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Human Right Watch World Report 2019 is released

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World Report 2019 is Human Rights Watch’s 29th annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarizes key human rights issues in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events from late 2017 through November 2018.

In his keynote essay, “World’s Autocrats Face Rising Resistance,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth argues that while autocrats and rights abusers often captured headlines in 2018, rights defenders pushed back and gained strength in unexpected ways.

The 674-page book reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2018, usually in close partnership with human rights activists and groups in the country in question. It also reflects the work of our advocacy team, which monitors policy developments and strives to persuade governments and international institutions to curb abuses and promote human rights.

See the full version of the report at the following link. The report also addresses the events happened in Armenia.

For information on Armenia, please see the following link

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The Freedom House has released the Freedom in the World 2019 Report. It addresses the state of democracy in different countries around the globe and also touched upon the state of democracy in Armenia. The section on Armenia can be found at this link.

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Thailand should release refugee footballer

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“If I Go to Bahrain, I Will Be Tortured Again”

Former Bahraini national footballer Hakeem al-Araibi is languishing in a Thai prison in grave danger of being deported back to Bahrain. There he could face an unfair trial, imprisonment and even torture.

Since 2011, Hakeem has spoken out against torture and other rights abuses in Bahrain. In 2014 he fled Bahrain after being unjustly convicted of vandalizing a police station, a crime that took place while he was playing football in a televised game. He has since been granted refugee status in Australia and is playing for an Australian team. Last December he went to Thailand with his wife for their honeymoon, but at the Bangkok airport was detained after Bahrain authorities issued an illegitimate INTERPOL “red notice” for his arrest. Although the red notice has since been lifted, Hakeem remains in detention.

As a registered football player, Hakeem should be protected by the strengthened human rights policy of FIFA, football’s international governing body. So far FIFA has not taken action on Hakeem’s behalf. We want this to change.

Please join our call and urge Thai authorities to stay true to Hakeem’s refugee status and allow him to return to Australia. If he is deported to Bahrain he would be at grave risk of serious abuses.

We need your help! Take action.

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The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, published the report of her visit to Armenia carried out in September 2018. The report focuses on women’s rights, gender equality and domestic violence; the human rights of disadvantaged or vulnerable groups; and accountability for past human rights violations. For more information, visit the following link. The Armenian version of the report here.

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OSCE Parallel Conference 2018 highlights

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Representatives of the leading civil society organizations gathered at the Parallel Civil Society Conference (PC) in Milano on 5 December. Here are the highlights of the event: The opening session of the OSCE PC this year started with a moment of silence for our colleague Vitali Safarov, who was tragically murdered by neo-Nazi group members in his home town Tbilisi.We miss you Vitali!

During the sessions speakers reflected on what has been done during the Italian Chairmanship, raised their concerns and discussed priorities for the upcoming Slovakian Chairmanship. Rising security concerns in the OSCE Region, shrinking space for the civil society - both nationally and internationally, rise of authoritarian regimes and threats to democratic institutions, rule of law and freedom of media, as well as gender equality, and migration were among the major topics that were discussed by the CSO representatives.  

One more important aspect discussed during the event was a necessity of reframing narratives and using innovative communication tools to deliver human rights messages. 

This short video provides short overview of the conference: https://youtu.be/cZ_AWSc36rU: The PC also included a solidarity action for political prisoners, which included such actions as:

  • Update on the situation with political prisoners and the necessity of global diversified multilevel actions aimed at their release, which was accompanied by the video-presentation of some of the prominent political prisoners
  • Signing post cards to political prisoners by the conference participants,
  • Joint photo-sessions: global one, devoted to all political prisoners around the OSCE region, and one, related to the case of Azimjon Askarov.

Following the established tradition, the closing session ended with symbolic hand-over of the Civil Society Recommendations 2018 and the “Milano Declaration” to the distinguished panelists and remarks by the representatives of the OSCE participating states and the OSCE officials.

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