Derechos Humanos

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet leaves after she addressed the press on the opening day of the 50th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 13. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights is one of the world’s custodians of justice, civil liberties, and accountability. Navi Pillay initiated a U.N. inquiry into crimes against humanity in North Korea. Zeid Raad Al Hussein called for an International Criminal Court probe into atrocities committed against Rohingyas in Myanmar. In contrast, Michelle Bachelet, who has just announced she won’t stand for a second term as high commissioner, whitewashed the crimes of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

Whoever holds the office of U.N. high commissioner for human rights is looked to as a moral leader.…  Seguir leyendo »

At a lab in Xinxiang, China, September 2009. Stringer / Reuters

Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China deployed a novel method for selecting its athletes. According to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Beijing sequenced the genomes of its elite competitors to detect more than 100 markers linked to “speed, endurance, and explosive force”. It then used the results in part to determine who would go on to represent China at the upcoming games.

Beijing’s 11th-place showing in the medal count suggests that the tactic didn’t work exactly as planned. Athletic success, after all, comes from a complicated mix of constitution, training, and determination, so advanced genetic screening may do little to predict who wins or loses.…  Seguir leyendo »

En esta foto del 12 de julio de 2021, un hombre es detenido en una manifestación contra el gobierno del presidente Miguel Díaz-Canel en el municipio Arroyo Naranjo, La Habana. Según un informe de Prisoners Defenders hay 1,007 presos políticos en Cuba. (Yamil Lage/AFP vía Getty Images)

Luis Robles salió a caminar por el boulevard de La Habana el 2 de diciembre de 2020 con un cartel que decía “Libertad, no más represión, #Free-Denis”. No pasaron ni tres minutos y el joven, que hoy tiene 29 años, estaba rodeado de policías y militares que lo arrestaron. Fue llevado a prisión, donde un año y tres meses después le han notificado que su condena es de cinco años de cárcel por su gesto. Semanas antes de conocer su pena, escribió una carta desde la prisión de máxima seguridad donde se encuentra. Ahí explica el porqué de aquella decisión: “Quiero que Cuba sea un país para los cubanos, no importa su manera de pensar, para que las calles de mi país sean para todos y no solo para los comunistas, porque sueño vivir en un país con democracia”.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The prime minister’s trip to Riyadh, so soon after a mass execution, shames him personally and shames Britain.’ Boris Johnson arrives at Riyadh airport on Wednesday. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/AFP/Getty Images

Did Boris Johnson feel a flicker of alarm when the news broke that Saudi Arabia had executed 81 men just days before his in trip to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? The prime minister is not famed for being a man of conscience, but he has a solid grasp of optics. He surely knows that shaking hands with an autocrat who has just overseen a mass killing will harm Britain’s moral standing on the global stage, at a time when this could not be more important.

Since Jamal Khashoggi was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 and murdered, western leaders have mostly stayed away from the kingdom and avoided photo ops with the crown prince.…  Seguir leyendo »

Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take part in a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 8, 2019. Xinhua/Shen Hong via Getty Images

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics were notable for the absence of Western politicians and officials, the result of a diplomatic boycott to protest China’s reprehensible treatment of Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group in its Xinjiang province. What the boycott ignores is that Beijing is complicit in North Korea’s horrific human rights abuses as well. Because the two countries’ abuses are inextricably linked, it is essential that U.S. North Korea policy focuses on China’s role in sustaining the crimes of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s family against the North Korean people.

For example, China is complicit in the fates of thousands of North Koreans who try to flee across the 882-mile border between the two countries each year.…  Seguir leyendo »

China’s President Xi Jinping waves next to his wife Peng Liyuan at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on 4 February 2022. Photograph: Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

China should not have been given the honour of hosting this year’s Winter Olympics. When Beijing hosted the summer Games in 2008, the prevailing hope was that engagement with China would lead to greater openness. Such views now look naive. Instead, the opposite has happened: while China’s economy has boomed, the last decade has seen a concerted crackdown on human rights, a centralisation of political power and creeping and extensive surveillance, as athletes and officials are now discovering.

This growing authoritarianism has reached new and sinister heights under President Xi Jinping, including the dismantling of Hong Kong’s democracy. Most horrific is the situation in Xinjiang, where there is extensive evidence of mass “re-education” camps, forced labour, forced sterilisation and cultural repression on an industrial scale against the Uyghur people.…  Seguir leyendo »

Desde el día 1 de agosto de 2018, Albania, Armenia, Estonia, Finlandia, Francia, Georgia, Lituania, San Marino, Eslovenia y Ucrania (Países Bajos a partir del 1 de junio de 2019; Grecia, del 1 de agosto de 2019; Andorra, del 1 de septiembre de 2019; Eslovaquia, del 1 de abril de 2020; Luxemburgo, del 1 de septiembre de 2020 y, finalmente, Bosnia-Herzegovina, del 1 de julio de 2021) están en condiciones de impetrar del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos (TEDH) la emisión de una opinión consultiva no vinculante sobre cuestiones de principio relativas a la interpretación o aplicación de los derechos y libertades definidos en el Convenio o sus protocolos, merced a lo dispuesto en el Protocolo nº 16 al Convenio para la Protección de los Derechos Humanos y de las Libertades Fundamentales, aprobado en Estrasburgo el 2 de octubre de 2013, que faculta a los órganos jurisdiccionales de mayor rango de cada Alta Parte Contratante, a formular, de manera motivada, esa solicitud en el marco de un asunto del que estén conociendo, como contemplan, con matices, la Corte Internacional de Justicia, el Tribunal Internacional del Derecho Marítimo o la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Staff members at a Monday rehearsal for a victory ceremony at the Beijing Medals Plaza of the Winter Olympics. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

In 2019, then-International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper told a German newspaper that the Olympics are “easier in dictatorships”. The honorary International Olympic Committee member was referring to awarding the 2022 Winter Olympics to China. “Dictators can organize events such as this without asking the people’s permission”, Kasper said. He walked back his comments under pressure, but he had already said out loud what many sport federation leaders think in private.

The Beijing Winter Olympics open in a month and the FIFA World Cup kicks off in November in Qatar. With the world’s two biggest sporting events being hosted by major human rights abusers, this year is forcing an overdue reckoning for powerful sports bodies that for years have sidelined their formal commitments to human rights.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los personajes Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), Lee Jung-jae y (Seong Gi-hun) Jung Ho-yeon (Kang Sae-byeok) en una escena de de 'El juego del calamar', serie producida por Netflix en Corea del Sur. (Youngkyu Park/Netflix vía AP)

Mucha gente que conozco ha estado viendo el show de Netflix El juego del calamar, un drama distópico en el que los jugadores participan en versiones surrealistas de juegos infantiles tradicionales coreanos. Los perdedores son castigados con la muerte hasta que solo queda una persona con vida.

Mis amigos ven El juego del calamar como una especie de película de terror, una crítica grotesca sobre la brecha entre ricos y pobres en las sociedades capitalistas de hoy. Para ellos es una fantasía, una fábula aterradora.

Pero a mí el show me tiene fascinado por diferentes razones. Para mí, es un recordatorio de los tres años que pasé en las cárceles sirias.…  Seguir leyendo »

My Son Is Not Alone. Millions of Young People Commit His Crime

Standing outside the Tora prison complex, where my son is held, a mother asks me: What’s your son in for?

“Politics”, I say.

She looks surprised, not because you can be imprisoned for politics — there’s nothing strange about that in Egypt — but because most political prisoners are Islamists, and she doesn’t think I look like the mother of an Islamist. “He was one of shabab al-thawra, ” I add, the young people of the revolution.

No further explanation is needed.

Why is my son, Alaa Abd El Fattah, in prison? He is one of tens of thousands of political prisoners in Egypt.…  Seguir leyendo »

Oswaldo Payá, seen here in 2006, was killed in July 2012 while in a car in Cuba. (Javier Galeano/AP)

For more than 60 years now, my family has had grave concerns about the restriction of fundamental rights of the Cuban people, concerns that have remained strong despite the march of time and the repeated failures of U.S. foreign policy to support the Cuban people.

While the players and technology have changed since the early days of Fidel Castro’s regime, repression in Cuba continues unabated, with restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of movement and due process continuing to plague the lives of its citizens.

This year, Cubans took to the streets for a wave of unprecedented protests over the pandemic response, food and medicine shortages, censorship, and repression.…  Seguir leyendo »

Signs comparing Chilean presidential candidate José Antonio Kast to Augusto Pinochet in Santiago. Photograph: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

For more than 70 years, 10 December has been celebrated around the world as Human Rights Day, a way of commemorating the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed on that date in 1948 by the United Nations. It has turned, in time, into an occasion for those who enjoy those rights to seek ways to amplify them and for those who suffer in lands where those rights are repressed to demand that they be respected.

In Chile, my country, the date took on a special meaning after the 1973 coup by General Augusto Pinochet that overthrew the democratically elected government of socialist president Salvador Allende.…  Seguir leyendo »

El 10 de diciembre de 1948 en París, en el Palacio de Chaillot, se proclamaba solemnemente la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos. Atrás habían quedado meses de trabajo del comité de Naciones Unidas encargado de la redacción del texto que, si bien en sus comienzos había sido considerado “cuasi testimonial”, y de poca importancia por los gobiernos, con el paso del tiempo había empezado a resultar incómodo, precisamente por el tesón de Eleonor Wilson de que el resultado de tantos meses de trabajo no fuera una declaración descafeinada y descomprometida para los Estados, sino la herramienta que sustentara una concepción nueva del mundo, como ella misma no se cansaba de repetir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Madres de la Plaza de Mayo esperan el ascensor en el Ministerio de Defensa argentino.Juan Mabromata

Este 10 de diciembre de 2021, Día Internacional de los Derechos Humano s, la república Argentina conmemora también sus 38 años ininterrumpidos de democracia. Son 38 años de respeto a las garantías individuales. De libertad de expresión sin límites ni siquiera penales. De alternancia en el poder. De vigencia de una Carta Magna en la que los tratados de derechos humanos tienen rango constitucional.

Por eso el presidente Alberto Fernández considera como un reconocimiento colectivo a las argentinas y a los argentinos la reciente designación de nuestro país para presidir el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU en el período anual de 2022.…  Seguir leyendo »

La pandemia de la covid-19 y las medidas adoptadas por los Estados para mitigar, prevenir y contener la propagación del virus han generado un impacto inconmensurable en la vida y los medios de subsistencia de los casi 8.000 millones de personas que habitan el planeta. La pandemia y muchas de estas medidas han provocado lo que el Secretario General de la ONU ha descrito como una paralela “pandemia de abusos contra los derechos humanos” y el incremento de la pobreza y la desigualdad en todo el mundo.

La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) ha pedido a los Estados que sitúen los derechos humanos en el centro de sus respuestas a la pandemia, incluyendo la garantía del acceso universal a las vacunas, los medicamentos y las tecnologías sanitarias contra la covid-19.…  Seguir leyendo »

Oleg Orlov, board member of Memorial rights group, poses at an exhibition about political repressions in the group's office in Moscow on Nov. 15. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is on the verge of liquidating his country’s most important civic organization. Since its founding more than three decades ago, the Memorial Society has pursued a dual mission: to document and increase public awareness of mass repressions during the Soviet era and to promote human rights in today’s Russia.

If Memorial is destroyed, none of the few remaining Russian nongovernmental organizations that dare to assert their independence from the Kremlin will be safe. Shutting down Memorial will jeopardize not just the work performed by its courageous staff and the unique archive of historical documents they have amassed, but also the future of civil society itself in the Russian Federation.…  Seguir leyendo »

Activists in front of the Tweede Kamer during a demonstration in support of the Urgenda case at the Supreme Court in The Hague. Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Tuvalu’s foreign minister addressing COP26 while standing knee-deep in seawater was a stark illustration of how the climate emergency directly and imminently threatens the most basic human rights protected under international law – including to the right to life, self-determination and cultural rights.

Human rights are now a fundamental component of more than 90 per cent of the climate litigation currently taking place outside the US, highlighting the international reach of human rights law and how its emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable helps diverse communities find common arguments for shared goals.

Cases are set to continue and to evolve but three types of claim are emerging, each of which is examined in a new Chatham House briefing paper.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israel Moves to Silence the Stalwarts of Palestinian Civil Society

El 19 de octubre, usando evidencia secreta, y por lo tanto insuficiente, el Ministerio de Defensa de Israel acusó a seis de las organizaciones más prominentes de derechos humanos y de la sociedad civil de Palestina de ser organizaciones “terroristas” vinculadas con un grupo militante. Tan solo unos días después, Israel aprobó la construcción de más de 3000 nuevas unidades de asentamientos en el territorio ocupado de Cisjordania y anunció planes para duplicar la población judía-israelí en el Valle del Jordán para 2026.

La criminalización real de las instituciones palestinas y la expansión de los asentamientos son dos lados de la misma moneda.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israel Moves to Silence the Stalwarts of Palestinian Civil Society

On Oct. 19, the Israeli Ministry of Defense singled out six of the most prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, using secret, and thus far insufficient, evidence to accuse them of being “terrorist” organizations with links to a militant group. Just days later, Israel approved the construction of more than 3,000 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank and announced plans to double the Jewish-Israeli population in the Jordan Valley by 2026.

The effective criminalization of Palestinian institutions and the expansion of the settlements are two sides of the same coin. The goal is clear: to silence the independent monitoring of Israel’s human rights violations that stand between total annexation of the occupied West Bank and international accountability.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un activista maya fue encarcelado tras defender un río sagrado. Debe ser liberado

Encerrado en condiciones asquerosas y de hacinamiento en un sistema penitenciario notorio por sus motines mortales y decapitaciones, Bernardo Caal Xol está pagando el precio de hacerle frente a los intereses corporativos y a las autoridades que de manera habitual corrompen el sistema de justicia de Guatemala para silenciar a los defensores de los derechos humanos.

Caal, de 49 años, es maestro y líder comunitario de Santa María Cahabón, un territorio maya kekchí en la exuberante región norteña de Alta Verapaz. Desde 2015 ha presentado varios recursos legales contra el proyecto hidroeléctrico OXEC por supuestamente destruir 15 hectáreas de bosque y tres cerros sagrados, así como restringir el acceso a dos ríos sagrados donde la comunidad kekchí ha pescado y se ha bañado por generaciones, lo que viola una ley internacional que consagra los derechos de los pueblos indígenas al consentimiento previo, libre e informado sobre proyectos que afecten sus territorios.…  Seguir leyendo »