| Den norske Helsingforskomité

A letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of Tajikistan visit

Tajikistan:

A letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of Tajikistan visit

Together with Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden, and Freedom Now, USA, NHC has written a letter to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of his visit to Tajikistan, reminding him of the grave human rights situation and the negative development in the country. Since 2014, the Tajik government has undertaken a widespread crackdown to dismantle and discredit the country’s peaceful political opposition.

Read more about A letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres ahead of Tajikistan visit
Free 18 Men Tortured, Sentenced in Unfair Trial

Turkmenistan:

Free 18 Men Tortured, Sentenced in Unfair Trial

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee joins protests in reaction to credible reports of the arrest, torture, and conviction following unfair trials, and imprisonment under inhumane conditions of 18 men in Turkmenistan. The sentences, from 12 to 25 years, were handed down in a closed, two-hour trial, and set out in a summary of the verdict that lacks any information about the specific acts the men are accused of committing or the evidence against them.

Read more about Free 18 Men Tortured, Sentenced in Unfair Trial
Azerbaijani journalist abducted from Georgia

Letter to the Prime Minister of Georgia:

Azerbaijani journalist abducted from Georgia

In a letter to the Prime Minsiter of Georgia, NHC has joined several human rights organisations to express our concern about the abduction of Afgan Mukhtarli, an exiled Azerbaijani journalist, on 29 May in Tbilisi. He went missing after leaving his colleagues in the evening, before resurfacing the following day in Baku in the custody of Azerbaijan’s state border agency. Mukhtarli reports that he was forced into a car near his home, tied up and beaten. His abductors put a bag over his head and 10,000 euros were stuffed into his pockets while crossing the Azerbaijani border. We question the role of Georgia in letting this abduction take place.

Read more about Azerbaijani journalist abducted from Georgia
Authorities should protect KyivPride 2017

Ukraine:

Authorities should protect KyivPride 2017

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee urges Ukrainian authorities to support and protect Kyiv Pride Week, which will be organized June 9 to 18, 2017. An important part of the program will be the KyivPride March on 18 June, a manifestation in support of fundamental human rights and freedom from violence for Lesbian, Gay, Bi- Trans- and Intersex persons (LGBTI) in Ukraine.

Read more about Authorities should protect KyivPride 2017
Time for Justice for Ilgar Mammadov

Azerbaijan:

Time for Justice for Ilgar Mammadov

The Council of Europe’s legitimacy is at stake over Azerbaijan’s persistent non-compliance with the European Court judgment. On 22 May, three years had passed since the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered its judgment on the case of political prisoner Ilgar Mammadov, concluding that the Azerbaijani authorities had detained him to punish him for his criticism of the government.

Read more about Time for Justice for Ilgar Mammadov
2017 Oslo Freedom Forum opened!

Norway:

2017 Oslo Freedom Forum opened!

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is a partner of the Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) which is now underway in Oslo. OFF is a thriving global community of people who share the common vision of making the world a more peaceful, prosperous, and free place. The ninth annual forum will unite dissidents, activists, artists, journalists, and changemakers in Oslo on May 22-24, 2017.

Read more about 2017 Oslo Freedom Forum opened!
UN official calls for rights reforms and presses for justice for Andijan massacre

Uzbekistan:

UN official calls for rights reforms and presses for justice for Andijan massacre

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights called on President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan on May 10 and 11, 2017, to turn his government’s pledges for reform into concrete human rights improvements and fulfill its obligations under human rights law, eight human rights groups said today. The rights groups endorsed the high commissioner’s recommendations, calling on Mirziyoyev to end ongoing abuses and deliver on Uzbekistan’s human rights commitments in full.

Read more about UN official calls for rights reforms and presses for justice for Andijan massacre
Happy birthday Max Bokayev!

Kazakhstan: Free political prisoners Bokayev and Ayan:

Happy birthday Max Bokayev!

Today the Norwegian Helsinki Committee congratulates political prisoner Max Bokayev on his 44th birthday and appeals to the authorities of Kazakhstan to free him and fellow political prisoner Talgat Ayan. The two remain in prison after an Atyrau court last year sentenced them to five years imprisonment in retaliation for their peaceful activism. Текст на русском ниже

Read more about Happy birthday Max Bokayev!
Statement on the case of Dr. Serdar Küni

Turkey:

Statement on the case of Dr. Serdar Küni

NHC has issued a statement protesting the conviction of Dr Serdar Küni, from Turkey, addressed to the Gaziantepe Regional High Court. The statement is supported by 28 other organisations from various countries. Küni's prosecution is part of a wave of arrests, dismissals and other legal actions taken against human rights defenders, medical professionals, lawyers, journalists, and academics since July 2015 in Southeast Turkey, and throughout Turkey after the failed military coup in July 2016. The statement underlines the principal importance of the case. Dr. Küni is a medical doctor, and is therefore under a professional duty to provide medical assistance to any person in need of such assistance. He is also a human rights defender.

Read more about Statement on the case of Dr. Serdar Küni
Free Azerbaijani Journalist Mehman Huseynov

World Press Freedom Day:

Free Azerbaijani Journalist Mehman Huseynov

Joint Statement: As World Press Freedom Day is celebrated across the globe on May 3, we, the undersigned organizations, cannot forget the untenable price journalists pay for government criticism in Azerbaijan. The case of Mehman Huseynov is emblematic.

Read more about Free Azerbaijani Journalist Mehman Huseynov
Attack on opposition in the Macedonian Parliament should be investigated

Macedonia:

Attack on opposition in the Macedonian Parliament should be investigated

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee expresses concern about increased political tension in Macedonia after protesters forced their way into the Parliament in Skopje Thursday 27 April.

Read more about Attack on opposition in the Macedonian Parliament should be investigated
Annual Report 2016

Annual Report 2016

The Annual Assembly of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has released the 2016 Annual report. The report illustrated the wide range of activities NHC of last year, and underlined the importance of continued engagement for fundamental human rights in an unstable world. Human rights in Turkey, Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus remain in the center of our attention, where we through cooperation with local civil society are an efficient advocate for fundamental human rights defense at home and abroad. In 2016, we became a member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and also the assumed the responsibility of hosting the secretariat for the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB).

Read more about Annual Report 2016
Statement of International Delegation of Trial Monitors

Turkey:

Statement of International Delegation of Trial Monitors

“The trial proceedings against Dr. Küni ignored the most basic of international fair trial standards, and failed to take into account the arbitrary nature of the charges against him”. Deputy Secretary General Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal is currently on mission to Turkey. He is part of an international trial monitoring group, monitoring the trial against Dr. Serdar Küni, a medical doctor who provided medical treatment during clashes in Cizre in 2015 and 2016.

Read more about Statement of International Delegation of Trial Monitors
Addressing the human rights situation in the North Caucasus

North Caucasus report in PACE:

Addressing the human rights situation in the North Caucasus

Ahead of the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Amnesty International, Article 19, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Center “Memorial” and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee have written to the members of the Assembly to urge them to participate in the Plenary debate on the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on “Human Rights in the North Caucasus” and to support the adoption of the very important resolution and recommendations raised by the report.

Read more about Addressing the human rights situation in the North Caucasus
A wave of protest actions across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan

Demonstrations and arrests:

A wave of protest actions across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan

This last weekend, 25. – 26. March, peaceful protest actions took place across Russia, Belarus and in Kyrgyzstan, which were met with heavy police forces, mass arrests and violence from the authorities. Although they did not seem to have been coordinated in any way, the protests have in common that they were supported by citizens fed up with corruption and oppression. Governments of the three countries seem to know only one way of reacting: Interdiction, violence and detentions. Still, citizens for the first time in a very long time, defied fears and participated. The participation across Russia, not limited to big cities, had not been seen for years.

Read more about A wave of protest actions across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan
Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka

Belarus:

Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka

We strongly condemn the continuing wave of detentions and harassment of peaceful protesters, journalists, human rights defenders, civil society activists, anarchists and opposition party members in Belarus. More than 250 people have been detained since 3 March, and several detentions have been carried out with excessive use of force. On the eve of planned demonstrations in Minsk and several other places in Belarus on 25 March, we urge President Lukashenka to abide human rights principles.
Photo by Andrey Liankevich.

Read more about Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka
Release of political prisoners: Same old trick

Azerbaijan:

Release of political prisoners: Same old trick

On March 16, Azerbaijan's authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev displayed another self-serving magnanimity and pretended to be merciful. He signed a decree, pardoning 423 prisoners, among them 4 activists that human rights groups have labeled as political prisoners. This is happy news for all of those pardoned and their families, but there is very little else to celebrate. The decree left many political prisoners firmly behind bars, in prisons populated by prominent dissenters and activists.

Read more about Release of political prisoners: Same old trick
Newspaper editor freed after being held for 18 years

Uzbekistan:

Newspaper editor freed after being held for 18 years

The Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA), Civil Rights Defenders (CRD), Freedom House, International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Uzbek–German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) are extremely relieved to learn that Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjanov, the winner of RSF’s Press Freedom Prize in 2013, was released today after 18 years in prison.

Read more about Newspaper editor freed after being held for 18 years
Polish Government Undermines Rule of Law

Poland:

Polish Government Undermines Rule of Law

NHC has signed on to an Open Letter to the European Union College of Commissioners regarding the situation in Poland. The letter urges the College to pursue the enforcement action against the government of Poland under the Article 7 of the EU treaty, as the government of Poland continues to undermine the rule of law. NHC supports the letter in the framework of our membership in the International Federation for Human Rights, FIDH.

Read more about Polish Government Undermines Rule of Law
Sunday's "elections" in Turkmenistan cannot be called honest, transparent and fair

Turkmenistan:

Sunday's "elections" in Turkmenistan cannot be called honest, transparent and fair

Today, the Turkmenistan Civic Solidarity Group issues a statement regarding Sunday's Presidential "Elections" in Turkmenistan. In it, the organisations urge all interested parties, including the OSCE and other international organizations, to take a principled stance and to not recognize the presidential “elections” in Turkmenistan as free, transparent, fair, competitive, and in accordance with international standards.

Read more about Sunday's "elections" in Turkmenistan cannot be called honest, transparent and fair
Tilbakekallelse av statsborgerskap bør skje ved dom

Norge:

Tilbakekallelse av statsborgerskap bør skje ved dom

- Den norske Helsingforskomité støtter forslaget om å endre statsborgerloven § 26 slik at tilbakekallelser av statsborgerskap bare kan skje ved dom*. Regjeringen bør avvente saksbehandling av tilbakekallelser til regelverket er endret. Dette sa Helsingforskomiteens assisterende generalsekretær Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal i sitt innlegg på åpen høring i Stortingets kommunal- og forvaltningskomité 9. februar 2017.

Read more about Tilbakekallelse av statsborgerskap bør skje ved dom
The harassment of NGOs by the Hungarian government must stop

Hungary:

The harassment of NGOs by the Hungarian government must stop

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is seriously concerned for the future of Hungarian NGOs working for the protection and promotion of democracy and human rights, for marginalized groups and transparency. Legislation which has recently been proposed by the Hungarian Government will, possibly unconstitutionally, target and paralyze non-government organisations that receive grants from foreign funds.

Read more about The harassment of NGOs by the Hungarian government must stop
Rights groups demand justice for tortured journalist Mehman Huseynov

Azerbaijan:

Rights groups demand justice for tortured journalist Mehman Huseynov

The undersigned organisations, including the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, strongly condemn the abduction and torture of Azerbaijani journalist Mehman Huseynov and call on Azerbaijan’s authorities to immediately investigate the case and to hold those responsible accountable. Moreover, Huseynov’s conviction should be overturned and the travel ban against him lifted.

Read more about Rights groups demand justice for tortured journalist Mehman Huseynov
Georgia must enable access to justice for victims of 2008 war

Statement:

Georgia must enable access to justice for victims of 2008 war

Human Rights Center (HRIDC), Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) call on the Georgian authorities to take concrete steps towards accountability for crimes committed during 2008 war, including, renew investigative activities, ensure access of victims of the August 2008 war to their national case file and renew communication with the victims in order to respect their rights to effectively participate in national proceedings.

Read more about Georgia must enable access to justice for victims of 2008 war
Observation of the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Georgia

Final Report:

Observation of the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Georgia

The final report of the limited election observation mission to the Republic of Georgia is ready.The mission was organised jointly with the European Platform of Democratic Elections (EPDE), the International Partnership of Human Rights (IPHR), the International Elections Study Center (IESC) and
the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC).

Read more about Observation of the Parliamentary Elections in the Republic of Georgia
US, EU Should Consider Sanctions

Tajikistan:

US, EU Should Consider Sanctions

– Tajikistan’s security services have taken new actions against relatives of at least three political activists abroad who engage in peaceful criticism of the government, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today.

Read more about US, EU Should Consider Sanctions
A terrible miscarriage of justice: 10 years imprisonment for graffiti

Azerbaijan:

A terrible miscarriage of justice: 10 years imprisonment for graffiti

In another farcical day in a Baku court today, 21-year old activist Bayram Mammadov was sentenced to 10 years in jail. He was arrested simply for spraying graffiti, but was later tortured into confessing to serious drug crimes. Bogus drug possession charges to silence critical voices is not new in Azerbaijan, where the authorities widely plant drugs on their opponents to lock them up.

Read more about A terrible miscarriage of justice: 10 years imprisonment for graffiti
Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression

Azerbaijan:

Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression

The government of Azerbaijan is carrying out a multi-pronged attack on freedom of expression, including introducing harsh penalties for critical speech online, imprisoning young activists for nothing more than graffiti, blocking access to websites of independent media, and harassing and violating the rights of journalists and activists. The undersigned organisations call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to reverse this alarming trend and respect basic human rights and freedoms, as well as for international partners to ensure Azerbaijan honours its treaty commitments as a state party to the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Read more about Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression
Authorities should promote youth civic engagement, not restrict it

Kazakhstan:

Authorities should promote youth civic engagement, not restrict it

-Authorities in Kazakhstan must ensure civil society organizations the freedom to fully carry out their activities in accordance with domestic law and international human rights standards, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. – In a recent development local authorities have aimed to thwart civic education events organized by the not-for-profit organization Youth Information Service of Kazakhstan (YISK).

Read more about Authorities should promote youth civic engagement, not restrict it
Fritt Ord and ZEIT-Stiftungs «Free Media Awards» ceremony in Tbilisi

Awards to journalism:

Fritt Ord and ZEIT-Stiftungs «Free Media Awards» ceremony in Tbilisi

NHC congratulates the laureates of the Fritt Ord/ZEIT-Stiftungs «Free Media Awards» which were awarded in a ceremony in Tbilisi last week. Imprisoned journalist Seymur Hazi from Azerbaijan and the Ukrainian TV program Nashi Groshi were both nominated by NHC. The third laureate is the prominent Russian journalist Elena Milashina.

Jury member Martin Paulsen highlighted three virtues in his speech at the ceremony: "When it comes to your work, and the reasons why we chose you for this honour, I would like to emphasise the importance of three concepts: COURAGE, SOLIDARITY and COMPETENCE."

Read more about Fritt Ord and ZEIT-Stiftungs «Free Media Awards» ceremony in Tbilisi
NHC condemns harsh sentence given to peaceful activists

Kazakhstan:

NHC condemns harsh sentence given to peaceful activists

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns the five-year sentence given yesterday to peaceful activists Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan in retaliation for their peaceful protest against proposed amendments to the country’s land-law in April and May. The harsh prison sentence is in violation of the Constitution of Kazakhstan and the country’s international human rights obligations, and must therefore be quashed, the NHC said.

Read more about NHC condemns harsh sentence given to peaceful activists
Investigate torture and death in custody

Uzbekistan:

Investigate torture and death in custody

Uzbek authorities should ensure a thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the alleged torture of two brothers by the Uzbek National Security Service (SNB), and the death in custody of one of them, Human Rights Watch, the International Partnership for Human Rights, Freedom House, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said today.

Read more about Investigate torture and death in custody
Ilgar Mammadovs appeal to the Supreme Court has been rejected

Azerbaijan:

Ilgar Mammadovs appeal to the Supreme Court has been rejected

Imprisoned opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov's appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected on Friday 18 November, disappointing anyone who had hoped for his release. The judgement is a mockery of the previous decision by the European Court of Human Rights, demanding an immedeate release of Ilgar Mammadov.

Read more about Ilgar Mammadovs appeal to the Supreme Court has been rejected
Human Rights School for youth by the Russian-Norwegian border

Human rights education:

Human Rights School for youth by the Russian-Norwegian border

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee organised 13-17 November 2016 a Human Rights School for 27 high school students from Murmansk and Kirkenes.

Read more about Human Rights School for youth by the Russian-Norwegian border
Light a candle: the 18th Transgender Day of Remembrance

LHBTI:

Light a candle: the 18th Transgender Day of Remembrance

20 November is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), dedicated to the memory of trans and gender-diverse persons who have been victims of homicide worldwide.

Read more about Light a candle: the 18th Transgender Day of Remembrance
Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance

8 November:

Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance

8 of November is the Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance. It is a day to acknowledge the suffering and injustice caused to intersex people in the past, and call for adequate redress, reparation, and access to justice. It is also a day to challenge the faulty categorization of human beings as being strictly “male” or “female” to inspire respect, inclusion and human rights for all.

Read more about Intersex Day of Solidarity and Remembrance
Draft resolution proposes to revoke mandate of UN’s New LGBTI Rights Watchdog

LGBTI:

Draft resolution proposes to revoke mandate of UN’s New LGBTI Rights Watchdog

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent a letter to Norway’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations today to express a deep concern for a scheduled 8 November vote in the General Assembly Third Committee which may revoke the mandate of the UN Independent Expert to monitor violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). The letter was also sent to other Permanent Missions to the UN.

Read more about Draft resolution proposes to revoke mandate of UN’s New LGBTI Rights Watchdog
New FIDH report denounces six years of attacks against the rule of law and calls for EU reaction

Hungary:

New FIDH report denounces six years of attacks against the rule of law and calls for EU reaction

Human rights and the rule of law in Hungary have been under sustained attack since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took power in 2010, reveals FIDH in a new report released today. FIDH urges the government to halt this assault and calls for a strong and prompt reaction by the European Union, up to the activation of Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which could lead to the suspension of Hungary’s rights under the Treaties. NHC is a Norwegian member of the international network of human rights organisation FIDH.

Read more about New FIDH report denounces six years of attacks against the rule of law and calls for EU reaction
NHC launches podcast

Podcast:

NHC launches podcast

The NHC is proud to announce that we today are launching our first podcast. The podcast series "Human Rights in Focus" will shed light on some of the most pressing human rights challenges we are facing in Europe today. In this first episode we are discussing the situation for human rights in Azerbaijan with prominent human rights activist Leyla Yunus. She is joined by NHCs senior adviser and Azerbaijan expert Berit Lindeman.

Read more about NHC launches podcast
Joint Preliminary Statement on the first round of the Parliamentary Elections on 8 October 2016

Georgia:

Joint Preliminary Statement on the first round of the Parliamentary Elections on 8 October 2016

(Berlin, Brussels, Oslo and Tbilisi, 9 October 2016) The joint international election observation mission of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), International Elections Study Center (IESC) and International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and was established in Georgia on 12 September. On Election Day, the Mission deployed 36 international observers who visited more than 200 polling stations across the country. This preliminary statement summarizes our findings.

Read more about Joint Preliminary Statement on the first round of the Parliamentary Elections on 8 October 2016
Russian and Ukrainian youth meet for dialogue in Odessa!

Ukraine/Russia:

Russian and Ukrainian youth meet for dialogue in Odessa!

NHCs Enver Djuliman is currently in Odessa, Ukraine, where Russian and Ukrainian youth are together for dialogues for reconciliation between Russian and Ukrainian youth. Symbolically, the participants planted trees of peace.

Read more about Russian and Ukrainian youth meet for dialogue in Odessa!
Former political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus visited Oslo

Azerbaijan:

Former political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus visited Oslo

Human rights defenders and former political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus from Azerbaijan have visited Norwegian Helsinki Committee to join the “finissage” of the exhibition at Akershus Art Centre exhibiting art depicting the situation of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. –Human rights are violated more than ever in our home country, Leyla Yunus said. –The numbers of political prisoners keep increasing, and every year around ten prisoners die from torture and ill-treatment in the brutal Azerbaijani jails.

Read more about Former political prisoners Leyla and Arif Yunus visited Oslo
14th World Day against the Death Penalty

Terrorism and Death Penalty:

14th World Day against the Death Penalty

Today, on 10 October 2016, the 14th World Day Against the Death Penalty, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee is joining an international campaign raising awareness about the application of the death penalty for terrorism-related offences and to reduce its use. NHC urges the abolishment of all forms of death penalty.

Read more about 14th World Day against the Death Penalty
NHC and IPHR election observers attacked in Georgia

Georgia:

NHC and IPHR election observers attacked in Georgia

(Brussels, Oslo and Tbilisi, 9 October 2016) During the Georgian Parliamentary Elections on 8 October 2016 a violent incident occurred in Western Georgia. A group of unidentified men broke into polling station 79 in the village of Jikhashkari in the Zugdidi district, disrupted the counting procedure and physically attacked international election observers, who represented the joint mission of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE).

Read more about NHC and IPHR election observers attacked in Georgia
Drop charges against peaceful activists

Kazakhstan:

Drop charges against peaceful activists

Authorities in Kazakhstan must drop all charges against civil society activists Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan, and immediately free them, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said in a statement today. The trial against Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan is scheduled to start on October 12 in the city of Atyrau. The two peaceful activists risk five to ten years imprisonment if found guilty on charges that appear trumped-up in retaliation for their role in organizing peaceful protests earlier this year, the NHC said.

Read more about Drop charges against peaceful activists
Observing Georgia Parliamentary Elections 2016: Democratic gains at stake

Georgia:

Observing Georgia Parliamentary Elections 2016: Democratic gains at stake

A delegation from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, in cooperation with the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) and International Partnership for Human Rights, is in Georgia to observe the upcoming Parliamentary Elections 8 October 2016.

Read more about Observing Georgia Parliamentary Elections 2016: Democratic gains at stake
NHC active at HDIM 2016

HDIM 2016:

NHC active at HDIM 2016

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was active at this years Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM), which took place in Warsaw 19-30 September. Photo: OSCE/Piotr Markowski.

Read more about NHC active at HDIM 2016
Threats against Kyrgyz human rights defenders must stop

Kyrgyzstan:

Threats against Kyrgyz human rights defenders must stop

Together with our partners in the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee is seriously concerned about threats received by leading Kyrgyz human rights defenders Tolekan Ismailova and Aziza Abdurasulova in relation to their participation in the 2016 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) and call for immediate and effective measures to ensure their safety.

Read more about Threats against Kyrgyz human rights defenders must stop
Victory for the President in referendum

Referendum in Azerbaijan:

Victory for the President in referendum

Amid reports of fraud and pressure against voters, Baku's Central Election Commission has preliminary announced an overwheling victory for the amendments, which include an extension of the presidential term from five to seven years. The alarming consequences of the constitutional amendments after yesterday´s referendum will increase the power of the President, dramatically weaken democratic institutions and will further isolate and repress dissent in Azerbaijan. NHC has made a statement highly critical of the amendments and calls for sanctions against the regime.

Read more about Victory for the President in referendum
To Draw is to See - A seminar about art and activism

Seminar:

To Draw is to See - A seminar about art and activism

- The Azeri government have done their best to silence bloggers, journalists and human rights defenders. But they have been unsuccesful. Several of the former political activists, like Khadija Ismayilova, Anar Mammadli and Intigam Aliyev are now released from prison, and continue to work for a democratic Aserbaijan. This gives me hope that we can change the situation in the country, said human rights defender Rasul Jafarov at the seminar "To Draw is to See" at the house of Literature monday 19. September. The seminar was a joint event between the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO), Akershus Art Centre, and Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), and was organised in conjunction with the exhibition "The Big Draw - Drawing for Freedom" which is displayed at Akershus Art Centre in the period 17. September- 16th of October.

Read more about To Draw is to See - A seminar about art and activism
US President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden

International campaign:

US President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee supports a campaign calling US President Barack Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. He is a US whistleblower now living in Moscow because of fear of unfair prosecution in the US for revealing in June 2013 illegal surveillance programs by the US government and its allies.

Read more about US President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden
Authorities should protect Equality Festival

Ukraine/LGBTI:

Authorities should protect Equality Festival

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) asks that Zaporozhie Regional and City- Authorities protect the Equality Festival scheduled for 24 September. The organizers have been met with homophobic and transphobic threats from right wing extremists as well as protests from the City authorities, and the Jewish Community Center "Max Grant" that should have been the festival venue cancelled their contract due to fear of repercussions.

Read more about Authorities should protect Equality Festival
Low turnout in Duma elections a sign of protest

Russian Federation:

Low turnout in Duma elections a sign of protest

“The low turnout at 47.8% in the Duma elections on 18 September may be seen as an expression by Russians of discontent with the Government and the ruling United Russia party. There may also be widespread lack of trust in the electoral process among many Russians”, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). – “Even if these elections represented progress in transparency and the Central Election Commission (CEC) played a professional role in reacting to some of the reported irregularities, a range of serious problems remain.”

Read more about Low turnout in Duma elections a sign of protest
Parliamentary elections did not meet a number of key international standards for democratic and free elections.

Belarus:

Parliamentary elections did not meet a number of key international standards for democratic and free elections.

The citizen observers initiative Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections (Human Rights Center "Viasna" and Belarusian Helsinki Committee) criticize the lack of equal access to state media for all candidates, lack of impartiality of election commissions, facts of abuse of administrative resources in favor of the pro-government candidates, numerous facts of forcing voters to participate in early voting, non-transparency of some election day procedures.

Read more about Parliamentary elections did not meet a number of key international standards for democratic and free elections.
Free Caucasian Knot journalist Zhalaudi Geriev!

Russian Federation:

Free Caucasian Knot journalist Zhalaudi Geriev!

In a statement published today, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, condemn the recent sentencing of Mr. Zhalaudi Geriev, a journalist of the Russian independent news portal Caucasian Knot on September 5, 2016 and demand his unconditional release. We are deeply concerned about a string of attacks against the freedom of expression in the region, which for years has been marred by violence and threaths agains journalists.

Read more about Free Caucasian Knot journalist Zhalaudi Geriev!
New report describes excessive use of force by police

Armenia:

New report describes excessive use of force by police

The report, “Beaten, burnt and betrayed: Armenians awaiting accountability for police violence”, is published by International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and the Civic Solidarity Platform. It is based on conclusions from a fact finding mission to Yerevan in July and was launched at a press conference in Yerevan today. The report is now also available in Armenian. You can download the report in English and Armenian below.

Read more about New report describes excessive use of force by police
Enforced Disappearances in Turkmen Prisons Must Be Stopped

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances:

Enforced Disappearances in Turkmen Prisons Must Be Stopped

On this International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, the Prove They Are Alive! campaign reaffirms its solidarity with all victims of disappearances in Turkmenistan’s prisons and their families, urges the Turkmen authorities to immediately end this gross violation of human rights, and calls on the international community to make the ending of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan’s prisons a key condition for development of cooperation with the Turkmen government and firmly demand that Turkmenistan implement international legal norms and its obligations in the framework of these organisations.

Read more about Enforced Disappearances in Turkmen Prisons Must Be Stopped
NHC becomes member of the FIDH

Oslo, Johannesburg:

NHC becomes member of the FIDH

At the 39th Congress of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa 24-26 August 2016, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) was accepted as new member. – We are proud to become part of one of the most important families of human rights organizations in the world, said Bjørn Engesland, NHC Secretary General.

Read more about NHC becomes member of the FIDH
Mikael Danielyan dies

Armenia:

Mikael Danielyan dies

We are saddened to learn about the death of Armenian human rights defender Mikael ("Mika") Danielyan this morning.

Read more about Mikael Danielyan dies
Renewed Human Rights Crackdown Ahead of Referendum

Azerbaijan:

Renewed Human Rights Crackdown Ahead of Referendum

Less than six weeks ahead of a constitutional referendum, the Azerbaijani authorities have unleashed a new wave of repression to silence critical voices. NHC, as a Sport for Rights coalition member, condemns this renewed crackdown, and and joins the call on the Azerbaijani authorities to take immediate steps to improve the human rights situation in the country, starting with the release of political prisoners.

Read more about Renewed Human Rights Crackdown Ahead of Referendum
Fighting for accountability and democratic change in Ukraine

New Report and Seminar:

Fighting for accountability and democratic change in Ukraine

Even though the military conflict in Ukraine is not making big headlines, it is still ongoing. Soldiers and civilians continue to die and the Minsk agreement is broken constantly. With over 10 000 deaths, and close to 2 million of IDPs, and many alleged crimes unaccounted for, the issue of accountability is high on the Ukrainian and international agenda - including on the panel debate organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee on 9 June where also the new report "Where did the shells come from: Investigation of cross-border attacks in Eastern Ukraine" was presented for the first time.

Read more about Fighting for accountability and democratic change in Ukraine
PrideHouse: "Proudly presenting 'Perverts and Sodomites'"

LGBTI:

PrideHouse: "Proudly presenting 'Perverts and Sodomites'"

Are you wondering how it is to be an LGBTIQ activist when society looks upon you like a pervert and sodomite? How people continue fighting for human rights of LGBTIQ persons when it seems like every step forward is followed by two steps back? Or were you among the many people worldwide that spoke up against Russia's so-called anti-homosexual propaganda laws before the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014, and want to know how you can be an ally for LGBTIQ once again?

Read more about PrideHouse: "Proudly presenting 'Perverts and Sodomites'"
Invitation to Side Event on Death Penalty in Belarus

6th World Congress Against Death Penalty:

Invitation to Side Event on Death Penalty in Belarus

In the framework of the program of the 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty, the Human Rights Center Viasna, (Belarus), FIDH and Norwegian Helsinki Committee organizes a side event on the death penalty in Belarus.

Read more about Invitation to Side Event on Death Penalty in Belarus
Political prisoner Ilgar Mammadov celebrates his 46th birthday in jail.

Happy birthday Ilgar:

Political prisoner Ilgar Mammadov celebrates his 46th birthday in jail.

Today, the opposition leader Ilgar Mammadov spends his 46th birthday in one of the vile prisons in Azerbaijan, prisons which have a history of housing dissidents. In May 2014, the European Court of Human Rights concluded, in a strongly worded judgment, that the actual purpose of Mammadov’s detention “was to silence or punish Mammadov for criticizing the government.” Citing that ruling, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has called repeatedly for Mammadov’s release. Yet the government, which controls the courts, the parliament and the media, remains deaf to the calls.

Read more about Political prisoner Ilgar Mammadov celebrates his 46th birthday in jail.
Job Vacancy Announcement

Kazakhstan:

Job Vacancy Announcement

Do you want to join a small team in NHCs active office in Kazakhstan? NHC has a vacancy for an Administrative Officer at our Central Asia Office in Almaty. Deadline for applications is 24 June 2016.

Read more about Job Vacancy Announcement
Serious restrictions of civic election observation in Armenia

Armenia:

Serious restrictions of civic election observation in Armenia

The Draft Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia was adopted by the National Assembly of Armenia in its third reading on 25 May 2016. - This is very disappointing, taking into consideration all the domestic and international organisations which have criticized the proposed amendments, said Lene Wetteland, senior adviser for Armenia in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

"In its current form it will significantly limit the effective monitoring of elections and referenda in Armenia, only 6 months after the referendum on constitutional amendments received substantial criticism and illustrated the need for such monitoring. We support the call for immediate amendments to the Draft Electoral Law published by Armenian organisations yesterday," Wetteland concluded.

Read more about Serious restrictions of civic election observation in Armenia
Seminar: Can accountability for war crimes be achieved? 9 June at 16:00-18:00

Ukraine:

Seminar: Can accountability for war crimes be achieved? 9 June at 16:00-18:00

How can the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Norway promote justice and democracy in Ukraine? The seminar will provide first-hand information on the political situation and the status of reforms in Ukraine, as well as the latest accounts from the conflict-zone. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee invites you to join a discussion between politicians and human rights activists from Norway and Ukraine on ways of achieving accountability and democratic reforms.

Read more about Seminar: Can accountability for war crimes be achieved? 9 June at 16:00-18:00
End Enforced Disappearances

Turkmenistan:

End Enforced Disappearances

On the occasion of the International Week of the Disappeared, the human rights campaign “Prove They Are Alive!” calls upon the government of Turkmenistan to shed light on the fate of dozens who have been imprisoned for more than a decade, and to immediately halt the practice of enforced disappearances. The government of Turkmenistan should inform the relatives of the disappeared of their fate and whereabouts and allow them access to their loved ones without further delay.

Read more about End Enforced Disappearances
Khadija Ismayilova Freed!

Azerbaijan:

Khadija Ismayilova Freed!

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in Azerbaijan to release Azerbaijan’s leading investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova. It’s indeed happy news to those who know Ismayilova and her important work as a courageous journalist and civil society leader tirelessly exposing corruption in Azerbaijan, including activities involving the members of the president Aliyev’s family. Her reporting had caused her arrest in December 2014.

Read more about Khadija Ismayilova Freed!
NHC congratulates Lev Shlosberg with the first Boris Nemtsov Prize

Russia:

NHC congratulates Lev Shlosberg with the first Boris Nemtsov Prize

The Boris Nemtsov Foundation presents an annual award to a person who is particularly committed to fighting for the freedom of expression and helping those who are persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds in Russia. The first prize is given to the opposition politician Lev Shlosberg for his fight for democratic values in the Russian Federation.

Read more about NHC congratulates Lev Shlosberg with the first Boris Nemtsov Prize
NHC makes a submission on human rights in Turkey to the European Commission

Turkey:

NHC makes a submission on human rights in Turkey to the European Commission

Upon invitation, NHC has made a submission to the European Commission Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. The submission points out that the situation of civil and political rights in Turkey has deteriorated in 2015-2016. Some of the actions and statements of senior politicians – including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – led to an erosion of the rule of law. In particular, the media and the judiciary were under pressure by the executive power. The submission also points to challenges related to refugees, freedom of religion and belief and LGBTI. It raises concerns that the end of the Kurdish peace process will lead to further detoriation of respect for human rights.

Read more about NHC makes a submission on human rights in Turkey to the European Commission
Free activists and allow peaceful protests to take place

Kazakhstan:

Free activists and allow peaceful protests to take place

Authorities in Kazakhstan must immediately release all peaceful activists arrested ahead of planned protests on May 21, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Adil Soz, International Legal Initiative and Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said in a statement today.

Read more about Free activists and allow peaceful protests to take place
Breakfast Side Event on Global Magnitsky Sanctions, Oslo Freedom Forum 25 May, 08:00-09:15

Seminar:

Breakfast Side Event on Global Magnitsky Sanctions, Oslo Freedom Forum 25 May, 08:00-09:15

Global Magnitsky Sanctions ­– Effective tool to address gross violations of human rights against human rights defenders and whistle-blowers?

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), a long term partner of the Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF), has the pleasure of inviting you to a side event on Global Magnitsky Sanctions at the OFF 2016. The event is arranged in co-operation with the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Campaign, with the participation of its leader, Bill Browder.

Read more about Breakfast Side Event on Global Magnitsky Sanctions, Oslo Freedom Forum 25 May, 08:00-09:15
Grant Journalist Bail

Kazakhstan:

Grant Journalist Bail

Stop Harassment, Ensure Fair Trial: The prosecution of an independent journalist on charges of “disseminating false information” will commence before a court in Almaty, capital of Kazakhstan, on May 5, 2016, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today. Authorities detained Guzyal Baidalinova, 47, a journalist and the owner of Nakanune.kz, an independent online news site, on December 23, 2015 as a suspect in the case, and have held her in pre-trial detention since her formal arrest three days later, despite multiple requests for bail.

Read more about Grant Journalist Bail
Tajikistan: Free Human Rights Lawyers

Tajikistan:

Tajikistan: Free Human Rights Lawyers

Respect Independence of Legal Profession: Oslo, May 3, 2016: Tajik authorities should immediately and unconditionally release four human rights lawyers and two sons of another prominent lawyer who are imprisoned or detained on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today. Tajik authorities should stop harassing and targeting independent lawyers.

Read more about Tajikistan: Free Human Rights Lawyers
NHC Annual Report 2015

Annual meeting 2015:

NHC Annual Report 2015

The annual meeting of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has released the 2015 Annual report. The report illustrated the wide range of activities NHC had the year of 2015. NHC was engaged the refugee crisis in Norway, when the influx of asylum seekers tripled and the Government introduced new restricitive measures. Human rights in Turkey, Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus remain in the center of our attention, where we through cooperation with local civil society are an efficient advocate for fundamental human rights defense at home and abroad.

Read more about NHC Annual Report 2015
Credibility of ICTY must be restored

International Justice:

Credibility of ICTY must be restored

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned about the situation at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (‘ICTY’), created by acquittals in 2012-2013 and a deep split among its judges. The concerns have been conveyed in a letter to President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (‘MICT’), former ICTY President, current ICTY judge and a key player of the institution. According to the letter, the acquittals represent changes in the direction at a very late stage of the ICTY’s life. They “disorient victims, their families, and the wider struggle against impunity ... there remains a strong, unanswered case for [Theodor Meron] to take responsibility for the unfortunate situation at ICTY”.

Read more about Credibility of ICTY must be restored
Drawing for Freedom exhibits at Defenders’s Days

Azerbaijan:

Drawing for Freedom exhibits at Defenders’s Days

Our magnificent collection of art works in the exhibition we have called “Drawing for Freedom” this week exhibits at Defenders’ Days in Stockholm. The artworks, conceived by art students from the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, depict current and former political prisoners in Azerbaijan. We are very happy that newly released human rights defenders Anar Mammadli, Rasul Jafarov for the first time could see the works depicting themselves. Main illustration: Rasul Jafarov, Anar Mammadli, freed human rights defenders, and the son of imprisoned human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev, Necmin Kamil, in front of the exhibition.

Read more about Drawing for Freedom exhibits at Defenders’s Days
Is Aliyev’s pardon a political ploy?

Azerbaijan:

Is Aliyev’s pardon a political ploy?

On March 17, Azerbaijan's authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev was merciful. He signed a long-awaited decree of pardon, which was timed to mark the upcoming Novruz holiday. Aliyev pardoned 148 prisoners, among them 13 activists that human rights groups have labeled as political prisoners.

Read more about Is Aliyev’s pardon a political ploy?
Attack on human rights defender Kalyapin must be effectively investigated

Russia:

Attack on human rights defender Kalyapin must be effectively investigated

On 16 March, another attack on the human rights organisation Committee for Prevention of Torture (CPT) took place in Chechnya. The head of the organization, Igor Kalyapin, was attacked outside the Grozny City hotel and forced to leave the republic.

Read more about Attack on human rights defender Kalyapin must be effectively investigated
Threats against the “Equality Festival Lviv-2016”

Ukraine LGBTI:

Threats against the “Equality Festival Lviv-2016”

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee extend our full support for the organizers of Equality Festival Lviv-2016; scheduled for 19 – 20 March at the Museum of ideas in Lviv. We fear that repeated threats of physical violence and hate speech in social media may prevent the festival from taking place. The City Administration has not made any statement of support despite several inquiries from the organizers.

Read more about Threats against the “Equality Festival Lviv-2016”
Attacks on journalists in Ingushetia must be investigated; international community must react

Russia:

Attacks on journalists in Ingushetia must be investigated; international community must react

On 9 March, unknown assailants attacked a minibus with lawyers and human rights activists from the Joint Mobile Group and international journalists on the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Among those attacked were a Norwegian and a Swedish journalist.

Read more about Attacks on journalists in Ingushetia must be investigated; international community must react
Remembering a slain journalist in Azerbaijan

Symbol of Courage:

Remembering a slain journalist in Azerbaijan

Today marks 11 years since the murder of famous journalist Elmar Huseynov, who was a critical voice of the authoritarian Azerbaijan government, writing on injustice, rampant corruption, state repression and many other human rights abuses.

Read more about Remembering a slain journalist in Azerbaijan
Statement: Another human rights lawyer at risk of disbarment in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan:

Statement: Another human rights lawyer at risk of disbarment in Azerbaijan

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the other undersigned members of the Sport for Rights coalition express serious concern regarding the on-going disciplinary case against Yalchin Imanov, a prominent human rights lawyer in Azerbaijan. Any disciplinary sanctions against the lawyer could severely undermine his independence as member of the legal profession and hinder his important and legitimate professional activity.

Read more about Statement: Another human rights lawyer at risk of disbarment in Azerbaijan
Armenia must release political activist Vardges Gaspari

Armenia:

Armenia must release political activist Vardges Gaspari

Since his arrest on 19 February, the well-known political activist Vardges Gaspari has been subject to torture and ill-treatment in the Nubarashen prison in Yerevan. He had initiated a hunger strike in order to be moved to a separate cell, but no response was given to his complaints by the prison administration. Information was only available as Gaspari was transported to a psychiatric hospital for a forensic examination on 24 February. Update: On 26 February he was released, but investigations into allegations of ill-treatment remains to be initiated.

Read more about Armenia must release political activist Vardges Gaspari
Shabnam Khudoydodova released from detention

Tajikistan:

Shabnam Khudoydodova released from detention

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is relieved to learn that Shabnam Khudoydodova has been freed from detention in Belarus. Ms. Khudoydodova was released in Brest on 22 February, 2016 after eight months in detention pursuant to an extradition request from Tajikistan.

Read more about Shabnam Khudoydodova released from detention
NHC urges Armenia to investigate attacks on LGBTI activists

Armenia:

NHC urges Armenia to investigate attacks on LGBTI activists

Today the Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent a letter to Republic of Armenia General Prosecutor and Head of Investigative Committee to express our concern about the recent developments that endanger non-discrimination principle and protection of human rights in Armenia.

Read more about NHC urges Armenia to investigate attacks on LGBTI activists
Recommendations from the NGO Forum on Human Rights

UN human rights council:

Recommendations from the NGO Forum on Human Rights

The Norwegian NGO Forum on Human Rights has issued a document with recommendations for the 31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council (29 February - 24 March 2016).

Read more about Recommendations from the NGO Forum on Human Rights
Severe Crackdown on Political Opposition

Tajikistan:

Severe Crackdown on Political Opposition

The Tajik government is arresting, imprisoning, and torturing members of the country’s peaceful political opposition, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today. The government is also targeting perceived critics abroad, seeking their detention and extradition back to Tajikistan, and has forcibly disappeared critics abroad only to have them reappear in Tajik custody.

Read more about Severe Crackdown on Political Opposition
Norway must address NGO liquidation in Russia

Russia:

Norway must address NGO liquidation in Russia

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Rafto Foundation have sent a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in connection with the court liquidation of the human rights organization Agora last week.

Read more about Norway must address NGO liquidation in Russia
Unacceptable liquidation of Agora human rights organisation

Russia:

Unacceptable liquidation of Agora human rights organisation

Agora, a 2014 Rafto Prize laureate and a member of the Russian President’s Human Rights Council became the first nongovernmental organization to be liquidated by a regional Supreme Court on 10 February. – The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns this decision, which violates the human rights of an important organization, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General. Agora's chair Pavel Chikov met Prime Minister Erna Solberg when he visited Oslo in October 2015. Photo: Prime minister's Office

Read more about Unacceptable liquidation of Agora human rights organisation
Rights Defender’s Work Impeded

Uzbekistan:

Rights Defender’s Work Impeded

Uzbek authorities should immediately stop harassing the human rights defender Uktam Pardaev and lift the unlawful restrictions on his fundamental rights imposed by police, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, International Partnership for Human Rights, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and Human Rights Watch said today. Pardaev is the chairman of the Jizzakh branch of the Independent Human Rights Organization in Uzbekistan.

Read more about Rights Defender’s Work Impeded
Final report documents election fraud

Armenia:

Final report documents election fraud

Final report of joint European Platform for Democratic Elections/Citizen Observer Initiative has been published, presenting all the findings of the more than 1000 civic observers monitoring the Constitutional amendment referendum in Armenia on 6 December 2015.

Read more about Final report documents election fraud
Human rights in Turkey

Seminar:

Human rights in Turkey

- Ceasefire in Turkey today, not tomorrow, that is our goal. This was the message from Metin Bakkalci, a leading human rights defender in Turkey, who was the main speaker at the seminar "Human rights in Turkey – moving in the wrong direction?". The Norwegian Helsinki Committee arranged the seminar at the House of litterature on 26 January together with the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) and the Norwegian Medical Association.

Read more about Human rights in Turkey
Hungary must provide space for civil society

Policy Paper 1/2016:

Hungary must provide space for civil society

The NHC present our first policy paper of 2016, and Hungary is in focus.

Read more about Hungary must provide space for civil society
Stop Violence and Illegal Criminal Prosecution

Armenia:

Stop Violence and Illegal Criminal Prosecution

In the period since Armenia’s disputed 6 December 2015 Constitutional Referendum, persecution, violence and threats against the regime’s opponents has intensified. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor strongly condemn the auhtorities' unlawful practices of the authorities. We require that they urgently abide by the legal framework Armenia is bound to as a member of the Council of Europe and as signatory to international human rights conventions.

Read more about Stop Violence and Illegal Criminal Prosecution
Appeal to state delegations to support resolution on human rights defenders

The UN:

Appeal to state delegations to support resolution on human rights defenders

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee appealed to Missions to the UN to support resolution on human rights defenders, which comes up for vote in the UN General Assembly on the 17 December. The resolution contains a strong message to the world’s governments that they should support and protect human rights defenders; not attack them. The appeal was backed with signatures of people from across the world.

Read more about Appeal to state delegations to support resolution on human rights defenders
Suspension of sentences of Leyla and Arif Yunus is a welcome step, but justice is still elusive

Azerbaijan:

Suspension of sentences of Leyla and Arif Yunus is a welcome step, but justice is still elusive

10 December: We — members of the Civic Solidarity Platform and the Sports For Rights Campaign — were relieved to learn that one of Azerbaijan’s most well-known political prisoners, Leyla Yunus, was released from detention yesterday and that that the Baku City Court of Appeal changed her sentence and that of her husband Arif into suspended sentences of 5 years, on probation.

Read more about Suspension of sentences of Leyla and Arif Yunus is a welcome step, but justice is still elusive
Drawing for Freedom project exhibits in Paris’ Hotel de Ville

Political prisoners in Azerbaijan:

Drawing for Freedom project exhibits in Paris’ Hotel de Ville

On Tuesday 8 December, 2015 more than 30 works of art produced by Norwegian artists thematically related to political prisoners in Azerbaijan were displayed at the main town hall (Hôtel de Ville) in Paris, France.

Read more about Drawing for Freedom project exhibits in Paris’ Hotel de Ville
Leyla Yunus released from prison

Azerbaijan:

Leyla Yunus released from prison

Leyla Yunus has been released from prison today following a request by her lawyers due to her deteriorating health condition.

Read more about Leyla Yunus released from prison
Constitutional referendum illegitimate

Armenia:

Constitutional referendum illegitimate

– The poor quality of the 6 December 2015 constitutional referendum was unprecedented in the country. There were blatant violations of the electoral code and verbal and physical attacks on observers and journalists, said Lene Wetteland, senior advisor of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). "We are critical both of the campaign, the contents of the amendments as well as of the conduct of the vote itself."

Read more about Constitutional referendum illegitimate
Anniversary of Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest

Azerbaijan:

Anniversary of Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest

The anniversary of journalist Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest one year ago highlights the Azerbaijani regime’s unprecedented repression in 2015.

Read more about Anniversary of Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest
Reverse travel ban on HRW researcher

Kyrgyzstan:

Reverse travel ban on HRW researcher

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply disappointed to learn of the decision by Kyrgyzstan to declare Mihra Rittmann, researcher for Human Rights Watch in Central Asia, persona non grata in the country. Rittmann was deported from Kyrgyzstan upon her arrival to Manas International Airport in Bishkek on 2 December, after living and working for several years in the country.

Read more about Reverse travel ban on HRW researcher
Release detained human rights defender

Uzbekistan:

Release detained human rights defender

– Uzbek authorities should immediately release from detention and drop their criminal case against Uktam Pardaev, a prominent human rights activist arrested on November 16 in Jizzakh, Uzbekistan, the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, Human Rights Watch, International Partnership for Human Rights and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee said today.

Read more about Release detained human rights defender
Human rights defenders should be supported and protected, not attacked

United Nations:

Human rights defenders should be supported and protected, not attacked

On the 25 November, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognises the important role of human rights defenders.

Read more about Human rights defenders should be supported and protected, not attacked
Turkmenistan must respond to the United Nations

Turkmenistan:

Turkmenistan must respond to the United Nations

As a member of the Prove They Are Alive! campaign, the NHC has joined a statement where we express our disappointment and regret at the failure of the government of Turkmenistan to provide a substantive reply to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on its decision on the case of Boris Shikhmuradov within the period established by the Committee.

Read more about Turkmenistan must respond to the United Nations
New Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

Turkey:

New Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) Freedom of Belief Initiative outlines in this report, covering the period from July 2014 to June 2015, the need for Turkish legislation and practice to be brought into harmony with human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief.

Read more about New Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkey
Light a candle in honor of trans*persons murdered worldwide

Transgender Day of Remembrance:

Light a candle in honor of trans*persons murdered worldwide

20 November is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, dedicated to the memory of trans*persons who have been victims of homicide. It is also a day to remind all of us that it is Our obligation to fight hate crimes, prejudices and hatred towards gender minorities not only today but every day.

Read more about Light a candle in honor of trans*persons murdered worldwide
Updated list of political prisoners in Armenia

Armenia:

Updated list of political prisoners in Armenia

A new list of political prisoners in Armenia has just been published. The list now comprises of 12 names. These are political activists who have used the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech to express their discontent with the current government of Armenia.

Read more about Updated list of political prisoners in Armenia
Presentation of Magnitsky Awards shows strength of movement

London:

Presentation of Magnitsky Awards shows strength of movement

The presentation of the Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards 2015, honouring nine prominent politicians, lawyers, and journalists for their support of the Magnitsky campaign, took place in London on 16 November, six years after the death of the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Read more about Presentation of Magnitsky Awards shows strength of movement
Stop Russian-style NGO law

Stop Russian-style NGO law

On 5 November 2015 a controversial draft law pertaining to the activities of the non-governmental sector passed its second reading in the Kazakhstani Senate. Approved by the Senate, a signature by the president of Kazakhstan is the next step.

Read more about Stop Russian-style NGO law
Activist freed after 21 years

Uzbekistan:

Activist freed after 21 years

– One of the world’s longest imprisoned peaceful political activists, Murod Juraev, was finally released from a jail in Uzbekistan on November 12, 2015, after 21 unjustified years behind bars, nine human rights groups said today. The nine rights groups, including the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, now calls on UN to hold Tashkent accountable for arbitrary detention.

Read more about Activist freed after 21 years
Arif Yunus transferred from prison to house arrest

Azerbaijan:

Arif Yunus transferred from prison to house arrest

Arif Yunus was today released from prison and transferred to house arrest because of his deteriorating health.

Read more about Arif Yunus transferred from prison to house arrest
Stop intimidation of human rights activists in North Caucasus

Russia:

Stop intimidation of human rights activists in North Caucasus

In Ingushetia on 6 November, armed security servicemen carried out a raid in the offices of the human rights organization MASHR and in the private home of the organization’s head Magomed Mutsolgov. The masked men removed large amounts of documents, office computers and even the children’s iPad.

Read more about Stop intimidation of human rights activists in North Caucasus
Ukraine fails to adopt human rights reforms necessary for EU visa liberalization

Ukraine:

Ukraine fails to adopt human rights reforms necessary for EU visa liberalization

On 5th November the Ukrainian Parliament was only able to adopt two of 13 laws demanded by the EU in order to start the visa-liberalization process, rejecting among others the amendments on key-norms of anti-discrimination and anti-corruption measures.

Read more about Ukraine fails to adopt human rights reforms necessary for EU visa liberalization
Whitewashing of flawed elections through international election observation missions

Azerbaijan:

Whitewashing of flawed elections through international election observation missions

As a founding partner of the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), the Norwegian Helsinki Committee expresses its concern over international election observation missions delegitimizing the institution of election observation as well as damaging the reputation of those parliaments and international institutions that they represent.

Read more about Whitewashing of flawed elections through international election observation missions
International community should not give legitimacy to undemocratic elections

Azerbaijan:

International community should not give legitimacy to undemocratic elections

In a joint press release after the parliamentary election in Azerbaijan 1 November, FIDH and Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) urge the international community to unanimously condemn the lack of civil and political freedoms in Azerbaijan, and voice a strong support to its targeted civil society.

Read more about International community should not give legitimacy to undemocratic elections
International presence in Crimea needed

Ukraine:

International presence in Crimea needed

- It is obvious to us that an increased international presence is needed on the Crimean peninsula. The human rights situation, especially with regard to freedom of speech and assembly, has deteriorated rapidly following the Russian takeover. This cannot continue, says secretary general Bjørn Engesland.

Read more about International presence in Crimea needed
NHC statement concerning the upcoming election in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan:

NHC statement concerning the upcoming election in Azerbaijan

On November 1, 2015, Azerbaijan will go to the polls to elect a new parliament. FIDH, OMCT and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee wishes to extend our deepest concern regarding the conditions in which the polls are being organised, which cannot meet international standards for free and fair elections.

Read more about NHC statement concerning the upcoming election in Azerbaijan
Webpage to free political prisoners in Europe launched

No political prisoners:

Webpage to free political prisoners in Europe launched

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has launched a webpage with information and updates about the situation for the political prisoners in Europe.

Read more about Webpage to free political prisoners in Europe launched
Democratic process maintained despite waning confidence and interest from voters

Ukraina:

Democratic process maintained despite waning confidence and interest from voters

Two NHC representatives, Mina Skouen and Olga Shamshur Flydal, were on Sunday visiting polling stations in suburban Kiev as a part of a larger group of EPDE (European Platform for Democratic Election) election experts from Poland, Germany and former Soviet Union countries. This time Ukrainians cast votes electing over 168 000 representatives to local governments and mayors.

Read more about Democratic process maintained despite waning confidence and interest from voters
ICC investigation a possible milestone for accountability in Europe

Georgia:

ICC investigation a possible milestone for accountability in Europe

”The Norwegian Helsinki Committee welcomes the decision by Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, on October 8 to submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC to open an investigation of core international crimes during the war in Georgia in 2008,” says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.

Read more about ICC investigation a possible milestone for accountability in Europe
Elections show positive democratic development

Kyrgyzstan:

Elections show positive democratic development

-The elections in Kyrgyzstan 4 October highlight the country's uniquely democratic position in Central Asia, says Marius Fossum, Norwegian Helsinki Committee Regional Representative in Central Asia, who was present in the capital Bishkek on election day and during the last days of campaigning.

Read more about Elections show positive democratic development
Re-election cements Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule

Belarus:

Re-election cements Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule

Yesterday’s presidential election in Belarus gave no surprises in the reelection of Alexander Lukashenko to his fifth term as the country’s authoritarian president. With no real competition, control over administrative resources and massive coercion and pressure to participate in early voting, the election process gave the incumbent leader a simple walk-over.

Read more about Re-election cements Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule
Authorities should re-start the peace process

Turkey:

Authorities should re-start the peace process

“The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned over the escalation of fighting between Turkish security forces and the Kurdish Labour Party (PKK) as well as the ongoing polarization of society which could jeopardize years of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue,” said Gunnar M. Ekelove-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

Read more about Authorities should re-start the peace process
PACE must cancel its monitoring mission to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan:

PACE must cancel its monitoring mission to Azerbaijan

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is planning to monitor the 1 November parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee strongly opposes such a decision.

Read more about PACE must cancel its monitoring mission to Azerbaijan
Ludmilla Alexeeva of Moscow Helsinki Group receives Havel Award

Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2015:

Ludmilla Alexeeva of Moscow Helsinki Group receives Havel Award

During the opening of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly autumn session today, prominent Russian human rights defender Ludmilla Alexeeva was awarded the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize. The award honours outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights, and it includes a €60 000 prize. - NHC warmly congratulates Ludmilla, she is one of the founders of the Russian human rights movement. To award the prize to her this year in particular, while we are celebrating the 40 year anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration, carries a lot of symbolic weight, Secretary general Bjørn Engesland says at the news of the prize.

Read more about Ludmilla Alexeeva of Moscow Helsinki Group receives Havel Award
Art for the release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

Drawing for freedom:

Art for the release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

In September, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) and the National Art Academy of Fine Arts Oslo (KHIO) jointly kicked off an art project with focus on the political prisoners in Azerbaijan. More than 80 political prisoners are now behind bars in the country, many of which were arrested while Azerbaijan was chairing the Council of Europe.

Read more about Art for the release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
Opposition Activists Detained

Tajikistan:

Opposition Activists Detained

Tajik authorities detained at least 13 activists of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) on September 16, 2015, Human Rights Watch, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said today. Authorities should immediately release or, if there is credible evidence that they have committed a legitimate offence, promptly charge them and ensure due process for all the detainees, including timely access to independent counsel and contact with family members. Photo: 2013 HRW

Read more about Opposition Activists Detained
Norway and other democratic countries should establish global Magnitsky mechanisms

Policy Paper 2/2015:

Norway and other democratic countries should establish global Magnitsky mechanisms

A new policy paper from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee presented today argues that Norway and other democratic countries should establish mechanisms to freeze the assets of persons who commit gross violations of human rights with impunity and prohibit their entry into the country – the victims of these violations being human rights defenders or whistle-blowers.

Read more about Norway and other democratic countries should establish global Magnitsky mechanisms
Reverse Political Party Closure

Tajikistan:

Reverse Political Party Closure

The Tajik government should reverse its decision to order the closure of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) and allow the party to operate freely, Human Rights Watch, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said today. Tajik authorities should also halt their ongoing campaign of harassment against the party and its members and allow independent political parties to operate freely in Tajikistan.

Read more about Reverse Political Party Closure
Important acceptance of ICC jurisdiction

Ukraine:

Important acceptance of ICC jurisdiction

- The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) welcomes the Ukrainian government’s decision to accept International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction over international crimes committed on its territory since February 2014, i.e. since the start of the armed conflict in the Eastern Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea by Russia, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland. – We consider this a milestone in the fight against impunity in former Soviet countries.

Read more about Important acceptance of ICC jurisdiction
No extradition to Tajikistan

Belarus and Moldova:

No extradition to Tajikistan

In two joint letters to the governments of Belarus and Moldova, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia urge them to uphold their international obligations and secure two peaceful Tajik opposition activists from extradition to Tajikistan and possible torture and other ill-treatment. Moldova and Belarus are bound by international refugee law as well as the UN Convention against Torture. They cannot lawfully return Mr. Sobir Valiev and Ms. Shabnam Khudoydodova to Tajikistan where torture remains widespread.

Read more about No extradition to Tajikistan
NHC condemns the sentencing of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova

Azerbaijan:

NHC condemns the sentencing of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee strongly condemns the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova to a staggering 7,5 years in jail today. - We are shocked and saddened at yet another cruel decision to imprison one of the nations' finest citizens. We call on this verdict to be nulled, and that Khadija is released from jail immediately. Failing the release of Khadija Ismayilova, Leyla and Arif Yunus, Rasul Jafarov, Intigam Aliyev and so many other poltical prisoners, we continue to repeat that it is time to impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijan´s main human rights perpetrators, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.

Read more about NHC condemns the sentencing of investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova
Free Saparmamed Nepeskuliev

Turkmenistan:

Free Saparmamed Nepeskuliev

“The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned about the fate of Saparmamed Nepeskuliev, an independent journalist and activist who is still unaccounted for following his arrest near the seaport town of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk) in Turkmenistan on 7 July 2015”, said Ivar Dale, Senior advisor in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC). “On the international level, the Turkmen government has made promises to improve the human rights situation in the country. Yet, time and again, we see evidence of the opposite happening. Nepeskuliev’s arrest is yet another grave example of this. He must be released immediately.”

Read more about Free Saparmamed Nepeskuliev
Protesting intimidation of a lawyer in Kostanay

Kazakhstan:

Protesting intimidation of a lawyer in Kostanay

Together with six other international human rights organisations, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee today sent a letter to the Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan, Askhat Daulbaev. The letter concerns a recent case of intimidation, pressure and obstruction of the work of lawyer Snezhanna Kim in Kostanay, Kazakhstan.

Read more about Protesting intimidation of a lawyer in Kostanay
In memory of Slobodan Franović

Montenegro:

In memory of Slobodan Franović

On 22 July, 2015, Slobodan Franović (68), founder and for many years the President of the Montenegrin Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, passed away.

Read more about In memory of Slobodan Franović
Verdict against Leyla and Arif Yunus must be reversed immediately

Azerbaijan:

Verdict against Leyla and Arif Yunus must be reversed immediately

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns the harsh sentences against the Azerbaijani human rights defenders Leila and Arif Yunus. If the verdicts are not nullified immediately, then it is time to impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijan´s main human rights perpetrators.

Read more about Verdict against Leyla and Arif Yunus must be reversed immediately
Strengthening the role of universities in peacebuilding in the Western Balkans

New report:

Strengthening the role of universities in peacebuilding in the Western Balkans

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee publishes a new report today, focusing on how universities can play a positive role in peacebuilding processes in the Western Balkans.

Read more about Strengthening the role of universities in peacebuilding in the Western Balkans
Improved monitoring report adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

Azerbaijan:

Improved monitoring report adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

Last night, on 23 June, the Summer 2015 session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) adopted the new monitoring report on Azerbaijan, The functioning of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan, Resolution 2062 (2015). From a relatively weak draft presented by the co-rapporteurs from Spain and Poland, the report was significantly improved by the adoption of several important amendments during the session. Most significantly, the report now includes a demand for the release of political prisoners in Azerbaijan, mentioning several of them by name.

Read more about Improved monitoring report adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
Demonstrations in Yerevan

Armenia:

Demonstrations in Yerevan

Thousands of demonstrators gathered yesterday in Armenias capital Yerevan to protest against state regulators decision to raise electricity prices by 16 %. This morning the Armenian police forcefully dispersed the demonstrations, leaving 18 persons injured.

Read more about Demonstrations in Yerevan
Updated list of political prisoners in the Russian Federation

Russian Federation:

Updated list of political prisoners in the Russian Federation

A new list of political prisoners in Russia has just been published by Memorial Human Rights Centre. The list now comprises 50 names, as compared to the 46 which were included in the list published in October last year. 10 people have been released, but 14 have been arrested. None of the political prisoners were acquitted, amnestied or pardoned during this time.

Read more about Updated list of political prisoners in the Russian Federation
NHC supports letter asking Tusk to postpone visit to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan:

NHC supports letter asking Tusk to postpone visit to Azerbaijan

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee supports a letter sent to the President of the European Council Mr. Donal Tusk, sent from the Sports for Rights campaign and supported by members of the European Parliament, urging Mr. Tusk to postpone his planned visit to Azerbaijan this week, and to call for the immediate and unconditional release of the country´s jailed journalists and human reights defenders.

Read more about NHC supports letter asking Tusk to postpone visit to Azerbaijan
Freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan!

Azerbaijan:

Freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan!

Today is the official opening of the European Games in Baku. To mark the opening ceremony, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, together with other organisations in the Human Rights House Oslo, is demanding the unconditional release of the country´s jailed journalists, human rights defenders and activists.

Read more about Freedom for political prisoners in Azerbaijan!
Election result strengthens democracy

Turkey:

Election result strengthens democracy

The outcome of the 7 June 2015 Parliamentary Elections in Turkey sends a strong signal that the people of the country do not favour strengthening the power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogen’s office at the expense of accountability and checks and balances, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

Read more about Election result strengthens democracy
Armenia must have thorough discussion on constitutional amendments

Armenia:

Armenia must have thorough discussion on constitutional amendments

The NHC supports a letter sent yesterday to the Council of Europe and the OSCE urging them not to support proposed constitutional amendments that would strengthen the incumbent president's position in Armenia.

Read more about Armenia must have thorough discussion on constitutional amendments
Brutal attack against human rights defenders in Grozny

North Caucasus:

Brutal attack against human rights defenders in Grozny

The office of the Joint Mobile Group in Grozny, Chechnya, was earlier today on 3 June attacked by a group of masked men.

Read more about Brutal attack against human rights defenders in Grozny
Updated list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan:

Updated list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan

A new list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan has just been published. The list now comprises of 80 names, as compared to the 98 which were included in the list published in August last year. Although this means that there have been some very welcome releases, the Government of Azerbaijan continues its policy of imprisoning what they consider opponents. The last few weeks, prominent human rights defenders Rasul Jafarov and Intigam Aliyev were convicted to many years' prison. In 2014, Political Prisoners in Azerbaijan received the Sakharov Freedom Award from NHC.

Read more about Updated list of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
NHC Annual Report 2014

Annual Meeting:

NHC Annual Report 2014

The NHC annual meeting, on 29 April 2015, adopted our 2014 Annual Report. The report is an account of a wide range of our activities last year. With the worrisome developments in the area of our geographical focus, this has been a truly busy year for the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Naturally the events in Ukraine have been high on our agenda in 2014. The imprisonment of so many of our friends in Azerbaijan demanded much of our attention. In the Annual Report you can read about our engagement in Ukraine, where the NHC has observed both the parliamentary and presidential elections, in addition to carrying out facts finding missions to Ukraine. We have met with Ukrainian officials, activists, journalists, volunteers and internally displaced, recording gripping accounts of people deeply affected by this infinitely tragic year. You can also read about all our other fields of activities in 2014.

Read more about NHC Annual Report 2014
Unlevel playing field, result as expected

Kazakhstan:

Unlevel playing field, result as expected

On 26 April 2015 presidential elections were held in Kazakhstan. Incumbent Nursultan Nazarbayev, in office since 1991, expectedly won the race with an official 97.7 % of the vote, in an election characterized by lack of genuine choice.

Read more about Unlevel playing field, result as expected
Important resolution urges states to end discrimination against gender minorities

Council of Europe:

Important resolution urges states to end discrimination against gender minorities

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) commends the resolution Discrimination against transgender people in Europe, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on 22 April 2015. The resolution urges member states to abolish sterilization and other medical requirements such as a mental health diagnosis as a basis for gender recognition. They should adopt legislation that protects gender minorities in all parts of society.

Read more about Important resolution urges states to end discrimination against gender minorities
Azerbaijan must release human rights defenders, journalists and activists

Azerbaijan:

Azerbaijan must release human rights defenders, journalists and activists

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is among numerous NGOs who demand the release of imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists and activists all considered political prisoners in Azerbaijan. The call comes after the human rights defender Rasul Jafarov and human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev were sentenced to 6,5 and 7,5 years respectively in Baku. The charges against them were trumped up and politically motivated, their trials deeply flawed.

Read more about Azerbaijan must release human rights defenders, journalists and activists
Rasul Jafarov sentenced to 6,5 years in prison

Azerbaijan:

Rasul Jafarov sentenced to 6,5 years in prison

Young, prominent and dedicated human rights defender Rasul Jafarov, was convicted to six and a half years in prison in a Baku, Azerbaijan court today. -It is hardly news anymore that human rights defenders are handed long prison sentences in Azerbaijan, where punishing the dissent on bogus charges has become commonplace for the government in past years, Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says.

Read more about Rasul Jafarov sentenced to 6,5 years in prison
Use visit of Kyrgyzstan’s president to secure human rights commitments

EU:

Use visit of Kyrgyzstan’s president to secure human rights commitments

The EU leaders should prominently address human rights issues with Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev, who is in Brussels for meetings on 26-27 March, and insist that he use his powers to ensure compliance with the country’s international human rights obligations.

Read more about Use visit of Kyrgyzstan’s president to secure human rights commitments
Support for EuroPride Riga 2015

Latvia:

Support for EuroPride Riga 2015

18 March the Norwegian Helsinki Committee sent a letter to the Latvian Prime Minister Mrs. Laimdota Straujuma, expressing our concern that the Latvian organisation Association Antiglobālisti attempt to use legal loopholes to prevent EuroPride from taking place in Riga in 2015. The loophole is of an administrative nature.

Read more about Support for EuroPride Riga 2015
Norge bør etablere en global Magnitskij-mekanisme

Policy Paper 1/2015:

Norge bør etablere en global Magnitskij-mekanisme

Den norske Helsingforskomité presenterer i dag et Policy Paper som argumenterer for at Norge bør etablere en global Magnitskij-mekanisme.

Read more about Norge bør etablere en global Magnitskij-mekanisme
The right to public protest

New report:

The right to public protest

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee today publishes a new report on the right to public protest in Kazakhstan, an essential part of the country’s obligation to ensure Freedom of Assembly and Association.

Read more about The right to public protest
NHC condemns murder of Tajik opposition leader

Tajikistan:

NHC condemns murder of Tajik opposition leader

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee was shocked and saddened to learn of the assassination of Tajik opposition leader Umarali Kuvatov, who was shot at close range by an unknown person outside his home in Istanbul, Turkey, on the evening of 5 March. Kuvatov was in the presence of his wife and children when he was killed by a gunshot to the head.

Read more about NHC condemns murder of Tajik opposition leader
Opposition parties ousted from parliament

Tajikistan:

Opposition parties ousted from parliament

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee visited Tajikistan last week to gain an impression of the climate in which the 1 March parliamentary elections were carried out. With 54 out of 63 seats in parliament, the ruling party has cemented the parliament's role as merely a rubber stamp body for the president. The authorities have targeted especially the Islamic Revival Party during the last year. The state-owned propaganda machinery has attacked and discredited the party and its members, linking it to extremism and terrorism among other things. Furthermore several of the party's candidates have been disqualified on questionable grounds and its campaigning material has been blocked.

Read more about Opposition parties ousted from parliament
On the murder of Boris Nemtsov

Russian Federation:

On the murder of Boris Nemtsov

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is saddened and shocked by the news of the murder of Russia’s prominent opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, shot dead the in the heart of Moscow in the late evening of 27 February.
– The murder of Boris Nemtsov must be independently and transparently investigated and the people responsible be brought to justice, whether they pulled the trigger or ordered the killing, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. – We express our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Boris Nemtsov.

Read more about On the murder of Boris Nemtsov
Court upholds newspaper’s closure over Ukraine coverage

Kazakhstan:

Court upholds newspaper’s closure over Ukraine coverage

Statement issued by International Partnership for Human Rights, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, 27 February 2015.

The Almaty City Court yesterday upheld the closure of the outspoken ADAM bol magazine over an article about the conflict in Ukraine. We condemn this decision as another serious blow to freedom of expression and media pluralism in Kazakhstan.

Read more about Court upholds newspaper’s closure over Ukraine coverage
Free Evgeny Vitishko!

Russia:

Free Evgeny Vitishko!

Together with 46 other international organisations, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has signed a letter sent yesterday to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Yury Ya. Chaika, where we appeal to take all necessary measures to free environmental defender Evgeny G. Vitishko (born July 3, 1973) immediately and unconditionally; to initiate legal proceedings regarding the wrongful conviction of Evgeny Vitishko; hold those responsible for his conviction legally accountable; and clarify the withdrawal by the Office of Prosecutor General of the request to vacate the decision of the Tuapse city court of Krasnodar Krai from December 12, 2013 to revoke the suspended sentence and transfer Evgeny Vitishko to a penal settlement colony. We also ask you to investigate the facts of the violation of water and forest laws in Bzhid township (Tuapse District, Krasnodar Krai).

Read more about Free Evgeny Vitishko!
Targeted sanctions part of the solution

HRHW film festival:

Targeted sanctions part of the solution

- Western democracies should impose targeted sanctions against the Azerbaijani elite. Statements of concerns from European leaders are only benefitting the Aliyev regime said Vugar Gojayev, human rights defender in exile and NHC project coordinator in the discussion after the screening of Amazing Azerbaijan at the Human Rights Human Wrongs film festival on Saturday.

Read more about Targeted sanctions part of the solution
The ceasefire a step in the right direction, the road to peace remains long

Ukraine:

The ceasefire a step in the right direction, the road to peace remains long

The ceasefire agreement, which entered into force as of Sunday 15 February, is good news for the civilian population in the Donbass region”, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General. – However, it is already marred by violations and important questions remain unresolved. There are also serious flaws with the agreement. – The loser after nearly a year of hostilities is the civilian population in Eastern Ukraine who have seen their houses, economy, infrastructure and key public institutions shot to pieces. The human rights situation was far from perfect before the armed conflict, but there is no doubt that it has become much worse in the rebel-controlled areas.

Read more about The ceasefire a step in the right direction, the road to peace remains long
Turkey needs a principled approach to freedom of religion

New report:

Turkey needs a principled approach to freedom of religion

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) Freedom of Belief Initiative outlines in this report, covering the period from July 2013 to June 2014, that Turkey needs to take comprehensive steps in order to bring legislation and practice in line with international human rights law.

Read more about Turkey needs a principled approach to freedom of religion
Time for a New Norwegian Roma Policy

Seminar:

Time for a New Norwegian Roma Policy

Wednesday January 27, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee arranges a seminar entitled Time for a New Norwegian Roma Policy - A meeting with Romanian Roma rights activists and Norwegian policy makers.

Read more about Time for a New Norwegian Roma Policy
New NHC report urges the implementation of commitments on freedom of religion or belief

Central Asia:

New NHC report urges the implementation of commitments on freedom of religion or belief

Freedom of religion or belief is under threat together with other fundamental rights in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, according to a fresh NHC and Forum 18 report launched in Russian and English today.

Read more about New NHC report urges the implementation of commitments on freedom of religion or belief
Basel declaration

Civic Solidarity Platform:

Basel declaration

The Basel declaration contains recommendations from the members of the Civic Solidarity Platform, in which the NHC is a member, to the participants of the OSCE ministerial council meeting held in Basel, 4-5 December 2014.

Read more about Basel declaration
A call to the Council of Europe to suspend Azerbaijan’s membership

Repression in Azerbaijan must stop:

A call to the Council of Europe to suspend Azerbaijan’s membership

On Friday 5 December, another prominent civil society figure was arrested in Azerbaijan as a Baku court authorized investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova's pre-trial detention for two months on bogus charges of "inciting suicide". This shows that there is no end to the assault on independent voices by the government of this oil rich country and provides further proof of its disregard for founding values of the Council of Europe and its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Civil Solidarity Platform calls for the supsension of Azerbaijan for the Council of Europe in a statement Saturday 6 December.

Read more about A call to the Council of Europe to suspend Azerbaijan’s membership
Drop draft legislation restricting NGO access to funding

Tajikistan:

Drop draft legislation restricting NGO access to funding

NHC joins a number of civil society organisations from the OSCE region in protesting the recent initiative of Tajikistan’s government to regulate and restrict access of NGOs to financial assistance from foreign and international sources.

Read more about Drop draft legislation restricting NGO access to funding
Annual roundtable on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Turkey:

Annual roundtable on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Annual roundtable event on the right to freedom of religion or belief was organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Istanbul. This year’s roundtable discussion focused on the general trends and issues related to religious freedom in Turkey, based on the Monitoring Report on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief – July 2013-June 2014. The second part of the discussion centred on the intersection between the right to freedom of religion or belief and the right to education.

Read more about Annual roundtable on Freedom of Religion or Belief
Political prisoners in Azerbaijan honoured

Sakharov Freedom Award 2014:

Political prisoners in Azerbaijan honoured

The Sakharov Freedom Award 2014 ceremony was a tribute to the brave political prisoners in Azerbaijan. Relatives of the laureates received the award in an emotional ceremony at Hotel Bristol on 13 November.

Read more about Political prisoners in Azerbaijan honoured
Europe must impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijan

Sakharov Freedom Award Seminar 2014:

Europe must impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijan

Yesterday's Sakharov Freedom Award seminar 2014 at the House of Literature in Oslo discussed what intergovernmental organizations like the Council of Europe, states like Norway, businesses like Statoil, and human rights organizations can do with the ongoing crackdown on civil society in Azerbaijan and the imprisonment of human rights activists, journalists, political activists on political grounds.

Read more about Europe must impose targeted sanctions against Azerbaijan
Investigate violence against sexual- and gender minorities (LGBTI) in Macedonia

Macedonia:

Investigate violence against sexual- and gender minorities (LGBTI) in Macedonia

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee(NHC), The Norwegian LGBT Organization (LLH) and Amnesty International Norway expressed concern for the situation for LGBTI persons in Macedonia in a letter sent to Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of Macedonia, 6 November 2014.

Read more about Investigate violence against sexual- and gender minorities (LGBTI) in Macedonia
Demonising Dissidents: How INTERPOL is being abused by dictatorships

Side event OFF:

Demonising Dissidents: How INTERPOL is being abused by dictatorships

Together with the London based organisation Fair Trials International, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee organized a breakfast seminar tuesday at the Hotel Bristol as a side event to the Oslo Freedom Forum, discussing how INTERPOL is being abused by dictatorships.

Read more about Demonising Dissidents: How INTERPOL is being abused by dictatorships
Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award to political prisoners in Azerbaijan

Sakharov Freedom Award 2014:

Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award to political prisoners in Azerbaijan

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee awards The Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award in 2014 to political prisoners in Azerbaijan. They exhibit great courage and make huge efforts in promoting dignity, democratic values and human rights in their home country. Azerbaijan is a European country that is developing towards dictatorship, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC), Bjørn Engesland, in today’s press release. This award is given to all of the political prisoners. It is a sad fact that they are too numerous to all be mentioned here.

Read more about Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award to political prisoners in Azerbaijan
International Media Center opens in Kyiv

Early parliamentary elections in Ukraine:

International Media Center opens in Kyiv

The very important early parliamentary elections in Ukraine on 26 October will be monitored by thousands of domestic observers. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is in Kiev on behalf of the European Platform for Democratic Elections to support domestic observers OPORA and Committee of Voters Ukraine at an international press center in Kyiv.

Read more about International Media Center opens in Kyiv
Bill discriminating LGBT persons in the Kyrgyz Republic should be withdrawn

Kyrgyzstan:

Bill discriminating LGBT persons in the Kyrgyz Republic should be withdrawn

On 15 October 2014, a bill which proposes criminal and administrative liability for «formation of a positive attitude to non-traditional forms of sexual relations» passed its first reading in the Kyrgyz Parliament. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned about the consequences that this bill may have for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans persons (LGBT) in the Kyrgyz Republic, if adopted.

Read more about Bill discriminating LGBT persons in the Kyrgyz Republic should be withdrawn
Demonising Dissidents: How INTERPOL is being abused by dictatorships

Breakfast seminar:

Demonising Dissidents: How INTERPOL is being abused by dictatorships

INTERPOL is the world's largest policing organisation, but it is being abused by countries around the world to persecute refugees, journalists & peaceful political demonstrators.

Read more about Demonising Dissidents: How INTERPOL is being abused by dictatorships
IPHR, NHC write to Barroso ahead of Nazarbayev Brussels-visit

Kazakhstan:

IPHR, NHC write to Barroso ahead of Nazarbayev Brussels-visit

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the International Partnership for Human Rights today sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, regarding this week's visit to Brussels by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Read more about IPHR, NHC write to Barroso ahead of Nazarbayev Brussels-visit
The anatomy of media propaganda in Russia

Anna Politkovskaya Seminar 2014:

The anatomy of media propaganda in Russia

Welcome to the Anna Politkovskaya Seminar 2014: The anatomy of media propaganda in Russia.

Venue: House of literature, Amalie Skram, Wergelandsveien 29
Time: Wednesday 15 October 2014, 14:00-16:15
Snacks, coffee and tea will be served
Registration: nielsen@nhc.no

Read more about The anatomy of media propaganda in Russia
NHC attends the annual HDIM-meeting

OSCE meeting in Warzaw:

NHC attends the annual HDIM-meeting

NHC is active at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2014 which is currently taking place in Warsaw.

Read more about NHC attends the annual HDIM-meeting
Congratulations, Anar Mammadli!

Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014:

Congratulations, Anar Mammadli!

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is very pleased to learn that the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014 has been awarded to the renowned Azerbaijani independent election observer and human rights defender Anar Mammadli.

Read more about Congratulations, Anar Mammadli!
Golos is not a "foreign agent"

Moscow City Court:

Golos is not a "foreign agent"

A decision by the Moscow City Court published on 8 September 2014 concludes that the Association Golos, an election watchdog, and its former executive director Lilia Shibanova, have not violated the law on “foreign agents”. Golos had refused to register as a “foreign agent”, which is required by the law for organizations that receive foreign funding and engage in loosely defined political activities. – This is an important decision and indeed good news for Golos, said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Lower courts found Golos in breach of the law because of receiving our Sakharov Freedom Award in 2012. The Moscow City Court, however, said that since Golos did not receive the 10 000 US Dollar prize money, it was not obliged to register. The ruling is a serious defeat for the Ministry of Justice.

Read more about Golos is not a "foreign agent"
End Enforced Disappearances

Turkmenistan:

End Enforced Disappearances

On occasion of the UN International Day of the Disappeared, which is on August 30, 2014, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee together with the Prove They Are Alive! campaign launch a video clip and press release to put the spotlight on the issue of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan.

Read more about End Enforced Disappearances
Azerbaijan must investigate brutal attack on journalist

Azerbaijan:

Azerbaijan must investigate brutal attack on journalist

The brutal attack on the journalist Ilgar Nasibov, in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan, is an outrage, and Azerbaijan’s authorities should ensure a prompt, effective and impartial investigation, Front Line Defenders, Human Rights House Foundation, Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, People in Need, Human Rights Watch, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, International Media Support, ARTICLE 19 and Reporters without borders said today.

Read more about Azerbaijan must investigate brutal attack on journalist
Security Services sue independent journalist

Kyrgyzstan:

Security Services sue independent journalist

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned after learning that the State Committee for National Security (GKNB) of Kyrgyzstan has sued an independent journalist based in Osh, Shokhrukh Saipov, following an article he published with the Ferghana News Agency in May 2014.

Read more about Security Services sue independent journalist
Russia's Foreign Agent Law

Policy Paper 6/2014:

Russia's Foreign Agent Law

The NHC presents our sixth policy paper of 2014. The so-called Foreign Agents Law has already hit hundreds of non-governmental organizations unwilling to register, and its chilling effect is no longer a prediction but a reality. The paper argues that the Foreign Agents Law has dire consequences for Russian civil society, violates human rights and should be repealed.

Read more about Russia's Foreign Agent Law
List of political prisoners in Azerbaijan published today.

Azerbaijan:

List of political prisoners in Azerbaijan published today.

Azerbaijan's independent civil society has for a long time been engaged in a major effort to go through the lists of possible political prisoners in the country, to identify those that meet the criteria adopted by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. The list, containing as many as 98 names, was compiled under the leadership of Leyla Yunus and Rasul Jafarov. Both Leylas and Rasuls own names have been added to the list the last few weeks.

Read more about List of political prisoners in Azerbaijan published today.
Severe crackdown on human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan:

Severe crackdown on human rights defenders in Azerbaijan

Update 12 August: The lawyer Intigam Aliyev was arrested Friday 8 August, and was the fourth human rights activist who in a short time have been detained in Azerbaijan. This means that in the two last weeks, four of the most prominent human rights defenders in Azerbaijan have been sent to prison, all under investigation for serious crimes and risking many years behind bars if convicted. The four have all been outspoken critics of the regime of President Ilham Aliyev, and by the move Azerbaijan once again shows a blatant contempt towards the European Convention on Human Rights. Despite this, Azerbaijan currently holds the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Council of Ministers.

Read more about Severe crackdown on human rights defenders in Azerbaijan
Rasul Jafarov arrested in Baku

Azerbaijan:

Rasul Jafarov arrested in Baku

On 2 August 2014 the prominent human rights defender Rasul Jafarov was arrested in Baku. Together with the Civic Solidarity Platform, a coalition of 60 human rights NGOs of the OSCE region, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee calls upon the authorities of Azerbaijan to release the human rights defender Rasul Jafarov and stop putting pressure on the civil society of the country. Read the statement in full below.

Read more about Rasul Jafarov arrested in Baku
Repressive anti-LGBT propaganda draft should be rejected

Kyrgyzstan:

Repressive anti-LGBT propaganda draft should be rejected

On 17 June 2014, the Human Rights Committee of the Kyrgyz Parliament Zhogorku Kenesh approved a draft law that, if passed, will make the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT) people and activists more difficult.

Read more about Repressive anti-LGBT propaganda draft should be rejected
Uzbek torture victim dies on UN day against torture

Uzbekistan:

Uzbek torture victim dies on UN day against torture

As the world marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has received the tragic news of the death of Abdurasul Khudoynazarov, a 58-year old human rights activist from Uzbekistan.

Read more about Uzbek torture victim dies on UN day against torture
No peace plan without accountability for human rights

Ukraine:

No peace plan without accountability for human rights

Together with the other members and partners of the Human Rights House Network, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has sent a letter to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, where we urge the Ukrainian authorities to refer situation on the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC) until the state becomes a member of the ICC by acceding to the Rome Statute.

In the letter we also call upon the Ukrainian government to support the work of human rights NGOs, journalists, bloggers and other media, and aknowledge the important and legitimate role of human rights defenders in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law as an essential component of ensuring their protection. In this important periode for the country, we also urge the Ukrainan government to ensure that the reform process in the country, as well as all dialogue about the future of the country, is inclusive and transparent, giving space to civil society.
Read the letter below.

Read more about No peace plan without accountability for human rights
Russia’s traditional values initiative result in abuse at domestic level

Policy Paper 5/2014:

Russia’s traditional values initiative result in abuse at domestic level

The NHC presents our fifth policy paper of 2014. The policy paper shows how a Russian sponsored initiative at the UN Human Rights Council has been targeting core tenets of international human rights. The proponents of the initiative have camouflaged it as laying out new ways of promoting human rights. Traditional values of humankind are a tool to strengthen and underpin human rights at the local level, they claim. In reality, the initiative threatens to destroy consensus among the states of the world on how they should honor their human rights obligations.

Read more about Russia’s traditional values initiative result in abuse at domestic level
NHC and local partners react to pressure and threats to human rights activists in Armenia

Armenia:

NHC and local partners react to pressure and threats to human rights activists in Armenia

Over the last months, Armenian human rights activists have been increasingly subject to pressure and intimidation, and in many cases media is used actively to spread intolerance towards activists and the vulnerable groups they protect, in particular topics of LGBTI and gender. The NHC has responded to this development by joining local partners in an alternative report to the UPR on Armenia and an open statement addressing these issues.

Read more about NHC and local partners react to pressure and threats to human rights activists in Armenia
NHC submission for UN Universal Periodic Review

Kyrgyzstan:

NHC submission for UN Universal Periodic Review

In our report to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee recommends that the government of Kyrgyzstan investigates and brings to justice perpetrators of violence against civilians among government forces during the June 2010 events in the south of the country, and in the period following the violence. The Human Rights Council will review the situation for human rights in Kyrgyzstan at their 21st session set to January 2015. Read NHC report in full below.

Read more about NHC submission for UN Universal Periodic Review
Ukraine elections observed with NGO observers from Russia

Mission statement:

Ukraine elections observed with NGO observers from Russia

European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE), a network of NGOs observing elections in Europe, has been united to observe the crucial Presidential elections in Ukraine that took place 25 may. 200 trained civil society observers monitored the elections in 10 regions of Ukraine in cooperation with local observers from Opora and Committee of Voters Ukraine. Norwegian Helsinki Committee, a co-founder of EPDE, joined the mission and assisted in the coordination of the effort. Today, the mission statement was published at a press conference in Kiev.

Read more about Ukraine elections observed with NGO observers from Russia
NHC and EBRD President discuss human rights in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan:

NHC and EBRD President discuss human rights in Kazakhstan

The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Sir Suma Chakrabati, visited Kazakhstan during the week of 9 June. During his visit to Almaty, the President and several of his colleagues from the EBRD met with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s Regional Representative in Central Asia, Ivar Dale, to discuss recent developments in the sphere of human rights.

Read more about NHC and EBRD President discuss human rights in Kazakhstan
Towards a Europe without political prisoners

NHC joins campaign:

Towards a Europe without political prisoners

A vision of a Europe with out political prisoners gathered activists and policy makers on 2 June in Berlin for a conference organised by European Stability Initiative (ESI). Senior European policy makers, parliamentarians, and human rights activists gathered to discuss what different institutions – the Council of Europe, the European Union and international human rights organisations – must do to realise the vision of a Europe without political prisoners in the near future. NHC was a supporter of the conference and secretary General Bjørn Engesland a speaker.

Read more about Towards a Europe without political prisoners

NHC in the media

Newsletter