Human rights groups call for an end to the crackdown on human rights defenders and political activists as UPR begins

first_img Latest developments: The day before the UAE UPR session, a parody of judicial proceedings Yesterday, Sunday 27 January 2013, the Attorney General of the UAE, Salem Saeed Kubaish stated that “94 Emirati suspects have been referred to the Federal Supreme Court as part of the case relating to the organisation which sought to seize power in the country”. After more than 6 months without any judicial proceeding for some of the detainees, they are – the day before the UAE UPR session – accused of charges including “communicating with individuals and international and foreign entities and establishments based outside the State in order to distort the image of the State”, seeking “to disseminate these fabrications through the members of the organisation, the media and the social networking sites on the Internet” and “launch(ing), establish(ing) and r(unning) an organisation seeking to oppose the basic principles of the UAE system of governance and to seize power(Khaleej Times, WAM, “94 Emirati suspects referred to the Federal Supreme Court”, 27 January 2013, http://bit.ly/X4n4KB ”. These charges closely resemble accusations against human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, with a worrying emphasis on communication via social media and the internet with “establishments based outside the State”. The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, in 2011, stated: The Special Rapporteur remains concerned that legitimate online expression is being criminalized in contravention of States’ international human rights obligations, whether it is through the application of existing criminal laws to online expression, or through the creation of new laws specifically designed to criminalize expression on the Internet. Such laws are often justified on the basis of protecting an individual’s reputation, national security or countering terrorism, but in practice are used to censor content that the Government and other powerful entities do not like or agree with.([Frank LaRue, Special Rapporteur on promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression “Report to the General Assembly”, 16 May 2011, para 34)] April 28, 2021 Find out more Organisation News NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Discrimination against the Bedoon communityAlthough the UAE affirms that efforts to resolve the situation have been made since mid-2008, by facilitating the granting of a nationality other than Emirati nationality, in order to then apply for a residence permit in the UAE, this practice is counter-productive. One of the only countries who is willing to grant nationality to members of the Emirati Bedoon community are the Comoro Islands, after the impoverished island state received large sums of money from the UAE in 2009. However, once individuals take the necessary steps to adopt Comorian nationality, they are often threatened with deportation. Numerous Bedoon remain in retention, waiting for their supposed deportation to the Comoros. Receive email alerts to go further Attacks on Human Rights DefendersIn addition to the ongoing detentions of two prominent human rights lawyers, Dr Mohamed Al-Roken and Dr Al-Mansoori, Ahmed Mansoor, one of the UAE5 referred to above, has been subjected to physical assaults at least twice over the past nine months. These attacks are accompanied by a well-organized smear campaign launched against him, including statements by officials claiming that he is an Iranian spy in addition to innumerable threats against him on social networks. He is also unable to travel as the authorities refuse to return his passport.The use of travel bans, the stripping of nationalities and the disbanding of rights organizations are all methods used by the Emiratis authorities to silence the voices that are calling for reform and respect for public liberties.In November 2012, Federal Decree No.5/2012 on combating cyber crimes was adopted. This law poses a serious threat to the freedom of expression and assembly of peaceful activists as it provides a definition of online activities which could be used to limit the work of activists who use the internet to express their opinion. The law stipulates penalties of imprisonment on any person who may create or run an electronic site or any information technology means, to deride or to damage the reputation or the stature of the state or any of its institutions. Our organisations fear that the “fight against cyber-crimes” could be used as a pretext to repress freedom of expression and imprison activists, just as the “fight against terrorism” often has been.TortureTorture by members of the State Security forces remains a concern, with further allegations being documented as recently as September 2012, such as the cases of Ahmed Al-Suweidi, Abdulelah Al-Jadani and Musab Khalil Abood, which leading human rights organisations including the undersigned denounced. In addition, other individuals arrested in the current crackdown, including Dr Al-Roken’s son and son-in-law, have been tortured. United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa January 28, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Human rights groups call for an end to the crackdown on human rights defenders and political activists as UPR begins International community condemns the human rights violations committed by the UAE authoritiesOn 17 July 2012, as the second wave of arrests and detention of peaceful activists was just starting, OHCHR’s spokeperson Rupert Colville called the Emirati authorities “to guarantee that human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals and urge them to release those who have been detained for peaceful exercise of their fundamental human rights”. The dire human rights situation in the UAE has also been highlighted by a strong resolution(http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-T…) by the European Parliament, which condemned the situation, calling it as a “crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society activists”. It called for “the unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience and activists including human rights defenders and calls on the authorities of the United Arab Emirates to ensure that detainees deemed to have broken the law be brought before a judge, be charged with a crime and be provided with the legal assistance of their choosing.” The undersigned human rights organisations therefore urge the authorities to: 1.Release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience and activists including human rights defenderss or ensure that detainees deemed to have broken the law be brought before a judge, be charged with a crime and be provided with the legal assistance of their choosing.2.Halt all persecution of human rights defenders and those peacefully expressing their opinions, including On-Line activists. Immediately release and expunge the convictions of those convicted for expressing their opinion peacefully and Ensure that Federal Legal Decree No. 5 for 2012 on combating cyber crimes is in full conformity with relevant international norms namely the right to freedom of expression and association.3.Take all necessary measures to ensure that torture and ill-treatment ceases in all places of detention; that all cases of torture be investigate by impartial and independent authorities; and that torturers be held accountable for their crimes. 4.To ensure that all trials meet international fair trial standards, including the full independence of the judiciary, and that all those detained arbitrarily are released as quickly as possible. 5.To end to discrimination against the Bedoon community, including in the application of its nationality law. 6.Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders and activists in UAE are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. News Smear campaign launched by the Emirati authoritiesIt appears that ‘national security’ has been used as a pretext by the Emirati authorities to stifle dissent and repress all activists asking for democratic reforms and respect for human rights. The Emirati authorities have since launched a smear campaign against the detainees and their families using state-run media. The individuals are accused by local media, known to be close to the authorities, of being part of a local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and of attempting to create a military wing aimed at establishing an Islamic state in the United Arab Emirates. Families of a number of those detained have also had their bank accounts frozen, leading to understandable stress, beyond that created by the detention of their loved one.Although some of the detainees are members of Al-Islah (the Reform and Social Guidance Association), a non-violent political movement advocating for political reforms, the other detainees are jurists, law professors at university, lawyers and human rights defenders held solely due to their peaceful and legitimate human rights activities. . In addition to the 66 peaceful activists detained, other citizens were arrested arbitrarily by the Emirati security services, which brings the total number of people arbitrarily detained to 93, including 12 Egyptian nationals. RSF_en Follow the news on United Arab Emirates News Unfair trialsur organisations are concerned at the large number of unfair trials in the country, beyond the crackdown described above. Numerous individuals continue to be arbitrarily detained without charge, forced to make forced confessions, and in some cases convicted without receiving the minimum guarantees of a fair trial. RSF joins other NGOs in amicus brief in WhatsApp suit against NSO Group Help by sharing this information RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance Read in Arabic (بالعربية)Today, the human rights record of the United Arab Emirates will be reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council as the situation in the country continues to deteriorate. On this occasion, the undersigned organisations call on Human Rights Council member-states to urge the United Arab Emirates to put an end to the current crackdown against peaceful human rights defenders and political activists and to honour its commitments as a newly elected member of the Human Rights Council to “uphold(s) the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” (UN General Assembly resolution 50/251 para. 9). Ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression: detention, torture, smear campaign & attacks on peaceful activists The ‘UAE5’ and the beginning of the crackdown on freedom of expressionSince March 2011, a severe crackdown against human rights defenders, civil society activists and advocates of political reform has been carried out by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates. While the region was undergoing popular uprisings demanding greater civil and political rights, 132 Emiratis citizens signed a petition calling for the election of all the members of the Federal National Council and to give them legislative powers (demanding an elected parliament with legislative powers). Five individuals or the so called “UAE5”, including prominent human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, a member of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East advisory committee, were arrested and tried in this context. The “UAE 5” were held from April to November 2011. All of them were found guilty of “publicly insulting” the President of the UAE, following a fundamentally unfair trial. Only days after being condemned, their sentences were commuted by Emirati president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and were released, demonstrating the political nature of the trial. The ‘UAE 66 – arbitrary detention and torture of human rights defenders & peaceful political activistsA new wave of arrests began in March 2012 which reaches 66 individuals, composed of human rights defenders and peaceful political activists. Most of these individuals have been detained incommunicado for weeks before being allowed to contact their families; many were mistreated, and in some cases tortured; most have not had access to legal counsel or proper contact with their families, and all have had their detention repeatedly renewed without judicial review of the legality of their detention. Seventy seven of them remain in detention to date – with one individual, Mr Ahmed Abdulkhaleq, a member of the ‘UAE 5’ and Bedoon rights activist, having being expelled to Thailand on 16 June 2012. Moreover, all attempts to provide legal assistance to the detainees are undermined by the harassment and intimidation of their lawyers by the authorities. The lawyers of the ‘UAE5’, Dr Mohamed Al-Roken and Dr Al-Mansoori are now themselves detained as part of the group of 66 individuals mentioned above. Dr Al-Roken was arrested while trying to obtain information about family members who had been arrested. A number of foreign lawyers who attempted to offer legal assistance to the detainees were not allowed into the country. Signatory organisationsAlkarama FoundationAmnesty InternationalArab Network for Human Rights InformationCairo Institute for Human Rights StudiesGulf Center for Human RightsReporters Without Borders United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa June 8, 2021 Find out more News December 23, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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Nicky Lee Wingate

first_imgNicky “Nick” L. Wingate, 59, of Moores Hill passed away Saturday, December 28, 2019 at Mercy Health in Cincinnati.  Nick was born Thursday, July 7, 1960 in Dearborn County, the son of Leroy and Marcella (Ascherman) Wingate.  Nick was a machine operator for Rotek Inc. in Florence, Kentucky.  He enjoyed watching sports, being outdoors at campfires, spending time with family, going to concerts and was a member of United Steelworker Union.Nick is survived by his mother Marcella Wingate of Aurora; son Brandon (Jamie) Wingate of Moores Hill; sister Melody Deckard of Aurora; four grandchildren; nieces; Kristin Deckard and Heather McClanahan; close friends: Steve and Debbie Bruns of Moores Hill and Cindy and Larry Tyson of Moores Hill.  He was preceded in death by his father Leroy Wingate.A service celebrating his life will be held 11 AM Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Sibbett-Moore Funeral Home in Moores Hill with Pastor Steve Bruns officiating.  Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery.  Family and friends may gather to share and remember him 9-11 AM Saturday also at the funeral home.  Memorials may be given in honor of Nick to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  Sibbett-Moore Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements, 16717 Manchester Street, Box 156, Moores Hill, IN 47032, (812)744-3280.  You may go to www.sibbettmoore.com to leave an online condolence message for the family.last_img read more

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Gbinije pours in 23 points in SU loss at Pittsburgh

first_img Published on February 7, 2015 at 9:19 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+ PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh slid into a 2-3 zone with under 12 minutes left and the Syracuse offense stalled.Passing lanes to Rakeem Christmas in the post, which the Orange had bounced the ball through all game, were now occupied by a half-dozen active hands. Kaleb Joseph found the cracks but had two shots carom off the back rim. The top of the zone pressed up to take any and all space away from Trevor Cooney.But the defensive adjustment didn’t account for Michael Gbinije, who took a break from attacking the rim to hit a pair of 3s that forced Pitt back into a man-to-man. In all, Gbinije scored a game-high 23 points — shooting 9-of-15 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3 — and collected four steals in the Orange’s (15-8, 6-4 Atlantic Coast) 83-77 loss to Pittsburgh (16-8, 5-5) at the Petersen Events Center on Saturday.Gbinije also played 38 minutes and finished with four rebounds and three assists in Syracuse’s first game after announcing a self-imposed postseason ban on Wednesday.“They were really keying on Rak,” Gbinije said of what led to him exploiting the Panthers defense. “Using him in the pick and roll really freed up things for me and other players.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBefore shooting Pittsburgh out of its zone, Gbinije found success off the dribble in the first half.He hit a fadeaway jumper just inside the 17-minute mark and then followed with a pair of acrobatic plays before the under-16 media timeout. On the first, Gbinije drove into the paint, cupped the ball on his right hip and finished the play by banking a floater square off the backcourt and into the net.Then, after Cooney missed a wide-open layup on the break, Gbinije collected a rebound in traffic and drew a foul before laying in two. That gave Syracuse a 13-5 lead and initiated identical celebrations from Gbinije and Cooney, who both leaned back and clenched their fists in front of a portion of Pitt’s student section.“He’s been playing really well,” said Joseph. “He’s confident and shooting the ball at a really high level.”At the end of the game, after the Pittsburgh zone came and went and the Orange gradually lost its grip on the game, the ball rightfully found itself in Gbinije’s hands.Gbinije went coast-to-coast and glided in for a layup to cut the Panthers lead to 80-77 with 52 seconds left, but he wasn’t as successful on SU’s next possession. His 3-point attempt from the top of the key hit the back rim and bounced way into the air, and Pittsburgh’s win was all but sealed when Jamel Artis came down with the rebound.And as the Panthers student section roared around him, Gbinije sighed, placed his hands on top of his head and slowly walked down the court before the clock eventually ran out.Said SU head coach Jim Boeheim: “I thought that Mike had an unbelievable game.” Commentslast_img read more

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