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

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Azerbaijan:  Repression escalates in run-up to European Games - International Fact-Finding Mission Report

Repression of Azeri civil society, NGOs and journalists has escalated significantly as the date of the Baku European Games approaches, says the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in a report published today. The report documents the repression of eight emblematic human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily detained, and details the series of legislative amendments recently adopted to silence independent voices.

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April 21, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Reports and Publications  |  Azerbaijan
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Uzbekistan:  New charges against Mr. Azamjon Formonov 15 days before his release from prison, after 9 years of arbitrary detention

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the transfer of Mr. Azamjon Formonov, former Chairman of the Syrdarya regional branch of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan (HRSU), from his prison cell to a pre-trial isolation facility, 15 days before his release from prison. Mr. Formonov has been arbitrarily detained for 9 years at the U/Ya 64/71 Special Regime Colony in Jaslyk (Republic of Karalpak), one of the worst prison in Uzbekistan, known as a “death zone” because of its severe climate and extremely tough detention conditions.

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April 20, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Uzbekistan

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
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Honduras: Authorities must protect human rights defenders

April 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Honduras
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Saudi Arabia: Ill-treatment and harassment of Mr. Waleed Abu Al-Khair, prominent human rights lawyer

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ill-treatment and harassment of Mr. Waleed Abu Al-Khair, prominent human rights lawyer, Founder and Director of the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA)[1]. Mr. Abu Al-Khair acted as lawyer for human rights defender Raif Badawi. In 2012, he was awarded the Olof Palme Prize for human rights for his “strong, self-sacrificing and sustained struggle to promote respect for human and civil rights for both men and women in Saudi Arabia”.

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April 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Saudi Arabia
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Kenya: Harassment of Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI)

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the administrative harassment of Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), two human rights organisations, which advocate for constitutional means to counter terrorism while also observing human rights.

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April 23, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Kenya
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Press Release: Three Human Right Defenders Selected as Final Nominees for the Martin Ennals Award 2015

This award is selected by the International Human Rights Community (See Jury Below) and 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 22, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Guinea, Myanmar (ex-Burma), United Arab Emirates
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Azerbaijan: Press Release: Intigam Aliyev sentenced to 7.5 years of jail for human rights work

Paris-Geneva, April 22, 2015 – The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights  Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), strongly condemns the seven and a half year jail sentence handed down today by the Baku Grave Crimes Court against Intigam Aliyev. The conviction of the human rights defender, arbitrarily detained since August 2014, should be overturned and he should be immediately and unconditionally released.

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April 22, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Azerbaijan
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Moldova, Republic of: Judicial harassment by the Transnistrian Security Committee of Promo-LEX, FIDH member organisation

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), expresses its concerns after the opening of a criminal case against Promo-LEX, FIDH member organisation based in the Transnistrian region of Moldova.

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April 22, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Moldova, Republic of
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Azerbaijan: The ECtHR should prioritize its review of cases pending against Azerbaijan

It is all the more crucial that the European Court of Human Rights—seen by the beleaguered press corps and human rights defenders as their last line of defense—prioritize its review of cases pending against Azerbaijan. As of December 31, 2014, 1,404 cases against the country were pending at the European Court of Human Rights, according to the court’s own statistics. Many of them have not been ruled on despite the fact that they fall within Category II of the court’s priority criteria.

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April 21, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Azerbaijan
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Azerbaijan: Concern for the situation of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

April 21, 2015  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements  |  Azerbaijan