Urgent Interventions

Video testimonies on the situation of human rights defenders in Belarus, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and the Democratic Republic of Congo


Paris-Geneva, June 14, 2011. The Observatory for the Protectionof Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federationfor Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT),releases today a series of video testimonies on the situation of human rightsdefenders in Belarus, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and the Democratic Republicof Congo (DRC).

Harassment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, acts oftorture and ill-treatment, threats, etc. In 2011, a number of human rightsdefenders are still facing serious hindrances to their activities.

The Observatory is developing audio-visual testimonies as a new tool to widenthe mobilisation on some specific cases, and to increase impact on the mediaand public opinion. This new tool, more dynamic and “visually expressive”, alsoaims at increasing the awareness of activists, national authorities, national,regional and international institutions and agencies and their mechanisms.

You can see the first series of such testimonies on thesituation of human rights defenders in Belarus, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkeyand the DRC at the following links:

BELARUS: Ales Bialatski, Chairman of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, about searches conducted at his home, and the Prosecutor General’s Office official warning against himself

BELARUS: Ales Bialiatski, Chairman of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, about the repression on civil society since December 19, 2010, the day of the presidential election

COLOMBIA: Soraya Gutiérrez, abogada del CCAJAR, sobre el hostigamiento y desprestigio en contra de la Comisión Justicia y Paz

COLOMBIA: Soraya Gutiérrez, abogada del CCAJAR, sobre el asesinato de un integrante del MOVICE, capitulo Sucre

KYRGYZSTAN: Aida Bayjumanova, Executive Director of the Human Rights Centre “Citizens Against Corruption” in Kyrgyzstan, about Azimjan Askarov

TURKEY: Pinar Selek, sociologist and Turkish human rights defender, about acts of torture, ill-treatment and judicial harassment against her since 1998

REPUBLIQUE DEMOCRATIQUE DU CONGO: Marie-Josée Bazana, veuve de Fidèle Bazana, membre de la Voix des sans voix disparu le 1er juin 2010

REPUBLIQUE DEMOCRATIQUE DU CONGO: Justine Masika Bihamba, Coordinatrice de la SFVS (Goma), témoigne des menaces à son encontre


"Since its creation in1997, the Observatory has not only been protecting human rights voices, it hasalso aimed at bringing their messages to a wider audience. Such videotestimonies contain concrete recommendations to national authorities and theinternational community that should be considered with utmost importance by theauthorities concerned and, more widely, by all "actors of change"",FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen said today.

Those testimonies from Belarus,Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and the DRC remind us that human rights defendersfrom all over the world continue to face reprisals because of their vital workto defend and protect human rights, and that we need to stay more vigilant thanever to ensure they are able to carry out their peaceful activities withouthindrances and they remain a rampart againstarbitrariness and abuses”, added Eric Sottas, OMCT Secretary General.

For moreinformation please contact:

FIDH: KarineAppy, Arthur Manet: + 33 1 43 55 25 18

OMCT: Delphine Reculeau: + 41 22 809 49 39

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