Egypt: End violent crackdown on peaceful protests and restore communications with world

The international Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today called on the Egyptian authorities to end its violent crackdown on protesters engaged in peaceful demonstrations, exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. The ICJ also called on the authorities to restore Internet and mobile phone communications, access to which has apparently been widely blocked, leaving most Egyptians unable to communicate with each other or with the outside world.

At least 10 people have reportedly been killed and more than 1300 arrested during protests in Cairo, Suez and Sinai. The protesters have called for reforms aimed at curtailing political repression, poverty, corruption, and unemployment under President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-old regime.

” The Egyptian authorities must immediately end the unlawful and disproportionate use of violent force, some of which has been lethal. They must immediately and unconditionally release persons arrested, unless they are charged with a recognizable crime and afforded full fair trial guarantees under international law and standards”, said Sa飀 Benarbia, ICJ Legal Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa Programme. “The authorities must also end their lock-down on the Internet, including social networking websites, and mobile phone services. These measures clearly violate the right of individuals in Egypt to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information.” said Sa飀 Benarbia.

Under their international obligations, Egyptian authorities must conduct full, impartial and prompt investigations into all allegations of extrajudicial killings and other abuses committed by security forces, with a view to holding those responsible accountable.

Over the last 30 years, Egypt has been governed under an effective permanent state of emergency, under which political dissidents and human rights defenders have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention, including secret and incommunicado detention; widespread use of torture and ill-treatment; and flagrantly unfair trials before exceptional and military courts. Restrictions on the freedom of expression, association and assembly, in contravention of Egypt’s international legal obligations, have also been widespread.
For more information , please contact Sa飀 Benarbia, Middle East & North Africa Legal Adviser, at +
41229793817

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FIDH extremely concerned by the escalation of violence in Egypt

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Press release

FIDH extremely concerned by the escalation of violence in Egypt

http://www.fidh.org/FIDH-extremely-concerned-by-the-escalation-of

28 January 2011 – FIDH strongly calls on the Egyptian authorities to end the violent repression of the peaceful social and democratic protest movements currently taking place throughout the country and to immediately restore access to Internet and mobile services.

FIDH is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence as protests against the regime continue across Egypt. “Whereas the Egyptians have responded in great numbers to calls for massive protests despite the state of emergency which remains in force and the current ban on public protest movements repeatedly reiterated by the Minister of Interior, FIDH fears that the repression of demonstrations across the country will degenerate”, said Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH.

Particularly considering that on the night of January 27, 2011, Egyptian authorities suspended access to the Internet, preventing communications via e-mail and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. In addition, mobile networks were cut off today, Friday, January 28, 2011. Journalists have also been targeted by the authorities during the demonstrations.

FIDH strongly condemns the quasi-absolute blocking of means of communication and information by the Egyptian authorities and stresses that the authorities will be held responsible for any gross violations of Egypt’s international human rights obligations.

The situation in Egypt is being closely followed and with particular attention by FIDH, particularly through its representative in the League of Arab States (LAS), Hafez Abu Saeada, also president of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), FIDH’s member organisation.
For further information or for FIDH’s representative in Egypt’s contact information, please contact: Karine Appy +33 6 48 05 91 57

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

For immediate release
Geneva, 27 January 2011

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today deplored the
violent killing yesterday of David Kato, a Ugandan human rights
defender and LGBT activist.  The ICJ called on the Ugandan authorities
to take immediate steps to investigate the crime and to bring those
responsible to justice in a fair trial.

A teacher by training, David Kato was one of the founding members of
Sexual Minorities of Uganda.  As SMUG’s advocacy and litigation
officer, he had been a key figure in the fight against the forces of
homophobia, hatred and intolerance sweeping his country.  In the
months before his killing, Kato had received death threats and he
lived in fear for his safety.  He was severely beaten at his home in
Mukono District, outside Kampala, by an unknown assailant.

When M.P David Bahati introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in the
Ugandan Parliament in October 2009, which would have imposed the death
penalty for certain same-sex sexual offenses, Kato helped to
coordinate civil society opposition.  When a Ugandan tabloid (Rolling
Stone) unleashed a deliberate campaign of terror against the LGBT
community by publishing the names, photographs and addresses of
“Uganda’s top homos” with the headline “Hang Them,” Kato and two other
activists successfully sued the newspaper in the High Court of Uganda.
 On 3 January 2011, the Court found that the newspaper had violated
the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to dignity and privacy and
issued a permanent injunction.

“David Kato was a deeply dedicated and courageous human rights
activist,” said Alli Jernow, Senior Legal Advisor at the International
Commission of Jurists.  “He was also a warm and thoughtful soul.  He
will be deeply missed.”

The ICJ recalls the words of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing
the UN Human Rights Council just a few days ago in Geneva:  “We must
reject persecution of people because of their sexual orientation or
gender identity … They may not have popular or political support,
but they deserve our support in safeguarding their fundamental human
rights.”

The ICJ calls attention to the alarming wave of attacks on LGBT human
rights defenders, not only in Uganda, but elsewhere.  The ICJ calls
upon the Government to take the necessary steps to ensure that LGBT
individuals are protected from violence and incitement to violence.
The ICJ further urges Ugandan authorities to immediately and
forcefully speak out against hateful and inflammatory rhetoric.  As
the Secretary-General has reminded us, human rights are universal.
They belong to all of us simply by virtue of being born human.

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE – COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is honoured to announce
the election of
Professor Pedro Nikken as ICJ President. Pedro Nikken who has been a
member of the
Commission for a number of years, was elected ICJ President on 21
January 2011. He
succeeds Mary Robinson who served in the role from 2008 – 2010.

Pedro Nikken is a former Judge (1979-1989) and President (1983-1985)
of the Inter-American
Court of Human Rights. He served as UN Independent Expert on El
Salvador from 1992 to
1995 and from 1990-1992 he served as Legal Adviser to the UN
Secretary-General on El
Salvador’s peace process. In 1995 he served as Special Envoy of the UN
Secretary-General to
Burundi.
He is former Dean and Professor (emeritus) at the Law School of the Universidad
Central de Venezuela. He is also former President and Permanent
Counselor of the Inter-
American Institute of Human Rights. He is a Member (Chair N° 9) of the
Venezuelan National
Academy of Political and Social Sciences.

He is currently serving his third term as ICJ Commissioner.

The International Commission of Jurists is dedicated to the primacy,
coherence and implementation of
international law and principles that advance human rights. The
Commission was founded in Berlin in 1952 and
its membership is composed of up to sixty eminent jurists who are
representatives of the different legal systems of
the world. Based in Geneva, the International Secretariat is
responsible for the realisation of the aims and
objectives of the Commission.

25 Bonded Haris released from Chamber, District Tando Allhyar.

HRCP-STF Hyderabad received a
complaint on January 14,2011 of Bhooro s/o Prago Hindu-Bheel, r/o village
Nusrat Shah, Teluka Chamber, district Tando Allhyar, against Zmidar Nusrat
Shah, Jaffar Shah and Shoukat Shah of village Nusrat Shah, teluka Chamber,
district Tando Allhyar. They told that said zamidars had kept them as bonded
Hari and not paying their produce. Zamindar has given threats to involve them
in various false cases of criminal nature and sole them to other zamindars. He
kept all Haris and their family members in wrongful confinement and custody on
gunpoint. They preyed for liberty to go any where of their choice.

The HRCP-STF filled a miscellaneous application, u/s 491
Cr.P.C for recovery of alleged detainees, against the said landlord in the
Court of Session Judge Hyderabad. The Court was respond and directed to the SHO
police Station Chamber to conduct the raid and produce the detainees before
this court on 20-1-2011. On 22-1-2011,in the Court of 6th Additional
Session Judge, Hyderabad was heard the case and passed order to
release of the all
25,bonded people from the custody of landlord and allowed them to live with
their own will and wish.

HRCP plea for security for non-Muslims in Balochistan

Lahore, January 19: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has asked the Balochistan government to address concerns of members of non-Muslim communities residing in Balochistan regarding growing incidents of abduction of non-Muslims in the province.

According to a press statement issued on Wednesday, HRCP has conveyed to Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani the concern among non-Muslim communities in the province over the recent increase in abductions of non-Muslims there.  The latest incidents include the abduction of Mr Maharaj Lakhmigar of Qalat on December 21, and of Mr Rajeev Kumar from Noshki on January 10. HRCP said that several other incidents of abduction of non-Muslim citizens in Balochistan had also been reported in the media in the last few months.

HRCP said that while those abducting Mr Lakhmigar had asked for his community to raise funds for his release, without mentioning any amount, the abductors of Mr Kumar had not contacted the family so far. “The families of the abducted individuals are obviously in great mental agony and fear for their safety. This spate of abductions has also increased a sense of insecurity and vulnerability across the non-Muslim population in the province,” HRCP said.

“Balochistan has long enjoyed considerable reputation as an area where non-Muslims have lived in relative peace and safety. No effort should be spared to ensure that that reputation remains untarnished,” HRCP said, requesting the chief minister to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to allay the fears of non-Muslim citizens in Balochistan and restore a sense of security among them.

Dr Mehdi Hasan
Chairperson

Tunisia: Authorities must protect the civilian population and establish the rule of law

The ICJ today called on the Tunisian authorities to take immediate measures, compliant with human rights, to protect the civilian population against ongoing attacks, including extrajudicial killings. Most of the attacks are believed to have been carried out by the Presidential guard, other services of the Tunisian police, and militia loyal to former President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Twenty-three years after the coup that brought former President Ben Ali to power in November 1987, a popular revolt against repression, corruption, and unemployment began in mid-December 2010 after an unemployed university graduate set himself on fire after police seized his vegetable cart. At least 100 people were reportedly killed during these protests in the cities of Tunis, Sidi Bouzid, Kasserine, Thala, and Regueb. The former President fled to Saudi Arabia on 15 January.

“Tunisian authorities must ensure that those responsible for firing live rounds into crowds and the continuing attacks against the civilian population are held accountable,” said Saīd Benarbia ICJ Legal Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa programme. “Under international standards, law enforcement officers must use force proportionally and may use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable to protect lives,” Benarbia added.

Under Ben Ali’s regime, dissidents, human rights defenders, independent journalists, lawyers and judges were subject to arbitrary arrests, heavy surveillance, harassment, physical assaults and unfair trials. On 10 January, Ben Ali vowed to crack down on the demonstrators calling them “terrorists”.

“Tunisian authorities must release all persons detained arbitrarily, including for political reasons, and ensure that those who were forced into exile because of their political activities can freely return to Tunisia,” said Benarbia. “Restrictions on the freedom of expression, association and assembly must immediately be repealed,” he added.

During the events, many Tunisians have expressed publicly their grievances and their aspirations for a democratic government that guarantees the rule of law and protect the human rights.

“Tunisian authorities bear responsibility for upholding Tunisia’s international legal obligations and respecting international human rights and rule of law standards,” said Benarbia. “To this end, they should ensure free, transparent and fair elections with the participation of all political actors and parties, in line with the commitment announced to hold elections within six months.  They should also fully investigate all incidences of alleged extrajudicial killings with a view to bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international fair trials standards,” Benarbia concluded.

For more information, please contact Saīd Benarbia, Middle East & North Africa Legal Adviser, at + 41229793817