| Den norske Helsingforskomité

Tajikistan: Independent Journalist Detained

Tajikistan: Independent Journalist Detained

Independent journalist Khayrullo Mirsaidov (39) have been detained after appealing to Tajikistan’s president to crack down on corruption.

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Drømmer du om å bli publisert?

Drømmer du om å bli publisert?

Hva begeistrer eller opprører deg mest når det gjelder menneskerettigheter i Norge? Skriv en kronikk om det og vinn en premie!

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Oppretter krisefond

Helsingforskomiteen:

Oppretter krisefond

Et nytt krisefond skal gi akutt hjelp til menneskerettsforsvarere som er i fare.

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Sakharov Frihetspris til tortur-bekjempere i Russland

Sakharov Frihetspris til tortur-bekjempere i Russland

Helsingforskomiteens Sakharov Frihetspris 2017 går til avisen Novaja Gazeta og organisasjonen Komiteen mot tortur.

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The Oslo Magnitsky Hearing

Invitation:

The Oslo Magnitsky Hearing

A unique international hearing in Oslo November 22 will discuss human rights challenges in corrupt authoritarian states.

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Kronprinsen åpner jubileumsutstilling

40 år mot urett:

Kronprinsen åpner jubileumsutstilling

Hans Kongelige Høyhet Kronprinsen åpner Helsingforskomiteens jubileumsutstilling i Oslo den 20. november. 14 av Europas sterke stemmer mot urett hedres når Helsingforskomiteen fyller 40 år.

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- Norge må øke støtten til de som varsler om korrupsjon

Internasjonal høring i Oslo:

- Norge må øke støtten til de som varsler om korrupsjon

– De som varsler om korrupsjon blir angrepet og til og med drept, mens de som står bak den økonomiske kriminaliteten fortsetter sin internasjonale forretningsvirksomhet. Dette må Norge bidra til å stoppe.

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40 år mot urett

Helsingforskomiteen:

40 år mot urett

Den norske Helsingforskomité er førti år. Feiringen handler om å huske historien for å være forberedt på fremtiden.

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Forfølger de som vil bekjempe korrupsjon

Forfølger de som vil bekjempe korrupsjon

- Ukraina må slutte å forfølge aktivister som kjemper mot korrupsjon.

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Falske nyheter på filmfestival

Falske nyheter på filmfestival

Helsingforskomiteen skiller mellom falske og ekte nyheter på filmfestivalen Movies on War.

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Tortured for being gay

Azerbaijan:

Tortured for being gay

Khayal was arrested, tortured and kept in detention for nine days – for being gay.

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Documenting Severe Human Rights Violations

TURKMENISTAN:

Documenting Severe Human Rights Violations

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee details serious human rights abuses in Turkmenistan in joint UN submission.

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Døde ikke forgjeves

Anna Politkovskaja:

Døde ikke forgjeves

I dag er det 11 år siden en av Russlands fremste journalister ble drept utenfor sitt hjem i Moskva. Anna Politkovskaja er fremdeles en inspirasjon for andre journalister og en trussel for dem som har noe å skjule.

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Kjemper for religions- og trosfrihet

ASEAN-landene:

Kjemper for religions- og trosfrihet

25 parlamentarikere vil bekjempe den økende trusselen mot religion- og trosfrihet i Sørøst-Asia.

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European human rights prize to Turkish judge

Council of Europe:

European human rights prize to Turkish judge

– Important support to an embattled institution, says Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, NHCs Deputy Secretary General.

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Helsingforskomitéen utfordrer den nye utenriksministeren

Helsingforskomitéen utfordrer den nye utenriksministeren

“Gi rettsløse menneskerettsforkjempere og journalister i Russland, Aserbajdsjan og Tyrkia reell støtte, utenriksminister! Innfør sanksjoner mot overgriperne.»

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Journalister vant mot Putin

Russland:

Journalister vant mot Putin

To russiske journalister vant mot Russland i Den europeiske menneskerettighetsdomstolen.

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Tear gas against equality festival

Ukraine:

Tear gas against equality festival

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns the attack on the Equality festival in Ukraine leaving several people injured.

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- Alle spør meg hvordan det føles nå

Russere i Pride Parade i Kirkenes:

- Alle spør meg hvordan det føles nå

- Vi som har vært her har vist at vi er stolte av hvem vi er, sier Valentina Likhoshva, en av mange russere som kom over grensa for å delta i tidenes nordligste Pride Parade i Kirkenes.

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Human Rights backlash

Central Asia:

Human Rights backlash

Did you know that Saparmamed Nepeskuliev and 111 other individuals have disappeared in prisons in Turkmenistan? The human rights situation is critical in many European and Central-Asian countries.

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Vil styrke likestilling og trosfrihet

I FNs hovedstad:

Vil styrke likestilling og trosfrihet

Hvordan kan kvinners rettigheter og religions- og trosfrihet styrke hverandre? Dette skal 11 kvinnelige parlamentarikere finne svaret på.

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Poems from the Disappeared

Turkmenistan:

Poems from the Disappeared

A beautiful yet chilling collection of translated poetry by one of the disappeared in Turkmenistan has been published.

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-Sats mer på menneskerettigheter, Erna!

- Sats mer på menneskerettigheter, Erna!

Klar melding i brev fra 21 organisasjoner til den nye Solberg-regjeringen: Legg om kursen for menneskerettigheter.

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Poems from the Disappeared

Turkmenistan:

Poems from the Disappeared

A beautiful yet chilling collection of translated poetry by one of the disappeared in Turkmenistan has been published.

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Global debatt om straff

Nytt initiativ:

Global debatt om straff

Helsingforskomiteen er med på å diskutere grunnlaget for internasjonal strafferett.

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Europe must take action - Release Ilgar Mammadov

Azerbaijan:

Europe must take action - Release Ilgar Mammadov

NHC urges Council of Europe’s member states to take action now to ensure the release of the political prisoner in Azerbaijan.

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Påpeker mindre avvik i stortingsvalget

Valg 2017:

Påpeker mindre avvik i stortingsvalget

- Et godt gjennomført stortingsvalg med rom for forbedringer, konkluderer internasjonale valgobservatører.

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Skal overvåke stortingsvalget

Valg 2017:

Skal overvåke stortingsvalget

26 internasjonale valgobservatører kommer til Norge for å overvåke Stortingsvalget.

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Dette mener partiene om menneskerettigheter

Valg 2017:

Dette mener partiene om menneskerettigheter

Partiene får fra terningkast to til fem for sin innsats for menneskerettigheter. Amnesty og Helsingforskomiteen har gjennomgått partiprogrammene.

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Det norske valget sett gjennom diktaturets briller

Valg 2017:

Det norske valget sett gjennom diktaturets briller

- Det er viktig å ha eit kritisk blikk utanfrå på det demokratiet me tar for gitt her heime, seier Bjørn Engesland i Helsingforskomiteen. Han har invitert 26 internasjonale observatørar til Stortingsvalget.

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Today’s Russia: Torture and slavery exposed

Anna Politkovskaya seminar 2017:

Today’s Russia: Torture and slavery exposed

NOAS, NHC and FRI wish to invite you to an open seminar in memory of Anna Politkovskaya, the investigative journalist of Novaya Gazeta, who would have been 59 years old on 30 August had she not been brutally murdered for her work in 2006. Her brave work to expose human rights abuse in Chechnya and North Caucasus has inspired many journalists in Russia, and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee commemorates her legacy every year with a relevant seminar.

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Armenia: End harassment of lawyers

Armenia:

Armenia: End harassment of lawyers

“Harassment and obstruction by state agents of the professional work of independent defence lawyers working on high-profile cases in Armenia should immediately come to an end", said Lene Wetteland, senior advisor at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. “Together with other members of the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) we call on Armenian authorities to put an end to a worrying pattern of abuse and ensure that all lawyers can carry out their work without hindrance.”

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Georgia: Letter to the ICC on the Georgia investigations

Georgia: Letter to the ICC on the Georgia investigations

The creation of a permanent international criminal court (ICC), which seeks to punish individuals most responsible for the gravest international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes has been a significant development for the protection of human rights and an important achievement for the international community. July 17 marks the adoption of the Rome Statute – the founding treaty of the ICC – and is therefore commemorated as an International Justice Day worldwide. On this occasion, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and a group of Georgian human rights organisations issued a letter to the ICC regarding its ongoing investigations in Georgia. The letter recommends strengthened ICC presence and outreach in the country.

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37 human rights organizations from 18 countries protest Kyrgyzstan entry denial to Memorial staff

Kyrgyzstan:

37 human rights organizations from 18 countries protest Kyrgyzstan entry denial to Memorial staff

The July 9 decision of the government of Kyrgyzstan to deny Vitaliy Ponomarev, Central Asia Programme Director for Human Rights Center Memorial, entry to the country was wrong and raises deep concern as to its motivation, members of the Civic Solidarity Platform said in a statement.

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Drawing for Freedom exhibition opens in Berlin

Exhibition and roundtable in Berlin:

Drawing for Freedom exhibition opens in Berlin

Today the exhibition Drawing for Freedom, depicting political prisoners in Azerbaijan, opens at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin. The art project ”Drawing for Freedom” is a cooperation between the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.The thematic focus of the project is political prisoners in Azerbaijan. On 22 July, at 18:00, the Heinrich Böll Foundation jointly with NHC, organises a panel discussion on the situation in Azerbaijan in the same place, titled 'Azerbaijan: shrinking or lost spaces for opposition?'. There will also be a tour of the exhibition.

Open Thursday, 15.06.2017 10:00 – Saturday, 01.07.2017 18:00
Daily opening hours: 10:00 - 18

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A letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of Tajikistan visit

Tajikistan:

A letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of Tajikistan visit

Together with Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden, and Freedom Now, USA, NHC has written a letter to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of his visit to Tajikistan, reminding him of the grave human rights situation and the negative development in the country. Since 2014, the Tajik government has undertaken a widespread crackdown to dismantle and discredit the country’s peaceful political opposition.

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Free 18 Men Tortured, Sentenced in Unfair Trial

Turkmenistan:

Free 18 Men Tortured, Sentenced in Unfair Trial

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee joins protests in reaction to credible reports of the arrest, torture, and conviction following unfair trials, and imprisonment under inhumane conditions of 18 men in Turkmenistan. The sentences, from 12 to 25 years, were handed down in a closed, two-hour trial, and set out in a summary of the verdict that lacks any information about the specific acts the men are accused of committing or the evidence against them.

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Azerbaijani journalist abducted from Georgia

Letter to the Prime Minister of Georgia:

Azerbaijani journalist abducted from Georgia

In a letter to the Prime Minsiter of Georgia, NHC has joined several human rights organisations to express our concern about the abduction of Afgan Mukhtarli, an exiled Azerbaijani journalist, on 29 May in Tbilisi. He went missing after leaving his colleagues in the evening, before resurfacing the following day in Baku in the custody of Azerbaijan’s state border agency. Mukhtarli reports that he was forced into a car near his home, tied up and beaten. His abductors put a bag over his head and 10,000 euros were stuffed into his pockets while crossing the Azerbaijani border. We question the role of Georgia in letting this abduction take place.

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Authorities should protect KyivPride 2017

Ukraine:

Authorities should protect KyivPride 2017

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee urges Ukrainian authorities to support and protect Kyiv Pride Week, which will be organized June 9 to 18, 2017. An important part of the program will be the KyivPride March on 18 June, a manifestation in support of fundamental human rights and freedom from violence for Lesbian, Gay, Bi- Trans- and Intersex persons (LGBTI) in Ukraine.

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Time for Justice for Ilgar Mammadov

Azerbaijan:

Time for Justice for Ilgar Mammadov

The Council of Europe’s legitimacy is at stake over Azerbaijan’s persistent non-compliance with the European Court judgment. On 22 May, three years had passed since the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered its judgment on the case of political prisoner Ilgar Mammadov, concluding that the Azerbaijani authorities had detained him to punish him for his criticism of the government.

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2017 Oslo Freedom Forum opened!

Norway:

2017 Oslo Freedom Forum opened!

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is a partner of the Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) which is now underway in Oslo. OFF is a thriving global community of people who share the common vision of making the world a more peaceful, prosperous, and free place. The ninth annual forum will unite dissidents, activists, artists, journalists, and changemakers in Oslo on May 22-24, 2017.

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UN official calls for rights reforms and presses for justice for Andijan massacre

Uzbekistan:

UN official calls for rights reforms and presses for justice for Andijan massacre

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights called on President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan on May 10 and 11, 2017, to turn his government’s pledges for reform into concrete human rights improvements and fulfill its obligations under human rights law, eight human rights groups said today. The rights groups endorsed the high commissioner’s recommendations, calling on Mirziyoyev to end ongoing abuses and deliver on Uzbekistan’s human rights commitments in full.

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Happy birthday Max Bokayev!

Kazakhstan: Free political prisoners Bokayev and Ayan:

Happy birthday Max Bokayev!

Today the Norwegian Helsinki Committee congratulates political prisoner Max Bokayev on his 44th birthday and appeals to the authorities of Kazakhstan to free him and fellow political prisoner Talgat Ayan. The two remain in prison after an Atyrau court last year sentenced them to five years imprisonment in retaliation for their peaceful activism. Текст на русском ниже

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Statement on the case of Dr. Serdar Küni

Turkey:

Statement on the case of Dr. Serdar Küni

NHC has issued a statement protesting the conviction of Dr Serdar Küni, from Turkey, addressed to the Gaziantepe Regional High Court. The statement is supported by 28 other organisations from various countries. Küni's prosecution is part of a wave of arrests, dismissals and other legal actions taken against human rights defenders, medical professionals, lawyers, journalists, and academics since July 2015 in Southeast Turkey, and throughout Turkey after the failed military coup in July 2016. The statement underlines the principal importance of the case. Dr. Küni is a medical doctor, and is therefore under a professional duty to provide medical assistance to any person in need of such assistance. He is also a human rights defender.

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Free Azerbaijani Journalist Mehman Huseynov

World Press Freedom Day:

Free Azerbaijani Journalist Mehman Huseynov

Joint Statement: As World Press Freedom Day is celebrated across the globe on May 3, we, the undersigned organizations, cannot forget the untenable price journalists pay for government criticism in Azerbaijan. The case of Mehman Huseynov is emblematic.

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Attack on opposition in the Macedonian Parliament should be investigated

Macedonia:

Attack on opposition in the Macedonian Parliament should be investigated

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee expresses concern about increased political tension in Macedonia after protesters forced their way into the Parliament in Skopje Thursday 27 April.

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Stans overgrepene i Tsjetsjenia

Helsingforskomiteen, FRI og Amnesty:

Stans overgrepene i Tsjetsjenia

Nyheten om systematiske arrestasjoner, tortur og drap på antatt homofile menn i Tsjetsjenia kom første april, og rystet en hel verden. Den norske Helsingforskomité, Foreningen FRI og Amnesty International Norge ber i dagens VG russiske myndigheter om umiddelbart å iverksette tiltak for å stoppe overgrepene og trusler mot journalistene som har fortalt mennenes historier. I morges demonstrerte vi utenfor den russiske ambassaden og ba om full etterforskning av forholdene.

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Annual Report 2016

Annual Report 2016

The Annual Assembly of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has released the 2016 Annual report. The report illustrated the wide range of activities NHC of last year, and underlined the importance of continued engagement for fundamental human rights in an unstable world. Human rights in Turkey, Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus remain in the center of our attention, where we through cooperation with local civil society are an efficient advocate for fundamental human rights defense at home and abroad. In 2016, we became a member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and also the assumed the responsibility of hosting the secretariat for the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB).

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Årsmøteuttalelse fra Den norske Helsingforskomité 2017

Grove overgrep i Tsjetsjenia må straffeforfølges:

Årsmøteuttalelse fra Den norske Helsingforskomité 2017

Årsmøtet 2017 i Den norske Helsingforskomité har vedtatt en uttalelse som krever at Russland etterforsker og strafforfølger de ansvarlige for grove overgrep i Tsjetsjenia. Avisen Novaja Gazeta har publisert grufulle avsløringer om at over hundre homofile i den russiske delrepublikken Tsjetsjenia skal ha blitt innbrakt, plassert i irregulære fengsler og utsatt for grov tortur, og minst tre personer skal være drept. I etterkant har det kommet alvorlige trusler mot avisen og dens støttespillere.

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Stans overgrepene i Tsjetsjenia

Tsjetsjenia/LGBTI:

Stans overgrepene i Tsjetsjenia

Nyheten om systematiske arrestasjoner, tortur og drap på antatt homofile menn i Tsjetsjenia kom første april, og rystet en hel verden. Den norske Helsingforskomité, Foreningen FRI og Amnesty International Norge ber i dagens VG russiske myndigheter om umiddelbart å iverksette tiltak for å stoppe overgrepene og trusler mot journalistene som har fortalt mennenes historier. I morges demonstrerte vi utenfor den russiske ambassaden og ba om full etterforskning av forholdene.

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Statement of International Delegation of Trial Monitors

Turkey:

Statement of International Delegation of Trial Monitors

“The trial proceedings against Dr. Küni ignored the most basic of international fair trial standards, and failed to take into account the arbitrary nature of the charges against him”. Deputy Secretary General Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal is currently on mission to Turkey. He is part of an international trial monitoring group, monitoring the trial against Dr. Serdar Küni, a medical doctor who provided medical treatment during clashes in Cizre in 2015 and 2016.

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Folkeavstemning til besvær

Tyrkia:

Folkeavstemning til besvær

Måten folkeavstemningen i Tyrkia for omfattende endringer av grunnloven ble gjennomført på bidro til ytterligere å splitte landet og økte kritikken om at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan er i ferd med å utvikle et autoritært styre. Erdogan etablerer, som i Putins Russland, illiberalt demokrati som gir valgvinneren rett til å overkjøre de som ikke deler hans syn. Assisterende generalsekretær Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal deltar i en internasjonal delegasjon som observerer rettssaken mot legen og menneskerettighetsforkjemperen Serdar Küni, som finner sted 24. april i Sirnak, en by i Øst-Tyrkia nær grensen til Irak.

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Addressing the human rights situation in the North Caucasus

North Caucasus report in PACE:

Addressing the human rights situation in the North Caucasus

Ahead of the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Amnesty International, Article 19, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Center “Memorial” and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee have written to the members of the Assembly to urge them to participate in the Plenary debate on the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on “Human Rights in the North Caucasus” and to support the adoption of the very important resolution and recommendations raised by the report.

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Trenger EU Vest-Balkan?

Kronikk:

Trenger EU Vest-Balkan?

-Russland får stadig større innflytelse og innlemmer Vest-Balkan i sin interessesfære. Samtidig er EUs engasjement på Vest-Balkan blitt mindre de siste ti årene mens Russland stadig får større innflytelse og innlemmer regionen i sin interessesfære. EUs troverdighet er svekket, og Russlands rolle bidrar til å hindre landene fra å knytte seg tettere til både NATO og EU. NHCs Enver Djuliman har analysert hvordan Russland øker sin innflytelse på Vest-Balkan, og peker på hvilke grep EU kan ta for å gjenerobre sin rolle i regionen.

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FIFA must investigate claims of slave labour in construction of St.Petersburg football stadium

Russia:

FIFA must investigate claims of slave labour in construction of St.Petersburg football stadium

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Civic Assistance Committee in Moscow have today sent a letter to the presidents of FIFA and UEFA, urging them to initiate investigation into allegations of the use of North Korean slave labour during the construction of the football stadium Zenit Arena in St. Petersburg. While there are still numerous violations of human rights with respect to workers and migrants in Russia, it is vital that well-known and respected international bodies such as FIFA, do not become complicit in such practices, and act upon the human rights commitments underlined in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy and FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future.

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Regjeringen må ta opp menneskerettigheter i Kina

Norge:

Regjeringen må ta opp menneskerettigheter i Kina

Det er positivt at Norge og Kina gjenoppretter normale politiske relasjoner, sier Helsingforskomiteen i et brev til statsminister Erna Solberg. Brevet er sendt i et samarbeid med Den norske advokatforeningens menneskerettighetsutvalg, Amnesty International i Norge, Norsk PEN og Den norske Tibetkomité. Men de gjenopprettede relasjonene kan ikke bygge på at Norge unnlater å ta opp de omfattende bruddene på menneskerettighetene i landet. Den moderne menneskerettighetstanken bygger på at disse rettighetene er grunnverdiene for det internasjonale samfunnet og skal beskyttes og fremmes gjennom at landene holder hverandre ansvarlige. En god dialog mellom statene er forutsetning for at dette skal fungere.

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A wave of protest actions across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan

Demonstrations and arrests:

A wave of protest actions across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan

This last weekend, 25. – 26. March, peaceful protest actions took place across Russia, Belarus and in Kyrgyzstan, which were met with heavy police forces, mass arrests and violence from the authorities. Although they did not seem to have been coordinated in any way, the protests have in common that they were supported by citizens fed up with corruption and oppression. Governments of the three countries seem to know only one way of reacting: Interdiction, violence and detentions. Still, citizens for the first time in a very long time, defied fears and participated. The participation across Russia, not limited to big cities, had not been seen for years.

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Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka

Belarus:

Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka

We strongly condemn the continuing wave of detentions and harassment of peaceful protesters, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society activists, anarchists and opposition party members in Belarus. More than 250 people have been detained since 3 March, and several detentions have been carried out with excessive use of force. On the eve of planned demonstrations in Minsk and several other places in Belarus on 25 March, we urge President Lukashenka to abide human rights principles.
Photo by Andrey Liankevich.

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Release of political prisoners: Same old trick

Azerbaijan:

Release of political prisoners: Same old trick

On March 16, Azerbaijan's authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev displayed another self-serving magnanimity and pretended to be merciful. He signed a decree, pardoning 423 prisoners, among them 4 activists that human rights groups have labeled as political prisoners. This is happy news for all of those pardoned and their families, but there is very little else to celebrate. The decree left many political prisoners firmly behind bars, in prisons populated by prominent dissenters and activists.

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Behov for å styrke rettssikkerheten i statsborgerskapssaker

Norge:

Behov for å styrke rettssikkerheten i statsborgerskapssaker

Den norske Helsingforskomité har sammen med NOAS, Jussbuss og Antirasistisk senter sendt brev til Kommunal- og forvaltningskomiteen på Stortinget med støtte til et forslag om at statsborgerskap bare bør kunne tilbakekalles ved dom. En viktig grunn til at vi har fått en debatt om å endre dagens praksis, hvor det er UDI/UNE som tar beslutningen, er at det er blitt kjent gjennom media at velintegrerte personer med sterk tilknytning til Norge over mange år blir fratatt sitt statsborgerskap fordi UDI/UNE mener at de har gitt feil informasjon. Organisasjonene støtter lovfesting av kravet til forholdsmessighet i vurderingen av tilbakekall. Kravet bør konkretiseres ved at det innføres en foreldelsesfrist. For å sikre en rettssikker prosess, er det domstolene som bør vurdere forholdsmessigheten.

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Release woman political prisoners!

Political prisoners:

Release woman political prisoners!

On occasion of the International Women’s Day the Norwegian Helsinki Committee issued a statement calling on the government of Uzbekistan to immediately and unconditionally free five woman political prisoners. These women languish in prison in for no other reason than their legitimate and peaceful activities, and the charges against them are trumped-up and must be dropped, the NHC said.

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Newspaper editor freed after being held for 18 years

Uzbekistan:

Newspaper editor freed after being held for 18 years

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA), Civil Rights Defenders (CRD), Freedom House, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Uzbek–German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) are extremely relieved to learn that Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjanov, the winner of RSF’s Press Freedom Prize in 2013, was released today after 18 years in prison.

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Polish Government Undermines Rule of Law

Poland:

Polish Government Undermines Rule of Law

NHC has signed on to an Open Letter to the European Union College of Commissioners regarding the situation in Poland. The letter urges the College to pursue the enforcement action against the government of Poland under the Article 7 of the EU treaty, as the government of Poland continues to undermine the rule of law. NHC supports the letter in the framework of our membership in the International Federation for Human Rights, FIDH.

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Tilbakekallelse av statsborgerskap bør skje ved dom

Norge:

Tilbakekallelse av statsborgerskap bør skje ved dom

- Den norske Helsingforskomité støtter forslaget om å endre statsborgerloven § 26 slik at tilbakekallelser av statsborgerskap bare kan skje ved dom*. Regjeringen bør avvente saksbehandling av tilbakekallelser til regelverket er endret. Dette sa Helsingforskomiteens assisterende generalsekretær Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal i sitt innlegg på åpen høring i Stortingets kommunal- og forvaltningskomité 9. februar 2017.

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Sunday's "elections" in Turkmenistan cannot be called honest, transparent and fair

Turkmenistan:

Sunday's "elections" in Turkmenistan cannot be called honest, transparent and fair

Today, the Turkmenistan Civic Solidarity Group issues a statement regarding Sunday's Presidential "Elections" in Turkmenistan. In it, the organisations urge all interested parties, including the OSCE and other international organizations, to take a principled stance and to not recognize the presidential “elections” in Turkmenistan as free, transparent, fair, competitive, and in accordance with international standards.

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Riktig av Utenrikskomiteen å avlyse reisen

Medlemmer av Utenrikskomiteen nektes visum til Russland:

Riktig av Utenrikskomiteen å avlyse reisen

Utenrikskomiteens reise til Russland er i dag utsatt på ubestemt tid etter at Russiske myndigheter har nektet å utstede visum til Venstres leder Trine Skei Grande og stortingsrepresentant for SV Bård Vegar Solhjell. – Utenrikskomiteen har tatt en riktig beslutning ved å avlyse reisen også for de av komitémedlemmene som fikk visum til reisen i morgen, sier Helsingforskomiteens generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland, som selv er erklært persona non grata i Russland. Norske politikere bør ikke la seg presse av Putins regime.

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The harassment of NGOs by the Hungarian government must stop

Hungary:

The harassment of NGOs by the Hungarian government must stop

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is seriously concerned for the future of Hungarian NGOs working for the protection and promotion of democracy and human rights, for marginalized groups and transparency. Legislation which has recently been proposed by the Hungarian Government will, possibly unconstitutionally, target and paralyze non-government organisations that receive grants from foreign funds.

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Rights groups demand justice for tortured journalist Mehman Huseynov

Azerbaijan:

Rights groups demand justice for tortured journalist Mehman Huseynov

The undersigned organisations, including the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, strongly condemn the abduction and torture of Azerbaijani journalist Mehman Huseynov and call on Azerbaijan’s authorities to immediately investigate the case and to hold those responsible accountable. Moreover, Huseynov’s conviction should be overturned and the travel ban against him lifted.

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Georgia must enable access to justice for victims of 2008 war

Statement:

Georgia must enable access to justice for victims of 2008 war

Human Rights Center (HRIDC), Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) call on the Georgian authorities to take concrete steps towards accountability for crimes committed during 2008 war, including, renew investigative activities, ensure access of victims of the August 2008 war to their national case file and renew communication with the victims in order to respect their rights to effectively participate in national proceedings.

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Romania: Håpet opp i røyk

Artikkel i Agenda Magasin:

Romania: Håpet opp i røyk

Politikerne i Romania leker politikk, mens mennesker dør på sykehus, uten medisiner, uten leger og uten assistenter. Helsingforskomiteens Csilla Czimbalmos har publisert vurdering i Agenda Magasin. Foto: Daniel Vrabioiu

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New law important tool to fight impunity worldwide

United States:

New law important tool to fight impunity worldwide

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) commends the United States Congress on passing the Global Magnitsky Act, the group said in a statement. The new sanctions law, proposed in 2015 by Senator Ben Cardin, is named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax lawyer for Hermitage Capital Management. He died at the hands of Russian authorities on 16 November 2009 after exposing a $230 million tax refund fraud scheme.

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Observation of the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Georgia

Final Report:

Observation of the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Georgia

The final report of the limited election observation mission to the Republic of Georgia is ready.The mission was organised jointly with the European Platform of Democratic Elections (EPDE), the International Partnership of Human Rights (IPHR), the International Elections Study Center (IESC) and
the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC).

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US, EU Should Consider Sanctions

Tajikistan:

US, EU Should Consider Sanctions

– Tajikistan’s security services have taken new actions against relatives of at least three political activists abroad who engage in peaceful criticism of the government, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today.

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A terrible miscarriage of justice: 10 years imprisonment for graffiti

Azerbaijan:

A terrible miscarriage of justice: 10 years imprisonment for graffiti

In another farcical day in a Baku court today, 21-year old activist Bayram Mammadov was sentenced to 10 years in jail. He was arrested simply for spraying graffiti, but was later tortured into confessing to serious drug crimes. Bogus drug possession charges to silence critical voices is not new in Azerbaijan, where the authorities widely plant drugs on their opponents to lock them up.

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Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression

Azerbaijan:

Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression

The government of Azerbaijan is carrying out a multi-pronged attack on freedom of expression, including introducing harsh penalties for critical speech online, imprisoning young activists for nothing more than graffiti, blocking access to websites of independent media, and harassing and violating the rights of journalists and activists. The undersigned organisations call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to reverse this alarming trend and respect basic human rights and freedoms, as well as for international partners to ensure Azerbaijan honours its treaty commitments as a state party to the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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Authorities should promote youth civic engagement, not restrict it

Kazakhstan:

Authorities should promote youth civic engagement, not restrict it

-Authorities in Kazakhstan must ensure civil society organizations the freedom to fully carry out their activities in accordance with domestic law and international human rights standards, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. – In a recent development local authorities have aimed to thwart civic education events organized by the not-for-profit organization Youth Information Service of Kazakhstan (YISK).

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Fritt Ord and ZEIT-Stiftungs «Free Media Awards» ceremony in Tbilisi

Awards to journalism:

Fritt Ord and ZEIT-Stiftungs «Free Media Awards» ceremony in Tbilisi

NHC congratulates the laureates of the Fritt Ord/ZEIT-Stiftungs «Free Media Awards» which were awarded in a ceremony in Tbilisi last week. Imprisoned journalist Seymur Hazi from Azerbaijan and the Ukrainian TV program Nashi Groshi were both nominated by NHC. The third laureate is the prominent Russian journalist Elena Milashina.

Jury member Martin Paulsen highlighted three virtues in his speech at the ceremony: "When it comes to your work, and the reasons why we chose you for this honour, I would like to emphasise the importance of three concepts: COURAGE, SOLIDARITY and COMPETENCE."

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NHC condemns harsh sentence given to peaceful activists

Kazakhstan:

NHC condemns harsh sentence given to peaceful activists

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns the five-year sentence given yesterday to peaceful activists Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan in retaliation for their peaceful protest against proposed amendments to the country’s land-law in April and May. The harsh prison sentence is in violation of the Constitution of Kazakhstan and the country’s international human rights obligations, and must therefore be quashed, the NHC said.

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Investigate torture and death in custody

Uzbekistan:

Investigate torture and death in custody

Uzbek authorities should ensure a thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the alleged torture of two brothers by the Uzbek National Security Service (SNB), and the death in custody of one of them, Human Rights Watch, the International Partnership for Human Rights, Freedom House, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said today.

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Ilgar Mammadovs appeal to the Supreme Court has been rejected

Azerbaijan:

Ilgar Mammadovs appeal to the Supreme Court has been rejected

Imprisoned opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov's appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected on Friday 18 November, disappointing anyone who had hoped for his release. The judgement is a mockery of the previous decision by the European Court of Human Rights, demanding an immedeate release of Ilgar Mammadov.

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Human Rights School for youth by the Russian-Norwegian border

Human rights education:

Human Rights School for youth by the Russian-Norwegian border

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee organised 13-17 November 2016 a Human Rights School for 27 high school students from Murmansk and Kirkenes.

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Light a candle: the 18th Transgender Day of Remembrance

LHBTI:

Light a candle: the 18th Transgender Day of Remembrance

20 November is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), dedicated to the memory of trans and gender-diverse persons who have been victims of homicide worldwide.

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Norges nei svekker svekker menneskerettighetene

Norge:

Norges nei svekker svekker menneskerettighetene

Regjeringen ønsker ikke at Norge skal knytte seg til individklageordningene i FN for barnets rettigheter, for rettighetene til personer med nedsatt funksjonsevne og for økonomiske, sosiale og kulturelle rettigheter. Helsingforskomitéen og Amnesty beklager dette og mener dette bryter med en hovedlinje i norsk menneskerettighetspolitikk. Under finner du hele høringsinnspillet fra Den norske Helsingforskomité og Amnesty som blir presentert for Stortingets utenriks- og forsvarskomité på morgendagens høring for «Meld. St. 39: Individklageordningene til FNs konvensjoner om økonomiske, sosiale og kulturelle rettigheter, barnets rettigheter og rettighetene til mennesker med nedsatt funksjonsevne (2015-2016)».

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Fritt Ord bør ikke resirkulere usannheter

Magnitskij-saken:

Fritt Ord bør ikke resirkulere usannheter

Den norske Helsingforskomité reagerer sterkt på at Fritt Ord og Kunst i offentlige rom (KORO) på konferansen Public Calling på Nationaltheatret 1. og 2. november lar Torstein Grude fra Piraya Film, produsenten for Andrei Nekrasovs Film The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes, uimotsagt få komme med uriktige påstander om Helsingforskomitéen. Han fremsetter svært kontroversielle, og etter Helsingforskomitéens mening, feilaktige påstander om den kjente russiske varsleren Sergei Magnitskij, som døde i et russisk fengsel som følge av manglende legehjelp og tortur i november 2009.

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Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance

8 November:

Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance

8 of November is the Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance. It is a day to acknowledge the suffering and injustice caused to intersex people in the past, and call for adequate redress, reparation, and access to justice. It is also a day to challenge the faulty categorization of human beings as being strictly “male” or “female” to inspire respect, inclusion and human rights for all.

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Draft resolution proposes to revoke mandate of UN’s New LGBTI Rights Watchdog

LGBTI:

Draft resolution proposes to revoke mandate of UN’s New LGBTI Rights Watchdog

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent a letter to Norway’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations today to express a deep concern for a scheduled 8 November vote in the General Assembly Third Committee which may revoke the mandate of the UN Independent Expert to monitor violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). The letter was also sent to other Permanent Missions to the UN.

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New FIDH report denounces six years of attacks against the rule of law and calls for EU reaction

Hungary:

New FIDH report denounces six years of attacks against the rule of law and calls for EU reaction

Human rights and the rule of law in Hungary have been under sustained attack since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took power in 2010, reveals FIDH in a new report released today. FIDH urges the government to halt this assault and calls for a strong and prompt reaction by the European Union, up to the activation of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which could lead to the suspension of Hungary’s rights under the Treaties. NHC is a Norwegian member of the international network of human rights organisation FIDH.

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NHC launches podcast

Podcast:

NHC launches podcast

The NHC is proud to announce that we today are launching our first podcast. The podcast series "Human Rights in Focus" will shed light on some of the most pressing human rights challenges we are facing in Europe today. In this first episode we are discussing the situation for human rights in Azerbaijan with prominent human rights activist Leyla Yunus. She is joined by NHCs senior adviser and Azerbaijan expert Berit Lindeman.

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Under Secretary Shannon should raise human rights issues during his upcoming visit to Central Asia.

Central Asia:

Under Secretary Shannon should raise human rights issues during his upcoming visit to Central Asia.

Today the Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent an open letter to U.S. Department of State Under Secretary Thomas Shannon, asking him to raise human rights issues during his upcoming visit to Central Asia. On October 24-29, Mr. Thomas Shannon will visit Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and should seize the opportunity to speak out about human rights in the region, the NHC says in the letter.

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Russian and Ukrainian youth meet for dialogue in Odessa!

Ukraine/Russia:

Russian and Ukrainian youth meet for dialogue in Odessa!

NHCs Enver Djuliman is currently in Odessa, Ukraine, where Russian and Ukrainian youth are together for dialogues for reconciliation between Russian and Ukrainian youth. Symbolically, the participants planted trees of peace.

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Former political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus visited Oslo

Azerbaijan:

Former political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus visited Oslo

Human rights defenders and former political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus from Azerbaijan have visited Norwegian Helsinki Committee to join the “finissage” of the exhibition at Akershus Art Centre exhibiting art depicting the situation of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. –Human rights are violated more than ever in our home country, Leyla Yunus said. –The numbers of political prisoners keep increasing, and every year around ten prisoners die from torture and ill-treatment in the brutal Azerbaijani jails.

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14th World Day against the Death Penalty

Terrorism and Death Penalty:

14th World Day against the Death Penalty

Today, on 10 October 2016, the 14th World Day Against the Death Penalty, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee is joining an international campaign raising awareness about the application of the death penalty for terrorism-related offences and to reduce its use. NHC urges the abolishment of all forms of death penalty.

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Joint Preliminary Statement on the first round of the Parliamentary Elections on 8 October 2016

Georgia:

Joint Preliminary Statement on the first round of the Parliamentary Elections on 8 October 2016

(Berlin, Brussels, Oslo and Tbilisi, 9 October 2016) The joint international election observation mission of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), International Elections Study Center (IESC) and International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and was established in Georgia on 12 September. On Election Day, the Mission deployed 36 international observers who visited more than 200 polling stations across the country. This preliminary statement summarizes our findings.

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NHC and IPHR election observers attacked in Georgia

Georgia:

NHC and IPHR election observers attacked in Georgia

(Brussels, Oslo and Tbilisi, 9 October 2016) During the Georgian Parliamentary Elections on 8 October 2016 a violent incident occurred in Western Georgia. A group of unidentified men broke into polling station 79 in the village of Jikhashkari in the Zugdidi district, disrupted the counting procedure and physically attacked international election observers, who represented the joint mission of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE).

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Drop charges against peaceful activists

Kazakhstan:

Drop charges against peaceful activists

Authorities in Kazakhstan must drop all charges against civil society activists Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan, and immediately free them, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said in a statement today. The trial against Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan is scheduled to start on October 12 in the city of Atyrau. The two peaceful activists risk five to ten years imprisonment if found guilty on charges that appear trumped-up in retaliation for their role in organizing peaceful protests earlier this year, the NHC said.

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Remembering Anna Politkovskaya

Russian Federation:

Remembering Anna Politkovskaya

Yesterday the Norwegian Helsinki Committee arranged our annual Anna Politkovskaya-seminar, to honour our dear friend and colleague who was brutally murdered just outside her apartment in Moscow ten years ago today.

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Helsingforskomiteen gratulerer Colombias president Juan Manuel Santos med Nobels fredspris 2016

Nobels Fredspris:

Helsingforskomiteen gratulerer Colombias president Juan Manuel Santos med Nobels fredspris 2016

Colombias president Juan Manual Santos får Nobels fredspris for sin sentrale rolle i fredsforhandlingene som har gitt våpenhvile i et land som har vært i borgerkrig i mer enn 50 år.

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Observing Georgia Parliamentary Elections 2016: Democratic gains at stake

Georgia:

Observing Georgia Parliamentary Elections 2016: Democratic gains at stake

A delegation from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, in cooperation with the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) and International Partnership for Human Rights, is in Georgia to observe the upcoming Parliamentary Elections 8 October 2016.

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NHC active at HDIM 2016

HDIM 2016:

NHC active at HDIM 2016

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was active at this years Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), which took place in Warsaw 19-30 September. Photo: OSCE/Piotr Markowski.

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Threats against Kyrgyz human rights defenders must stop

Kyrgyzstan:

Threats against Kyrgyz human rights defenders must stop

Together with our partners in the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee is seriously concerned about threats received by leading Kyrgyz human rights defenders Tolekan Ismailova and Aziza Abdurasulova in relation to their participation in the 2016 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) and call for immediate and effective measures to ensure their safety.

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Victory for the President in referendum

Referendum in Azerbaijan:

Victory for the President in referendum

Amid reports of fraud and pressure against voters, Baku's Central Election Commission has preliminary announced an overwheling victory for the amendments, which include an extension of the presidential term from five to seven years. The alarming consequences of the constitutional amendments after yesterday´s referendum will increase the power of the President, dramatically weaken democratic institutions and will further isolate and repress dissent in Azerbaijan. NHC has made a statement highly critical of the amendments and calls for sanctions against the regime.

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To Draw is to See - A seminar about art and activism

Seminar:

To Draw is to See - A seminar about art and activism

- The Azeri government have done their best to silence bloggers, journalists and human rights defenders. But they have been unsuccesful. Several of the former political activists, like Khadija Ismayilova, Anar Mammadli and Intigam Aliyev are now released from prison, and continue to work for a democratic Aserbaijan. This gives me hope that we can change the situation in the country, said human rights defender Rasul Jafarov at the seminar "To Draw is to See" at the house of Literature monday 19. September. The seminar was a joint event between the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO), Akershus Art Centre, and Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), and was organised in conjunction with the exhibition "The Big Draw - Drawing for Freedom" which is displayed at Akershus Art Centre in the period 17. September- 16th of October.

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US President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden

International campaign:

US President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee supports a campaign calling US President Barack Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. He is a US whistleblower now living in Moscow because of fear of unfair prosecution in the US for revealing in June 2013 illegal surveillance programs by the US government and its allies.

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Authorities should protect Equality Festival

Ukraine/LGBTI:

Authorities should protect Equality Festival

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) asks that Zaporozhie Regional and City- Authorities protect the Equality Festival scheduled for 24 September. The organizers have been met with homophobic and transphobic threats from right wing extremists as well as protests from the City authorities, and the Jewish Community Center "Max Grant" that should have been the festival venue cancelled their contract due to fear of repercussions.

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Low turnout in Duma elections a sign of protest

Russian Federation:

Low turnout in Duma elections a sign of protest

“The low turnout at 47.8% in the Duma elections on 18 September may be seen as an expression by Russians of discontent with the Government and the ruling United Russia party. There may also be widespread lack of trust in the electoral process among many Russians”, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). – “Even if these elections represented progress in transparency and the Central Election Commission (CEC) played a professional role in reacting to some of the reported irregularities, a range of serious problems remain.”

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Helsingforskomiteen følger Dumavalget i Russland

Russland:

Helsingforskomiteen følger Dumavalget i Russland

Søndag 18. september er det Dumavalg i Russland. Den norske Helsingforskomité vil følge valget tett.

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Parliamentary elections did not meet a number of key international standards for democratic and free elections.

Belarus:

Parliamentary elections did not meet a number of key international standards for democratic and free elections.

The citizen observers initiative Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections (Human Rights Center "Viasna" and Belarusian Helsinki Committee) criticize the lack of equal access to state media for all candidates, lack of impartiality of election commissions, facts of abuse of administrative resources in favor of the pro-government candidates, numerous facts of forcing voters to participate in early voting, non-transparency of some election day procedures.

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Free Caucasian Knot journalist Zhalaudi Geriev!

Russian Federation:

Free Caucasian Knot journalist Zhalaudi Geriev!

In a statement published today, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, condemn the recent sentencing of Mr. Zhalaudi Geriev, a journalist of the Russian independent news portal Caucasian Knot on September 5, 2016 and demand his unconditional release. We are deeply concerned about a string of attacks against the freedom of expression in the region, which for years has been marred by violence and threaths agains journalists.

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New report describes excessive use of force by police

Armenia:

New report describes excessive use of force by police

The report, “Beaten, burnt and betrayed: Armenians awaiting accountability for police violence”, is published by International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the Civic Solidarity Platform. It is based on conclusions from a fact finding mission to Yerevan in July and was launched at a press conference in Yerevan today. The report is now also available in Armenian. You can download the report in English and Armenian below.

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Enforced Disappearances in Turkmen Prisons Must Be Stopped

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances:

Enforced Disappearances in Turkmen Prisons Must Be Stopped

On this International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Prove They Are Alive! campaign reaffirms its solidarity with all victims of disappearances in Turkmenistan’s prisons and their families, urges the Turkmen authorities to immediately end this gross violation of human rights, and calls on the international community to make the ending of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan’s prisons a key condition for development of cooperation with the Turkmen government and firmly demand that Turkmenistan implement international legal norms and its obligations in the framework of these organisations.

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NHC becomes member of the FIDH

Oslo, Johannesburg:

NHC becomes member of the FIDH

At the 39th Congress of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa 24-26 August 2016, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) was accepted as new member. – We are proud to become part of one of the most important families of human rights organizations in the world, said Bjørn Engesland, NHC Secretary General.

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Brutal attack on Serbian LGBTI activist must be investigated

Serbia:

Brutal attack on Serbian LGBTI activist must be investigated

On Sunday 21 August LGBTI activist Boban Stojanović was brutally beaten by unknown assailants who shouted homophobic slogans in downtown Belgrade. – We urge Serbian authorities and law enforcement to ensure that the attack is properly investigated and that the perpetrators are brought to justice, says Mina Skouen, Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s (NHC) Advisor on LGBTI issues and the Western Balkans.

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Mikael Danielyan dies

Armenia:

Mikael Danielyan dies

We are saddened to learn about the death of Armenian human rights defender Mikael ("Mika") Danielyan this morning.

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Å tegne er å se - seminar om kunst og aktivisme

Seminar:

Å tegne er å se - seminar om kunst og aktivisme

Sammen med Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo og Akershus Kunstsenter arrangerer Den norske Helsingforskomité seminaret "Å tegne er å se - seminar om kunst og aktivisme" på Litteraturhuset i Oslo mandag 19. september klokken 13-15:30. Seminaret tar utgangspunkt i utstillingen ”Drawing for Freedom” som vises på Akershus Kunstsenter i perioden 17.september- 16.oktober. I denne utstillingen stiller studenter fra Kunsthøyskolen i Oslo (KHiO) ut arbeider knyttet til temaet politiske fanger i Aserbajdsjan.

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Renewed Human Rights Crackdown Ahead of Referendum

Azerbaijan:

Renewed Human Rights Crackdown Ahead of Referendum

Less than six weeks ahead of a constitutional referendum, the Azerbaijani authorities have unleashed a new wave of repression to silence critical voices. NHC, as a Sport for Rights coalition member, condemns this renewed crackdown, and and joins the call on the Azerbaijani authorities to take immediate steps to improve the human rights situation in the country, starting with the release of political prisoners.

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Statement on the inclusion of LGBTI issues in the new cycle of EEA and Norway Grants

LGBTI/EEA-grants:

Statement on the inclusion of LGBTI issues in the new cycle of EEA and Norway Grants

During Oslo Pride 2016, activists from various European countries came together to talk about EEA and Norway Grants. At a meeting with State Secretary Elsbeth Tronstad we strongly recommended a more explicit inclusion of LGBTI issues in the priorities of the grant mechanism. We also encouraged Norwegian authorities to pay close attention to the challenges faced by LGBTI persons in Ukraine, the Western Balkans, Moldova and Turkey.

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Chancellor Merkel must raise issue of human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov during Kyrgyzstan visit

Kyrgyzstan:

Chancellor Merkel must raise issue of human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov during Kyrgyzstan visit

NHC and other organisations sent a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel requesting her to raise the issue of long-term imprisoned human rights defender Azimzhan Askarov during her visit to Kyrgyzstan 13-14 July.

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PrideHouse: "Proudly presenting 'Perverts and Sodomites'"

LGBTI:

PrideHouse: "Proudly presenting 'Perverts and Sodomites'"

Are you wondering how it is to be an LGBTIQ activist when society looks upon you like a pervert and sodomite? How people continue fighting for human rights of LGBTIQ persons when it seems like every step forward is followed by two steps back? Or were you among the many people worldwide that spoke up against Russia's so-called anti-homosexual propaganda laws before the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014, and want to know how you can be an ally for LGBTIQ once again?

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Political prisoner Ilgar Mammadov celebrates his 46th birthday in jail.

Happy birthday Ilgar:

Political prisoner Ilgar Mammadov celebrates his 46th birthday in jail.

Today, the opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov spends his 46th birthday in one of the vile prisons in Azerbaijan, prisons which have a history of housing dissidents. In May 2014, the European Court of Human Rights concluded, in a strongly worded judgment, that the actual purpose of Mammadov’s detention “was to silence or punish Mammadov for criticizing the government.” Citing that ruling, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has called repeatedly for Mammadov’s release. Yet the government, which controls the courts, the parliament and the media, remains deaf to the calls.

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Invitation to Side Event on Death Penalty in Belarus

6th World Congress Against Death Penalty:

Invitation to Side Event on Death Penalty in Belarus

In the framework of the program of the 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, the Human Rights Center Viasna, (Belarus), FIDH and Norwegian Helsinki Committee organizes a side event on the death penalty in Belarus.

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Et nederlag for etterretteligheten

Tilsvar til Dagsavisens artikkel:

Et nederlag for etterretteligheten

Kulturredaktør Mode Steinkjer omtaler våre synspunkter i Magnitskij-saken på usaklig vis i en artikkel 9. juni om at Kortfilmfestivalen har valgt ikke å vise filmen «The Magnitsky Act» («Et nederlag for ytringsfriheten»). Han er ikke den første som tillegger oss synspunkter vi ikke har.

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Grunnløs anmeldelse av Helsingforskomiteen

Dokumentarfilmen "The Magnitski Act":

Grunnløs anmeldelse av Helsingforskomiteen

Piraya Film politianmelder tre ansatte i Helsingforskomiteen for blant annet «heleri, krenkelse av forretningshemmelighet og uberettiget befatning med tilgangsdata». Anmeldelsen knyttes til at komiteen har fått tilgang til en versjon av den ennå ikke publiserte filmen «The Magnitsky Act». Filmen er regissert av Andrei Nekrasov og produsert av Piraya Film.

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Fighting for accountability and democratic change in Ukraine

New Report and Seminar:

Fighting for accountability and democratic change in Ukraine

Even though the military conflict in Ukraine is not making big headlines, it is still ongoing. Soldiers and civilians continue to die and the Minsk agreement is broken constantly. With over 10 000 deaths, and close to 2 million of IDPs, and many alleged crimes unaccounted for, the issue of accountability is high on the Ukrainian and international agenda - including on the panel debate organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee on 9 June where also the new report "Where did the shells come from: Investigation of cross-border attacks in Eastern Ukraine" was presented for the first time.

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International partners should publicly and unanimously condemn continued crackdown

Tajikistan:

International partners should publicly and unanimously condemn continued crackdown

– Tajikistan’s Supreme Court sentenced leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) on June 2, 2016 to lengthy prison terms on charges of attempting to overthrow the government, Human Rights Watch, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said today. The sentences, including two life terms, followed an unfair trial initiated in retaliation for their peaceful political opposition and reflect the government’s pervasive manipulation of the justice system and egregious violations of the right to freedom of expression.

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Job Vacancy Announcement

Kazakhstan:

Job Vacancy Announcement

Do you want to join a small team in NHCs active office in Kazakhstan? NHC has a vacancy for an Administrative Officer at our Central Asia Office in Almaty. Deadline for applications is 24 June 2016.

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Open letter on acid attack on justice-seeking mother

Turkmenistan:

Open letter on acid attack on justice-seeking mother

Nine human rights organizations have sent a joint open letter to Turkmenistan’s Prosecutor General regarding an appalling attack on Umida Jumabaeva, a justice-seeking mother. She was physically assaulted and had acid thrown at her by unknown perpetrators on 22 May 2016, leaving her with severe burns to her face and body. The context of the attack suggests that she may have been targeted in retribution for petitions she filed regarding her son, a military conscript. The signatories call for a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the attack, with due attention being given to this possible motive for the attack.

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Seminar: Can accountability for war crimes be achieved? 9 June at 16:00-18:00

Ukraine:

Seminar: Can accountability for war crimes be achieved? 9 June at 16:00-18:00

How can the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Norway promote justice and democracy in Ukraine? The seminar will provide first-hand information on the political situation and the status of reforms in Ukraine, as well as the latest accounts from the conflict-zone. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee invites you to join a discussion between politicians and human rights activists from Norway and Ukraine on ways of achieving accountability and democratic reforms.

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Kjernen i Magnitskij-saken

Dokumentarfilmen "The Magnitski Act":

Kjernen i Magnitskij-saken

I en artikkel 25. mai skriver Dagbladet at «den amerikanske milliardæren» William Browder vil stanse en film av den anerkjente filmregissøren Andrei Nekrasov om Magnitskij-saken. Dagbladets artikkel etterlater et inntrykk av at vi kanskje alle har tatt feil av saken. Men det er ikke tilfelle. Sergej Magnitskij var en russisk varsler som ble torturert og drept i regi av russiske tjenestemenn. Han hadde varslet om at de samme tjenestemennene hadde orkestrert en omfattende skattesvindel av den russiske staten ved å stjele og bruke Browders investeringsselskaper.

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End Enforced Disappearances

Turkmenistan:

End Enforced Disappearances

On the occasion of the International Week of the Disappeared, the human rights campaign “Prove They Are Alive!” calls upon the government of Turkmenistan to shed light on the fate of dozens who have been imprisoned for more than a decade, and to immediately halt the practice of enforced disappearances. The government of Turkmenistan should inform the relatives of the disappeared of their fate and whereabouts and allow them access to their loved ones without further delay.

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Serious restrictions of civic election observation in Armenia

Armenia:

Serious restrictions of civic election observation in Armenia

The Draft Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia was adopted by the National Assembly of Armenia in its third reading on 25 May 2016. - This is very disappointing, taking into consideration all the domestic and international organisations which have criticized the proposed amendments, said Lene Wetteland, senior adviser for Armenia in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

"In its current form it will significantly limit the effective monitoring of elections and referenda in Armenia, only 6 months after the referendum on constitutional amendments received substantial criticism and illustrated the need for such monitoring. We support the call for immediate amendments to the Draft Electoral Law published by Armenian organisations yesterday," Wetteland concluded.

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Authorities should protect KyivPride2016

LGBTI/Ukraine:

Authorities should protect KyivPride2016

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) urges Ukrainian authorities to support and protect the Fifth Annual International LGBT Forum KyivPride on 6 to 13 June 2016.

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Updated list of political prisoners in the Russian Federation

Russia:

Updated list of political prisoners in the Russian Federation

A new list of political prisoners in Russia has just been published by Memorial Human Rights Centre. The list now comprises 86 names. 9 people have been released since October 2015, but 45 have been added to the list. Only four of those released were freed before serving the full term of their sentence in prison. The most famous of the released political prisoners is the Russian environmental activist Evgeniy Vitishko, who was imprisoned due to his protests surrounding the Olympic constructions in Sochi, and the Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko.

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Khadija Ismayilova Freed!

Azerbaijan:

Khadija Ismayilova Freed!

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in Azerbaijan to release Azerbaijan’s leading investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova. It’s indeed happy news to those who know Ismayilova and her important work as a courageous journalist and civil society leader tirelessly exposing corruption in Azerbaijan, including activities involving the members of the president Aliyev’s family. Her reporting had caused her arrest in December 2014.

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NHC congratulates Lev Shlosberg with the first Boris Nemtsov Prize

Russia:

NHC congratulates Lev Shlosberg with the first Boris Nemtsov Prize

The Boris Nemtsov Foundation presents an annual award to a person who is particularly committed to fighting for the freedom of expression and helping those who are persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds in Russia. The first prize is given to the opposition politician Lev Shlosberg for his fight for democratic values in the Russian Federation.

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Khadija Ismayilova fyller 40 år: Vi feier for å feire!

Aksjon:

Khadija Ismayilova fyller 40 år: Vi feier for å feire!

Fredag 27. mai fyller journalisten og menneskerettighetsaktivisten Khadija Ismayilova 40 år. Hun feirer den i fengsel. Vi skal markere den på Egertorget i Oslo fra 11.30 til 12.30.

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NHC makes a submission on human rights in Turkey to the European Commission

Turkey:

NHC makes a submission on human rights in Turkey to the European Commission

Upon invitation, NHC has made a submission to the European Commission Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. The submission points out that the situation of civil and political rights in Turkey has deteriorated in 2015-2016. Some of the actions and statements of senior politicians – including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – led to an erosion of the rule of law. In particular, the media and the judiciary were under pressure by the executive power. The submission also points to challenges related to refugees, freedom of religion and belief and LGBTI. It raises concerns that the end of the Kurdish peace process will lead to further detoriation of respect for human rights.

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Den vanskelige forsoningen,  6. juni 2016, kl. 08:45-13:30

Seminar:

Den vanskelige forsoningen, 6. juni 2016, kl. 08:45-13:30

Den norske Helsingforskomité inviterer til boklansering og seminar. Utgangspunktet for boken «Forsoning – skilt langs veien», er en erkjennelse av at verdens samfunn er i stadig konflikt. Samtidig foregår det også hele tiden forsoningsprosesser. Enkeltpersoner og grupper forsoner seg med sine fiender, med en ny virkelighet, med seg selv og kanskje også med egen skyld.
Sted: «Nedjma», Litteraturhuset,Wergelandsveien 29, 0167 Oslo
Tid: 6. juni 2016, kl. 08:45-13:30

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Free activists and allow peaceful protests to take place

Kazakhstan:

Free activists and allow peaceful protests to take place

Authorities in Kazakhstan must immediately release all peaceful activists arrested ahead of planned protests on May 21, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Adil Soz, International Legal Initiative and Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said in a statement today.

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LGBTI still suffer from widespread human rights violations in Europe

IDAHOT 2016:

LGBTI still suffer from widespread human rights violations in Europe

Lesbian, gay, bi, trans- and intersex persons (LGBTI) still suffer from human rights violations and lack protection in countries all over Europe. Worst of all is the situation in Azerbaijan, followed by Russia and Armenia, Turkey, Monaco, Ukraine and Belarus, according to ILGA Europe's Annual report launched on occasion of the International day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia 17 May.

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Authorities should protect Equality Festival

Ukraine:

Authorities should protect Equality Festival

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) urges Ukrainian authorities to support and protect the 14 May Equality Festival in Kiev. – Right wing extremists have threatened to attack the festival. We are concerned about the safety of the organizers and the participants. Police should provide effective protection, said Gunnar Ekelove-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General of the NHC. “The aim of the festival is to draw attention to the challenges and diversity of Ukraine’s most vulnerable groups, among them sexual and gender minorities. Ukrainian authorities have an obligation to protect the human rights of everyone; not the least of those who are most vulnerable.”

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Breakfast Side Event on Global Magnitsky Sanctions, Oslo Freedom Forum 25 May, 08:00-09:15

Seminar:

Breakfast Side Event on Global Magnitsky Sanctions, Oslo Freedom Forum 25 May, 08:00-09:15

Global Magnitsky Sanctions ­– Effective tool to address gross violations of human rights against human rights defenders and whistle-blowers?

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), a long term partner of the Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF), has the pleasure of inviting you to a side event on Global Magnitsky Sanctions at the OFF 2016. The event is arranged in co-operation with the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Campaign, with the participation of its leader, Bill Browder.

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Grant Journalist Bail

Kazakhstan:

Grant Journalist Bail

Stop Harassment, Ensure Fair Trial: The prosecution of an independent journalist on charges of “disseminating false information” will commence before a court in Almaty, capital of Kazakhstan, on May 5, 2016, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today. Authorities detained Guzyal Baidalinova, 47, a journalist and the owner of Nakanune.kz, an independent online news site, on December 23, 2015 as a suspect in the case, and have held her in pre-trial detention since her formal arrest three days later, despite multiple requests for bail.

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Tajikistan: Free Human Rights Lawyers

Tajikistan:

Tajikistan: Free Human Rights Lawyers

Respect Independence of Legal Profession: Oslo, May 3, 2016: Tajik authorities should immediately and unconditionally release four human rights lawyers and two sons of another prominent lawyer who are imprisoned or detained on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today. Tajik authorities should stop harassing and targeting independent lawyers.

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Norge må bidra til internasjonal etterforskning av mulige overgrep i Nagorno-Karabakh

Årsmøteuttalelse:

Norge må bidra til internasjonal etterforskning av mulige overgrep i Nagorno-Karabakh

Årsmøtet for Den norske Helsingforskomité vedtok den 27. april 2016 er uttalelse som uttrykker stor bekymring for økt uro i Nagorno-Karabakh og rapporter som er fremkommet om overgrep mot sivile. Det et åpenbart behov for en upartisk og internasjonal etterforskning i Nagorno-Karabakh, ettersom de nasjonale justismyndighetene erfaringsmessig enten ikke vil eller ikke evner å etterforske mulige krigsforbrytelser. Årsmøtet ber om at norske myndigheter tar initiativ til et internasjonalt samarbeid for å arbeide for at Armenia og Aserbajdsjan inviterer ICC til å etterforske mulige krigsforbrytelser som kan være begått rundt konfliktlinjen i Nagorno-Karabakh og andre relaterte tiltak for å bekjempe straffrihet i regionen.

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NHC Annual Report 2015

Annual meeting 2015:

NHC Annual Report 2015

The annual meeting of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has released the 2015 Annual report. The report illustrated the wide range of activities NHC had the year of 2015. NHC was engaged the refugee crisis in Norway, when the influx of asylum seekers tripled and the Government introduced new restricitive measures. Human rights in Turkey, Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus remain in the center of our attention, where we through cooperation with local civil society are an efficient advocate for fundamental human rights defense at home and abroad.

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Svart/kvitt eller fargepalett? Nye perspektiv på valg og opposisjon i Russland

Paneldebatt:

Svart/kvitt eller fargepalett? Nye perspektiv på valg og opposisjon i Russland

Er Russland virkelig så toppstyrt av President Putin og hans krins at både opposisjon og sivilsamfunn ligg med broten rygg fram mot valet til hausten? I denne paneldebatten får me nye perspektiv frå opposisjon, akademia og organisasjonslivet i Russland – på ei problemstilling som slett ikkje er så svart/kvit som du kanskje trudde.

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Credibility of ICTY must be restored

International Justice:

Credibility of ICTY must be restored

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned about the situation at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (‘ICTY’), created by acquittals in 2012-2013 and a deep split among its judges. The concerns have been conveyed in a letter to President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (‘MICT’), former ICTY President, current ICTY judge and a key player of the institution. According to the letter, the acquittals represent changes in the direction at a very late stage of the ICTY’s life. They “disorient victims, their families, and the wider struggle against impunity ... there remains a strong, unanswered case for [Theodor Meron] to take responsibility for the unfortunate situation at ICTY”.

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Drawing for Freedom exhibits at Defenders’s Days

Azerbaijan:

Drawing for Freedom exhibits at Defenders’s Days

Our magnificent collection of art works in the exhibition we have called “Drawing for Freedom” this week exhibits at Defenders’ Days in Stockholm. The artworks, conceived by art students from the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, depict current and former political prisoners in Azerbaijan. We are very happy that newly released human rights defenders Anar Mammadli, Rasul Jafarov for the first time could see the works depicting themselves. Main illustration: Rasul Jafarov, Anar Mammadli, freed human rights defenders, and the son of imprisoned human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev, Necmin Kamil, in front of the exhibition.

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Un-eventful parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan

Un-eventful parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan

On 20 March 2016, parliamentary elections were held in Kazakhstan. The elections, which were the third consecutive parliamentary elections to be held early, left the country with a rubber-stamp parliament looking strikingly similar to the outgoing one. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has also been following the cases of several independent journalists who have been detained and/or imprisoned during the run-up to the elections.

“Meaningful elections cannot take place when the authorities persecute independent journalists, stifle critical media and impose severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms”, said Marius Fossum, Norwegian Helsinki Committee Regional Representative in Central Asia. “Kazakhstan should halt the persecution of critical voices and allow the independent media to carry out its activities”, he added. 

The elections left the country with a rubber-stamp parliament looking strikingly similar to the outgoing one: According to data as of 21 March, the president's party, Nur Otan, gained 82,15 % of the vote. Apart from the ruling party, only the pro-government parties the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan and Ak-Zhol were able to overcome the 7-percent threshold with respectively 7,14 and 7,18 of the popular vote.

According to OSCE/ODIHR observers the elections were marred by instances of ballot stuffing, proxy and group voting – and a high number of voters were added to voter lists as late as on election day. The OSCE/ODIHR observation team also noted that the legal framework restricts political and civil rights.

The election campaign was characterized by low-visibility and a generally low level of interest among the electorate. On election day in Almaty, there were few visible signs that national elections were carried out, which was mirrored by the voter-turn out in the former capital, where some 34 % of registered voters cast their vote. The time leading up to the elections saw a shrinking space for independent media, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association. In one particularly striking case, the authorities recently prosecuted peaceful activists based on comments made in social media. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has also been following the cases of several independent journalists who have been detained and/or imprisoned during the run-up to the elections. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is furthermore gravely concerned about the pressure on independent media, exemplified by last autumn's suspension of the opposition newspaper Adam.

Apart from the parties winning representation, the environmentalist Birlik (Unity) party, the agrarian Ayul (Village) party and the Nationwide Social Democratic Party were also running. Among these parties, only the Nationwide Social Democratic Party can be considered to be an opposition party, although several observers and critics question the party's status as such.

The lack of meaningful voter-choice stems from the authorities track-record of closing down opposition parties. In 2005, the authorities ruled the opposition party Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan illegal, and, in 2013, suspended the Alga! Party, following a trial in which the party's leader, Vladimir Kozlov, was imprisoned. Kozlov, considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, remains in prison to this day. Last year the Communist Party of Kazakhstan became the most recent opposition party to be liquidated by the authorities.

“There is a reason why this round of elections in Kazakhstan was given relatively little attention internationally”, said Ivar Dale, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. “The fact that the results are known in advance is not a sign of stability, it is a sign of an unfair political playing field. Kazakhstan is a young country no more. It is high time that real democracy was given a fair chance. That does not happen by banning the opposition and removing critical voices from newspaper kiosks”, he added.



Ukrainian authorities failed to protect fundamental human rights in Lviv

Ukraina LGBTI:

Ukrainian authorities failed to protect fundamental human rights in Lviv

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns this weekend’s attacks on the “Equality Festival Lviv-2016”. The event, celebrating diversity and human rights, was attacked by homophobic and transphobic groups and eventually cancelled after a bomb threat to the festival venue. Several people were beaten, and the organizers had to leave Lviv. Despite repeated inquiries, there were no proper response from the city administration and the police.

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Is Aliyev’s pardon a political ploy?

Azerbaijan:

Is Aliyev’s pardon a political ploy?

On March 17, Azerbaijan's authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev was merciful. He signed a long-awaited decree of pardon, which was timed to mark the upcoming Novruz holiday. Aliyev pardoned 148 prisoners, among them 13 activists that human rights groups have labeled as political prisoners.

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Attack on human rights defender Kalyapin must be effectively investigated

Russia:

Attack on human rights defender Kalyapin must be effectively investigated

On 16 March, another attack on the human rights organisation Committee for Prevention of Torture (CPT) took place in Chechnya. The head of the organization, Igor Kalyapin, was attacked outside the Grozny City hotel and forced to leave the republic.

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Political prisoners pardoned in Azerbaijan!

Released!:

Political prisoners pardoned in Azerbaijan!

By a presidential decree today 13 political prisoners have been pardoned for release. We are thrilled to inform you that Rasul Jafarov, Tofig Yagublu, Anar Mammadli and Hilal Mammadov is among those to be released! Still - there are more than 70 political prisoners left, and those will not be forgotten: Khadija Ismayilova, Intigam Aliyev, Seymur Hazi, Ilgar Mammadov and many more.

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Threats against the “Equality Festival Lviv-2016”

Ukraine LGBTI:

Threats against the “Equality Festival Lviv-2016”

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee extend our full support for the organizers of Equality Festival Lviv-2016; scheduled for 19 – 20 March at the Museum of ideas in Lviv. We fear that repeated threats of physical violence and hate speech in social media may prevent the festival from taking place. The City Administration has not made any statement of support despite several inquiries from the organizers.

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Attacks on journalists in Ingushetia must be investigated; international community must react

Russia:

Attacks on journalists in Ingushetia must be investigated; international community must react

On 9 March, unknown assailants attacked a minibus with lawyers and human rights activists from the Joint Mobile Group and international journalists on the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Among those attacked were a Norwegian and a Swedish journalist.

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Remembering a slain journalist in Azerbaijan

Symbol of Courage:

Remembering a slain journalist in Azerbaijan

Today marks 11 years since the murder of famous journalist Elmar Huseynov, who was a critical voice of the authoritarian Azerbaijan government, writing on injustice, rampant corruption, state repression and many other human rights abuses.

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Statement: Another human rights lawyer at risk of disbarment in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan:

Statement: Another human rights lawyer at risk of disbarment in Azerbaijan

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the other undersigned members of the Sport for Rights coalition express serious concern regarding the on-going disciplinary case against Yalchin Imanov, a prominent human rights lawyer in Azerbaijan. Any disciplinary sanctions against the lawyer could severely undermine his independence as member of the legal profession and hinder his important and legitimate professional activity.

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Hvor går Tyrkia?

Kronikk:

Hvor går Tyrkia?

I dagens Aftenposten har Den norske Helsingforskomité en kronikk sammen med International Law and Policy Insitute (ILPI). Kronikken er skrevet av Assisterende generalsekretær Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal og direktør på ILPI Njål Høstmælingen.

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Armenia must release political activist Vardges Gaspari

Armenia:

Armenia must release political activist Vardges Gaspari

Since his arrest on 19 February, the well-known political activist Vardges Gaspari has been subject to torture and ill-treatment in the Nubarashen prison in Yerevan. He had initiated a hunger strike in order to be moved to a separate cell, but no response was given to his complaints by the prison administration. Information was only available as Gaspari was transported to a psychiatric hospital for a forensic examination on 24 February. Update: On 26 February he was released, but investigations into allegations of ill-treatment remains to be initiated.

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Shabnam Khudoydodova released from detention

Tajikistan:

Shabnam Khudoydodova released from detention

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is relieved to learn that Shabnam Khudoydodova has been freed from detention in Belarus. Ms. Khudoydodova was released in Brest on 22 February, 2016 after eight months in detention pursuant to an extradition request from Tajikistan.

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NHC urges Armenia to investigate attacks on LGBTI activists

Armenia:

NHC urges Armenia to investigate attacks on LGBTI activists

Today the Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent a letter to Republic of Armenia General Prosecutor and Head of Investigative Committee to express our concern about the recent developments that endanger non-discrimination principle and protection of human rights in Armenia.

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Recommendations from the NGO Forum on Human Rights

UN human rights council:

Recommendations from the NGO Forum on Human Rights

The Norwegian NGO Forum on Human Rights has issued a document with recommendations for the 31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council (29 February - 24 March 2016).

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Srdjan Dizdarevic til minne

Minneord:

Srdjan Dizdarevic til minne

Det er med sorg vi tirsdag 16 februar mottok beskjeden om at mangeårig leder i Den bosniske Helsingforskomiteen Srdjan Dizdarevic er død, 64 år gammel.

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Severe Crackdown on Political Opposition

Tajikistan:

Severe Crackdown on Political Opposition

The Tajik government is arresting, imprisoning, and torturing members of the country’s peaceful political opposition, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today. The government is also targeting perceived critics abroad, seeking their detention and extradition back to Tajikistan, and has forcibly disappeared critics abroad only to have them reappear in Tajik custody.

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Norway must address NGO liquidation in Russia

Russia:

Norway must address NGO liquidation in Russia

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Rafto Foundation have sent a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in connection with the court liquidation of the human rights organization Agora last week.

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Unacceptable liquidation of Agora human rights organisation

Russia:

Unacceptable liquidation of Agora human rights organisation

Agora, a 2014 Rafto Prize laureate and a member of the Russian President’s Human Rights Council became the first nongovernmental organization to be liquidated by a regional Supreme Court on 10 February. – The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns this decision, which violates the human rights of an important organization, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General. Agora's chair Pavel Chikov met Prime Minister Erna Solberg when he visited Oslo in October 2015. Photo: Prime minister's Office

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Kritisk til Regjeringens forslag til innstramninger

Norge:

Kritisk til Regjeringens forslag til innstramninger

Regjeringen har lagt frem en omfattende pakke med innstramningsforslag i utlendingslovgivningen. 40 større og mindre endringer av lov og forskrift, er presentert som tiltak for å møte flyktningkrisen. Helsingforskomitéen har i en høringsuttalelse kritisert forslagene for å svekke retten til å søke om asyl. Komiteen er også kritisk til en rekke enkeltforslag, blant annet om bare å gi enslige mindreårige asylsøkere «midlertidig beskyttelse», innføre meget strenge regler for familiegjenforening og å gjøre det enklere å henvise til «internflukt».

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Rights Defender’s Work Impeded

Uzbekistan:

Rights Defender’s Work Impeded

Uzbek authorities should immediately stop harassing the human rights defender Uktam Pardaev and lift the unlawful restrictions on his fundamental rights imposed by police, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International Partnership for Human Rights, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and Human Rights Watch said today. Pardaev is the chairman of the Jizzakh branch of the Independent Human Rights Organization in Uzbekistan.

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Final report documents election fraud

Armenia:

Final report documents election fraud

Final report of joint European Platform for Democratic Elections/Citizen Observer Initiative has been published, presenting all the findings of the more than 1000 civic observers monitoring the Constitutional amendment referendum in Armenia on 6 December 2015.

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Human rights in Turkey

Seminar:

Human rights in Turkey

- Ceasefire in Turkey today, not tomorrow, that is our goal. This was the message from Metin Bakkalci, a leading human rights defender in Turkey, who was the main speaker at the seminar "Human rights in Turkey – moving in the wrong direction?". The Norwegian Helsinki Committee arranged the seminar at the House of litterature on 26 January together with the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) and the Norwegian Medical Association.

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Hungary must provide space for civil society

Policy Paper 1/2016:

Hungary must provide space for civil society

The NHC present our first policy paper of 2016, and Hungary is in focus.

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Human Rights Human Wrongs 2016 Kick-Off

Film festival:

Human Rights Human Wrongs 2016 Kick-Off

As a partner of the Human Rights Human Wrongs documentary film festival, we invite you to the kick-off of this years' festival. Join us on Tuesday February 16th at Cinemateket as we kick-start the 2016 edition of the Human Rights Human Wrongs Documentary Film Festival with a series of exciting events.

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Stop Violence and Illegal Criminal Prosecution

Armenia:

Stop Violence and Illegal Criminal Prosecution

In the period since Armenia’s disputed 6 December 2015 Constitutional Referendum, persecution, violence and threats against the regime’s opponents has intensified. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor strongly condemn the auhtorities' unlawful practices of the authorities. We require that they urgently abide by the legal framework Armenia is bound to as a member of the Council of Europe and as signatory to international human rights conventions.

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NHC svarer UNE i Aftenposten

Norge:

NHC svarer UNE i Aftenposten

I dagens Aftenposten svarer Helsingforskomiteen på UNEs artikkel i Aftenposten 23. desember, der UNE skriver at vi gjør påstander til fakta. Den norske Helsingforskomité mener det er nedslående at UNE ikke vil undersøke saker der Norge kan ha brutt sentrale menneskerettslige forpliktelser.

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Ny norsk praksis hindrer retten til å søke asyl

Asylrett i Norge:

Ny norsk praksis hindrer retten til å søke asyl

Den norske Helsingforskomité har sammen med Amnesty International Norway og NOAS skrevet et brev til UNHCRs representant for Nord-Europa, Pia Prytz Phiri, der vi argumenterer for at lovendringene som ble innført i utlendingsloven i november er i strid med retten til å søke asyl. Dette betyr at Norge bryter sine internasjonale forpliktelser, og kan i sin ytterste konsekvens innebære at asylsøkere med beskyttelsebehov kan bli sendt tilbake til forfølgelse, tortur og i verste fall død. Brevet ble i går også sendt til innvandrings-og integreringsminister Sylvi Listhaug, samt til alle partilederne på Stortinget.

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Listhaug må be UNE om redegjørelse

Norge:

Listhaug må be UNE om redegjørelse

I en kronikk publisert i Aftenposten 17.12 oppfordrer Den norske Helsingforskomité statsråd Sylvi Listhaug til å be om en redegjørelse fra UNE i forbindelse med at to russiske statsborgere som søkte asyl i Norge ble torturert og drept etter retur til hjemlandet i 2012 og 2013.

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Tsjetsjenske asylsøkere torturert og drept etter retur

Norge:

Tsjetsjenske asylsøkere torturert og drept etter retur

I denne ukens Ny Tid avsløres det at to tsjetsjenske asylsøkere, Apti Nazujev og Umar Bilemkhanov, ble torturert og drept i Tsjetsjenia etter å ha fått avslag på sine søknader om politisk asyl i Norge. Den norske Helsingforskomité og russiske Memorial advarte norske myndigheter sterkt mot å sende de to tilbake til Tsjetsjenia eller Russland.

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Appeal to state delegations to support resolution on human rights defenders

The UN:

Appeal to state delegations to support resolution on human rights defenders

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee appealed to Missions to the UN to support resolution on human rights defenders, which comes up for vote in the UN General Assembly on the 17 December. The resolution contains a strong message to the world’s governments that they should support and protect human rights defenders; not attack them. The appeal was backed with signatures of people from across the world.

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Ny lov undergrev respekten for menneskerettar og internasjonale avtaler

Russland:

Ny lov undergrev respekten for menneskerettar og internasjonale avtaler

Den 15.desember underskreiv President Vladimir Putin ei lov som gjev rettsleg heimel for den russiske grunnlovsdomstolen til å avgjera om dei skal gjennomføre eller ikkje gjennomføre vedtak mot Russland, mellom anna frå Den europeiske menneskerettsdomstolen (EMD).

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Viktig med spesialutsending for minoriteter

Norge:

Viktig med spesialutsending for minoriteter

Den norske Helsingforskomité ber i et brev sammen med Oslosenteret for fred og menneskerettigheter og Stefanusalliansen Utenriksminister Børge Brende sørge for at ordningen med en spesialutsending for minoriteter blir opprettholdt.

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Suspension of sentences of Leyla and Arif Yunus is a welcome step, but justice is still elusive

Azerbaijan:

Suspension of sentences of Leyla and Arif Yunus is a welcome step, but justice is still elusive

10 December: We — members of the Civic Solidarity Platform and the Sports For Rights Campaign — were relieved to learn that one of Azerbaijan’s most well-known political prisoners, Leyla Yunus, was released from detention yesterday and that that the Baku City Court of Appeal changed her sentence and that of her husband Arif into suspended sentences of 5 years, on probation.

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Drawing for Freedom project exhibits in Paris’ Hotel de Ville

Political prisoners in Azerbaijan:

Drawing for Freedom project exhibits in Paris’ Hotel de Ville

On Tuesday 8 December, 2015 more than 30 works of art produced by Norwegian artists thematically related to political prisoners in Azerbaijan were displayed at the main town hall (Hôtel de Ville) in Paris, France.

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Leyla Yunus released from prison

Azerbaijan:

Leyla Yunus released from prison

Leyla Yunus has been released from prison today following a request by her lawyers due to her deteriorating health condition.

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Constitutional referendum illegitimate

Armenia:

Constitutional referendum illegitimate

– The poor quality of the 6 December 2015 constitutional referendum was unprecedented in the country. There were blatant violations of the electoral code and verbal and physical attacks on observers and journalists, said Lene Wetteland, senior advisor of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). "We are critical both of the campaign, the contents of the amendments as well as of the conduct of the vote itself."

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Anniversary of Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest

Azerbaijan:

Anniversary of Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest

The anniversary of journalist Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest one year ago highlights the Azerbaijani regime’s unprecedented repression in 2015.

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Reverse travel ban on HRW researcher

Kyrgyzstan:

Reverse travel ban on HRW researcher

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply disappointed to learn of the decision by Kyrgyzstan to declare Mihra Rittmann, researcher for Human Rights Watch in Central Asia, persona non grata in the country. Rittmann was deported from Kyrgyzstan upon her arrival to Manas International Airport in Bishkek on 2 December, after living and working for several years in the country.

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Release detained human rights defender

Uzbekistan:

Release detained human rights defender

– Uzbek authorities should immediately release from detention and drop their criminal case against Uktam Pardaev, a prominent human rights activist arrested on November 16 in Jizzakh, Uzbekistan, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Human Rights Watch, International Partnership for Human Rights and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today.

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Human rights defenders should be supported and protected, not attacked

United Nations:

Human rights defenders should be supported and protected, not attacked

On the 25 November, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognises the important role of human rights defenders.

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Turkmenistan must respond to the United Nations

Turkmenistan:

Turkmenistan must respond to the United Nations

As a member of the Prove They Are Alive! campaign, the NHC has joined a statement where we express our disappointment and regret at the failure of the government of Turkmenistan to provide a substantive reply to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on its decision on the case of Boris Shikhmuradov within the period established by the Committee.

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New Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

Turkey:

New Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) Freedom of Belief Initiative outlines in this report, covering the period from July 2014 to June 2015, the need for Turkish legislation and practice to be brought into harmony with human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief.

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Light a candle in honor of trans*persons murdered worldwide

Transgender Day of Remembrance:

Light a candle in honor of trans*persons murdered worldwide

20 November is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, dedicated to the memory of trans*persons who have been victims of homicide. It is also a day to remind all of us that it is Our obligation to fight hate crimes, prejudices and hatred towards gender minorities not only today but every day.

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Updated list of political prisoners in Armenia

Armenia:

Updated list of political prisoners in Armenia

A new list of political prisoners in Armenia has just been published. The list now comprises of 12 names. These are political activists who have used the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech to express their discontent with the current government of Armenia.

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Advarer mot hastetiltak

Norge:

Advarer mot hastetiltak

Den norske Helsingforskomité, NOAS og en rekke andre organisasjoner sendte i går et brev til alle partier på Stortinget der det advares mot hastebehandling av innstrammingsforslag som innebærer en dramatisk svekkelse av asylsøkeres rettssikkerhet.

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Presentation of Magnitsky Awards shows strength of movement

London:

Presentation of Magnitsky Awards shows strength of movement

The presentation of the Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards 2015, honouring nine prominent politicians, lawyers, and journalists for their support of the Magnitsky campaign, took place in London on 16 November, six years after the death of the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

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Ukraine adopts legislation protecting sexual- and gender minorities in employment

Ukraine:

Ukraine adopts legislation protecting sexual- and gender minorities in employment

On 12 November the Ukrainian Parliament adopted Amendment Nº 3442 to the Labor Code, where protection against discrimination in the labor sector explicitly mentions sexual and gender minorities (LGBTI) among other vulnerable groups*. The amendment is the first Ukrainian Law where LGBTI persons are granted legal protection, and it was the final law that needed to be adopted before Ukraine could achieve a visa liberalization agreement with the European Union.

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Stop Russian-style NGO law

Stop Russian-style NGO law

On 5 November 2015 a controversial draft law pertaining to the activities of the non-governmental sector passed its second reading in the Kazakhstani Senate. Approved by the Senate, a signature by the president of Kazakhstan is the next step.

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Activist freed after 21 years

Uzbekistan:

Activist freed after 21 years

– One of the world’s longest imprisoned peaceful political activists, Murod Juraev, was finally released from a jail in Uzbekistan on November 12, 2015, after 21 unjustified years behind bars, nine human rights groups said today. The nine rights groups, including the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, now calls on UN to hold Tashkent accountable for arbitrary detention.

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Arif Yunus transferred from prison to house arrest

Azerbaijan:

Arif Yunus transferred from prison to house arrest

Arif Yunus was today released from prison and transferred to house arrest because of his deteriorating health.

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Stop intimidation of human rights activists in North Caucasus

Russia:

Stop intimidation of human rights activists in North Caucasus

In Ingushetia on 6 November, armed security servicemen carried out a raid in the offices of the human rights organization MASHR and in the private home of the organization’s head Magomed Mutsolgov. The masked men removed large amounts of documents, office computers and even the children’s iPad.

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