Front Line News Archive

Russian Federation – The burning of the office of the Joint Mobile Group in Grozny after threats and an attempted attack on human rights defenders working in Chechnyaposted on: 2014/12/13

Today, on 14 December 2014, at around 1 p.m. several armed men entered the apartment of the Joint Mobile Group located next to their burned office. They refused to identify themselves but later said they were from Leninsky district police department of Grozny. They forcibly searched the premises and two members of the JMG, Sergey Babinets and Dmitry Dimitriev. They had no warrant and provided no explanations except pointing out that Babinets is suspicious "because he has a beard." The policemen seized the mobile phones of the human rights defenders leaving them out of connection and without legal representation for around one hour and a half. Two computers of the JMG and CCTV cameras have been also seized. The human rights defenders were released at approximatively 2.30 pm.

On 13 December 2014, three unidentified armed men tried to enter the office of the Joint Mobile Group in Grozny. This followed a demonstration against the Joint Mobile Group and its head Igor Kalyapin which took place in Grozny that morning.

Update: Angola - Prosecutor requests 12 years imprisonment for HRD José Mavungoposted on: 2015/09/03

On 28 August 2015, on the last day of José Marcos Mavungo's trial, the sub-General Prosecutor in Cabinda, Mr Antonio Nito, asked the court in the Angolan province of Cabinda (Tribunal Provincial de Cabinda) to sentence the human rights defender to 12 years' imprisonment on the charge of inciting rebellion. The Court is scheduled to deliver its ruling on 16 September 2015.

José Marcos Mavungo is a human rights defender and member of the Cabinda-based, government-banned human rights organisation Mpalabanda Associação Civica de Cabinda (ACC). Before it was banned in 2006, the organisation published two human rights reports highlighting abuses by security forces in Cabinda. The human rights defender has been a strong voice against bad governance in Angola and has actively participated in a number of demonstrations in Cabinda.

Update: Azerbaijan - Khadija Ismail sentenced to 7.5 years in jailposted on: 2015/09/02

On 1 September 2015, the Baku Court of Serious Crimes sentenced prominent investigative journalist and human rights defender Ms Khadija Ismail (Khadija Ismayilova) to 7.5 years in prison.

Bangladesh: solidarity meeting cancelledposted on: 2015/09/01

On 29 August, Bangladesh's National Press Club cancelled a solidarity meeting for family members of victims of enforced disappearance in Bangladesh.

Family members of victims of enforced disappearance in Bangladesh planned to have a solidarity meeting at the National Press Club on 30 August, the United Nations International Day of the Disappeared, at 9:30 am. They planned the meeting together with the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Bangladeshi Human Rights NGO Odhikar. The meeting was organized to allow family members of victims of disappearance to recall the incident, remind everyone of the issue and demand justice and recovery.

On 29 August, Odhikar received news from Selim Mia, an employee of the National Press Club that, per the instructions of the General Secretary, the Club was cancelling its permission and would not allow Odhikar to host the programme at their premises. The National Press Club provided no valid reason for the cancellation.

Azerbaijan: Sport for Rights coalition condemns sentencing of journalist Khadija Ismayilovaposted on: 2015/09/01

The Sport for Rights coalition strongly condemns the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova to a staggering 7.5 years in jail.

Update: Myanmar/Burma - Human rights defenders held in solitary confinementposted on: 2015/08/31

Student human rights defenders, Naing Ye Wai, Aung San Oo, Gist Too and Nyan Lin Htet, are being held in solitary confinement at Obo prison as a result of their recent hunger strike.

Bahrain: On 160th day of Dr Abduljalil al-Singace's hunger strike, 41 NGOs call for immediate releaseposted on: 2015/08/31

27 August 2015, London – Bahraini prisoner of conscience Dr Abduljalil al-Singace today hits a milestone 160 days of hunger strike as rights organisations appeal for his freedom.

Detainees in Syria: Human rights groups press UN Security Council for action on HRDsposted on: 2015/08/31

Fifteen international and Syrian human rights organizations sent the following letter to members of the UN Security Council regarding the ongoing detention and persecution of human rights defenders in Syria.

Venezuela: President makes hostile statements against human rights organisation Proveaposted on: 2015/08/28

On 21 August 2015, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro appeared on national television and made hostile statements agsinst human rights organisation Programa Venezolano de Educación Acción en Derechos Humanos – PROVEA, (Venezuelan Programme for Education and Action in Human Rights), in which he labelled them a right-wing political organisation, financed by the United States government.

Update: Guatemala – Hearing in case of detained human rights defender Bernardo Ermitaño López Reyes postponed indefinitelyposted on: 2015/08/28

A hearing which was due to take place on 24 August 2015 in the case of human rights defender Mr Bernardo Ermitaño López Reyes has been postponed. No further dates have been proposed, while the human rights defender remains in detention in Huehuetenango.

Update: Somaliland – Criminal case against Guleid Ahmed Jama closedposted on: 2015/08/28

On 26 August 2015 Hargeisa Regional Court issued a ruling closing the criminal case against human rights defender Mr Guleid Ahmed Jama. The Attorney General has a right to appeal this decision within 15 days.

Update: Azerbaijan – Supreme Court upholds judgement against Anar Mammadliposted on: 2015/08/27

On 26 August 2015, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld the sentence of five and a half years in prison against human rights defender Mr Anar Mammadli.

Update: Morocco – Interrogation of Hicham Mansouriposted on: 2015/08/27

On 25 August 2015, human rights defender Mr Hicham Mansouri was taken to Casablanca by the National Brigade for the Judicial Police (BNPJ), where he was interrogated regarding his involvement in media and human rights activities.

Update: Ecuador - Human rights defender Manuela Picq leaves Ecuador after visa application is deniedposted on: 2015/08/26

On 21 August 2015 after her application to reinstate her visa was denied, human rights defender Ms Manuela Picq's took the decision to leave Ecuador.

Commissioner for Human Rights Calls on Russia to Suspend Law on Foreign Agentsposted on: 2015/08/26

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights reiterates his call to bring Russian NGO legislation in line with international standards and to cease the persecution of legitimate and peaceful Russian organizations.