WE EXIST TO STRENGTHEN CIVIL SOCIETY AND CITIZEN ACTION
AROUND THE WORLD
28 August 2014 - Global civil society alliance, CIVICUS, has expressed solidarity with 127 community health workers and members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) who will be appearing in court on 1 September in Bloemfontein, South Africa. They are facing charges in relation to their arrest following a peaceful night vigil on 10 July and a peaceful demonstration on 11 July. The community health workers and activists sought to highlight challenges plaguing the public health sector and demand dignified working conditions in South Africa’s Free State province.
“For over a year we have released alerts, stating our concern over a slowly collapsing public health system, the evidence of which is borne out of the many stories we receive on a frequent basis from those who are dependent on this crumbling health system,” said Sello Mokhaliphi, TAC Free State Provincial Chairperson. “We as the TAC, community health care workers and the government need to work together to improve it instead of fighting one another.”
The representatives of international human rights organisations write to urge the Bahrain government to comply with its international treaty obligations to provide victims of torture with physical and psychological rehabilitation. In particular, they urge the Bahrain government to allow and facilitate an independent assessment of the therapeutic needs of all persons who were mistreated during their detention by the Bahraini authorities, as confirmed by the findings of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).
Veronika Mora, of the Okotars Foundation( Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation) speaks to CIVICUS about the Orban government’s clampdown on Hungarian civil society and their sources of funding.
1. What precipitated the recent challenges for civil society in Hungary?
The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been steadily increasing its influence over media and civil society since 2010. In particular the government has been attempting to control sources of funding and has made a number of changes to the funding arrangements from the Norwegian funds. Earlier, 9 strands of funding within the mechanism were delivered by the Hungarian National Development Agency, but since early 2014 the government unilaterally shifted these funds to a new agency without prior consultation with the donor governments (besides Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).
Following the most recent election in April 2014, the government moved to challenge the Norwegian donor on the NGO Fund and wrote a letter to the Norwegian Government claiming that the NGO Fund was being used to support opposition political groups; and called for a re-negotiation of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding.