-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.
Just minutes ago, 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.
On Sunday 15 January, Kazakhstan held early Parliamentary elections after President Nazarbayev expressed that more than one
party now should be represented in Parliament and law amendments were made to provide for this. However, despite promises
of democratization and the recent period as chair of the OSCE, several violations took place and did not allow for a fair
and democratic competition for the seats in Parliament.
The report The Impunity Syndrome in the Caucasus: The Situation of the Georgian-Russian conflict of August 2008, is a follow-up
of the report Unable or Unwilling? Georgia’s faulty investigation of crimes committed during the Russo-Georgian war of August
2008, which the NHC published earlier this year. The new report investigates the current situation and the latest developments
in the conflict, and it concludes that since Russian and Georgian investigations in relation to the August 2008 war have proven
ineffective, the Prosecutor of the ICC should at the very least require proof of progress in domestic investigations within
a defined timespan. Download the report below.
At least 14 people have been killed and 86 people wounded in clashes between police and demonstrators in the Mangistau region
in Western Kazakhstan. The unrest follows seven months of conflicts between striking oil workers and authorities, and reportedly
started in Zhanozen on 16 December, when people attacked a stage set up for the Independence Day event. – It is of paramount
importance that investigations into the clashes and the resulting deaths are conducted in an independent and transparent way,
said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General. – Efforts to find peaceful solutions to this conflict should be initiated, and these
efforts should be guided by fundamental human rights principles such as freedom of association and speech.
Demokrati- og menneskerettighetsforkjemperen Vaclav Havel døde søndag. – Med Vaclav Havels bortgang har Europa mistet en av
sine virkelig store demokratiske ledestjerner, en forkjemper for humanisme, menneskerettigheter og demokrati i Europa, sier
Bjørn Engesland, generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité.
On 19 December last year we witnessed thousands of peaceful citizens gathering in central Minsk, protesting the oppression
and the stolen presidential elections. That night all hope of progress was shattered as we saw police forces batter the protesters
and arresting them by the hundreds. Presidential candidates, opposition leaders, civil society leaders and unorganized citizens
were all herded into vans and brought to prison. Thousands fled, running away from soldiers and police beating indiscriminately.
Belarusian citizens keep running still a year later.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) is concerned with recently adopted legislation on religious organizations; coming into
force on 25 October 2011. – The legislation is very restrictive, violating international human rights on numerous points.
Prohibiting unregistered religious activities and establishing censorship of religious literature is clearly in breach of
human rights provisions on freedom of religion or belief. In addition, so far authorities have failed to present instructions
on how to abide by the law, says Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee held a regional meeting in Sarajevo about the program Build Bridges not Walls that has been
initiated at the universities in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the role of the universities in peacebuilding with all interested parties in the program,
including university professors, student union representatives and NGOs.
- Russiske myndigheter må akseptere fredelige demonstrasjoner mot måten Duma-valget ble gjennomført på, sier Bjørn Engesland,
generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité. - Norge og EU-land må ta avstand fra arrestasjonene og oppfordre russiske
myndigheter til å etterforske brudd på valglovgivningen og respektere ytrings- og forsamlingsfriheten, fortsetter Engesland.
The tendency in the result of the voting yesterday nevertheless shows that the Russian population is getting wary of the tightfisted
rule of the Medvedev/Putin tandem, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Bjørn Engesland. -Independent
national observers all over the country have registered countless violations in the election legislation, including pressure
against voters to vote for the ruling party United Russia.
Russian authorities undermining trust in elections by impeding monitoring. In the run-up to Russian Duma elections taking
place on Sunday 4 December, the country’s most experienced election monitoring group is being under scrutiny by prosecutors
and pro-government media. –The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned that these are deliberate attempts at hindering Golos
important work, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary-General. “By limiting monitoring of the elections, authorities are also undermining
trust in elections being conducted in compliance with international standards of freeness and fairness.”
The elections process ahead of the 4 December Duma elections in the Russian Federation has not been fair”, said Bjørn Engesland,
Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. “We have serious concerns on obstacles related to nomination of delegates
and registration of parties, as well as lack of equal opportunities to campaign.”
Prominent Azerbaijani journalist and writer, Rafiq Tagi, died in Baku on 23 November from the injuries he sustained during
a brutal knife attack four days earlier. Rafiq’s death on 23 November – the world’s first International Day to End Impunity–
is a chilling reminder of the dangers faced by journalists in Azerbaijan. As the Azerbaijan freedom of expression community
mourns the loss of Rafiq, the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) calls for an end to the cycle of impunity
in the country and for an independent, impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
Following a visit to Kosovo 13-18 November, a delegation of Helsinki Committees calls on authorities there to improve the
rule of law and the fairness and efficiency of the justice systems for all, and to extend a hand to its minorities and demonstrate
in practical terms that the local and central government takes care of the needs of its citizens. The recent events in the
North of Kosovo, where severe unrest and violence has marked the KFOR removal of barricades, demonstrates the need for Prishtina
and Belgrade to seriously engage to avoid further escalation in conflict levels and inter-ethnic tension.
Ales Bialiatski, leder av den kjente menneskerettighetsorganisasjonen Viasna i Hviterussland ble kl 09:45 norsk tid dømt til
fire og et halvt års fengsel for skatteunndragelse samt til inndragning av eiendom. Denne dommen er en skam for Europa, og
vi må stå samlet i vår fordømmelse av regimet i Hviterussland, sier Helsingforskomiteens generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland.
- Europeiske ledere, inkludert den norske regjeringen, må kreve umiddelbar løslatelse av Bialiatski.
- Den Europeiske virkeligheten er en flerkulturell virkelighet. Det må alle i Europa forstå og akseptere. Europa er avhengige
av 40-50 millioner flere innvandrere for å opprettholde vår levestandard. Denne realiteten står i skarp kontrast til en virkelighetsoppfatning
som er i ferd med å spre seg særlig blant høyreradikale i Europa, nemlig den at vi står overfor en trussel fra masseinnvandring.
Denne myten må avlives og arbeidet med å få alle til å forstå at vi lever i en flerkulturell virkelighet i Europa må forsterkes,
sa Generalsekretær i Europarådet Thorbjørn Jagland på konferansen Å leve sammen i ulikhet som Den norske Helsingforskomité
arrangerte sammen med NOAS og Amnesty på Litteraturhuset mandag. På konferansen var norske og internasjonale eksperter invitert
for å diskutere hvordan vi skal leve sammen i det flerkulturelle samfunn i det 21. århundre.
Having experienced economic growth, while granting limited freedoms to its population since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan
has recently been shocked by terrorist acts. In Atyrau, Western Kazakhstan, on 31 October four young men placed bombs close
to security service instalments. One of the four, a local resident, died when one of the bombs went off prematurely. In a
further serious development, on Saturday 12 November, a young man killed five law enforcement officers, two bystanders and
himself in a shooting spree in Taraz, Southern Kazakhstan.
Hendelsene 22. juli 2011 aktualiserer med styrke behovet for å ta de viktige valg om hvordan vi skal leve sammen i flerkulturelle
samfunn i det 21. århundre. NOAS, Amnesty International i Norge og Den norske Helsingforskomité ønsker derfor å sette fokus
på Europarådets høynivårapport Living together: Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-Century Europe. På konferansen vil
Europarådets generalsekretær Torbjørn Jagland presentere hovedelementene fra rapporten.
In connection with today’s meeting in preparation of the upcoming meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Subcommittee on Justice, Liberty,
Security and Human Rights and Democracy (Brussels, 24-25 November 2011) the Norwegian Helsinki Committee participates while
presenting a paper outlining some the main challenges of human rights in Azerbaijan. We have in particular emphasized the
deficiencies in the rule of law and the sharp increase in the number of political prisoners in the country. We also present
a list of political prisoners and bring up the lawless situation in the Autonomous republic of Nakhchivan.
En delegasjon av Helsingforskomiteer fra Norge, Albania og Serbia er denne uken i Kosovo for å undersøke forholdene for minoriteter
og deres rettsvern i Kosovo. Situasjonen er politisk sett mer tilspisset enn på lenge på grunn av konflikt om kontroll over
grensestasjoner i det nordlige Kosovo hvor flere personer er drept og veisperringer er satt opp. Delegasjonen skal blant annet
se på hvordan dette påvirker minoritetens stilling og trygghet og å påvirke ansvarlige myndigheter. Programmet omfatter besøk
til serbiske enklaver og bosetninger for Romabefolkningen i tillegg til politiske møter med en rekke parlamentarikere, innenriksministeren,
utenriksdepartementet, sentrale diplomater og internasjonale organisasjoner.
FNs Menneskerettighetskomité har nettopp gått gjennom Norges oppfyllelse av de sivile og politiske menneskerettighetene. På
en rekke punkter kommer komiteen med kritikk av Norge, og utrykker bekymring over at Norge ikke gjør mer for å ivareta sine
forpliktelser. Den norske Helsingforskomité, Advokatforeningens menneskerettighetsutvalg og Juss-Buss fulgte høringen og kom
med mange innspill til komiteen underveis i prosessen.
Flere menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner, deriblant Den norske Helsingforskomité og vår svenske søsterorganisasjon Civil Rights
Defenders, har blitt nektet visum for å kunne være på plass under rettssaken mot Ales Bialiatski, leder for organisasjonen
Viasna. Dette er enda et bevis på at rettssaken mot Bialiatski er politisk motivert.
In Kyrgyzstan, the previous Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev has received approximately 63% of the votes in Presidential
Elections that were found mostly free and fair by the observers. Violations in the electoral process were mainly related to
the voter’s lists, where a significant number of the voters could not find their name and thus could not vote.
Geneva, 25 October 2011 – The United Nations Human Rights Committee concluded today its review of the sixth periodic report
of Norway on questions relating to the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. Large and active NGO involvement resulted in the Committee having most of their concerns raised during the session. Issues
such as excessive use of coercion in mental health institutions, scarce medical documentation available on torture or ill-treatment
allegations for asylum seekers and the need to enhance Dublin II regulation guarantees in recipient countries were discussed
in depth by the Committee. “We are pleased that the Committee has taken most of our concerns into consideration and we hope
that the recommendations will be fully implemented by the government of Norway”, said Ole Benny Lilleas from the Norwegian
FNs Menneskerettighetskomité skal ta opp sivile og politiske rettigheter i Norge 24. og 25. oktober og vil deretter komme
med anbefalinger til hvordan forpliktelsene etter FNs konvensjon om sivile og politiske rettigheter bedre kan oppfylles. Helsingforskomiteens
Ole Benny Lilleås er sammen med andre norske frivillige organisasjoner tilstede under høringen i Genève. Du kan se høringen
live ved å klikke på linken under.
Norwegian Helsinki Committee is among nine international human rights NGOs signing a protest letter addressed to Belarusian
authorities today protesting further tightening the conditions for civil society activity in Belarus. We believe that the
new amendments constitute a grave threat to civil society in Belarus.
Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsalen, 24. oktober klokken 12.00-16.00.
Mandag 24. oktober - FN-dagen - inviterer papirløskampanjen til en halvdagskonferanse på Litteraturhuset i Oslo. Fokuset er
argumentene for å gi opphold til papirløse – og argumentene for ikke å gjøre det.
Storbritannia har nettopp føyd seg til den lange listen av land som har gitt opphold til større grupper av lengeværende papirløse,
mens Polen har vedtatt en bred regularisering for papirløse i 2012. Med sin harde linje overfor papirløse forblir Norge et
unntaksland. Vi har invitert flere innledere til å fortelle hvorfor Norge bør finne en løsning for de papirløse – og hvorfor
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned about the Serbian National Security Council’s decision to ban all public gatherings
on 2 October 2011. The decision, as intended, effectively led to a ban on Belgrade Pride 2011. We are concerned regarding
the development in this case specifically, and the situation for LGBTI people in Serbia generally. In a letter sent to the
President of Serbia Boris Tadić today, we condemn the ban and call for concrete measures to ensure that Belgrade Pride can
take place in 2012. The NHC has also encouraged the Norwegian Embassy to Serbia and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
to make it clear to Serbian authorities that such a ban is not acceptable. Read the letter below.
Two new laws restricting freedom of religion or belief has passed through the Maijilis (lower house) and the Senate of the
Parliament at great speed (21 and 29 September, respectively), without including consultation with civil society or other
relevant stake holders. – The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) is concerned with the rapid passage as well as the restrictive
nature of the new laws, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the NHC. – The way to prevent violent religious extremism
is not to restrict freedom of religion. There are plenty of examples showing that undue restrictions are counterproductive
in this regard.
On 2 October a Baku court convicted Arif Hajili, Chairman of the Musavat Party, Tural Abbasli, head of Musavats youth wing
and Mahammad Majidli of the Popular Front Party to two and a half years in prison. They were convicted for “promoting social
unrest” in connection with the 2 April pro-democracy protests. Their convictions adds to an already long list of political
convictions in Azerbaijan in 2011, and comes just days after the Norwegian Helsinki Committee called for the release of Azerbaijani
political prisoners at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meeting in Warsaw, Poland.
On 7 October 2006, the courageous Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed at the entrance of her apartment
in Moscow. Since then, neither the murderers nor any possible assassin's paymaster have been convicted. Anna Politkovskaya
was not only a journalist; she fought for the victims of the conflict in North-Caucasus by making their stories known to the
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee regrets the decision of the National Security Council of the Serbian Parliament to ban Belgrade
Pride 2011. The statement made by the Serbian president Boris Tadić that “This way the citizens and members of the LGBT* population
are protected” is a clear indicator that the rights of sexual and gendered minorities are still not being taken seriously
by Serbian authorities.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is actively and well represented at this years' OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
in Warsaw. In our interventions at the meeting we will focus on freedom of religion in Central Asia, rule of law in Azerbaijan,
Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and freedom of expression in Macedonia, Bosnia and Serbia. We are organising a side-event
on lack of justice after major human rights violations in Russia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Additionally we organise
a side-event on strikers' rights in Kazakhstan and we are also co-organising a side-event with particular focus on Ales Bialiatski
and the release of political prisoners in Belarus. Below you will find links to the HDIM webpage, all documents from our side-events
and interventions and other relevant links.
Imprisoned Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski turned 49 yesterday. Ales was forced to celebrate his birthday
behind bars, despite calls from UN, from EU and all over the world for his release.
The appeal case of Natalya Sokolova, legal representative of a trade union formed by employees of the Karazhanbasmunbay oil
company in the Aktau region of Kazakhstan, is proceeding these days in Aktau, Western Kazakhstan. - The appeal hearing should
lead to immediate release of Mrs Sokolova, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
The European Parliament adopted on 14 September a resolution on the arrest of the Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski.
The Parliament demand the immediate and unconditional release of Bialiatski as well as all other political prisoners in Belarus.
FNs Menneskerettighetskomité skal ta opp Norge 24. og 25. oktober og vil deretter komme med anbefalinger til hvordan forpliktelsene
etter FNs konvensjon om sivile og politiske rettigheter bedre kan oppfylles. Helsingforskomiteen har sammen med andre norske
frivillige organisasjoner skrevet brev til komiteen. Brevet omhandler blant annet Dublin-returer, rettshjelp, barnets beste
i utlendingsforvaltningen, behandlingen av asylsøkerbarn og systemet for bistand til torturofre. Brevet er en oppfølging av
en større rapport som organisasjonene sendte til FN-komiteen tidligere i år.
The first week of September, Norwegian Helsinki Committee in cooperation with the International Partnership for Human Rights,
Brussels, addressed the members of the European Parliament about the the human rights crisis in Belarus. We did this in view
of a September 13 discussion of an urgent resolution concerning the arrest and imprisonment of the prominent Belarusian human
rights defender Ales Bialiatski. In addition, NHC has together with several international human rights organisations written
a letter to the national delegations participating in the Interactive Dialogue with the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Belarus.
- The Norwegian Helsinki Committee deeply regrets that Albania has taken a step backwards at a time when fair elections
that could enjoy the confidence of all Albanians were needed”, said Ole B Lilleås, advisor with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee,
who observed the 8 May 2011 local elections in cooperation with the Albanian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. The AHC
recently concluded that the elections did not meet international standards in a thorough report based on extensive observation
throughout the country.
In an important new General Comment, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) has provided an up to date and authoritative interpretation
of the freedoms of opinion and expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The office of the NGO Institute for Peace and Democracy led by prominent human rights defender Leyla Yunus was demolished
totally within an hour starting around 8:30 p.m. local time last night. The building was privately owned by Leyla Yunus and
her husband, the historian Arif Yunus. Bulldozers arrived without warning and within little more than an hour nothing was
left of the building that for years served as the premises for important human rights activity in Azerbaijan, including a
crisis center for women and fight against the extensive violation of property rights.
Natalya Sokolova, legal representative of a trade union formed by employees of the Karazhanbasmunbay oil company in the Aktau
region of Kazakhstan, has been sentenced to six years of imprisonment. - The verdict should be revoked, says Secretary General
Yesterday, August 4, Ales Bialiatski, the head of Human Rights Centre (HRC) Viasna and the Vice- President of International
Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) was arbitrary detained in Minsk. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned with
Ales Bialiatski's detention, and Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says "We will demand the immediate release of our colleague
and good partner Ales Bialiatski by using all appropriate means we have."
A closed down TV station, three closed downed independent newspapers, as well as prospects of more restrictive legislation,
cause worry of the situation of media freedom in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. “Regardless of whether the tax
evasion cases raised against the media outlets and their owner are well-founded, Macedonian authorities should avoid silencing
independent media critical of the government”, said Norwegian Helsinki Committee Advisor Ole B. Lilleås. “The amounts demanded
and the conditions of payments seem to be designed to silence critical media.”
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is very disappointed that the human rights activist and laureate of the Sakharov Freedom
Award Evgeniy Zhovtis on 2 August again was rejected in his appeal for early release.
- We wish to express our deepest condolences with all those who have been affected by the tragic and despicable actions at
Utøya and in Oslo, Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says. The attacks targeted the best we have: our youth, our openness,
Since 15 June 2011, at least 1730 people have been arrested during the peaceful demonstrations in Belarus. Thirty eight international
human rights organisations united in their call upon the Belarusian authorities to immediately release the demonstrators from