Derechos Humanos

Foto del 15 de julio de 2018 de un joven protestando contra el presidente de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, en apoyo a la ciudad de Masaya que fue atacada por la policía y grupos paramilitares pro-Ortega en Managua. (Juan Carlos para The Washington Post)

Romper un récord, por lo general, se asocia con algo bueno. “Obtener el mejor resultado”, apunta la definición. Pero cuando se trata de Nicaragua, el país gobernado por la pareja dictatorial de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo, todo significado se torna contrario, para peor. Recientemente, el país apareció en las noticias por romper el récord de violaciones a los derechos humanos en 2022.

Primero las cifras: de acuerdo a la organización Raza e Igualdad, la dupleta Ortega-Murillo apresó en 2022 a 235 personas por sus ideas políticas. Un número solo superado por los 674 casos de presos políticos en 2018, cuando estallaron las protestas sociales que fueron brutalmente reprimidas por fuerzas policiales y paramilitares sandinistas.…  Seguir leyendo »

“Dad, my sentence is death”, Mohammad Mehdi Karami informed his father in a phone call from prison last month. Then, last Saturday, the 21-year-old karate champion was executed by the Iranian regime. Karami, an Iranian Kurd, was hanged on the same day as Seyed Mohammad Hosseini, a volunteer children’s coach who was just 20. Both were accused of killing a member of the Basij paramilitary force. In the phone call, the younger Karami reportedly told his father he was tortured into making a false confession. All 16 accused in that case have denied the charges.

Their deaths add to the growing number of young protesters killed since Iranians took to the streets almost four months ago in women-led demonstrations sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.…  Seguir leyendo »

El Sur global y la batalla por los derechos

Se afirma que la invasión rusa de Ucrania ha dejado indiferente a la población de los países de África, Asia y América Latina, que considera el conflicto un asunto del Norte privilegiado. Se vio en las declaraciones del presidente mexicano, Andrés Manuel López Obrador: “No creemos que esta guerra nos concierna”. También en la actitud equidistante del presidente Lula da Silva en Brasil, para quien el presidente ucranio Volodímir Zelenski tendría la misma responsabilidad que Vladímir Putin, y en general en las naciones que se abstuvieron de votar en la ONU. Nos encontraríamos ante la respuesta del Sur global, concepto vástago del otrora Tercer Mundo, escenario geopolítico imprescindible en el que Putin aspira a resetear una Guerra Fría 2.0.…  Seguir leyendo »

El 6 de diciembre de 1978, el pueblo español ratificó en referéndum nuestra Constitución. Su núcleo de justicia, recogido esencialmente en el artículo 10, se basa en el reconocimiento y protección de los derechos humanos de todos, porque todos tenemos una igual dignidad intrínseca. Y, como los derechos evolucionan en su interpretación, el mismo artículo prevé que la interpretación de los derechos y libertades fundamentales se hará conforme a los tratados internacionales a los que voluntariamente aceptemos someternos. Este es el pacto social que nos hemos dado todos los españoles. Pacto social que será quebrado si el Estado español no garantiza el suministro eléctrico en la Cañada Real el próximo día 15.…  Seguir leyendo »

A worker walks past FIFA World Cup banners outside the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 6. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

As the FIFA Men’s World Cup begins, Qatar is facing media scrutiny for the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers who built and delivered an  estimated $220 billion of World Cup infrastructure—as well as discrimination against  women and  LGBT people. Qatari authorities are anxious to deflect attention from the country’s human rights record by claiming that the criticism is  racist, because such criticism against a World Cup host is “unprecedented”. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the same, delivering a  rambling speech on the eve of the World Cup.

Qatari authorities might be able to justifiably complain about lazy reporting on the Arab world, but the biggest criticism about Qatar is that this World Cup has been built on racial injustice—delivered at the cost of abuse and exploitation of low-paid migrant workers primarily from South Asia and Africa.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators chant slogans while marching during the "March of Solidarity for Iran" in Washington on Oct. 15. STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Image

On Sept. 16, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died from injuries allegedly inflicted by Iran’s so-called morality police. Ever since, Iranians across the country—and worldwide—have protested not only her death but also the Iranian regime itself.

In keeping with the Iranian government’s modus operandi, it has instituted nationwide internet shutdowns while simultaneously responding to peaceful protests with lethal force, arbitrary detentions, and other human rights violations. Despite the internet shutdowns, these violations by the state have been widely documented on independent news sites focused on Iran such as IranWire, in foreign and international media such as the Washington Post, and on social media by journalists, activists, and civilians.…  Seguir leyendo »

A young woman died in hospital in Iran on September 16th after being detained by the morality police for showing too much of her hair. Mahsa Amini’s death ignited protests in more than 100 cities and street protesters openly declare that the Islamic Republic must go. The people of Iran are tired of theocratic tyranny. The movement’s chant is “Women, Life, Freedom”. But the realisation of this slogan will only be possible under a democratic and secular government.

During the 43 years since the revolution, many Iranian people have lost their lives for opposing the government. The true number killed is not clear as the government never reports such statistics.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Most Eloquent Speaker at the Climate Summit Is Alaa Abd El Fattah

On Sunday, the first day of COP27, the U.N. climate change conference in Egypt, Alaa Abd El Fattah, a British-Egyptian pro-democracy activist and writer whose seven-month hunger strike began as an effort to force the Egyptian authorities to permit British consular access to him in prison, escalated his protest by refusing water and all liquids.

Alaa, who has been in prison for most of the past nine years, was a popular, independent voice during the 2011 revolution, known for his fierce commitments to human rights and, above all, to bodily integrity. He insists that freedom from physical threat, violence and precarity must belong to everybody, be they a marginalized group, a political opponent or a prisoner, and that otherwise we are all in danger.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hundreds protest in London in solidarity with Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died while in police custody. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

I am a free woman. It’s a luxury not afforded to the women of my motherland, Iran. As an Australian with Kurdish Iranian heritage, the past six weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion. A cocktail of fear, grief, guilt, pride and hope. Fear for the safety of millions of Iranians living under an oppressive rule. Grief for the hundreds of innocent lives lost, the thousands imprisoned and being brutally tortured. Guilt for not having been a stronger voice for a pain I know only too well. Death is the ultimate price for freedom in Iran. This disparity should not be lost on anyone living with basic human rights.…  Seguir leyendo »

The emblem of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unveiled at the Qatar National Archive building in Doha, Qatar, on Sept. 3, 2019.Christopher Pike/Getty Images for Supreme Committee 2022

In 2010, days after international soccer governing body FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, the first of many damning op-eds about the country landed on the editorial page of the Guardian. The article—entitled “Let Qatar 2022 not be built on brutality”—was authored by a representative of Human Rights Watch and detailed the exploitive treatment of the migrant laborers who have built stadiums and other tournament infrastructure. Ever since, there have been regular reports of abuses or calls to boycott the World Cup. Now, less than one month before play begins, there is a new flurry of critical stories about Qatar, focused not only on workers’ rights but things like the country’s supposedly fabricated soccer culture.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iranian demonstrators take to the streets of the capital Tehran during a protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody, on September 21

This week, two moments in the tumultuous and violent month-long uprising in Iran caught the international media’s attention with fresh urgency – a fire inside Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, and the whereabouts of an Iranian climber following a competition in South Korea.

Barely had the sound of sirens and gun shots faded from the prison compound when, half a world away in Seoul, the first Iranian woman to win a medal at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Championships was reported missing by friends after competing without a hijab.

For many like me among the Iranian diaspora glued to our screens watching events unfold, Elnaz Rekabi seemingly used her international sporting platform to defy the mandatory dress code at the expense of her own career – and safety.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire leaves Nyarugenge prison in September 2018, after eight years.

In the recent race to become Britain’s next Conservative Party leader and prime minister, there was one item the final candidates all agreed on – sticking with a controversial plan to send asylum seekers arriving on their shores halfway across the world to Rwanda.

Just a few weeks into the top job, freshly anointed prime minister Liz Truss doesn’t appear to be changing course anytime soon. (The closest the plan came to happening was in June, when a plane of asylum seekers set for Rwanda was grounded following a last-minute injunction by the European Court of Human Rights).

Now, as the British government faces legal challenges to the scheme from campaign groups representing asylum seekers, renewed focus has turned to Rwanda’s human rights record – including its imprisonment of political opponents.…  Seguir leyendo »

The office of Al-Haq, a human rights organization in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Nasser Nasser/Associated Press

Just after 3 a.m. on Aug. 18, Israeli soldiers blasted open the locked doors of Al-Haq, the oldest and largest human rights organization in the occupied Palestinian territories, for which I serve as general director. The soldiers ransacked the administrative and finance departments, the meeting room and my office. When they were done, the soldiers sealed the offices with a reinforced iron door welded into place. On the door, they posted a military order declaring that Al-Haq is an illegal group.

A few hours later, as I took in what was happening, my phone started beeping with messages that soldiers had also invaded and sealed off the offices of six other leading Palestinian organizations, including Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.…  Seguir leyendo »

A la suite du récent rapport du Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies aux droits de l’homme sur la très préoccupante situation dans la province du Xinjiang (Chine), le CIO vient de rendre public son Cadre stratégique en matière de droits humains, plusieurs mois après des Jeux d’hiver à Pékin et peu de temps avant la Coupe du monde de football au Qatar. Le sujet est d’actualité. Mais qui est concerné? Les pays qui accueillent des événements bien sûr, mais aussi les athlètes qui y participent et tous ceux qui sont impactés par eux, notamment les résidents et les ouvriers qui bâtissent les installations, car la notion de droits humains s’est considérablement élargie tout au long du XXe siècle.…  Seguir leyendo »

Michelle Bachelet with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, in Guangzhou, China, May 2022. Photograph: Deng Hua/AP

On Wednesday, minutes before the midnight end of her four-year appointment as UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet’s office at last published her long-delayed report into the continuing human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China. That it would do so remained uncertain to the last. Just the day before, it was being reported that her term would come to an end with the issue unresolved, despite numerous demands at Tuesday’s meeting of the human rights council – including from Britain’s ambassador to it, Rita French – that the report be released.

For scholars of Xinjiang, the uncertainty was nothing new.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mural photographed in Santiago de Chile in October 2021, around the "Plaza de Dignidad" where many demonstrations took place in 2019. It shows the faces of several victims of police violence demanding justice, truth and reparations. The one in the middle is Gustavo Gatica, who has lost his sight. © Marit de Haan

On the 3rd of August 2022, the Chilean government announced consultations for the development of a Comprehensive Reparation Initiative - Mesa de Reparación Integral, in Spanish – for victimsof human rights violations committed during social uprising of 2019, that resulted in 33 casualties. This recent development, alongside a constitutional reform process – to be submitted in a referendum on 4 September – and commitment to human rights of the newly appointed government of Gabriel Boric, in office since March 2022, indicates an intention to dealing differently with human rights violations.

An important shift, as victims of human rights violations during the dictatorship (1973-1990) have frequently been excluded, left waiting and had their voices neglected during the transition towards democracy.…  Seguir leyendo »

La clave para proteger la biodiversidad está en los derechos humanos

En octubre de 2021, con dos tractores unidos por una gran cadena se talaron más de 2000 hectáreas de bosque en el Cerrado brasileño, una de las áreas con mayor biodiversidad del mundo. Es trágico que esas escenas se hayan vuelto excesivamente frecuentes en la región.

Tan solo en 2021 se destruyeron 8531 kilómetros cuadrados (3294 millas cuadradas) de bosques, praderas y otra vegetación nativa del Cerrado, el máximo desde 2015. Y en las últimas décadas, entre el 40 y el 55 % del bioma del Cerrado se convirtió en campos de cultivo, pasturas y plantaciones de árboles. Gran parte de la deforestación fue para dedicar esos suelos a la producción ganadera y de monocultivos industriales de soja.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tras el intento de asesinato a Salman Rushdie, los debates interminables de Twitter nos remiten al día de la marmota. Condenamos compungidos, nos cambiaremos incluso de foto de perfil en redes sociales y oficiaremos de plañideras transitorias unas cuantas horas. Acaso unos días. Quizás, durante semanas. El quejido será engullido por otros imperativos más prosaicos y caerá, de nuevo, en el olvido.

Volveremos a nuestros quehaceres diarios y se apagarán las luces. Los maestros de Charlie Hebdo seguirán disparando sus lúcidos dardos blasfemos, al menos queda ese consuelo. Desde la condición de simple lector y admirador militante les ruego que nunca cesen de ofender e incomodar por el bien de la libertad y el laicismo, al menos si nos importa de verdad la maltrecha salud democrática de sociedades cada vez más terminales en la denigrada materia de los derechos ciudadanos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando se creó la Organización de las Naciones Unidas desde las ruinas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, habría sido inconcebible que alguien como yo -un joven de raza negra, gay y que usa silla de ruedas- fuera considerado como candidato a un trabajo de alto nivel en su interior. Por eso es una prueba increíble de la distancia que la humanidad ha recorrido desde 1945 el que yo esté entre los candidatos que la ONU evaluará para suceder a Michelle Bachelet cuando el próximo mes deje su puesto como Alta Comisionada de la ONU para los Derechos Humanos.

Si se me seleccionara, sería el funcionario civil internacional de más alto rango con discapacidad desde la fundación de la ONU, y una victoria histórica para los 1,3 mil millones de personas con discapacidad y que, según datos de la ONU, conforman el grupo minoritario más numeroso del planeta.…  Seguir leyendo »

I Wish I Could Ask Alaa Abd el-Fattah What He Thinks About the World Now

In early 2011, after huge protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square ended Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade autocracy, many activists who had taken to the streets found themselves in high demand. They were guests on “The Daily Show”. Hillary Clinton, then the U.S. secretary of state, visited the square, remarking it was “extraordinary” to be “where the revolution happened”, and met with some of the activists.

Alaa Abd el-Fattah, the Egyptian activist, intellectual and blogger described as “synonymous with Egypt’s 25 Jan. Revolution” knew the world’s attention would soon move on.

“They’ll soon forget about us”, he told me more than a decade ago.…  Seguir leyendo »