Washington, 30 November 2010 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of Óscar Maussa, a Colombian campesino leader and beneficiary of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR on September 1, 2006.

The available information indicates that Óscar Maussa and other members of the Blanquicet Agricultural Workers’ Cooperative (COOTRAGROBLAN) were asserting their rights over lands from which they had been forcibly ejected by paramilitary groups between 1996 and 1998. It also indicates that in 2005, the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Chigorodó ordered the restitution of the “La Esperanza” farm to its COOTRAGROBLAN owners, but that the families did not return due to threats from the paramilitaries. In 2006, the IACHR granted precautionary measures to protect the life and physical integrity of four families from COOTRAGROBLAN, including the Maussa family, after they were threatened by the paramilitaries who seized their lands for having taken judicial action to recover their property. The information received by the IACHR indicates that in 2007, Óscar Maussa received new death threats and as a result had had to move again. According to publically available information, on November 24, 2010, Óscar Maussa’s body was found with the hands tied and showing signs of violence. (suite…)

La Rapporteure spéciale des Nations unies sur la situation des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme, Margaret Sekaggya, effectuera une visite pays en Inde du 11 au 21 janvier 2011.

Son prochain rapport au Conseil des droits de l’Homme en mars 2011 portera sur les « femmes défenseures et défenseurs travaillant sur les questions liées aux droits des femmes et au genre ».

WARSAW, 11 November 2010 – The Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Ambassador Janez Lenarcic, today encouraged Kyrgyzstan’s authorities to ensure full compliance with fair trial standards in the case of human rights defender Azimjan Askarov and other trials related to the June violence in the south of the country.

An appeals court yesterday upheld the 15 September verdict of a lower court, which sentenced Askarov to life imprisonment and confiscation of his property on charges of organizing mass disorder and inciting inter-ethnic hatred.

ODIHR monitors at the first instance trial and appeal proceedings noted that the authorities failed to make adequate efforts to address repeated instances of verbal abuse, including death threats, directed at the lawyers and the defendant, as well as an instance of physical attack against one of the lawyers. This added to an atmosphere of fear and intimidation surrounding many of the cases related to the June violence, in particular those involving ethnic Uzbek defendants. (suite…)

Brussels, 8 November 2010 – 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 on the human rights situation in Sudan:

« Catherine Ashton condemns the recent arbitrary arrest and detention of Darfuri human rights activists and journalists by the Sudanese authorities. Over the last few days 13 Sudanese staff of Radio Dabanga and the organisation Human Rights and Advocacy Network for Democracy (HAND) are reported to have been arrested in Khartoum.

She is concerned for the welfare of these individuals and call for their release and for the Government of Sudan to abide by its obligations under international human rights law.

These arrests appear to be part of a broader pattern of harassment and intimidation of Sudanese civil society actors. The EU is also concerned about the harassment and detention of individuals in Darfur following the recent visit of the UN Security Council.

It is essential that human rights and basic freedoms are respected for there to be a peaceful resolution of the Darfur conflict.« 

Tags: