For the latest updates on human rights achievements, collaborations, events and activities.

(Svenska) Svenska Fotbollförbundet och Civil Rights Defenders inleder samarbete

Soccer Ball, Venice, May 2007

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders och Svenska Fotbollförbundet har inlett ett långsiktigt samarbete för att tillsammans arbeta för mänskliga rättigheter och långsiktig förändring. “Vi ser väldigt mycket fram emot detta samarbete och hoppas att vi tillsammans kan inspirera andra samhällsaktörer att ta liknande initiativ för mänskliga rättigheter och långsiktig förändring,” säger John Stauffer, Executive Director, Civil Rights Defenders.

Ukrainian Feminist and LGBTQI Rights Defender under Threat by Ultra-Right Radicals

Olena Shevchenko. Photo: Insight

On 8 March, a women’s rights parade in Kiev, Ukraine, was attacked by 200 ultra-right radicals armed with sticks and tear gas. Furthermore, one of the organisers of the parade, Olena Shevchenko from the feminist LGBTQI rights organisation Insight, has been charged with “violation of the procedure for conducting peaceful assemblies”. The charges are completely based on claims by the ultra-right group National Druzhina.

Multi-Front War Against Human Rights Organisations in Russia

Igor Kalyapin, leader of Joint Mobile Group, attacked with green coloured liquid in Chechnya’s main city Grozny in March 2016. Read more on page 16 in the report. Photo: Anastasiya Moskvychova RFE/RL

Today, Civil Rights Defenders launches the report “Never Give Up: Russian Human Rights Defenders Keep Swimming under the Ice” which highlights the situation for human rights defenders in Russia. The situation for human rights organisations in the country is becoming increasingly difficult. The Russian regime, led by President Vladimir Putin, has introduced a number of laws that, among other things, prevent foreign funders from donating money to civil society.

(Svenska) Anders L. Pettersson utses till ny chef för Civil Rights Defenders


(Svenska) Anders L. Pettersson, idag generalsekreterare för Ecpat Sverige, blir ny Executive Director för Civil Right Defenders. “Anders har en stark förståelse för internationella mänskliga rättigheter, vilket är grundläggande för en expertorganisation som vår. Han kommer att omfamna den professionella kunskapen inom Civil Rights Defenders på ett fantastiskt sätt”, säger Benedicte Berner, styrelseordförande för Civil Right Defenders. Anders L. Pettersson tillträder sin nya tjänst den 14 maj.

In Uzbekistan Prison Doors Are Revolving For Government Critics


On March 2, Uzbek and international media reported that Uzbekistan freed yet another journalist from prison – Yusuf Ruzimuradov – who spent 19 years in jail, longer than any other reporter in the world, after being imprisoned on fabricated anti-state charges. The news of the release, however, are overshadowed by the imprisonment last fall of two other journalists, Bobomurod Abdullayev and Hayot Nasriddinov, and their upcoming trial slated to start on March 7.

(Svenska) Träffa Emma Moderato – trainee på juridiska avdelningen


(Svenska) Hösten 2016 startade vi Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship som riktar sig till jurister under 30 år. Traineetjänsten är förlagd på Civil Rights Defenders huvudkontor i Stockholm och ger relevant yrkeserfarenhet för en framtida karriär inom mänskliga rättigheter. Här kan du läsa om vår trainee Emma Moderato och om vad hon får arbeta med på juridiska avdelningen. Vill du bli vår nästa trainee? Nu har du chansen att söka en plats!

Cuban Human Rights Defender Forced to Report to the Security Police

Dulce Amanda Durán will have to report to the security police today, Wednesday 28 February, at 11 am.

Last week, Cuban human rights defender Dulce Amanda Durán was called by the security police and told that she had to stop working for Civil Rights Defenders’ longtime partner CCDHRN. If she does not comply, Dulce Amanda Durán will be taken to court and charged with Pre-criminal danger to society, under article 80 in the Cuban penal code. Today, 28 February, she has to report to the security police.

Chechnya Risk Becoming the Next North Korea

On Monday evening, 22 January, a car belonging to the Russian human rights group Memorial was torched in Makhachkala, Dagestan. Photo: Memorial

The ongoing campaign to oust the last critical voice from the Russian constituent republic of Chechnya is escalating. If Memorial, the last remaining human rights organisation on the ground, is forced to leave the republic, the local dictator Ramzan Kadyrov will have free rein to propagate a distorted, cleaned-up image of Chechnya. If we do not want a new North Korea in the world, the politicians of the West must act forcefully, today.

(Svenska) Man hölls kvar i tvångsvård trots att han var färdigbehandlad


(Svenska) I dag lämnar Civil Rights Defenders in en anmälan till Justitieombudsmannen (JO) i ett fall där en man hållits frihetsberövad i strid med Europakonventionen. Mannen var redo för öppenvård, men hölls kvar i tvångsvård då kommunen inte ordnade en bostad till honom. “Tyvärr är hans fall inte unikt, det här är ett återkommande problem för personer som tvångsvårdas”, säger Annika Åkerberg, människorättsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

Ethiopia Frees More Journalists and Political Prisoners

Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the recent release of several political prisoners in Ethiopia. The government has announced that in total more than 1 000 individuals will be released. The latest and most notable release of today includes the two journalists Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye, who were serving prison terms of 18 and 14 years respectively. The famous case against three members of the Zone9 bloggers was also dropped today.

Serbia: Hate Speech Against Nataša Kandić Must Be Investigated

Natasa Kandic, Photo: Markus Junghard

Members of the media and civil society actors, including human rights defender Nataša Kandić, have recently been subjected to a wave of hate speech from Members of Parliament and right wing extremists in Serbia. Nataša Kandić was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Civil Rights Defenders requests an immediate investigation into the recent events, and demands the public promotion of Nazism to be immediately prohibited and sanctioned by the authorities.

The Wall on Anti-Gypsyism – Reports on Roma Rights in the Western Balkans

The picture is part of a previous photo exhibition named ”Under the Same Roof” which depicts everyday life of Roma in the Western Balkans. Photo: Dragan Kujundzic

For more than twenty years now, the Roma situation 
in the Western Balkans has received increased attention in national and international politics. Strategies and action plans have been developed, millions of euro have been invested in projects and programmes for the social inclusion of Roma. However, the living conditions of the majority of the Roma remain unchanged – why? Read Civil Rights Defenders reports on Roma Rights in the Western Balkans.

Turkey Must Stop Judicial Harassment of Human Rights Defenders


On 1 February 2018, the Istanbul 35th Heavy Penal Court decided to re-detain Taner Kılıç only hours after he was released from jail. The decision came after the prosecutor filed an appeal against the court’s order to release him. Civil Rights Defenders condemns in the strongest terms the judicial harassment against Taner Kılıç, and urges the Turkish authorities to ensure his right to a fair trial.

(Svenska) Snart drar vi igång vårens Human Rights Clinic – vill du vara med?


(Svenska) Under hösten har omkring 15 juriststudenter deltagit i Civil Rights Defenders och Uppsala universitets “Human Rights Clinic” – ett initiativ för studenter som vill varva juridikstudierna med att fördjupa sig inom mänskliga rättigheter. Julia Wallensteen, som du kan läsa mer om här, är en av dem. Nu söker vi studenter som vill vara med oss i vår! Klicka här för att ansöka om en av platserna.

Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2018 – Murat Çelikkan


Civil Rights Defenders is pleased to announce that the Turkish human rights defender Murat Çelikkan has been awarded the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2018. Murat Çelikkan is a journalist by profession, and one of the most tenacious voices for human rights in the country. Despite the increasingly difficult situation for the country’s civil society, he continues to fight for a more open Turkey.

Human Rights Defender Dilmurod Saiid Freed After Nine Years in Uzbek Prison


On 3 February 2018, prison authorities in Uzbekistan’s southern Qarshi region released human rights defender and journalist Dilmurod Saiid. He has served almost nine years in prison on fabricated charges of forgery and extortion. Civil Rights Defenders welcomes his release, and urges Uzbek authorities to build upon the achieved progress and ensure the immediate release of all other imprisoned journalists and human rights defenders.

Non-governmental Organisations Request Meeting with the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia


Civil Rights Defenders supports Georgian civil society in their efforts to ensure a thorough and transparent inquiry into the disappearance of Afgan Mukhtarli. We join them in calling upon the Government of Georgia and the Chief Prosecutor’s Office to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Mukhtarli’s disappearance in Tbilisi on May 29, 2017 in full compliance of its domestic legislation and international commitments.

Intensified Attacks Against Leading Russian Rights Group: “The Car is Just a Warning”

On Monday evening, 22 January, a car belonging to the Russian human rights group Memorial was torched in Makhachkala, Dagestan. Photo: Memorial

The recent series of threats and harassment of Russian human rights group Memorial over their work in the Republic of Chechnya seem to have no end. On Monday evening, 22 January, a car belonging to the organisation was torched in Makhachkala, Dagestan, and the local staff received multiple sms threats saying “Shut down! Next time we’ll burn your office, with you inside. The car is just a warning.”

Seminar with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, FN:s särskilda rapportör för urfolksrättigheter. Bilden är tagen 6 March 2015 av UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré.

Sweden often emphasises its role as a vocal defender of human rights in the international arena. Yet the country receives growing critique from the UN when it comes to compliance with basic rights for the Indigenous Sami population. In order to lift the international critique, we have invited the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, to participate in our upcoming seminar.

(Svenska) Neste och staten har ansvar för förtrycket i Venezuela


(Svenska) Publicerad i Hufvudstadsbladet, 23 januari 2018: “Det halvstatliga Neste tar avstånd från korruption och mutor, men sluter ögonen för sin venezolanska samarbetspartner, helstatliga oljebolaget PDVSA, vars president är en hårdför militär som sitter i landets regering och som är ansvarig för omfattande människorätts- kränkningar,” skriver John Stauffer och Erik Jennische vid Civil Rights Defenders.

Human Rights Group Memorial Hit by Arson Attack In North Caucasus


Two unidentified men in masks have broken into and torched the Nazran office of Russian human rights organisation Memorial. The attack comes only a week after the arrest of Oyub Titiev, leader of Memorial’s Chechnya office. Civil Rights Defenders condemns in the strongest terms the recent attacks and demands Russia put all efforts necessary into ensuring the security and safety of human rights defenders in the region.

Joint statement in support of lawyer Mark Feygin


In a joint statement, Civil Rights Defenders and Justice International call on the Russian authorities to comply with their international obligations to provide the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of lawyers, including to do the utmost to protect lawyer Mark Feygin from persecution, improper restrictions and infringements, and to carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the threats against him.

Journalist’s Conviction a Black Eye for Azerbaijan and Georgia


The nine-month farce that has consumed Afgan Muxtarli’s life since he was kidnapped off the street by Georgian security services ended today with a reprehensible verdict in a court in Azerbaijan’s remote northwestern province of Balakan. Civil Rights Defenders condemns in the strongest possible terms the sentencing of the Azerbaijani investigative journalist to six years’ imprisonment on fabricated charges of resisting arrest, unlawful border crossing, and smuggling.

Russia: Authorities Should Free Chechen Human Rights Defender Immediately


On his way to work on 9 January 2018, Oyub Titiev, director of Memorial’s Grozny office, disappeared. He was later brought to the police station and charged with drug possession. “By all appearances Oyub Titiev’s case is fabricated as a revenge for his human rights work. We demand Russian authorities to drop charges, immediately release Oyub Titiev, and guarantee his safety,” said Joanna Kurosz, Eurasia programme director at Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) Efter 19 år på Civil Rights Defenders går Robert Hårdh vidare till nytt spännande uppdrag

Efter 19 år som chef för Civil Rights Defenders blir Robert Hårdh nu välgörenhetschef på Novamedia Sverige AB. Bild: David Lagerlöf

(Svenska) Efter 19 års framgångsrikt arbete som chef för Civil Rights Defenders går Robert Hårdh vidare till ett nytt spännande uppdrag som välgörenhetschef på Novamedia Sverige AB, som driver Svenska Postkodlotteriet. “Civilsamhället är i större behov av stöd än någonsin och jag ser det som en fantastisk möjlighet att fortsätta stötta det viktiga arbete som bedrivs runt om i världen, nu med hjälp av världens tredje största givarorganisation”, säger Robert Hårdh.

(Svenska) Ett år med Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship


(Svenska) För drygt ett år sedan kunde vi, tack vare Civil Rights Defenders grundare och hedersordförande Gerald Nagler, starta “Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship” – ett traineeprogram för unga jurister som brinner för att arbeta med mänskliga rättigheter. “Det är en fantastisk möjlighet för nyutexaminerade jurister som slår sig fram på en allt tuffare arbetsmarknad att få praktisk erfarenhet och möjlighet att arbeta med frågor de brinner för”, säger John Stauffer, chefsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) Kritik mot regeringens förslag om särskild konsultationsordning med samerna

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(Svenska) I slutet av september föreslog regeringen att Sametinget, samebyar och andra samiska organisationer ska konsulteras i “ärenden som kan få särskild betydelse för samerna”. Civil Rights Defenders menar att förslaget inte förhåller sig till viktiga folkrättsliga principer. ”Det lever inte upp till de krav den internationella urfolksrätten ställer på Sverige”, säger John Stauffer, chefsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

Ratko Mladić Sentenced to Life in Prison for Genocide

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).  Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has found Ratko Mladić guilty of ten out of eleven counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Srebrenica, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the conviction, which is one step on the path of reaching justice for the victims of the most serious human rights violations in the Balkans.

NOW! Campaign Calling on Vietnam to Release Prisoners of Conscience


As world leaders have gathered in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Civil Rights Defenders joins a coalition of 14 human rights organisations launching the NOW! Campaign. Through the campaign, the coalition calls on the Vietnamese Government to immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, including human rights defenders who have been jailed for their activism.

Innovation Challenge 2017: These are the Finalists


Civil Rights Defenders’ Innovation Challenge 2017 has closed its second round and is about to ender its third and final phase. Out of the original 28 applicants, eight successful innovative finalists remain in the running to win this year’s challenge. The ideas that have been submitted to this year’s challenge have covered a wide spectra of issues, themes and regions. Civil Rights Defenders recently had the opportunity to speak to some of the successful applicants.

Open Letter: EU Must Call on Azerbaijani President to End Human Rights Crackdown


Civil Rights Defenders and 36 other NGOs have sent a letter to the EU member state heads ahead of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Brussels to participate in the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November. We urge the EU member state heads to use the summit to call on president Aliyev to end the human rights crackdown and commit to concrete and sustainable human rights reforms in Azerbaijan.

Call for the Immediate and Unconditional Release of Mr. Nguyễn Bắc Truyển


Mr. Truyển is a human rights defender who has peacefully exercised his right to freedom of expression to advocate for the rights of others, and has been detained solely for his beliefs and the peaceful exercise of rights protected under international human rights standards. We call on the government of Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally release Nguyễn Bắc Truyển and all other persons who are arbitrarily detained.

Statement Condemning Police Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The violent approach by the police when dispersing a peaceful protest in Kruščica caused 29 injuries and 23 people were arrested.

In late August, a group of local citizens had gathered to protest against the construction of a mini hydropower plant in Kruščica in Central Bosnia and Herzegovina. The approximately 250 police officers who violently tried to disperse the peaceful protest blocked the area, stripped women of their clothes and personal belongings, and violently dragged protestors into busses. Civil Rights Defenders condemns the police’s violence and misconduct and calls on the state to live up to its international obligations.

(Svenska) Aida Samani är den andra juristen att tilldelas Gerald Nagler Human Rights Traineeship


(Svenska) Traineetjänsten, som riktar sig till jurister under 30 år, är förlagd på Civil Rights Defenders huvudkontor i Stockholm och ger relevant yrkeserfarenhet för en framtida karriär inom mänskliga rättigheter. “Tjänsten är en kombination av kvalificerat juridiskt arbete och påverkansarbete på olika sätt och det är det som gör den så spännande”, säger Aida Samani.

(Svenska) Besök oss på MR-dagarna!


(Svenska) Ska du gå på Mänskliga Rättighetsdagarna i år? Civil Rights Defenders är på plats i Jönköping den 9–11 november och arrangerar och deltar i flera event. Bland annat kan du som besöker våra seminarier få veta mer om etnisk profilering i relation till polisens metoder att bekämpa brott och vårt arbete med samer för att stärka samers rättigheter. Om du vill du veta ännu mer om oss och de frågor vi arbetar med är du även välkommen förbi vår monter!

Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam Must End Impunity for Attacks Against Journalists


The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists should be a wake-up call to end the repression and abuse of independent media workers. With a clampdown on independent journalism throughout the region, Civil Rights Defenders calls on the Governments of Cambodia, Burma, and Vietnam to abolish those laws permitting judicial harassment and creating a climate of impunity for attacks against independent media.

Russia: Amid Repression, Civil Society Sends Clear Message Demanding Human Rights

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As Russia continues to abuse and ignore human rights, a strong and determined civil society has stepped up their efforts to challenge the state and advocate change. Despite repression and intimidation, several partners to Civil Rights Defenders have recently brought their demands to the UN, making it clear that they will stand ready as the international community reviews Russia’s dismal human rights records.

(Svenska) Tiggeriförbud stoppas av länsstyrelsen


(Svenska) Länsstyrelsen stoppar Vellinge kommun från att införa ett förbud mot tiggeri, meddelar länsstyrelsen Skåne i dag. Civil Rights Defenders, som tidigare överklagat förbudet, är positiva till att det upphävs. “Vi välkomnar Länsstyrelsens beslut, som ligger i linje med vårt överklagande där vi menar att kommunfullmäktiges beslut inte överensstämmer med de lagar och regler som finns”, säger Robert Hårdh, chef på Civil Rights Defenders.

Joint Open Letter: Request to Reconvene the Paris Conference on Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA - CIRCA MAY 2016: Map of Cambodia with selective focus on name of country

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference on Cambodia. The conference led to the signing of the historic Paris Peace Agreements, and aimed at ending the “tragic conflict and continuing bloodshed in Cambodia”. Twenty-six years later, there is an urgent need for decisive action from the international community, to ensure that the democratic vision for Cambodia outlined in the Peace Agreements is not completely foresaken.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders polisanmäler nazister för hets mot folkgrupp

Foto: David Lagerlöf

(Svenska) Flera ledande personer från nazistorganisationen Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen gjorde sig skyldiga till hets mot folkgrupp i samband med demonstrationen i Göteborg den 30 september. I dag polisanmäler vi brotten. “Den som bär eller marscherar under organisationens symboler sprider nazism och gör sig därigenom skyldig till hets mot folkgrupp”, säger Civil Rights Defenders chef Robert Hårdh.

(Svenska) Hårdare lagstiftning mot nazism – Sverige måste leva upp till sina internationella åtaganden

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(Svenska) I dag diskuterar regeringen, Vänsterpartiet och alla oppositionspartier, förutom Sverigedemokraterna, frågan om hårdare lagstiftning mot nazistiska aktiviteter. Civil Rights Defenders välkomnar diskussionen och uppmanar politikerna att se över både ordningslagen och lagen om hets mot folkgrupp så att de lever upp till Sveriges internationella åtaganden.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders begär skadestånd för felaktigt frihetsberövande


(Svenska) I dag lämnar vi in en begäran om skadestånd till Justitiekanslern (JK) i ett fall där staten kränkt de mänskliga rättigheterna för en man som hållits kvar i sluten tvångsvård trots att han var färdigbehandlad. Linköpings förvaltningsrätt och kammarrätten i Jönköping agerade bristfälligt och följde inte sin utredningsskyldighet, vilket gör att Civil Rights Defenders anmäler domstolarna till JK.

One Year After Arrest, Demand for Release of Vietnamese Human Rights Defender Me Nam

Me Nam, the 2015 recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award, has been detained for 148 days at the time of writing.

On 10 October 2016, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (Me Nam) was arrested while on her way to visit another rights defender in prison. Her arrest and ongoing detention should be seen as nothing more than persecution against her courageous defence of human rights. Today, on the one-year anniversary of Me Nam’s arbitrary arrest and detention, Civil Rights Defenders urges the government of Vietnam to immediately and unconditionally release her.

Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders – Call for Nominations


The nomination for the Martin Ennals Award 2018 is open! The award aims to recognise human rights defenders who are working in conditions hostile to fundamental human rights, at risk, and in need of protection. In order to be eligible for nomination, the human rights defender must currently be active in the promotion and protection of human rights. Nominate your candidate before 9 November 2017.

(Svenska) Riksåklagaren öppnar återigen förundersökningen i fallet Sinthu

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(Svenska) Riksåklagare Anders Perklev tycker inte att Sinthu Selvarajahs dödsorsak är tillräckligt utredd och vill därför ta in ny rättsmedicinsk expertis, rapporterar Ekot i dag. Civil Rights Defenders, som företräder familjen i ärendet, välkomnar beslutet. “Det är viktigt för familjen att gå till botten med vad som orsakade Sinthus död och att någon ställs till svars för det som hänt”, säger John Stauffer, chefsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) Vi uppmanar polisen att ingripa mot hatbrott under nazistdemonstration i Göteborg

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(Svenska) I morgon demonstrerar nazistorganisationen Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen (NMR) i Göteborg. Civil Rights Defenders, som tidigare överklagat demonstrationstillståndet, följer utvecklingen och uppmanar polisen att ta sitt ansvar och ingripa mot hatbrott. Mot bakgrund av hur NMR agerar vid sina demonstrationer, är risken för hets mot folkgrupp och andra hatbrott överhängande.

New Series of Attacks Against the Independent Media in Serbia


The situation for media freedoms has been deteriorating dramatically over the last few years in Serbia. Smear campaigns targeting the independent media remains a large issue and seem to have reached a new low. Recently, the Single Weekly Magazine was shut down after 23 year’s work. The editor in-chief and former president of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia, Vukasin Obradovic, responded with a hunger strike.

(Svenska) HBT-personer misshandlas och massarresteras i Azerbajdzjan


(Svenska) Den senaste veckan har polisen i Azerbajdzjans huvudstad Baku massarresterat hundratals HBT-personer. Arresteringarna beskrivs av lokala myndigheter och regeringsvänliga icke-statliga organisationer som ett helhetsgrepp mot prostitution. Samtidigt vittnar jurister och lokala aktivister om att arresteringarna är urskillningslösa och riktar sig mot homosexuella män och transsexuella kvinnor. Civil Rights Defenders fördömer attackerna mot HBT-personer och kräver att de upphör.

(Svenska) EU-länder kränker rättigheter för brottsmisstänkta med särskilda behov


(Svenska) Flera av EU:s länder brister i hanteringen av personer med särskilda behov som misstänks eller anklagas för brott. Det slår Civil Rights Defenders och RSMH fast efter en undersökning på europeisk nivå. “Det är grundläggande att i ett tidigt stadium kunna identifiera om en person behöver extra stöd genom en rättsprocess på grund av till exempel en intellektuell funktionsnedsättning”, säger Annika Åkerberg, människorättsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

Khadija Ismayilova Wins the Right Livelihood Award 2017

Khadija Ismayilova (

The Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova is one of this year’s recipients of the Right Livelihood Award, an award that is widely referred to as the “alternative Nobel Prize”. Khadija, who was nominated by Civil Rights Defenders, receives the prestigious award “for her courage and tenacity in exposing corruption at the highest levels of government through outstanding investigative journalism in the name of transparency and accountability”.

Azerbaijan: Harassment of the LGBT Community Continues


The attack on Baku’s LGBTI community is continuing, as local activists say Bakuvians with “non-traditional appearance” are still being stopped and questioned on the street and around metro stations. Estimates of the total number of detainees range from around 100 to over 200. Lawyers have had no success overturning the administrative sentences handed down last week. Civil Rights Defenders renews its call for the government of Azerbaijan to stop its harassment of the LGBT community.

(Svenska) Domstol går på Civil Rights Defenders linje – ändrar väg för nazistdemonstration

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(Svenska) Nazistorganisationen Nordiska Motståndsrörelsens kommande demonstration i Göteborg den 30 september får en annan färdväg än planerat, meddelade förvaltningsrätten i dag. Civil Rights Defenders, som tidigare överklagat polisens demonstrationstillstånd, är positiva till beslutet. “Det är en framgång eftersom vi nu slipper ha nazisterna marscherandes i synagogans direkta närhet”, säger Civil Rights Defenders chef, Robert Hårdh.

Mass Arrests and Abuse of LGBT People in Azerbaijan


Over the last several days, police in Baku, Azerbaijan carried out mass arrests of at least 100 members of the LGBT community. In official statements, local authorities and government-friendly NGOs described the arrests as a crackdown on prostitution, but lawyers and local activists describe indiscriminate arrests of gay men and transgender women in organised raids on apartments and bars, as well as seemingly random arrests on the street.

(Svenska) Tiggeriförbud i Vellinge kommun överklagas


(Svenska) I går röstade kommunfullmäktige i Vellinge igenom ett förslag om förbud mot tiggeri. Nu överklagar Civil Rights Defenders beslutet som strider mot både respekten för mänskliga rättigheter och ordningslagen. “Tiggeriförbudet orsakar obefogade och oproportionerliga inskränkningar av människors grundläggande fri- och rättigheter och bör därför upphävas”, säger John Stauffer, chefsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

Natalia Project – Protecting More Than 100 Human Rights Defenders

Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

Over the last few years, Natalia Project – the world’s first assault alarm and positioning system for human rights defenders at risk – has grown significantly. Today, the project includes more than 100 human rights defenders from four continents. One of the participants is Phyllis Omido who works to protect human rights in Kenya. “Natalia Project has freed me from fear, so I can amplify the voice of my people knowing that someone is watching over me”, says Phyllis.

(Svenska) Nazistorganisations demonstrationstillstånd överklagas

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(Svenska) I dag överklagar vi, som ombud för den Judiska Församlingen i Göteborg, polisens beslut att tillåta nazistorganisationen Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen (NMR) att demonstrera i Göteborg den 30 september. Demonstrationen sammanfaller med årets viktigaste judiska helgdag, Jom Kippur. Mot bakgrund av hur NMR agerar vid sina demonstrationer och deras historia av våldsbrott menar vi att risken för hets, hot och våld är överhängande.

QueerFest in Russia: The Art of Being Yourself Here and Now

Photo: Alba

The opening ceremony of the ninth QueerFest, supported by Civil Rights Defenders, was a success from start to finish. For the second year in a row, the festival could open without disruptions of violence, harassment and provocations. “The feeling of safety, whether destined to be temporary or long-lived, provides LGBT people with a boost of interest and confidence”, said Polina Andrianova, one of the organisers.

Human Rights Clinic 2017

Stack Diverse human rights books law education university eam

As human rights continue to be violated on a daily basis and only few of those affected get redress, the need for dedicated and skilled human rights lawyers is growing. Civil Rights Defenders believes that there has to be a space where young and engaged students can meet and advance their knowledge of human rights law and strategic litigation in cooperation with experienced human rights lawyers. For us, one such space is the Human Rights Clinic.

Urgent Action Needed to End Escalating Violence in Myanmar

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Reports estimate that more than 270,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh following the outbreak of violence two weeks ago. In a joint open letter on 8 September, Civil Rights Defenders and 39 other organisations call on the UN Human Rights Council to urgently act by passing a resolution on Myanmar calling for an end to abuses against the population in Rakhine state and ensuring immediate humanitarian access.

Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors

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In the run-up to the annual conference and general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) in Beijing, over 130 civil society organisations urge the IAP to live up to its vision and bolster its efforts to preserve the integrity of the profession. Increasingly, in many regions of the world, in clear breach of professional integrity and fair trial standards, public prosecutors use their powers to suppress critical voices.

(Svenska) Förundersökning om vållande till annans död läggs återigen ner i fallet Sinthu

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(Svenska) Åklagaren lägger delvis ned utredningen i fallet Sinthu Selvarajah, meddelar åklagarmyndigheten i ett pressmeddelande i dag. Åklagaren konstaterar däremot att polisen använt våld som varit otillåtet och fortsätter därför förundersökningen om tjänstefel. Den 28-årige mannen dog i samband med ett polisingripande på en sluten psykiatrisk avdelning i Västerås 2014.

(Svenska) Vårt arbete för samers rättigheter

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(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders arbetar tillsammans med samiska företrädare och Naturskyddsföreningen för att samers rättigheter som urfolk ska stärkas. Genom nationell och internationell påverkan vill vi i detta arbete bidra till att förändra perspektivet i svensk politik och praktik så att samiska intressen ska ses som urfolksrättigheter i samklang med naturvårdsintressen, inte särrättigheter i strid med näringsintressen. Läs mer om vårt gemensamma arbete.

(Svenska) Patienter hålls kvar inom tvångsvården – trots att de är färdigbehandlade


(Svenska) Problemet med färdigbehandlade patienter som hålls kvar inom tvångsvården fortsätter. I dag lämnar Civil Rights Defenders in en anmälan till JO i ett fall där en man hållits frihetsberövad trots att läkare bedömde honom som utskrivningsklar. “På grund av kommunens agerande hölls mannen inlåst mycket längre än nödvändigt. Tyvärr är hans fall inte unikt”, säger John Stauffer, chefsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

Kenya: Stop Harassment of Civil Society Organisations

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The NGO Coordination Board of Kenya announced the deregistration of two human rights organisations, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG). The move comes a week after 8 August national elections which were contested by the opposition. Together with three other civil society actors, Civil Rights Defenders condemns the targeting of national human rights organisations in Kenya.

Human Rights Defender Killed in Uganda


In a statement, eleven human rights groups condemn the killing of human rights defender Irumba Erasmus and his friend Vide Kanyoro, by officers of the Uganda Police Force and Uganda People’s Defence Forces. One of Civil Rights Defenders key partners in the country, The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda, is one of the organisations that urges the authorities to immediately conduct an impartial investigations into the matter.

(Svenska) Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen i Almedalen: Civil Rights Defenders överklagar till Kammarrätten

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I dag lämnar Civil Rights Defenders in en överklagan till Kammarrätten gällande polisens beslut att tillåta nazistorganisationen Nordiska Motståndsrörelsens närvaro under Almedalsveckan. Civil Rights Defenders har sedan tidigare överklagat polisens beslut att tillåta nazisternas deltagande, men överklagan avvisades av förvaltningsrätten i Stockholm den 29 juni med motiveringen att Civil Rights Defenders saknar talerätt.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders begär skadestånd för brister i rättsprocess


(Svenska) I dag lämnar Civil Rights Defenders in en skadeståndsbegäran i ett fall där en man med nedsatt intellektuell och kommunikativ förmåga fått sina rättigheter kränkta i en rättegångsprocess. Trots att polisen och domstolarna visste att mannen inte förstod svenska och att han hade funktionsnedsättningar säkerställde de inte att han kunde ta del av hela rättsprocessen.

Harsh Punishment for Vietnamese Human Rights Defender

Me Nam, the 2015 recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award, has been detained for 148 days at the time of writing.

Vietnamese blogger Me Nam has been sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for “conducting propaganda” against the Vietnamese State. Civil Rights Defenders stands in solidarity with and expresses full support to Me Nam for her legitimate human rights work. The international community must strongly protest and condemn the Vietnamese government violations against human rights and the continous non-acceptable persecution of human rights defenders.

Myanmar Must Repeal Law Which Criminalises Peaceful Online Communication

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In the last two years, the Telecommunications Law in Myanmar has opened the door to a wave of criminal prosecutions of individuals for peaceful communications on Facebook and has increasingly been used to stifle criticism of the authorities. According to a research group, which has been documenting prosecutions, at least 71 people are known to have been charged for online defamation under the law. Together with 60 other signatories, we urge the authorities to repeal parts of the law.

Azerbaijan: New Series of Brutal Attacks on Freedom of Expression

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Civil Rights Defenders condemns a new series of attacks on freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. We are now witnessing even more ruthless methods of repressions such as abduction, forced return, and torture of regime critics. In January a prominent blogger was arbitrarily detained in Baku. In two other incidents in May, the authorities imprisoned the head of an independent TV channel and a freelance reporter. Aside of the direct attacks on reporters, the government has escalated hacking campaign against dissent.

Exiled Journalist Abducted – Open Letter to the Georgian Prime Minister

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On 29 May, the exiled Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was abducted in Tbilisi, Georgia. He went missing after leaving his colleagues in the evening, before resurfacing the following day in Baku in the custody of Azerbaijan’s state border agency. Mukhtarli reports that he was forced into a car near his home, tied up and beaten. His abductors put a bag over his head and 10,000 euros were stuffed into his pockets while crossing the Azerbaijani border.

Recommendations Regarding State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Visit to Sweden


Since the National League of Democracy (NLD) took office in Myanmar in 2016 the new administration has failed to carry out significant reform. We recognize the continued domination by the military, but the new government’s ability and willingness to improve the human rights situation is deeply disappointing. Read Civil Rights Defenders recommendations regarding state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Sweden in June.

(Svenska) Uppdatering om Civil Rights Defenders överklagan mot Nordiska Motståndsrörelsen

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(Svenska) I mitten av maj överklagade Civil Rights Defenders polisens beslut att tillåta nazistorganisationen Nordiska Motståndsrörelsens närvaro under Almedalsveckan. Polisen anser att bedömningen är fortsatt korrekt och menar att överklagan bör avvisas. Här kan du läsa vårt svar till polisen och varför vi står fast vid att nazisterna inte bör tillåtas medverka under politikerveckan.

We Urge António Guterres to Call for the Release of Jailed Lawyers and Opposition Members


In advance of António Guterres upcoming trip to Tajikistan, in an open statement, we write to request that Guterres uses the visit to express concern to President Emomali Rahmon and officials in Dushanbe about his government’s politically motivated imprisonment of opposition activists and lawyers. The visit is an opportunity to convey UN concern at the highest level about the deterioration that has occurred over the past several years.

UN’s António Guterres Must Stand Up For Human Rights in Central Asia


Civil Rights Defenders urges the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to use his visit to the five nations that comprise Central Asia, to publicly advocate for human rights. We also call on the Secretary General to demand an end to the ongoing violations and for the immediate and unconditional release of imprisoned activists and journalists. Guterres began his Central Asia tour on 07 June and is due to visit every nation in the region over the course of a few days.

18 Months in Prison for Prominent Turkish Human Rights Defender Murat Çelikkan

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Prominent Turkish human rights defender and Co-Director of Hafiza Merkezi (Truth Justice Memory Centre), Murat Çelikkan was charged on 16 May under “terror organization propaganda” and sentenced by summary judgement to 18 months in prison. The hearing was held at the Istanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court under the Anti-Terror Law Article 7/2. The Courts did not reduce or defer his sentence as they ruled that “The defendant did not show sufficient remorse with his attitudes in the trial”.

Pervasive Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia Must be Addressed and Investigated

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Civil Rights Defenders together with 12 other civil society organisations in a letter addressed to the Permanent Representatives of Members and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council calls to their attention the persistent and grave violations of human rights in Ethiopia and the pressing need to support the establishment of an independent, impartial and international investigation into atrocities committed by security forces to suppress peaceful protests and independent dissent.

Vietnamese Human Rights Blogger Should be Immediately and Unconditionally Released

Me Nam, the 2015 recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award, has been detained for 148 days at the time of writing.

Joint Public Statement: Vietnamese authorities should immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, also known by her blogging pseudonym, Mẹ Nấm (Mother Mushroom), Amnesty International and Civil Rights Defenders said today. She is a prisoner of conscience, being held and tried solely for her peaceful activities promoting and defending human rights.

Swedish State to Pay Historic Damages to the Roma Community

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Today, the Chancellor of Justice announced that the Swedish state will not appeal the decision by the Svea Court of Appeal regarding the case of the police’s registration of Swedish Roma citizens. Damages will be paid to all persons included in the illegal registry. “We are very pleased that the court process has resulted in redress and compensation for all of the people included in the ethnic registry”, said Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) Så bör institutionen för mänskliga rättigheter inrättas


(Svenska) Regeringen har beslutat att Sverige bör inrätta en institution för att stärka skyddet för mänskliga rättigheter. Civil Rights Defenders, som länge påtalat behovet av en sådan, ser det som ett stort framsteg. Som ett led i utredningen av frågan har vi tillsammans med sex andra civilsamhällesaktörer skickat ett ett brev med synpunkter till riksdagens konstitutionsutskott, som ansvarar för utredningen, där vi bland annat kräver att civilsamhället involveras i processen.

Vietnam: Cease Reprisals Against Mother Mushroom’s Family

On 10 October 2016, Vietnamese authorities arrested blogger Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), on charges of spreading propaganda against the State.

Civil Rights Defenders has been informed that the family of detained blogger Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh (also known as Me Nam or “Mother Mushroom”) has been surrounded and confined by security police. Vietnam’s authorities should immediately lift this brazenly illegal measure and cease reprisals against Mother Mushroom’s family, which add to the injustice already made to the prominent blogger and her loved ones.

Moldova Pride Week Underway – Homophobic Comments by President Causing Concern

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GENDERDOC-M a long-term partner of Civil Rights Defenders has launched the LGBT Community Festival “Moldova Pride 2017” running from the 16th to the 21st of May 2017 culminating with a Pride Parade that will take place in the country’s capital Chisinau on Sunday entitled “NO FEAR”. The week of events is aimed at increasing the level of visibility, respect and acceptance for LGBT people in Moldova who have often been discriminated against, marginalised and subjected to hate speech and physical attacks.

BiH: Administrative Silence Violates LGBT Persons’ Right to Assembly


Civil Rights Defenders condemns the administrative silence of the Ministry of Transport of the Canton Sarajevo in relation to Sarajevo Open Centre’s planned human rights march for LGBT persons on 13 May 2016. It has resulted in a violation of the right to freedom of assembly as it does not secure the freedom of movement and expression for LGBT persons in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Venezuelan Human Rights Defender Under Serious Threat in a Landscape of Chaos


Civil Rights Defenders has received information from our Venezuelan partner Foro Penal, that Julio Rivas, one of the leading human rights defenders in the state of Carabobo, is currently receiving serious threats from the local police, the local media and even from the governor of the region, Francisco Ameliach due to his work for human rights. Valencia, a city located 120 kilometres from the capital of Venezuela has in the last 72 hours experienced riots and mass looting of shops, factories, warehouses and supermarkets. Officials have accused the people demonstrating against the government as being responsible for the tension.

Sweden’s Ambassador for Human Rights Must Raise Violations in Upcoming Visit to Myanmar


Civil Rights Defenders and The Swedish Burma Committee in a joint letter to Annika Ben David, Sweden’s Ambassador for Human Rights, urge that the following recommendations regarding widespread human rights violations are brought to the table in all dialogues with the Burmese Government. The trip on 22 May 2017 takes place in an atmosphere that has recently seen the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi reject a decision by the UN’s rights council to investigate allegations of crimes by Myanmar’s security forces against minority Rohingya Muslims.

REPORT: Spotlight on Belarus – On the Ground During the Protests

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On the weekend of March 25 – 26, a wave of peaceful protests took place across Belarus. The nationwide demonstrations stem from the introduction of the widely unpopular Presidential Decree on the “Prevention of Social Dependence” that penalises several categories of unemployed persons through the levying of taxes. The protests has seen hundreds of journalists, civil society activists and political dissidents arrested and detained. Civil Rights Defenders was on the ground to monitor the crackdown.

First Generation LGBT+ Activism School to Take Place in Serbia


Civil Right Defenders is proud to announce the first School of LGBT+ Activism aimed at improving the position of the LGBT community through educating future human rights defenders so they can actively support the advancement of LGBT people in Serbia. The aim of the school is for the participants to get an holistic view of the challenges faced by the community and to develop skill sets with the goal of empowering and advocating for a new generation of LGBT activists

Historic Court Ruling: Swedish State Guilty of Ethnic Registration

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The Swedish State is guilty of ethnic registration according to the ruling in the Svea Court of Appeal, 28 April 2017. Civil Rights Defenders wins the case and holds the Swedish State accountable for the police’s registration of Swedish Roma citizens. The state is now ordered to pay 30 000 SEK each in damages to the eleven Roma individuals whom Civil Rights Defenders represented in the legal proceedings.

Vietnam: Blogger “Mother Mushroom” Spends 200th Day in Detention

On 10 October 2016, Vietnamese authorities arrested blogger Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), on charges of spreading propaganda against the State.

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was arrested and detained on 10 October 2016 for allegedly conducting “Anti-state propaganda”. 200 days have passed and she continues to be denied any contact with her family and lawyer. Popularly known under her pen name Me Nam (“Mother Mushroom”), Ms. Quynh has for more than a decade been using social media to speak out against the Vietnamese government’s human rights violations.

Myanmar Must Cooperate With International Mission Investigating Grave Human Rights Abuses in Rakhine State


Civil Rights Defenders together with 22 civil society organisations in a letter to several states; including the United States, United Kingdom and the member states of the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation call on them to strongly encourage the Myanmar government to fully cooperate with the forthcoming Fact-Finding Mission into the human rights situation in Rakhine State.

Stop the Ongoing Harassment of Activists’ Family in Azerbaijan

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Civil Rights Defenders is concerned by the persistent harassment of the family of Azerbaijani human rights defender Bashir Suleymanli, Director of the Institute for Citizen Rights and Co-Founder of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Center. We call upon the Government of Azerbaijan to immediately cease this intimidation, respect its citizenry’s rights to freedom of speech and assembly, and combat the growing impunity of local security services outside of the country’s capital Baku.

New Country, Old Beginnings

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Not all beginnings are new beginnings. The troubled recent history of South Sudan echoes the tricky nature of starting anew. Violations of the fundamental rights of citizens run unabated. The government’s responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil human rights has been left to chance. In this new country report, Civil Rights Defenders highlight the situation for human rights and their defenders in South Sudan – the world’s youngest country.

Partner of Civil Rights Defenders sentenced to six months in prison


On the 27 March, Cuban Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) activist Lismeirys Quintana was sentenced at the People’s Court of Marianao, Havana, to six months in prison on politically motivated charges for “non-payment of fines”. On the 29 of January, another Dama de Blanco, Aliuska Gómez had to witness the arrest of her 17 year old son Rey Hanoy Marrueto Gómez because of his mothers human rights work.

(Svenska) Skånepolisens register över romer prövas i hovrätten

Civil Rights Defenders företräder 11 av de fler än 4700 personer som fanns med i polisen olagliga register.

(Svenska) I dag inleds andra och sista dagen i hovrätten sedan staten överklagat skadestånd för etnisk diskriminering. Civil Rights Defenders, som företräder 11 av de fler än 4700 personer som fanns med i polisen olagliga register, vann den 10 juni 2016 målet mot staten i Stockholms tingsrätt. “Vi vill att hovrätten fastställer tingsrättens dom och anser oss ha goda chanser att återigen få rätt mot staten”, säger John Stauffer, chefsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

Russian Special Forces Found Guilty of Kidnapping and Beating Chairman of Memorial Human Rights Center


Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which ruled that Russian special forces were directly involved in the kidnapping of Oleg Orlov, the then-head of Memorial Human Rights Center, and the assault and kidnapping of three journalists from Ren TV channel back in 2007 in the Republic of Ingushetia located in the Russian North Caucasus.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders begär skadestånd för dödligt polisvåld

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(Svenska) Den 6 mars lämnade Civil Rights Defenders in en skadeståndsbegäran till Justitiekanslern i det uppmärksammade dödsfallet av Sinthu Selvarah, en 28-årig man som dog i samband med en polisinsats. Ersättnings krävs av staten på totalt 2 687 824 kronor för Sinthus död. Polisen använde mer våld än vad situationen krävde och dessutom har både åklagare och polis brustit i den efterföljande utredningen. Det är allvarliga kränkningar som vi kräver att staten tar ansvar för.

Vietnam: Free Women Human Rights Defenders and End Persecution of Women Activists


International Women’s Day (IWD) should be a wake-up call for the Vietnamese authorities to halt the repression and abuse of women who speak out for human rights, social justice and progress, Civil Rights Defenders said ahead of IWD celebrations on 8 March. Vietnam should seize this opportunity to take a first step to demonstrate its commitment to women’s rights by releasing all women human rights defenders, activists and bloggers it arbitrarily detains.

Journalist Mehman Huseynov Sentenced to Two Years on Fabricated Charges


Civil Rights Defenders calls upon the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release Mehman Huseynov, a prominent blogger and Chairperson of the press freedom organization, the Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment on spurious charges of defamation. The lawsuit was brought by the chief of police in Baku’s Nasimi District after Huseynov publicly spoke out about his torture by district officers in January 2017. Huseynov was immediately taken into custody directly from the courtroom.

No Progress on Key Reforms: Transparency Group Should Suspend Azerbaijan’s Membership


Civil Rights Defenders and a coalition of 20 leading civil society organisations calls on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a prominent international coalition, to suspend Azerbaijan’s membership for failing to carry out key reforms. The EITI Board meeting is due to take place in Bogota on the 08 and 09 of March in order to review the country’s efforts to reduce oppression against civil society groups.

Cambodia: Joint open letter regarding the investigation into the death of Dr. Kem Ley

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As the trial of the only suspect for the murder of Dr. Kem Ley, a prominent Cambodian activist and political analyst, is scheduled to begin on 1st March 2017, and in light of fresh evidence which has emerged since the original investigation was closed, Civil Rights Defenders and four international NGOs are writing to the Head Prosecutor to demand the re-opening of the investigation and the postponement of the trial until a full, thorough, transparent, independent and impartial investigation has been conducted into Kem Ley’s murder.

Newspaper Editor Freed After Being Held for 18 Years


On February 22, Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjanov was released after 18 years in prison. The onetime editor, of what was Uzbekistan’s leading opposition newspaper, Muhammad Bekjanov was one of the world’s longest imprisoned journalists. He was repeatedly tortured following his arrest in 1999 and his sentence was extended just before he was due to be released in 2012. According to initial information, he will not be allowed to leave the country for one year.

Two New Cases of Human Rights Violations in Cuba


Last week Cuban human rights defenders Lismeirys Quintana and Aliuska Gomez were victims of human rights violations. They are both active members of Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White), a civic movement by relatives of jailed dissidents. “The fact that the Cuban authorities are clamping down on human rights defenders who work openly, shows that the Cuban government has absolutely no interest in the rights of its citizens”, said Erik Jennische Programme Director for Latin America at Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) FN bör utreda pågående människorättsbrott i Myanmar

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(Svenska) I januari gick över 40 civilsamhällesorganisationer från Myanmar ut med uppmaningen att en oberoende internationell kommission måste tillsättas med uppgift att utreda vad som uppges vara pågående brott mot mänskligheten i delstaten Rakhine. Situationen har eskalerat kraftigt sedan hösten 2016 då rohingyafolket blivit måltavla för storskaliga militära operationer. Som ny medlem i säkerhetsrådet har Sverige nu en unik möjlighet att ta initiativet för att avbryta diskrimineringen, innan det är för sent.

Dictatorship No More? EU Sanctions Lifted at the Expense of Civil and Political Rights in Belarus

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One year ago, the EU lifted sanctions against Belarus. The sanctions were imposed in response to human rights violations perpetrated by the Belarusian regime, but were lifted without any improvements to the human rights situation. On the one year anniversary of EU’s, Civil Rights Defenders releases a report entitled: Dictatorship No More? EU Sanctions Lifted at the Expense of Civil and Political Rights in Belarus.

Human Rights Defenders School Now in its Third Year Kicks Off in Serbia


The Human Rights Defenders School, an initiative of Civil Rights Defenders has for a third year in succession opened its doors to young human rights lawyers and human rights defenders from across Serbia. The first lectures were held in Belgrade and Niš and attended by 50 students. Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans kicked off proceedings with an introductory lecture.

Drop Farcical Investigation of Two Human Rights Defenders in Cambodia

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In a joint statement, Civil Rights Defenders, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists call on the Cambodian authorities to immediately drop the politically motivated criminal investigation against two human rights defenders, Am Sam-at and Chan Puthisak. Both human rights Defenders have been falsely accused of instigating violence during a peaceful demonstration in October 2016 .

(Svenska) Utsatta EU-medborgare – handlingsplan för kommuner

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(Svenska) De senaste åren har allt fler utsatta personer från andra EU-länder kommit till Sverige för att hitta sätt att försörja sig och sina familjer. Många lever under svåra förhållanden med begränsad tillgång till samhället och dess skyddsnät. Det saknas idag nationell vägledning för hur kommuner ska hantera situationen. För att underlätta arbetet, samt säkerställa att mänskliga rättigheter efterföljs, har Civil Rights Defenders sammanställt en handlingsplan som kan användas som underlag.

Stop the Harassment of Human Rights Lawyers in Crimea


Civil Rights Defenders is concerned by the recent actions of Russian security services to harass, detain, and charge innocent human rights lawyers in the annexed territory of Crimea. The government of the Russian Federation and the de facto local authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea must stop the persecution of independent human rights lawyers Emil Kurbendinov and Nikolay Polozov, and foreign governments and international actors must hold Russia to account.

Show Trial Ends with Harsh Sentences for Islamic Activists

The trial of conservative Sh’ia religious activists involved in what is known as the 'Nardaran Affair' has reached its long-expected conclusion, with all 17 defendants sentenced to up to 20-year prison terms. (Photo courtesy of Vladic Ravich)

The trial of conservative Sh’ia religious activists involved in what is known as the ‘Nardaran Affair’ has reached its long-expected conclusion, with all 17 defendants sentenced to up to 20-year prison terms. All the defendants – 16 members of Muslim Unity, a moderate Islamist group, along with a lone secular opposition politician – were found guilty on a litany of charges ranging from arms trafficking to plotting to overthrow the government.

Failure to Honour International Commitments as Askarov Sentence Upheld

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Civil Rights Defenders calls on the Kyrgyz authorities to fulfil their international commitments to protect civil and political rights by immediately releasing human rights defender and journalist Azimjon Askarov. Today, the Chui Regional Court ruled to uphold the original sentence of life-imprisonment at the end of a trial that allegedly presented the same procedural faults that led to the Human Rights Committee stating that several of Askarov rights had been violated.

Kyrgyzstan Must Free Human Rights Defender Azimjon Askarov

Askarov still languishes behind bars despite promises to have him released. Photo courtesy of  Ayzhamal Istanbekova, from Golos Svobody News portal.

Four years ago, during two media appearances in Berlin and Bishkek, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev publicly announced that he had no interest in keeping an innocent man in jail. The man Atambayev spoke about– first during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and then with Kyrgyz media– is Azimjon Askarov, a human rights defender and a journalist who was imprisoned for life in September 2010.

Human Rights Defenders Attacked by Members of the Ruling Party in Serbia

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Civil Rights Defenders condemns the recent attack against several human rights defenders from the Youth Initiative of Human Rights (YIHR) of Serbia, a long time partner of Civil Rights Defenders and demands that swift legal action be taken in bringing the perpetrators to justice.The incident occurred on the evening of January 17, involving nine activists from the YIHR, who were brutally attacked by members from a local branch of the Serbian Progressive Party.

Justice Demanded for Journalist Tortured in Prison in Azerbaijan

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Civil Rights Defenders together with 18 International Human Rights Organisations have strongly condemned the abduction and torture of journalist Mehman Huseynov and immediately calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to comprehensively investigate the case and to take action against those responsible. He is one of Azerbaijan’s top political bloggers and Chairman of the local press freedom group, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS).

Investigate Threats against Editor-in-Chief

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Civil Rights Defenders is seriously concerned with public threats made by a high-ranking government official in Chechnya against Grigoriy Shvedov, editor-in-chief of the independent news portal Caucasian Knot. On 7 January, Magomed Daudov, speaker of the parliament of Chechnya, published on his personal Instagram account a post which implied that Shvedov was lying while reporting on events in the region in exchange for foreign funding.

Statement: Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan


Civil Rights Defenders and several of its partners from the Sport for Rights coalition call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to reverse the alarming trend as it carries out a multi-pronged attack on freedom of expression: including introducing harsh penalties for critical speech online, imprisoning young activists for nothing more than graffiti, blocking access to websites of independent […]

Human Rights the Central Topic at the Regional Roma Summit

The picture is part of a previous photo exhibition named ”Under the Same Roof” which depicts everyday life of Roma in the Western Balkans. Photo: Dragan Kujundzic

The Regional Roma Summit kicked off on 23 November, in the Kosovar capital Prishtina with an opening speech by Ulrike Lunacek, the Vice President of the European Parliament. The event partly organised by Civil Rights Defenders lasts two days and sees human rights defenders from across Europe gather to discuss and analyse current trends and topics relevant to the Roma community especially when it comes to human rights.

Human Rights Defenders Made Scape Goats in Serbian Media


Freedom of the media in Serbia has seen a significant change in its trajectory since 2010, from being categorised by many watchdog organisations as being on a good path to becoming free and independent to the current situation of instability. There is now an almost total collapse in freedom of expression that has seen media outlets spewing out propaganda targeting human rights defenders regarding trumped up allegations of destabilising the state.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders söker en människorättsjurist


(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders rättsavdelning är ett viktigt nav i organisationen för att driva på och kvalitetssäkra det rättighetsbaserade arbetet. För att ytterligare stärka organisationen söker vi nu en senior människorättsjurist för en bred roll med särskilt fokus på människorättsfrågor i Sverige. I din roll som människorättsjurist kommer du att arbeta övergripande med juridiska frågor, rättsprocesser och påverkansarbete inom områden såsom; hatbrott, diskriminering, minoritetsoch urfolksrättigheter, övervakning och integritet, flykting- och asylrätt

We are Seeking Interns Across a Number of Departments – Spring 2017

We welcome one intern to the EURASIA Department at our Stockholm office.

Civil Rights Defenders is now looking for interns across a wide number of departments for the spring semester 2017. We are are seeking one intern for each of the following departments: Latin America and Caribbean, East and Horn of Africa, Eurasia and two for the Legal Department (Swedish speakers only) Details about these exciting opportunities can be accessed by clicking on the link below. Closing date for applications November 15.

(Svenska) Förslag om förstärkt terroristlag kränker mänskliga rättigheter

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(Svenska) Sverige utreder för närvarande behovet av ytterligare terroristlagar. Men flera av de lagförslag som presenteras i den senaste utredningen kan få allvarliga konsekvenser för mänskliga rättigheter om de drivs igenom. Att bekämpa terrorism för att säkerställa invånarnas säkerhet är oerhört viktigt och centralt, men det får inte ske på bekostnad av mänskliga rättigheter.

Rejected Peace Agreement – What is Happening in Colombia now?


In the beginning of October the Colombian people rejected the peace accord that the government and the guerrilla group FARC had negotiated on since 2012. Subsequently, there has been an ongoing debate on how to continue the peace process. The current political limbo has made an affect internationally. EU recently declared that they have officially suspended the ratification of the aid peace package that was supposed to be installed, but with the hope to open it up later this year.

Stop the Harassment of Human Rights Lawyers


On 26 October, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation will consider an appeal by two human rights lawyers. In the ruling, the judge accused them of committing actions that “defame the honour and the dignity of a lawyer” and suggested revoking their license to practice law. Civil Rights Defenders urges the Russian authorities to immediately cease the judicial harassment, which aims to punish the lawyers for their work to defend human rights.

The Universal Periodic Review – Moldova

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In March of this year Civil Rights Defenders in Moldova together with 11 of its partners who form the NGO Coalition for UPR Moldova submitted three Reports within the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for Moldova, 2nd cycle. In the detailed report Civil Rights Defenders outlined a wide number of recommendations for lobbying purposes and the hope is that our recommendations are not only included in those given to Moldova but also accepted.

2015 Civil Rights Defender of the Year Arrested in Vietnam

On 10 October 2016, Vietnamese authorities arrested blogger Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), on charges of spreading propaganda against the State.

Yesterday, the Vietnamese Blogger, Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh was detained by the authorities in Khanh Hoa province of Vietnam accused of spreading propaganda against the State. Writing under the pen name Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), Ms. Qunyh was the 2015 recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. No trial date has been given, but if convicted, Me Nam could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years which is permitted under the current law.

Reflecting on Queerfest 2016 – A Change for the Better in St. Petersburg

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In its eight year history as one of Russia’s largest LGBTI festivals, QueerFest has been marred by violence, hate speech, harassment of participants and forced venue cancellations by the authorities. Through dogged perseverance from the organisers and their supporters QueerFest has managed not only to survive but also thrive. In 2016 all the hard work seemed to pay off with not a single violent incident reported.

Video: Ten Years After Anna Politkovskaya’s Murder – The Mastermind Still Walks Free


Anna Politkovskaya worked as a journalist at the investigative paper Novaya Gazeta and was internationally famous for her reports about human rights abuses in warn-torn Chechnya. On 7 October 2006 she was gunned down in the elevator of her house in central Moscow. While the assassins have been sentenced, the investigation however, has never established who ordered this brazen murder.

Open Letter- Criticising Proposed Law on Belief and Religion in Vietnam

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Civil Rights Defenders and scores of other civil society organisations have written to the President of the Vietnam National Assembly on Vietnam’s draft Law on Belief and Religion expressing their concerns regarding the proposed Law. The draft law, which has been revised several times has drawn strong criticism from many religious communities, is expected to be voted into law by the National Assembly at its session in October-November 2016.

It is Time for the Council of Europe to Take Off its Blinkers Over Azerbaijan

Khadiya Ismayilova one of the numerous journalists and human rights defenders who were arrested on pre-fabricated charges by the Aliyev regime. Khadiya was released from prison due to international pressure in May 2016. Photo by Johangir Yusif

The Council of Europe is supposed to be a club of democratic countries, but Azerbaijani officials have expressed little interest in seeing their country become one. This used to upset at least some at the Council of Europe – a decade ago, the council discussed suspending Azerbaijan’s voting rights – but its members appear to have decided to just pretend Azerbaijan is a democracy and hope for the best.

Seeking Out New Paths After a Polarised Referendum

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Colombia’s peace process led by current President Juan Manuel Santos and the guerrilla group FARC suffered a major defeat when the plebiscite showed that the NO vote had won. 50,2% of Colombians voted against the accord with 49,8% in favour and although it was only a small margin, the uncertainty is over. The fact that only 37% of the electorate voted is another clear sign that the government did not succeed in mobilising support and credibility for the peace accord.

(Svenska) Per Anger-priset till Abdullah al-Khateeb, Syrien

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(Svenska) I juli sköts han i ett attentatsförsök men överlevde, nu får han svenska regeringens pris. 2016 års Per Anger-pris tilldelas den 27-årige syrisk-palestinske människorättsaktivisten Abdullah al-Khateeb för hans modiga kamp för de mänskliga rättigheterna i Syrien. Mitt i en pågående krigshärd och i skärselden mellan stridande parter dokumenterar han övergrepp, medlar mellan olika grupper och för de mest utsattas talan.

34 Years Later, Vietnam Needs Larger Freedom

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On the eve of the 34th anniversary of Vietnam becoming a party to key human rights treaties, the human rights situation in the country continues to be marked by the prosecution and imprisonment of human rights defenders, violence against activists and protesters, use of repressive laws to criminalise expression and assembly, and inadequate guarantees to ensure citizens’ right to participate in public affairs, including in land use and environmental decision-making.

Parliamentary Elections in Russia

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Sunday’s parliamentary elections to the Russian Duma are held in a more repressive climate than ever, since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly as well as the right to a fair trial, right to physical integrity and other basic rights are stifled. The space for the civil society has shrunk dramatically since the last Duma elections in December 2011, when independent observers reported widespread fraud.

St. Petersburg: “QueerFest 2016” Gets Off to an Unprecedented Start


Civil Rights Defenders is delighted to support the 8th International Queer Festival – “QueerFest 2016” —which began yesterday in St. Petersburg and will run until September 25. The Festival aims to promote acceptance in Russian society, and to empower and provide support to the LGBT communities (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people), while contributing to a more pluralistic society. Yesterday’s opening got off to a great start with no trouble reported and in a relaxed environment for the first time in 8 years.

Safe and Secure Freedom of Assembly Must be Guaranteed at Belgrade Pride


Civil Rights Defenders demands that the government of Serbia puts all measures in place to ensure a safe and secure Belgrade Pride March which is scheduled to take place on September 18. Freedom of peaceful assembly must be secured for all citizens of Serbia regardless of their personal attributes and to guarantee peoples’ fundamental human rights. Belgrade Pride Week 2016 which began on September 12 includes a variety of cultural, debate and community-oriented events, which will take place at several locations throughout the Serbian capital.

Petition to the International Association of Prosecutors


Civil Rights Defenders together with the undersigned organisations have made an appeal to the International Association of Prosecutors to take the necessary steps to ensure that they comply with the Standards of Professional Responsibility of and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors. While recognising the commitment and sacrifice of many prosecutors the undersigned have observed situations in which some prosecutors have been involved in prosecutions that violate basic human rights laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent international covenants, conventions and instruments to which the Association should adhere to.

Addressing the Escalating Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia

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Civil Rights Defenders together with 14 other prominent civil society organisations have issued a joint statement to the Permanent Representatives of Members and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council to draw their attention to serious human rights violations in Ethiopia. These include violent crackdowns on peaceful protests in the provinces of Oromio and Amhara. All 15 civil society organisations urge the delegations to make serious recommendations to Ethiopia including a thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into all deaths resulting from alleged excessive use of force by the security force.

Human Rights Defender Brutalised and Sentenced on Fabricated Charges


Civil Rights Defenders condemns the conviction of Zhalaudi Geriev, a reporter with the Russian news site Caucasian Knot, to three years imprisonment for possession of narcotics. According to his lawyers Geriev’s conviction was based on a forced confession, fabricated evidence, and numerous violations of legal procedures and basic human rights. Geriev, who is 23, was targeted because of his journalistic activities. Along with his colleagues at Caucasian Knot, which has no central office and whose journalists often publish anonymously for both themselves and their families’ safety, Geriev wrote regularly about human rights violations in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Why a UNGA Resolution is Still Needed in Myanmar


Civil Rights Defenders (CRD), ALTSEAN-Burma, Amnesty International, Article 19, Forum-Asia, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) are concerned that the European Union (EU) may not introduce a new resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the upcoming 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Our organizations believe that ending the resolution at this time would be premature, and that strong human rights monitoring mechanisms must remain in place to ensure Myanmar continues to press forward with much needed reforms

Human Rights Abuses in Laos Must be Tackled Now

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On the eve of the annual ASEAN leaders summit in Vientiane, human rights and advocacy groups called upon the Lao PDR Government to commit to address its widespread violations of human rights, including instances of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, and overall denial of basic civil and political rights. Visiting world leaders have a unique opportunity to publicly raise human rights concerns during the ASEAN summit in Vientiane from September 6-8.

(Svenska) Sverige utreder möjligheten att lättare avhysa utsatta unionsmedborgare

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(Svenska) Förra året tillsatte regeringen en utredning för att ta fram förslag på hur möjligheterna att avlägsna otillåtna bosättningar kan förbättras. Utredningen föreslår bland annat en enklare avhysningsprocess och att att polisen ska ta en mer aktiv roll för att avlägsna otillåtna bosättningar. Civil Rights Defenders är mycket kritiska till slutsatserna i utredningen eftersom behandlingen av de som avhyses från sina boplatser strider mot Sveriges internationella åtaganden om de mänskliga rättigheterna.

Police Brutality Against Human Rights Defenders Must Stop

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Civil Rights Defenders expresses its concern that yet another human rights defenders has been subjected to unprovoked harassment by the police in Prijedor a municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina in recent days. Nikola Kurida of Kvart, a partner organisation of Civil Rights Defenders had been visiting the residence of a colleague when the police arrived unannounced and started to threaten all those inside.

Call on the Human Rights Council Regarding Resolution on Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

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Today, Civil Rights Defenders joins 11 international, regional, and Cambodian civil society organisations in a letter to permanent missions of Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council, urging them to support the adoption of a resolution addressing Cambodia’s gravely deteriorating human rights situation at the 33rd session of the Council (13-30 September 2016).

Civil Rights Defenders is Looking for a Business Controller


Civil Rights Defenders is looking for a Business Controller with minimum three years of experience. As a person you are analytical and proactive and like to drive changes. You are service-minded and comfortably network and work with all levels of the organisation. Working together with us gives you a great opportunity to work with international projects across many different geographic regions and cultures. Welcome to apply.

Azerbaijan: Renewed Human Rights Crackdown Ahead of Referendum


Less than six weeks ahead of a constitutional referendum, the Azerbaijani authorities have unleashed a new wave of repression to silence critical voices. Today, Civil Rights Defenders joins 17 member organisations of the Sports for Rights coalition in a statement to condemn this renewed crackdown. We call on the Azerbaijani authorities to take immediate steps to improve the human rights situation in the country, starting with the release of political prisoners held for their peaceful political activities or exercise of their right to freedom of expression.

Statement: Cuba Must End Repression Against Human Rights Defenders


The Cuban Government continues its crackdown on human rights and its repression against human rights defenders. Several activists have now gone to hunger strike as means to demand change. In a statement today, Civil Rights Defenders expresses deep concern over the health conditions of the activists, and strongly condemns the systematic human rights violations they face in Cuba. We urge the Cuban Government to end all repression against Cuban citizens and human rights defenders and to guarantee their civil and political rights.

Cambodia: Campaign to Support Imprisoned Human Rights Defenders


Civil Rights Defenders joins more than 50 local, regional and international civil society groups in launching a campaign to support and seek the release of five human rights defenders who are under arbitrary detention in Cambodia. They are currently under judicial investigation for trumped-up allegations of bribery. The #FreeThe5KH campaign aims to garner support for the five detained human rights defenders, to remind them that the public has not forgotten about their cause and to help keep their morale high while they remain in detention.

Stockholm Pride – A Time to Show Solidarity and Support


This week, thousands of people gather in the capital of Sweden to take a positive stance against discrimination toward LGBT people, and to celebrate dignity, equality, diversity and human rights. While the concept of Pride is widely recognised in many parts of the world, the acceptance is not. In order to draw attention to the environment our friends and colleagues are forced to work in, Civil Rights Defenders is glad to welcome LGBT activists from Belarus, Russia and the Western Balkans to this year’s Stockholm Pride.

Civil Rights Defenders Supports Association of BH Journalists


On 19 July, Civil Rights Defenders’ partner, the Association of BH Journalists, stated that politician Salmir Kaplan, accompanied with a group of his social media supporters, has initiated a public smear campaign against the Association of BH Journalists and Borka Rudić, the General Secretary of the association. Civil Rights Defenders condemns all attacks against journalists and free media and encourages the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to investigate this and other attacks against journalists and media workers urgently.

Civil Rights Defenders at Stockholm Pride 2016


Stockholm Pride has begun and as the city is decorated with rainbow flags, Civil Rights Defenders’ preparations for the week are well underway. We are delighted to welcome you to march for equality and diversity with us in the Pride Parade this Saturday. Furthermore, on Thursday, you will find us at Pride House where our colleagues Natalia Mankouskaya from Belarus and Jonny Dzhibladze from Russia discuss what challenges they meet as LGBT activists in their respective countries.

The Police Registration of Roma: A Case Overview

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In March 2015, Civil Rights Defenders filed suit against the Swedish State for violating human rights when the police in south Sweden registered thousands of Roma individuals. A year later, Stockholm District Court established that the State is to be found guilty of ethnic discrimination, but the historic ruling has been challenged by the Chancellor of Justice and a new trial is to be held in the Appellate Court. The process to justice for the victims is long, and the questions of what happens now are many. This overview aims to provide an understanding of what has happened as well as what is awaiting.

Cambodia: Killing of Kem Ley Adds Grave Concern to the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation


Civil Rights Defenders joins 20 other local, regional and international civil society groups and networks in condemning the murder of Cambodian activist and political analyst Kem Ley in Phnom Penh on 10 July 2016. The signatories call for a prompt, thorough, impartial, and independent investigation into his death, and call on the authorities to ensure accountability for this atrocious killing.

HuffPost: “Protection Of Myanmar’s Muslims A Litmus Test For Reforms”

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“It’s crucial that the government take concrete measures to remove longstanding restrictions on the Rohingya and the Muslim minority”, writes Shaivalini Parmar, Programme Officer for Myanmar at Civil Rights Defenders, in The World Post on 6 July. “Revoking all policies that place arbitrary limitations on movement would be an appropriate start, so that, at minimum, access to basic services like health and education are no longer impeded”.

(Svenska) DN Debatt: “Regeringen måste ställa tydliga krav i nya samarbetet med Kuba”


(Svenska) Medborgerliga rättigheter respekteras inte. Den svenska regeringen är i slutskedet med en ny biståndsstrategi för samarbete med Kubas regering. Signalen till Raúl Castro måste vara tydlig: Förtryck av människorättsförsvarare ska inte accepteras. Det skriver John Stauffer och Erik Jennische på Civil Rights Defenders i en debattartikel i DN Debatt den 4 juli.

Statement: Myanmar Must Investigate Destruction of Religious Buildings


On 5 July, Civil Rights Defenders joins 18 other non-governmental organisations in Myanmar to call on the Government of Myanmar to conduct a formal investigation into the recent destruction of religious buildings in Kachin State and Bago Region. The statement represents a collective show of support from Myanmar civil society for victims of religiously motivated violence in the country. We call on the Government of Myanmar to live up to the aspirations of a democratic Myanmar with respect for human rights.

UN Human Rights Council Puts Cambodia on Notice


At the 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Belgium, Japan, France, Switzerland, the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU all expressed concerns at the recent escalation of crackdown on civil society and the political opposition in Cambodia. In a joint statement highlighting this cross-regional condemnation, Civil Rights Defenders, together with Cambodian, regional and international human rights groups, call on Cambodian authorities to immediately release detained civil society and opposition members.

Russia: First Time a Human Rights Defender Risks Prison Under the “Foreign Agents” Law


The last several weeks have seen a marked deterioration in the human rights situation in Russia, including the first criminal case brought under the widely-criticised “foreign agents law” and the passage of anti-terrorist legislation that severely curtails existing human rights protections. The most recent legislation has yet to be signed into law, but it is part of an increasingly worrying trend that has alarmed observers both in and outside Russia.

Chancellor of Justice Lodges Appeal after Swedish State was Found Guilty of Ethnic Discrimination

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On 30 July, the Chancellor of Justice, on behalf of the Swedish State, lodged an appeal against the District Court ruling from 10 June where the court found the State guilty of ethnic discrimination because of the police registration of the eleven Swedish Roma citizens who Civil Rights Defenders acted as legal representatives for. The eleven individuals have, according to the court, been registered only because of their ethnic origin.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders i Almedalen


(Svenska) Nästa vecka, mellan den 3-10 juli, är det dags för Almedalsveckan på Gotland. Civil Rights Defenders finns på plats och deltar i flertalet seminarium och arrangemang. Vi kommer bland annat att diskutera mänskliga rättigheter inom psykiatrisk tvångsvård, övervakning i diktaturstater och vad EU gör för utsatta EU-medborgares rättigheter. Uppdateringar kring arrangemangen sker löpande på Civil Rights Defenders kanaler för sociala medier.

Civil Rights Defenders and the Faculty of Law in Uppsala Open a Human Rights Clinic

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This autumn, Civil Rights Defenders invites law students enrolled in Uppsala University to participate in a new project called Human Rights Clinic. The project is created in close cooperation with the Faculty of Law in Uppsala and aims towards providing the participants with practical skills in human rights law and an understanding of how the civil society works to protect and strengthen human rights. Apply no later than 1 August 2016.

(Svenska) Anmälan till JO om Farsta-Vantör-polisens avhysningspraxis

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(Svenska) Idag, den 22 juni, gjorde Civil Rights Defenders en anmälan till Justitieombudsmannen om de systematiska avhysningar av utsatta EU-medborgare som polisen i Farsta-Vantör ägnat sig åt de senaste månaderna. Avhysningarna präglas av rättsosäkerhet i flera hänseenden och vi menar att polisens avhysningspraxis strider mot såväl svensk rätt som internationella människorättsinstrument. Vi begär därför en JO-granskning av polisens agerande.

Newsletter 2: June 2016


The last couple of months have been rather eventful. Among many things, Civil Rights Defenders has won a lawsuit against the Swedish State, released a new edition of the magazine Time to Act, organised the tenth edition of the regional Moot Court and published a report on freedom of expression in Russia. We have also welcomed more than 160 human rights defenders to our annual conference Defenders’ Days – Empowering Human Rights Defenders at Risk. Read more in our latest newsletter.

Swedish State Guilty of Ethnic Discrimination: What Happens Now?

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Today, 10 June 2016, Stockholm District Court found the Swedish State guilty of ethnic discrimination as a result of the register over thousands of Roma individuals set up by the police. The ruling establishes that the eleven individuals who Civil Rights Defenders represented were registered only because of their ethnic origin, which violates both Swedish law and the European Convention on Human Rights. Find out more about what happens now.

Historic Court Ruling: Swedish State Guilty of Ethnic Discrimination


Swedish State is guilty of ethnic discrimination according to ruling in Stockholm District Court on 10 June 2016. Civil Rights Defenders wins the case and holds the State accountable for the police register of Swedish Roma citizens. The historical ruling today provides justice to the three children and eight adults who Civil Rights Defenders acted as legal representatives for in the lawsuit against the State.

Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Attacks Against “Kvart” Need to Stop


On Tuesday 31 May 2016, after the White Armbands Day, the third attempt in six months occurred to intimidate members of our partners, the Youth Organisation Kvart. Civil Rights Defenders strongly condemns the pressures against human rights defenders in Prijedor as well as the attacks on their premises. We urge the authorities to prosecute and sanction these attacks as well as to ensure protection for their future activities.

Ethiopia: End use of counter-terrorism law to persecute dissenters and opposition members

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Today, Civil Rights Defenders and eight other civil society organisations issue a joint statement calling on the Ethiopian government to end the use of counter-terrorism law to persecute dissenters and opposition members. We urge the Ethiopian Government to end its escalating crackdown on human rights defenders, independent media, peaceful protestors as well as members and leaders of the political opposition.

(Svenska) Sverige offrar offentlighetsprincipen för god relation till Kubas regering


(Svenska) EU och Margot Wallström vägrar offentliggöra avtalsförslaget om politisk dialog och bistånd som EUs och Kubas förhandlingsdelegationer undertecknade i mars i år. “Så fort det här är fullt ut beslutat och signerat så blir det offentligt”, förklarade Margot Wallström för TT. Att EU och Sverige lägger sig för den kubanska regeringens krav att inte offentliggöra avtalsförslaget innebär att man offrar offentlighetsprincipen för att ha en god relation Kubas regering.

Uganda: Weak Cyber Laws Fail to Protect Internet Freedoms and Privacy


In a new report, Civil Rights Defenders and the Ugandan NGO Unwanted Witness provide a joint analysis on cyber laws in Uganda and their failure to protect online freedoms and the right to privacy. The analysis is an assessment of Ugandan cyber laws from a human rights perspective that reflects on the compatibility of the provisions with Uganda’s own 1995 Constitution and International Human Rights Standards.

Lawsuit Against the Swedish State


This Friday, on 10 June 2016, the Stockholm District Court will announce its ruling in the case of the ethnic register set up by the Skåne police. Civil Rights Defenders acts as legal representatives for 11 individuals from the Roma community whose personal information was registered by the police. We have not received any explanation as to why these individuals are included in the register, nor have we got any reason to believe that they were registered for reasons other than their ethnic origin. The ruling this Friday follows the main hearing which was held between 25-26 May.

(Svenska) Seminarium: FN:s granskning av mänskliga rättigheter i Sverige


(Svenska) Den 30 mars kom FN:s rekommendationer om vad Sverige bör göra för att leva upp till de medborgerliga och politiska rättigheterna. Men vad händer nu? Civil Rights Defenders bjuder in till seminarium för att diskutera rekommendationerna. I panelen deltar ledamöter från sju riksdagspartier för att diskutera hur de kan följas och vilken roll riksdagen ska spela för mänskliga rättigheter i Sverige.

(Svenska) Seminarium: Ramzan Kadyrov – ett hot för hela Ryssland?

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(Svenska) I början av året kallade Tjetjeniens överhuvud Ramzan Kadyrov ryska oppositionspolitiker för förrädare och mordhotade en före detta rysk premiärminister på sitt instagramkonto. Håller Kadyrov, som gjort Tjetjenien till en lokal diktatur, på att få mer makt i Ryssland? Vad innebär det i så fall för människorättssituationen? Välkommen på ett frukostseminarium med den ryske statsvetaren Andrej Piontkovskij.

(Svenska) Fallet Sinthu Selvarajah läggs ned – uttalande

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(Svenska) I dag kom nyheten att åklagaren än en gång lägger ner utredningen av hur det gick till när den psykosdrabbade, 28-åriga Sinthu Selvarajah dog i samband med ett polisingripande vid den psykiatriska avdelningen på Västmanlands läns sjukhus i december 2014 – trots att det finns en mängd oklarheter i fallet och den officiella dödsorsaken starkt ifrågasätts av rättsmedicinska experter. Civil Rights Defenders har för avsikt att driva fallet vidare.

Report on Freedom of Expression in Russia


In this briefing paper, Civil Rights Defenders gives an overview of the state of freedom of expression in Russia. It describes how human rights defenders who rendered support to journalists, bloggers and other civil society actors have become the epicentre of the authorities’ unabated crackdown on human rights. Since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in May 2012 the human rights situation in Russia has worsened significantly.

Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2016 – Intigam Aliyev

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Civil Rights Defenders is pleased to announce human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev as the Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2016. Recently released from prison, he is one of several human rights defenders in Azerbaijan who has been detained for their work to promote human rights. “This support is highly valuable because it shows our realities to the world and gives hope about the future of democracy and human rights in Azerbaijan,” says Intigam Aliyev.

Today We Open the Doors to Defenders’ Days 2016


For the fourth time in succession this year, Civil Rights Defenders opens the doors to Defenders’ Days! We welcome 160 human rights defenders from all over the world to attend the conference and to enjoy the opportunities for networking and sharing experiences. Furthermore, we have invited some of the world’s foremost human rights expert to host a wide variety of trainings, workshops and presentations.

“Justice Remains Unreachable” – Annual Report on Judiciary in Kosovo

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The Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLC Kosovo) a partner of Civil Rights Defenders have just presented their annual report entitled “Justice Remains Unreachable”. The report deals with the monitoring of war crime trials and looks at ethically and politically motivated trials. The report was presented at a roundtable discussion involving the judiciary, prosecutors and law professionals from all over Kosovo.

(Svenska) FN kritiserar Sverige i rapport om mänskliga rättigheter

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(Svenska) Idag överlämnade FN:s människorättskommitté en rapport om hur Sverige lever upp till FN:s konvention om medborgerliga och politiska rättigheter. FN kritiserar regeringen på en rad områden och för fram långtgående krav på åtgärder. Kommittén ser bland annat med oro på behandlingen av romer i Sverige och noterar att romska utsatta EU-medborgare i hög grad förvägras sina rättigheter.

We are Looking for a Chief Operating Officer

We are looking for a Chief Operating Officer with experience within leading positions in international contexts. The need for a COO is a key factor in reaching the vision to become one of the world’s leading human rights organisations. As a person you are a natural leader with passion and knowledge of how to engage and motivate others. At the same time you can show decisiveness and achieve results in difficult situations and firmly lead others in times of change.

Vietnam: Five Years in Prison for Popular Blogger


On March 23, prominent blogger Nguyễn Hữu Vinh, more known under his pen name Anh Ba Sam, was sentenced to five years in prison. His assistant Nguyễn Thị Minh Thúy received a three-year prison sentence. “This is a clear case of the Vietnamese authorities using vaguely worded legal provisions as a tool to silence human rights defenders,” said Brittis Edman, South East Asia Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) När behovet av stöd är akut

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(Svenska) Runt om i världen arbetar modiga människor intensivt med att skydda grundläggande mänskliga rättigheter, inte sällan med risk för sitt eget liv. Många av dem verkar i repressiva regioner vilket gör att de befinner sig i en utsatt situation på såväl arbetet som på fritiden. För de allra mest utsatta kan situationen eskalera mycket snabbt, vilket skapar ett behov av akut stöd – för detta har Civil Rights Defenders upprättat Akutfonden.

Stop Violations Against Kenyan Human Rights Defenders


Today Civil Rights Defenders forwarded a joint Letter of Concern to the Kenyan government regarding the arrest of Joel Ogada on March 14. Joel is a prominent Kenyan environmental Human Rights Defender and Natalia Project participant. We urge the Kenyan authorities to act accordingly and guarantee in all circumstances that Kenyan human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals.

Defenders’ Days 2016

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On 4 April, Civil Rights Defenders invites 160 Human Rights Defenders from all over the world to attend the conference Defenders’ Days – Empowering Human Rights Defenders at Risk. During four days the participants enjoy an extensive conference programme including presentations, panel discussions, several trainings and workshops focusing on human rights. Defenders’ Days offers Human Rights Defenders from many of the most repressive regions in the world with a safe atmosphere for international networking and for sharing knowledge. Find out more about the conference here!

Important Victory for Civil Rights Defenders Partner ‘Promo Lex’

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Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Mozer -v- Moldova and Russia who found both countries liable regarding their lack of duty of care to the applicant Boris Mozer. “It is important recognition of the persistent work combatting human rights violations that our partners do with our support”, said Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director for the Eurasia Department at Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) Varför får Castro bestämma, Margot Wallström?

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(Svenska) Utrikesministern behöver förklara varför kubanska medborgare och människorättsförsvarare inte får vara med i diskussionen om sin framtid, skriver Civil Rights Defenders i en debattartikel i Dagens Arena den 4/3. Den svenska regeringen skulle kunna vara det land som tog kubanska människorättsförsvarares parti – men i stället har Sverige slutit ett samarbetsavtal utan att involvera den kubanska befolkningen.

(Svenska) En oberoende institution för mänskliga rättigheter: när var hur?


(Svenska) Vid MR-rådets senaste förhör av Sverige i Genève upprepades kravet på att inrätta en svensk oberoende människorättsinstitution. Något som bäst beskrivs som en myndighet med uppgift att granska statens internationella MR-åtaganden samt främjande av mänskliga rättigheter. Hur bör en sådan institution organiseras och vilka för- och nackdelar finns det med olika lösningar? Välkommen till ett riksdagsseminarium den 16 mars.

(Svenska) Polisens dödsskjutning av psykiskt sjuk anmäls till FN

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(Svenska) Den 20 mars 2005 sköts den 22-årige Daniel Franklert Murne till döds av poliser utanför sitt hem i Lindesberg. Han hade drabbats av en akut psykos för första gången i sitt liv. I dag anmäler Civil Rights Defenders Sverige för dödsskjutningen. Sverige har brutit mot artikel 6, rätten till liv, och artikel 7, rätten att inte utsättas för grym och omänsklig behandling. Civil Rights Defenders företräder Daniels föräldrar och syster.

Grave Restrictions on Fundamental Human Rights

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In a letter to the Permanent Representatives of Members and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council, Civil Rights Defenders together with eight undersigned civil society organisations expressed their serious concerns about the Ethiopian Government’s grave restrictions on fundamental human rights. This has been exemplified by the recent crackdown on largely peaceful protests in the Oromia region.

(Svenska) Museveni blir kvar – och förtrycket ökar

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(Svenska) Under lördagen stod det klart att sittande president Museveni behåller greppet om presidentposten i Uganda för en femte mandatperiod. Valdagen kantades av sammandrabbningar och nedsläckta sociala mediekanaler vilket, enligt kritiker och oppositionella i landet, skedde på order av den sittande regeringen. Civil Rights Defenders programchef för Östafrika och Afrikas horn, Mesfin Negash, analyserar valutgången i tidningen OmVärlden.

Vietnam: Call for Immediate Release of Prisoners of Conscience


Civil Rights Defenders along with six civil society organisations call on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release two prisoners of conscience Nguyễn Văn Đài and Lê Thu Hà. They were arrested on 16 December 2015 and charged under Article 88 of the Penal Code for ‘Conducting propaganda against the state’. All efforts by family and legal counsel to visit the pair since their arrests have been denied.

Honouring a Great Human Rights Advocate: Mr. Srdjan Dizdarevic , 29th September 1952 to 16th February 2016

Photo by Goran Pandza: Srdjan Dizdarevic holds a sign which translate to " I want a Bosnia and Herzegovina without discrimination"

Civil Rights Defenders mourns the loss of prominent human rights advocate Srdjan Dizdarevic who died on February 16th in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Viewed as one of the leading human rights defenders in the country Civil Rights Defenders was honoured to have collaborated with him on numerous groundbreaking projects. These included successfully lobbying for the introduction of new laws against discrimination and for his work in dealing with a wide variety of human rights violations in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The UN Examination of Sweden – Read Civil Rights Defenders Shadow Report

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On the 9th and 10th of March, Sweden will be examined by the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva – the body that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Last year, the Swedish government submitted their official report to the UN, explaining their views on the human rights situation in Sweden. Civil Rights Defenders recently forwarded an extensive alternative report to the Human Rights Committee to counteract the official depiction.

Second Generation of Human Rights Defenders School Kicks Off in Serbia


Civil Rights Defenders is delighted to see another 50 participants partake in the second generation Human Rights Defenders School which is held in Belgrade and Nis in Serbia. Today the students will begin an intensive ten-month training including lectures and workshops focusing on contemporary human rights issues. Created by Civil Rights Defenders the school’s principal goal is to empower a new generation of human rights defenders.

Uganda Elections 2016 – A Situation Analysis by Civil Rights Defenders

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Uganda will hold its fifth presidential and parliamentary election on February 18, 2016. Around half of the population are registered to cast their votes, according to the Electoral Commission. The atmosphere is a mixture of fear of election-related violence coupled with the fear that civil and political rights will be further eroded. Reports of irregularities and election-related violence continue to surface. This has prompted local and international stakeholders to call for immediate reconciliatory measures to ease the situation.

(Svenska) Uttalande med anledning av samernas nationaldag


(Svenska) Den 6 februari firas den samiska nationaldagen som i år infaller bara tre dagar efter att Gällivare tingsrätt utfärdade ett historiskt domslut i det uppmärksammade Girjasmålet. Civil Rights Defenders välkomnar beslutet, vilket ger samebyar rätt att råda över sina traditionella marker i enlighet med urfolksrätten, och uppmanar samtidigt till en tolkning som innebär att alla samers rättigheter respekteras.

Sweden Risks Violating Vulnerable EU citizens Rights – Open Letter


In an open letter today, Civil Rights Defenders invites the Swedish government to a dialogue about vulnerable EU citizens and their human rights in Sweden. We are deeply concerned about the report on vulnerable EU citizens, submitted by the national coordinator to the government on 1 February. If municipalities and county councils shape their policies in line with the report, they risk violating Sweden’s human rights obligations.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders kritisk till rapport – debatt i Studio Ett

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(Svenska) Den 1 februari lämnade den nationella samordnaren för utsatta EU-medborgare, Martin Valfridsson, in sin slutrapport till regeringen. Civil Rights Defenders är kritisk till innehållet som saknar ett människorättsperspektiv. “Man måste sluta betrakta de här människorna som en belastning utan snarare se dem som en potentiell tillgång”, säger Civil Rights Defenders chef, Robert Hårdh, i en radiodebatt med Martin Valfridsson.

Prominent LGBT Activist Charged Under Draconian Law

Sergey Alexseenko

Prominent Russian LGBT activist Sergey Alexseenko and long-term partner of Civil Rights Defenders was found guilty under the archaic “propaganda of homosexuality” law, which, was introduced in 2013. The law bans the distribution of propaganda to minors, which promotes non-traditional sexual relationships, and its introduction followed several administrative sanctions in various regions throughout Russia before being passed at a Federal level. The Arkhangelsk region where Sergey Alexseenko is based was one of the first regions to introduce punitive sanctions.

(Svenska) Poliser utkrävs inte ansvar för romregistret

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(Svenska) Polisens personalansvarsnämnd meddelade den 18 januari att de två personer som granskats avseende sitt ansvar för skånepolisens register över romer inte kan utkrävas personligt ansvar. “Det är allvarligt att ingen person kan ställas till ansvar trots att flera myndigheter konstaterat allvarliga brister och trots allvarliga kränkningar av individers rättigheter”, säger Robert Hårdh, chef på Civil Rights Defenders.

Myanmar: One Year On, No Justice for Kawng Kha Rape

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One year ago today, two teachers volunteering with the Kachin Baptist Convention were attacked and killed at home in a local church compound in Kawng Kha Village. A year on, there has been little progress towards identifying the perpetrators of the brutal rape, torture and murder. This case demonstrates the pressing need for the country’s incoming leaders to address impunity in genuine efforts to tackle sexual violence in conflict.

Vietnam Must End Arbitrary Detention of Human Rights Defenders

Vietnamese human rights defenders Nguyễn Vãn Ðài (L) and Lê Thu Hà (R).

In a statement released today, Civil Rights Defenders joins 25 civil society groups in calling on the Vietnamese authorities to drop charges against and immediately release human rights defenders Mr Nguyễn Vãn Ðài and Ms Lê Thu Hà, who have been in police custody in Hanoi after their arrest three weeks ago. The police have charged Ðài, a former prisoner of conscience, and his colleague Hà with “anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the Penal Code, which carries a prison sentence of between three and 20 years.

Family of Prominent Cuban Human Rights Defender Subjected to Threats and Harassment


Cuban Human Rights Defender, Ailer Gonzalez Mena, of Estado de SATS, has been threatened by the Cuban authorities over the weekend. The security police visited her father and told him they had evidence she was meeting with the ”Cuban-American mafia members of congress”. They also asked him if he and his wife ”were currently able to receive bad news”, the father having recently undergone heart surgery.

(Svenska) Debatt: Civil Rights Defenders svarar Eric Erfors


(Svenska) I Expressen den 10 december skriver Eric Erfors om hur han ser på Sveriges ansvar gentemot utsatta EU-medborgare från Rumänien och Bulgarien samt hur han ser på Sveriges rättsliga åtaganden i fråga om mänskliga rättigheter. Han gör det mot bakgrund av Civil Rights Defenders färska rapport om utsatta EU-medborgares rättigheter, men det är synd att han inte läste den innan han skrev. Läs vårt svar till Eric Erfors.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders: Detta är Hugo Chavez arv


(Svenska) I söndagens val till nationalförsamlingen i Venezuela kammade oppositionen hem två tredjedelar av mandaten och Hugo Chavez politiska projekt föll slutligen ihop. Under många år kunde Hugo Chavez med en kombination av stark karisma och höga oljepriser hålla projektet vid liv, men visade allt mindre respekt för de medborgerliga och politiska rättigheterna ju längre tiden gick. Läs Civil Rights Defenders debattartikel i Dagens Arena.

Will Myanmar’s Government Deliver on Human Rights Commitments?


In the days following Myanmar’s historic election it was fast apparent that Aung San Suu Kyi’s party NLD had taken a landslide victory. Will the NLD and their allies be able to effectively remedy a long legacy of human rights abuses? What hope is there for the persecuted minority group Rohingya when they appear to have no representation in the new government? Read Civil Rights Defenders’ Op Ed in The Huffington Post.

Sweden Must Respect Vulnerable EU Citizens’ Rights


By the end of 2015, Civil rights Defenders released a report on vulnerable EU citizens’ rights in Sweden. The report covers the right to social assistance, health care, education, protection against hate crime and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary evictions. “A serious discussion on Sweden’s obligations to protect vulnerable EU citizens’ rights has been lacking in the debate”, said Robert Hårdh, Executive Director of Civil Rights Defenders.

Read the Fourth Newsletter of the Year

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In our latest newsletter you can read about the initiative “Locked up – but not without rights” where two lawyers examine locked institutions in Sweden based on Swedish and international law. We also report about the campaign we have lunched to highlight the anonymous human rights defender and that we on the 10th of December released a report on vulnerable EU citizens’ rights in Sweden. Click here to read the full newsletter.

(Svenska) Debatt: Polisens övervåld måste få ett slut


(Svenska) Återigen har en person med psykisk ohälsa dödats i samband med ett polisingripande – ett dödsfall som hade kunnat undvikas. Den 28-årige ingenjören Sinthu Selvarajahs död som uppmärksammades i Sveriges radios dokumentär “Död i slutet rum” är bara en i raden av händelser där akut sjuka personer dödas i konfrontation med polis. Läs Civil Rights Defenders och Riksförbundet för Social och Mental Hälsas debattartikel i Aftonbladet.

Remembering the Plight of Human Rights Defenders in Prison

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On the eve of the arrest of investigative Journalist Khadiya Ismayilova Civil Rights Defenders and other members of the Sports for Rights coalition together with the Civic Society Platform call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of all human rights defenders. Ismayilova is one of dozens of human rights defenders and political prisoners who have been incarcerated by the regime on politically motivated charges.

International Human Rights Mechanisms Under Threat with New Proposed Russian Bill


In yet another worrying development the Russian parliament, the Duma, adopted a bill in its first reading allowing the Constitutional Court to deem as unenforceable decisions from the International Courts including the European Court of Human Rights. While the bill will require several more readings before being passed and signed into law by President Putin, recent history has demonstrated that bills opposing human rights and the space in which civil society organisations can operate in are routinely passed with little objection.

Elections in Venezuela – Leaving Democracy Behind


Venezuela is leaving democracy behind in the run-up to the elections of the National Assembly on December 6. That is the conclusion in a report from Civil Rights Defenders about the rapidly deteriorating situation of civil and political rights in the country. The possibility that the elections will contribute to a solution is diminishing as President Maduro has said that he will not accept a new majority in the National Assembly.

(Svenska) Gästledare i Svenska Dagbladet: Integritet är också en säkerhetsfråga


(Svenska) “Som följd av terroristattentaten i januari mot tidningen Charlie Hebdo och nu den 13 november i Paris har det franska parlamentet antagit en serie beslut för att stärka den nationella säkerheten. Frankrike har inte valt att skapa någon ”Patriot Act”, den amerikanska lagstiftning som infördes efter attackerna den 11 september 2001, deklarerade den franska justitieministern. Frågan är om man inte går än längre”. Läs hela ledaren av Civil Rights Defenders styrelseordförande, Benedicte Berner.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders utkräver ansvar för dödligt polisvåld


(Svenska) För snart ett år sedan dog 28-årige Sinthu Selvarajah i samband med ett polisingripande på en psykiatrisk avdelning på sjukhuset i Västerås. Åklagaren bedömde dödsfallet som en olyckshändelse och alla misstankar om brott lades ner. Men utredningen har fått skarp kritik och fallet har återigen öppnats. Civil Rights Defenders företräder familjen i det nyöppnade ärendet. “Det handlar om allvarliga kränkningar av mänskliga rättigheter”, säger Robert Hårdh.

(Svenska) Seminarium: Utsatta EU-medborgares rättigheter i Sverige


(Svenska) Den 10 december släpper Civil Rights Defenders en rapport om utsatta EU-medborgares rättigheter i Sverige. Samma dag bjuder vi in till ett seminarium där vi presenterar och diskuterar rapportens slutsatser. Vilka rättigheter har de utsatta EU-medborgarna när de befinner sig i Sverige och vilka motsvarande skyldigheter har staten att värna rättigheterna? Leder samtalet gör journalisten Alexandra Pascalidou. Välkommen!

(Svenska) Fallet Sinthu: “Tydligt att det finns systemfel som måste korrigeras”

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(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders chef Robert Hårdh intervjuas av Sveriges radio om Sinthu Selvarajah som i december 2014 dog i samband med ett polisingripande. “Här är det helt uppenbart att det handlar om en person som är obeväpnad och instängd i ett rum och att det fanns tid för poliserna att hantera situationen annorlunda”, säger han till Sverige radio. Klicka här för att lyssna på hela inslaget.

Conference: Bosnia and Herzegovina – 20 Years of Peace


The Dayton Peace Agreement ended the war but what kind of peace did Bosnia and Herzegovina get? The Swedish Institute of International Affairs with partners, including Civil Rights Defenders, invites you to a conference on the 5th of December to highlight 20 years of Bosnian peace. The conference agenda will include topics such as the Dayton Peace Agreement, how to build peace, the legacy of war and arts and culture. Welcome!

Cutting Aid to Support Refugees will Allow Extremism to Thrive


News that Sweden and Norway are considering cuts to their international aid budgets in order to use the money to support refugees is of concern to advocates of democracy and human rights around the world. Sweden and Norway should continue to emphasise the root causes of the refugee crisis by helping to build democratic societies that people will not need to leave. Cutting international aid is not a wise long-term strategy. Read Civil Rights Defenders joint op–ed in The Guardian today.

(Svenska) Seminarium med Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera


(Svenska) Människorättsförsvararen Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, en av årets mottagare av Right Livelihood-priset, kommer till Stockholm. Hon arbetar för HBT-samhällets rättigheter i Uganda och är en av Afrikas mest frispråkiga människorättsförsvarare. Tillsammans med Civil Rights Defenders och flera andra civilsamhällesaktörer bjuder Right Livelihood Award in till frukostseminarium med Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera den 1 december.

Civil Society Urges Obama to Press for the Release of Thich Quang Do

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Civil Rights Defenders along with numerous other civil society organisations in a letter to President Obama have called on him to press for the release of Vietnam’s most long standing prisoner of conscience Thich Quang Do. President Obama is due to attend the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and the US – ASEAN and East Asia summits where he will have the opportunity to meet with Vietnamese leaders.

(Svenska) Jurist på Civil Rights Defenders invald i Rådet för mänskliga rättigheter

Foto: Amanda Månsson

(Svenska) Annika Jyrwall Åkerberg, människorättsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders, är invald som sakkunnig ledamot i Stockholms stads nyinrättade råd för mänskliga rättigheter. Rådet har till uppgift att bevaka hur staden lever upp till de internationella deklarationer och konventioner om mänskliga rättigheter som Sverige har anslutit sig till och ska även verka i syfte att stärka arbetet med de mänskliga rättigheterna.

(Svenska) Avhysningen från Sorgenfri kritiseras av FN


(Svenska) Den senaste tiden har blickarna riktats mot Malmö med anledning av avhysningen av omkring 200 EU-migranter från boplatsen på Sorgenfri, i början av november. Civil Rights Defenders menar att avhysningen kränker de boendes mänskliga rättigheter och vår kritik får även stöd av FN:s särskilda rapportör för minoritetsfrågor, Rita Itzak, som kritiserar beslutet i ett brev till utrikesminister Margot Wallström.

Harassment and Intimidation Against Prominent Human Rights Defender in Ingushetia

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Civil Rights Defenders is gravely concerned regarding the security infringements of Magomed Mutsolgov, a prominent human rights defender and leader of MASHR, an Ingush human rights organisation located in Ingushetia in the North Caucasus region of Russia. The concerns relate to a search on the 06th of November carried out by regional authorities on the office and home of Magomed Mutsolgov during which office equipment and documents were seized and subsequently confiscated.

(Svenska) Valet i Myanmar: “Inte en vändpunkt – men ett steg i rätt riktning”

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(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders programchef för Sydostasien, Brittis Edman, intervjuas av TV4 om valet i Myanmar. ”Man måste fortsätta och bevaka situationen och de mänskliga rättigheterna och inte riktigt se att det är en vändpunkt utan ett steg i rätt riktning”, säger hon till TV4. De första siffrorna visar på en stor seger för oppositionspartiet NLD, men ännu är inte alla röster räknade i valet som ägde rum den 8 november.

(Svenska) Riksdagsseminarium: Lagliga vägar till Europa


(Svenska) Närmare 60 miljoner människor är på flykt i världen och den senaste tiden har vi sett hur Medelhavet skördat många dödsoffer då människor, i brist på alternativ, tvingas företa sig den livsfarliga resan över havet. Mot bakgrund av situationen för många flyktingar bjuder Vänsterpartiet och Centerpartiet, i samarbete med Civil Rights Defenders och Amnesty International, in till ett seminarium den 18 november om lagliga vägar till Europa.

(Svenska) Debatt: Malmö stad har inte tagit sitt ansvar


(Svenska) I ett debattinlägg i Dagens Samhälle den 6 november tydliggör Civil Rights Defenders hur vi ser på avhysningen från Sorgenfri ur ett människorättsperspektiv. Det var den 30 oktober som Civil Rights Defenders skrev ett öppet brev till Malmö stad och Polisen Skåne där vi argumenterade att avhysningsbeslutet bryter mot internationella människorättskonventioner, vilka Sverige är bundet av.

Empowering Young Human Rights Law Students in Strasbourg


Civil Rights Defenders is proud to host the Trans-European Moot Court Finals at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for a third year in a row. The finalists representing the winners of the Southeast European and Nordic competitions will meet head to head on the 06th of November for what promises to be an enthralling simulated real life court setting based on contemporary human rights issues.

(Svenska) Seminarium MR-dagarna: “Staten och svenskheten”


(Svenska) Den 10 november anordnar Civil Rights Defenders seminariet ”Staten och svenskheten” under MR-dagarna i Göteborg. Vi kommer bland annat diskutera vilken roll staten har i att upprätthålla kategorierna ”svensk” och ”osvensk” och vilka konsekvenser det får för allas lika tillgång till mänskliga rättigheter. Hur påverkas till exempel vår idé om svenskhet när romer registreras av polisen enbart för att de är romer? Välkommen!

Joint Statement of Concern on Draft Law on Religion


Civil Rights Defenders joins 26 civil society organizations in calling for Vietnam’s government to comprehensively revise the draft Law on Belief and Religion to comply with Vietnam’s obligations under international human rights law, and to do so through broad-based and inclusive consultation. In its present form, the draft law places limitations on freedom of religion or belief that extend beyond those permitted under international human rights law that is binding on Vietnam.

Azerbaijan Parliamentary Elections : Report Examines Two Years of Repression in Azerbaijan

While Rasul has been released Khadiya Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev still remain behind bars

With just two days remaining until Azerbaijan’s parliamentary elections, the Sport for Rights campaign of which Civil Rights Defenders is a member, has launched a new report examining the unprecedented human rights crackdown taking place in the country. Since the inauguaral 2015 European Games held in Baku the authorities have clamped down on civil society organisations and human roghts defenders with an iron fist silencing all remaining critical voices in the country.

(Svenska) Stoppa avhysningen från boplatsen på Sorgenfri


(Svenska) Upphäv beslutet att riva boplatsen på Sorgenfri i Malmö. Det kräver Civil Rights Defenders i ett öppet brev till Malmö stad och polisen Skåne den 30 oktober. På platsen bor omkring 200 EU-migranter och om beslutet drivs igenom innebär det att deras mänskliga rättigheter kommer att kränkas. Malmö stad har inte ordnat alternativa boenden för de personer som tvingas flytta och de har inte heller getts möjlighet att yttra sig.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders på Aftonbladet debatt:


(Svenska) Pierre Schori är just nu på Kuba för att söka stöd för Sveriges kandidatur till FN:s säkerhetsråd. Enligt en artikel på svenska ambassadens hemsida är det ”ett helt annat Kuba” som Pierre Schori besöker i dag än 1975, då han var där tillsammans med Olof Palme. Men utifrån ett människorättsperspektiv har ingen mur fallit. Kuba är precis lika mycket en enpartistat och pressfriheten är lika inskränkt nu som på 1970-talet.

Authorities Must Drop Politically Motivated Charges Against Activist

Photo Courtesy of Than Zaw Aung

The Myanmar authorities should immediately release from prison and drop all charges against activist Myat Nu Khaing. Myat Nu Khaing, an independent candidate contesting in the Phyu constituency in Pegu Division, was arrested on October 16 while campaigning for elections in Yangon. “Given the timing of the arrest, these charges appear politically motivated,” said Brittis Edman at Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) Förslaget om en ny tillsynsmyndighet för polisen och Kriminalvården


(Svenska) Polisorganisationskommittén har utrett behovet av ett fristående organ som ska granska såväl polisens, Säkerhetspolisens och Kriminalvårdens verksamhet och föreslår att det ska bildas en ny myndighet för tillsyn av verksamheterna. Civil Rights Defenders ser positivt på förslaget men är kritisk till att utredningen inte behandlat den nya myndighetens uppdrag i relation till Sveriges internationella överenskommelser.

(Svenska) Yttrande om genomförandet av det omarbetade asylprocedurdirektivet

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(Svenska) 2013 antog EU det omarbetade asylprocedurdirektivet. Nu har regeringen utrett hur man ska införliva det omarbetade direktivet i svensk lagstiftning. I ett yttrande den 9 oktober ger Civil Rights Defenders sina synpunkter på utredningen. Bland annat föreslår vi åtgärder för att säkerställa kvaliteten på offentliga försvarare och att enskilda ska få tillgång till kommunikation och information de förstår och kan ta till sig.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders intervjuas om valet i Vitryssland


(Svenska) Den 11 oktober var det presidentval i Vitryssland och som förutspått var det Aleksandr Lukasjenko, som styrt landet de senaste 20 åren, som vann. Civil Rights Defenders är en av flera människorättsorganisationer som kritiserat valet eftersom det inte genomförts fritt och demokratiskt. I en intervju med Sveriges Radio kommenterar vår programchef för Österuropa och Centralasien den rådande situationen.

(Svenska) Kritiskt för människorättsförsvarare i Myanmar


(Svenska) Omvärlden måste tala klarspråk om behovet av skydd för människorättsfösvarare i Myanmar. Det säger de burmesiska aktivisterna Khin Ohmar, Aye Aye Cho och Theinny Oo som under ett sverigebesök säger att bilden av det nya Myanmar, som ett land i förändring mot demokrati, inte stämmer. Att omvärlden får upp ögonen är extra viktigt just nu eftersom landet snart går till val.

Read the Third Newsletter of the Year


In the third newsletter of the year you can read about the first Pride Parade held in the Ugandan capital city Kampala which took place only a year after the introduction of a law that made homosexuality a punishable offense, that the Russian authorities recently blacklisted one of Civil Rights Defenders donors as a consequence of the latest in a series of Russian Laws that restricts opportunities for civil society to act freely and that Civil Rights Defenders has moved to new premises.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders och RSMH granskar låsta institutioner


(Svenska) I Sverige har det länge saknats en oberoende civilsamhällesaktör som förmått att systematiskt bevaka situationen på låsta institutioner. Civil Rights Defenders och Riksförbundet för Social och Mental Hälsas initiativ ”Inlåst – men inte utan rättigheter”, handlar om att från ett människorättsperspektiv granska situationen för frihetsberövade med särskilt fokus på de mest utsatta.

“The Government is in Full Control of Citizens’ Lives”


On the 11th of October President Lukashenka will run for a 5th term in office. Civil Rights Defenders spoke to several Belarusian human rights defenders to hear what they have to say about the election. One of them says that “the presidential election in Belarus does not differ much from the previous ones”. The majority of the human rights defenders have chosen to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisals.

(Svenska) Vårt yttrande om terrorismresor


(Svenska) Den av regeringen tillsatta “Utredningen om genomförande av vissa straffrättsliga åtaganden för att förhindra och bekämpa terrorism” presenterade i juni 2015 ett delbetänkande om Straffrättsliga åtgärder mot terrorismresor. Civil Rights Defenders har skickat in ett remissvar där vi för fram synpunkter på utredningens förslag ur ett människorättsperspektiv. Klicka här för att läsa vårt yttrande.

(Svenska) Backar regeringen från ministrarnas löfte?


(Svenska) I ett debattinlägg i Svenska Dagbladet skriver Civil Rights Defenders tillsammans med fem andra organisationer att Sverige behöver en institution för mänskliga rättigheter. I juli aviserade Margot Wallström och Alice Bah Kuhnke att regeringen tänker föreslå för riksdagen att en sådan institution ska inrättas i Sverige. Men när vi granskar budgeten för att se hur den ska finansieras finner vi – ingenting.

Belgrade Pride Week: What a Difference a Year Can Make

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In 2014 Belgrade saw its first successful Pride March in several years. After the extreme violence of 2010 and several subsequent bans there was an optimistic but cautious mood surrounding the 2015 event. On the 21st of September all fears were laid to rest as the Belgrade Pride March 2015 became the Belgrade Pride Parade winding through the streets of the Serbian capital. Over 1,200 participants thronged the event in what was a party of openness, inclusiveness and togetherness.

(Svenska) Regeringen måste värna utsatta EU-medborgares rättigheter


(Svenska) I ett inlägg i DN Debatt den 15 september svarar Civil Rights Defekters på regeringens utspel om utsatta EU-medborgare. Enligt folkrätten är staten skyldig att respektera och garantera de mänskliga rättigheterna för alla människor som befinner sig på dess territorium. Att regeringen lägger tonvikten på åtgärder som syftar till att EU-medborgare inte ska komma hit är problematiskt ur flera perspektiv.

Vietnam: Restrictions on Freedom of Movement Violate Domestic and International Law

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Authorities in Vietnam have blocked at least 33 human rights defenders and activists from freely travelling abroad or internally in the last six months, despite legal protection of the right to freedom of movement. Civil Rights Defenders considers these restrictions arbitrary and in violation of Vietnam’s obligations under its own Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Lao Government Must Investigate Sombath’s Disappearance

Sombeth Somphone has been missing since 15 December 2012

The 11th of September 2015 marks 1000 days since prominent Lao civil society leader, Sombath Somphone, “disappeared” at a police checkpoint on a busy street in Vientiane. Civil Rights Defenders joins 10 regional and international organisations in reiterating our call for the Lao government to intensify its efforts to conduct a investigation into Sombath’s apparent enforced disappearance. The full statement can be read here.

Azerbaijan: Dismay as Investigative Journalist Khadiya Ismayilova is Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

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Civil Rights Defenders condemns the politically motivated sentencing of Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadiya Ismayilova to 7.5 years in prison. Today, the 01st September Khadiya was convicted by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of office. She was acquitted on an earlier charge of inciting someone to commit suicide.

(Svenska) Inlåst – men inte utan rättigheter

Foto: Amanda Månsson

(Svenska) Vi välkomnar Annika Jyrwall Åkerberg till Civil Rights Defenders. Annika är människorättsjurist och ansvarig för vårt arbete ”Inlåst – men inte utan rättigheter”, som drivs tillsammans med Riksförbundet för Social och Mental Hälsa. “Initiativet innebär att vi har fått en unik möjlighet att granska landets låsta institutioner, så som häkten och förvar”, säger Annika Jyrwall Åkerberg.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders välkomnar FN-uttalande om samers markrättigheter


(Svenska) FN:s särskilda rapportör för urfolks rättigheter, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, kom i dag med ett uttalande om samers rättigheter efter att hon besökt Sápmi. Hon understryker att självbestämmande över traditionella marker och naturresurserna där är helt centralt för det samiska folkets rättigheter och i förlängningen en förutsättning för deras överlevnad som folk.

Capacity Building in Moldova: Advocating, Lobbying and Navigating the EU Bubble


On the 27th of August Civil Rights Defenders ran a two-day empowerment workshop focusing on “Lobbying and Advocacy for Human Rights at EU Level”. As Moldova moves closer to full EU significant human rights issues still persist; lack of fair trials, inadequate conditions in prisons, hate speech, violence against women, people trafficking, the marginalisation of the Roma community and harassment of LGBT people.

CAMBODIA: Open Letter to Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the UNHRC

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Members of the UN Human Rights Council should address the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia during the upcoming council session. They should also extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, a coalition of International, regional and domestic human rights groups including Civil Rights Defenders writes in an open letter today.

Alarming Deterioration in the Human Rights Landscape in Azerbaijan

While Rasul has been released Khadiya Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev still remain behind bars

The human rights situation continues to deteriorate in Azerbaijan in the aftermath of the European Games. On August 08th, the journalist Rasim Aliyev was brutally attacked and severely beaten by a group of people. He subsequently died on August 09th in a Baku hospital while human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus were handed down lengthy prison sentences yesterday on politically motivated charges.

Fourth Viet Pride Promotes Diversity in Common Spaces in Vietnam


Despite a rainy weekend, hundreds turned out to attend the 4th annual Viet Pride in Hanoi, that included a bike rally through the streets of the capital city on August 02nd . As part of its work to combat non-discrimination worldwide, Civil Rights Defenders supports Viet Pride and has participated in this year’s events along with a growing coalition of local and international supporting organisations, including civil society groups, businesses, and foreign embassies.

Civil Rights Defenders Proud to be Part of Stockholm Pride Parade 2015

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The Swedish summer has been a veritable downpour, raining almost every day. However the clouds cleared on the 01st August 2015 as hundreds of thousands lined the street to welcome the endless themed floats and participants from all over the world attending the Stockholm Pride Parade 2015. Civil Rights Defenders was delighted to welcome visitors from Russia, Moldova, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo who danced through the liberal streets of Stockholm.

International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society in Belarus – August 04th

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August 04th is celebrated as the International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society in Belarus. It is all the more important as the human rights landscape in Belarus has not improved, having been overshadowed by events in Russia and Ukraine. This was underpinned by Miklós Haraszti, the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus in his report to the Human Rights Council at the end of June where he noted no real improvements in the human rights situation in the country.

Published in the Irrawaddy: Human Rights Defenders Continue to Suffer in Burma


Min Min* has been actively promoting land rights issues for over two decades. In the late 1990s she was arrested and imprisoned for her political activities, and during her detention she was subjected to torture and severe abuse at the hands of authorities. After languishing in prison for years, she was finally released. Undeterred by her experience, she continued to pursue her rights activism.

Ethiopian Authorities Release Two Zone 9 Bloggers and Four Journalists


Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the release of two Zone 9 Bloggers who were arrested along with four other bloggers and three journalists in April 2014 on incitement and terrorism charges. In what is seen as an unprecedented move by the Ethiopian authorities the three journalists were also released with all charges against the journalists and bloggers dropped. Another journalist who had spent more than four years in prison has also been released.

Russia’s Upper House Approves First List of 12 ‘Undesirable’ Foreign Organisations


In less than a month since the passing of a controversial law on “Undesirable Foreign and International Organisations” the Russian authorities have now taken steps towards banning 12 overseas organisations. Many of the organisations contained on the list consist of prominent US based organisations. Under the law they are deemed “to pose a threat to the foundation of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, the defense capability of the country or the security of the state”.

Remembering the Victims at the 20th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide

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On the 11th July Civil Rights Defenders will join the ceremonies to commemorate the victims of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina which represents the largest genocide in Europe since World War II.The Srebrenica genocide took place in July 1995 led by members of the Army of Republika Srpska, under General Ratko Mladic, now on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Crackdown on Civil Society in Cuba Continues to Worsen Despite Warnings


Civil Rights Defenders is shocked to have learned that Antonio Rodilles Project Director of the independent State of Sats has been severely beaten by state security officials and that 80 human rights activists were arrested on Sunday 05th July. This is despite the stark warnings from Cuban civil society and international organisations such as Civil Rights Defenders to the EU and USA regarding the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Cuba.

Fourth “FUTURA” Competition to be held in Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 3-5 of July, Civil Rights Defenders will organise the fourth “FUTURA” competition at the Municipal Court in Travnik (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The competition is a qualifying event for prospective participants of the Regional Moot Court Competition Before the European Court Of Human Rights. “It is much more than just a qualifying stage for the Moot Court Competition before the ECtHR, it is also another chance to gain experience, knowledge and establish contacts amongst fellow law students”, said Ena Bavcic at Civil Rights Defenders.

Meydan TV Director Emin Milli Threatened for Critical Reporting on European Games


Civil Rights Defenders together with several other civil society organisations who are members of “Sport for Rights” has issued a statement calling on the Azerbaijani authorities to put an end to their ongoing attempts to silence critical reporting. The statement follows after Meydan TV Director Emin Milli reported that he had received a threat from the Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sport, Azad Rahimov, in connection with his critical reporting on the European Games.

End of Sentence for Lawyer a Reminder of On-going Detention of Prisoners of Conscience in Vietnam

Le Quoc Quan, a prominent human rights lawyer and blogger, left An Diem prison in Quang Nam province last Saturday after completing his 30-month sentence. Civil Rights Defenders considers the 2013 “tax evasion” charges against Quan reprisal against his writings on human rights abuses and democratic reforms, topics usually not reported by State-controlled media in Vietnam.

Proposed Bill will Restrict the Activities of NGO’s in Uganda

Maina Kiai

Civil Rights Defenders is concerned over the trajectory of a bill that aims to regulate Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in Uganda. The NGO bill introduced in April 2015 is due to be debated by Ugandan legislators and contains several provisions aimed at curtailing Freedom of Association. It seeks to repeal and replace the current Non-Governmental Organisation Registration Act Cap 113 regulating NGO activities in Uganda.

(Svenska) Sverige bör ta FN:s rekommendationer på större allvar

John Stauffer Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

(Svenska) I januari granskades hur mänskliga rättigheter respekteras i Sverige vid FN:s människorättsråd i den så kallade UPR-processen. Granskningen resulterade i en mängd rekommendationer om åtgärder Sverige bör vidta. Idag antar regeringen formellt rekommendationerna vid ett sammanträde i Genève men Civil Rights Defenders ser med stor oro på alla de centrala rekommendationer som Sverige valt att inte ta sig an.

First Judgement for Wartime Sexual Violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina


On the 24th of June, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued the first judgement on reparations for survivors of wartime sexual violence in the Western Balkans. Two former members of the Army of Republika Srpska have been sentenced to ten years of imprisonment each for rape committed against a minor in 1992. The claimant will also be compensated an amount of approximately EUR 13.550.

Azerbaijan : The Repressive Side of the European Olympic Games.

While Rasul has been released Khadiya Ismayilova and Intigam Aliyev still remain behind bars

Azerbaijan’s human rights record will once again be in the spotlight on the 16th June 2015 when Civil Rights Defenders will co-sponsor an event at the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Entitled Azerbaijan: The Repressive Side of the European Olympic Games and organised by Human Rights House Network, International Media Support and People in Need, the event will shine a light on the severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms and the imprisonment of civil society.

The Misuse of Anti-Terrorism Laws in Africa with Civil Rights Defenders at the UN Human Rights Council

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During the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council which will be held in Geneva on June 16th, 2015 Civil Rights Defenders will co-sponsor an event entitled “The Misuse of Anti-Terrorism Laws in Africa”.This event will discuss and analyse anti-terrorist legislation trends across the African continent and how they are often used as a smokescreen to stifle dissenting voices instead of addressing genuine national security concerns.

Human Rights Organisations Propose Amendments to Ensure Adequate Regulation of Hate Crime

Ena Bavcic

As a member of the Coalition for Combat Against Hate Speech and Hate Crime, Civil Rights Defenders supports the Coalition’s proposed amendments to the Criminal Code of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which aims to ensure adequate regulation of hate crime. We also ask the House of Commons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to organize a session on the topic of adequate regulation of hate crime.

UN Report Highlights Gross Human Rights Violations in Eritrea

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On June 08th The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea issued a damning report and subsequent statement finding the Government of Eritrea “responsible for systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations that have created a climate of fear in which dissent is stifled, a large proportion of the population is subjected to forced labour and imprisonment, and hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled the country”

Serbian Media Landscape: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back


On the 26th of May, Civil Rights Defenders organized a hearing event about the Serbian media landscape at the European Parliament. Although officials talk of progress in the Western Balkans media, there are numerous problems. “Last year, three important media laws were adopted, all of them drafted in cooperation with Civil Rights Defenders’ partners. Still, each Government sees the media, and especially the Public Broadcasting Service, as something to control.” said Goran Miletic at Civil Rights Defenders.

We are seeking an intern for the East and Horn of Africa Department

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We are seeking an intern for the East and Horn of Africa Department for the autumn semester. The internship consists of assisting the Program Director in his daily work. The tasks are varied and include writing articles, conducting research and monitoring of regional developments, drafting reports, some administrative work and assisting with the preparation of various activities and events in Sweden and abroad. Please send your application no later than the 30th of June.

Joint Statement Calling for the Release of Vietnamese Prisoner of Conscience

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Several human rights organizations call on the Vietnamese government to abide by their international and domestic obligations and immediately release Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Vietnamese ICT entrepreneur and blogger. Tran Huynh Duy Thuc was arrested under the initial charge of “promoting anti-government propaganda” under Article 88 of the Vietnamese Penal Code for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Published in The Nation: Myanmar, Thailand abandoned Rohingya in their time OF NEED

Published in The Nation May 22, 2015: In the past three years, more than 100,000 Rohingya have fled sectarian violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, where they have been subjected to a systemic, state-sponsored campaign of violence, abuse and discrimination, leading to a humanitarian crisis. The international community must awaken now, grasp the urgency of the Rohingya’s plight and do more. How many more mass graves need to be uncovered before we ensure accountability from the government of Myanmar, and put an end to systemic abuses against a recognised vulnerable population?

(Svenska) Vi söker två praktikanter till rättsavdelningen för arbete med mänskliga rättigheter i Sverige


(Svenska) Praktiken består av att ge stöd till Civil Rights Defenders juridiska avdelning, framförallt i förhållande till organisationens arbete med att värna mänskliga rättigheter i Sverige. Sverigearbetet rör främst frågor om diskriminering, hatbrott, minoritetsrättigheter, rättigheter för frihetsberövade, övervakning/nätfrihet och asylrätt. Vänligen skicka din ansökan senast 27 maj.

(Svenska) Läs årets andra nyhetsbrev


(Svenska) Efter lång tid av förberedelser och hårt arbete öppnade vi den 7 april äntligen upp dörrarna till en av de viktigaste konferenserna för mänskliga rättigheter, Defenders’ Days. Var du inte på plats? I Civil Rights Defenders andra nyhetsbrev för året kan du läsa en summering från konferensen. Läs även om årets Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award, fältkontoret i Moldaviens första verksamhetsår och mycket mer!

Media Indicators Report Launched on World Press Freedom Day

Media Indicators Report launched on World Press Freedom Day

On World Press Freedom Day, Civil Rights Defenders and its partners in Kosovo presented the first Media Indicators report on Kosovo. It focuses on journalists’ perception of key media issues, based on indicators of the European Council. “Although a majority of journalists think that the legal framework guarantees freedom of expression, they believe that it is not implemented.”, said Sarah Maliqi at Civil Rights Defenders.

Two Organisations at Risk of being Labeled as ‘Terrorist Entities’ in Kenya


Human Rights Agenda (HURIA), The National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders-Kenya (NCHRD-K), the Eastern Horn of Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) and Civil Rights Defenders has learned of the intention of the Inspector General of Police of Kenya to freeze the bank accounts of two highly respected Kenyan human rights organisations following the recent terrorist attack at the University in Garissa.

Governments in Latin America Should Open the Doors to all Cubans


9 to 11 April US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will participate at the Summit of the Americas, the first time both countries have met at this summit in decades. The report that Civil Rights Defenders will publish today demonstrates, however, that any willingness to cooperate with Cuba is solely reserved for the Cuban government. The interest to invite Cuban human rights defenders is wholly limited.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders välkomnar slutsatserna i JO:s granskning

(Svenska) För snart ett år sedan inledde Justitieombudsmannen, JO, en granskning för att klargöra vem som bär ansvar för det polisregister över romer där 4700 individer registrerats. I dag blev den klar. JO pekar bland annat på att ansvarsfördelningen inom polismyndigheten har varit mycket otydlig och att detta innebar att det saknades kontroll och styrning över behandlingen av registret.

(Svenska) 7 miljoner till arbete för mänskliga rättigheter – Tack alla lottköpare!


(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders tilldelas 7 miljoner kronor från PostkodLotteriet. Pengarna kommer att gå till arbetet med att stärka de mänskliga rättigheterna i Sverige och utomlands. – Med en närvaro i Europa, Afrika, Sydamerika och Sydostasien ser vi ett större behov än någonsin att verka för de mänskliga rättigheterna, säger Robert Hårdh, chef på Civil Rights Defenders.

Bishop Held Liable for Spreading Homophobic and False Statements in Moldova

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Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the decision of Bălți Court of Appeal in Moldova who rejected the claim of Bishop Markel from the Moldovan Orthodox Church requesting an annulment of a previous judgment against him for hate speech. In June of 2014, the Court had ruled that Bishop Markel’s statements represented hate speech and incitement to discriminate against homosexuals and this decision was upheld at the Appeal Court in late February.

Human Rights Defenders School Launched in Serbia

Human Rights Defenders School Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders recently launched a capacity building Human Rights Defenders School in Serbia. The initiative kicked off in Belgrade on January 16 and is an effort to strengthen Serbian human rights defenders in their field of work. During seven months participating activists in Belgrade and Nis will receive training in human rights advocacy and be able to attend lectures and seminars led by prominent human rights experts.

Authorities Must Drop Charges Against Prominent Journalist in Azerbaijan


In August 2014, Emin Huseynov, Director of the Azerbaijani Institute for Reporter’s Freedom and Safety (IRFS), was forced into hiding in order to protect himself from Government repression. At the time Emin Huseynov was accused of tax evasion, illegal business and abuse of power, charges that Civil Rights Defenders and other international human rights organisations consider politically motivated.

(Svenska) Riksdagsseminarium 2 februari om mänskliga rättigheter i Sverige

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(Svenska) Den 26 januari granskas Sverige i den så kallade UPR-processen i Genève. Då får vi veta hur FN ser på eventuella framsteg och tillbakagångar, samt vilka rekommendationer Sverige får från andra medlemsländer. I och med att Sverige granskas bjuder Civil Rights Defenders in till ett seminarium i riksdagen, den 2 februari. Sex experter från det civila samhället diskuterar granskningen. Vi behöver din anmälan senast den 30 januari.

Media Outlet Raided – Severe Breach of Media Freedom

Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

On 28 December the Police of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina forcibly entered the premises of Klix-ba, one of the most influential web portals based out of Sarajevo. According to a police spokesperson the raid was said to have been sanctioned by Sarajevo’s Cantonal Court. The Police entered the premises in an attempt to uncover the source of a recording that is said to be that of Republika Srpska Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic.

(Svenska) Skönmålad bild av minoriteters vardag förstärker problemen


(Svenska) Regeringen skickade nyligen in sin rapport till FN:s människorättsråd för granskningen av Sveriges efterlevnad av de mänskliga rättigheterna, och ger en positiv bild av människorättssituationen i Sverige. Civil Rights Defenders presenterar nu en skuggrapport för FN där bilden av romers, samers och andra minoriteters situation står i stark kontrast till regeringens.

Seminar: Meet Belarus’ most prominent human rights defender

Foto: Arkivbild Viasna ©Jura Sidun

After 1,052 days in prison Ales Bialiatski was granted an amnesty on June 21 of this year and immediately resumed his work as a human rights defender and President of Viasna. In cooperation with Östgruppen, Civil Rights Defenders invites you to meet with Ales on October 24 where you can hear about the current situation in Belarus and the country’s relationship with neighboring Russia and Ukraine.

24 September: The state of Internet freedom after the coup in Thailand

Photo: Thai Netizen Network

Since the military coup three months ago, Thailand has introduced a ban on political gatherings; politicians and activists have been arrested, and media censored. In the light of these developments, we invite Thai human rights defender and Internet activist Arthit Suriyawongkul to talk about the present state of freedom of expression and how human rights defenders can operate under these conditions.

Newsletter no 3, July-September 2014


Read about how Civil Rights Defenders focus-area has expanded in the past year and the fantastic news that Belarus’ leading human rights defender Ales Bialiatski has been released – after 1052 days behind bars. Meet some new faces in our team, and learn about how the respect for LGBT rights are increasing in Kosovo and Albania. Also, take part of our plans for Stockholm Pride 2014 and learn about our intensified focus on human rights in Sweden.

Swedish Attorney Generals’ verdict on damages awarded to Roma lacks a human rights perspective

John Stauffer Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

The Attorney General recently ruled that the Roma who were illegally registered by the Skåne Police should receive 5,000 SEK in damages from the state as a result. The Attorney Generals’ decision is based almost exclusively on the Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protections conclusions regarding the legality of the registers but certain flaws have clearly been highlighted. 

Tomás Ojea Quintana on challenges in Myanmar

Photo: UN

Tomás Ojea Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, describes the ongoing reforms as a positive step towards democracy in Myanmar, while stressing the remaining challenges. On 20 March, he visits Civil Rights Defenders to talk about future challenges for human rights in Myanmar and the role the international community can play in addressing these challenges. Watch live on:

Little respect for rule of law in unrecognized territories


In Transnistria, the breakaway region on Moldova’s eastern border with Ukraine, the socio-political environment remains highly repressive. Authorities act with impunity, there is little respect for the rule of law, and fundamental human rights are routinely violated. Don’t miss an interesting breakfast seminar with Ion Manole, on the current human rights situation in Transnistria. Live on:

Anti-gay law in Uganda violates international conventions

H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda. Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

February 25, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill strengthening the punishment against homosexuals, who can now be sentenced to fourteen years up to life in prison for sexual relations with the same sex. Civil Rights Defenders, along with many other human rights organisations, have called for Uganda’s government to reverse the decision and urged them to guarantee Ugandan citizens their human rights

(Svenska) Förtrycket återuppstår när OS är över


(Svenska) OS i Sotji är slut. Sverige åker hem med guldmedaljer i bagaget och Ryssland har fått utstå rättmätig kritik för sina människorättsbrott. Men när Ryssland nu försvinner ur rampljuset riskerar landets människorättsförsvarare återigen att utsättas för trakasserier och förföljelse. För att stävja utvecklingen krävs att svenska politiker och deras EU-kollegor fortsätter att arbeta aktivt för mänskliga rättigheter i Ryssland även efter Sotji.

Testimonies from North Caucasus

Den 5 maj 2011 mördades Khava Sultygovas enda son Muslim Agiev i Grozny, Tjetjenien under så kallad "antiterroristattack". Ingen utredning om hans påstådda kopplingar till terroristorganisationer hade gjorts. Foto: Pieter ten Hoopen

The North Caucasus is situated only 70 miles from Sotji. It’s the site for Europe´s bloodiest conflict in present times and it’s a region where the local population suffer indiscriminate violence on a regular basis and where fear and uncertainty are an every day reality. From January 30 to February 23 the photo exhibition entitled, “Testimony from North Caucasus”, can be viewed at the museum Fotografiska in Stockholm

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders positiv till åtal mot polisman i Varberg

TV4 poliskjutning

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders som tidigare kritiserat den svenska polisens hantering av situationer där förövaren lider av någon form av psykisk sjukdom ställer sig positiv till åtalet mot den polisman som sköt ihjäl en knivman i Varberg. – Tittar man på gärningsbeskrivningen i åtalet är det tydligt att det begåtts flera fel i situationen, säger John Stauffer chefsjurist på Civil Rights Defenders.

(Svenska) “Säkerställ respekten för digitala rättigheter”


(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders skriver den 17 december i Dagens Arena om respekten för digitala rättigheter som måste säkerställas och om att Sveriges övervakningsverksamhet präglas av både brist på insyn och transparens. Vidare lyfter Civil Rights Defenders 13 principer som det civila samhället tagit fram för att tydliggöra vad kraven i internationell rätt betyder i den digitala miljön och pekar på vikten av att stater följer dem.

Serbia must protect the rights of asylum seekers

Asylum seekers

Extensive and violent protests erupted in Serbia when local authorities in the cities of Obrenovac and Vracevic decided to give 200 asylum seekers temporary winter accommodation in dormitories, as a result of freezing temperatures. Aggravated citizens blocked the road leading to the accommodation facilities and one of the dormitories was set on fire. Civil Rights Defenders strongly condemns the lack of reaction from the police and the failure to protect the asylum seekers.

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders söker en människorättsjurist med Sverigefokus

CRD dörrskylt

(Svenska) Vill du arbeta med att försvara människors medborgerliga och politiska rättigheter i Sverige? Civil Rights Defenders söker en engagerad jurist till sin rättsavdelning. Vi söker dig med jur. kand examen samt ett dokumenterat intresse och/ -eller erfarenhet av att arbeta inom MR-området. Vidare ser vi gärna att du har erfarenhet och kunskap om att driva enskilda fall i Domstol. Sista ansökningsdatum: 3/1- 2014

Organisations call on international solidarity with the newspaper Azadliq

On 17 October, just a week after the presidential election, the sale of several daily newspapers including the newspaper Azadliq was banned in metro stations in Baku. Azadliq is one of few remaining opposition news outlets in Azerbaijan. “We urge the country’s judicial and political authorities to stop hounding it and we call on international solidarity with the daily”, said Civil Rights Defenders and several other organisations in a joint statement.

Housing Rights Activist Yorm Bopha is freed on bail

Cambodia November 22, 2013 : Photo Licadho

22 November the Supreme Court ordered the release of Cambodian Housing Rights activist Yorm Bopha, but only on bail. The Court further ruled that the Boeung Kak Lake activist should have her case returned back to the Court of Appeal for a retrial. “The fact that Bopha is released on bail is positive in the respect of her being able to go home to her family and friends. But it is at the same time disturbing that the Supreme Court does not drop the charges, but instead decides on a new trial in the Appeal Court and thereby allows a continuation of this politically motivated process.” says Brittis Edman, Southeast Asia director at Civil Rights Defenders

Gold and silver to the Civil Rights Captcha


The PR Agency Prime won gold and silver with the campaign “Civil Rights Captcha” for Civil Rights Defenders. The gold was in the category “Campaign of the year in social media”, and the silver in the category “Mass media campaign of the year”. Spinn is a Swedish competition in effective marketing PR, ie non-purchased marketing (publicity, seminars, internet etc.) in private channels (web, email, newsletters, lectures etc.).

Cambodian Supreme Court must free housing rights activist Yorm Bopha


On 22 November, the Cambodian Supreme Court is hearing the final appeal of human rights defender Yorm Bopha. Civil Rights Defenders believes she is imprisoned for her human rights activism.For more than a year, Yorm Bopha, has been in prison following an unfair trial. In 2012, the housing rights activist and mother of one was sentenced to three years for what the Phnom Penh court determined as “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances” without any concrete evidence presented against her.

Convicted for homophobic attack

On 22 January, Russian LGBT activists held "We are for Traditional Values" demonstrations in protest of the federal bill to ban "propaganda of homosexuality", as a response to the authors, who cited Russian traditional values as the basis for banning "propaganda of homosexuality to minors." Photo: Maria Kozlovskaya.

An attack on a participant of a peaceful action on LGBT-rights has been met with legal consequences for the first time in Russia. Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the ruling and hopes that the verdict is a step in the right direction. In the aftermath of the so called ”propaganda laws” there has been an increase of aggression and violence towards LGBT-people in Russia. Despite this the courts usually treat the cases as hooliganism instead of hate-crimes.

Unique action of a Supreme Court judge in a region of impunity

Judge Vakhid Abubakarov, photo from

A judge from the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic has ordered the withdrawal of a case after being blackmailed. This is the first time ever that a judge in Chechnya has publicly spoke out regarding the pressure upon judicial bodies. Chechnya has gained an infamous reputation when it comes to impunity for grave human rights abuses and the lack of an independent and transparent judiciary.

(Svenska) Vill se stöd till vitrysk HBT-rörelse


(Svenska) Svenska politiker och diplomater har inte engagerat sig för HBT-personers rättigheter i Vitryssland – kanske för att HBT-rörelsen i landet hittills varit svag. Men stödet utifrån är viktigt om homo-, bisexuella och transpersoner i Vitryssland ska våga verka för sina rättigheter. Det skriver Robert Hårdh, chef för Civil Rights Defenders och Alexander Bard, artist, i en debattartikel i Sydsvenskan.

“Seven” on tour in the Balkans

Photo: Seven on tour

Starting on the 5th of November, the documentary play Seven will be on a tour in the Western Balkans, visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania. Seven is a documentary play about gender based violence based on interviews with seven activists from around the world. The tour is supported by the Swedish Institute and coordinated by Civil Rights Defenders in cooperation with local partners in each country.

Peaceful post-election protests in Cambodia mobilise masses

Kamboja 1

In Cambodia, peaceful protests which took place over three days last week mobilised tens of thousands of people who came out in force to call for electoral reform and a review of the results from the parliamentary elections in July. The opposition party collected thumb prints from some two million Cambodians. The authorities responded with restraint, essentially protecting the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

Percy Bratt resigns as chairperson of Civil Rights Defenders

Percy Bratt

Civil Rights Defenders Chairperson Percy Bratt has announced that he will immediately resign from his current position due to ill health. Percy Bratt has for many years contributed his invaluable knowledge of legal issues both at national and international levels to the organisation.Together with the organisation’s Executive Director, Robert Hårdh and contributions from board and staff members he has been instrumental in pushing the organisation forward.

Second Albanian LGBT activist included in the Natalia Project

Xheni Karaj. Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

“I was once spat at by a man on the street while at a demonstration. Albanian men get very threatened by lesbians so I challenged him. I grabbed his hand and told him I would not let go until the police arrived” said Xheni Karaj, LGBT activist from Albania who is now included in the Natalia Project security system. The Natalia bracelet represents an important physical, moral and psychological support to human rights activists.

New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy

Wallpaper (webb)

Civil Rights Defenders is organising a five-day working conference in Przno, Montenegro, from the 22 to the 27 October. The conference is entitled “Empowering people – ideas worth spreading“ and will gather human rights activists from Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The goal of the conference is to increase the participants’ capacities in using new media and technology as well as art in their advocacy work.

Opinion: Police records about the Roma community in Sweden is institutionalised racism


Police records regarding the Roma community in Sweden have deeply upset both the Roma and many in mainstream society. It revealed a sinister practice intent on flagrantly violating the values that are fundamental to a democracy. Respect for human integrity , dignity and rights of the citizen have obviously got lost some where in the police force’ skewed philosophy in combatting crime.

Election will not be credible unless people can criticise the government

Photo: Aziz Elkhanoglu, Art for Democracy

In a joint call issued on the eve of the Presidential election, 22 human rights organisations and press freedom campaigners warn that the failure of the government of Azerbaijan to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, undermines the democratic legitimacy of the government. Azerbaijan should take immediate action to ensure fundamental rights are protected ahead of the election.

Swedish comedians stand up for freedom of speech

ROA står upp för det fria ordet

Tickets for this year’s most important comedy show have been released. 16 December, some of Sweden’s top comedians will fill Södra Teatern in Stockholm in a charity show called “Stand up for freedom of speech.” In many places in the world freedom of speech is silenced and to speak critically about injustices can have terrible consequences. For the comedian agency Roa’s comedians it was therefore important to stand up for freedome of speech while supporting Civil Rights Defenders with the profit from the show.

Belgrade Pride in Swedish media

For the third year in a row Serbian authorities banned the Pride Parade in Belgrade. The frustration and disappointment within the LGBT community was unmistakable and Civil Rights Defenders immediately condemned the decision. The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet interviewed Civil Rights Defenders Program Director for the Western Balkans, Goran Miletic, and wrote; “Now, he and the others must continue to battle against the wind”

Natalia braclet protects LGBT-activist in the Balkans

Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist from Albania, is one of the human rights defenders included in the Natalia Project.

Kristi Pinderi from Albania, is one of the first human rights defenders from the Western Balkans to be included in the Natalia Project security system. For him the bracelet represents a strong moral support in his day-to-day work: ”Behind the bracelet there is an entire system and organisation with people, institutions, and media ready and willing to act in case of an emergency. It is a way for human rights activists not to feel alone and it is definitely the best tool for empowering them”

Structural racism and hate crimes still a big problem in Sweden

Alternative report CERD

A hearing was held with the Swedish government in the UN Racial Discrimination Committee due to previous criticism from the committee. Civil Rights Defenders, along with Swedish United Nations Association, and nearly fifty other organizations presented a parallel report to the UN Racial Discrimination Committee. The report shows that structural racism, discrimination and hate crimes still are serious problems in Sweden.

Harassment of investigative journalist must be effectively investigated

Khadija Ismayilova (

In a letter to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and the Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov, several human rights organisations, including Civil Rights Defenders, express their profound concern regarding the harassment and intimidation of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova. The organisations urge the president to ensure an effective investigation into the threats against her.

House of representatives adopted proposed definition of hate crime

Sumeja Tulic, programme officer at Civil Rights Defenders in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On 24 July, the House of Representatives of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the legal amendment proposed by civil society, including a definition on hate crime. “I am very pleased that our effort to foster a coalition of organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina has yielded such a positive outcome”, says Sumeja Tulic, programme officer at Civil Rights Defenders.

Trans Gender Europe: Bosnia adopts trans-inclusive hate crime law

Bosnia 2

TGEU reports that “Bosnia i Herzegovina’s House of Representatives recently adopted hate crime legislation that is inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation”. The legislation reads “Whoever publicly incites or makes publicly available pamphlets, photos, texts and other materials which advocates, urges or incites hatred, discrimination or violence directed by any person or group of […]

Definition of hate crime in the Criminal Law needs to be improved

28-30 November 2012 Civil Rights Defenders organised a workshop on hate crimes and hate speech. The workshop included training in monitoring, advocacy and litigation strategies. Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

The Draft of the Law on Amendments to the Criminal Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, recently sent to the parliament, contains narrow and incomplete legal formulations of hate crimes and exclude several protected grounds. This caused Civil Rights Defenders’ partner to propose changes to the legal formulation of hate crimes. Civil Rights Defenders urges the authorities to take the needed steps in accepting the changes.

Burmese human rights lawyers inspired in Serbia

Human rights lawyers in Burma do not waste any time when trying to make use of emerging opportunities as their country is opening up. But rule of law is weak, civil society initiatives are nascent and threats against lawyers commonplace. To support them, Civil Rights Defenders has organised a two-week study tour to Serbia for ten activist lawyers, to meet with our partner organisations that work in the field of legal aid.

(Svenska) Pussy Riot till Sverige

Pussy Riot-medlemmar tillsammans med EU-minister Birgitta Ohlsson och Robert Hårdh, chef för Civil Rights Defenders

(Svenska) Civil Rights Defenders, 
Folkets Hus och Ebba Lindqvist PR tar den ryska feministiska punkgruppen Pussy Riot till Almedalen, för att värna yttrandefriheten. Pussy Riot har genomfört ett antal intervjuer, träffat svenska politiker och har precis deltagit i Öppna Almedalen. ”En regim som inte tål att granskas och kritiseras är en räddhågsen men också farlig regim. Ingen ska behöva fängslas för sina åsikters skull, varför vi kräver att medlemmarna i Pussy Riot omedelbart friges.”
Robert Hårdh, chef, Civil Rights Defenders.

20th Anniversary of the massacre in Štrpci

Twenty years ago, the Army of the Republic of Serbia abducted 19 non-Serb citizens of Serbia and Montenegro on the railway station in Štrpci (BIH). The passengers were taken to the village of Visegradska banja, where they were tortured and killed. Up till now, the remains of three victims have been found. On February 27, Civil Rights Defender’s partners in Serbia marked the 20th Anniversary of the abduction in Strpce in front of the main railway station in Belgrade.