We, the undersigned regional and international non-governmental organizations, write to express our grave concerns regarding the arbitrary arrest and mistreatment of 13 women human rights defenders at the Boeung Kak Lake (BKL) development site in Phnom Penh on May 22, 2012. We strongly condemn their prosecution on trumped-up charges and summary trial, just 48 hours later, resulting in their conviction and sentencing to lengthy prison terms.
Ahead of a court of appeal hearing on 28 May, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) Tunisia Monitoring Group (IFEX-TMG), a coalition of 21 IFEX members, urges the Tunisian judiciary to quash the seven-year prison terms handed down in late March to Ghazi Ben Mohamed Beji and Jaber Ben Abdallah Majri.
The following is a letter calling on the Bahrain Royal Family to release jailed human rights defenders and netizens, including the founder and president of IFEX member Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. The signing organisations further call on the UN Human Rights Council, the European Parliament, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and all concerned governments to exert their influence on the ruling family to stop violating human rights in Bahrain:
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (the IPGA), coordinated by ARTICLE 19, has launched its website www.AzerbaijanFreeXpression.org and Facebook and Twitter profiles ahead of this week’s Eurovision Song Competition, which will commence in Baku, Azerbaijan tomorrow, May 22. Looking behind the glitz of Eurovision, the IPGA website examines the alarming freedom of expression situation in Azerbaijan, where journalists and others face blackmail, intimidation, violence, and imprisonment for expressing critical views.
Lisa Davis, Freedom House's senior advisor for international legal affairs, submitted testimony for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission about strengthening US support for human rights defenders and civil society abroad on May 17, 2012.