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 …]

Highlights

Saudi Arabia:  Sentence against Raif Badawi referred to the Supreme Court in Riyadh

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources that the Saudi Arabian Royal Office has referred the sentence of 1,000 lashes against Mr. Raif Badawi, blogger and creator of the website Free Saudi Liberals, to the Supreme Court in Riyadh. The referral took place before January 9, 2015, when he received 50 lashes in public outside Al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah (see background information).

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January 21, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Saudi Arabia

Russian Federation:  Press Release: Bill to criminalise cooperation with foreign organisations: a new threat to human rights work

Paris-Geneva, 19 January 2014 - The State Duma must drop the Bill on “undesirable foreign organisations” that will be debated on January 20, said the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders today. If adopted, the law will complement an already very restrictive legislative arsenal used to silence all forms of criticism against the regime in contradiction with international human rights instruments ratified by Russia and will allow authorities to ban legitimate human rights activities, though they are protected under international law.

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January 19, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Russian Federation

Azerbaijan:  Two trials of prominent human rights defenders to begin on 15 and 16 January

A delegation from the Observatory went to Baku from 4 to 8 January in order to report on the extremely worrying situation of human-rights defenders in the country, and in particular to meet Rasul Jafarov and Intigam Aliyev and the six other human-rights defenders currently in prison:  Leyla Yunus, Arif Yunus, Khadija Ismailova, Anar Mammadli, Bashir Suleymani and Hilal Mammadov. Despite its repeated requests the mission was unable to gain access to the detention centres nor to arrange a meeting with any government representatives.

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January 14, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Azerbaijan

Côte d'Ivoire:  Conférence de presse conjointe MIDH / OMCT relative à la Consultation Nationale pour prévenir et éradiquer la torture et les mauvais traitements

December 15, 2014  |  Statements  |  Côte d'Ivoire

Brazil:  Global anti-torture movement recognizing truth commissions report and calls for reparation of victims

December 12, 2014  |   Urgent campaigns  |  Statements  |  Brazil

Tunisia:  De jeunes libyens et tunisiens disent NON aux violations des droits de l’homme à travers des évènements culturels et artistiques

December 12, 2014  |  Statements  |  Tunisia

Land Rights defenders: the forgotten victims of unbridled development - Publication of the 2014 Annual Report of the Observatory

​Land rights defenders are increasingly the target of repressive measures, says the Observatory in a new report published today in The Philippines, Mexico, and South Africa, and which will be presented tomorrow in Geneva at the United Nations Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. The pressure on land has become unbearable and mobilisation for the respect of the economic, social and cultural rights of affected communities has become a high risk activity.

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December 2, 2014  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements

"We are not afraid". Land Rights Defenders: attacked for confronting unbridled development

The Annual Report 2014 of the Observatory provides a global analysis on the particular vulnerability of land rights defenders in a complex economic and legal environment. This picture is illustrated with 74 case studies in 29 countries. The report highlights that we are facing an extremely violent human drama and recalls that human rights must be placed at the centre of trade, investment and development policies to prevent the multiplication of deadly land conflicts. The scale of attacks against land rights defenders is particularly preoccupying and should attract the utmost reaction and urgent mobilisation of the international community and lead to the establishment of a clear and strong agenda that guarantees greater protection and empowerment for land rights defenders.

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December 2, 2014  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications
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Azerbaijan: Ongoing judicial harassment against Mr. Rasul Jafarov

On January 27, 2014, the first hearing on merits took place at the Baku Grave Crimes Court, which was monitored by the Observatory in the framework of an international trial observation mission. The Observatory deplores the above-mentioned violations of the right to a fair trial, to the presumption of innocence and to the equality of arms, and calls upon the Azeri authorities to release Mr. Jafarov immediately since his detention is arbitrary as it only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities, and more generally to put an end to any kind of harassment - including at the judicial level – against him and all human rights defenders in Azerbaijan.

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January 29, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan
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Azerbaijan: Physical attack against Ms. Gunay Ismailova

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the physical attack against Ms. Gunay Ismailova, human rights lawyer and Deputy Chair of the Institute for Reporter’s Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

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January 29, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan
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Philippines: Press Release: Dismissal of the case filed against Mr. Bacalso and Mr. Fortaleza for their peaceful protest

Geneva-Paris, January 29, 2015 – The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, an OMCT-FIDH joint programme, welcomes the decision of the Regional Trial Court to dismiss false charges filed against two human rights defenders, Mr. Edcil Bacalso and Mr. Wilson Fortaleza, in relation to their legitimate activities in defence of labour rights.

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January 29, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Philippines
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Egypt: Judicial harassment of Ms. Azza Soliman

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment of Ms. Azza Soliman, human rights lawyer and founder of the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Aid (CEWLA). 

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January 29, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Egypt
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Colombia: Threats against various members of MOVICE and other land rights defenders

January 28, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Colombia
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Colombia: Enforced disappearance and murder of Mr. Carlos Alberto Pedraza Salcedo

January 28, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Colombia
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Mexico: Ongoing harassment and arbitrary detention since May 2013 of Mr. Damian Gallardo Martinez

January 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Mexico
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Iran: Ongoing judicial harassment of imprisoned unionists and persisting crackdown on other unionists and labour activists

The Observatory has been informed by the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) about the ongoing judicial harassment of imprisoned unionists designed to extend their arbitrary detention, and about the persisting crackdown on other unionists and labour activists who are peacefully exercising their right to form independent labour unions.

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January 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Iran