Front Line News Archive

Update: China – Human rights defender Liu Xizhen reappears after 20 days in secret detention and is placed in criminal detentionposted on: 2014/10/31

On 23 October 2014, human rights defender Ms Liu Xizhen was placed in criminal detention on the charge of “causing trouble”. On the same day, police officers raided Liu Xizhen's house.

Update: Thailand – Court rules to proceed with trial against human rights defender Mr Surapan Rujichaiwatposted on: 2014/10/31

On 29 October 2014, the Phuket Provincial Court ruled to proceed with a criminal defamation case against human rights defender Mr Surapan Rujichaiwat.

Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Addressing UN General Assemblyposted on: 2014/10/31

Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, addressed the 69th UN General Assembly on 23 October. The former Front Line Defenders Trustee outlined his plans for working to support human rights defenders during his mandate as Special Rapporteur.

Update: Bahrain - Human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer remains in detention as the court continues to hear further complaintsposted on: 2014/10/30

On 29 October 2014, human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer appeared in three court hearings on charges relating to defamation.

Update: Thailand – Court dismisses criminal defamation charges against Andy Hallposted on: 2014/10/30

On 29 October 2014 the Prakanong Court in Bangkok dismissed criminal defamation charges brought against human rights defender Mr Andy Hall by Natural Fruit Company Ltd, a pineapple exporting company.

Ireland: Bahraini Blogger Ali Abdulemam to Speak at Web Summitposted on: 2014/10/30

As technology and digital communications experts gather from all over the world for the 2014 Dublin Web Summit, Front Line Defenders is hosting a special panel discussion on “Tech in Conflict” to highlight the fact that online security is not just a communications issue – it is a human rights issue - and for many human rights defenders around the world, a matter of survival.

Update: Azerbaijan – Court extends pre-trial detention for prominent human rights defendersposted on: 2014/10/29

On 24 October 2014, Nasimi District Court in Baku ruled to extend the pre-trial detention of prominent human rights defenders Ms Leyla Yunus and Mr Intigam Aliev, until 28 February 2015 and 8 February 2015 respectively.

Update: Egypt – Yara Sallam and Sanaa Seif sentenced to three years' imprisonment alongside 21 othersposted on: 2014/10/29

On 26 October 2014, Cairo Misdemeanours Court sentenced 23 human rights defenders and protesters, including Ms Yara Sallam and Ms Sanaa Seif, to 3 years' imprisonment, a further 3 years' police monitoring, a fine of 10,000 Egyptian Pounds (approx. €1,098) each, and the payment of compensation for the damages caused.

HRDs in the Newsposted on: 2014/10/24

HRDs in the News is a regular news round-up which draws together news about human rights defenders (HRDs) who have been appearing in the world media.

Update: Egypt - Upcoming verdict in trial against Ms Sanaa Seif and Ms Yara Sallamposted on: 2014/10/23

On 26 October 2014, a new hearing in the trial of seven women human rights defenders, including Ms Sanaa Seif and Ms Yara Sallam, will take place at the Police Institute near Tora.

Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh starts sit-in protest against the Iranian Bar Association three-year ban on her legal practiceposted on: 2014/10/22

Renowned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has begun a sit-in protest on 21 October 2014 at the Iranian Bar Association in Tehran to protest the ruling that puts a three-year ban on her legal practice and to denounce the growing repression against the legal profession in Iran. She has declared that the protest will be of unlimited duration, until the Iranian Bar Association takes action on her demands.

On 9 January 2011, Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to eleven years imprisonment and banned from working as a lawyer or leaving the country for twenty years. On 18 September 2013, she was released early from prison, without any explanation. She had been accused of 'spreading propaganda' and 'conspiring to harm state security'. Nasrin has represented many defenders working for human rights and political reform in Iran. She has also worked extensively with young prisoners who have been sentenced to death for crimes they committed when they were under 18.

Denis Mukwege awarded the Sakharov prizeposted on: 2014/10/22

Denis Mukwege, Congolese human rights defender and physician, has been awarded the European Union's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize, for his work to help victims of rape in the Democractic Republic of Congo.

#SwaziJustice: international campaign for the release of Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubuposted on: 2014/10/21

On the morning of Friday 25 July 2014, prominent human rights defenders Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu received two-year prison sentences, handed down by Judge Mpendulo Simelane in Swaziland. Maseko, a decorated human rights activist and lawyer, and Makhubu, a prominent editor and journalist, have been repeatedly detained for publishing articles that lamented continued threats to judicial independence in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

On November 3, 2014, a hearing in the case is scheduled at the Supreme Court of Swaziland. Ahead of this date, the #SwaziJustice international advocacy campaign has been launched in order to raise worldwide attention and pressure for the release of Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu.

Watch the video based on the powerful defense statement written by Thulani Maseko in prision and take action in support of the campaign.

Read the transcript of Thulani Maseko's statement from prison here:

#SwaziJustice: international campaign for the release of Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubuposted on: 2014/10/21

On the morning of Friday, July 25, 2014, prominent human rights defenders Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu received two-year prison sentences, handed down by Judge Mpendulo Simelane in Swaziland. Maseko, a decorated human rights activist and lawyer, and Makhubu, a prominent editor and journalist, have been repeatedly detained for publishing articles that lamented continued threats to judicial independence in Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

On November 3, 2014 a hearing in the case is scheduled at the Supreme Court of Swaziland, in which charges could be dropped. Ahead of this date, the #SwaziJustice international advocacy campaign has been launched in order to raise worldwide attention and pressure for the release of Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu.

Watch the video based on the powerful defense statement written by Thulani Maseko in prision and take action in support of the campaign.

Read here the transcript of Thulani Maseko statement from prison:

Joint NGO letter to the President of the Russian Federation to stop clampdown on freedom of associationposted on: 2014/10/21

We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations, are writing to urge you to stop the clampdown on the right to freedom of association and end reprisals against independent non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Russia.