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Tajikistan discussed at Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: NGO perspective

25 - 02 - 2015
Tajikistan discussed at Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: NGO perspective
The situation with regard to economic, social and cultural rights in Tajikistan has been discussed during the 54th session of the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights on February 24th and 25th in Geneva. The discussion was based on a report written by the State assessing their proper compliance with the norms in the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (link naar rapport: stuur ik in bijlage). In addition the Committee used information from international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

Appeal for release of environmental campaigner Yevgeni Vitishko

18 - 02 - 2015
The NHC joined an appeal questioning the imprisonment of environmental campaigner Yevgeni Vitishko, a member of the Russian NGO Environmental Watch North Caucasus. He has been imprisoned since February 2014, the month of the Sochi Olympics. His organization was active documenting and protesting the environmental effects of the Games.

Help Albanian juveniles!

13 - 02 - 2015
Help Albanian juveniles!
Currently, 16 juveniles live in horrendous conditions in the prison of Lezhe, Albania. They need a separate building with access to education, so they can improve their prospects for a successful future. The NHC wants to achieve this by refurbishing a current building. Your help, however, is needed for the realization of this project.

An Albanian Study of the Gender Perspective in the Criminal Justice System

9 - 02 - 2015
Like in many countries, women in conflict with the law in Albania are neglected as policies are drafted with only the male majority of offenders in mind, creating an urgent need for greater consideration of women's needs in criminal justice and penal policy. As part of her PhD thesis, Edlira Papavangjeli, Program Manager and Researcher at the Albanian Helsinki Committee, carried out research into the profile and needs of women prisoners in Albania. You can find a short summary of this thesis and the thesis itself (pdf version) below.

Study Visit Albania - the Netherlands

26 - 01 - 2015
Study Visit Albania - the Netherlands
From 26 January until 30 January, an Albanian delegation visits the Netherlands for a study visit in the framework of the Matra CoPROL project promoting a victim-centred approach in trafficking cases . Each day, participants of the study visit will write a blog for the NHC about their experiences. You can read here about their days in the Netherlands.

Hearings of Azerbaijan’s prisoners of conscience have started

22 - 01 - 2015
Hearings of Azerbaijan’s prisoners of conscience have started
The preliminary hearing in the case of Rasul Jafarov, a prominent human rights defender and a prisoner of conscience, was held in Baku on January 15, 2015. Journalists, diplomats and family members attended the hearing. Rasul Jafarov was brought to the Baku Court on Grave Crimes in handcuffs and was kept in a metal cage during the trial. While used in Azerbaijan, the European Court of Human Rights considers that such practice amounts to an inhumane and degrading treatment of the accused.

Sport for Rights Campaign Kicks Off

22 - 01 - 2015
Sport for Rights Campaign Kicks Off
As member of the international NGO coalition “Sport for Rights”, the NHC signed a joint statement to the president of the European Olympic Committee concerning the first European Games that are due to be held in Azerbaijan in June 2015. The NGO coalition is concerned that the Azerbaijani regime will use these events to try to whitewash its deteriorating human rights record, including its widening crackdown on civil society. In January, the Sports for Rights Coalition also sent a letter to Chancellor Merkel to urge her to use the opportunity of meeting president Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan to demand the immediate release of prominent human rights defenders. You can read both letters in this article.

Increasing Concern over Azerbaijani Human Rights Defenders

9 - 01 - 2015
The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is concerned about the further intensification of the Azerbaijani authorities’ campaign against human rights defenders towards the end of 2014. The trumped-up charges (related to alleged financial mismanagement) against Rasul Jafarov and Intigam Aliyev, two prominent defenders arrested in August, were widened (here and here), so they now could be convicted to up to 12 years. The start of their trials was announced for 15 and 16 January respectively; the NHC is working with other NGOs on arranging independent monitoring of their trials.

New Deadline of the Essay Contest on the Prevention of Torture

5 - 01 - 2015
The deadline of the essay contest on the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is postponed to 15 February. The contest is open for students and recent graduates across Europe, who have a chance to win €1000 by submitting a 2000-4000 words essay. The prize winner will be announced at a conference on the prevention of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Europe, which is being organized by the NHC in March 2015.

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