hrs-podcast- channel-spotiyf-open
Articles & StatementsExecutive Committee

Our podcast channel on Spotify is now open

Our podcasts, where we will announce human rights violations and developments in the world and publish important interviews, have started. Human Rights Solidarity (HRS), global human rights bulletins deliver concise and informative updates on human rights issues from around the world.

In each episode, we shed light on the violations of human rights and freedoms throughout the world, and we endeavour to convey the most up-to-date developments. We also plan to make interviews with experts, activists, and individuals at the forefront of human rights advocacy.

Our aim is to raise awareness, inspire action, and empower listeners to make a positive impact in the field of human rights.

Tune in to stay informed and engaged with the ongoing fight for human rights.

strasbourg-meeting-justice-letter-council-europe-ecthr
Council to EuropeEventsHuman Rights Defenders

2nd Strasbourg meeting for justice: Letter to the Council of Europe and the ECtHR

 

We came together for the second time in Strasbourg to reiterate our call for justice against rights violations in Turkey. Nearly 3 thousand people who have been subjected to rights violations in Turkey met in Strasburg, France, where the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe are located, and demanded urgent justice.

The second ‘Strasbourg Justice Meeting’ and ‘justice march’, the first of which was organised last year, was held today. The march protested against the silence of European political structures and legal institutions in the face of rights violation applications from Turkey.

Organised by a number of European human rights organisations including Human Rights Solidarity, the demonstration included a concert and various theatrical performances. Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party in the UK, also made a speech on the stage, supporting the protesters and criticising the ECHR for delaying its decisions. Famous NBA player and activist Enes Kanter and Norwegian theologian Dag Aakre took the stage and expressed their demands for justice.

Approximately 3 thousand people who left Turkey due to severe human rights violations they suffered in Turkey for about 10 years gathered on All de la Robertsau Street, where the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Council of Europe are located. Wearing yellow t-shirts and carrying yellow balloons and banners, the crowd expressed their demands for justice in front of the Council of Europe and the ECHR buildings after 12.00 pm. “Justice delayed is not justice! Victims are here, where is the court?” they chanted. Since no one from the Council of Europe greeted them, the victims left a letter with their demands at the door. The group then continued their march and stopped in front of the ECHR to present their letters to the officials of the institution.

LETTER TO THREE IMPORTANT EUROPEAN NAMES

Yasemin Aydın and Rumi Unal, representatives of the Peacefull Actions Platform, which represents hundreds of thousands of people whose rights have been violated, presented a letter addressed to three names holding important positions in European institutions. During the presentation of the letter, a theatrical performance was staged criticising the ECHR for issuing its judgements too late. A prison cell on wheels representing people who have been imprisoned for years also took place during the march.

The letter read as follows:

“Inhumane practices against all opposition groups in the country continue unabated. These widespread and systematic violations have been characterised as ‘crimes against humanity’ by the relevant UN bodies. Once again, no progress has been made on the more than three thousand educational institutions, thousands of legal associations and at least $32 billion in private assets confiscated after 15 July. Tens of thousands of women, the elderly, the sick and hundreds of babies under the age of six are still being held in prisons for political reasons. Dozens of people continue to be arrested on hollow charges on an almost daily basis. The hope of thousands of people systematically subjected to gross human rights violations is that the Council of Europe and the ECtHR, which have the authority to take binding decisions on Turkey, will enforce the law. It is essential that these institutions take their legal position on these acts of crimes against humanity without further delay and fulfil their obligations immediately. We are grateful for some of the judgements of the ECtHR during this time, which have been a breath of fresh air for the victims of political repression. However, we expect the Court, as soon as possible, to stop ignoring the fact that more than half a million people are being persecuted simply for exercising their fundamental rights, such as subscribing to a newspaper, having a bank account or sending their children to legally operating schools, joining a religious chat group or using a mobile communication app.”

INJUSTICES HIGHLIGHTED

As in the previous year, this year, as well as foreign guests, people who have been subjected to rights violations in Turkey and their families made speeches at the Justice Gathering. Melek Cetinkaya, mother of Taha Furkan Cetinkaya, a military student who was released after 6 years in prison, lawyer Elif Buyukozturk, teacher Halit Tonbul, teacher Gonca Kara who lost her two children Gulsum and Mustafa in the Aegean Sea, academic Salih Hosoglu, Nesrin Kisi, wife of torture victim Zabit Kisi, were among the speakers.

proposed-amendments-european-commission-report-turkey
European ParliamentExecutive CommitteeReports

We proposed some important amendments to the EP’s Turkiye report

 

We are delightful to share our amendment proposals to European Parliament draft report on the 2022 Commission Report on Turkiye. We would like to share our amendment proposals to your comprehensive and well-designed draft report on the 2022 Commission Report on Turkiye {2022/2205(INI)}. We hope to make contribution to the work of the European Parliament which makes invaluable contributions to the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

aegean boat
Articles & StatementsImmigration Committee

Boat disaster in the Aegean Sea: Nearly 100 migrants lost their lives

Migrant-filled boat, heading to Italy from the shores of Libya, sank on Wednesday off the coast of Pylos in Greece. Once again, the Aegean Sea witnessed a major humanitarian tragedy. A migrant-filled boat, heading to Italy from the shores of Libya, sank on Wednesday off the coast of Pylos in southwestern Greece.

As of Friday, 78 bodies have been recovered from the sea, and 104 people have been rescued. Hundreds of people are still missing. The survivors were taken to the city of Kalamata and most of them are receiving treatment in hospitals.

It is estimated that around 100 children and a total of 750 people, mostly in their twenties and male, were on board the boat. News sources indicate that the migrants were mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, and Palestine. Greece declared three days of mourning following the tragedy.

The easiest and at the same time most painful thing is to cry and mourn for innocent people after their deaths. So, who is responsible for so many deaths? In one word, all of us! However, the main reason for this tragedy is the failure of European countries to build safe passage routes. Or it is the unsafety and impossibility of the existing routes.

With the current conditions and the technological capabilities possessed by governments, these people should never have put their lives at risk in this way. People fleeing from war, torture, and persecution should be able to reach a safe place for themselves and their families without endangering their lives.

The United Kingdom, like other European countries, should learn from this incident and abandon hate speech and divisive policies.

Greek television announced that 9 people, including Egyptians, were detained on charges of “human trafficking” related to the incident. According to allegations, the boat departed from Egypt empty of passengers and picked up migrants in the port of Tobruk in Libya with the intention of heading to Italy.

The disaster occurred after the captain and crew abandoned the boat, which had a malfunctioning engine, on a dinghy. Greek authorities established contact with those on board. The individuals on the boat stated that they did not need anything other than water and food and that they wanted to proceed to Italy. However, the boat capsized and sank at 02:04 local time.

The Pylos Prosecutor’s Office initiated an investigation into the accident, and initial findings indicate that the boat was overcrowded beyond its capacity and that the migrants were piled up on the deck.”

sexual-exploitation-trafficking-ukrainian-women
Council to EuropeEuropean ParliamentReportsUnited NationsWomen’s Rights

HRS report on ‘Sexual exploitation and trafficking of Ukrainian women’

Our report on Ukraine has been submitted to PACE, the UN Special Rapporteur and the FEMM Committee of European Parliament. We are pleased to submit a brief report on “sexual exploitation and trafficking of Ukrainian women” to esteemed FEMM Committee of the European Parliament, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the PACE and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls.

This report sheds light on the alarming issue of sexual exploitation faced by women in the context of ongoing conflict in Ukraine. It aims to highlight the gravity of the situation, bring attention to the plight of the victims, and advocate for urgent action to address this pressing issue.

By submitting this report, we sincerely hope to draw the attention of relevant authorities to the urgent need for intervention and assistance in addressing this gross violation of women’s rights. It is our firm belief that concerted efforts from the international community can help prevent further atrocities and alleviate the suffering of the affected women.

We kindly request attention and consideration of this report in the upcoming work of all relevant international authorities.

You can read our detailed report in the section below:

 

march-for-human-rights-refugees
EventsImmigration CommitteeNext Events

Join us for a march for human rights and refugees

We look forward to welcoming you to the march for refugee rights on 24 June with our partner United Bridges. Join us for an empowering march along the Thames Path, advocating for human and refugee rights on the 24th of June 2023 in London during Refugee Week.

The march begins at 10 am at the Peace Pagoda, a symbol of peace and harmony in Battersea Park.

We have a limited space for 40 participants, so don’t forget to register for this transformative march as we strive for a world where every individual’s rights are respected. Together, we can make a difference.

For more information about the march, please click here: https://refugeeweek.org.uk/event/march-for-human-rights/

If you want to participate in the march, click here to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/march-for-human-rights-tickets-654034584047 

international-migration-cartoon-competition-time-to-help-hrs
EventsImmigration CommitteeProjects

‘Humanity Cartoons’ competition was finalised

The ‘2nd International Migration Cartoons Competition’ organised by Time to Help UK, one of our solution partners, has been concluded. The first 6 works that ranked in the competition with cash prizes were announced on the website named ‘Humanity Cartoons’ (www.humanitycartoons.com). The website also featured the top 20 winning works.

The owners and countries of the first 6 cartoons selected by the jury consisting of Kianoush Ramezani, Christina Sifianou, Fawzy Morsy, Safaa Odah are as follows: Gustavo Fernando Caballero Talavera (Mexico), Ali Miraee (Iran), Vladimir Pavlik (Slovakia), Luc Descheemaeker (Belgium), Hamit Gış (Turkey), Alireza Pakdel (Iran). A total of USD 3,300 will be awarded to these artists.

In addition to the winning cartoons, 100 works that passed the first evaluation stage are planned to be exhibited in the UK and other European countries. Starting on 20 June, the Refugees Week will be organised in two different ways: ‘travelling’ or ‘fixed’ exhibitions. Fixed exhibitions will be held in halls or galleries, while travelling exhibitions will be carried out by volunteers in the streets and squares of some big cities.

The competition, which was organised to draw attention to the ‘refugee problem’, which is among the most important agendas of the world, started on 1 March 2023 and ended on 15 May. During this period, 768 professional or amateur artists from many countries sent a total of 1,278 cartoons. Of the works drawn by the artists, 674 were found to meet the announced criteria of the competition. The 100 works presented to the selection of famous cartoonists were determined by a committee of experts.

The first one was organised by Kimse Yok Mu Association

The first edition of this contest was organised in 2016 by Kimse Yok Mu Association, a humanitarian aid organisation based in Turkey. Nearly 1,200 artworks from different countries participated in the contest, with Cuban cartoonist Hernandez Guerrero coming first, Constatin Pavel from Romania coming second and Italian Alessandro Gatto coming third. The 120 selected cartoons were to be exhibited in Athens, Berlin, Cologne, Brussels, Cologne, Brussels and Paris. The first exhibition was opened in Athens, but the plan was left unfinished as Kimse Yok Mu Association was unlawfully shut down after the coup attempt on 15 July 2016. The managers and employees of the association that organised the competition became refugees.

HRS, together with Time to Help UK, one of the partner organisations of Kimse Yok Mu Association in Europe, set out to complete the unfinished plan. Stating that they want to benefit from the power of the art of cartooning and at the same time support those working in this field, the organisation delegation explains their aim as follows: “We want to shed light on migration issues in general, the problems in the asylum and refugee integration systems of Western societies and contribute to a better understanding of the problems faced by migrant communities.”

Yusuf Kar: People leave their homeland to survive

Yusuf Kar, General Manager of Time to Help UK, stated that they see it as a historical responsibility and debt to continue such a meaningful project in an environment where the world is discussing asylum seekers. Reminding that nearly 100 million people have been displaced against their will, Kar said: “As an organisation that provides humanitarian aid to African and Asian countries, we are well aware of the conditions that lead to forced migration. As a last resort, people leave the land of their birth in order to sustain their lives. However, they are not welcomed in the countries they take refuge in for different reasons.” Emphasising that the problem carries the danger of growing even more, Kar said, “For a solution, the problem must first be recognised. We believe that the competition we organised will serve this purpose.”

Pointing out that they plan to exhibit 100 cartoons selected among the works participating in the competition in different centres of the world, Yusuf Kar said that they expect support from all institutions and groups that are sensitive to the issue. Reminding that they can share materials and ideas with those who want to open an exhibition, Kar asked those who are interested to contact them.

Hamza Mazlum: The most important problems are legal and administrative

Hamza Mazlum, Executive Director of Human Rights Solidarity, stated that ‘forced migration and refugees’ is one of the issues they focus on. Noting that hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers around the world are facing great problems, Mazlum reminded that international law has sufficient infrastructure to protect refugees and asylum seekers. Stating that the 1951 Geneva Convention and many other international texts and judicial decisions have clear and unambiguous provisions on the subject, Mazlum made the following assessment:

“However, in practice, states can ignore these rules and take very serious actions against the law. I think that since the interests of governments do not coincide with the rights of asylum seekers, the issue has completely turned into a struggle between civil society and states. In order to find a solution, the international community needs to defend the rights of asylum seekers as a whole. We are working with international organisations to overcome these problems, but the issue should also be well understood by civil society. I believe that the exhibition of the works of the cartoon contest in different centres will create an important awareness on this issue.”

Mazlum invited all organisations working in the field of human rights to establish a partnership to organise an exhibition for ‘Humanity Cartoons’. While emphasising that they can provide all kinds of support in this regard, he said that they are also open to making a joint programme.

 

HRS accredited to European Parliament
European ParliamentExecutive Committee

HRS accredited to European Parliament

Human Rights Solidariy’s (HRS) accreditation application to the European Parliament (EP) was accepted after an assessment by the organisation’s units. One of the good news this month came from the European Parliament (EP). The accreditation request made by HRS in May was granted by the EP authorities. HRS management appointed Burak Keskin, a young lawyer from Belgium, as its representative to the EP.

With this appointment, we aim to make valuable contributions to the European legislative power on human rights issues. Mr Keskin will both follow the developments in the EP and work on HRS’s demands and reports.

If you have a project or issue that you would like to be raised at the EP, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Community Fund provides grant for our project on refugees
EducationProjects

Community Fund provides grant for our project on refugees

The Community Foundation has recently accepted to grant our new project titled ‘Supporting Refugees and Migrants through Human Rights Workshops’. We are thrilled to announce that the Community Foundation has recently approved a grant to support our project titled “Supporting Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Migrants through Human Rights Workshops.”

The project’s primary objective is to provide human rights workshops to refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. The workshops will be delivered by human rights experts and will cover topics such as:
·      An overview of human rights laws and conventions
·      Discrimination and how to combat it
·      Accessing healthcare, education, and employment
·      Understanding and navigating the legal system
·      How to advocate for your rights

The workshops will be delivered over a period of 10 months starting June 2023. Each workshop will last for two hours and will be delivered by Human rights experts.

The project will also include a series of social events, including cultural activities and networking opportunities, which will enable participants to build relationships with other refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants and reduce their social isolation.

The grant from Community Foundation will play a pivotal role in supporting the successful execution of this project. The funds will be utilized to secure experienced trainers and facilitators who specialize in human rights, migration issues, and community integration. Additionally, the grant will cover the costs associated with workshop materials, venue rentals, interpretation services, and other necessary resources. This support will ensure that the workshops are accessible, informative, and impactful for the participants.

We extend our sincere appreciation to all our donors and supporters whose contributions have made this grant possible. Your generosity and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others is truly inspiring. Together, we are creating a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and build a brighter future.

We invite you to stay connected with the progress of this project and other initiatives of HRS. Follow our social media channels and visit our website for updates, success stories, and opportunities to get involved.

Together, let us continue to work towards a more inclusive and just society.

palestine-nakba
EventsYAct Committee

The Nakba is not a memory; it is a continuous uprooting

HRS Youth Committee members supported the “Freedom for Palestinian people” march organised in London on the 75th anniversary of NAKBA.

ASIYE BETUL

Saturday May 13th saw dozens of protests take place across the UK, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba. 10,000 people were marching in central London showing their stance against the illegal and inhumane oppression and displacement of Palestinians. People of all ages marched together from the BBC Portland Place building to Parliament square, as proof that the younger generation will not forget and forgive the 75 years of humanity crimes and injustices.

 The Nakba, is a period of ethnic cleansing, colonialism, and dispossession that started with the establishment of Israel in 1948. It resulted in the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians and the disappearance of more than 500 towns and villages off the map.

Nakba, meaning calamity and catastrophe, signalling the destructiveness of the date, was remembered by Palestinians and thousands of people on its 75th anniversary.

Last Saturday, my friends from Human Rights Solidarity and I joined the march and showed our solidarity with the Palestinian people. Alongside protesters, we chanted calling for the end of the apartheid and occupation, and claimed that Palestine will be free ‘from the river to the sea’.

 We were reminded of Mahmoud Darwish’s words ‘The Nakba is not a memory; it is a continuous uprooting’.

 Nakba is the present. Nakba is now the Nakba, with all the significance that using the word in Arabic entails, rather than just another disaster like so many others. It is an act of resistance against the ongoing displacement of Palestinians, and proof of the existence and validity of the Palestinian territory and its people. History, more than ever, serves as resistance and the reminder of the catastrophe brought with the formation of a nation.

 End Apartheid. Free Palestine.