WE EXIST TO STRENGTHEN CIVIL SOCIETY AND CITIZEN ACTION
AROUND THE WORLD
Dear colleagues and trusted friends
CIVICUS, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) write to seek your support on an urgent matter regarding recent events in Bahrain.
As you may have heard, on August 30th Bahraini human rights defender Maryamal-Khawaja was arbitrarily detained upon her arrival at Bahrain International Airport. Maryam, who is the co-director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights,was traveling to Bahrain to visit her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who is currently on a hunger strike in Bahrain’s Jaw Prison protesting his arbitrary detention. We are deeply concerned about Maryam’s safety in custody as well as the safety of scores of civil society activists unjustly languishing in Bahrain’s prisons.
We share with you a letter to King Hamad of Bahrain to recognise the legitimate demands of the Bahraini people to realise their democratic rights and to release all political prisoners, including Maryam al-Khawaja, and cease the oppression of human rights defenders, journalists and civil society organizations. We urge you to support this endeavour by getting your organisation to sign on to the letter.
We will circulate the final version by mid next week.
Thank you in advance for your support
9 September 2014. Punitive action taken by elements of the Hungarian police and state prosecutors against key civil society bodies has been strongly condemned by global civil society alliance, CIVICUS.
“The latest events in Hungary highlight a major set-back for due process and lead to serious questions about Hungarian democracy. The incoming European Commission must act to ensure that the core democratic principles of the Union are upheld,” said Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary-General of CIVICUS.
In the latest developments to restrict the activity of legitimate NGOs that receive funds from the Norwegian NGO Fund, police have raided offices of two key organisations: the Okotars Foundation and the Foundation for Development of Democratic Rights (DemNet). They are reported to have prevented staff from communicating or leaving the premises while the raids took place and to have searched the whole premises, ransacked files and taken laptops and servers.
27nd Session of the Human Rights Council
Opening Statement of the new High Commissioner for Human Rights
General Debate 9 September 2014
Delivered by Renate Bloem
Thank you Mr. President,
High Commissioner Zaid, CIVICUS warmly welcomes you to the Council and congratulates you for assuming the daunting task to become the chief of Human Rights, the 6th UN High Commissioner. You do this at a time when the world is on fire in too many corners.