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 …]


Bangladesh:  Global anti-torture movement alarmed over possible licence to torture

OMCT and Odhikar call on the government of Bangladesh to reject proposals to amend the country’s Torture and Custodial Death Prohibition and Prevention Act 2013. The proposed amendments would have the effect of condoning systematic practice of torture and immunizing from any responsibility.

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March 29, 2015  |  Statements  |  Bangladesh

Colombia and Guatemala: 28th session of the Human Rights Council: Joint oral statement

March 25, 2015  |   Urgent campaigns  |  Statements  |  Colombia, Guatemala

The second edition of the OMCT Handbook Series on torture remedies was presented in Washington, D.C., with eminent experts of the Inter-American Human Rights System

On 19 March 2015, eminent experts and practitioners including Commissioner James L. Cavallaro, the original authors Diego Rodríguez and Claudia Martín, Alejandro Malambo, lawyer at the Colombian Commission of Jurists, and Helena Solà Martín, legal advisor of the OMCT in charge of the update, participated in the presentation at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. The launch, which was followed by a round-table discussion, was moderated by Frank La Rue, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and Director of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in Europe.   

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March 24, 2015  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements

Joint Submission to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Nepal

March 23, 2015  |  Reports and Publications

Angola:  Publication of a Mission Report: “They want to keep us vulnerable”: Human Rights Defenders Under Pressure

In a joint report released today, the Observatory and the Associação Justicia Paz e Democracia (AJPD) depict an environment where human rights defenders and journalists in Angola are subjected to judicial and administrative harassment, acts of intimidation, threats and other forms of restrictions to their freedom of association and expression. Our organisations release this report while the trial of prominent journalist and human rights defender, Rafael Marques de Morais will commence next week in Luanda. The report also comes in a context where the authorities of Angola have recently introduced a draft regulation aimed at regulating the activities of NGOs which, if adopted by the President in its current form, will considerably jeopardize any independent human rights reporting in this country.    

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March 19, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications  |  Angola

Mexico:  Joint public statement: International Organisations urge Mexican authorities to guarantee the security and integrity of relatives of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and of their representatives

16 de marzo de 2015 – Several international organizations express deep concern regarding recent reports according to which, members of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, as well as other human rights organisations and the families and friends of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, continue to suffer security incidents, putting their physical and psychological integrity at risk. 

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March 17, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Mexico

Cambodia to be reviewed by UN Human Rights Committee

March 16, 2015  |  Statements

Brazil:  Abusive body searches will be forbidden in prisons of Rio

The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and Justiça Global (JG) welcome the approval of the draft bill 77/2015 that abolishes notoriously abusive body searches to the visitors of the criminal justice prisons in the state of Rio.

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March 14, 2015  |   Rights of the Child  |  Statements  |  Brazil

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Saudi Arabia: Seven human rights organisations refer the case of lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

On the first anniversary of the detention of lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Lawyers for Lawyers (the Netherlands), the Law Society of England and Wales (U.K.), the Law Society of Upper Canada, the International Federation for Human Rights- FIDH (France) and the World Organization Against Torture - OMCT (Belgium, Switzerland) and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (U.S.) have filed a complaint to the United Nations (UN) Working group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).

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April 16, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Saudi Arabia

Cambodia: Release by royal pardon of ten women human rights defenders

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the release by royal pardon on April 11, 2015, of Mss.Tep VannyNget KhunSong SreyleapKong ChanthaPan ChunrethBop Chorvy , Nong SrengandHeng PichIm Srey Touch and Phoung Sopheap who have been detained for over five months.

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April 15, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Cambodia

China: Conditional release of women's rights defenders Li Tingting, Wu Rongrong, Zheng Churan, Wei Tingting and Wang Man

The Observatoryforthe Protectionof HumanRightsDefenders (an FIDH-OMCT joint programme), Human Rights in China (HRIC) and China Labour Bulletin (CLB) welcome the release of the five women's rights defenders after over 37 days of detention, but calls for an immediate end to all police harassment and restrictions placed on the activists.

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April 15, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  China

Bahrain: Ongoing judicial harassment and arbitrary arrest of Mr. Nabeel Rajab

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the continued judicial harassment and arbitrary arrest of Mr. Nabeel Rajab , President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), FIDH Deputy Secretary General and a member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch's Middle East Division.

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April 14, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Bahrain

Kenya: Human rigths organisations are not terrorist organisations

We the Civil Society Organisations express our deepest condolences to all affected by the heinous terrorist attack at the Garissa University College on 2nd April 2015. We strongly condemn this act and the despicable attempts to cultivate religious and ethnic tensions within Kenyan society. As we come to terms with the loss of such young and promising lives, we must recall that Kenya’s true strength lies in its ethnic, cultural and religious diversity coupled with a determination to live in peace and unity as one indivisible sovereign nation.

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April 14, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Kenya

Bahrain: End Reprisals Against Leading Human Rights Defender Nabeel Rajab

We in the Bahrain and international human rights NGO community condemn the arrest and detention of Nabeel Rajab, a prominent human rights defender in the Kingdom of Bahrain. On 4 April, the Bahrain Public Prosecution Office renewed Mr. Rajab’s pretrial detention for a further 15 days. We call on the Bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Rajab and to drop all charges against him.

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April 14, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Bahrain

Kyrgyzstan: Ongoing harassment of the human rights organisation Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan

The Observatory has been informed about the ongoing harassment of the human rights organisation Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan. According to the information received, on April 6 and 8, the brother and father of human rights defender Mr. Khusanbay Saliev, lawyer at the Osh office of Bir Duino, who has been working on the violations committed during the Osh events in June 2010, and in particular on a case of corruption in the South involving a security service official, were summoned for questioning to the Department of the State Committee of National Security in the city of Osh. Both were questioned without legal basis for the second time since March 27, 2015.

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April 14, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Kyrgyzstan

Egypt: Raid on the premises of Radio Horytna and arrest of its Chief Editor Ahmed Samih

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), strongly condemn the raid on the premises of Radio Horytna and the arrest of Mr Ahmed Samih, Director of the Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies (AITAS) and Chief Editor of the radio. AITAS is a member organisation of EMHRN, working to promote a culture of tolerance, anti-violence and respect for human rights in the MENA region. Radio Horytna is an online radio program established in 2007 at the initiative of AITAS to reach youth audience. EMHRN and the Observatory consider that this constitutes a blatant violation of the right to freedom of expression and is part of a wider pattern of persecution and intimidation against human rights defenders in Egypt.

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April 10, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Egypt