Søndag avviklar Turkmenistan det som i mange andre land kallast parlamentsval, i Norge Stortingsval. Det vil seie – det blir
kalla parlamentsval i Turkmenistan óg, det er stemmelokale med alt riktig tilbehør over heile landet og det kjem eit resultat
etter ei oppteljing av stemmesedlar, men det er ikkje eit val.
- Med Nelsons Mandelas død har vi mistet frigjøringsaktivisten som ble det store forbildet i arbeidet for fred og forsoning
ikke bare på det afrikanske kontinentet, men over hele verden, sier Bjørn Engesland, generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité.
Ivar Dale, NHC Central Asia representative, has participated at the OSCE Parallel Civil Society conference in Kiev in connection
with the now ongoing OSCE Ministerial Council. During the meeting, the Civic Solidarity Platform developed a policy document
containing civil society analysis and recommendations on alarming human dimension issues across the OSCE region and on human
dimensions issues in Ukraine, in light of the country’s OSCE Chairmanship. It also includes recommendations for increasing
the efficiency of the OSCE human dimension process. -The Platform provides an excellent opportunity for non-governmental
organizations to meet and develop common strategies to fight the serious human rights violations that unfortunately remain
all over the OSCE region. The Outcome Document should be studied closely by government representatives who wish to contribute
to democratic development, Ivar Dale comments.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee follows with great concern the dramatic developments in the streets of Kiev where at least
350 000 protesters gathered this weekend demanding the resignation of President Yanukovich.
After a run-up marked by flagrant violations of political pluralism and freedom of information, President Ilham Aliyev’s reelection
by an overwhelming majority on 10 October 2013, in a poll that the OSCE considered “seriously flawed”, has been followed by
new crackdown on the media. The daily newspaper Azadliq, one of the few remaining opposition news outlets, is now in danger
of succumbing to efforts to throttle it financially. NHC joins other human rights defenders in voicing concern at the situation.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was present in Tajikistan this week to tap the atmosphere surrounding the 6 November presidential
elections, where the incumbent Emomali Rakhmon as of Thursday morning took 83,9 % of the votes. The landslide win came as
no surprise, with the run-up to Election Day following a familiar formula long established in Tajikistan as well as in many
of its neighboring states. -Pre-determined election results are no proof of stability. We consider that it merely reflects
the lack of political pluralism in Tajikistan, said Ivar Dale, Norwegian Helsinki Committee Regional Representative in Central
A new book edited by Russian-French journalist Elena Servettaz, arguing for Europe to enact a Magnitsky law similar to the
US Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was launched in the UK on 5 November. -The book presents powerful arguments
that Europe should deny visa and freeze assets of those who killed Sergei Magnitsky and other human rights violators, said
Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General.
Together with a coalition of 70 free speech, media freedom and human rights organisations worldwide, the Norwegian Helsinki
Committee has sent a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, where we express our concerns that the
way the United Kingdom government’s response to the revelations of mass surveillance of digital communications is eroding
fundamental human rights in the country. The government’s response has been to condemn, rather than celebrate investigative
journalism, which plays a crucial role in a healthy democratic society. Rather than using national security as an argument
to hinder journalists in their work, the Governemnet should honour the UK’s international obligations to defend and protect
the right to freedom of expression and media freedom, and to end the UK government’s pressure on the Guardian and those who
assist them. The letter was initiated by Article 19, United Kingdom. Read the letter below.
The European Platform for Democratic Elections protests against the intimidation of its member organization, the Election
Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre (EMDS) in Baku. We are worried that the investigations led by the Prosecutor general’s
office, have political motives, a reaction to the critical statements made by EMDS after the recent Presidential elections
in Azerbaijan. - As a member of the European Platform for Democratic Elections, we join the protests and we are very worried
to see that another efficient election monitoring NGO is targeted by the authorities, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
Last April, Russian partner Golos was convicted for failing to comply with NGO-legislation and failing to register as 'foreign
-We can report only minor irregularities here in the Batumi area, and for what we have witnessed, the elections process this
time is a big step forward for Georgia compared to what we have seen in previous elections. NHCs Aage Borchgrevink is in Georgia
together with colleagues to observe the presidential elections in Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsike and Batumi. Even though we are aware
of irregularities, compared to previous years, people are not put under pressure, they are more open and they went to vote
in a calm manner, Borchgrevink says.
Den norske Helsingforskomité har skrevet brev til Statsminister Erna Solberg der vi peker på noen menneskerettslige utfordringer
som vi ber regjeringen prioritere. - Det er behov for et sterkt politisk fokus på gjennomføringen og overvåkingen av internasjonale
menneskerettigheter; både i utenrikspolitikken og i Norge, sier generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland. Les brevet i sin helhet under. Foto: Heiko Junge/NTB scanpix/SMK
Together with a group of human rights NGOs from several European countries, the NHC sent a letter yesterday to the ministers
of foreign affairs of EU member states urging the EU to extend and expand its targeted economic sanctions against Belarusian
companies providing support to the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenka by exporting to and through the EU. - I am extremely concerned that the political prisoners, who have languished in prison for almost three years under terrible
circumstances, slowly are being forgotten by Europe. Effective sanctions are the best tool we have at hand, they should be
strengthened, not weakened, until the prisoners are released and Lukashenka truly improves his record of human rights in Belarus,
says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary general of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
In a surprising statement after last week's elections in Azerbaijan, delegations from the European Parliament and the Council
of Europe Parliamentary Assembly concluded that they had observed "free, fair and transparent electoral process". They did
this despite the widespread and reliable reports of fraud, pressure against voters and other manipulations. - We find it quite
astonishing that European parliamentary delegation members, who should defend the voters' right to democratic elections, instead
choose to look away from the facts of the presidential elections in Azerbaijan, secretary general Bjørn Engesland says. Together
with the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) we have made a statement criticizing the delegations.
On 30 September 2013, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented a democratization package to address some of
the fundamental issues in the country, including freedom of religion or belief issues. - While the package includes positive
elements, it falls short of introducing a principled approach to freedom of religion or belief, said Mine Yildirim, head of
the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Turkey.
On 8 October 2013, Mikhail Kosenko, one of the defendants in the so-called Bolotnaya square case was found guilty of taking
part in mass disorder (article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code) during the “March of the Millions” on 6 May 2012. The Zamoskvoretsky
Regional court also found him guilty of physically assaulting police officers (article 318 of the Criminal Code) . - The Norwegian
Helsinki Committee is critical of the trial, which did not comply with fair trial standards, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal,
Deputy Secretary General. - The conclusions of the court were not backed by solid evidence. Two police witnesses were unable
to identify Kosenko as a person who had been involved in any violence. In the photo, Aleksandra Dukhanina, another of the
victims from Bolotnaya awaiting trial is arrested. Photo: Rustam Adagamov
The new NHC report Kazakhstan: Cunning democracy, analyzes the current situation for democracy in the country, and summarizes
some of our current concerns with regards to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion or belief.
The report is co-written with Freedom House.
In a joint call issued today on the eve of the Presidential election, 22 human right organisations and press freedom campaigners
warn that the failure of the government of Azerbaijan to respect human rights, including freedom of expression, undermines
the democratic legitimacy of the government. - Azerbaijan should take immediate action to ensure fundamental rights are protected
ahead of the election, including by releasing journalists, political activists and human rights defenders, to ensure the election
is free and fair, NHCs Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says.
In July 2012, Tajikistani authorities used disproportional force in a special operation in the mountainous Pamir region of
Tajikistan, bordering Afghanistan. Officially, the authorities were aiming to arrest criminals linked to militant forces in
Afghanistan. Effectively, communications lines were cut off for a long period of time, a large number of civilians suffered
in terms of property damage and injuries, and more than 22 people died. One year later, the authorities have failed to provide
adequate information on the details around what happened and which legal acts are being taken to punish those involved.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee congratulates the Belarussian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski with the Vaclav Havel
Human Rights Prize. - Ales Bialiatski has devoted his life to the fight for human rights, democracy and freedom for all citizens
of Belarus. As our good friend and collegaue we have seen how his work has made a tremendous impact on so many people lives.
I can hardly imagine a more well-deserved prize, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
7. oktober tennes OL-ilden i Moskva og Putin fyller 61 år. Men ikke alle er velkomne til å feire begivenhetene. Det vil Amnesty,
LLH og Helsingforskomiteen gjøre noe med. Derfor inviterer vi til bursdagsfest på Egertorget mandag 7. oktober kl. 15-16.
Det er Putins bursdag, men vi inviterer gjestene.
From 26 September to 3 October 2013 the Norwegian Helsinki Committee will participate at this years' OSCE Human Dimensions
Implementation Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw. HDIM is an arena where civil society representatives can present views and directly
challenge state represenatives. For many of the participants from non-democratic countries this is a rare opportunity. NHC
is, as always, very active during the conference.
Members of the Civic Solidarity Platform are deeply concerned about the safety of journalist Sergey Naumov, who was arrested
by police in his home town Urgench in Khorazm Province, Uzbekistan on Saturday night, 21 September 2013 and later sentenced
to 12 days imprisonment for "hooliganism".
- Supporting and protecting the Belgrade Pride Parade and Pride Week 2013 is an opportunity for Serbian authorities to show
its commitment for the human rights for all persons, and in particular, the human rights of those belonging to sexual and
gender minorities (LGBTI), Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee says. The Pride Parade march
in the streets of Belgrade is scheduled for September 28.
This week, a draft law on non-governmental organizations operating in Kyrgyzstan has caught the attention of local human rights
activists, as well as international organizations concerned with the respect for human rights in the region.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and other Civic Solidarity Platform members urge in a letter to Norway’s Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Espen Barth Eide, Norway to use its influence at the UN Human Rights Council to oppose the “traditional values” agenda.
This agenda attempts to undermine the universality of fundamental human rights, and is part of a global trend to qualify human
rights protections and restrict the civic space for the expression of dissent.
34 observatører fra 11 land i det tidligere Sovjetunionen har gjennomført valgobservasjon av årets Stortingsvalg. Valgobservatørene
har blitt tatt svært godt i mot over hele landet, og har observert et valg der velgerne har stor grad av tillit til valgprosessen.
Valget har vært gjennomført på en svært profesjonell måte. Allikevel, det er forbedringspotensial også her.
Internasjonalt valgobservatørkorps setter Stortingsvalget under lupen! Helsingforskomiteen har invitert 33 erfarne observatører
fra 11 land som vil observere valget fra Kristiansand i sør til Kirkenes i nord. - Demokratiske valg er ingen selvfølge. Mens
Norge er et land hvor velgere flest stoler på at vi har frie og rettferdige valg, spiller valgobservasjon en avgjørende rolle
i dokumentasjonen av juks og manipulasjon i svært mange land. Til tross for at norske valg holder en svært høy standard, vet
vi av tidligere erfaring at observatørene kan påvise forbedringspunkter også hos oss, sier Generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland.
19. desember 2010 beordret Hviterusslands president den mest omfattende massearrestasjonen i Hviterusslands moderne historie.
Over 30 ledende opposisjonelle, journalister og aktivister ble dømt til lange fengselsstraffer. Den norske Helsingforskomité
har gleden av å invitere deg til et seminar hvor Anatoly Lebedko og Andrei Kim forteller om sine opplevelser og for å diskutere
In a letter to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyevin and the Prosecutor General Zakir, Norwegian Helsinki Committee,
along with several Human Rights NGOs, express a profound concern regarding the continued harassment and intimidation of investigative
journalist Khadija Ismayilova and the resulting interference in her work. - We urge the President of Azerbaijan to take immediate
steps to ensure a prompt, thorough, effective and transparent investigation into the threats made against the journalist Khadija
Ismayilova, as well as ensuring the effectiveness of the current investigation into the violation of Ismayilovas right to
privacy, Secretary general Bjørn Engesland says.
– The guilty verdicts of lawyer and world known whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky and the man he represented, William Browder,
CEO of Hermitage Management Capital, by a Moscow court on 11 July 2013 represents a new low point in Russia’s efforts to distort
facts and cover-up the real wrongdoing in the case, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General. – The Magnitsky
case implicates Russian authorities in a series of human rights violations, including illegal arrest, torture, and failure
to provide medical treatment. Now they have added new violations to the list; exposing the legal nihilism and lack of rule
of law in the country.
– The killing of journalist Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev on Tuesday 9 July should be promptly investigated and those responsible
should be prosecuted, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General. – The attempted murder on Akhmednabiev in January
2013 was ignored by the Prosecutor’s office, in spite of a Dagestan Supreme Court decision that it should be investigated.
This culture of impunity for those attacking and even murdering journalists and human rights defenders in North Caucasus must
end. If not, authorities will remain complicit in these killings.
On 29 June, Jennifer Lopez and other artists performed at a birthday concert for President Berdymuhammedov, Turkmenistan's
authoritarian ruler. - Turkmenistan is one of the worst human rights performers in the world, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsiniki
Committee Bjørn Engesland. Such an appearance in Turkmenistan not only legitimises a corrupt and authoritarian regime, but
also reflects badly on any artist's aspirations to draw attention to human rights issues. In an open letter to Ms Lopez,
the NHC and several other international NGOs encourage her to donate the fee she received to a charity working to improve
the dismal human rights situation in the country.
– Snowden’s avsløringer i The Guardian og The Washington Post må føre til at det vedtas sterkere internasjonale regler for
å hindre overvåkning av personer uten begrunnet rettskjennelse og uten at de er mistenkt for lovbrudd, sier Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal,
assisterende generalsekretær. – Helsingforskomiteen har tidligere kritisert at Telia Sonera og Vimpelcom (deleid av Telenor)
gir autoritære regimer i post-sovjetiske land som Usbekistan og Hviterussland tilgang til sine systemer. USA og andre demokratiske
land må nå sette en standard for å hindre utvikling av et globalt online overvåkingssamfunn. De må ta et oppgjør med en praksis
som er i strid med internasjonale menneskerettigheter og egne konstitusjonelle verdier.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) condemns the attack on Saturday 29 June on the St. Petersburg Pride. Participants were
attacked by anti-gay protesters and several people were injured. Instead of protecting participants, the police detained a
large number of them. NHC urges Russian authorities to dismiss charges against participants that violate freedom of assembly
and expression; those who attacked the parade should be prosecuted; and laws prohibiting so-called “homosexual propaganda”
or “non-traditional sexual relations” should be abolished.
In a letter to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Pace) The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, together with
23 other international human rights organisations, strongly urges PACE to condemn so-called “homosexual propaganda” bans as
incompatible with the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the prohibition of discrimination. The Assembly
should vote in favour of today’s resolution and recommendation on tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation
and gender identity. Read the letter below
Following her detention upon arrival to Tashkent International Airport from Bishkek at 7:20 PM on Monday 24 June, prominent
Kyrgyzstani human rights activist Tolekan Ismailova was deported to Almaty, Kazakhstan in the afternoon of 25 June.
The Siberian newspaper Yakutsk Vecherny, and Yelena Kostyuchenko, journalist of Novaya Gazeta, were among the laureates of
this year’s Press Freedom Award, issued by Fritt Ord and Zeit Stiftung. – The prize jury has come to an important and appropriate
decision, drawing attention to the deteriorating conditions for freedom of speech and the difficult situation for journalists
in today’s Russia, said Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns the legislation waved through this week by the Russian State Duma; prohibiting “propaganda
of non-traditional sexual relations”. The restrictive legislation is part of a wider trend of worsening human rights situation
for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.
Den norske Helsingforskomité har sluttet seg til en markering på Youngstorget på onsdag 19. juni kl. 18.00. Markeringen arrangeres
av LIM - nettverket, norsk - tyrkiske fredsaktivister og Norges Fredsråd med støtte fra en rekke andre organisasjoner.
Budskapet er: Respekter ytringsfriheten, ta vare på miljøet og stopp politivolden mot demonstrantene. Nefise Özkal Lorentzen
fra LIM og John Peder Egenæs fra Amnesty International Norge er blant appellantene. Sufimusikk og fotoutstilling med bilder
fra demonstrasjonene i Tyrkia står også på programmet.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has joined a call to the President of the UN Human Rights Council to ensure that records
of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) reflect all recommendations presented to the state under review. Recently, Russia managed
to remove two recommendations from Georgia from the list of recommendations at the end of the report and to get them added
as footnote. This is the last blow against the format of the Working Group reports which regularly, under the attack of countries
under Review, get modified and weakened. The statement calls on the President to issue a statement which would clearly define
how the Working Group report should be made and what it should contain.
The Turkish government should respect freedoms and establish independent investigation into police violence against demonstrators.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned about recent reports of police abuse against largely peaceful demonstrators
in Istanbul, Ankara and many other Turkish cities.
Mandag 3. juni kommer den russiske statsministeren Dmitry Medvedev til Kirkenes for å bli med på feiringen av 20-årsjubileeet
for Barentsssamarbeidet, som omfatter Finland, Norge, Russland og Sverige. Statsminister Jens Stoltenberg skal etter planen
ha et separat møte med sin russiske kollega Dmitry Medvedev den 4. juni. – Gitt den forverringen i Russland vi nå er vitne
til når det gjelder myndighetenes behandling av menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner og andre deler av det sivile samfunnet, må
Stoltenberg prioritere menneskerettighetsspørsmål i samtalene med Medvedev, sier generalsektretær Bjørn Engesland. Utviklingen
i Russland er stikk i strid med Barentserklæringen.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is pleased to announce the continuation of our small grants fund for Central Asia. All organizations
with project proposals related to human rights, democratization or strengthening of civil society may apply. While we are
open to all good proposals, we encourage projects in Kazakhstan related to the outlying regions of the country. In Kyrgyzstan,
we are particularly interested in projects addressing the basic human rights of vulnerable groups as well as legal initiatives.
In Tajikistan, strengthening of the media and the rights of children is important. However, we are open to original and innovative
One of Russia’s most respected human rights defenders, Svetlana Gannushkina, is prosecuted for “failure to comply with legal
requirements by the Prosecutor” and is to stand trial on 4 June. Gannushkina, the head of the Civic Assistance Committee (CAC),
suspended cooperation with the Moscow Prosecutors' office in April 2013 because unreasonable requirements were imposed on
her organization. In 2007, Svetlana received the Sakharov Freedom Award from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. She has been
nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize by Erna Solberg, the head of the Conservative Party in Norway.
Seks ledere for den Kroatiske utbryterrepublikken i Bosnia-Herzegovina er funnet skyldig i krigsforbrytelser og forbrytelser
mot menneskeheten. Dommen ble avsagt i Den internasjonale domstolen for det tidligere Jugoslavia (ICTY) i dag, to årtier etter
at bosniske muslimer ble myrdet og deportert fra Bosnia-Herzegovina under den blodige krigen i det tidligere Jugoslavia. –
Dommen er svært viktig for å vise ofrene at deres lidelser har blitt sett og erkjent, sier Helsingforskomiteens undervisningsleder
Enver Djuliman, selv fra Mostar i Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is present in Kiev during the Kiev Pride 2013. Ahead of the Pride March, Queer Youth Norway
and LLH - Norwegian LGBT Association jointly with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent a letter to the Ukrainian Embassador
to Norway, Yurii Onischenko, expressing concern over the reports that the Pride might be banned by the Kiev City Administration.
Read the letter below.
-Norwegian authorities should contribute to Europe enacting Magnitsky type legislation, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy
Secretary General. – There is need for new ways of addressing the very serious human rights violations that take place in
Russia from the part of European governments and institutions. Magnitsky legislation may prove to be an efficient supplement
to regional and international human rights mechanisms. Norway should signal support of the EU enacting Magnitsky type legislation.
One year after the bombing of the DIY pub and violent counter demonstrators attacked a Diversity March in Yerevan, Armenia
still suffers from widespread intolerance and discrimination of minorities. The legislation does not include hate crime with
intent towards gender and sexual minorities, and the government fails to protect the rights of these citizens. Media is more
often used as a tool to build up under prejudice and intolerance, and homophobic statements are frequently used by stakeholders
to gain popularity.
Today, 13 May 2013, eight years have passed since the horrific massacre of civilians by government forces in the Uzbek town
of Andijan. In spite of repeated calls from the international community, Uzbekistan still refuses to carry out an independent
Tomorrow, May 14, the 2013 Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) will begin in Norway. Norwegian Helsinki Committee is one of five Norwegian
partner organisations. Speakers include Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, recently escaped blogger Ali Abdulemam, Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa,
Syrian war correspondent Jenan Moussa, Zimbabwean artist Owen Maseko, Tibetan prime minister Lobsang Sangay, Belarusian theater
director Natalia Kaliada, Magnitsky Act originator Bill Browder, Malaysian lawyer and democracy advocate Ambiga Sreenevasan,
Bangladeshi child marriage abolitionist Arzina Begum, Serbian nonviolent resistance leader Srdja Popovic, and Cameroonian
musician and former political prisoner Lapiro de Mbanga.
Endemic corruption, arbitrariness and denial of justice are key words that illustrate the justice system of Turkmenistan today.
Few citizens dare to address the system for help, knowing that virtually any case is decided through money and good connections.
Now, three brave persons that independently of each other have been through the system and back with their complaints to no
avail, hope that international resonance to their case can create a positive precedence for others.
With today's opening of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Stockholm and Helsinki, the Don’t Play with the Dictator!
campaign has written a letter to the President of the International Ice Hockey Federation René Fasel, where we urge him and
the representatives of the national IIHF member organisations to support the victims of human rights violations by removing
the 2014 IIHF World Championship from Belarus at the next meeting of the IIHF General Congress in Stockholm in May 2013. The
NHC is a member of the Don't Play with the Dictator! campaign. Read the letter below.
In a statement published 29 April, NHC and the International Partnership Group on Azerbaijan urges the member states of the
United Nations to hold Azerbaijan accountable during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 30 April 2013 for its failure
to protect basic human rights. The International Partnership Group on Azerbaijan, in which NHC is a partner, urge the UN to
take Azerbaijan to task for failing to implement the commitments it made after its first review in 2009. Read the full statement
Den norske Helsingforskomité har gjennomført årsmøte for våre styre- og rådsmedlemmer. I årets uttalelse ber årsmøtet den
norske regjeringen om kraftfullt å ta til motmæle mot de pågående angrepene mot russisk sivilsamfunn, særlig med bakgrunn
i dommen mot vår 2012 Sakharovs Frihetsprisvinner Golos. Årsmøtet ble leder av visepresident i vårt råd, Stortingsrepresentant
Anne Marit Bjørnflaten.
NHC annual meeting, on 25 April 2013, has adopted our 2012 Annual Report. The report is an account of our wast activities
during last year, one of the most active in our history. Among many other issues you can read about the Norwegian Helsinki
Committe 35 years' anniversary, celebrated last year with a jubilee seminar with partners and friends as well as the Sakharov
Freedom Award 2012 ceremony, presenteing the award to the Russian Association Golos on 23 October last year.
Today, Golos was convicted for failing to comply with NGO-legislation and failing to register as foreign agents.NHC was a
witness during the trial where we refuted claims that Golos has accepted prize money from us. The legislation is itself in
violation of international law, and we condemn the court decision as unlawful. Golos must pay a fine of 300 000 roubles, approx.
9 500 USD. Follow updates on our Facebook-page and on Twitter nhc_no.
On April 25, Golos was convicted for failing to comply with NGO-legislation and failing to register as foreign agents. NHC
was a witness during the trial where we refuted claims that Golos has accepted prize money from us. The legislation is itself
in violation of international law, and we condemn the court decision as unlawful. Golos must pay a fine of 300 000 roubles,
approx. 9 500 USD. On 9 April Golos, a renowned human rights NGO conducting election monitoring in Russia, and Golos director
Lilia Shibanova, was informed by the Ministry of Justice that a case is initiated against them for being in breach of the
2012 "foreign agents law”. – To initiate legal actions against a human rights organizations for not having registered as a
“foreign agent”, is a violation by Russian authorities of international standards, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary
General. The 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders clearly states the rights of human rights defenders to receive
funding from abroad.
In a letter sent yesterday to the Turkish Minister of Interior Muammar Güler, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee expresses our
concern about the death treats against the Turkish lawyer Erdal Doğan, who is a legal counsel for the victims in the Zirve/Malatya
trial concerning the killing of three Christians on 18 April 2007 in Malatya, South Eastern Turkey. The letter is a part of
NHC's new initiative in Turkey, the Freedom of Belief Initiative, a human rights project founded to improve the protection
of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief in Turkey. The project is headed by our co-ordinator in
Istanbul, Mine Yildirim. A letter has also been sent to Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of
Human Rights Defenders and Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.
Sonia Biserko, Chair of the Serbian Helsinki Committee and author of the book “Yugoslavia’s Implosion” published by the Norwegian
Helsinki Committee, visited Brussels on 19-20 March to launch the book and take part in discussions around the topic of “Serbian
nationalism still alive: what impact for EU enlargement?”.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was relieved to learn of the decision by Ukrainian authorities to respect international human
rights obligations and to reject an extradition request for the former Prime Minister of Tajikistan to his home country.
25 mødre og enker fra Aserbajdsjan og Armenia møttes i Bosnia & Herzegovina fra 27. mars til 2. april for å dele sorgerfaringer
etter store personlige traumer. Møtet kom i stand som en del av prosjektet The pain of human loss: Ceasefire, som er etablert
av organisasjonene Center of Humanitarian Studies i Aserbajdsjan og Civil Society Institute i Armenia. Helsingforskomiteens
Enver Djuliman er rådgiver i prosjektet.
I et brev til Statminister Jens Stoltenberg i dag ber Helsingforskomiteen ham om å ta opp den pågående russiske myndighetskampanjen
mot det sivile samfunn når han møter Statsminister Dimitrij Medvedev i St.Petersburg 5. april. - Stoltenberg bør benytte anledningen
til å kritisere den pågående myndighetskamapanjen mot russiske NGO-er direkte med Statsminister Medvedev. Politikken er klart
i strid med Russlands internasjonale forpliktelser, og rammer menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner særlig sterkt, sier Helsingforskomiteens
generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland i brevet. Ifølge informasjon Helsingforskomiteen har innhentet fra sine russiske partnere
er så langt 121 organisasjoner i 29 russiske regioner blitt oppsøkt av myndighetene. Fem organisasjoner som Helsingforskomiteen
støtter med midler fra Utenriksdepartementet er hittil blitt gjenstand for inspeksjoner. Les hele brevet under.
Together with the Civil Society Institute (CSI) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) the Norwegian Helsinki
Committee have submitted a mid-term assessment (May 2010–December 2012) following recommendations by the United Nations Human
Rights Council at Armenia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in May 2010.
I et brev til utenriksminsiter Espen Barth Eide i dag ber vi ham offentlig å gi uttrykk for at russiske myndigheter må stoppe
den pågående kampanjen mot det sivile samfunn. - Organisasjoner som fremmer menneskerettigheter har rett til å kunne operere
fritt, selv om de får økonomisk støtte fra utlandet, sier Helsingforskomiteens generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland. - Vi har også
bedt Eide ta initiativ til at europeiske toppledere kritiserer myndighetenes kampanje mot det sivile samfunnet i klare ordelag.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned about recent developments in Russia related to freedom of association
and the rights of human rights defenders to conduct their work, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General. – Large numbers of
non-government organizations were today subject to inspections from authorities, including Memorial and other well-known human
rights organisations. The inspections are follow-up on recently adopted restrictive legislation that violates freedom of association
and aims at obstructing human rights work in the country. European institutions and governments should react strongly.
Chair of the Helsinki Committee for human rights in Serbia Sonja Biserko will present her book «Yugoslavia’s implosion», as
well as views on Serbia with relevance to Serbia’s EU integration, in events in Brussels on 18-20 March 2013. The book, published
by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, will be presented to the public on Wednesday 20 March at 13.00. There will also be meetings
with the European Parliament Working Group for Western Balkans, representatives of the European Commission, Directorate General
of Englargement among others. The visit is organized by the NHC in co-operation with our liason in Brussels, the International
Partnership for Human Rights.
I anledning Kosovos Statsminister Hashim Thaçis norgesbesøk som starter i dag, har Helsingforskomiteen satt opp en liste over
menneskerettighetsutfordringer som Kosovo står overfor. Thaçis delegasjon består blant annet av Europaminister Vlora Çitaku
og vise-utenriksminister Petrit Selimi. Selimi skal være hovedinnleder på dagens NUPI-seminar som har fokus på Kosovos EU-integrering.
In a letter to President Thein Sein the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Amnesty International Norway, the Norwegian Burma Committee
and several other human rights organizations call on the President to give attention to the human rights violations that are
still going on in Myanmar (Burma).
Election Day in Armenia was characterized by reports of ballot stuffing, multiple voting and intimidation of voters, following
a campaign where the three main opposition parties decided not to nominate their presidential candidates. This is the conclusion
of a delegation from the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), consisting of four experts of the Norwegian Helsinki
Committee, Swedish International Liberal Centre SILC, Sweden, Association GOLOS, Russia and European Exchange, Germany to
the Presidential elections on 18 February in Armenia.
-Though there were several reports about fraud before and during Election Day, social media showed that many Armenians took
this opportunity to state their opinion, says NHC’s Lene Wetteland, who was present in Armenia for the elections. - Many demonstrated
contempt by voting for American celebrity Kim Kardashian; one ate his ballot, another returned the 5000 AMD bribe with a note
that not everyone can be bought, and surprisingly many voted for the runner-up Raffi Hovhannisyan, who is now arranging rallies
in towns all over Armenia.
In a statement today, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has joined two large civil society networks, the Civic Solidarity Platform
and the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan together with local organizations condemning the latest campaign against
freedom of expression and association in Azerbaijan. – We are extremely concerned about the situation, it just seems that
there is no end to the steps the authorities are willing to take to retain power firmly in hand, Secretary general Bjørn Engesland
Since the start of the year, Azerbaijani authorities have broken up rallies arresting peaceful protesters and opposition leaders.
Journalists, writers and bloggers have been harassed and 75 year-old acclaimed author Akram Aylisli has been subjected to
severe threats even from the members of the national parliament. Proposals for restrictive legislation, running counter to
international standards for freedom of association and expression, has been fielded. – Bearing in mind that presidential elections
in Azerbaijan is just months away, the development is not acceptable and will undermine any hopes of democratic progress in
the country, Engesland continues.
Voting at the 2013 Presidential elections in Armenia is underway, following a month of low key campaigning. The ruling Republican
party’s candidate and incumbent president Serge Sargsyan is expected to win the majority of the votes in an election where
the three largest opposition parties in the Parliament did not advance or support any candidate. NHC's Lene Wetteland is observing
the elections in Vanadzor.
European Platform for Democratic Elections, of which NHC is a founding member, protests the detention of civil society activists
in Khachmaz region of Azerbaijan.The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) condemns yesterday’s incident in Khamaz,
Azerbaijan, where a training conducted by representatives of EPDE’s member organization Election Monitoring and Democracy
Studies Center was disrupted by the local police.
On 6 February 2013, the regional court in Nizhny Novgorod ruled that the city administration had violated human rights when
refusing to provide time and place for a March of millions demonstration. – The court’s recognition that the provisions of
the European Convention on Human Rights should prevail is a promising development, says Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, NHC Deputy
Secretary General. – It should set precedence for other courts handling similar cases of protesters being denied their rights
under Russian and international law to freedoms of expression, assembly and association.
Oslo/Almaty: On 5 February 2013, the former Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Abdulmalik Abdullodzhonov, was arrested at Borispol
International Airport in Kiev, Ukraine. Abdullodzhonov, who has been residing in the USA for the past 14 years, had arrived
to Ukraine on private business and was detained due to his having been included on the Interpol wanted list by Tajik authorities.
If extradited, Abdullodzhonov is at great risk of being subjected to ill-treatment and torture.
The film festival Human Rights Human Wrongs, Scandinavia’s only film festival dedicated to human rights, was arranged for
the fourth time February 6-10. Speakers included Alma Masic from the organization Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Bosnia
and Herzegovina and NHC staff Akhmed Gisaev and Inna Sangadzhiyeva. In cooperation with the Center for Studies of Holocaust
and Religious Minorities, the NHC also arranged visits by Alma Masic to two high schools to promote and inform about the project
“Srebrenica: Mapping Genocide”.
Norwegian Helsinki Committee, of behalf of the Norwegian NGO Forum for Human Rights, has submitted the annual recommendations
to the Government of Norway on human rights at United Nations. The recommendations are particularly directed towards Norway's
efforts before the UN Human Rights Council, but are relevant also to other UN bodies.
- “Civic observation is a powerful instrument for citizens’ control over electoral processes and deserves the attention and
the support of the European institutions. We wish the best success for the newly established “European Platform for Democratic
Elections” said Werner Schulz, Member of the European Parliament, during the presentation of the EPDE at the European Parliament
on Wednesday January 30th.
In a statement the Civic Solidarity Platform and the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) condemn the harsh
response by the Azerbaijani authorities to recent protests in the country. They call on the Council of Europe to ensure that
Azerbaijan respects its human rights obligations as a member state and stop punishing critical voices, including human rights
defenders and journalists. NHC is a member of bothe the Civil Solidarity Platform and IPGA and we support the statement.
Rapporten Democracy and human rights at stake in Hungary som Den norske Helsingforskomité publiserer i dag viser hvordan Viktor
Orbáns regjering sentraliserer makten og setter domstolenes uavhengighet og medienes frihet under press. - Ungarn ble inntil
nylig sett på som et av de mest vellykkede nye demokratiene i Sentra-Europa, men på kort tid har utviklingen gått i motsatt
retning i en grad som de færreste trodde var mulig, sier generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland i en uttalelse i forbindelse med
The International Partnership Group, coordinated by ARTICLE 19, along with Amnesty International, Norwegian Helsinki Committee
and several Azerbaijani and international NGOs urges the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to make a
strong call for Azerbaijan to improve its deteriorating human rights record. On Wednesday 23 January, the vote on two crucial
resolutions on Azerbaijan will be an opportunity for the Assembly to show its genuine commitment to its human rights principles.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was distressed to learn of serious, anonymous threats made against the Central Asia Program
Director of Human Rights Center Memorial, Vitaliy Ponomarev, on 12 January 2012 and urges Russian and Uzbekistani authorities
to open an investigation.
A conference on the role of universities in peacebuilding took place at the university of Novi Pazar, Serbia on December 14-15.
The conference is part of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee's reconciliation program for the Western Balkans.
The role of universities in peacebuilding has been dicussed in the Western Balkans as part of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee
program “Building bridges not walls – The role of universities in peacebuilding”.
In a statement today the Civic Society Platform, which includes the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, condemned the December 19
raid on the premises of the Human Rights House in Voronezh by Russian police. The statement calls on the international community
to speak out against this and other cases of harassment against civil society in Russia.
One year after Kazakhstani security forces shot 16 people following a strike in the oil town Zhanaozen in Western Kazakhstan,
the authorities are intensifying the pressure against alternative voices in the country. The scrutiny also extends to activity
outside the country’s borders. A Kazakhstani independent trade union activist was attempted kidnapped in Moscow this weekend.
-Since the Zhanaozen events, Kazakhstan has moved in the wrong direction regarding civil society, states Secretary General
of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Bjørn Engesland. -Whilst trying to keep up appearances abroad, for example by becoming
a member of the UN Human Rights Council, activists and independent media working for the same rights at home are subject to
an unacceptable crack-down.
On 19 December 2010, two years ago today, thousands of peaceful citizens gathered in central Minsk, protesting the oppression
and the stolen presidential elections. The protests were organised on the day of the last presidential elections officially
won by Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko has been in power since 1994.
The Moscow City Court today decided to exclude the Russian Justice Initiative from the list of international organisations
allowed to function in Russia. – The court decision sets an alarming precedence, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of
the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. It means that one of the biggest international human rights organisations in Russia is prohibited
from doing its important work. It opens up for more similar cases against other international organisations.
A draft law criminalizing “promotion of homosexuality among minors” is to be considered by the Russian Parliament on 19 December.
The draft violates the right to freedom of expression and association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
On 12th December 2012, Norwegian Helsinki Committee was among twelve civil society organisations supporting or conducting
citizens’ election observation in the states of the Eastern Partnership, the Russian Federation, Norway and the European Union
who launched the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) in Warsaw.
NHC together with partner organisations Civil Society Institute and The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) call
upon Armenian authorities to eliminate violations in the administration of justice and ensure the establishment of an independent
judiciary and the rule of law. These steps are fundamental to the further democratic development of Armenia, and should be
a prerequisite for any further engagement with the EU.
Bosnisk -serbiske Zadravko Tolimir ble 12.12.2012 dømt til livsvarig fengsel og funnet skyldig i blant annet folkemord ved
Srebrenica og i tvungen befolkningsforflytning fra Srebernica og Zepa i FNs krigsforbryterdomstol for det tidligere Jugoslavia
i Haag (ICTY).
Alerted by the recent sentence against civil society activist Vadim Kuramshin, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, International
Partnership for Human Rights and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee call upon Kazakhstani authorities to ensure that activists
are not punished for their civic engagement or for their exercise of their freedom of expression.
In a statement supported by other Civic Solidarity Platform members, the NHC expresses regret that Baroness Catherine Ashton,
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, did not use her recent visit to Central
Asia to raise the human rights challenges in the region. This is particularly disappointing as the EU is about to receive
the Nobel Peace Prize for its "advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights".
On 5 December the NHC and a range of other activists from Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia gathered at the OSCE Parallel
Civil Society Conference in Dublin Castle on the eve of the Ministerial Meeting. The organisations, representing the Civic
Solidarity Platform, adopted the Dublin declaration on Human Rights Defenders and a document outlining civil society recommendations
to the delegates of OSCE participating states gathered in Dublin for the 19th Ministerial meeting.
In an article in Foreign Policy, Tanya Lokshina, senior researcher and deputy director at the Moscow office of Human Rights
Watch and longtime NHC cooperator, looks at the current political crackdown sweeping Russia following Vladimir Putin’s May
7 presidential inauguration.
In a letter signed by six human rights organizations, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso,
President of the European Commission and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, are called upon to raise the
issue of Chinese poet, human rights defender and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Peace Award Ceremony on 10 December
2012. The signatory organizations include PEN International, Front Line Defenders, Protection International, OMCT, International
Partnership for Human Rights, and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
Den norske Helsingforskomité oppfordrer statsminister Jens Stoltenberg og utenriksminister Espen Barth Eide til å ta opp menneskerettighetssituasjonen
med Ukrainas statsminister Mykola Azarov, som er på statsbesøk i Norge torsdag og fredag.
The office of our partner in Belarus, prominent NGO 'Viasna', led by the imprisoned human rights defender Ales Bialiatski,
was confiscated on 26 November. The move was the last fulfilment of the illegal conviction of Bialiatski just over one year
ago. NHC has protested this last blow against Viasna through the network Civil Society Platform.
On Sunday 25 November 2012, Kyrgyzstan held local elections for 25 city councils and 416 village councils around the country.
International observers paid particular attention to the elections in Kyrgyzstan’s largest city, the capital Bishkek, and
large urban centers such as Jalalabad in the southern part of the country. Kyrgyzstan has traditionally seen a political division
between north and south, where different groups tend to hold influence. Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s Central Asia representative
Ivar Dale visited the capital during the elections.
Tuesday 20.11 Sonja Biserko, founder and President of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, presented her book
"Yugoslavia’s Implosion" at The Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s seminar "Serbia - stuck in the past or proving EU worthy of
a peace prize?"
The seminar also featured Neil Campbell, head of EU policy development at the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels,
and Aage Borchgrevink, Norwegian author and senior advisor at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Sonja Biserko thanked the
Norwegian Helsinki Committee, the publisher of the book, for being one of most important supporters of the HCHRS for two decades.
Oslo, 21.11: En ny lov trer i dag i kraft i Russland som krever at organisasjoner som mottar støtte fra utlandet må registrere
seg som utenlandske agenter. En rekke russiske organisasjoner har protestert mot loven, fordi den skaper et bilde av dem som
spioner eller agenter for fremmede stater. Den norske Helsingforskomiteen protesterer mot loven, som både mistenkeliggjør
menneskerettsorganisasjoner og begrenser handlefriheten deres.
Oslo/Almaty, 21 November 2012: The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned at today’s request by the Prosecutor General’s
office in Kazakhstan that the court ban what in effect are all news outlets critical of the current government.
After the May 2012 elections, former key allies of Slobodan Milosevic became Serbia’s Prime Minister and President. Their
declared goal is now EU membership. Is this goal credibly pursued by the new government? Does the process towards EU membership
warrant the Noble Peace Price to the European Union? Tuesday 20.11 we launch the book “Yugoslavia’s Implosion: The Fatal Attraction
of Serbian Nationalism” by Sonja Biserko, where she traces the roots of Serbia’s situation today.
Den norske Helsingforskomité tar avstand fra en ny ukrainsk lov som vil gjøre det forbudt å «propagandere for homoseksualitet»
og som i praksis vil kunne brukes til å stoppe all positiv omtale av homofili.
Tblisi,10 November 2012: Grave crimes were committed during the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. The NHC documented
war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the cessation of hostilities. In the years since, the NHC has investigated
in Georgia and Russia, trying to assess whether domestic investigations are on-going and effective.
- We are concerned with the reports that a conference aiming at discussing freedom of the internet allows restrictions on
contributions from civil society – input that would contribute to a more open and relevant discussion, says Bjørn Engesland,
Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. - One would think that the authorities had learned from the discussions
that surrounded the Eurovision Song Contest that such restrictions and violations do not pass unnoticed, and do not reflect
positively on the country’s image.
(Genève og Oslo, 30.10.2012) Langvarig opphold i politiarrest, isolasjon i fengsler, behandling og diagnostisering av torturskader,
utlendingsinternatet på Trandum, vold mot kvinner og tvang i psykiatrien er sentrale utfordringer for Norge for fullt ut å
oppfylle forpliktelsene etter torturkonvensjonen, sa Helsingforskomiteens Ole B. Lilleås til FNs torturkomité i dag.
The UN CEDAW committee is “seriously concerned about attitudes and policies reinforcing discriminatory traditional norms,
harmful practices and patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes […] in all spheres of life” in Turkmenistan.
Parlamentsvalget 28. oktober forsterker dessverre inntrykket av at Ukraina er i fred med å forlate Oransjerevolusjonens løfter
om mer demokrati. Fengsling av opposisjonspolitikere og og andre former for maktmisbruk er i ferd med å bli et alvorlig hinder
på veien til ukrainsk integrering i Europa, sier Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, assisterende generalsekretær.
Russian Association 'Golos' was presented the Sakharov Freedom Award at a ceremony which also marked Norwegian Helsinki Committee
35 years' anniversary on 23 October. Lilya Shibanova accepted the award on behalf of the organisation she leads. - It is a
great honor to receive the Sakharov Freedom award. The recognition comes at a very important and suitable time for us, were
Russian democracy is dwindling and organisatons like ours are under fierce attack from the authorities. The anniversary was
also celebrated by a well attended seminar opened by Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
On 15 October, the well-known Uzbek human rights activist Mutabar Tajibayeva participated in a joint NHC/NOAS seminar on Uzbekistan
in Oslo. More than 30 guests from immigration authorities, ministries and other interested attended the seminar and the following
movie screening aimed at shedding some light on the human rights situation behind the closed gates of Uzbekistan.
-Tildelingen av Nobels fredspris til EU er en anerkjennelse av den rollen som EU har hatt og har som en freds- og demokratiskapende
kraft i Europa. Men gitt det økende presset mot demokrati og menneskerettigheter i land som Russland og Hviterussland er vi
skuffet over at ledende menneskerettighetsforkjempere i disse landene ikke nådde opp, sier generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité
The UN CEDAW committee is “seriously concerned about attitudes and policies reinforcing discriminatory traditional norms,
harmful practices and patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes […] in all spheres of life” in Turkmenistan.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was disappointed to learn of the 7 ½ year prison sentence given to Kazakhstan opposition
leader Vladimir Kozlov on 8 October 2012. Kozlov is the head of the main opposition party in Kazakhstan, Alga (Forward).
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns today’s decision by the Serbian Authorities to ban Belgrade Pride 2012. This is
the third time that the parade has been banned. The parade, belonging to an international movement of peaceful celebrations
of diversity, is an important way to attract attention to the rights of equality before the law for all persons defining themselves
as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans and Intersex persons (LGBTI). Banning the parade indicates that Serbian Authorities are
not prepared to secure the rights to freedom of assembly and expression for one of Europe’s most vulnerable minorities.
– The Norwegian Helsinki Committee remains deeply concerned about the current human rights situation in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan,
which begs improvement on every aspect of fundamental human rights, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee,
Bjørn Engesland. Both states are counted amongst the most repressive not only in the Central Asian region, but also in the
world as a whole. Torture, political use of the judiciary and repression of media and civil society is widespread.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is represented also at this years' OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.
In our interventions at the meeting we will focus on the importance of independent judiciary drawing upon the examples of
the Sergey Magnitsky case in Russia and the case against several oppositionals in Western Kazakhstan, and also drawing attention
to governments' obligation to facilitate human rights eduaction, including by refraining from hindering participation by visa
Den hviterussiske politiske fangen, den anerkjente menneskerettighetsaktivisten og Nobelpriskandidaten fylles femti år i dag.
Over hele Europa blir hans fødselsdag markert, og Den norske Helsingforskomité slutter seg til en uke av gratulasjoner til
Ales. Ales Bialiatski, leder av den kjente menneskerettighetsorganisasjonen Viasna i Hviterussland ble i november i fjor tid
dømt til fire og et halvt års fengsel for skatteunndragelse samt til inndragning av eiendom.
Norge bør ratifisere den valgfrie protokollen til FNs torturkonvensjon og opprette et nasjonalt tilsynsorgan for tortur i
Norge, skriver Helsingforskomiteen sammen med Amnesty International i et høringssvar. -Tilsynet bør utføres av en ny nasjonal institusjon for menneskerettigheter som etableres som en sterk og uavhengig kommisjon
for menneskerettigheter, slik Helsingforskomiteen tidligere har gått inn for, sier Generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland.
In cooperation with local activists, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has submitted an alternative report to the Committee
on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women’s (CEDAW) 53 Session on 11 October, where Turkmenistan will be heard in
Foreningen GOLOS tildeles Andrej Sakharovs Frihetspris 2012 for sin fremragende innsats for å fremme demokratiske verdier
gjennom frie og rettferdige valg i Russland, sier generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland i Den norske Helsingforskomité i en pressemelding
I 35 år har Den norske Helsingforskomité arbeidet for demokrati og menneskerettigheter. Kampen er ennå ikke vunnet, men pågår
i dag. I denne kampen kan du bidra: Den norske Helsingforskomité trenger din støtte i kampen for menneskerettigheter i Europa!
På vegne av en rekke representanter for norsk sivilsamfunn, alle medlemmer i NGO-forum for menneskerettigheter, har Den norske
Helsingforskomité oversendt et brev til Statsminister Jens Stoltenberg, hvor organisasjoene tar opp en bekymringsverdig utvikling
når det gjelder åpenhet og deltakelse for frivillige organisasjoner i spørsmål som har med Norges internasjonale menneskerettighetsforpliktelser
Oppdatering 2. september 2012: Svar på brevet fra utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Støre kan leses nedenfor.
-Dommen i Pussy Riot-saken på to års fengsel, må ikke bli stående, sier Bjørn Engesland, generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité.
-Myndighetenes reaksjon på en aksjon som først og fremst må ses på som en politisk meningsytring er uforholdsmessig og krenker
menneskerettighetene. Hvis den blir stående bør den bringes inn for Den europeiske menneskerettighetsdomstol, som blant annet
vil kunne vurdere om rettergangen har vært rettferdig og om ytringsfriheten er respektert.
I et brev til Utenriksminister Jonas Gahr Støre, uttrykker Helsingforskomiteen sammen men en rekke norske organisasjoner bekymring
for prosessen rundt reetableringen av Nasjonal Institusjon for menneskerettigheter i Norge.
On 24 July central Special Forces entered the Gorno-Badakshan region (Pamir) with military personnel and equipment, including
helicopters. Allegedly, the aim was to arrest the militants suspect of the murder of the local head of the KNB. However, as
the day advanced, reports of civilian casualties emerged, as well as raids and shooting of schools and private homes. There
was no organized evacuation of civilians before the actions started, and an information blockade followed.
Concerned with the latest developments in the Russian Federation, the NHC in the submission to the EU human rights dialogue
with Kyrgyzstan encourages the EU to underline the strong link between foreign support to civil society and foreign investment.
A vivd civil society is crucial for the development of any country.
Det kontroversielle lovforslaget vart godkjent med overveldande fleirtal av Russland sitt underhus i Dumaen den 13.juli. Før
forslaget eventuelt trer i kraft må det også godkjennast av Føderasjonsrådet og Overhuset og bli underskreve av president
“The new draft law introducing amendments to the regulations of civil society organisations, having it first reading in the
Duma today, could have serious negative consequences for Russian organisations”, said Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary
General. “The amendments were introduced only on 29 June. Time should be given in order to have a genuine public debate, including
civil society organisations.”
The 16 November 2009 death of Sergei L. Magnitsky in a Russian prison remains one of Russia’s emblematic cases. Magnitsky
was a lawyer, accountant and tax partner at Moscow law firm Firestone Duncan that detected massive theft by an organised crime
group, involving Russian authorities. The new movie details some of the crimes of the group, whose members still remain protected
at the highest levels.
- Five years on, there is broad consensus that the human rights dialogues established with the Central Asian governments and
other measures taken to implement the Strategy’s human rights objectives have not been as effective as desired. The overall
human rights situation in Central Asia has not improved in any substantial way and, in some respects, human rights protection
has even deteriorated in the countries of the region. NHC is among the signatories of an appeal to the European Union in occation
of the five year anniversary of the EU Central Asia strategy.
A dedicated human rights defender and our good friend Boris Zvoskov, head of the Legal Initiative human rights association,
has died, after a prolonged disease. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has known and cooperated closely with Boris for over
ten years. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Helsingforskomiteens Enver Djuliman deltok i panel på Litteraturhuset i Oslo under den årlige markeringen av folkemordet i
Srebrenica den 11. juni. - Folkemordet i Srebrenica er ikke bare bosniakisk, det tilhører like mye serberne og kroatene, og
bevisstheten om og anerkjennelsen av de historiske realitetene er viktig for alle, sa Djuliman i sin innledning på seminaret.
In a letter addressed to Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre today, NHC express concern with recent developments in the Russian
Federation related to the on-going crackdown against opposition leaders and human rights activists, as well as the adoption
of restrictive legislation on public rallies. - President Putin pledged to inspire “greater participation of citizens in
public affairs” and to have “more consultations with different sectors of society about legal reforms” on the day of his inauguration,
Secretary Bjørn Engelsnad says. Recent developments stand in sharp contrast to these words.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee congratulates the organizers of Pride Parade “Equal – before the law” in Split this Saturday.
Despite fear of violent incidents, 600 persons managed to walk through the city and make the parade a celebration of human
rights and equality; the very nature of pride parades.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee participated in a picket in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in Oslo Monday, passing on a statement
to Counsellor Vitalii Pantus. The statement comes as a reaction to the recent violent attacks on a peaceful demonstration
organized by Ukrainian LGBTI organizations, where several activists were victims of violence. – We are concerned with the
development in many European countries. It seems to be a trend of violent intolerance that is unacceptable in countries that
are aspiring at rapprochement to Europe, hosting European Championships in Football, Olympic Games or applying for EU membership,
says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
In a letter sent today to the Federal Minister of Justice in Austria Dr. Beatrix Karl, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, together
with Human Rights Watch, Civil Rights Defenders, Austrian Helsinki Association, European Center for Constitutional and Human
Rights, and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), urges the Austrian government to request the extradition of
Lecha Bogatyrov from the Russian Federation. Lecha Bogatyrov is the man who allegedly fired the fatal shots that killed the
Chechen exile Umar Israilov on the streets of Vienna in January 2009. Three men were convicted 1 June 2011 by the Vienna Landesgericht
to long prison sentences for the killing of Israilov, but the current current impunity for Mr. Israilov’s alleged killer should
be treated as a political issue by the Austrian government.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee expresses full support for the Split Pride Parade “Equal before the Law”, which despite political
pressure and threats of violence will be organized on Saturday 9 June.
On 22 and 23 May, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court organized a seminar
in Almaty, Kazakhstan with participants from civil society in all five Central Asian republics.
The report “A Chronicle of Violence: The events in the south of Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 (Osh Region)”, published today, gives
a detailed chronology of the events in the Osh Province in the period 29 April to 15 June 2010, as well as an analysis of
available information and statistics related to the violence in the south of Kyrgyzstan in June 2010. The 200-page report
was prepared by Memorial Human Rights Center (Russia), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (Norway) and Freedom House (USA).
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is pleased to announce the continuation of our small grants fund for Central Asia. All organizations
with project proposals related to human rights, democratization or strengthening of civil society may apply. While we are
open to all good proposals, we encourage projects in Kazakhstan related to the outlying regions of the country. In Kyrgyzstan,
we are particularly interested in projects addressing the basic human rights of vulnerable groups as well as legal initiatives.
In Tajikistan, strengthening of the media and the rights of children is important. In addition to our regular program, we
are glad to announce that additional grants have been allocated for smaller projects in Kazakhstan. These grants may be up
to 9,999 USD, and are intended to support projects in more outlying regions of the country. The deadline and other requirements
are the same.
On 16 April 2012, the Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly Vanadzor, a partner organization of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, was
subject to harassment by a large crowd on the eve of a movie screening. Police authorities did not protect the human rights
defenders, and damage was made to the premises of the organization. Now, several international and regional organisations
have sent a letter to the Armenian authorities, urging proper investigation of the events and protection of human rights defenders
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (the IPGA), has launched its website www.AzerbaijanFreeXpression.org ahead
of this week’s Eurovision Song Competition in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, present in Baku this week,
is a member of the coalition.
The campaign "Don't play with the dictator" has expressed disappointment with the decision by the International Ice-hockey
Federation IIHF confirming at its general assembly in Helsinki that the Republic of Belarus will host the 2014 IIHF World
As a Norwegian partner, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee is pleased with the implementation of the Oslo Freedom Forum 2012,
which took place 7 - 9 May. The 2012 Forum has been the best so far, and the NHC is proud to be associated with both the conference
and with its participants.
- Rettsaken er viktig fordi den gir landene i regionen en mulighet til å ta innover seg hvilke forbrytelser som faktisk ble
begått. Det er nødvendig for å bidra til en mer normalisert og tolerant samfunnsutvikling og til bedre relasjoner mellom landene
på Vest-Balkan. Dette viser at oppgjøret med krigsforbrytelser ikke er et kapittel som er lukket med utleveringen av de siste
ettersøkte fra Serbia til Haag, sier Helsingforskomiteens Balkanrådgver Ole Benny Lilleås.
Parliamentary elections on Sunday 6 May was the country’s first elections since the disputed 2008 Presidential elections that
led to strong protests and eight persons being killed by security forces. – There were a few improvements from previous elections,
but abuse of administrative resources and pressure on voters remained a serious problem, says Lene Wetteland, Advisor who
observed Sunday’s election. – Authorities had promised that elections would be conducted according to international standards.
But if you are told that your job depends on supporting the President’s party, you stop believing in such promises, she continues.
Together with several international human rights organisations, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee strongly condemns the brutal
attack on the Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov and four other journalists on 18 April 2012. In a letter adressed to President
Ilham Aliyev the NHC demands that the Azerbaijani authorities launch an immediate, independent and transparent investigation
into these brutal attacks. Read the letter in full below.
- Den nye regjeringen vil ha mange store utfordringer. Serbia har forpliktet seg til omfattende reformer på viktige områder
som diskrimineringsvern, frie medier og oppgjør med fortiden, men har så langt ikke demonstrert evne til å sørge for en reell
implementering av disse, sier Ole B. Lilleås, seniorrådgiver i Den norske Helsingforskomité som observerte søndagens valg
– The Tymoshenko and similar cases is part of a widespread and deep rooted problem in Ukraine, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary
General. Even though Ukrainian officials portray the cases as anti-corruption, they clearly form part of a pattern of selective
justice and political influence over the judiciary. It is important that Norway and other European governments and institutions
step up pressure to end these practices. Beginning in May 2010, a number of criminal cases were opened against former Prime
Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. On 11 October 2011 a court found her guilty of abuse of power, and sentenced her to seven years
Sunday 6 May citizens of Serbia will vote in presidential, parliamentary, regional and local elections. Even though it is
wider support for the need for European integration now than in 2008, it is obvious that the candidates struggle to prevent
that this ambition alienates voters.
- The most basic European value that Serbia needs is respect for the rule of law and legal procedure, said Sonja Biserko at
the seminar “Serbia at another crossroad” hosted by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, just four days before elections in Serbia.
A Just Russia party candidate in the 4 March 2012 mayor elections in Astrakhan, Oleg Shein, ended his 40 days hunger strike
on 24 April after receiving access to webcam videos from polling stations in Astrakhan. Shein and his supporters had filed
a law suit claiming that massive fraud had taken place during the elections. – The Central Election Commission should give
full access to videos in order to help investigation of all substantiated cases of fraud, says Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy
Presidential elections of 19 February 2008 and the subsequent unrest of 1 March, where 10 people lost their lives, and more
than hundred were arrested or injured. In the campaign leading up to the elections, President Sargsyan has on several occasions
stated the importance of free and fair elections. - It is of utmost importance that these promises are followed up by action,
says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Norwegian Helsinki Committee's Lene Wetteland
is in Armenia during the elections.
Den norske Helsingforskomité avholdt sitt årsmøte for styre og rådsmedlemmer den 26. april. Årsmøtet ga i årets uttalelse
bred støtte til det aktuelle forslaget om å innlemme menneskerettighetene i Grunnloven.
Authorities should take steps to initiate an open and inclusive process of revising the Bakiyev-era Religion Law, says Bjørn
Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. – The 2009 Religion Law fails to comply with the Constitution
and with international human rights standards. It severely restricts religious freedoms, including imposing registration requirements
that in effect ban registration of new religious communities other than the Orthodox Church and the Spiritual Board of Moslems.
Norsk PEN, Human Rights House Foundation og Den norske Helsingforskomité har i dag sendt brev til Utenriksdepartementet med
forslag til en ny strategi for Hviterussland. Forslagene er utarbeidet i rammen av vår kampanje "Aksjon Hviterussland" som
har som mål å øke norsk og internasjonalt engasjement for den menneskerettslige krisen i Hviterussland. Norge gjør mye riktig
i forholdet til Hviterussland, men det har lenge vært begrenset diplomatisk kontakt mellom landene. Norge støtter EUs sanksjonsregime
og gir økende økonomisk støtte til det hviterussiske sivile samfunn. Men vi etterlyser ytterligere tiltak og kreativitet for
å legge press på det hviterussiske regimet.
-Norge kan gjøre en forskjell i den postsovjetiske regionen, sier generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland. Nylig deltok Engesland i et møte sammen med andre menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner og ga innspill til utenriksminister Jonas
Gahr Støre for strategier for Russland, Hviterussland og Kasakhstan.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), a global network of more than 2500 organizations including the
Norwegian Helsinki Committee, urges Kazakhstan to accede to the ICC Rome Statute. - Central Asia is significantly underrepresented
at the Court; only Tajikistan is a state party, said William R. Pace, Convenor of the CICC in a letter addressed to H.E. President
Nursultan Nazarbayev. - When Kazakhstan joins the international justice system established by the Rome Statute and represented
by the ICC, it will give the region a greater voice in the global fight to end impunity, and it will be an important step
forward nationally toward greater commitment to justice and accountability, he highlighted.
Norwegian Helsinki Committee has written a letter to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning the reform of the
European Court of Human Rights. The letter is part of a joint NGO action, led by Amnesty International and other leading European
human rights organizations, to campaign for safeguarding the integrity and the authority of the Court in these negotiations
and to ensure that it remains effectively accessible to individuals claiming to be victims of violations of their Convention
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development must maintain demands that Turkmenistan and Belarus meet set benchmarks before
any investment in the restrictive countries. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee today participated in a meeting at the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, discussing the Bank’s calibrated approach towards Belarus and Turkmenistan.
The two authoritarian countries are the only cases in which the EBRD has initiated such an approach that allows for closer
monitoring of the progress or regress towards set benchmarks on political and economic reform, and more rapid response to
On 15 March the European Parliament adopted a resolution that is clear in its criticism of the latest developments in Kazakhstan,
and which expresses concern with the human rights situation. In that connection, the NHC sent a statement to the European
Parliament jointly with the International Partnership for Human Rights in Brussels and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee
in The Hague, in an appeal to use the new cooperation agreement to push for follow-through on Kazakhstan’s human rights promises.
Today marks the launch of a new report by the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA), Running Scared: Azerbaijan’s
Silenced Voices. The report highlights the climate of fear and pervasive self-censorship in Azerbaijan, with few brave journalists,
bloggers and activists remaining. In the run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku in May, the IPGA calls on the international
community to engage the Azerbaijani authorities on these issues now. The NHC is a member of the IGPA network, and you can
download the report below.
Norwegian PEN, Human Rights House Foundation and Norwegian Helsinki Committee invite you to the conference "Action on Belarus!"
in Litteraturhuset in Oslo on 22 March. We are proud to present prominent speakers from Belarus, Norway and European institutions,
including the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland and State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Torgeir
Larsen. The questions we aim to answer are: Is the pursued policy efficient? Is Norway’s policy towards Belarus clear enough?
How can we offer more support to freedom-longing Belarusians? And is the Belarusian people ready for a change?
Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) condemns the blackmail and continued
harassment of one of the few independent investigative journalists working in Azerbaijan, Khadija Ismayilova. The most recent
episode in the harassment campaign involves a one minute film of an intimate nature being posted on the internet on Wednesday
March 14). A week earlier Ismayilova said she had received a letter including intimate photographs and a threat, stating "Whore,
behave. Or you will be defamed”. Ismayilova has refused to give in to the blackmail attempts.
- Presidentvalget i Russland 4. mars var ikke fritt og rettferdig, sier generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland i Den norske Helsingforskomité.
Den norske Helsingforskomité (DNH) har fulgt valgprosessen gjennom vårt samarbeid med GOLOS, den mest erfarne uavhengige valgobservatørgruppen
i landet. To representanter fra DNH var dessuten til stede i Moskva valghelgen.
Today marks the seventh anniversary of the murder of Monitor editor-in-chief Elmar Huseynov, who was fatally gunned down in
his apartment building in a well-organised attack in 2005. Since Elmar Huseynov’s murder, there have been dozens of violent
attacks against journalists in Azerbaijan, including the murder of prominent journalist and writer Rafig Tagi in November
2011. None of these attacks have been seriously investigated or prosecuted, resulting in a climate of impunity for those who
wish to use violence to silence critical voices. Elmar Huseynov's widow has complained the apparent inactivity of the Azerbaijani
Government to the European Court of Human Rights.
Three days ahead of the 4 March 2012 Presidential elections in Russia there is little doubt about the outcome. Despite increasing
public protests against prime minister Vladimir Putin, all indications suggest that he will declare victory, probably after
the first ballot. This will happen in an environment where free and fair elections are not possible. The Norwegian Helsinki
Committee (NHC) will be present in Moscow during the elections.
In late January and beginning of February, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee conducted a fact-finding mission to Hungary. Due
to recent concerns on threats to democratic rule in Hungary, expressed both by Hungarian and international observers, the
NHC wanted to get a better understanding of current legal and political developments in the country. This report presents
the findings from the mission, and contains the Norwegian Helsinki Committee's recommendations to the Government of Hungary,
the European Union and to the Norwegian Government.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is disappointed to learn that authorities in Kyrgyzstan have moved to block access to a highly
respected news agency covering the Central Asian region, Ferghana.ru. The decision is not only in breach of the country’s international obligations with respect to media freedoms, but stands in
contrast to the positive level of openness which has characterized Kyrgyzstan in recent years.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was delighted to learn Friday that prominent Kazakhstani human rights defender Evgeniy Zhovtis
was finally released from prison in Ust-Kamenogorsk. Having been amnestied after serving 2,5 years in prison following a highly
politicized trial in 2009, Zhovtis can now rejoin his family, friends and colleagues in Almaty.
- Putin will not survive the next presidential term. He will off course win the upcoming elections, he is in reality the only
candidate, but he will be replaced within two years. The Russian political elites will ensure this, together with the protesters
in the streets. This was one of the conclusions of Nicolay Petrov, who participated at The Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s
seminar Presidential Elections in Russia – a New Spring?, at the House of Literature in Oslo on 15 February.
NGO-forum for menneskerettigheter er klare med sine anbefalinger om hva Norge bør fokusere på i FN i 2012. Jonas Gahr Støre
fikk oversendt anbefalingene 13. februar, og organisasjonene forventer at utenriksminister Støre begynner arbeidet med disse
sakene allerede på det første møtet i menneskerettighetsrådet som starter 27. februar. - Blant sakene som NGO Forum for menneskerettigheter
anbefaler å ta opp, mener Den norske Helsingforskomité at det er spesielt viktig å skjerpe kritikken av Russland og Kazakhstan
i FN-fora, sier generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland. - At Norge er medlem av FNs menneskerettighetsråd i 2012 forplikter. Helsingforskomiteen
og de andre organisasjonene i NGO forum for menneskerettigheter forventer derfor at Norge følger våre anbefalinger, sier Engesland.
Helsingforskomiteen og 26 andre organisasjoner ber regjeringen om å signere og ratifisere FNs klageordning for barns rettigheter.
Seremonien er om knappe tre uker. - Norge kan gå foran og gi et viktig internasjonalt signal for å fremme barns rettigheter
internasjonalt ved å signere og ratifisere tilleggsprotokollen til FNs barnekonvensjon. På denne måten kan vi bidra til at
også de mest utsatte barna i land med svake rettssystemer og svakt rettsvern kan få bedre beskyttelse, sier seniorrådgiver
Ole Benny Lilleås. Foto: Redd Barna/Nevruz Aksu
Den norske Helsingforskomité inviterer til seminar om det kommende presidentvalget i Russland. Seminaret finner sted på Litteraturhuset
onsdag 15 februar 11:00-14:00. Photo: Andrei Blinushov
Russland opplever nå de mest omfattende politiske demonstrasjonene siden oppløsningen av Sovjetunionen. Dumavalget resulterte
i en overraskende lav oppslutning om Putins støtteparti, og omfattende valgfusk og trakassering av valgobservatører ble dokumentert.
Spørsmålene fram mot presidentvalget den 4. mars er mange: Hva er det egentlig demonstrasjonene kan fortelle oss? Vil demonstrasjonene
føre til reelle endringer i Russland? På hvilken måte har demonstrasjonene påvirket myndighetenes strategi før valget? Kan
vi forvente omfattende valgjuks også ved dette valget, og hva vil reaksjonene i så fall være? Hvordan forholder norske myndigheter
seg til utviklingen i Russland? Den norske Helsingforskomité har invitert Lilya Shibanova, Golos, og Nikolay Petrov, Carnegie
Foundation for International Peace til å presentere sine analyser og erfaringer. Innledningene vil bli etterfulgt av en paneldebatt
med norske politikere.
11:00 Velkommen, Bjørn Engesland, Generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité
11:10 Innledning ved Liliya Shibanova, Leder i GOLOS
11:45 Innledning ved Nikolay Petrov, Forsker Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Moscow Center
12:45 Paneldebatt og spørsmål
Lilya Shibanova, Leder GOLOS Nikolay Petrov, Forsker Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Ine-Marie Eriksen Søreide, Høyre, leder av Stortingets utenriks- og forsvarskomité Bård Vegar Solhjell, SV, medlem av Stortingets utenriks- og forsvarskomité (TBC)
Seminaret vil foregå på norsk og russisk med simultantolking.
Påmelding til: email@example.com innen tirsdag 14. februar
Mer informasjon om hovedinnlederne:
Lilya Shibanova har siden 2001 vært leder for GOLOS, en russisk organisasjon etablert i 2000 for å beskytte velgernes rettigheter
og styrke det sivile samfunn. GOLOS har gjennom ett tiår vært den mest aktive nasjonale valgobservatøren i Russland. Shibanova
er utdannet økonom og ingeniør, og har vært aktivt involvert i arbeid med det sivile samfunn siden 1995.
Nikolay Petrov er forsker ved Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Moscow Center, og leder senterets samfunns- og regionalprogram.
Han har en doktorgrad fra Moscow State University, og har undervist ved, og vært tilknyttet en rekke anerkjente akademiske
institusjoner i Russland og i USA. Petrov har også vært ansatt i det sovjetiske/russiske myndighetsapparatet, blant annet
som rådgiver og analytiker for presidentadministrasjonen i 1994-95.
- The root causes of the unrest in Zhanaozen are not isolated to this particular region, similar social challenges can be
found all over Kazakhstan, Essenbek Ukteshbayev and Ainur Kurmanov, two independent trade union activists from Kazakhstan
said during a seminar hosted by NHC in Oslo on 2 February.
Det olje- og gassrike Kasakhstan har lenge vore kjend som det best utvikla landet i Sentral-Asia, utan etnisk eller anna uro
og med stabil økonomisk utvikling. President Nasarbajev har styrt landet sidan 1989, og med referanse til stabilitet og økonomisk
framgang har både innbyggjarane og det internasjonale samfunnet stort sett latt Nasarbajev styre utan innblanding. Men så
gjekk ei gruppe oljearbeidarar i det vestlege Kasakhstan i mai 2011 i streik for å få den løna og arbeidsforholda dei meinte
dei hadde krav på etter lova. I sju månader var det ingen som brydde seg særskild om dei streikande, før dei skrekkelege nyhenda
kom den 16.desember 2011: minst 17 menneske var drepne og fleire skadde i opptøyar mellom streikande og politistyrkar i den
vesle byen Zhanaozen i ørkenen. Korleis kunne ein grunnleggjande arbeidskonflikt om lovregulert løn og arbeidsforhold gå så
The credibility of the upcoming Presidential Elections in Russia, already marred by the claims of widespread violations in
Parliamentary polls in December last year, is waning after Central Elections Commission’s refusal to register the liberal
opposition leader, Grigory Yavlinsky for the Presidential race. At the same time, renewed pressure against the respected election
monitor organization and NHC partner Golos is disquieting, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is disappointed to learn of raids and arrests of opposition politicians and journalists in
Almaty, Kazakhstan on 23 January 2012. The arrests are connected to the ongoing investigation of the events in Zhanozen on
16 December 2011.- Authorities seem intent on cracking down on remaining opposition rather than to carry out a transparent
investigation to establish responsibility for the many deaths during these tragic events, says Secretary General of the Norwegian
Helsinki Committee Bjørn Engesland.
On January 24, the cassation appeal against the verdict of the Pershamaiski District Court of Minsk, of Ales Bialiatski, Head
of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” in Belarus, Vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and
one of the founders of the Belarusian Human Rights House in exile, left the sentence against Ales Bialiatski in force: 4.5
years imprisonment in a higher security colony and confiscation of properties. The latter disregards the fact that all the
taxes and penalties imposed on Ales Bialiatski have been fully paid by the time of the appeal hearing. The same day, "Viasna"
had to vacates their offices through almost twelve years.
Member organisations of the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) are deeply concerned by the continued politically
motivated imprisonment of persons in Azerbaijan for exercising their right to freedom of expression. The IPGA calls on the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to take immediate action to ensure the release of these persons and
to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its obligations as a Member State.
Associate Professor of Law Mr. Jeffrey Khan has recently submitted a report to President Medvedev’s Human Rights Council analyzing
the second verdict against the imprisoned former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
In the Bosnian war ethnic cleansing was directed not only against civilian populations, but also against religious buildings
and other traces of existence of the cleansed groups from captured areas. After the war there has been a struggle between
the idea to resurrect and reconstruct the symbols of the past and the idea to erect novel symbols and buildings reflecting
the politics of identity and the cultural supremacy of the dominant group. In other Western Balkan states there seems to be
an upsurge in religious and nationalist symbols demarcating a particular territory for a dominant nation.