Let’s stand together against torture: Join #HumansAgainstTorture

Torture can hit anyone, anywhere – women, men and children. It causes pain that will never go away. Governments have the means to stop torture but fail to use them. The onus therefore is on each and everyone of us to demand that torture stops. [Read more …]

Human Rights Defenders news


Equatorial Guinea:  Ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of cartoonist and blogger Nsé Ramón Esono Ebalé (aka Jamón y Queso)

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Nsé Ramón Esono Ebalé (aka Jamón y Queso), cartoonist and blogger[1]. Mr. Esono Ebalé published a graphic novel entitled “Obi’s nightmare”[2] in which he depicts President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo spending a day living as an ordinary Guinean citizen and suffering the consequences of the regime he himself has created. The cartoons especially criticise the lack of access to electricity, healthcare, education and the restriction to freedom of expression in the country.
According to the information received, on February 27, 2018, Mr. Esono will appear before the Court of Malabo Province (Audiencia Provincial de Malabo) under trumped-up charges of “engaging in counterfeit” of 1,000,000 Francs CFAs (approx. 1,525 Euros) on the basis of Article 283 of the Criminal Code and Article 384 of the Law on Criminal Procedure. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

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February 23, 2018  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Equatorial Guinea

Philippines:  Release of Senator Leila de Lima urged on the one-year anniversary of her detention

Paris-Geneva, February 23, 2018 - The Observatory condemns Philippine Senator Leila de Lima’s arbitrary and politically motivated detention, and calls for her immediate release and for all charges against her to be dropped. Tomorrow will mark one year since Senator de Lima, a critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was detained on unsubstantiated drug charges.

 “Senator de Lima’s arbitrary detention is aimed at silencing her and intimidating other lawmakers and government critics from speaking out against the brutal killings that have been carried out as part of President Duterte’s ‘war on drugs.’ She should be immediately released and all charges against her dropped,” said FIDH Secretary-General Debbie Stothard

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February 23, 2018  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Philippines

Bahrain:  Nabeel Rajab sentenced to five more years in prison for tweeting in unfair trial proceedings, according to trial observation mission

Prominent Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab was sentenced to a further five years in prison on 21 February 2018, during a verdict that an observer called unusual, as the lawyer was not allowed to speak during the brief proceedings. Rajab was on trial at the High Criminal Court of Bahrain for tweeting about the war in Yemen and poor conditions in Jaw Prison. Rajab has already been sentenced to two years in prison in a separate case for media interviews, and has been imprisoned since his arrest on 13 June 2016.

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February 23, 2018  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Bahrain

Greece:  Impunity regarding the attacks perpetrated in December 2016 against minority human rights defenders

ekdilwsi-meionotites-eshea-body-image-1481624113 golden dawnOMCT recalls that the situation of minority rights defenders in Greece has been critical for years. Human rights defenders dealing with this matter are consistently targeted for their legitimate work and face different types of attacks, surveillance, arbitrary arrests, detentions, ill-treatment, entry bans and expulsion. Furthermore, it is not the first complaint related to racism and minority’s rights which has not been investigated and/or has been sent to the “archive of unknown perpetrators”. OMCT expresses its deep concern for the overall situation of minority rights defenders in Greece, and urges the Greek authorities to promptly and effectively investigate the complaint related to the events of December 12, 2016, and bring their responsible to justice.

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February 21, 2018  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Greece

Egypt:  State Security Emergency Court expected to reach a verdict in the trial of the 32 Nubian human rights defensers

February 21, 2018  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Egypt

News on Torture


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Cambodia: CSOs call for outright rejection of draft amendments to the Constitution and Criminal Code, amid legislative assault on Cambodian peoples’ rights and freedoms

We, the undersigned organizations and communities, express our grave concern regarding the Royal Government of Cambodia’s proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, as well as the proposed introduction of a lèse-majesté offense to Cambodia’s Criminal Code. These proposed amendments constitute a severe threat to human rights and fundamental freedoms, and are clearly designed to further criminalize any individual or entity that dares to express legitimate dissent.

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February 21, 2018  |  Statements  |  Cambodia

The FIFDH reveals the sixteenth edition program

From March 9th to 18th, 2018, the 16th edition of the International Film Festival Forum on Human Rights highlights Geneva, the city of fundamental human rights and peace. While the main session of the Human Rights Council is being held at the UN, the FIFDH brings together artists, activists, researchers and innovators from around the world with the general public in 57 locations in Greater Geneva, Lausanne, Renens, Orbe, Bienne, Neuchâtel, Sion, Oron and the Vallée de Joux.

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February 20, 2018  |  Events

European Union (EU): Joint Open Letter to EU Authorities RE: Multiannual Financial Framework 2021

Joint Open Letter by the Brussels-based networks HRDN, of which OMCT is a member organisation, CONCORD, EPLO and VOICE in advance of your informal meeting on Friday 23 February and the ministerial conference on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) on Friday 9 March.

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February 20, 2018  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements  |  European Union (EU)

Joint Public Statement: No more “business as usual”: Scale of ongoing Myanmar human rights crisis demands an urgent, strong and unified EU response

Our organisations strongly urge the EU and its member states to respond in a way that is proportionate to the massive scale and serious nature of the violations being committed, and send an unequivocal message to the Myanmar authorities – both civilian and military – that ongoing violations and impunity will not be tolerated.

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February 19, 2018  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Urgent Interventions  |  European Union (EU), Myanmar (ex-Burma)

Tunisia: OMCT introduces the 2017 annual report of its "SANAD" direct assistance programme.

February 15, 2018  |  Reports and Publications

Joint NGO Response to the Draft Copenhagen Declaration on the European Convention on Human Rights system

February 14, 2018  |  Statements

Honduras: Open letter to the European Union and its Member States on the worrying human rights situation in Honduras during the post-electoral period.

European networks and international human rights organizations express their deep concern over the disproportionate and sometimes fatal use of force employed by security forces of the state against protesters, as well as other attacks on human rights defenders in the context of the post-election crisis in Honduras. We call on the European Union to condemn these incidents, to publicly support the defenders, and to request the Honduran State ensure that international human rights obligations are fully respected.

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February 7, 2018  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Honduras

Anti-torture coalition fights threats to human rights with new global initiative

T​o halt populism’s overturning of human rights protections, the world’s largest anti-torture network today rallied partners on three continents to launch joint efforts to boost compliance with international standards, bring more cases to justice, and find ways to better protect those most vulnerable to abuse.

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in coordination with three key partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America, is spearheading the 1.8-million-CHF project dubbed “Civil Society United Against Torture” to run activities in 40 countries over three years until 2020. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the European Union are supporting the project.

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February 6, 2018  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements

Bangladesh: Open letter on Digital Media Security Bill

We are concerned that in the current political climate in Bangladesh, which is narrowing avenues for free debate and legitimate democratic dissent in the country, the Bangladesh Digital Security Bill 2018, likely to be introduced in the current session of Parliament, fails to protect the right of the media, civil society and members of the general public to freely express their opinions on policies and actions of decision makers.

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February 5, 2018  |  Statements  |  Bangladesh

Sudan: Escalating government crackdown on protesters sparks greater safety concerns

Ahead of a new protest scheduled tomorrow, Sudanese organizations denounce the Government’s escalating crackdown on civil society in a bid to quash civil unrest and remain in power.


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January 30, 2018  |  Statements  |  Sudan