Tag: Palestine

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Articles & StatementsCommitteeWomen’s Rights

Statement on International Women’s Day

We demand an end to the killing of women, especially in Gaza, and to violence against women around the world. The main theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, which emphasises the importance of diversity and empowerment in all areas of society. This also emphasises the vital role of inclusion in achieving gender equality. A key pillar of the theme is the promotion of diversity in leadership and decision-making positions. Women, especially those belonging to underrepresented groups, continue to face barriers when seeking leadership or representation roles. As we mark International Women’s Day 2024, we reaffirm our commitment to building a world where all women are empowered, valued and included in decision-making. By working together to break down barriers and promote diversity, we can build a more equitable and inclusive society for future generations.

However, we regret to remind you that today there is another problem that is much more important than women’s participation in social life: Not being able to keep them alive. Sadly, on 7 October last year, many innocent women were killed in a terrorist attack on Israel by a group affiliated with HAMAS, which rules Gaza. In addition, HAMAS is still holding many hostages, including women. Israel responded to this attack with a very violent war. The Israeli army bombed many civilian centres, including hospitals, and unfortunately more than 9,000 innocent Palestinian women were killed in 5 months. What is more tragic is that the world, states and international organisations have failed to stop this ‘genocide’. ‘Humanity’ should not remain so helpless while women and children are being brutally killed! On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we once again make an urgent appeal to all responsible persons and authorities: Stop this massacre, this ‘genocide’ as soon as possible!

Afghanistan is in the third year of Taliban rule and women’s basic rights are being restricted day by day. Women summarise their situation as “We are alive but not living.” In 2023, the Taliban introduced new restrictions on women and girls. Some of these are as follows: Women and girls are banned from receiving education from the 6th grade onwards, and in some areas they are not allowed to attend any school after the age of 10. Women’s work in national and international NGOs was suspended. Beauty centres were closed and women were banned from using gyms. In addition, women who do not wear the headscarf, as demanded by the Taliban, are arrested. It is our responsibility to stand in solidarity with Afghan women and ensure that they regain their basic rights.

In Iran, a new veiling law came into force in 2023, imposing up to 10 years in prison for women who dress ‘indecently’. Tens of thousands of women have had their cars confiscated as punishment for defying this ban. Others have been prosecuted, sentenced to flogging or imprisonment, or faced other penalties such as fines or ‘attending moral classes’. Some have been threatened with death or sexual violence. We demand that the Iranian government respect the rights of women and girls and take immediate action to stop this persecution.

Turkey has not performed well on women’s rights in recent years and the situation has worsened since 2021. Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, which it signed in 2011, by presidential decree in March 2021. This encourages impunity for crimes against women. For example, 334 women were killed by men in 2022, rising to 438 last year. In addition, for the last 10 years the Turkish government has been using ‘anti-terrorism laws’, which are not compatible with the ECHR, to silence dissent in the country. According to official statistics, nearly 100,000 women have been prosecuted under these laws since 2015 and more than 50,000 of them have been arrested. Some of those still in detention have not been released, despite the ECtHR’s ‘violation of rights’ judgement in 2023. Prisons in Turkey are overcrowded and women prisoners are subjected to inhuman treatment, including sexual harassment, strip searches and psychological torture. Sick, pregnant, infant and elderly women continue to be held in prisons in violation of the law. The international community should press the Turkish government to ensure that women and girls from vulnerable populations are provided with the support and resources they need to rebuild their lives.

The ongoing Russian occupation and war in Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact on women. According to UN figures, 80 per cent of the approximately 8.5 million displaced Ukrainians are women and girls. These women are often the targets of violence and sexual abuse. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian women serve alongside men in the army. Women who are not on the front line are under mental and physical pressure to care for their families and rebuild their lives. We must do everything we can to support women in Ukraine and ensure that their voices are heard.

We should not forget the impact on women of the restrictions on immigration imposed by Western countries. Many women are forced to leave home and family behind in search of a better life, only to face discrimination and hardship in their new countries. We must call on governments to do more to support these women and provide the resources they need to thrive.

On the other hand, the digital divide is greater for women and they are victimised by new forms of online violence and harassment. It is crucial to ensure that these technologies incorporate a human rights-first approach and prioritise the protection of women and girls on their platforms.

In conclusion, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we have to remember that gender equality and women’s participation in decision-making and representation mechanisms is not a privilege but a fundamental human right. We must realise that we cannot achieve equality without eliminating gender-based violence. We must also recognise that no society can reach its full potential if half of its population is left behind.

On this day, we call on governments and other national and international organisations to take immediate action to address the many challenges and injustices faced by women around the world. Only then can we build a more just and equitable world for all.

 

nakba
EventsJustice CornerNext Events

You are invited to the Palestine rally on the 75th anniversary of NAKBA

We are waiting for all our volunteers for the march and rally organised by ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign’ for Free Palestine. May this year marks the 75th anniversary of the NAKBA, a process of ‘ethnic cleansing, colonisation and dispossession’ in which more than 750,000 Palestinians were expelled and more than 500 towns and villages were wiped off the map. The NAKBA is characterised not only as a historical event, but also as a process of oppression through ‘territorial colonisation, apartheid and military occupation’ that has continued for the last 75 years.

Human Rights Solidarity (HRS) supports the march and rally for a ‘Free Palestine’ organised by the ‘Palestine Solidarity Campaign’ and some human rights organisations. The Palestinian people need our solidarity more than ever. We invite all HRS volunteers to join us in this meaningful event.  

Date: Saturday, 13 May 2023
Time: 12.00 pm
Location: BBC, Portland Place W1A, London

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CommitteeExecutive CommitteeHuman Rights DefendersInstagramYoutube

Let’s send them an eid gift via video message

 

Many people have been wrongfully accused, imprisoned, or oppressed in many parts of the world. Let’s say hi to them.

Dear human rights volunteer,

As you know, there are people in many countries who are persecuted and whose rights have been violated. Many of them live in prison or are subjected to isolation. Some of these people are Muslims. We want to show them that they are not forgotten and make them feel that they are not alone during the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid that will be celebrated at the end. We also want to thank the Muslim rights defenders who see the violations of rights in various parts of the world, who do not want to remain silent about these violations, who stand up against these injustices with all their might, and we want to support them with our messages so that they can continue and know that we value their work.

We believe that it will be more meaningful and valuable to do this with the contributions of valuable people like you who are devoted to human rights. We ask you to shoot a short video message for one of the victims we have listed and send it to us.

We will share your messages on our charity website and social media accounts and deliver them to the victims and their relatives. Feeling that they are right and knowing that there is someone in some corner of the world who cares about them will be the best ‘Eid gift’ for them.

Thank you very much in advance for your support and contribution.

Points to be considered when shooting:

  •  Shooting vertically. It is important to shoot with the phone or recorder vertically.
  • If possible, place the phone or recorder in a fixed place.
  • Adjusting the frame to take the shot from the waist up.
  • The light should be in the front rather than the back, i.e. there should be no glass or windows in the back.
  • It is better to shoot in a quiet environment, and it is better to speak a little loudly.
  • The length of the video you will shoot can be between 20 seconds and 1 minute. 

***

PEOPLE TO WHOM YOU CAN VIDEO MESSAGE

  1. Hawagul Tewekkul: Uyghur. 50 years old, imprisoned at internment camps, reason not known.
  2. Tajigul Tahir: Uyghur. 60 years old, imprisoned at internment camps, sent to the camp because her son was suspected of having ‘strong religious leanings’ because he declined to drink or smoke.
  3. Rahile Omer: Uyghur. 15 years old girl, the youngest person detained – she was 15 at the time, imprisoned at internment camps, reason not known.
  4. Anihan Hamit: Uyghur. 73 years old, imprisoned at internment camps, reason not known.
  5. Tursun Kadir: Uyghur. 58 years old, imprisoned at internment camps, was jailed for 16 years and 11 months for ‘growing a beard under the influence of religious extremism’.
  6. Tursun Memetimin and Ashigul Tutghun: Uygur. Imprisoned at internment camps, reason: having listened to a banned lecture on someone else’s mobile phone six years earlier.
  7. Ahmadreza Djalali: An Iranian-Swedish researcher and lecturer who was arrested in Iran in 2016 and sentenced to death on charges of espionage.
  8. Narges Mohammadi: An Iranian human rights activist and journalist who was arrested in 2015 and sentenced to 16 years in prison for her work with the Centre for Human Rights Defenders.
  9. Raif Badawi: A jailed Saudi Arabian blogger and Ensaf Haidar who has been campaigning for her husband’s release and advocating for human rights in Saudi Arabia.
  10. Waleed Abu al-Khair: A Saudi Arabian human rights lawyer who was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for his work on human rights issues in Saudi Arabia.
  11. Amal Fathy: An Egyptian human rights defender and feminist who was arrested in 2018 and sentenced to two years in prison on charges of spreading false news and insulting the state.
  12. Nuriye Gülmen: A Turkish teacher and human rights defender who was arrested in 2017 and charged with membership in a terrorist organization.
  13. Semih Özakça: A Turkish teacher and human rights defender who was arrested in 2017 and charged with membership in a terrorist organization.
  14. Veli Acu: A Turkish human rights defender who was arrested in 2016 and charged with membership in a terrorist organization
  15. Hidayet Karaca: A Turkish media executive and businessman who was arrested in 2014 and charged with being a member of the Gülen movement.
  16. Ali Ünal: Turkey. Zaman news columnist.
  17. Ali Ahmet Böken: Turkey. Former TRT News Coordinator
  18. Mehmet Baransu: Kurdish journalist and author from
  19. Nellab Hotaki Talash: Female Judge fled Afghanistan.
  20. Sharjeel Imam: Indian activist languishes in jail for a speech.
  21. Umar Khalid: An Indian activist, arrested for exercising his right to free speech.
  22. Humaira Yusuf: Afghan human rights defender, arrested in Afghanistan.
  23. Khurram Parvez: Kashmiri rights activist, jailed by India.
  24. Haleema Saroor: For thirteen years I worked on various projects aimed at uplifting the situation of women in Helmand, Afghanistan.
  25. Sara Seerat: Afghan, lives in the UK. I am in charge of the Social and Cultural Institute of Women with a Mission, head the Association of Women Journalists, a Member of the Youth Parliament, and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Al-Biruni.
  26. Marzia Rustami: As the Manager of the Afghan Women’s Network in Kunduz, my work on women’s rights is multi-faceted but I focus a lot on the capacity building projects I conduct to empower women. Along with other human rights defenders in the area, I promote women’s rights and social justice, encourage women on political participation and engage in local government, and to work on key, decision making positions in the government and private organisations.
  27. Aqila Nawrozi: As a human rights defender, I have worked in various roles to support women in Daikundi. As a focal point of Afghan Women Network, I tried to lobby for improving the status of women in Daikundi coordinating with governmental and non-governmental organizations. I also worked as a deputy of Social Council, deputy of the Development Council Secretary of the Advisory Board of Neli, an Organisation that works with the Municipality.
  28. Zarqa Yaftali: Afghan, lives in the UK. I’m the Director of the Women and Children Legal Research Foundation. I have more than 12 years of experience working as a Women and Children’s Rights Defender and am also a member of various national civil society organisations and advocacy committees, including the Board of Women Defenders Regional Network, and Secretariat of the Civil Society Joint Task Force.
  29. Gul Makai Sultanzada: As a lawyer by profession, I have faced many challenges, including receiving written warnings from the Taliban and senior government officials because of my work on human rights. I fight battles with the Taliban almost every day and am known for resolving issues with them. I believe that 40% of human rights violations occur in Kandahar due to illiteracy and patriarchy.
  30. Zahra Karamat: I am one of the few activists in Herat who has travelled to the farthest corners of the province, trying to engage with women and men who are not enjoying even their basic human rights. It’s a struggle to fight injustices and discrimination, but do I hope that we do not encounter challenges significant enough to push us back, and to continue with the work, to uplift the situation of women in Afghanistan.
  31. Arzoo Nizam: I myself was a victim of several restrictions women in Afghanistan face when my family didn’t allow me to get a job. But today, in addition to being the Deputy Director of the Organization of Afghan Women Capacity and Knowledge, which works on women’s capacity building and elimination of violence against women, I’m also working as a defense attorney for the last ten years. I take special interest in individual cases, visit homes of women who are victims, speak to the men in their families and, at times with the help of the Directorate of Women’s Affairs, try to raise awareness on women’s rights and resolve disputes.
  32. Maria Raheen: Afghan. I am the director of the Journalism and Mass Communication Unit at Balkh University. I also head a non-governmental organization that works on human rights. For 20 years, as a women’s rights activist, I have pushed to address issues that prevent women from accessing their rights, not only in Balkh but also in other neighbouring provinces such as Samangan, Jowzjan and Faryab.
  33. Khawar Amiri: I am the Head of the Literacy Department of the Directorate of Education in Khost Province and have worked for many years as a mediator for women’s issues. As most women of Khost Province are illiterate, and some districts are yet to establish schools for girls, through the Literacy Department, I have conducted courses for women and girls above the age of 14 to enable their basic reading and writing skills. As a well-known human rights defender, I have worked in solving many of women’s issues through the Committee on Elimination of Violence against Women and tribal Jirgas (councils), with help of the police.
  34. Kainat Ahmad: Afghan, lives in the UK. On the day Malala was shot by the Taliban in 2012, Kainat was sitting next to her on the bus and was also wounded by the blow. The two are still good friends to this day after surviving the attack. Refusing to let fear stop her, Kainat now studies in the UK and hopes to become a doctor. She is a firm believer in the power of education and urges young girls to continue their mission to get one.
  35. Malala: Afghan, lives in the UK. She is currently one of the most powerful advocates for education in the world and has become the voice of the more than 60 million girls deprived of education worldwide.
  36. Manal al-Sharif: Saudi Arabia. She has campaigned for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia for many years. In opposition to the country’s restrictions on women drivers, she filmed herself driving a car and uploaded it to YouTube and Facebook. The video marked the beginning of what is now known as the “Women2Drive” campaign.
  37. Gulfisha Fatima: In prison, India. She is a student woman human rights Defender in India. She was actively involved in the women-led protest in Seelampur in North East Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). She works to raise awareness among local women about the CAA and is a strong voice for secular constitutional principles.
  38. Sharjeel Imam: In prison, India. He is a human rights defender and student at the Jawarhalal Nehru University in India. The defender has been a vocal critic of the Citizenship Amendment Act and has been in the forefront of the protests against the sectarian and divisive Act.
  39. Meeran Haider: He is a human rights defender and student at the Jamia Millia Islamia University. He is a a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee, which organized anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Delhi in December 2019. On June 26, 2020, several UN experts called for the release of ur-Rehman and other protestors, saying that their arrests seem “clearly designed to send a chilling message…that criticism of government policies will not be tolerated.”
  40. Shifa ur Rehman: He is a human rights defender and the President of the alumni association of Jamia Milia Islamia University. The defender has been a vocal critic of the Citizenship Amendment Act and has been in the forefront of the protests against the sectarian and divisive Act. On June 26, 2020, several UN experts called for the release of ur-Rehman and other protestors, saying that their arrests seem “clearly designed to send a chilling message… that criticism of government policies will not be tolerated.”
  41. Ghassan Halaika: He is a Palestinian field researcher and human rights defender. His phone was hacked with NSO group’s Pegasus software and later he was arrested by the occupation forces, declared a terrorist for defending the rights of Palestinian children.
  42. Ubai Al-Aboudi: Executive Director of Bisan Center for Research and Development and is a researcher in the field of socio-economic rights. He is also the editor-in-chief of Al-Taqadomi (the progressive) a pier reviewed journal on development in Arabic. Ubai has been arrested by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority on fabricated charges. He was subject to Pegasus spyware.
  43. Tawakkol Karman: A Yemeni journalist, was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize from the Arab world. Tawakkol is another amazing young woman who has persevered in the face of violence. She is known for her nonviolent work to secure the safety of women and her struggle for women’s rights in Yemen. During the beginnings of the Arab Spring, Tawakkol’s voice became a common sound over the loudspeaker in Yemen’s Change Square, where she urged Yemeni youth to stand up against human rights abuses. To many she is known as the “Mother of the Revolution.”
  44. Shirin Ebadi: Iran. She was one of the first female judges in Iran and is known for her efforts to promote the rights of women, children, and political prisoners in the country. Although she was dismissed from her Chief Justice status during the Islamic Revolution, she clawed her way back to a position that could defend the rights of others. She became a lawyer, opened her own private practice, and established a campaign demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iranian LAW.
  45. Hawa Abdi: This remarkable woman is known for running a hospital and refugee camp throughout Somalia’s long civil war, sheltering hundreds of thousands and saving many lives. When Islamic militants kidnapped her and ransacked her hospital, she managed to convince them to let her go and issue a written apology.
  46. Safia El-Aaddam: She has campaigned against institutional racism and has written a novel.
  47. Ayisha Siddhiqa: She is a Pakistani human rights and environmental advocate. She is the co-creator of the Fossil Free University and Polluters Out, which aims to educate climate acti̇vi̇sts.
  48. Hajer Sharief: She is a peace and human rights activist from Libya. She has promoted the participation of women and youth in peacebuilding efforts in her country.
  49. Chaimaa Boukharsa: She is a decolonial and feminist activist, with studies in Arabic and Islamic philology and cultural diversity. Boukharsa is also coordinator of the Afrocolectiva media outlet. It organizes various debates, podcasts, workshops and training on racism, migration, discrimination and feminist.
  50. Masih Alinejad: She is an Iranian activist and journalist. Currently, she lives in exile in the United
  51. Fatima Aatar: Morocco, lives in the USA. She is a Muslim feminist, political activist and anthropologist, the daughter of Moroccan
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EventsExecutive Committee

Justice Wall: Celebrating Human Rights

DATE: 10 December 2021

PLACE: Opposite of Number 10, Downing Street

COMMITTEE: Executive Committee

We celebrate our rights on the 10th of December every year on the occasion of the UN Human Rights Day. We demand justice for those who cannot speak up for themselves and whose voices are not heard. To make sure our voices are heard, we showed up opposite Downing Street with an 8m long banner wall and asked people to write their views on justice and current human rights violations around the world. We’ve seen people demanding justice for Uyghurs, Latin Americans, Palestine, Kurds, Turks, Libyans, Afghanis, Belarusian, women and transgenders. This project showed us the importance of true solidarity for human rights. We supported our Justice Wall with Instagram broadcasts at different times throughout the day.

Here are a volunteer’s words on their experience at the Justice Wall:

“ It was phenomenal, and one of my first interactive events (other than protests). I feel like us being in the frontier and socially interacting people in public and getting to see their reactions live was energetic and hyping!! It let us remember what we are doing, and what we can do. I truly believe it was a huge motivator as well as an amazing and inclusive project.”

And here is the speech HRS volunteer Asiye Betul made during the protest:

Dear friends,

Before we get started, I would like to celebrate our rights. Mine, yours and all of ours! Happy day human rights day to us!

We have united here today to observe and  celebrate the day of our rights, the day of  the rights that make us who we are and the rights that should be available for all of us. While doing so, we demand justice for those whose rights are being violated, those whose voices are being silenced. We remind you that we will not forget the rights that some have forgotten.

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, and has been celebrated every year since then.

But Dear friends,

How much have these rights been applied since then? Why can’t all humans reach those rights?

Isn’t it strange that some rights are still being violated while we’re sat here celebrating them? Isn’t it strange that there’s a genocide happening in front of our eyes in China? Isn’t it strange that we’re building walls, putting out immigration bills? That there are journalists arrested in Brazil and Turkey? Isn’t it so strange that our rights are still being violated, in this very day?!

As we stand here with our wall of Justice, we will ask for the long awaited justice! We will not only ask for ours, but everyone’s rights! And we will let this wall be proof, of all those whose rights are denied and forgotten.

Because rights are only human, when they apply to all of us.

Because we are only human, when we fight for rights.

Dear Friends!

Happy Human rights day!

Let us celebrate our rights! Let us fight for our rights!