Derechos Humanos

Rohingya refugees watch ICJ proceedings at a restaurant in a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh in December. Photo: Getty Images.

The decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Myanmar should take all measures available to prevent acts of genocide against the persecuted Rohingya minority is truly ground-breaking. The case shows how small states can play an important role in upholding international law and holding other states accountable.

The Gambia, acting with the support of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, skilfully used Article IX of the Genocide Convention, which allows for a state party to the convention to pursue cases against another state party where it is felt there has been a dispute regarding the ‘interpretation, application or fulfilment’ of the convention.…  Seguir leyendo »

Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Police in riot gear rounding up suspected protesters, Hong Kong, January 5, 2020

Because the Chinese government depends on repression to stay in power, it sees the defense of human rights as threatening. But to prevent global criticism of its tightening domestic crackdown, Beijing is increasingly undermining the international system for protecting human rights, putting everyone in greater jeopardy.

To maintain its grasp on power at home, the Chinese Communist Party has constructed an Orwellian high-tech surveillance state and a sophisticated Internet censorship system to monitor and suppress public criticism. Now, China has begun to use its growing economic and diplomatic clout to extend that censorship abroad, silencing critics and carrying out the most intense attack on the global system for enforcing human rights seen since its emergence in the mid-twentieth century.…  Seguir leyendo »

People protesting on a highway against increased gas prices in Tehran in November.Credit...Wana News Agency, via Reuters

Historians will record the blood-soaked days of November as some of the worst mass killings of protesters in modern Iranian history. A sudden increase in fuel prices led to protests across the country; the regime responded with brute violence.

Amnesty International has verified “at least” 304 deaths between Nov. 15 and 18. Credible Iranian opposition sources have cited a preliminary figure of 366 while The New York Times reported that “180 to 450 people, and possibly more, were killed,” with “at least 2,000 wounded and 7,000 detained.” A statement from the Iranian Writers’ Association observed: “Every corner of Iran is mourning the atrocities.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Michael Kovrig, an adviser with the International Crisis Group, is interviewed in Hong Kong on March 28, 2018. (AP Photo)

Just under one year ago, on Dec. 10, China arrested our colleague Michael Kovrig in Beijing. Since that time, Michael — who is the International Crisis Group’s North East Asia adviser — has remained in detention without being allowed to see a lawyer or family member.

Although China has never spelled out the reasons for Michael’s imprisonment, it is clear that he is merely a pawn in a larger geopolitical game. A Canadian citizen and former diplomat, he was detained — along with another Canadian, Michael Spavor — nine days after Ottawa, acting upon a U.S. request under an extradition treaty, arrested Meng Wangzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant.…  Seguir leyendo »

Centenares de personas protestan contra la masacre de indígenas del pueblo nasa este miércoles en la plaza de Bolívar en Bogotá (Colombia). La masacre de cinco miembros de la comunidad nasa en el departamento colombiano del Cauca (suroeste) ha provado la indignación en todo el país. Los indígenas denuncin ser víctimas de un genocidio ante la mirada impavida del Estado. Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda (EFE)

Los colombianos en la diáspora claman por la dignidad y la vida, para que las balas no impidan a nadie defender los derechos humanos en su país. Luego de la firma del Acuerdo de Paz en 2016 y recién celebradas unas elecciones locales que han elegido a más de 1.100 alcaldes, 32 gobernadores y cientos de concejales y diputados departamentales, la violencia persiste con especial crudeza. Por ello, al igual que ya lo hicieron en el pasado mes de julio, el colectivo se concentrará en las principales capitales del mundo en apoyo a la gran movilización que paralizará al país el próximo 21 de noviembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Nov. 18, a U.N. committee passed a Russia-backed cybercrime resolution by a vote of 88-58, with 34 countries abstaining. Russia, Belarus, Cambodia, China, Iran, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Syria and Venezuela sponsored the resolution, titled “Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.” The United States said it is “disappointed with the decision.”

The resolution creates a drafting group to create terms of reference for a global “cybercrime” treaty. But the cybercrimes of primary concern here aren’t hacking attacks, privacy violations or identity thefts. Instead, this treaty is intended to create international law that would make it easier for countries to cooperate to repress political dissent.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una multitud de personas ondean una bandera con la imagen de Marielle Franco en Río de Janeiro, en marzo de 2019.Credit...Carl De Souza/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A más de un año del asesinato de Marielle Franco, concejala de Río de Janeiro, aún no se conoce a sus asesinos. Durante este tiempo, tanta sospechosa desidia en la investigación solo ha alimentado la teoría de que detrás del crimen hay intereses muy poderosos: agentes del Estado, policía militar y hasta el propio presidente de Brasil, Jair Bolsonaro, y uno de sus hijos.

Marielle era un lastre para las aspiraciones del nuevo mandatario brasileño: afrodescendiente nacida en un favela, feminista y anticapitalista, tenía una agenda que consistía en pelear por los derechos de los oprimidos. En marzo de 2018, la mataron por ser una de las voces más persistentes en denunciar a grupos paramilitares que operan como crimen organizado en las favelas de Río.…  Seguir leyendo »

Zcyrel Barola en Naciones Unidas (Ginebra), donde el pasado mes de septiembre presentó la versión para niños de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño (Educo)

La chica de la fotografía es Zcyrel Barola. Tiene 17 años y estudia en la ciudad de Legazpi, en Filipinas. Le gustan las matemáticas y también escribir poesía. Como cualquier otra adolescente de su edad, después de clase se reúne con sus amigos y comparte su día a día en las redes sociales. Zcyrel es también un ejemplo a seguir. Un ejemplo para todos y todas, especialmente para los adultos.

Firmemente comprometida con la lucha por los derechos de la infancia y gracias a su perseverancia, se ha convertido en una líder infantil en Filipinas. Tanto es así, que la eligieron para elaborar la versión adaptada para niños y niñas de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño.…  Seguir leyendo »

El 20 de noviembre la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño cumplirá 30 años. Es el tratado de derechos humanos con más ratificaciones en la historia, un acuerdo revolucionario entre países que cambió la manera de concebir la infancia y la adolescencia en todo el mundo. Unos meses después de la caída del muro de Berlín, en un contexto de cambio del orden mundial, nace este acuerdo internacional que marca un antes y un después en la vida de las generaciones más jóvenes: a partir de entonces, los niños, las niñas y adolescentes dejan de ser propiedad de los adultos u objetos de asistencialismo, para ser reconocidos como sujetos de derecho.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los presos políticos de Pedro Sánchez no están en Cataluña, donde los recién sentenciados dirigentes fueron juzgados en el marco de un Estado de derecho. Se puede estar a favor o en contra de esta decisión judicial, pero la misma ocurrió de acuerdo a los principios de la ley y a los estándares internacionales. Luego, la decisión de incendiar toda una región se circunscribe netamente a intereses políticos, no a la defensa de derechos humanos.

Donde sí tiene presos políticos el Gobierno de Sánchez es en Venezuela y en Cuba, porque cuando se es firmante de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos es para defenderlos en cualquier rincón del universo, como dice el nombre oficial del tratado.…  Seguir leyendo »

Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni is greeted by her boyfriend Rifaat Al Amine upon leaving prison after being granted a royal pardon (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images).

The decision by King Mohammed VI to grant a royal pardon for Hajar Raissouni – a Moroccan journalist detained along with her fiancé, a gynecologic doctor and his staff for allegedly ‘illegal abortion’ – has been pitched as an example of the ‘clemency and mercy’ of the king. But in reality, it appears the pardon has wider intentions – and is intended to try to kill three birds with one stone.

The first target is to try to end the current regime’s isolation, and prevent further media attacks against its restrictive practices. The accusations were never admitted by Raissouni and the others involved, resulting in wide criticism from both local and international media at a time when the regime was already under fire from human rights organizations for cracking down independent journalists and activists.…  Seguir leyendo »

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a military salute during an address to parliament in Ankara on Oct. 30. (Burhan Ozbilici/AP)

Late one night in June, Nurcan Baysal, a Kurdish journalist and human rights defender, was watching TV at her home in Diyarbakir, in Turkey’s southeast. Her younger son was playing with Legos, and her oldest was busy with his phone. At half past midnight, a terrifying noise shook them all. At first they thought it was an earthquake, or perhaps a bomb. Baysal sent the boys back to their rooms and ran to the door.

Some 20 or so anti-terrorism officers were trying to break down her front door, which proved too solid; the walls cracked instead. She let the balaclava-clad agents wielding rifles in through the veranda door.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators holding Uighur flags demonstrate next to the Chancellery in Berlin. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/AFP/Getty Images

The full extent of Beijing’s evil is finally coming into view. As the world watches the ongoing democratic uprising in Hong Kong, it is impossible to ignore the greater backdrop of oppression and egregious human rights abuses across China: more than 1 million religious minorities now in Xinjiang’s modern-day concentration camps, vast efforts at cultural reprogramming, and regular physical torture.

Sayragul Sauytbay, a Chinese Muslim of Kazakh descent, described being separated from her family and kept in Xinjiang under heinous conditions, where prisoners were routinely punished for observing their faith and having insufficient knowledge about Chinese culture or language.

Over the last several months, the steady trickle of horrifying stories has provided a fuller picture of the kinds of evils regularly occurring within these camps.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters demanding freedom for Prof. Dilmurat Ghpur and Prof. Tashpolat Tiyh in Munich, Germany, on February 2.

Sometime after he disappeared in 2017, Tashpolat Tiyip, a Uyghur leader, Communist Party member and the president of Xinjiang University, was reportedly sentenced to death in a secret trial

Apart from a leaked government film that accused him of ethnic «separatism,» the Chinese state has provided no explanation for the geography professor’s detention. Like hundreds of other Uyghur intellectuals, the government has made him disappear.

Tiyip was given a two-year suspended death sentence in September 2017. And as that deadline nears, Amnesty International has issued a statement warning that his execution may be imminent. More than 1,000 scholars from around the world have signed a petition from the American Association of Geographers asking the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping to stay Tiyip’s execution and release him.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Conditions in our immigration detention centres are harsh, punitive and degrading.’ Photograph: Alamy

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s report on the use of force in immigration detention is the latest chapter in a now familiar story of excessively harsh, punitive and degrading conditions in Australian immigration detention centres.

Once again, we see a disregard for the rights and basic dignity of people who have sought our protection and committed no crime.

The report lays bare the unnecessary handcuffing of women, children, people in wheelchairs, people with mental illness and no history of violent behaviour, and other people needing medical care. It confirms what our clients have been telling us: that handcuffing has become a routine practice for transfers between centres and, alarmingly, for off-site medical appointments.…  Seguir leyendo »

El pasado mayo, el presidente de la República de Namibia, Hage Geingob, declaraba el país bajo emergencia debido a los últimos fenómenos climáticos. Actualmente, el Estado africano sufre una dura sequía que azota a toda su extensión, incluyendo la región de Omusati. En esta zona, situada al norte y fronteriza con Angola, se trabaja hoy día en un proyecto de desarrollo económico conformado por varios actores con perfiles muy variados. Por un lado se encuentra la comunidad, las autoridades tradicionales y las autoridades locales, y por otro una empresa y una agencia de cooperación internacional para el desarrollo. Concretamente entre Oshifo y Ruacana se ubica el proyecto en el que nuestra empresa, Zabala Innovation Consulting, ha podido trabajar en el ámbito de los derechos humanos.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Case of Thailand’s Disappearing Dissidents

At 4:45 a.m. on July 8, a man wearing black and a mask broke into my apartment in Kyoto. He walked into my bedroom, attacked me and my partner with a chemical spray and escaped. Nothing was stolen. The Japanese police arrived quickly. The investigation is ongoing; the perpetrator has not been apprehended.

No official conclusion has been reached about who executed, much less orchestrated, the attack, but it matched a trend of harassment — and sometimes abduction and even killing — targeting anti-monarchist Thai dissidents overseas.

The 2014 military coup against the democratically elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra prompted hundreds of people to flee Thailand and go into exile, especially among supporters of Ms.…  Seguir leyendo »

UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard said the murder was likely "premeditated execution."

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi should be hailed a hero for paying the ultimate price for his belief in free speech. Instead, his murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year serves as a cautionary tale: no matter how brutal the crime, no matter how well-known the victim might be, no matter how incriminating the evidence, justice proves elusive for those who speak truth to power.

Last year was one of the most dangerous for the media. The number of reporters who were murdered and disappeared in 2018 went up on the previous year, and «journalists have never before been subjected to as much violence and abusive treatment as in 2018,» according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).…  Seguir leyendo »

La depilacióUna persona sostiene la bandera LGBT durante una marcha del orgullo en agosto de 2019.CreditCreditMartin Divisek/EPA vía Shutterstockn brasileña y el nuevo espíritu del capitalismo

En julio de este año Jessica Yaniv, una mujer transgénero, denunció a dieciséis esteticistas en Canadá por negarse a depilar sus testículos. Alegó ante los tribunales de derechos humanos haber sido discriminada por su identidad. Las acusadas argumentaron que no la rechazaron por razones personales, sino —algunas— por motivos religiosos —y otras— porque no depilan genitales masculinos, ya que no tienen los conocimientos para hacerlo.

Lejos de ser considerado un asunto personal —delirante, pero atendible de manera privada— los tribunales lo tomaron como algo de su competencia y se dieron unos meses para deliberar sobre este caso. De acuerdo con la ley de ese país, ningún trabajador puede ser obligado a manipular genitales si no es por razones médicas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Quand des centaines de milliers de pratiquants du Falungong [une secte interdite en 1999, ndlr] faisaient l’objet de persécutions systématiques (camps de travail, disparitions forcées, tortures), la plupart des gens en Chine ont préféré rester silencieux. La plupart, sauf un avocat: Gao Zhisheng. Ce dernier a parcouru la Chine pour recueillir les témoignages et défendre les droits de ces croyants. Dès 2004, Me Gao a écrit plusieurs lettres ouvertes aux autorités chinoises, dénonçant la répression exercée contre les Falungong. Son courage et sa compassion lui ont valu respect et reconnaissance du grand public. En plus de nombreuses distinctions du milieu des droits humains, il a également été nominé à plusieurs reprises pour le prix Nobel de la paix.…  Seguir leyendo »