Freedom of Speech

Failure to Honour International Commitments as Askarov Sentence Upheld

Askarov behind bars

Civil Rights Defenders calls on the Kyrgyz authorities to fulfil their international commitments to protect civil and political rights by immediately releasing human rights defender and journalist Azimjon Askarov. Today, the Chui Regional Court ruled to uphold the original sentence of life-imprisonment at the end of a trial that allegedly presented the same procedural faults that led to the Human Rights Committee stating that several of Askarov rights had been violated.

Human Rights Defenders Attacked by Members of the Ruling Party in Serbia

Photo Courtesy of Liberties.eu

Civil Rights Defenders condemns the recent attack against several human rights defenders from the Youth Initiative of Human Rights (YIHR) of Serbia, a long time partner of Civil Rights Defenders and demands that swift legal action be taken in bringing the perpetrators to justice.The incident occurred on the evening of January 17, involving nine activists from the YIHR, who were brutally attacked by members from a local branch of the Serbian Progressive Party.

Justice Demanded for Journalist Tortured in Prison in Azerbaijan

CRD sign 2 size 480x270

Civil Rights Defenders together with 18 International Human Rights Organisations have strongly condemned the abduction and torture of journalist Mehman Huseynov and immediately calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to comprehensively investigate the case and to take action against those responsible. He is one of Azerbaijan’s top political bloggers and Chairman of the local press freedom group, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

Statement: Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan

admin-ajax

Civil Rights Defenders and several of its partners from the Sport for Rights coalition call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to reverse the alarming trend as it carries out a multi-pronged attack on freedom of expression: including introducing harsh penalties for critical speech online, imprisoning young activists for nothing more than graffiti, blocking access to websites of independent […]

2015 Civil Rights Defender of the Year Arrested in Vietnam

Me Nam 2

Yesterday, the Vietnamese Blogger, Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh was detained by the authorities in Khanh Hoa province of Vietnam accused of spreading propaganda against the State. Writing under the pen name Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), Ms. Qunyh was the 2015 recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. No trial date has been given, but if convicted, Me Nam could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years which is permitted under the current law.

Authorities Must Drop Politically Motivated Charges Against Activist

Photo Courtesy of Than Zaw Aung

The Myanmar authorities should immediately release from prison and drop all charges against activist Myat Nu Khaing. Myat Nu Khaing, an independent candidate contesting in the Phyu constituency in Pegu Division, was arrested on October 16 while campaigning for elections in Yangon. “Given the timing of the arrest, these charges appear politically motivated,” said Brittis Edman at Civil Rights Defenders.

Published in the Irrawaddy: Human Rights Defenders Continue to Suffer in Burma

Myanmar

Min Min* has been actively promoting land rights issues for over two decades. In the late 1990s she was arrested and imprisoned for her political activities, and during her detention she was subjected to torture and severe abuse at the hands of authorities. After languishing in prison for years, she was finally released. Undeterred by her experience, she continued to pursue her rights activism.

Ethiopian Authorities Release Two Zone 9 Bloggers and Four Journalists

Zone-9

Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the release of two Zone 9 Bloggers who were arrested along with four other bloggers and three journalists in April 2014 on incitement and terrorism charges. In what is seen as an unprecedented move by the Ethiopian authorities the three journalists were also released with all charges against the journalists and bloggers dropped. Another journalist who had spent more than four years in prison has also been released.

The state of Internet freedom after the coup in Thailand

Photo: Thai Netizen Network

Since the military coup three months ago, Thailand has introduced a ban on political gatherings; politicians and activists have been arrested, and media censored. In the light of these developments, we invite Thai human rights defender and Internet activist Arthit Suriyawongkul to talk about the present state of freedom of expression and how human rights defenders can operate under these conditions.