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.« 


Washington, D.C., 15 de octubre de 2010 – La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) anuncia el calendario de audiencias del 140º Período de Sesiones, que tendrá lugar del 20 de octubre al 5 de noviembre de 2010. Las audiencias se realizarán los días 25, 26, 28 y 29 de octubre, en el edificio de la Secretaría General de la OEA, en Washington D.C.

La CIDH ofrecerá una conferencia de prensa al culminar el 140º Período de Sesiones, el viernes 5 de noviembre a las 12:00, hora local en Washington, en el Salón San Martín del Edificio Principal de la OEA (17th. Street, N.W. at Constitution Ave.) La conferencia de prensa podrá ser seguida por Webcast, y se pueden enviar preguntas por correo electrónico a la Oficina de Prensa de la CIDH.

Todas las audiencias públicas podrán ser escuchadas por Internet a través de grabaciones de audio que se colocan en esta página del sitio Web de la CIDH. Asimismo, la OEA realizará transmisión en vivo por su página en Internet de las audiencias que tendrán lugar en el Salón Padilha Vidal. El calendario de audiencias acompaña este comunicado. (Abrir versión en pdf para imprimir, y ver aquí detalles sobre interpretación y canales de Webcast). (suite…)

GENEVA (11 October 2010) – Four UN experts* today added their voices to those welcoming the decision of the Nobel Committee, on Friday, to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, and urged for his immediate release.

Liu Xiaobo participated in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in Beijing in 1989, worked as a professor at Beijing Normal University, and co-authored the Charter 08 document which called for multiparty democracy and greater respect for human rights in the country.

“Liu Xiaobo is a courageous human rights defender who has continuously and peacefully advocated for greater respect for human rights in the People’s Republic of China. We welcome the recognition of his work,” stated the experts. (suite…)

(Brussels, 8th October 2010) Nobel Peace Prize: José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, congratulates Liu Xiaobo:

« I would like to convey my congratulations to Liu Xiaobo for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2010. The decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is a strong message of support to all those around the world who, sometimes with great personal sacrifice, are struggling for freedom and human rights. These values are at the core of the European Union and the decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee highlighted their importance all over the world.« 


(Brussels, 8 October 2010) Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission made the following statement:

« I want to congratulate Liu Xiaobo on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The choice of Nobel Committee reflects Liu Xiaobo’s leading role in calling for democratic and rights-based political reform in China, and I hope he will be able to receive his prize in person.

I am convinced that this award will inspire human rights defenders worldwide. I take this opportunity to recall the firm commitment of the European Union and myself in supporting their efforts.«