Women Human Rights Defenders

La lettre adressée au président a été publiée sur le quotidien  « Le Soir d’Algérie » : Monsieur le Président de la République, Une fois de plus, une fois de trop, des femmes travailleuses, habitant des quartiers déshérités à Hassi Messaoud, ont été sauvagement agressées sans que les services de sécurité leur aient porté le secours et l’assistance exigés par la Constitution et les lois de notre République, tout autant que par les Pactes internationaux ratifiés par l’Algérie.

En Algérie, lorsqu'une femme est violée, c'est "une pute". Lorsqu'elle porte plainte, c'est "une manipulée". C'est assurément le raisonnement de l'ambassade d'Algérie qui, une fois de plus, choisit le déni. Près de 200 personnes se rassemblaient ce 10 mai 2010 aux abords de l'ambassade, pour demander à Alger de protéger enfin les femmes de Hassi Messaoud, victimes depuis près de 10 ans de lynchages, de viols, d'agressions multiples.

UPDATE: Shiva Nazar's trial, due to take place on 23 May, has been postponed without a future date being set. In March 2010, Women’s human rights defender and WLUML council member, Shadi Sadr, took the extraordinary step of dedicating her International Women of Courage Award to Shiva Nazar Ahari, a young human rights activist and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), currently imprisoned in Iran for ‘acts against national security’. Sadr refrained from attending the award ceremony in the U.S. in the hope that her absence would draw the international community’s attention to Nazar Ahari’s dire situation, urging the audience in a speech recorded for the event that “any measures available to you [be taken] to help to free Shiva along with other human rights activists and journalists in Iranian prisons”. According to Nazar Ahari’s mother, she will be brought to trial at Revolutionary Court No. 26 on Sunday 23 May. The offences she is being accused of carry severe penalties. Please see attached our sample letter . You can follow this link (and scroll down) to watch a series of films in Farsi on Shiva by Iranian WHRD, filmmaker and WLUML ally, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh.

Religious women make change happen, whether it’s by seeking peace or inciting war. Strong beliefs can inspire social justice or block a woman's access to freedom or equality. Join the International Museum of Women as they explore the relationship between faith and politics in the lives of women around the world. 

On 10 March 2010, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Amnesty International, and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), in collaboration with the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD-IC), organised a side event entitled Cooperation with UN Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms: Challenges Faced by WHRDs and HRDs.

Today on a daily basis, personal memoirs of ongoing encounters of dictatorship and resistance in Iran are being written in print and in cyberspace by countless Iranian civil rights activists, scholars and women human rights defenders, writes Elahi Amani. In the process of finding a new transitional global identity, Iran state authorities have steadily continued in the use of legislative delays, reversal of legal means and arrests of dissidents, activists and journalists. Younger, as well as older, women human rights defenders, are now finding themselves victim to increasing intelligence policies of non-disclosure, intimidation and repression.

Alors que le Sous-comité « Droits de l’Homme et Démocratie » - Union Européenne - Tunisie va se réunir le 25 février 2010 à Tunis, l'Observatoire pour la protection des défenseurs des droits de l'Homme et le REMDH s’indignent contre la multiplication des mesures vexatoires et des actes d’intimidation à l'encontre des défenseurs des droits de l'Homme engagés en faveur d'élections libres et pluralistes. Plusieurs défenseurs des droits de l'Homme font en effet l'objet depuis début février 2010 d'entraves à la liberté de mouvement et de mesures vexatoires visant à les empêcher de soutenir la tenue d'élections libres et pluralistes et de promouvoir les valeurs démocratiques dans le pays.

The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) has lodged police reports against The Star managing editor P. Gunasegaran and Sisters in Islam (SIS) for questioning the syariah whipping against three Muslim women for engaging in illicit sex. Mais secretary Datuk Mohamed Khusrin Munawi said an article written by Gunasegaran had denigrated Islam and the Syariah law.

Respect Universality in Principle and Practice: Defend Women’s Human Rights: As women human rights defenders and members of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC), we note with grave concern the circumstances under which Gita Sahgal, a member of the WHRD IC Executive Committee and head of the Gender Unit of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (AI), was suspended on the same day that she publicly questioned the specific alliances entered into by AI in its advocacy to defend victims of torture in Guantanamo Bay.

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network expresses its solidarity with Gita Sahgal, a longstanding ally of the network who is active in various organisations, collectives, and movements committed to upholding universal human rights. As a feminist, anti-racist activist, filmmaker and researcher, Sahgal has devoted her career to exposing systematic discrimination and rights violations by state and non-state actors in Britain, South Asia and internationally. Much of this work has included rigorous research into transnational fundamentalist movements, and their intersections with human rights, especially those of women. In addition, Gita Sahgal is the Head of the Gender Unit at Amnesty International (AI).

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