Statements

Civil Rights Defenders regularly send letters of concern or statements in collaboration with our partners, to decisions makers in Sweden and around the world, in order to bring attention and subsequent influence on human rights issues that we actively deal with.

34 Years Later, Vietnam Needs Larger Freedom

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On the eve of the 34th anniversary of Vietnam becoming a party to key human rights treaties, the human rights situation in the country continues to be marked by the prosecution and imprisonment of human rights defenders, violence against activists and protesters, use of repressive laws to criminalise expression and assembly, and inadequate guarantees to ensure citizens’ right to participate in public affairs, including in land use and environmental decision-making.

Safe and Secure Freedom of Assembly Must be Guaranteed at Belgrade Pride

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Civil Rights Defenders demands that the government of Serbia puts all measures in place to ensure a safe and secure Belgrade Pride March which is scheduled to take place on September 18. Freedom of peaceful assembly must be secured for all citizens of Serbia regardless of their personal attributes and to guarantee peoples’ fundamental human rights. Belgrade Pride Week 2016 which began on September 12 includes a variety of cultural, debate and community-oriented events, which will take place at several locations throughout the Serbian capital.

Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors

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Civil Rights Defenders together with the undersigned organisations have made an appeal to the International Association of Prosecutors to take the necessary steps to ensure that they comply with the Standards of Professional Responsibility of and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors. While recognising the commitment and sacrifice of many prosecutors the undersigned have observed situations in which some prosecutors have been involved in prosecutions that violate basic human rights laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent international covenants, conventions and instruments to which the Association should adhere to.

Addressing the Escalating Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia

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Civil Rights Defenders together with 14 other prominent civil society organisations have issued a joint statement to the Permanent Representatives of Members and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council to draw their attention to serious human rights violations in Ethiopia. These include violent crackdowns on peaceful protests in the provinces of Oromio and Amhara. All 15 civil society organisations urge the delegations to make serious recommendations to Ethiopia including a thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into all deaths resulting from alleged excessive use of force by the security force.

Why a UNGA Resolution is Still Needed in Myanmar

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Civil Rights Defenders (CRD), ALTSEAN-Burma, Amnesty International, Article 19, Forum-Asia, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) are concerned that the European Union (EU) may not introduce a new resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the upcoming 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Our organizations believe that ending the resolution at this time would be premature, and that strong human rights monitoring mechanisms must remain in place to ensure Myanmar continues to press forward with much needed reforms

Human Rights Abuses in Laos Must be Tackled Now

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On the eve of the annual ASEAN leaders summit in Vientiane, human rights and advocacy groups called upon the Lao PDR Government to commit to address its widespread violations of human rights, including instances of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, and overall denial of basic civil and political rights. Visiting world leaders have a unique opportunity to publicly raise human rights concerns during the ASEAN summit in Vientiane from September 6-8.

Call on the Human Rights Council Regarding Resolution on Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

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Today, Civil Rights Defenders joins 11 international, regional, and Cambodian civil society organisations in a letter to permanent missions of Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council, urging them to support the adoption of a resolution addressing Cambodia’s gravely deteriorating human rights situation at the 33rd session of the Council (13-30 September 2016).

Azerbaijan: Renewed Human Rights Crackdown Ahead of Referendum

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Less than six weeks ahead of a constitutional referendum, the Azerbaijani authorities have unleashed a new wave of repression to silence critical voices. Today, Civil Rights Defenders joins 17 member organisations of the Sports for Rights coalition in a statement to condemn this renewed crackdown. We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to take immediate steps to improve the human rights situation in the country, starting with the release of political prisoners held for their peaceful political activities or exercise of their right to freedom of expression.

Statement: Cuba Must End Repression Against Human Rights Defenders

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The Cuban Government continues its crackdown on human rights and its repression against human rights defenders. Several activists have now gone to hunger strike as means to demand change. In a statement today, Civil Rights Defenders expresses deep concern over the health conditions of the activists, and strongly condemns the systematic human rights violations they face in Cuba. We urge the Cuban Government to end all repression against Cuban citizens and human rights defenders and to guarantee their civil and political rights.

Cambodia: Campaign to Support Imprisoned Human Rights Defenders

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Civil Rights Defenders joins more than 50 local, regional and international civil society groups in launching a campaign to support and seek the release of five human rights defenders who are under arbitrary detention in Cambodia. They are currently under judicial investigation for trumped-up allegations of bribery. The #FreeThe5KH campaign aims to garner support for the five detained human rights defenders, to remind them that the public has not forgotten about their cause and to help keep their morale high while they remain in detention.

Cambodia: Killing of Kem Ley Adds Grave Concern to the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

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Civil Rights Defenders joins 20 other local, regional and international civil society groups and networks in condemning the murder of Cambodian activist and political analyst Kem Ley in Phnom Penh on 10 July 2016. The signatories call for a prompt, thorough, impartial, and independent investigation into his death, and call on the authorities to ensure accountability for this atrocious killing.

Statement: Myanmar Must Investigate Destruction of Religious Buildings

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On 5 July, Civil Rights Defenders joins 18 other non-governmental organisations in Myanmar to call on the Government of Myanmar to conduct a formal investigation into the recent destruction of religious buildings in Kachin State and Bago Region. The statement represents a collective show of support from Myanmar civil society for victims of religiously motivated violence in the country. We call on the Government of Myanmar to live up to the aspirations of a democratic Myanmar with respect for human rights.

UN Human Rights Council Puts Cambodia on Notice

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At the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Belgium, Japan, France, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU all expressed concerns at the recent escalation of crackdown on civil society and the political opposition in Cambodia. In a joint statement highlighting this cross-regional condemnation, Civil Rights Defenders, together with Cambodian, regional and international human rights groups, call on Cambodian authorities to immediately release detained civil society and opposition members.

Ethiopia: End use of counter-terrorism law to persecute dissenters and opposition members

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Today, Civil Rights Defenders and eight other civil society organisations issue a joint statement calling on the Ethiopian government to end the use of counter-terrorism law to persecute dissenters and opposition members. We urge the Ethiopian Government to end its escalating crackdown on human rights defenders, independent media, peaceful protestors as well as members and leaders of the political opposition.

(Svenska) Fallet Sinthu Selvarajah läggs ned – uttalande

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(Svenska) I dag kom nyheten att åklagaren än en gång lägger ner utredningen av hur det gick till när den psykosdrabbade, 28-åriga Sinthu Selvarajah dog i samband med ett polisingripande vid den psykiatriska avdelningen på Västmanlands läns sjukhus i december 2014 – trots att det finns en mängd oklarheter i fallet och den officiella dödsorsaken starkt ifrågasätts av rättsmedicinska experter. Civil Rights Defenders har för avsikt att driva fallet vidare.

Stop Violations Against Kenyan Human Rights Defenders

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Today Civil Rights Defenders forwarded a joint Letter of Concern to the Kenyan government regarding the arrest of Joel Ogada on March 14. Joel is a prominent Kenyan environmental Human Rights Defender and Natalia Project participant. We urge the Kenyan authorities to act accordingly and guarantee in all circumstances that Kenyan human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals.

Grave Restrictions on Fundamental Human Rights

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In a letter to the Permanent Representatives of Members and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council, Civil Rights Defenders together with eight undersigned civil society organisations expressed their serious concerns about the Ethiopian Government’s grave restrictions on fundamental human rights. This has been exemplified by the recent crackdown on largely peaceful protests in the Oromia region.

Vietnam: Call for Immediate Release of Prisoners of Conscience

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Civil Rights Defenders along with six civil society organisations call on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release two prisoners of conscience Nguyễn Văn Đài and Lê Thu Hà. They were arrested on 16 December 2015 and charged under Article 88 of the Penal Code for ‘Conducting propaganda against the state’. All efforts by family and legal counsel to visit the pair since their arrests have been denied.

(Svenska) Uttalande med anledning av samernas nationaldag

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(Svenska) Den 6 februari firas den samiska nationaldagen som i år infaller bara tre dagar efter att Gällivare tingsrätt utfärdade ett historiskt domslut i det uppmärksammade Girjasmålet. Civil Rights Defenders välkomnar beslutet, vilket ger samebyar rätt att råda över sina traditionella marker i enlighet med urfolksrätten, och uppmanar samtidigt till en tolkning som innebär att alla samers rättigheter respekteras.

Sweden Risks Violating Vulnerable EU citizens Rights – Open Letter

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In an open letter today, Civil Rights Defenders invites the Swedish government to a dialogue about vulnerable EU citizens and their human rights in Sweden. We are deeply concerned about the report on vulnerable EU citizens, submitted by the national coordinator to the government on 1 February. If municipalities and county councils shape their policies in line with the report, they risk violating Sweden’s human rights obligations.

Prominent LGBT Activist Charged Under Draconian Law

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Prominent Russian LGBT activist Sergey Alexseenko and long-term partner of Civil Rights Defenders was found guilty under the archaic “propaganda of homosexuality” law, which, was introduced in 2013. The law bans the distribution of propaganda to minors, which promotes non-traditional sexual relationships, and its introduction followed several administrative sanctions in various regions throughout Russia before being passed at a Federal level. The Arkhangelsk region where Sergey Alexseenko is based was one of the first regions to introduce punitive sanctions.

Myanmar: One Year On, No Justice for Kawng Kha Rape

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One year ago today, two teachers volunteering with the Kachin Baptist Convention were attacked and killed at home in a local church compound in Kawng Kha Village. A year on, there has been little progress towards identifying the perpetrators of the brutal rape, torture and murder. This case demonstrates the pressing need for the country’s incoming leaders to address impunity in genuine efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflict.

Vietnam Must End Arbitrary Detention of Human Rights Defenders

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In a statement released today, Civil Rights Defenders joins 25 civil society groups in calling on the Vietnamese authorities to drop charges against and immediately release human rights defenders Mr Nguyễn Vãn Ðài and Ms Lê Thu Hà, who have been in police custody in Hanoi after their arrest three weeks ago. The police have charged Ðài, a former prisoner of conscience, and his colleague Hà with “anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the Penal Code, which carries a prison sentence of between three and 20 years.

Remembering the Plight of Human Rights Defenders in Prison

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On the eve of the arrest of investigative Journalist Khadiya Ismayilova Civil Rights Defenders and other members of the Sports for Rights coalition together with the Civic Society Platform call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of all human rights defenders. Ismayilova is one of dozens of human rights defenders and political prisoners who have been incarcerated by the regime on politically motivated charges.

Civil Society Urges Obama to Press for the Release of Thich Quang Do

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Civil Rights Defenders along with numerous other civil society organisations in a letter to President Obama have called on him to press for the release of Vietnam’s most long standing prisoner of conscience Thich Quang Do. President Obama is due to attend the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and the US – ASEAN and East Asia summits where he will have the opportunity to meet with Vietnamese leaders.

Joint Statement of Concern on Draft Law on Religion

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Civil Rights Defenders joins 26 civil society organizations in calling for Vietnam’s government to comprehensively revise the draft Law on Belief and Religion to comply with Vietnam’s obligations under international human rights law, and to do so through broad-based and inclusive consultation. In its present form, the draft law places limitations on freedom of religion or belief that extend beyond those permitted under international human rights law that is binding on Vietnam.

(Svenska) Stoppa avhysningen från boplatsen på Sorgenfri

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(Svenska) Upphäv beslutet att riva boplatsen på Sorgenfri i Malmö. Det kräver Civil Rights Defenders i ett öppet brev till Malmö stad och polisen Skåne den 30 oktober. På platsen bor omkring 200 EU-migranter och om beslutet drivs igenom innebär det att deras mänskliga rättigheter kommer att kränkas. Malmö stad har inte ordnat alternativa boenden för de personer som tvingas flytta och de har inte heller getts möjlighet att yttra sig.

Vietnam: Restrictions on Freedom of Movement Violate Domestic and International Law

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Authorities in Vietnam have blocked at least 33 human rights defenders and activists from freely travelling abroad or internally in the last six months, despite legal protection of the right to freedom of movement. Civil Rights Defenders considers these restrictions arbitrary and in violation of Vietnam’s obligations under its own Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

CAMBODIA: Open Letter to Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the UNHRC

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Members of the UN Human Rights Council should address the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia during the upcoming council session. They should also extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, a coalition of International, regional and domestic human rights groups including Civil Rights Defenders writes in an open letter today.

Meydan TV Director Emin Milli Threatened for Critical Reporting on European Games

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Civil Rights Defenders together with several other civil society organisations who are members of “Sport for Rights” has issued a statement calling on the Azerbaijani authorities to put an end to their ongoing attempts to silence critical reporting. The statement follows after Meydan TV Director Emin Milli reported that he had received a threat from the Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sport, Azad Rahimov, in connection with his critical reporting on the European Games.

(Svenska) Sverige bör ta FN:s rekommendationer på större allvar

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(Svenska) I januari granskades hur mänskliga rättigheter respekteras i Sverige vid FN:s människorättsråd i den så kallade UPR-processen. Granskningen resulterade i en mängd rekommendationer om åtgärder Sverige bör vidta. Idag antar regeringen formellt rekommendationerna vid ett sammanträde i Genève men Civil Rights Defenders ser med stor oro på alla de centrala rekommendationer som Sverige valt att inte ta sig an.

Joint Statement Calling for the Release of Vietnamese Prisoner of Conscience

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Several human rights organizations call on the Vietnamese government to abide by their international and domestic obligations and immediately release Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Vietnamese ICT entrepreneur and blogger. Tran Huynh Duy Thuc was arrested under the initial charge of “promoting anti-government propaganda” under Article 88 of the Vietnamese Penal Code for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders välkomnar slutsatserna i JO:s granskning

(Svenska) För snart ett år sedan inledde Justitieombudsmannen, JO, en granskning för att klargöra vem som bär ansvar för det polisregister över romer där 4700 individer registrerats. I dag blev den klar. JO pekar bland annat på att ansvarsfördelningen inom polismyndigheten har varit mycket otydlig och att detta innebar att det saknades kontroll och styrning över behandlingen av registret.

(Svenska) Skönmålad bild av minoriteters vardag förstärker problemen

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(Svenska) Regeringen skickade nyligen in sin rapport till FN:s människorättsråd för granskningen av Sveriges efterlevnad av de mänskliga rättigheterna, och ger en positiv bild av människorättssituationen i Sverige. Civil Rights Defenders presenterar nu en skuggrapport för FN där bilden av romers, samers och andra minoriteters situation står i stark kontrast till regeringens.

Organisations call on international solidarity with the newspaper Azadliq

On 17 October, just a week after the presidential election, the sale of several daily newspapers including the newspaper Azadliq was banned in metro stations in Baku. Azadliq is one of few remaining opposition news outlets in Azerbaijan. “We urge the country’s judicial and political authorities to stop hounding it and we call on international solidarity with the daily”, said Civil Rights Defenders and several other organisations in a joint statement.

Election will not be credible unless people can criticise the government

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In a joint call issued on the eve of the Presidential election, 22 human rights organisations and press freedom campaigners warn that the failure of the government of Azerbaijan to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, undermines the democratic legitimacy of the government. Azerbaijan should take immediate action to ensure fundamental rights are protected ahead of the election.

Harassment of investigative journalist must be effectively investigated

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In a letter to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and the Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov, several human rights organisations, including Civil Rights Defenders, express their profound concern regarding the harassment and intimidation of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova. The organisations urge the president to ensure an effective investigation into the threats against her.

Summoned to court for publication of human rights monograph

A new court case against Stanislav Dmitrievsky, Head of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, signals that Russian authorities continue to restrict the work of human rights defenders. Civil Rights Defenders calls for international attention to this case as this is yet another attempt to silence Stanislav Dmitrievsky and his organisation for their work against impunity in the North Caucasus.