Brussels, 21 January 2011 – A 022/11 – The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

“The High Representative deplores the decision of an Israeli military court to increase to 16 months the sentence of Mr. Abdallah Abu Rahma, a peaceful Palestinian activist committed to non violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bil’in. She recalls the legitimate right of the Palestinians to engage in peaceful demonstrations”.

NEW DELHI (21 January 2011) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, expressed her concern for a contraction of the space for civil society in India, despite the country’s “comprehensive and progressive legal framework as a guarantor of human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as the existence of the National Human Rights Commission as well as a number of state and statutory commissions mandated to promote and protect human rights.”

“I am particularly concerned at the plight of human rights defenders working for the rights of marginalized people, i.e. Dalits, Adavasis (tribals), religious minorities and sexual minorities, who face particular risks and ostracism because of their activities,” Ms. Sekaggya said at the end of her first fact-finding mission to the country. (más…)