| Den norske Helsingforskomité

Romania: Håpet opp i røyk

Artikkel i Agenda Magasin:

Romania: Håpet opp i røyk

Politikerne i Romania leker politikk, mens mennesker dør på sykehus, uten medisiner, uten leger og uten assistenter. Helsingforskomiteens Csilla Czimbalmos har publisert vurdering i Agenda Magasin. Foto: Daniel Vrabioiu

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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.

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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.

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Overvåking og rapportering

Ved å overvåke og rapportere om menneskerettighetssituasjonen i enkeltland arbeider Helsingforskomiteen mot brudd på menneskerettighetene. Komiteen legger særlig vekt på ytringsfrihet, forsamlingsfrihet, retten til medbestemmelse, minoritetsrettigheter, retten til fri tanke og livssyn og retten til liv og personlig sikkerhet. De senere år har også sikkerheten og arbeidsmulighetene til menneskerettighetsaktivister blitt et viktig tema i mange land.

Komiteen utarbeider rapporter og presenterer disse for landets egne myndigheter, norske myndigheter, internasjonale organisasjone og andre relevante aktører. Helsingforskomiteens arbeidsmetode er førstehånds kontakt med sentrale aktører i de land vi arbeider. Derfor reiser vi regelmessig til alle land vi arbeider med og er oppdatert når viktige hendelser finner sted. Påvirkningsarbeid, såkalt "advocacy", har blitt en stadig viktigere del av vårt arbeid. Vi arbeider aktivt for at menneskerettighetsspørsmål i Norge og internasjonalt skal ha høy prioritet for norske beslutningstakere; Regjeringen og Stortinget. Vi har også et stort internasjonalt kontaktnett, slik at vi kan forene og koordinere innsatsen på viktige områder med de mest sentrale menneskerettighetsorganisasjoner internasjonalt, og presenterer våre syn i FN, Europarådet og OSSE. Vi har også en samarbeidspartner i Brussel, International Partnership for Human Rights, som koordinerer vår innsats mot EU-institusjonene.

Valgobservasjon har en lang tradisjon i komiteen. Retten til medbestemmelse er en grunnleggende menneskerett og demokrati en forutsetning for begrensning av makt som kan misbrukes. Valg er også kritiske ledd i den demokratiske utviklingen i stater som er i en overgangssituasjon etter konflikt eller autoritære styrer. Det er av stor betydning at internasjonale og nasjonale regler for frie og rettferdige valg følges slik at de som velges har demokratisk legitimitet. Vi har observert mange titalls valg de siste tyve årene. Vi har også gjennomført internasjonal valgobservasjon i Norge, i 2005 og i 2009.

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.

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Perspectives on elections in Russia

Report from the seminar:

Perspectives on elections in Russia

On 17 September 2016 Russia organizes elections to the 450 seats of the Federal Duma. Unfortunately, restrictions on election observation and candidate registration are already being put in place. Despite the bleak picture normally presented regarding elections in Russia, there exist however many independent voices in politics, academia and civil society that speak out for democratic values and procedures. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee invited some of them to Oslo to debate new perspectives on Russia’s elections.

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Ny norsk praksis hindrer retten til å søke asyl

Asylrett i Norge:

Ny norsk praksis hindrer retten til å søke asyl

Den norske Helsingforskomité har sammen med Amnesty International Norway og NOAS skrevet et brev til UNHCRs representant for Nord-Europa, Pia Prytz Phiri, der vi argumenterer for at lovendringene som ble innført i utlendingsloven i november er i strid med retten til å søke asyl. Dette betyr at Norge bryter sine internasjonale forpliktelser, og kan i sin ytterste konsekvens innebære at asylsøkere med beskyttelsebehov kan bli sendt tilbake til forfølgelse, tortur og i verste fall død. Brevet ble i går også sendt til innvandrings-og integreringsminister Sylvi Listhaug, samt til alle partilederne på Stortinget.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Voters turn out in high numbers, but security concerns in Donbass

Ukraine:

Voters turn out in high numbers, but security concerns in Donbass

NHC is currently in Ukraine observing the election together with our network European Platform for Democratic Elections. In most of the country it is reported that voters turn out in unpresedented high numbers and that lines are forming in many polling stations. In a large majority of the country, the polling takes place in a calm atmosphere and elections seem to go well by 14:00. In two regions, Donetsk and Lugansk, the polling has been cancelled for security reasons or the fact that some areas are under de facto control of armed pro-Russian rebels

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Avgjørende at presidentvalget i Ukraina blir demokratisk

NHC valgobservatører i Ukraina:

Avgjørende at presidentvalget i Ukraina blir demokratisk

Helsingforskomiteens Berit Lindeman og Lene Wetteland vil observere søndagens presidentvalg i Ukraina. Våre observatører vil samarbeide tett med nettverket European Platform for Democatic Elections og lokale organisasjoner som tilsammen sender ut 4000 observatører til stemmelokaler søndag.
Til tross for uroligheter, opprør og russiske separatister kan det bli det mest demokratiske valget i landet på lenge. Valgadministrasjonene virker i hovedsak godt forberedte, og ingen av kandidatene har hatt åpenbare og urettmessige fordeler under valgkampen, i motsetning til under de fleste tidligere valg.

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Ikke spill på lag med diktatoren!

Is-hockey VM i Hviterussland:

Ikke spill på lag med diktatoren!

Fredag 9. mai 2014 starter de første kampene i ishockey-VM i Minsk i Hviterussland. Hviterussland, Europas siste diktatur, har blitt styrt med jernhånd av President Aleksander Lukasjenko de siste tjue år. I den forbindelse har Den norske Helsingforskomité, i samarbeid med Human Rights House Foundation, Norsk PEN og Amnesty International Norge laget en håndbok for journalister som skal dekke Ishockey-VM i Hviterussland, enten planen er å reise til Hviterussland, eller jobben skal gjøres med base i Norge.

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Updates on the situation in Ukraine

Ukraine:

Updates on the situation in Ukraine

The crisis in Ukraine develops by the day, and the need for sound and objective information is huge. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee recommends the regular updates provided by the Civic Solidarity Platform, a network of human rights organizations who cooperate to gather information with a special attention to the human rights situation. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is a founding member of the Platform and among the NGOs to assist in the efforts in Ukraine. The information provided in the updates is always based on findings by human rights experts on the ground, and our local members of the Platform are key providers of information.

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Hvordan står det til med menneskerettighetene i Norge?

Norge:

Hvordan står det til med menneskerettighetene i Norge?

Det må regjeringen svare for i FN i mai 2014. I likhet med alle andre stater i verden vil Norge bli gjenstand for en Universell Periodisk Undersøkelse (UPR) i FNs Menneskerettighetsråd. Det er fire år siden Norges den første gangen. Selve undersøkelsen tar en halv dag hvor alle verdens stater kan stille spørsmål eller kritisere Norge. – Forberedelsene er allerede godt i gang, og etter mai 2014 vil arbeidet med å følge opp anbefalingene om bedret praksis starte. Frivillige organisasjoner har en viktig rolle å spille hele veien, sier Ole B Lilleås i Den norske Helsingforskomité.

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Kazakhstan’s crackdown on independent media continues

Media closure:

Kazakhstan’s crackdown on independent media continues

On the same day as the Prime Minister and his cabinet unexpectedly stepped down in Astana, yet another independent newspaper was ordered to close in Almaty. The newspaper Assandi Times has been covering cases also critical to the government since 2002, but was closed after a 1 April 2014 court decision following a trial that none of the staff of the newspaper were informed of.

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Rettferdig valg med forbedringspotensial

Stortingsvalget 2013:

Rettferdig valg med forbedringspotensial

34 observatører fra 11 land i det tidligere Sovjetunionen har gjennomført valgobservasjon av årets Stortingsvalg. Valgobservatørene har blitt tatt svært godt i mot over hele landet, og har observert et valg der velgerne har stor grad av tillit til valgprosessen. Valget har vært gjennomført på en svært profesjonell måte. Allikevel, det er forbedringspotensial også her.

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Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende met with NHC in Ukraine

NGO meeting in Kiev:

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende met with NHC in Ukraine

On 5 December Foreign Minister Børge Brende met representatives from OSCE Parallel Civil Society Conference in Kiev in connection with the now ongoing OSCE Ministerial Council.

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Surprise EP and PACE statement on the presidential election in Azerbaijan

EPDE:

Surprise EP and PACE statement on the presidential election in Azerbaijan

In a surprising statement after last week's elections in Azerbaijan, delegations from the European Parliament and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly concluded that they had observed "free, fair and transparent electoral process". They did this despite the widespread and reliable reports of fraud, pressure against voters and other manipulations. - We find it quite astonishing that European parliamentary delegation members, who should defend the voters' right to democratic elections, instead choose to look away from the facts of the presidential elections in Azerbaijan, secretary general Bjørn Engesland says. Together with the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) we have made a statement criticizing the delegations.

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Press Freedom award laureates warn of deteriorating conditions for journalists

Russia:

Press Freedom award laureates warn of deteriorating conditions for journalists

The Siberian newspaper Yakutsk Vecherny, and Yelena Kostyuchenko, journalist of Novaya Gazeta, were among the laureates of this year’s Press Freedom Award, issued by Fritt Ord and Zeit Stiftung. – The prize jury has come to an important and appropriate decision, drawing attention to the deteriorating conditions for freedom of speech and the difficult situation for journalists in today’s Russia, said Secretary General Bjørn Engesland.

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Killing of journalist should be promptly investigated

Russia, Dagestan:

Killing of journalist should be promptly investigated

– The killing of journalist Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev on Tuesday 9 July should be promptly investigated and those responsible should be prosecuted, said Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General. – The attempted murder on Akhmednabiev in January 2013 was ignored by the Prosecutor’s office, in spite of a Dagestan Supreme Court decision that it should be investigated. This culture of impunity for those attacking and even murdering journalists and human rights defenders in North Caucasus must end. If not, authorities will remain complicit in these killings.

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Kyrgyz activist Tolekan Ismailova deported from Uzbekistan

Travel ban:

Kyrgyz activist Tolekan Ismailova deported from Uzbekistan

Following her detention upon arrival to Tashkent International Airport from Bishkek at 7:20 PM on Monday 24 June, prominent Kyrgyzstani human rights activist Tolekan Ismailova was deported to Almaty, Kazakhstan in the afternoon of 25 June.

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UPR records must reflect recommendations

Human Rights Council:

UPR records must reflect recommendations

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has joined a call to the President of the UN Human Rights Council to ensure that records of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) reflect all recommendations presented to the state under review. Recently, Russia managed to remove two recommendations from Georgia from the list of recommendations at the end of the report and to get them added as footnote. This is the last blow against the format of the Working Group reports which regularly, under the attack of countries under Review, get modified and weakened. The statement calls on the President to issue a statement which would clearly define how the Working Group report should be made and what it should contain.

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Hate culture prevails one year after violent attacks

Armenia:

Hate culture prevails one year after violent attacks

One year after the bombing of the DIY pub and violent counter demonstrators attacked a Diversity March in Yerevan, Armenia still suffers from widespread intolerance and discrimination of minorities. The legislation does not include hate crime with intent towards gender and sexual minorities, and the government fails to protect the rights of these citizens. Media is more often used as a tool to build up under prejudice and intolerance, and homophobic statements are frequently used by stakeholders to gain popularity.

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NHC co-founds European Platform for Democratic Elections

New network established:

NHC co-founds European Platform for Democratic Elections

On 12th December 2012, Norwegian Helsinki Committee was among twelve civil society organisations supporting or conducting citizens’ election observation in the states of the Eastern Partnership, the Russian Federation, Norway and the European Union who launched the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) in Warsaw.

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Uneven playing field and violations despite promises

Kazakhstan elections:

Uneven playing field and violations despite promises

On Sunday 15 January, Kazakhstan held early Parliamentary elections after President Nazarbayev expressed that more than one party now should be represented in Parliament and law amendments were made to provide for this. However, despite promises of democratization and the recent period as chair of the OSCE, several violations took place and did not allow for a fair and democratic competition for the seats in Parliament.

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Amid credible reports of election fraud, Russian election results do not fully reflect the will of the people.

State Duma elections:

Amid credible reports of election fraud, Russian election results do not fully reflect the will of the people.

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.

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Respected election monitoring Association Golos brought to court

Russia:

Respected election monitoring Association Golos brought to court

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.”

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Unfair pre-election process in Russia

Statement:

Unfair pre-election process in Russia

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.”

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Authorities in Kosovo must ensure access to justice and show practical support to minorities

Kosovo:

Authorities in Kosovo must ensure access to justice and show practical support to minorities

Following a visit to Kosovo 13-18 November, a delegation of Helsinki Committees calls on authorities there to improve the rule of law and the fairness and efficiency of the justice systems for all, and to extend a hand to its minorities and demonstrate in practical terms that the local and central government takes care of the needs of its citizens. The recent events in the North of Kosovo, where severe unrest and violence has marked the KFOR removal of barricades, demonstrates the need for Prishtina and Belgrade to seriously engage to avoid further escalation in conflict levels and inter-ethnic tension.

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NHC inputs to the Preparatory meeting EU-Azerbaijan Human Rights Subcommittee

Azerbaijan - EU:

NHC inputs to the Preparatory meeting EU-Azerbaijan Human Rights Subcommittee

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.

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