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


Turkey:  Conviction and sentence against Dr. Serdar Küni (T?HV)

According to the information received, on April 24, 2017, Dr. Serdar Küni was sentenced to four years and two months of imprisonment by the Şırnak Second Heavy Penal Court under Article 220/7 which states that “a person who knowingly and willingly assists the organization but is not within the hierarchical structure of the organization is punished as a member of the organization ”. His sentence is related to his work as a physician, providing health service in Cizre which experienced intensified armed operations.

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April 26, 2017  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Turkey

Bahrain:  Appeal to release Nabeel Rajab and Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and concern over their deteriorating health

Nabeel Rajab, 53, who suffers from poor health conditions which have worsened because of his detention, underwent surgery for bleeding ulcers on April 5, 2017 at Manama’s military hospital. Only two days after the surgery, Mr. Rajab was sent back to West Riffa police station where he is being detained in solitary confinement most of the time. In addition, Mr. Rajab’s family was denied the right to visit him while in the hospital. Finally, on April 8, 2017, Mr. Rajab was rushed to the police hospital in an ambulance because of an infected wound that followed an operation. His family reported that he “was forced to stay with dirty clothes with blood all over it and denied any hygienic products for two days” despite “a deep and open wound which causes severe pain and needs constant care”.

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April 26, 2017  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Bahrain

Finalists Announced for Martin Ennals Award 2017

Finalists for the 2017 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders are: FreeThe5KH (Cambodia); Karla Avelar (El Salvador); Mohamed Zaree (Egypt).


The Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders is given to human rights defenders who have shown deep commitment and courage in the face of personal risk. The aim of the award is to highlight their work and protect them through increased visibility.

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April 26, 2017  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Cambodia, Egypt, El Salvador

Maldives:  Murder of human rights activist and blogger Yameen Rasheed

The Observatory has been informed about the murder of Mr. Yameen Rasheed, a 29-year old human rights activist and blogger in Maldives, who had received numerous death threats as a result for his criticism of the Government’s increasingly authoritarian rule, authorities’ corruption, and rising Islamic extremism in his satirical blog The Daily Panic.

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April 25, 2017  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Maldives

Colombia:  Assassination of indigenous leader Gerson Acosta Salazar

April 21, 2017  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Colombia

News on Torture


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Mexico: NGOs urge Senate to approve Law against Torture this week

April 25, 2017  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms, Urgent campaigns  |  Statements  |  Mexico

Joint Letter to Ms. Mogherini and Mr. Tusk regarding extension of Turkey’s state of emergency in a context of grave human rights violations

EuroMed Rights, European Federation of Journalists, Front Line Defenders, Index on Censorship and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) are deeply concerned by the Turkish government’s decision to extend the state of emergency in Turkey by a further three months. The decision has been approved by the Turkish parliament and published in the Official Gazette. 

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April 20, 2017  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Urgent Interventions  |  European Union (EU), Turkey

Azerbaijan: Open Letter: Call for an external, independent, and impartial investigation into allegations of corruption and other violations of PACE's code of conduct in connection with its work on Azerbaijan

April 20, 2017  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan

Bahrain: Time to Address Systematic Torture - Open Letter to the CAT

April 20, 2017  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements  |  Bahrain

Pakistan: NGO joint alternative report denounces ongoing torture in Pakistan ahead of UN review

Ahead of today’s review by the United Nations torture watchdog today, a new civil-society report denounces that Pakistan must do much more to ensure that children, women and prisoners are free from torture.

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April 18, 2017  |  Statements  |  Pakistan

Child Rights Program internship

April 11, 2017  |   Rights of the Child  |  Links

Internship announcement: Events Coordination and Individual Giving

April 11, 2017  |  Links

Venezuela: Seria preocupación por seguridad e integridad personal de los Sres. García Bustillos y Salcedo Acevedo

El Secretariado Internacional de la OMCT ha recibido con grave preocupación informaciones de la Red de Apoyo por la Justicia y la Paz, organización miembro de la Red SOS-Tortura de la OMCT, sobre la desaparición forzada de los Sres. Jorge Eliezer García Bustillos y Jerlis Arley Salcedo Acevedo, a manos del Ejército Bolivariano, en hechos ocurridos en el municipio Rómulo Gallegos, Alto Apure, estado Apure. La OMCT teme que estas personas sufran malos tratos o que hayan sido víctimas de ejecución extrajudicial, hasta la fecha actual se desconoce su paradero.

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April 8, 2017  |   Urgent campaigns  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Venezuela

European Union (EU): REPORT: EU-NGO Human Rights Forum: United Against All Forms of Torture

This report aims to capture the discussions and outline the recommendations from the 2016 EU-NGO Human Rights Forum entitled ‘United against all forms of torture: Applying a cross- cutting perspective to prevent, prohibit and redress torture globally’, co-organised by HRDN and the EEAS. Human rights defenders (HRDs) and activists from over 40 countries testified to the realities of torture and ill-treatment and discusses policy approaches and possible ways to effectively combat torture. The recommendations are directed to the EU, its Member states, third countries and civil society.

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April 3, 2017  |  Reports and Publications  |  European Union (EU)

Joint NGO submission regarding the Revised General Comment no. 1 (2017) on the non-refoulement prohibition

31-03-2017.- OMCT, along with 8 other international NGOs (The Alkarama Foundation, Amnesty International, the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture, the International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (FIACAT), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and the Redress Trust (REDRESS)) submitted comments to the Committee against Torture (CAT) for its consideration in the framework of the process which will lead to the adoption of a revised General Comment No. 1 on the implementation of Article 3. In the joint submission textual changes on the preliminary draft published by CAT on 2 February 2017 are suggested with a view to strengthening and clarifying guidance provided to States parties for the effective implementation of the prohibition of refoulement under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 

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April 3, 2017  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Reports and Publications