- We wish to express our deepest condolences with all those who have been affected by the tragic and despicable actions at
Utøya and in Oslo, Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says. The attacks targeted the best we have: our youth, our openness,
The report The Impunity Syndrome in the Caucasus: The Situation of the Georgian-Russian conflict of August 2008, is a follow-up
of the report Unable or Unwilling? Georgia’s faulty investigation of crimes committed during the Russo-Georgian war of August
2008, which the NHC published earlier this year. The new report investigates the current situation and the latest developments
in the conflict, and it concludes that since Russian and Georgian investigations in relation to the August 2008 war have proven
ineffective, the Prosecutor of the ICC should at the very least require proof of progress in domestic investigations within
a defined timespan. Download the report below.
At least 14 people have been killed and 86 people wounded in clashes between police and demonstrators in the Mangistau region
in Western Kazakhstan. The unrest follows seven months of conflicts between striking oil workers and authorities, and reportedly
started in Zhanozen on 16 December, when people attacked a stage set up for the Independence Day event. – It is of paramount
importance that investigations into the clashes and the resulting deaths are conducted in an independent and transparent way,
said Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General. – Efforts to find peaceful solutions to this conflict should be initiated, and these
efforts should be guided by fundamental human rights principles such as freedom of association and speech.
Demokrati- og menneskerettighetsforkjemperen Vaclav Havel døde søndag. – Med Vaclav Havels bortgang har Europa mistet en av
sine virkelig store demokratiske ledestjerner, en forkjemper for humanisme, menneskerettigheter og demokrati i Europa, sier
Bjørn Engesland, generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité.
On 19 December last year we witnessed thousands of peaceful citizens gathering in central Minsk, protesting the oppression
and the stolen presidential elections. That night all hope of progress was shattered as we saw police forces batter the protesters
and arresting them by the hundreds. Presidential candidates, opposition leaders, civil society leaders and unorganized citizens
were all herded into vans and brought to prison. Thousands fled, running away from soldiers and police beating indiscriminately.
Belarusian citizens keep running still a year later.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) is concerned with recently adopted legislation on religious organizations; coming into
force on 25 October 2011. – The legislation is very restrictive, violating international human rights on numerous points.
Prohibiting unregistered religious activities and establishing censorship of religious literature is clearly in breach of
human rights provisions on freedom of religion or belief. In addition, so far authorities have failed to present instructions
on how to abide by the law, says Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee held a regional meeting in Sarajevo about the program Build Bridges not Walls that has been
initiated at the universities in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the role of the universities in peacebuilding with all interested parties in the program,
including university professors, student union representatives and NGOs.
- Russiske myndigheter må akseptere fredelige demonstrasjoner mot måten Duma-valget ble gjennomført på, sier Bjørn Engesland,
generalsekretær i Den norske Helsingforskomité. - Norge og EU-land må ta avstand fra arrestasjonene og oppfordre russiske
myndigheter til å etterforske brudd på valglovgivningen og respektere ytrings- og forsamlingsfriheten, fortsetter Engesland.
The tendency in the result of the voting yesterday nevertheless shows that the Russian population is getting wary of the tightfisted
rule of the Medvedev/Putin tandem, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Bjørn Engesland. -Independent
national observers all over the country have registered countless violations in the election legislation, including pressure
against voters to vote for the ruling party United Russia.
Russian authorities undermining trust in elections by impeding monitoring. In the run-up to Russian Duma elections taking
place on Sunday 4 December, the country’s most experienced election monitoring group is being under scrutiny by prosecutors
and pro-government media. –The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned that these are deliberate attempts at hindering Golos
important work, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary-General. “By limiting monitoring of the elections, authorities are also undermining
trust in elections being conducted in compliance with international standards of freeness and fairness.”
The elections process ahead of the 4 December Duma elections in the Russian Federation has not been fair”, said Bjørn Engesland,
Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. “We have serious concerns on obstacles related to nomination of delegates
and registration of parties, as well as lack of equal opportunities to campaign.”
Prominent Azerbaijani journalist and writer, Rafiq Tagi, died in Baku on 23 November from the injuries he sustained during
a brutal knife attack four days earlier. Rafiq’s death on 23 November – the world’s first International Day to End Impunity–
is a chilling reminder of the dangers faced by journalists in Azerbaijan. As the Azerbaijan freedom of expression community
mourns the loss of Rafiq, the International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) calls for an end to the cycle of impunity
in the country and for an independent, impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
Ales Bialiatski, leder av den kjente menneskerettighetsorganisasjonen Viasna i Hviterussland ble kl 09:45 norsk tid dømt til
fire og et halvt års fengsel for skatteunndragelse samt til inndragning av eiendom. Denne dommen er en skam for Europa, og
vi må stå samlet i vår fordømmelse av regimet i Hviterussland, sier Helsingforskomiteens generalsekretær Bjørn Engesland.
- Europeiske ledere, inkludert den norske regjeringen, må kreve umiddelbar løslatelse av Bialiatski.
- Den Europeiske virkeligheten er en flerkulturell virkelighet. Det må alle i Europa forstå og akseptere. Europa er avhengige
av 40-50 millioner flere innvandrere for å opprettholde vår levestandard. Denne realiteten står i skarp kontrast til en virkelighetsoppfatning
som er i ferd med å spre seg særlig blant høyreradikale i Europa, nemlig den at vi står overfor en trussel fra masseinnvandring.
Denne myten må avlives og arbeidet med å få alle til å forstå at vi lever i en flerkulturell virkelighet i Europa må forsterkes,
sa Generalsekretær i Europarådet Thorbjørn Jagland på konferansen Å leve sammen i ulikhet som Den norske Helsingforskomité
arrangerte sammen med NOAS og Amnesty på Litteraturhuset mandag. På konferansen var norske og internasjonale eksperter invitert
for å diskutere hvordan vi skal leve sammen i det flerkulturelle samfunn i det 21. århundre.
Having experienced economic growth, while granting limited freedoms to its population since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan
has recently been shocked by terrorist acts. In Atyrau, Western Kazakhstan, on 31 October four young men placed bombs close
to security service instalments. One of the four, a local resident, died when one of the bombs went off prematurely. In a
further serious development, on Saturday 12 November, a young man killed five law enforcement officers, two bystanders and
himself in a shooting spree in Taraz, Southern Kazakhstan.
In connection with today’s meeting in preparation of the upcoming meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Subcommittee on Justice, Liberty,
Security and Human Rights and Democracy (Brussels, 24-25 November 2011) the Norwegian Helsinki Committee participates while
presenting a paper outlining some the main challenges of human rights in Azerbaijan. We have in particular emphasized the
deficiencies in the rule of law and the sharp increase in the number of political prisoners in the country. We also present
a list of political prisoners and bring up the lawless situation in the Autonomous republic of Nakhchivan.
En delegasjon av Helsingforskomiteer fra Norge, Albania og Serbia er denne uken i Kosovo for å undersøke forholdene for minoriteter
og deres rettsvern i Kosovo. Situasjonen er politisk sett mer tilspisset enn på lenge på grunn av konflikt om kontroll over
grensestasjoner i det nordlige Kosovo hvor flere personer er drept og veisperringer er satt opp. Delegasjonen skal blant annet
se på hvordan dette påvirker minoritetens stilling og trygghet og å påvirke ansvarlige myndigheter. Programmet omfatter besøk
til serbiske enklaver og bosetninger for Romabefolkningen i tillegg til politiske møter med en rekke parlamentarikere, innenriksministeren,
utenriksdepartementet, sentrale diplomater og internasjonale organisasjoner.
FNs Menneskerettighetskomité har nettopp gått gjennom Norges oppfyllelse av de sivile og politiske menneskerettighetene. På
en rekke punkter kommer komiteen med kritikk av Norge, og utrykker bekymring over at Norge ikke gjør mer for å ivareta sine
forpliktelser. Den norske Helsingforskomité, Advokatforeningens menneskerettighetsutvalg og Juss-Buss fulgte høringen og kom
med mange innspill til komiteen underveis i prosessen.
Flere menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner, deriblant Den norske Helsingforskomité og vår svenske søsterorganisasjon Civil Rights
Defenders, har blitt nektet visum for å kunne være på plass under rettssaken mot Ales Bialiatski, leder for organisasjonen
Viasna. Dette er enda et bevis på at rettssaken mot Bialiatski er politisk motivert.
In Kyrgyzstan, the previous Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev has received approximately 63% of the votes in Presidential
Elections that were found mostly free and fair by the observers. Violations in the electoral process were mainly related to
the voter’s lists, where a significant number of the voters could not find their name and thus could not vote.
Norwegian Helsinki Committee has written a letter concerning a forthcoming lecture by Milorad Dodik, President of Republika
Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Colombia University. The letter points to Colombia University's responsibilities to
challenge Mr Dodik on his denials of genocide in Srebrenica as well as his obstructions of war crimes prosecutions in Bosnia
Norwegian Helsinki Committee is among nine international human rights NGOs signing a protest letter addressed to Belarusian
authorities today protesting further tightening the conditions for civil society activity in Belarus. We believe that the
new amendments constitute a grave threat to civil society in Belarus.
Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsalen, 24. oktober klokken 12.00-16.00.
Mandag 24. oktober - FN-dagen - inviterer papirløskampanjen til en halvdagskonferanse på Litteraturhuset i Oslo. Fokuset er
argumentene for å gi opphold til papirløse – og argumentene for ikke å gjøre det.
Storbritannia har nettopp føyd seg til den lange listen av land som har gitt opphold til større grupper av lengeværende papirløse,
mens Polen har vedtatt en bred regularisering for papirløse i 2012. Med sin harde linje overfor papirløse forblir Norge et
unntaksland. Vi har invitert flere innledere til å fortelle hvorfor Norge bør finne en løsning for de papirløse – og hvorfor
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is concerned about the Serbian National Security Council’s decision to ban all public gatherings
on 2 October 2011. The decision, as intended, effectively led to a ban on Belgrade Pride 2011. We are concerned regarding
the development in this case specifically, and the situation for LGBTI people in Serbia generally. In a letter sent to the
President of Serbia Boris Tadić today, we condemn the ban and call for concrete measures to ensure that Belgrade Pride can
take place in 2012. The NHC has also encouraged the Norwegian Embassy to Serbia and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
to make it clear to Serbian authorities that such a ban is not acceptable. Read the letter below.
Two new laws restricting freedom of religion or belief has passed through the Maijilis (lower house) and the Senate of the
Parliament at great speed (21 and 29 September, respectively), without including consultation with civil society or other
relevant stake holders. – The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) is concerned with the rapid passage as well as the restrictive
nature of the new laws, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the NHC. – The way to prevent violent religious extremism
is not to restrict freedom of religion. There are plenty of examples showing that undue restrictions are counterproductive
in this regard.
On 7 October 2006, the courageous Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed at the entrance of her apartment
in Moscow. Since then, neither the murderers nor any possible assassin's paymaster have been convicted. Anna Politkovskaya
was not only a journalist; she fought for the victims of the conflict in North-Caucasus by making their stories known to the
On 2 October a Baku court convicted Arif Hajili, Chairman of the Musavat Party, Tural Abbasli, head of Musavats youth wing
and Mahammad Majidli of the Popular Front Party to two and a half years in prison. They were convicted for “promoting social
unrest” in connection with the 2 April pro-democracy protests. Their convictions adds to an already long list of political
convictions in Azerbaijan in 2011, and comes just days after the Norwegian Helsinki Committee called for the release of Azerbaijani
political prisoners at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meeting in Warsaw, Poland.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee regrets the decision of the National Security Council of the Serbian Parliament to ban Belgrade
Pride 2011. The statement made by the Serbian president Boris Tadić that “This way the citizens and members of the LGBT* population
are protected” is a clear indicator that the rights of sexual and gendered minorities are still not being taken seriously
by Serbian authorities.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is actively and well represented at this years' OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
in Warsaw. In our interventions at the meeting we will focus on freedom of religion in Central Asia, rule of law in Azerbaijan,
Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and freedom of expression in Macedonia, Bosnia and Serbia. We are organising a side-event
on lack of justice after major human rights violations in Russia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Additionally we organise
a side-event on strikers' rights in Kazakhstan and we are also co-organising a side-event with particular focus on Ales Bialiatski
and the release of political prisoners in Belarus. Below you will find links to the HDIM webpage, all documents from our side-events
and interventions and other relevant links.
Imprisoned Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski turned 49 yesterday. Ales was forced to celebrate his birthday
behind bars, despite calls from UN, from EU and all over the world for his release.
The appeal case of Natalya Sokolova, legal representative of a trade union formed by employees of the Karazhanbasmunbay oil
company in the Aktau region of Kazakhstan, is proceeding these days in Aktau, Western Kazakhstan. - The appeal hearing should
lead to immediate release of Mrs Sokolova, says Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
The European Parliament adopted on 14 September a resolution on the arrest of the Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski.
The Parliament demand the immediate and unconditional release of Bialiatski as well as all other political prisoners in Belarus.
FNs Menneskerettighetskomité skal ta opp Norge 24. og 25. oktober og vil deretter komme med anbefalinger til hvordan forpliktelsene
etter FNs konvensjon om sivile og politiske rettigheter bedre kan oppfylles. Helsingforskomiteen har sammen med andre norske
frivillige organisasjoner skrevet brev til komiteen. Brevet omhandler blant annet Dublin-returer, rettshjelp, barnets beste
i utlendingsforvaltningen, behandlingen av asylsøkerbarn og systemet for bistand til torturofre. Brevet er en oppfølging av
en større rapport som organisasjonene sendte til FN-komiteen tidligere i år.
The first week of September, Norwegian Helsinki Committee in cooperation with the International Partnership for Human Rights,
Brussels, addressed the members of the European Parliament about the the human rights crisis in Belarus. We did this in view
of a September 13 discussion of an urgent resolution concerning the arrest and imprisonment of the prominent Belarusian human
rights defender Ales Bialiatski. In addition, NHC has together with several international human rights organisations written
a letter to the national delegations participating in the Interactive Dialogue with the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Belarus.
- The Norwegian Helsinki Committee deeply regrets that Albania has taken a step backwards at a time when fair elections
that could enjoy the confidence of all Albanians were needed”, said Ole B Lilleås, advisor with the Norwegian Helsinki Committee,
who observed the 8 May 2011 local elections in cooperation with the Albanian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. The AHC
recently concluded that the elections did not meet international standards in a thorough report based on extensive observation
throughout the country.
In an important new General Comment, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) has provided an up to date and authoritative interpretation
of the freedoms of opinion and expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Natalya Sokolova, legal representative of a trade union formed by employees of the Karazhanbasmunbay oil company in the Aktau
region of Kazakhstan, has been sentenced to six years of imprisonment. - The verdict should be revoked, says Secretary General
The office of the NGO Institute for Peace and Democracy led by prominent human rights defender Leyla Yunus was demolished
totally within an hour starting around 8:30 p.m. local time last night. The building was privately owned by Leyla Yunus and
her husband, the historian Arif Yunus. Bulldozers arrived without warning and within little more than an hour nothing was
left of the building that for years served as the premises for important human rights activity in Azerbaijan, including a
crisis center for women and fight against the extensive violation of property rights.
A closed down TV station, three closed downed independent newspapers, as well as prospects of more restrictive legislation,
cause worry of the situation of media freedom in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. “Regardless of whether the tax
evasion cases raised against the media outlets and their owner are well-founded, Macedonian authorities should avoid silencing
independent media critical of the government”, said Norwegian Helsinki Committee Advisor Ole B. Lilleås. “The amounts demanded
and the conditions of payments seem to be designed to silence critical media.”
Yesterday, August 4, Ales Bialiatski, the head of Human Rights Centre (HRC) Viasna and the Vice- President of International
Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) was arbitrary detained in Minsk. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply concerned with
Ales Bialiatski's detention, and Secretary General Bjørn Engesland says "We will demand the immediate release of our colleague
and good partner Ales Bialiatski by using all appropriate means we have."
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is very disappointed that the human rights activist and laureate of the Sakharov Freedom
Award Evgeniy Zhovtis on 2 August again was rejected in his appeal for early release.
Amnesty International Norge og Den norske Helsingforskomité har i et felles brev bedt norske myndigheter om å etablere en
sterk nasjonal institusjon for menneskerettigheter som er i samsvar med FN-standarder.
The NHC is pleased to announce a contest for project proposals aiming at improving the situation regarding human rights, democratization
or civil society in Central Asia. All organizations in the region with project proposals related to human rights, democratization
or strengthening of civil society may apply. At the same time, we encourage projects targeting political rights in
Kazakhstan, minority rights in Tajikistan, and reconciliation and protection of basic human rights after the Osh events in
Helsingforskomiteen har hatt en aktiv og begivenhetsrik vår. Mens revolusjonsånden har svevet over Nord-Afrika og Midt-Østen
har vi måttet konstatere at mange av de tidligere Sovjetrepublikker fortsetter å stramme grepet, og at det er en bekymringsfull
utvikling også på Vest-Balkan. Den norske Helsingforskomités innsats for menneskerettighetene i mange land har blitt lagt
merke til både i Norge og internasjonalt. I vårt nyhetsbrev har vi valgt noen få av de mange sakene vi har vært engasjert i denne våren. Den norske Helsingforskomité ønsker deg en god sommer!
Ønsker du å støtte Den norske Helsingforskomité? Klikk her!
Ytterligere to ansatte i Helsingforskomiteen ble i går nektet innreise til Hviterussland. Olga Shamshur og Inna Sangadzhieva
skulle sammen med sin kollega Berit Lindeman møte våre partnerorganisasjoner i Minsk. Berit Lindeman fikk adgang, mens Olga
Shamshur og Inna Sangadzhieva ble nektet innreise.
On Tuesday, a Moscow court ruled to acquit Oleg P. Orlov, Chair of the Memorial Human Rights Society, one of Europe’s most
respected human rights groups. Mr. Orlov was charged with defamation against Chechen President Ramzan A. Kadyrov, in connection
with statements Orlov made at the time Memorial employee and award winning human rights defender Natalya Estemirova was killed
in 2009. - I welcome the ruling in our colleague Oleg Petrovich’s case as a step in the right direction for a judicial system that
historically has lacked willingness to support and protect human rights defenders, says NHC Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.
Today, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee was present at an award ceremony at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, where the laureates
of the Fritt Ord Prize: Free Press in Russia and the Gerd Bucerius Prize: Free Press of Eastern Europe received their awards.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee had nominated three of the six laureates: The Newspaper Chernovik of Dagestan, Russia, the
journalist Zamin Haji of Yeni Müsavat and Azadliq, Baku, Azerbaijan and The News Portal A1+, Yerevan, Armenia.
Last week, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee hosted a delegation of Azeri, Belarusian, Russian and international human rights
defenders. They took part in seminars arranged by the NHC at the Norwegian parliament Stortinget and the Fritt Ord Foundation.
In their recomendations to the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the PACE and Stortinget, they called for a sharpening
of human rights policies towards Azerbaijan, Belarus and Russia.
Helsingforskomiteen la tirsdag frem sine hovedsynspunkter på norsk politikk på Vest-Balkan for Utenriks-og forsvarskomiteen
på Stortinget. Høringen ble arrangert i forbindelse med den nylig publiserte Stortingsmeldingen Norsk innsats for stabilitet
og utvikling i Sørøst-Europa. Helt sentralt for Helsingforskomiteen er styrking av demokrati, menneskerettigheter, rettstatsprinsipper
og fremme av forsoning på Vest-Balkan.
- The Norwegian Helsinki Committee would like to extend its sincerest congratulations to Svetlana Alekseevna Gannushkina,
who yesterday became a Knight of the French Legion of Honour,” says Secretary-General Bjørn Engesland.
This week the Ombudsman of Kazakhstan Askar Shakirov and a delegation of two are visiting Norway on invitation by the Norwegian
Helsinki Committee. The Ombudsman will meet with various ombudsman institutions in Norway, the National Institution and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is deeply distraught to learn of yet another violent attack on human rights activist and
employee of Human Rights Center Memorial, Bakhrom Khamroev, in Moscow on Monday June 6th 2011.
Helsingforskomiteen har overlevert notat til statssekretær Espen Barth Eide med en rekke anbefalinger for hvilke spørsmål
den norske delegasjonen må reise med Aserbajdsjan 6. - 8 juni samt konkrete forslag til program. Vi har navngitt flere politiske
fanger som bør løslate. Vi har blant annet foreslått at delegasjonen besøker den nylig løslatte redaktøren Eynulla Fattulayev
og oppsøker graven til den myrdede Elmar Huseynov. Notatet er også sendt til Olje-og energiminister Ola Borten Moe og til
Kronprins Haakon. Barth Eide har lovet å strekke seg langt for å få løftet menneskerettigheter på agendaen under besøket i
The Court in Vienna is to reach a verdict on the murder of the refugee who accused Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov of torture
today, on 1 June 2011. On the eve of the verdict the coalition of human rights groups monitoring the trial wants to emphasize
the importance of this emblematic case and expresses its regret at the absence of cooperation of the Russian Federation with
the Austrian justice.
Eynulla Fattulayev returned to his home last night after spending more than four years in prison in Azerbaijan for writing
articles critical to the regime. The European Court of Human Rights demanded his release more than one year ago, instead,
however, he was convicted of further charges. The NHC is pleased to congratulate Eynulla and welcome him back to freedom.
The case shows that pressure against the authorities works. The pressure must continue.
- Helsingforskomiteen ser fram til at Ratko Mladic overleveres for rettsforfølgelse i Haag. Dette er en viktig dag for internasjonal
strafferett, uttaler generalsekretær i Helsingforskomiteen Bjørn Engesland.
- Stagnasjonen vi nå opplever i Bosnia-Hercegovina er svært bekymringsfull. Forsoningsprosessen har stoppet opp, og de kreftene
som motarbeider forsoning har i større grad fått innflytelse. Det internasjonale samfunnet må bistå Bosnia-Hercegovina i arbeidet
med reformer som kan sikre et velfungerende justisvesen og rettsstat, og dermed hindre en ytterligere negativ utvikling, sa
Presidenten i Bosnia-Hercegovinas domstol Meddzida Kreso på det godt besøkte seminaret som Helsingforskomiteen arrangerte
mandag på Litteraturhuset i Oslo.
(24/09-2010) With the ascension of Dmitry Medvedev to the Russian presidency, a new kind of political rhetoric entered the
Kremlin. Medvedev says he wants to combat legal nihilism, and has pledged reform and modernization. Do the modernization plans
offer possibilities for Russian human rights groups, asked Secretary General Bjørn Engesland in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee
in his introduction at a public seminar organised by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee on 22 September.
I et brev til H.K.H Kronprins Haakon ber Den norske Helsingforskomité om at H.K.H. Kronprinsen velger ikke å delta som planlagt
ved åpningen av den årlige olje- og gassmessen International Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference 6.-7.juni 2011 i Baku,
Aserbajdsjan, da deltakelsen vil kunne gi signaler som kan misbrukes av ett av Europas siste og mest autoritære regimer. Raftostiftelsen
og Human Rights House Foundation slutter seg til anmodningen til Kronprinsen.
Bakhtiyar Hajiyev is a 29-year old Harvard-graduate who organized the Facebook-event "Great Peoples Day" on March 11, calling
people to join the Facebook-group and to protest the government. Officially, he was convicted for evading military service.
However, with this sentence, the Azerbaijani Government has added another political prisoner to its already long list of convicted
activists and journalists.
The NHC is pleased to announce a contest for project proposals aiming at improving the situation regarding human rights, democratization
or civil society in Kazakhstan. Additionally, the NHC also announces vacancy as assistant to Program Manager of the NHC Representative
Office in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The verdict in the case of murdering the Russian lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova is finalized.
On May 6, 2011, after more than two years of investigation and lengthy court hearings, the persons, accused of their murder,
Bjørn Engesland, secretary general of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee has today sent a letter to Lyudmila Alexeeva, co-founder
and leader of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) congratulating the Russian human rights organisation on its 35 years' anniversary.
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) condemns the 4 May 2011 conviction of youth activist Jabbar Savalan,
who was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment on politically motivated charges of drug possession. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee
is among the NGOs behind the statement comdemning the latest conviction of a youth activist in Azerbaijan.
During a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in Oslo on May 5 NHC raised the
need for the Human Rights Commissioner to engage actively in the crisis in Belarus. The Human Rights Center Viasna's office
was raided while presenting a report on 19 December and following events just hours before the meeting with Pillay.
An extensive five-day training seminar for Belarusian journalists opens in Vilnius today. We also issue an appeal to the UNESCO
Director-General Irina Bokova to put forward an initiative for the release of imprisoned Azerbaijani editor Eynulla Fattullayev.
In its 8 April 2011 evaluation of Norway, the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
points to issues in a range of policy fields, including limited psycho-social health care for refugees, the need to protect
the Sami population from negative effects of activities by transnational corporations, and to strengthening prevention of
discrimination against Roma and Romani/Tater.
At these exceptional times – when authoritarian regimes are falling or are under serious pressure by democratic forces in
the Middle East and North Africa – we witness that Europe’s last authoritarian states are successful in retaining control
and undermining democratic developments.
In the NHC's 2010 Annual Report, you can read about the total breakdown of human rights in Belarus, the democratic revolution
in Kyrgyzstan and the violent tragedy of its aftermath and the international conference the NHC arranged in Oslo to put Russia
on the agenda. The annual report also gives an account of the developments in all the countries and regions the NHC is involved
in, in addition to an overview of all the NHC's activities in 2010.
Onsdag 13. april 2011 reiste stortingsrepresentant Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H) spørsmål til justisminister Knut Storberget om
hvilke tiltak norske myndigheter har satt i verk for å sikre at romanifolk/tatere som har lidd overlast på norske barnehjem
faktisk har fått oppreisning. - Helsingforskomiteen mener dette er et viktig spørsmål for den norske politikken i forhold
til romanifolket/taterne. Et hovedproblem er at mange av taterne som havnet på barnehjem mangler dokumentasjon, fordi norske
institusjoner har makulert papirer eller fordi plasseringen ikke var hjemlet i lovlige vedtak, sier assisterende generalsekretær
Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal.
Annette Thommessens minnepris 2011 tildeles papirløse-kampanjen ”Ingen mennesker er ulovlige”, ved initiativtakerne Rune Berglund
Steen i Antirasistisk Senter og Jon Ole Martinsen i Selvhjelp for innvandrere og flyktninger, SEIF.
We encourage you strongly to write letters to the prisoners! We have met with released prisoners and the families of those
in prison, and they all say the same: Letters are both a great comfort and a protection as they make the authorities aware
that the prisoners are not forgotten. Please write to the addresses indicated in the description of each of the prisoners.
We also encourage you to contact us if you want to engage with support actions for one particular prisoner.
Today, five days after the landslide victory in disputed Presidential elections, President Nursultan Nazarbayev was inaugurated
at a ceremony in Astana. In the speech, he referred to congratulations received from world leaders, grateful to how these
congratulations “mean a wholehearted support not only for the choice of the people of Kazakhstan, but also for our strategic
Around 1000 protesters defied warnings and participated in the unsanctioned 2 April anti-government rally on the Fountain
Square in Central Baku, Azerbaijan. Riot police of the oil rich country were quick to disperse the rally with their usual
batons and arrested several dozens, including at least ten journalists.
- The 3 April Presidential elections in Kazakhstan failed to provide the citizens with a genuine choice of candidates, said
Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. - The incumbent, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, competed
with only three candidates, who clearly did not represent any alternative to his rule. Neither were there any serious political
debates about the country’s most pressing issues during the campaign period.
Yesterday the NHC officially opened its representative office in Almaty, Kazakhstan. – I hope and expect that the office will
play a constructive role in the civil society of Kazakhstan, said Secretary General Bjørn Engesland in his welcoming address.
Norwegian Helsinki Committee, in cooperation with Human Rights Center Viasna, convened human rights defenders in Vilnius on
20-21 January 2011. The meeting gathered more than 40 NGO representatives from 23 different NGOs from Belarus, Europe and
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee calls for the investigation of alleged crimes relating to the 21 January 2011 demonstrations
in Albania, to respect the independence of the country’s General Prosecutor and for steps to be taken to ensure transparency
and real and perceived fairness of the 8 May local elections.
Norske organisasjoner og politiske partier arrangerte 16. mars en solidaritetsmarkering foran Stortinget for å vise støtte
til menneskerettighetsforkjempere og for løslatelse av politiske fanger i Hviterussland. Peter Gitmark fra Høyre, John Peder
Egenæs, generalsekretær i Amnesty Norge og Berit Lindeman fra Helsingforskomiteen holdt appeller.
Human rights organisations from several countries, including Norwegian Helsinki Committee, address president Grybauskaite
of Lithuania to take leadership in advocating for the release of political prisoners in Belarus.
On March 16 2011, Human Rights Center Memorial published a comprehensive report covering political repression in Uzbekistan
in the period 2009-2010. The report itself is currently available only in Russian language, but the Norwegian Helsinki Committee
has translated the summary of this important report by Director of Memorial’s Central Asia Programme, and one of the leading
specialists on human rights in Uzbekistan, Vitaliy Ponomarev.
Azerbaijan has blatantly flouted its international commitments by keeping Fatullayev behind bars. This not only undermines
the Council of Europe’s credibility but erodes press freedom for all Council members. Sanctions are appropriate if Azerbaijan
continues to mock the rule of law and hold Fatullayev
– Hver gang jeg begynner å jobbe med en gruppe, spør jeg om hva det betyr å lære om menneskerettigheter, hva det betyr å lære
i det hele tatt, og hvordan forstår vi hva vi lærer? Menneskerettigheter former vår virkelighet, og oss som mennesker. Vi
må kunne koble kunnskapen og forståelsen om menneskerettighetene til vår egen hverdag, sier undervisningsleder i Helsingforskomiteen
Enver Djuliman i et intervju FN-linken, som er FN-sambandets skolebrev.
Norske organisasjoner og politiske partier markerer igjen støtte til menneskerettighetsforkjempere og for løslatelse av politiske
fanger i Hviterussland, med å arrangere en solidaritetsmarkering foran Stortinget 16. mars klokken 16:00.
Norwegian NGO Forum for Human Rights, for which the Norwegian Helsinki Committee is the secretariat, has addressed recommendations
to Norway on human rights questions in the United Nations in 2011. The recommendations focus on five thematic questions and
five country situations, including Belarus and Turkmenistan.
(22/02-2011) I et brev til konstituert justisminister Grete Faremo ber NOAS, Amnesty og Helsingforskomiteen om å stanse tvangsretur
av asylsøkere fra konfliktområdene i Nord-Kaukasus i Russland inntil utlendingsforvaltningen etablerer en praksis som samsvarer
med rettspraksis og relevant landinformasjon. I tillegg ber organisasjonene justisministeren om å utvise varsomhet med å tvangsutsende
folk før de har fått reell mulighet til å klage endelige avslag inn for retten.
(16/02-2011) Norwegian Helsinki Committee the 16th of each month marks Day of Solidarity with Belarus. We demand from Belarusian
authorities the immediate release of all detainees held in the aftermath of the 19 December events and a total end to the
wave of arrests, harassment and searches of human rights activists, lawyers and journalists in Belarus.
(15/02-2011) Tolv norske organisasjoner har bedt Statssekretær Erik Lahnstein om en redegjørelse i forbindelse med prosessen
omkring tildelingen av et oppdrag for utredning av implikasjonene for Norge dersom Norge slutter seg til tilleggsprotokollen
til Konvensjonen om økonomiske, sosiale og kulturelle rettigheter.
(11/02-2011) Today, 11 February, the inmates of the settlement colony 156/13 in Ust-Kamenogorsk, are leaving the settlement
colony for a well deserved vacation until 6 March. The only inmate to be denied this vacation is the well-known human rights
activist Evgeniy Zhovtis, after serving more than a year in the semi-open colony without being allowed to leave the territory.
(25/01-2011) Fredag 21. januar 2011 ble tre demonstranter drept og 55 personer skadet i Tirana. Den norske Helsingforskomité
krever en nøytral etterforskning av dødsfallene og stiller oss bak oppfordringer til de politiske partiene i Albania til ikke
å påvirke etterforskningen.
(04/02-2011) On 31 January, a bill that would allow for a referendum on the extension of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s
term of office until 2020 was rejected by the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan as un-constitutional. Instead, Nazarbayev
has announced snap elections on 3 April.
(03/02-2011) Helsingforskomiteen mener at Stortinget bør opprette og utnevne en kommisjon for å følge med på respekten for
menneskerettigheter i Norge. Kommisjonen bør bli FN-akkreditert Nasjonal institusjon for menneskerettigheter.