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On June 13 the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and Human Rights Watch sent letters to the president and foreign councillor of Switzerland and the president of Finland, urging them to raise human rights issues during their official visits Kazakhstan this summer. June 10 marked the official opening of the Expo 2017 in Astana. The expo, dedicated to energy of the future, is the first world exposition to be held in Central Asia, and is estimated to have cost between $3 and $5 billion. According to local news, at least 17 heads of state will visit the expo before it closes at September 10.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee joins protests in reaction to credible reports of the arrest, torture, and conviction following unfair trials, and imprisonment under inhumane conditions of 18 men in Turkmenistan. The sentences, from 12 to 25 years, were handed down in a closed, two-hour trial, and set out in a summary of the verdict that lacks any information about the specific acts the men are accused of committing or the evidence against them.
Civil society for dialogue in Ukraine:
NHCs Enver Djuliman participated in the round-table discussion "Russian-Ukrainian dialogue: capabilities of civil society", organised by the Civic Union Educational Human Rights House in Chernihiv in partnership with a wide group of NGOs. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee supported the discussion financially.
Human Rights Education:
Journalists in North West Russia and Norwegian journalists across the border experience some of the same challenges in their daily work. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the journalist association Barents Press are pleased that we are able to continue our cooperation and organise sessions where Norwegian and Russian journalists meet to exchange experiences and discuss human rights in journalism.
Policy Paper 2/2015:
A new policy paper from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee presented today argues that Norway and other democratic countries should establish mechanisms to freeze the assets of persons who commit gross violations of human rights with impunity and prohibit their entry into the country – the victims of these violations being human rights defenders or whistle-blowers.