Brussels, 24 August 2010 A 167/10 – The spokesperson of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton issued the following statement today :

« The High Representative is concerned by the conviction of 39-year-old Abdallah Abu Rahma in an Israeli military court on charges of incitement and organising and attending demonstrations. He is due to be sentenced shortly. The EU considers Abdallah Abu Rahma to be a Human Rights Defender committed to non violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bil’in.

The EU considers the route of the barrier where it is built on Palestinian land to be illegal. The High Representative is deeply concerned that the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahma is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner. « 

Note to Editors: The EU attended all court hearings in the case of Abdallah Abu Rahma, who has been in detention since 10 December 2009. »

Washington, D.C., August 2, 2010—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) strongly condemns the murder of an indigenous leader and human rights defender of the Wayúu people of Colombia.

According to information the Commission has received, on July 27, 2010, Luis Alfredo Socarrás Pimienta, a Wayúu indigenous leader, dentist, and human rights defender, was killed in Riohacha. The information available indicates that the crime was committed by a hit man who shot him in the doorway of his house and then fled.

In the past year, Socarrás Pimienta had led several demonstrations carried out by the Wayúu people to protest the situation of their individual and collective human rights and to demand a better quality of life for their members. The indigenous leader had also participated in two elections, as candidate of the Polo Democrático Alternativo party for the mayor’s office of the municipality of Manaure, and had managed dental-care campaigns for the communities of the Upper and Middle Guajira Peninsula. (suite…)

Brussels, 26 July 2010, 12617/10, PRESSE 221 – The EU strongly condemns the sentencing of Mr. Haitham Al Maleh and Mr. Muhannad Al Hassani, two Syrian lawyers, to three years in prison respectively, on charges that appear to be in breach of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

The EU also deeply deplores the renewed arrest on 17 June of Mr. Ali Al-Abdullah, a Syrian writer, a day after his release from prison having completed his previous sentence.

The EU is in particular gravely concerned by the situation of Mr. Al Maleh, due to his fragile health and advanced age.

The EU calls for the immediate release of MM. Al Maleh, Al Hassani and Al-Abudullah.

The EU calls on the Syrian Government to reconsider all cases of prisoners of conscience in accordance with its national Constitution and its international commitments and to immediately release all such prisoners. (suite…)

Brussels, 16 July 2010 – The European Union expresses its preoccupation at the continuing human rights violations in the North Caucasus and the worsening of the situation of human rights defenders in the region, as also noted in Dick Marty´s (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) report on the human rights violations in the North Caucasus, one year after the assassination of Mrs Natalia Estemirova of the Non-Governmental Organisation Memorial.

The European Union is concerned at the recent threats received by the NGO Memorial and the charges brought forward against its Director, Mr Oleg Orlov.

The European Union recalls the importance of protecting human rights defenders in Russia and worldwide, and allowing them to freely exercise their activities in accordance with the Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998. (suite…)

Ecrit le 2010-07-13 – Il y a un an, la défenseure des droits de l’homme Natalia Estemirova était brutalement assassinée. Le 15 juillet 2009, elle a été enlevée près de son domicile à Grozny, en Tchétchénie. Elle été poussée dans une voiture par plusieurs agresseurs et, quelques heures plus tard, son corps a été retrouvé dans une forêt en Ingouchie. Il portait des blessures par balles à la tête et à la poitrine. (tous les communiqués) | (suite…)