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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Azerbaijan:  Trial against Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunusov: Fainting of Mr. Yunusov and hurdles to trial observers

During the hearing of August 3, 2015, the Azeri authorities strongly restricted access to the courtroom for international independent observers.

In addition, shortly after the beginning of the hearing, an ambulance was called in order to provide first aid healthcare to Mr. Yunusov, who fainted due to a worryingly high arterial pressure. Around 11.50, Mr. Yunusov regained consciousness. It must be recalled that Mr. Yunusov already underwent two hypertensive crises during his arrest and the search of his apartment (see background information).

The hearing was adjourned to August 4, 2015. However, according to the lawyer Afghan Mammadov, the doctor of the National Security prison who came to the court during the episode today reportedly said that Mr. Yunusov health did not allow him to further participate in the trial.

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August 3, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan
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Azerbaijan:  New developments in the first trial against Ms. Leyla Yunus and Mr. Arif Yunusov

On July 27, around 25 local and international observers and journalists were not allowed into the courtroom, including the observer of the Observatory, a number of diplomats, as well as journalists from the BBC just to mention some, because by the time the main entrance was opened, the room was already almost full of persons whom some local activists and journalists identified as court staff and staff from the Ministry of National Security. Moreover, the trial was held in the smallest courtroom, although some of the larger ones were empty at the time. The Observatory is extremely concerned by this manoeuvres that only aim at limiting the due transparency and publicity of judicial examination, in a case that is at the spotlight of the international community. The Observatory recalls that similar limitations have recently taken place in the trials against other emblematic human rights defenders, such as the first hearing in the case of investigative journalist Ms. Khadija Ismayilova, as well as the appeal hearings against Mr. Rasul Jafarov.

read more ...

July 31, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan
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Switzerland:  Shadow Report on Switzerland

The OMCT together with 7 NGOs submitted a Shadow Report on Switzerland to the UN Committee Against Torture

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July 31, 2015  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Reports and Publications  |  Switzerland
New 

European Union (EU):  HRDN reaction to the Council Conclusions on the action plan on human rights and democracy 2015 - 2019 - From words to action: Time for EU leadership to walk the talk on Human Rights and Democracy

The adoption of the recent Council Conclusions and revised Human Rights and Democracy Action Plan is a timely reaffirmation of the European Union’s (EU) commitment to pursuing a comprehensive human rights and democracy support agenda.

Human rights and democracy are under threat globally and it is time for the EU to act on its commitments to protect, promote and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms. We reiterate our call for the EU and its member states to be at the forefront of the international community in acting and speaking out against human rights violations whenever and wherever they occur.

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July 30, 2015  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements  |  European Union (EU)

Russian Federation:  Press Release: New legislative and administrative moves to restrict and criminalise human rights defenders

In the past months, new laws were adopted by legislative bodies to further restrict the space of civil society, including human rights work conducted in the country. The Observatory expresses its utmost concerns over these new developments, in particular the drawing up of a “patriotic stop list” by the Parliament, the labelling of the Committee Against Torture (CAT), OMCT member organisation, as “foreign agent” and the introduction of two new pieces of legislation providing police and security forces with new means to suppress and repress social dissent.

The aim of the authorities is to form a mass of obedient citizens isolated from the rest of the world, deprived of independent sources of information and without a possibility to stand up for their rights”, declared OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock.

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July 17, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Russian Federation

Colombia:  La aplicación correcta de la justicia en el caso de las quince personas detenidas por los atentados en Bogotá

July 10, 2015  |   Urgent campaigns  |  Statements  |  Colombia

Philippines:  Publication of a report: Human rights defenders remain steadfast in their struggle for justice amid pervasive culture of violence and impunity

Geneva- Paris, July 9, 2015 – Human rights defenders in the Philippines, in particular those advocating for land and environmental rights, remain under serious threat, the Observatory said in a new report launched today. Defenders are systematically vilified, intimidated, and targeted both by state and non-state actors.

The report clearly shows that laws and the criminal justice system are on most occasions used to harass, detain, and imprison human rights defenders, effectively removing them from the human rights arena. Despite the chilling effect that those actions have on the whole Filipino human rights community, human rights defenders remain steadfast in their struggle for justice”, stated OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock.

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July 9, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications  |  Philippines

Mexico:  Carta abierta: A un mes de los hechos ocurridos en Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero, la OMCT insta a una apuesta firme por el diálogo y a la realización de investigaciones eficaces

July 8, 2015  |   Urgent campaigns  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Mexico
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Azerbaijan: Trial against Leyla Yunus and Arif Yunusov: Fainting of Mr. Yunusov and hurdles to trial observers

During the hearing of August 3, 2015, the Azeri authorities strongly restricted access to the courtroom for international independent observers.

In addition, shortly after the beginning of the hearing, an ambulance was called in order to provide first aid healthcare to Mr. Yunusov, who fainted due to a worryingly high arterial pressure. Around 11.50, Mr. Yunusov regained consciousness. It must be recalled that Mr. Yunusov already underwent two hypertensive crises during his arrest and the search of his apartment (see background information).

The hearing was adjourned to August 4, 2015. However, according to the lawyer Afghan Mammadov, the doctor of the National Security prison who came to the court during the episode today reportedly said that Mr. Yunusov health did not allow him to further participate in the trial.

read more ...

August 3, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan
New 

India: WHRDIC condemns the judicial harassment of Teesta Setalvad

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition calls on the Indian authorities to end the judicial harassment of Indian woman human rights defender, Teesta Setalvad.

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August 3, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  India
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Azerbaijan: Press Release: Dismay as Rasul Jafarov is sentenced to 6 years and 3 months imprisonment in appeal

The sentencing of human rights defender Rasul Jafarov to six years in prison was confirmed today by the before the Baku Court of Appeal. Arbitrarily detained since August 2, 2014, the conviction of Mr. Rasul Jafarov is based on trumped-up charges and aims at preventing him from carrying out his legitimate human rights activities, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said today.

Azerbaijan's current policy follows a very simple and sinister logic: if you can't beat them, jail them. This latest sentence calls for a strong reaction from the international community. Azerbaijan cannot get away with its crackdown any longer.”, added OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock.

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July 31, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Azerbaijan
New 

Azerbaijan: New developments in the first trial against Ms. Leyla Yunus and Mr. Arif Yunusov

On July 27, around 25 local and international observers and journalists were not allowed into the courtroom, including the observer of the Observatory, a number of diplomats, as well as journalists from the BBC just to mention some, because by the time the main entrance was opened, the room was already almost full of persons whom some local activists and journalists identified as court staff and staff from the Ministry of National Security. Moreover, the trial was held in the smallest courtroom, although some of the larger ones were empty at the time. The Observatory is extremely concerned by this manoeuvres that only aim at limiting the due transparency and publicity of judicial examination, in a case that is at the spotlight of the international community. The Observatory recalls that similar limitations have recently taken place in the trials against other emblematic human rights defenders, such as the first hearing in the case of investigative journalist Ms. Khadija Ismayilova, as well as the appeal hearings against Mr. Rasul Jafarov.

read more ...

July 31, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan
New 

Switzerland: Shadow Report on Switzerland

The OMCT together with 7 NGOs submitted a Shadow Report on Switzerland to the UN Committee Against Torture

read more ...

July 31, 2015  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Reports and Publications  |  Switzerland
New 

European Union (EU): HRDN reaction to the Council Conclusions on the action plan on human rights and democracy 2015 - 2019 - From words to action: Time for EU leadership to walk the talk on Human Rights and Democracy

The adoption of the recent Council Conclusions and revised Human Rights and Democracy Action Plan is a timely reaffirmation of the European Union’s (EU) commitment to pursuing a comprehensive human rights and democracy support agenda.

Human rights and democracy are under threat globally and it is time for the EU to act on its commitments to protect, promote and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms. We reiterate our call for the EU and its member states to be at the forefront of the international community in acting and speaking out against human rights violations whenever and wherever they occur.

read more ...

July 30, 2015  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements  |  European Union (EU)
New 

Azerbaijan: Sport For Rights: Joint Statement: Anniversary of Leyla Yunus' arrest marks one year of unprecedented repression in Azerbaijan

A year after the Azerbaijani government launched an unprecedented crackdown on human rights, the situation in the country continues to deteriorate. The Sport for Rights Coalition calls on the international community to immediately and publicly condemn the government of Azerbaijan's actions and take concrete steps to support Azerbaijani civil society.

As members of the Sport for Rights coalition, we urge the Azerbaijani authorities to cease this crackdown and take concrete steps to improve the human rights situation in the country. We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Leyla and Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev, and Khadija Ismayilova, along with the other jailed journalists and human rights defenders. We further express deep concern at the severe deterioration in health of Leyla and Arif Yunus, who require urgent medical attention and should be immediately released on humanitarian, if not political grounds.

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July 30, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Azerbaijan
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Chad: Press Release: Djeralar Miankeol acquitted!

July 29, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Chad