- Category: Press Releases
- Published on 23 September 2013
A new index published today by the global civil society network, CIVICUS, shows that many governments around the world are failing to keep their promise to create an environment that allows citizens to mobilise and participate in civil society.
"Despite countless promises from governments that they will protect civil society, the majority of citizens around the world live in environments in which they do not have the capacity to participate freely and fully in the activities, organisations and movements that seek to better their lives and improve their societies," said Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, CIVICUS Secretary-General.
Evidence from around the world suggests that the conditions for civil society are far from perfect. The CIVICUS 'Enabling Environment Index' (EEI) is the first rigorous attempt to measure and compare the conditions that affect the potential of citizens to participate in civil society and ranks the governance, socio-cultural and socio-economic environments for civil society in 109 countries.
- Category: News
- Published on 20 September 2013
CIVICUS welcomes the release of prominent human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh and at least ten Iranian prisoners of conscience on 18 September 2013.
Arrested in September 2010, Nasrin was sentenced to 6 years in prison as a result of her work as a human rights lawyer and member of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders in Iran.
While the decision to release Narsin represents a welcome step in the right direction, CIVICUS urges the government to revoke the unwarranted ban preventing Nasrin from practising law and from leaving Iran for 20 years and further release all prisoners of conscience imprisoned as reprisal for their legitimate human rights work.
- Category: News
- Published on 19 September 2013
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, FORUM-ASIA, Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative would like to draw the attention of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has been under review by the UN Human Rights Council, since March 2013 for its government's egregious human rights abuses, both past and ongoing. The UN Secretary‐General's Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka, in its April 2011 report, found credible allegations associated with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both, the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. These abuses have been well documented and have twice been the cause of censure at the Council. In the latest development, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, in her observations at the end of her official mission to Sri Lanka between 25 and 31 August 2013, highlights several of our past and continuing concerns.
CIVICUS alliance examines the human right situations in Cote d’Ivoire, the DR Congo, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Qatar
- Category: CIVICUS at the UN - Geneva
- Published on 17 September 2013
CIVICUS makes interventions for the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which scrutinizes each country's human rights record every four years. In advance of the 19th session of the UPR, CIVICUS has made five joint submissions on threats to the freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Qatar. The submissions further highlight the need for an enabling operating environment for civil society and the need to protect human rights defenders.
In Cote d’Ivoire, CIVICUS, the West African Human Rights Defenders Network and the Ivorian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders examine the persistent harassment, intimidation and attacks against journalists and human rights defenders by the country’s military forces and armed militia groups.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, CIVICUS’ joint submission with the League for Human Rights in the Great Lakes Region gravely notes the lack of any discernible improvement in the treatment and safety of protestors, members of the media, and civil society activists since 2009.
In Ethiopia, CIVICUS, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and the Human Rights Council analyse the continued invocation of broad and imprecise legislation, including the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation and the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, to silence all forms of independent dissent.
In Nicaragua, CIVICUS and the Nicaraguan Network for Democracy and Local Development warn about the growing use of judicial, financial and administrative channels, by the Nicaraguan authorities, to restrict freedom of expression, independence of the media and access to information.
In Qatar, CIVICUS’ joint submission with the Gulf Center for Human Rights examines the criminalization of the creation of an independent civil society sector, severe limitations on freedom of association and to collective bargaining for unions, and strict controls domestic media outlets.
International CSOs call on Bangladeshi Prime Minister to immediately release advocate Adilur Rahman Khan
- Category: News
- Published on 12 September 2013
A group of international civil society organisations has called on the Bangladeshi Prime Minister to immediately release advocate Adilur Rahman Khan. In a joint letter to the Prime Minister they note Mr Khan’s extensive work with Odhikar, the organisation for which he is the Secretary, as well as his human rights work and campaigns against extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. Mr. Khan’s arrest and subsequent detention under the Information and Communication Technology Act 2006 appears to be aimed at intimidating and silencing critics of the Bangladeshi government.
Read the full letter here
CIVICUS comment on the report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order
- Category: CIVICUS at the UN - Geneva
- Published on 11 September 2013
Report of the Independent Expert on the promotion
of a democratic and equitable international order
Interactive Dialogue, 10 September 2013
We wish to comment on the report on 'promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.
CIVICUS welcomes your report Mr. de Zayas, in particular as you focus on participation. This comes at a time when in general it is recognized that participation of a free and vibrant civil society is a fundamental building block of democratic societies and a means to promoting economic and social development.
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