State control

My birth at the end of July 1967 makes me a child of the naksa, or setback, as the Arab defeat during the June 1967 war with Israel is euphemistically known in Arabic. My parents' generation grew up high on the Arab nationalism that Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser brandished in the 1950s. But we "Children of the Naksa", hemmed in by humiliation, have spent so much of our lives uncomfortably stepping into pride's large, empty shoes.

Le 8 janvier 2011, la Branche 36 de la Cour d’Appel de Téhéran a condamné Shiva Nazarahari à quatre ans de prison et 74 coups de fouet, pour « subversion contre Dieu », « propagande contre le régime » et « trouble de l’ordre public ». Shiva Nazarahari est porte-parole du Committee of Human Rights Reporters –CHRR (Comité des Reporters pour les droits humains) et membre de la campagne Un Million de Signatures. Elle avait été libérée sous caution le 12 septembre 2010.

On 14 December 2010, human rights defenders Ms Tawakkol Karman, Ms Bushra Alsorabi and Mr Ali Hussain al-Dailami were physically assaulted during a peaceful protest in Sana'a, Yemen. 
Tawakkol Karman and Bushra Alsorabi are Chairperson and Executive Director respectively of Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), an organisation which campaigns for freedom of the press and other human rights in Yemen. Ali Hussain al-Dailami is the executive director of the Yemeni Organization for the Defence of Democratic Rights and Freedom.

Reza Khandan was released on January 17, 2011. Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested early this morning when he arrived to the Prosecutor’s office to comply with the summon he received last week. According to reports by the website Change for Equality, the charges against Reza Khandan remain unclear. According to the family members, even though the court set a $50 thousand USD bail for his release, the bail amount posted by Nasin Soutoudeh’s sister has not been accepted.

This week Iran's judicial authorities sentenced my friend Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, to 11 years in prison. Her case has attracted only modest attention in the West, but it is the latest example of Iran's unrelenting crackdown on dissent. It deserves greater notice. Nasrin belongs to a younger generation of Iranian human rights defenders who are being systematically bullied by the state into abandoning their work. The government has forced many into exile abroad, while meting out harsh prison sentences to others, like Nasrin, in order to intimidate the remaining few.

The court imprisoned Nasrin—and barred her from practicing law or leaving the country for 20 years—after finding her guilty of "acting against national security" and of "propaganda against the regime." Iran's government routinely levels these charges against lawyers, journalists, nongovernmental organization workers and others whose work it finds troublesome. Nasrin's only crime has been her passionate defense of Iran's most legally vulnerable citizens: juvenile offenders facing the death penalty, human rights campaigners, and prisoners of conscience.

Amnesty International dénonce les condamnations à des peines d'emprisonnement prononcées contre deux éminentes défenseures iraniennes des droits humains et exhorte les autorités à abandonner toutes les charges retenues contre elles. L'avocate spécialisée dans la défense des droits humains Nasrin Sotoudeh a été condamnée à 11 ans de prison, après avoir été reconnue coupable d'« agissements contre la sécurité nationale », de « propagande contre le régime » et d'appartenance au Centre de défense des droits humains (CDDH).

La justice iranienne a condamné l'avocate Nasrin Sotoudeh à 11 ans de prison pour son action en faveur des droits de l'Homme, allongeant la liste des personnalités lourdement condamnées après les troubles ayant suivi la réélection contestée du président Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mme Sotoudeh, arrêtée en septembre, a été condamnée à 11 ans de prison et à 20 ans d'interdiction d'exercer son métier d'avocate et de quitter l'Iran, a annoncé son mari, Reza Khandan, lundi à l'AFP. Elle a 20 jours pour faire appel.

Le réseau international de solidarité, Femmes sous lois musulmanes (WLUML) et la campagne "Violence is Not our Culture" (VNC), continuent à appeler à un procès juste pour deux femmes défenseurs des droits humains, membre de conseil de WLUML, Dr Isatou Touray, et Amie Bojang-Cissokho. 

Dr. Isatou Touray and Ms. Amie Bojang-Sissoho are, respectively, the Executive Director and Program Coordinator for the Gambia Committee for Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP), and have for many years been active in the promotion of gender equality, rights of women and children, particularly in the fight against female genital mutilation and other discriminatory practices. In May 2010, the Presidency set up a commission of investigation into the allegation that GAMCOTRAP had been mis-managing donor funds from an organization called Yolocamba Solidaridad.

Former Solicitor General Amie Bensouda has expressed dissatisfaction with the way, and manner the police investigated the GAMCOTRAP alleged theft case saying that the work of the police was the least satisfactory.  She told a court in Banjul that the police investigations were improper. Lawyer Bensouda argued that Gamcotrap is not a central bank licensed micro-credit organisation, and therefore not legally permitted to give-out micro-credit, as alleged by the state. But  the state witness maintains that he did not know that a central bank license is required for one to operate a micro-credit.

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