Front Line News Archive

Update: Oman – Human rights defender Mr Noah Saadi releasedposted on: 2014/08/15

On 7 August 2014, human rights defender Mr Noah Saadi was released from the detention facility of the Special Section of the Omani Police in Muscat.

Ethiopia - Bloggers and human rights defenders held for more then 100 days and charged with treason for using free softwareposted on: 2014/08/14

Joint statement by Front Line Defenders and Tactical Technology Collective on arrest of Zone9 bloggers: In the recent Zone9 Bloggers case in Ethiopia the authorities have fabricated charges of destabilising the nation and terrorism in an attempt to silence any independent voices talking about the human rights situation in the country.

Statement by Front Line Defenders on Arrest of General Palparan in the Philippinesposted on: 2014/08/14

Front Line Defenders welcomes the news from Manila that Filipino Maj. General Jovito Palparan was arrested on 12 August for the 2006 enforced disappearance of human rights defenders Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan on June 26, 2006.

The two women human rights defenders were students at the University of the Philippines and engaged in community organising and support for farmers in Hagonoy, Bulacan. While doing fieldwork in that community, they were abducted by armed men.

Witnesses claim they were seized and taken into custody by the Philippine Army based in Barangay Iba, Hagonoy, Bulacan, under the command of then Maj. Gen. Palparan. They were allegedly harassed, tortured and raped.

Update: Saudi Arabia – Human rights defender Mr Waleed Abu Al-Khair ill-treated while being transferred from Jeddah to Malaz prisonposted on: 2014/08/12

On 11 August 2014, human rights defender Mr Waleed Abu Al-Khair was moved from Jeddah prison to Malaz prison in Riyadh. While being transferred, it is reported that the human rights defender was beaten and pulled on the ground and he has since been suffering back pain. Waleed Abu Al-Khair's lawyer was not informed of the reasons for his transferral from Jeddah prison to Malaz prison.

Update: Israel – Court rejects request to release human rights defender Ms Shireen Essawiposted on: 2014/08/12

On 7 August 2014, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected the request of Ms Shireen Essawi's lawyer for her release. On 8 May 2014, the human rights defender was transferred from Al-Muskubīya prison, where she was initially detained, to HaSharon women's prison and kept in solitary confinement for nearly three months. The reasons for her solitary confinement are unclear. Shireen Essawi is charged with cooperating with forces that are working against the state of Israel.

Update: Peru – Human rights defender Ms Máxima Acuña de Chaupe and family receive suspended prison sentences and ordered to pay damagesposted on: 2014/08/08

On 5 August 2014, Ms Máxima Acuña de Chaupe and three members of her family were sentenced on charges of “aggravated usurpation” by the Unipersonal Court of Celendin, to suspended prison term of two years and eight months. Moreover, Máxima Acuña de Chaupe was ordered to pay the costs of proceedings and a civil reparation of 5.500 Soles (€1,500) for damages done to the Mining Company Yanacocha. The judge also ordered that the family must leave the disputed lands. The Acuña Chaupe family's lawyer, Ms Mirtha Vasquez, will file an appeal to the second instance Superior Court Justice in Cajamarca.

Update: Burma – Detention of human rights defender Mr Kyaw Hla Aung extendedposted on: 2014/08/08

On 5 August 2014, Sittwe District Court in Arakan State extended the pre-trial detention of Mr Kyaw Hla Aung. The human rights defender has been in detention in Sittwe Prison on multiple criminal charges since July 2013. Kyaw Hla Aung is next scheduled in court on 18 August 2014.

China:leading human rights defender Gao Zhisheng released after 3 years posted on: 2014/08/08

Front Line Defenders welcomes the release of one of China’s most prominent human rights activists, Gao Zhisheng who has been released after three years in jail, although it remains unclear whether he will be subject to ongoing surveillance that would limit his future human rights activities.

Update: Russian Federation – Human rights defender Mr Evgeny Vitishko undergoes series of administrative punishments in detentionposted on: 2014/08/07

On 31 July, 2014, the administration of penal colony settlement No. 2 in Tambov region ordered Mr Evgeny Vitishko to three days' solitary confinement in a punishment cell for “incorrect storage” of his personal food, which is a violation of penal colony rules. Evgeny Vitishko began a hunger strike in the punishment cell to protest against this ruling, which followed a number of other previous actions by prison authorities against the human rights defender.

Update: Kuwait – Human rights defender Abdulhakim Al Fadhli released on bail and trial date postponed for a third timeposted on: 2014/08/07

On 7 August 2014, Mr Abdulhakim Al Fadhli was released on bail and his trial was again postponed until 4 September 2014 by the Kuwaiti Misdemeanour Court. On 16 July 2014, the public prosecution had extended the human rights defender's detention for ten days, and this was once more extended until 7 August 2014. Although Abdulhakim Al Fadhli has had access to a lawyer, he has been denied access to his family.

Update: Azerbaijan - Mr Arif Yunus taken into pre-trial custody as Ms Leyla Yunus in need of medical treatment in detentionposted on: 2014/08/06

On the morning of 5 August 2014, human rights defender Mr Arif Yunus was detained near his home on his way to visit his wife, human rights defender Ms Leyla Yunus, in pre-trial detention. Arif Yunus is a scholar who works to defend the rights of victims of torture and political prisoners, as well as on a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Leyla Yunus is Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy. On 30 July 2014, Arif Yunus and Leyla Yunus were charged with treason and economic crimes.

India - Criminal charges brought against environmental rights defenders Messrs Akshay Gupta and Rahul Guptaposted on: 2014/08/05

In the early hours of 30 July 2014, environmental rights defenders Messrs Akshay Gupta and Rahul Gupta were taken into custody in the village of Amelia, where villagers have also been harassed by local police. Criminal charges have been brought against both human rights defenders. They were released on bail on the evening of 31 July 2014.

Michel Forst, New Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, gives indication of his prioritiesposted on: 2014/08/05

‘While I have worked with civil society organisations for many years, my first activity in this mandate will be to convene a series of regional consultations with human rights defenders to identify key threats, challenges and opportunities for reform.’

Front Line Defenders welcomes the decision of Ugandan Constitutional Court to Strike down controversial Anti-Homosexuality Lawposted on: 2014/08/01

"Today is a vindication of those courageous LGBT rights defenders who have stood their ground and refused to be silenced by the hostility of the state, the violence of the mob or the indifference of the police" said Front Line Defenders Executive Director Mary Lawlor, speaking in Dublin on receiving the news from the courtroom in Kampala.

Update: China – Human rights defender formally indicted on 'separatism' chargesposted on: 2014/07/31

On 30 July 2014, Uyghur human rights defender Mr Ilham Tohti was formally indicted on charges of 'separatism' in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Province in north-western China.