On 15 June 2022, the Human Rights Council held the interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights since, and human rights violations and abuses committed during, the period of the military takeover in the Sudan. ISHR delivered a joint statement on behalf of MENA Women Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Sudan Women Rights Action and Nora Center for Combating Sexual Violence, on the situation of women and human rights in Sudan to shed light on the struggle for equality, freedom and democracy.
There cannot be rule of law without free and empowered lawyers; this is true anywhere, including in the People’s Republic of China. Yet, five years after the 2015 ‘709 Crackdown’, Chinese weiquan (‘rights defence’) lawyers still face a range of restrictions and rights violations aimed at silencing their calls for justice and reform, and barring them from defending victims in court.
Disbarment, secret detention, disappearances, harassment of relatives, stigmatisation: persecution against human rights lawyers in China has changed in form but not in its scale or scope. UN human rights experts and a number of States have reiterated serious concerns and calls for the immediate release of jailed lawyers, but are met with blunt dismissal by a Government merely interested by its own version of ‘rule by law’.
To recognise what has now become known as ‘China Human Rights Lawyers Day’, ISHR releases a bilingual information flyer on the patterns of repression against Chinese human rights lawyers, and outlines action points for States to step up support to the lawyers’ community.
Lawyer Xie Yanyi, who himself was targeted during the crackdown, reminded us yesterday that ‘righteouness and conscience are invincible‘. These must also be the principles underpinning a stronger response by the international community to the plight of the foremost defenders of rule of law in China.
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Human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer must be released immediately and unconditionally, stated 19 human rights organisations. His detention is arbitrary, aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights work and is only putting his life and psychological well-being at serious risk.
Women journalists and protesters are doing a vital work to advance democracy and human rights in Sudan. They should be supported but instead, State police attacks and intimidates them. This must change!