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Human Rights Watch
Luchtaanvallen op Yemen zijn oorlogsmisdaden - Een vergeten conflict?
Edited: 201511281424
In een rapport van 20151126 wijst HRW op de duizenden burgerslachtoffers die vallen bij luchtaanvallen op Yemen. De coalitie wordt geleid door Saoudi-Arabië met ondersteuning van de USA. De coalitie kwam tot stand op 20150326.



lees het rapport van HRW hier
Human Rights Watch
DR Congo: Climate of Fear - Police Operation Kills 51 Young Men and Boys
Edited: 201411200404
(Kinshasa) – Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo summarily killed at least 51 youth and forcibly disappeared 33 others during an anti-crime campaign that began a year ago, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. “Operation Likofi,” which lasted from November 2013 to February 2014, targeted alleged gang members in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa.

The 57-page report, “Operation Likofi: Police Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Kinshasa,” details how uniformed police, often wearing masks, dragged kuluna, or suspected gang members, from their homes at night and executed them. The police shot and killed the unarmed young men and boys outside their homes, in the open markets where they slept or worked, and in nearby fields or empty lots. Many others were taken without warrants to unknown locations and forcibly disappeared.

“Operation Likofi was a brutal police campaign that left a trail of cold-blooded murders in the Congolese capital,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Fighting crime by committing crime does not build the rule of law but only reinforces a climate of fear. The Congolese authorities should investigate the killings, starting with the commander in charge of the operation, and bring to justice those responsible.”
Human Rights Watch
Saudi Arabia: New Terrorism Regulations Assault Rights
Edited: 201403200901
(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s new terrorism law and a series of related royal decrees create a legal framework that appears to criminalize virtually all dissident thought or expression as terrorism. The sweeping provisions in the measures, all issued since January 2014, threaten to close down altogether Saudi Arabia’s already extremely restricted space for free expression.

“Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “These regulations dash any hope that King Abdullah intends to open a space for peaceful dissent or independent groups.”

The new regulations come amid a campaign to silence independent activists and peaceful dissidents through intimidation, investigations, arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonment. On March 9, the prominent human rights activists Abdullah al-Hamid and Mohammed al-Qahtani completed their first year in prison, serving 11 and 10-year sentences, respectively, for criticizing the government’s human rights abuses and for membership in an unlicensed political and civil rights organization.

Two other human rights activists, Waleed Abu al-Khair and Mikhlif al-Shammari, recently lost appeals and will probably begin their three-month and five-year respective sentences soon for criticizing Saudi authorities.

On January 31, Saudi authorities promulgated the Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and its Financing (the “terrorism law”). The law has serious flaws, including vague and overly broad provisions that allow authorities to criminalize free expression, and the creation of excessive police powers without judicial oversight. The law cites violence as an essential element only in reference to attacks carried out against Saudis outside the kingdom or onboard Saudi transportation carriers. Inside the kingdom, “terrorism” can be non-violent – consisting of “any act” intended to, among other things, “insult the reputation of the state,” “harm public order,” or “shake the security of society,” which the law fails to clearly define.

On February 3, two days after the terrorism law came into force, King Abdullah issued Royal Decree 44, which criminalizes “participating in hostilities outside the kingdom” with prison sentences of between three and 20 years. On March 7, the Interior Ministry issued further regulations designating an initial list of groups the government considers terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Houthi group in Yemen, along with “Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qaeda in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Da`ish [the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, or ISIS], Jabhat al-Nusra, and Hezbollah inside the kingdom.”

The interior ministry regulations include other sweeping provisions that authorities can use to criminalize virtually any expression or association critical of the government and its understanding of Islam. These “terrorism” provisions include the following:

Article 1: “Calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”
Article 2: “Anyone who throws away their loyalty to the country’s rulers, or who swears allegiance to any party, organization, current [of thought], group, or individual inside or outside [the kingdom].”
Article 4: “Anyone who aids [“terrorist”] organizations, groups, currents [of thought], associations, or parties, or demonstrates affiliation with them, or sympathy with them, or promotes them, or holds meetings under their umbrella, either inside or outside the kingdom; this includes participation in audio, written, or visual media; social media in its audio, written, or visual forms; internet websites; or circulating their contents in any form, or using slogans of these groups and currents [of thought], or any symbols which point to support or sympathy with them.”
Article 6: “Contact or correspondence with any groups, currents [of thought], or individuals hostile to the kingdom.”
Article 8: “Seeking to shake the social fabric or national cohesion, or calling, participating, promoting, or inciting sit-ins, protests, meetings, or group statements in any form, or anyone who harms the unity or stability of the kingdom by any means.”
Human Rights Watch
Stop Harassing Writer Akram Aylisli - Authorities Should Protect Author, Uphold Free Speech
Edited: 201302121058
FEBRUARY 12, 2013
(Moscow) – The Azerbaijani government should immediately end a hostile campaign of intimidation against writer Akram Aylisli. Aylisli recently published a controversial novel depicting relationships between ethnic Azeris and Armenians in Azerbaijan.

Foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations of which Azerbaijan is a member should speak out against this intimidation campaign. They should urge the authorities to immediately investigate those responsible for threats against Aylisli, and to respect freedom of expression.

“The Azerbaijani authorities have an obligation to protect Akram Aylisli,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, they have led the effort to intimidate him, putting him at risk with a campaign of vicious smears and hostile rhetoric.”

Aylisli, a member of the Union of Writers of Azerbaijan since the Soviet era, is the author of Stone Dreams. The novel includes a description of violence by ethnic Azeris against Armenians during the 1920s, and at the end of the Soviet era, when the two countries engaged in armed conflict. Aylisli told Human Rights Watch that he saw the novel as an appeal for friendship between the two nations. The novel was published in Friendship of Peoples, a Russian literary journal, in December 2012.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a seven-year war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily ethnic Armenian-populated autonomous enclave in Azerbaijan. Despite a 1994 ceasefire, the conflict has not yet reached a political solution. Against the background of the unresolved nature of the conflict, Aylisli’s sympathetic portrayal of Armenians and condemnation of violence against them caused uproar in Azerbaijan. An escalating crescendo of hateful rhetoric and threats against Aylisli started at the end of January 2013, culminating in a February 11 public statement by Hafiz Hajiyev, head of Modern Musavat, a pro-government political party. Hajiyev publicly said that he would pay AZN10,000 [US$12,700] to anyone who would cut off Aylisli’s ear.

“Azerbaijan’s authorities should immediately investigate and hold accountable anyone responsible for making threats against Aylisli, and ensure his personal safety,” Williamson said.

On January 29, officials from the Yeni Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s ruling party, publicly called on Aylisli to withdraw the novel and ask for the nation’s forgiveness. Aylisli told Human Rights Watch that two days later, a crowd of about 70 people gathered in front of his home, shouting “Akram, leave the country now,” and “Shame on you”, and burned effigies of the author. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that police were present but made no effort to disperse the crowd. No damage was done to Aylisli’s home.

In a speech about Aylisli’s book, a high level official from Azerbaijan’s presidential administration said that, “We, as the Azerbaijani people, must express public hatred toward these people," a comment that appeared aimed at Aylisli.

During a February 1 session, some members of Azerbaijan’s parliament denounced Aylisli, called for him to be stripped of his honorary “People’s Writer” title and medals, and demanded that he take a DNA test to prove his ethnicity. On February 7, President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree stripping Aylisli of the title, which he had held since 1998, and cutting off his presidential monthly pension of AZN1000 [US$1,270], which he had drawn since 2002. Aylisli learned of the presidential decree from television news.

In the wake of the public vitriol, Aylisli’s wife and son were fired from their jobs. On February 4, a senior officer at Azerbaijan’s customs agency forced Najaf Naibov-Aylisli, Aylisli’s son, to sign a statement that he was “voluntarily” resigning from his job as department chief. Aylisli told Human Rights Watch his son had received no reprimands during his 12 years on job.

“My son had nothing to do with politics,” Aylisli said. “In fact he always advised me not to write about politics and never agreed with my political views.”

On February 5, Aylisli’s wife, Galina Alexandrovna, was forced to sign a “voluntary” statement resigning from her job at a public library, following an inspection announced several days before.

Public book burnings of Aylisli’s works, some organized by the ruling party, have taken place in several cities in Azerbaijan.

“The government of Azerbaijan is making a mockery of its international obligations on freedom of expression,” Williamson said. “This is shocking, particularly after Azerbaijani officials flocked to Strasbourg last month to tout the government’s human rights record at the Council of Europe.”

The European Court of Human Rights has issued numerous rulings upholding the principle that freedom of speech also protects ideas that might be shocking or disturbing to society. In a judgment handed down against Azerbaijan, in a case that dealt speech related to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the court said, “[F]reedom of information applie[s] not only to information or ideas that are favorably received, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb.”