce the unexpected passing away on 11 February of James Lawson. James had a leading function in the field of information management in the Council of Europe. In addition, he devoted a huge amount of time and energy to HURIDOCS. James was a visionary who introduced new tools and techniques for human rights information handling to the HURIDOCS network. He was keen t ..read more
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Cao Shunli, her legacy should not be silenced
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
5d ago
‘Our impact may be large, may be small, and may be nothing. But we must try. It is our duty to the dispossessed and it is the right of civil society.’ – Cao Shunli Ten years ago, Chinese woman human rights defender Cao Shunli was a victim of deadly reprisals for engaging with the United Nations. The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and partners invite you to attend a photo exhibition on 14 March 2024, at Place des Nations to honour her memory. The photo exhibition will also display cases of Chinese, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Hong Kong human rights defenders who have been targeted for ..read more
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Kadar Abdi Ibrahim human rights defender from Djibouti.
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
5d ago
Kadar Abdi Ibrahim is a human rights defender and journalist from Djibouti. He has drawn inspiration from iconic figures in the human rights movement in the hopes of building a genuine and lasting democracy in his country. Speaking to ISHR, he shared his vision for a future where the youth of Djibouti would no longer see its dreams and aspirations stifled by fear and censorship, as well as his admiration for his fellow human rights defenders whose actions ‘pave the way for future generations’. see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2023/09/11/human-rights-defenders-at-the-54th-session-of ..read more
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Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival adds major human rights award
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
5d ago
On 15 February 2024 Ben Dalton informed that the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) has unveiled the line-ups for its five competitive sections for its 2024 edition. All films in the main Dox:Award competition are world premieres for the second successive year. The festival has launched a new section and award for 2024, the Human:Rights award, marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A €5,000 prize sponsored by the Institute for Human Rights will be given to a film that addresses human rights issues. The festival will also includ ..read more
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Venezuela closes UN human rights office
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
5d ago
On 15 February 2024 AP carried the story that Venezuela’s government has ordered the local UN office on human rights to suspend operations, giving its staff 72 hours to leave, after accusing the office of promoting opposition to the South American country. The UN office was established in Caracas in September 2019. The foreign affairs minister, Yván Gil, announced the decision at a news conference in Caracas on Thursday. Gil’s announcement came on the heels of the detention of the human rights attorney Rocío San Miguel, which set off a wave of criticism inside and outside Venezuela. The South ..read more
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Sweden’s new strategy places greater emphasis on Human Rights Defenders
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
1w ago
On 5 February 2024, the Swedish Government adopted a new five-year strategy for development cooperation for human rights and freedoms, democracy and the rule of law. This strategy is an important part of the implementation of the Government’s new reform agenda for development assistance and contributes to free and inclusive democratic societies built on respect for human rights and freedoms. Democracy, human rights and freedoms, and the rule of law are essential for freedom, security and the continued development of society. At the same time, we see storm clouds gathering. Democracy is in decl ..read more
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Film “Beyond Utopia” now available on streaming platforms
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
1w ago
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) announced that “Beyond Utopia,” a BAFTA-nominated and du-Pont-Columbia Award-winning film that follows the harrowing journeys of several individuals as they attempt to escape North Korea, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and YouTube. Pastor Seungeun Kim, who has made it his life’s work to rescue North Koreans. Over the past 23 years, he has saved more than 1,000 people through a network of smugglers and activists. As the film depicts, Pastor Kim frequently risks his own life by joining defectors on parts of their treacherous journey to sa ..read more
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Investigative journalism in Arab states: the threats to journalists
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
1w ago
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is working with journalists in the Middle East and Northern Africa to investigate various violations affecting the safety of journalists and their ability to do their work. Shutterstock “I find myself wishing there was more protection [for investigative journalists], a sense of safety and even simply just hope. I watch in awe as they investigate crimes that they unfortunately know they could well be victims of in the future, or in some cases already have been.“ Zaynab Al-Khawaja, GCHR’s Journalists Protection Coordinator, working with journalists conduc ..read more
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CIVICUS annual report 2023; PEOPLE POWER UNDER ATTACK: the good, the bad and the ugly:
Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders
by Hans Thoolen
1w ago
Almost a third of the world’s population now lives in countries with closed civic space. This is the highest percentage since 2018, when CIVICUS began systematically tracking civic space conditions around the world. This startling decline – from 26 per cent living in closed countries in 2018 to 30.6 per cent today – points to a major civic space crisis that requires immediate, global efforts to reverse. This year we also recorded the lowest percentage of humanity living in open countries, where civic space is both free and protected. Today, just two per cent of the world’s population enjoys th ..read more
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