Guiné-Bissau

FIDH e a sua organização membro na Guiné-Bissau, a Liga Guineense dos Direitos Humanos (LGDH), ficaram estupefactos com os trágicos acontecimentos dos dias 1 e 2 de Março.

O Presidente Nino Vieira, que passou quase 23 anos na liderança do Estado, foi assassinado na madrugada do dia 2 de Março de 2009 por um grupo de militares não identificados na sequência do atentado a bomba que vitimou o Chefe de Estado-maior, reduzindo em escombros uma parte do edifício do Quartel General do Estado-maior das Forças Armadas.

A FIDH e a LGDH condenam e consideram de inadmissíveis estes actos cruéis que vêm semear os sentimentos de ódio e da vingança num país a beira do colapso. As duas organizações exigem ainda a criaçao de uma comissao independente com vista a rápida identificação, e consequente tradução a justiça dos supostos implicados nestes actos criminosos.

Segundo informações apuradas, depois do atentado contra o General Tagmé Na Waié, duas rádios privadas da capital teriam sido «intimadas» pelo exército a suspender as suas emissões, sob alegação de segurança dos próprios Jornalistas

A FIDH e a LGDH continuam preocupadas com a situação política e da segurança na Guiné-Bissau, e apelam as forças armadas guineenses ao pleno respeito da ordem constitucional e da integridade física e moral dos cidadãos civis, dos representantes políticos, dos defensores dos direitos humanos e dos jornalistas.

O Observatório para a Protecção dos Defensores dos Direitos Humanos, publicou, em Dezembro de 2008 um relatório da missão de investigação internacional, intitulado «Guiné-Bissau: Um Ambiente Prejudicial para o Trabalho dos Defensores dos Direitos Humanos». O relatório analisava os riscos de instabilidade política e da segurança do regime guineense e suas consequências sobre os defensores dos direitos humanos e as liberdades públicas num país enfraquecido pela corrupção, o narcotráfico e a proeminência do exército sobre a política desde a guerra de independência.

A FIDH e a LGDH pedem a União Africana, a CEDEAO, as Nações Unidas e toda Comunidade Internacional no sentido de dissuadirem as forças armadas e as autoridades guineenses ao pleno respeito dos compromissos regionais e internacionais da Guiné-Bissau, e em particular sobre a transição política, ou seja, o preenchimento interino da vagatura criada pela morte do Presidente da República a luz dos preceitos constitucionais, assim como ao respeito das disposições da Carta Africana dos Direitos Humanos e dos Povos, do Pacto Internacional dos Direitos Civis e Políticos;

Manifestam ainda os seus propósitos de ver a Guiné-Bissau voltar a normalidade constitucional, o respeito pelos direitos humanos, a paz e a observância estrita das regras que orientam um estado de direito democrático.

Contactos :
LGDH : + 245 720 02 17 - lgdh6@hotmail.com
FIDH : Karine Appy + 33 1 43 55 14 12 / + 33 1 43 55 25 18 – kappy@fidh.org

The Democratic Republic Of Congo: The Human Rights Council needs to act now

The special session of the human rights council that was held in December 2008 regarding the situation in the DRC, which called for an end of human rights violations, did not bring any positive responses regarding the wide impunity grave human rights violators enjoy, including sexual violence perpetrators.

As was recalled by the Human Rights Council resolution on the human rights situation in eastern DRC, "the Congolese government is directly responsible to reinforce the protection of the population, to investigate and bring to justice the violators of human rights and humanitarian law". Yet in the beginning of 2009, civilians were still victims of these violations during the joint operations of DRC (FARDC), Rwanda and Uganda armies in the North Kivu, South Kivu and Oriental Province (February 2009). In addition, violent retaliation against the population were undertaken by the LRA and the CNDP. If the agreement reached in Goma on the 5th December 2008 between the Rwandan and Congolese governments has managed to bring peace in the region, FIDH condemns the lack of will of the Congolese authorities to fight against the impunity of the perpetrators of grave crimes against humanity, casting doubts over the sustainability of a long term peace agreement. For instance, the Congolese president Joseph Kabila declared his opposition to handing over Bosco Ntaganda, major general of the CNDP, to the ICC in The Hague. The latter is subject to a warrant of arrest in the international judicial system since August 2006, for the involvement of children in armed conflict, war crimes he allegedly committed between 2002 and 2003 in Ituri.

Moreover, our organizations recall that the grave human rights violations that occurred were not automatically linked to the armed conflict raging in Kivu and Oriental Province which is exemplified by the toughening of Congolese authorities’ actions regarding any dissenting voice coming either from the political parties or from the civil society. Therefore, freedom of expression, peaceful gathering of associations were in jeopardy in 2008: the independent media are regularly closed under decisions of the Ministry of communication or attacked by the security services, notably when they broadcast interviews from the members of the political opposition.
The civil society organisations which fight against impunity challenge the political authorities’ repression. Generally, during 2008, human rights defenders from DRC were charged for their work and excluded of the protection of the Congolese government.

Regarding the seriousness of the situation, our organizations call upon the Council to put in place an expert to identify the key recommendations formulated by the thematic Special Procedure mandated by the 7/20 Resolution, concerning the fight against impunity, and to conduct a regular dialogue with the Congolese government to promote their effective implementation.

For more information: Julie Gromellon, Representative for the United Nations, +41 79 331 24 50

ORAL STATEMENT

Mr President,

FIDH is extremely concerned by the pattern of widespread and systematic human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This poor record is confirmed in all fields, in particular the situation of human rights defenders and other peaceful activists, the repression against Kurdish and Baha’i minorities and the use of death penalty. The ongoing repression against women human rights defenders, and the alarming increase of harassment against human rights activists belonging to minorities and against those working on minority issues was further deteriorated with the closure by police of the Defenders of Human Rights (DHRC) in Tehran, FIDH member of organization in Iran, on December 21, 2008. The months preceding this closure, Ms Sherin Ebadi, one of the Centre’s founding member, had been victim of reccurrent and increasing pressure and threats.
FIDH calls upon the Human rights Council to address this situation with utmost urgency, and hold a special session on the Human Rights situation in Iran, establishing a special rapporteur to monitor the dramatic evolution of the situation, engage in dialogue with the authorities with a view to their full compliance with their international obligations, and report back to the Council on the witnessed evolutions.

FIDH underscores the importance for this Council to sustain its critical attention to the situation of grave and systematic human rights violations in Burma/Myanmar. In February 2009, there were more than 2000 political prisoners, being detained in inhuman conditions. Ahead of elections, the emergence of the democracy is still a far away process as the path towards democracy and national conciliation is constantly undermined by the military regime’s harsh repression against any dissident voice.

FIDH is deeply concerned over the impunity that continues in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Civilians affected by recent violence in eastern DRC are still facing continuing insecurity and sexual violence has been - and continues to be - highly prevalent in a wide area in the East of the country.
Furthermore, the grave violations commited in DRC are not only linked to the armed conflict in the East, as demonstrated by the repression of the congolese authorites vis-à-vis to all contradictory voices, which come from political parties or civil society.
Thus FIDH request the Council to reestablish an independant expert on DRC, in order to ensure an effective follow-up of the Special procedures recommendations on the situation in DRC, in the field of the fight against impunity.

FIDH welcomes the issuance of a warrant arrest by the ICC for the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. FIDH considers that the judge’s decision is significant because it confirms the hypothesis according to which the whole state apparatus has been involved in the commission of crimes in Darfur. FIDH believes this is an opportunity to stop the ongoing crimes in Darfur. Nevertheless, FIDH is deeply concerned by the crackdown on Sudanese acitvists suspected of "supporting" the ICC. FIDH urges the Human Rights Council to condemn the retaliation measures taken by Sudan in order to protect the victims of such harassement.

I thank you Mr President

Item 4 - suivi de la session spéciale sur la situation à l’est de la RDC

La Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH) et ses organisations membres en RDC le Groupe Lotus, l’ASADHO et la ligue des électeurs souhaitent exprimer leurs préocupations quant aux violations massives des droits de l’Homme en RDC.

Tout au long du second semestre 2008, le Nord Kivu a été une nouvelle fois déchiré par les combats entre le Congrès National pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) et les forces de la RDC (fardc) soutenues par les Maï Maï. Face à cette situation, la MONUC n’a pas pu réagir, incapable particulièrement de protéger les civils en danger. Pourtant, les combats ont été menés en violation du droit international Humanitaire par les différentes parties au conflit.

Malgré la Résolution de la session spéciale du Conseil en Novembre 2008 et l’accord de paix du 5 décembre 2008, les civils ont, en ce début d’année 2009, été un nouvelle fois victimes de graves violations des droits de l’Homme: massacres, enlèvements, pillages, recrutement forcé et utilisation d’enfants soldats, viols des femmes et des filles. Nos organisations continuent de déplorer l’absence de volonté politique des autorités congolaises laissant planer des doutes quant à l’instauration d’une paix durable, comme en témoigne la déclaration récente faite par le Président Joseph Kabila s’opposant a transfert à la Haye de Bosco Ntaganda, chef d’État major du CNDP, qui fait pourtant l’objet d’un mandat d’arrêt de la Cour Pénale Internationale depuis le 22 août 2006 pour enrôlement d’enfants soldats. Parrallèlement, les organisations de la société civile qui luttent en faveur de l’impunité des auteurs des violations graves des droits de l’Homme en RDC ont payé durant l’année 2008 un lourd tribut ne bénéficiant d’aucune protection du gouvernement. Pas plus tard que ce dimanche, Floribert Chebaya, Dolly Ibefo Mbunga de la Voix des Sans Voix pour les droits de l’Homme (VSV) ont été enlevés à l’issue d’une conférence de presse.

La FIDH, la ligue des Electeurs, le Groupe Lotus et l’ASADHO demandent donc au Conseil des droits de l’Homme d’adopter une résolution:

l Appelant au renforcement des capacités de la MONUC lui permettant de pleinement remplir son mandat de protection de la société civile et de former ses éléments au respect des droits de l’Homme et du droit international humanitaire
l Demandant aux autorités congolaises de lutter contre l’impunité de ces crimes, en jugeant les combattants arrêtés conformément au droit international des droits de l’Homme et en coopérant pleinement avec CPI, notamment en transférant Bosco Ntaganda à la Haye et en adoptant la loi d’adaptation du Code Pénal congolais.
l Condamnant les graves violations commises à l’encontre des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme ainsi que les entraves à la liberté d’expression et d’association
l Rétablissant enfin un expert indépendant sur la RDC afin d’assurer le suivi effectif de toutes les recommandations des Procédures Spéciales sur la situation en RDC notamment en matière de lutte contre l’impunité et de favoriser l’application intégrale de la résolution issue de la session spéciale sur la RDC.

Oral statement – item 9 Durban Review Conference

A few weeks ahead of the Durban Review Conference (DRC) on April 2009, the International Federation for Human rights would like to reaffirm the importance of a successful outcome of this conference to promote a continuous improvement on the fight against all forms of discrimination. No country is immune to criticism in this area. The Conference will thus require a frank and humble analysis by each State of their own performance, limits and challenges.

Within this context, FIDH has welcomed the release on March 17th of a shortened version of the final draft outcome document (the Rolling text) which contributes to building consensus among participants. FIDH encourages in particular the exclusion from the text of the notion of "defamation of religion", a politically motivated notion which is not compatible with international human rights law, as recognised by all UN human rights experts that have been working on the issue.

Nevertheless, FIDH is of the opinion that several improvements should be brought to the text :

· The condemnation of the rise of the number of incidents of racial and religious hatred or violence is important, but paragraph 10, as it stands, should be excluded, as it draws a harmful amalgam between the legitimate denounciation of incidents of religious hatred, and, rejects the « negative stereotyping » of religions – which FIDH believes is a right under freedom of expression. The text should indeed recognise the right of individuals to criticise, caricature or ridicule religions, provided that their criticism does not incite to hatred, discrimination and violence against individuals or groups belonging to these religions. It should also call for the repeal of blasphemy.

· The Rolling text should reaffirm that all forms of discrimination against individuals on grounds of their religion, belief or thought should be abolished. It should call upon States to decriminalise aposthasy, and to ensure the right of individuals to practice their religion.
· The text should acknowledge (In Section 1.C) the role of the fight against impunity in the prevention of racism, and notably recognize (in Section 1.D) the historical achievements that have occured since the World Conference, notably the trial of the highest responsibles of international crimes, including former presidents, both through national and international courts;

· The text should also underline the value of the General Comments published by the CERD, notably the General Comments on Roma (27), on descent (29) and on non-citizens (30). It should refer to the development of jurisprudence on the prohibition of discrimination provided by the UN Human Rights Committee and the CEDAW. It should underline the necessity to lift all reservations to these conventions that are contrary to their objectives and purposes.
· the Rolling text should finally further call for the end of all forms of colonialism and foreign occupation and their consequences in the field of racism and racist discrimination, notably the closure of territories, the seisure of land, the violations of the right to self determination, of cultural rights of occupied populations, on grounds of their national, cultural, ethnic or religious grounds.

ADVOCACY PAPER

1. Clear invalidation of the notion of "defamation of religions" by various UN Special Procedures and experts

As was recently demonstrated by various UN experts, the notion of « defamation of religion », introduced in resolutions of the Human rights Council and of the General Assembly, is not compatible with international human rights law.

This was clearly stated in a joint declaration issued by UN and regional special rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression, on Decembre 10 2008, as well as by all international experts gathered at a legal seminar hosted by the OHCHR in Octobre 2008: the notion of ‘defamation of religions’ does not accord with international standards regarding defamation, which refer to the protection of reputation of individuals, while religions, like all beliefs, cannot be said to have a reputation of their own.

Mr Githu Muigai’s in his first address to the General Assembly as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance stated that : "In the ninth session of the Human Rights Council, I presented my predecessor’s [Mr Doudou Diene’s] report on ’Combating Defamation of Religion’. The report highlights key issues, including reflecting the state of some forms of religious discrimination including Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism and Christianophobia. The report also makes a central recommendation to Member States, particularly in the context of the Durban Review Process: to move from the concept of ’defamation of religions’ to the notion of ’incitement to racial and religious hatred’. In this regard, I was glad to be informed that there seems to be an emerging trend among most Member States in agreeing to this idea, which would help ground the debate on concrete human rights principles and norms."
In addition, FIDH is of the view that religions should not be protected from criticism or ridicule. This would be an undue restriction of Article 19 of the ICCPR which protects freedom of expression. According to this, blasphemy laws and laws on aposthasy should be repealed.

2. Obligation for States to prohibit incitement to religious hatred

As called for by Article 20-2 of ICCPR, incitement to racial or religious hatred should be prohibited. This provision is aimed at preventing hatred against the individuals who hold a particular religious belief (rather than safeguarding a religious sentiment).

FIDH and its member organisations have witnessed an increase in acts of repression, violent hate crimes and hate speech against individuals on grounds of their religion, thought and belief.

They have targetted persons of muslim obedience, notably in the context of the fight against terrorism in European and North-American societies. As noted by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe : « police actions – including repeated ID controls and intrusive searches – have to a large extent been targeted at Muslims or people looking as if they originate from Arab or South Asian countries. (...) Muslims have been physically attacked and mosques vandalised or burnt in a number of countries. »

The fight against terrorism has also conduced to the stigmatisation of Muslim and Jewish groups. Publications in Europe such as the « Danish cartoons » or the racist film « Fitna » created strong resentment amongst muslim groups, and increased the stigmatisation of muslim communitees in these countries. The wave of anger against the Israel government over its crimes in the Occupied Palestinian territories included clear antisemitic statements and attacks of synagogues.

Other individuals have been victims of repression on grounds of their religious beliefs. They include Baha’i practitioners, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, suffer vilification and repression orchestrated by the authorities, in spite of condemnations by the UN CERD and the Special rapporteur on religious freedom. Muslim minorities have also been the target of hindu fundamentalist groups and elected public officials in India, where mobbing against mosques, attacks on individuals and bombs have largely remained unpunished. Inter-muslim hatred has also sparked, notably in Irak, where Sunni and Chiite militant groups have been attacking Chiite or Sunni individuals, crowds at pilgrimages or religious sanctuaries, often resulting in a heavy toll of civilian casualties. Christian pastors and practitioners have been murdered in Turkey. Media in Egypt have been developping harsh antisemitic statements which amount to hate speech and call for violence, in full impunity.

FIDH calls upon the Members of the UN Human Rights Council to act in conformity with Special Procedures recommendations and international human rights standards in using in all Human Rights Council’s resolutions or statements the legal notion of incitement to religious hatred in replacement of the notion of defamation of religion, to promote the implementation of existing legal obligations of the States.

For more info:
Antoine Madelin, Director for inter-governmental organizations, +32 485 22 22 87 / +336 68 22 65 72, amadelin@fidh.org
Julie Gromellon, Representative to the UN, +41 79 331 24 50, jgromellon@fidh.org

Comunicado de Imprensa: Guiné-Bissau: Defensores de direitos humanos correm riscos, en meio à tensões crescentes

A 1 de Abril de 2009, cerca das cinco e meia da tarde, um indivíduo não identificado com traje civil, e munido de uma arma Makarov, entrou no escritório da LGDH e perguntou por Sr. Luís Vaz Martins em tom ameaçador. Sr. Luís Vaz Martins não se encontrava então no escritório.

Este incidente ocorreu poucas horas depois do envio de um comunicado da LGDH à imprensa em que denunciava sérias violações dos direitos humanos alegadamente cometidas por militares nas últimas semanas. O Comunicado referia-se, em particular, a um ataque contra o Dr. Francisco José Fadul, líder do Partido do Desenvolvimento e Cidadania (PADEC) e actual Presidente do Tribunal de Contas, alegadamente interrogado e torturado na sua residência após ter denunciado a influência crescente dos militares sobre o governo. O Dr. Fadul encontra-se actualmente hospitalizado nos serviços de cuidados intensivos.

A LGDH denunciou também o caso de Sr. Pedro Infanda, advogado do antigo chefe de Estado-maior da Armada guineense Bubu Na Tchuto, actualmente exilado. O advogado terá sido torturado entre os dias 23 e 26 de Março, por representar o antigo chefe militar e criticar as forças armadas. O advogado foi detido. A 2 de Abril de 2009, encontrava-se nos serviços de cuidados intensivos.

O Observatório expressa a sua grande preocupação pela segurança dos membros da LGDH, em particular pelos seus representantes executivos, os Srs. Vaz Martins e Bubacar Turé, e pela alegada tentativa das forças armadas de silenciar aqueles que denunciam as violações dos direitos humanos cometidas no país, nomeadamente os abusos cometidos pelos militares.

O Observatório apela à Delegação da Comissão Europeia na Guiné Bissau e às Embaixadas dos Estados Membros da União Europeia (UE) no país a agir imediatamente com o fim de garantir a integridade física e psicológica dos membros da LGDH e a de todos os defensores dos direitos humanos, em conformidade com as Linhas Directrizes da União Europeia sobre os Defensores dos Direitos Humanos.

O Observatório apela ainda à Missão das Nações Unidas na Guiné Bissau a tomar todas as medidas necessárias de forma a assegurar a protecção da LGDH e seus representantes bem como de outros defensores de direitos humanos e representantes da sociedade civil.

O Observatório apela as autoridades da Guiné Bissau que tomem todas as medidas necessárias de forma a impedir todo e qualquer acto de perseguição contra os defensores dos direitos humanos e a garantir a sua protecção e segurança, em conformidade com a Declaração das Nações Unidas sobre os Defensores dos Direitos Humanos de 1998.

Para mais informações, contacte:

a.. FIDH: Karine Appy / Gael Grilhot, + 33 1 43 55 25 18
b.. OMCT: Delphine Reculeau / Carlos Pampín García, + 41 22 809 49 39

Guiné-Bissau: Os militares espezinham os direitos humanos. A CEDEAO tem que reagir

Embora os motivos do ataque do 21 de outubro sigam incertos, as autoridades de transição que resultaram do golpe do 12 de abril de 2012, o qualificaram imediatemente de tentativa de golpe de Estado orquestrado pelo antigo primeiro ministro, Carlos Gomes Junior, no exílio.

No dia 22 de outubro, dois líderes políticos conhecidos por suas críticas para com a governança, os Sres. Yancuba Djola Indja, presidente do Partido da Solidariedade e Trabalho, quem é também líder da Frente Nacional Anti-golpe, e Silvestre Alves, presidente do partido Movimento Democrático, foram sequestrados e brutalmente golpeados por um grupo de militares.

No dia 27 de outubro, as autoridades militares anunciaram a detenção, em Bolama, no arquipélago dos Bijagos, do principal suposto responsável do ataque do 21, o capitão Pansau N’Tchama. Segundo algumas informações, durante essa detenção, 5 pessoas, 3 civis e 2 militares, acusados de ser cúmplices de Pansau N’Tchama, foram executados. No quadro da perseguição dos supostos responsáveis do ataque, vários agentes teriam sido detidos em lugar desconhecido.

Adicionalmente, no dia 6 de novembro de 2012, o Sr. Luís Ocante Da Silva, funcionário da empresa Guiné Telecom e amigo do General José Zamora Induta, antigo Chefe do Estado-Maior do exército, foi sequestrado na sua casa por um grupo de militares. O seu corpo sem vida foi encontrado dois dias depois no morgue do principal hospital do país.

Nesse contexto, as organizações da sociedade civil denunciam ameaças dirigidas a qualquer pessoa que se atreve a denunciar as violações dos direitos humanos cometidas pelos militares ou a criticar a governança das autoridades de transição. Jornalistas, blogueiros e defensores dos direitos humanos são particularmente afectados, o que leva alguns deles a fugir do país.

Enquanto a Comunidade Económica dos Estados da África Ocidental (CEDEAO) está a enviar a sua missão na Guiné-Bissau (ECOMIB), em aplicação do acordo relativo á Reforma do Sector da Defesa e da Segurança, e exorta as União Africana que reconheça as autoridades de transição, as nossas organizações instam o organismo regional a denunciar publicamente as violações dos direitos humanos cometidas pelos militares, a contribuir para a protecção dos líderes de partidos políticos e dos representantes da sociedade civil, e a manter uma forte pressão sobre as autoridades de transição para que a ordem constitucional seja restaurado o mais rapidamente possível e em condições serenas.

As nossas organizações exigimos a apertura de investigações imparciais sobre o ataque do cuartel, sobre as alegações de execuções sumárias por ocasião da detenção de Pansau N’Tchama e sobre os actos de violência perpetrados contra os líderes de partidos políticos, para levar os autores de violações dos direitos humanos a tribunal e julgá-los em conformidade com o direito internacional dos direitos humanos.

As nossas organizações exortamos as autoridades de transição a que respeitem estritamente o disposto nas convenções internacionais e regionais de protecção dos direitos humanos ratificadas pela Guiné-Bissau, incluindo o relativo á libertade de expressão, de informação e de reunião, e pedimos que elas tomem todas as medidas necessárias para garantir a segurança das pessoas.