The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Ms Reine Alapini-Gansou, has been informed of the sentence handed down on appeal against human rights defenders Yara Sallam, Sanaa Seif and 21 other co-accused on Sunday, 28 December 2014, in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The Special Rapporteur condemns the sentence which runs completely counter to the principles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter), and other regional and international instruments duly ratified by Egypt.
On the morning of 13 January 2015, Cairo International Airport stopped prominent women human rights defender Esraa Abdel-Fattah from embarking on a flight to Germany, and Ms. Abdel-Fattah was informed that this is a result of a travel ban issued against her by the security administration. Esraa Abdel-Fattah was not notified prior to this morning that there is a travel ban officially issued against her.
Women Human Rights Defenders, or WHRDs, around the world regularly face threats, violence and attacks on their children and families. A new UN initiative gives visibility and recognition to WHRDs’ work in an important step towards creating a safe environment to allow them to continue their legitimate work.
A death sentence was issued in June 2014, against Ms. Aminettou Mint El Moctar, president of the Association of Women-Headed Households (AFCF) in Nouakchott. This was not an act of the Mauritanian justice system, but a fatwa from Yadhih Ould Dahi, the leader of a radical Islamist movement, Ahbab Errassoul. This fatwa was relayed in many mosques in the country and in the media, which resulted in violent threats against Ms. Mint El Moctar. The judicial authorities refused to accept the complaint she tried to file against the religious leader. The pressure on Ms. Mint El Moctar remains very strong.
It has never been more imperative to take action toward ending gender-based violence and militarism. From the terrorism of the likes of ISIS and Boko Haram, to the threats of Western-led imperialism, down to personal lives marred by cultures of masculinist violence, women all over the world face insecurity owing to patriarchal and militaristic violence.
The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, MsReine Alapini-Gansou, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, MsFaith Pansy Tlakula, of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr.
Since the revolution erupted in Egypt in 2011, two main forces have been controlling the scene: the military junta and the Islamists. Tomorrow sees 7 Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) charged under the so-called 'Protest Law' appear in court. Fatma Emam, Egyptian feminist and member of WLUML’s Advisory Council, describes the situation from the ground.
On 13 September 2014, the Police Institute near Tora postponed the trial of the seven women human rights defenders until 11 October 2014. The decision to postpone was taken after the court heard the prosecution’s evidence. The defense attorneys requested the postponement in order to allow a technical expert to examine and determine the veracity of the video footage evidence presented during the session.
State Responsibility to Protect Human Rights Defenders
Sunila Abeysekera Commemoration, September 9th 2014
We as individual human rights activists, as well as the human rights community as a whole greatly miss Sunila today. As we struggle to grapple with myriads of contemporary challenges we miss her indomitable character, and energy. As we gather today to celebrate her life and work since she left us so suddenly – exactly an year ago, her memories still remain fresh in my mind. As I stated in my speech made in the first South Asian Sunila memorial lecture held in Dhaka organised last year by Sangat the South Asian Feminist, we will continue to remain in conversation with you Sunila.