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Crédit photo Pierre Yves GINET
November 9, 2011
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Impacts of our actions

FIDH contributes to advances in international human rights through concrete actions.

This newsletter provides examples of the impact of FIDH’s actions and efforts.

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Tunisia: FIDH is ensuring that respect for Human Rights is at the heart of the political transition

On 23 October 2011, more than four million Tunisian men and women went to the polls to elect Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly. This election exemplifies the determination and involvement of the people of Tunisia in the transition to a democratic State, which began with the fall of Ben Ali’s regime on 14 January 2011. During the past nine months, FIDH, along with its member organisations and partners, has encouraged the transitional authorities to put essential tools into place to ensure the protection of human rights in its laws and policies. These efforts have significantly contributed to Tunisia’s ratification of international instruments such as the Statute of the International Criminal Court, the International Convention Against Forced Disappearances, the two optional protocols of the International Agreement on Political and Civil Rights, as well as the lifting of restrictions to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, DISCRIMINATION À L’ÉGARD DES FEMMESand the assurance of parity on the electoral lists. Efforts such as these are leading to the establishment of democracy in Tunisia.

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Guinea: Magistrates investigating the 28 September 2009 massacre can now work independently

In September 2011, a delegation from FIDH went to Conakry to assess the court proceeding which is investigating the 28 September 2009 incident in which security forces, led by rebel leader Captain Dadis Camara, executed more than 150 peaceful demonstrators and raped dozens of women. The delegation expressed its concern to the Minister of Justice over the slow pace of the proceeding caused, in large part by the working conditions of the investigating magistrates. The Minister has agreed to move the judges’ offices, which are currently located in buildings/offices (?) where those individuals suspected of taking part in the massacre are located.

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Gambia: Human rights activist lawyer, Moses Richard, is released

In a country where even the Chief of State is not afraid to publicly declare “[If] you are connected to a human rights group, rest assured that my government can in no way guarantee your safety. We are ready to eliminate detractors”, lawyer Moses Richards has always shown exceptional courage in defending the protectors of human rights. Because of Mr. Richards’ activities, he was sentenced to two years in prison and forced labour on 19 September 2011 for “spreading false information”, and for “sedition for actions that fall outside of the normal practice of legal representatives”. As a result of the major efforts of individual Gambians and FIDH’s Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights, Mr. Richards was released by Presidential decree on 14 October 2011.

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Uzbekistan: FIDH contributes to the release of human rights activist Norboy Kholjigitov

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank international organisations such as FIDH (...), for obtaining my release. It is with these words that Norboy Kholjigitov, former President of the district of the Ishtikhan branch of the Uzbek Association for Human Rights, expressed his for the efforts made by our organisation and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights for his release. Norboy was arrested on 4 June 2005 fordefamation and threatening the safety of the President and the countrys constitutional regime. He was sentenced on 18 October 2005 to 10 years in prison. These false accusations were intended to silence all criticism of the way the authorities were governing. Norboy was detained in inhumane conditions, tortured, and threatened with being sent to a mental institution. Our efforts for his release were relentless, and he was released on 14 October 2011.

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Guatemala: FIDH report on combating impunity

A 1983 FIDH report was a decisive piece in bringing to conclusion the long investigation mandated by the Guatemalan Supreme Court regarding the disappearances of Ana María López Rodríguez and Luz Leticia  Hernández Gabriel Calate, which occurred during the conflict between rebels and guerrillas in 1982. The FIDH report includes testimony from the victimsfamilies describing their detention with Ms. Lopez Rodriquez and Ms. Hernandez Gabriel Calate. As a result, a trial should soon take place. We view this as another step forward in combating the state of impunity of serious crimes which were carried out against the Mayans in Guatemala during the dictatorship of Ríos Montt.

Read on ...

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Burma: Additional states are endorsing FIDHs advocacy for an International Commission of Inquiry into international crimes in this country

Since 2009, FIDH, Altsean-Burma, and other Burman NGOs, have called for the establishment of an International Commission of Inquiry to look into the most serious crimes committed by the Burman regime, such as using sexual violence as a weapon of war, forced labour, population displacement, etc. As a result of this push for such a commission, an increasing number of States, including some in Africa, Asia and South America, have become aware of the seriousness of these continued human rights violations. Additional pressure is now being placed on the superpowers, such as the European Union, which have to date refused to acknowledge these violations, to take action to investigate these crimes. We look forward to seeing how this mobilisation will be translated into concrete action at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in December.

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Bahrain: The European Parliament is finally acknowledging the lack of EU mobilisation as to the situation in Bahrain

NGOs in Bahrain have been deploring the absence of real EU mobilisation against the violent repression of the peaceful demonstrations that have been calling for democracy and respect for human rights in Bahrain since February 2011. After petitioning to Brussels, FIDH succeeded in having the European Parliament give voice to its concerns and recommendations in an Resolution adopted on 27 October 2011.

The Resolution denounces the EU’s reaction as "too slow and too little on the part of the International Community". It also decries the threats and harassment FIDH Joint Secretary General, Nabeel Rajab has endured from security forces, which includes restricting him from leaving the territory.

The Resolution reinforces efforts by EU Member States and the External Action Service, led by Catherine Ashton to engage the EU in human rights issues in Bahrain.

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FIDH- International Federation for Human Rights
17, Passage de la Main d’Or, 75011 PARIS, FRANCE
Tél : (33-1) 43 55 25 18 / Fax : (33-1) 43 55 18 80
FIDH - Fédération Internationale des ligues des Droits de l'Homme

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