World Organisation Against Torture

Created in 1985, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) is today the main coalition of international non-governmental organisations (NGO) fighting against torture, summary executions, enforced disappearances and all other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. With 311 affiliated organisations in its SOS-Torture Network and many tens of thousands correspondents in every country, OMCT is the most important network of non-governmental organisations working for the protection and the promotion of human rights in the world. [Read more …]

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Cameroon:  Report Publication: Defenders of the Rights of LGBTI persons face homophobia and violence

Douala, Geneva, Johannesburg, Paris, 25 February 2015 In a report presented today in Douala, our organisations deplore that threats and physical assaults against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual (LGBTI) human rights defenders in Cameroon have reached alarming proportions over the last few years. Testimony and information compiled during a fact-finding mission in 2014 indicate that increasing numbers of extremely serious violations are being committed, in some cases leading to murder, and that nothing is being done to prosecute the perpetrators. Our organisations feel that this impunity is especially contemptible since, at the same time, the authorities are arresting and convicting many people for homosexual acts. Since 2011, at least 28 people have apparently been convicted in Cameroon because of their sexual orientation, whether true or presumed.

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February 25, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications  |  Cameroon
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Bahrain:  Arbitrary detention, judicial harassment and torture of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR)

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention, judicial harassment and torture of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR). On February 21, 2015, Mr. Jawad appeared before the Public Prosecution for another case brought against him (see background information). He appeared to have suffered from physical and psychological torture and ill-treatment. He was allegedly beaten, threatened with death, and threatened that his wife would be harmed. He was also reportedly blind-folded, deprived of sleep and drinking water, and forced to constantly stand. He was forced to listen to the screams of other inmates who appeared to have been electrically shocked, in order to scare him into signing confessions. His hands appeared to be swollen and bruised as a result of the hand-cuffs that were not removed since his arrest.

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February 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Bahrain
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Guatemala:  “Smaller than David”: the fight of human rights defenders in Guatemala. Publication of Fact-Finding Report and Documentary Film

Geneva-Paris-Guatemala-City, February 23, 2015: In its report and documentary published today, the Observatory denounces the extreme vulnerability of human rights defenders and their constant targeting via criminalization campaigns, threats, and physical assaults. The publication of the report and documentary coincides with the start of a 5-day mission in the country.

read more ...

February 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications  |  Guatemala
New 

"Sous Le Jasmin" Exhibition - vernissage 6 March at 18.00 - Geneva


The OMCT in collaboration with the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) invite you to the vernissage of Augustin le Gall's exhbition, "Sous Le Jasmin", on Friday 6 March at 18.00 at Maison des Arts du Grütli (Geneva).

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February 23, 2015  |  Events  |  Switzerland, Tunisia

Azerbaijan:  Extension of pre-trial detention of Ms. Leyla Yunus until July 28, 2015

According to the information received, ton February 18, 2015, the Pre-Trial Court decided to extend the pre-trial detention of Ms. Yunus until July 28, 2015. By the end of this period, Ms. Leyla Yunus will have remained in prison without trial for almost a year, despite her medical condition.

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February 18, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan

Mexico:  The Concluding Observations of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances Should Constitute a Roadmap to Full Observance of the Convention

ISHR, OMCT and PBI welcome the detail and the systematic approach of the CED’s observations and recommendations, which should constitute a roadmap for systematic and comprehensive monitoring in a context, in the words of the CED, of ‘widespread disappearances in a large part of the State party’s territory’. 

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February 18, 2015  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements  |  Mexico

Bahrain:  Arrest and ill-treatment of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR)

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arrest of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR) on February 16 2015, by masked police officers in plain clothes, who searched his house and confiscated his passport and mobile phone. Mr. Jawad was not informed about the reason of his arrest. After 10 hours of incommunicado detention, Mr. Jawad managed to call his wife and inform her that he was currently detained in the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). He also informed her that he was ill-treated in detention.

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February 18, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Bahrain

Spain:  Joint letter to EU Commissioners: Spain’s Basic Law for the Protection of Public Security, a threat to the rights of assembly and asylum


February 13, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Spain
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Cameroon: Report Publication: Defenders of the Rights of LGBTI persons face homophobia and violence

Douala, Geneva, Johannesburg, Paris, 25 February 2015 In a report presented today in Douala, our organisations deplore that threats and physical assaults against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual (LGBTI) human rights defenders in Cameroon have reached alarming proportions over the last few years. Testimony and information compiled during a fact-finding mission in 2014 indicate that increasing numbers of extremely serious violations are being committed, in some cases leading to murder, and that nothing is being done to prosecute the perpetrators. Our organisations feel that this impunity is especially contemptible since, at the same time, the authorities are arresting and convicting many people for homosexual acts. Since 2011, at least 28 people have apparently been convicted in Cameroon because of their sexual orientation, whether true or presumed.

read more ...

February 25, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications  |  Cameroon
New 

Cambodia: Arrest and deportation of human and environmental rights defender Mr. Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson

The Observatory has been informed by the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), about the arrest and deportation of human and environmental rights defender Mr. Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, Director and co-founder of the Mother Nature NGO.

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February 24, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Cambodia
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Colombia: Harassment and persecution against members of the Lawyers' Association "José Alvear Restrepo" (CAJAR)

February 24, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Colombia
New 

Bahrain: Arbitrary detention, judicial harassment and torture of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR)

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention, judicial harassment and torture of Mr. Hussain Jawad, Chairman of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR). On February 21, 2015, Mr. Jawad appeared before the Public Prosecution for another case brought against him (see background information). He appeared to have suffered from physical and psychological torture and ill-treatment. He was allegedly beaten, threatened with death, and threatened that his wife would be harmed. He was also reportedly blind-folded, deprived of sleep and drinking water, and forced to constantly stand. He was forced to listen to the screams of other inmates who appeared to have been electrically shocked, in order to scare him into signing confessions. His hands appeared to be swollen and bruised as a result of the hand-cuffs that were not removed since his arrest.

read more ...

February 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Bahrain
New 

Guatemala: “Smaller than David”: the fight of human rights defenders in Guatemala. Publication of Fact-Finding Report and Documentary Film

Geneva-Paris-Guatemala-City, February 23, 2015: In its report and documentary published today, the Observatory denounces the extreme vulnerability of human rights defenders and their constant targeting via criminalization campaigns, threats, and physical assaults. The publication of the report and documentary coincides with the start of a 5-day mission in the country.

read more ...

February 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications  |  Guatemala
New 

"Sous Le Jasmin" Exhibition - vernissage 6 March at 18.00 - Geneva


The OMCT in collaboration with the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) invite you to the vernissage of Augustin le Gall's exhbition, "Sous Le Jasmin", on Friday 6 March at 18.00 at Maison des Arts du Grütli (Geneva).

read more ...

February 23, 2015  |  Events  |  Switzerland, Tunisia
New 

Egypt: Judicial harassment and sentencing of Ms. Mahienour El-Massry

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the continued judicial harassment and sentencing of Ms. Mahienour El-Massry, a human rights lawyer known for her activism in favour of judicial independence and prisoners' rights by organising peaceful protests, support activities for political prisoners and using social media to denounce human rights violations.

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February 21, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Egypt
New 

Saudi Arabia: Appeal Court confirms sentence against human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair to 15 years

On February 15, 2015, the Specialized Criminal Court of Appeal in Riyadh, which deals with terrorism cases, confirmed the sentence of 15 years in prison, a travel ban of equal duration following imprisonment, and a fine of SR 200,000 (approximately EUR 46,957) against human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair. The charges against him are “striving to overthrow the state and the authority of the King”, “criticising and insulting the judiciary”, “assembling international organisations against the Kingdom”, “creating and supervising an unlicensed organisation”, and “contributing to the establishment of another” and “preparing and storing information that will affect public security”.

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February 20, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Saudi Arabia