“The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that Julian Assange is being arbitrarily and unlawfully detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom; and that he must be immediately released and compensated. More”
Today AI WEIWEI shuts down his exhibition in Copenhagen in protest at a new law that allows authorities to steal asylum seekers’ valuables as they enter Denmark. Meanwhile, those who couldn’t make it to his great exhibition in the Royal Academy of arts in London can now enjoy a full 360 visit of the show online – Julian Assange, for example, fellow political dissident and refugee still trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy not far after years of a really stinky legal deadlock, is grateful and has a little foreword to share (check how he says hello).
Electronic Frontier Foundation keeps a watch, and raises awareness (and action) about the individuals who have been drastically taken offline for having expressed themselves online. Numbers rising.
“We at the Tor Project have long said that Tor is a technology for free expression. Today, that view was endorsed by UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye in a new report on encryption and anonymity. The report, a close look at international law and its relation to technology, concludes that encryption and anonymity technologies are essential to the protection of human rights to privacy and freedom of expression and opinion”
Mais uma illustraçao, com exemplo Portugues, de como o mal enraiza-se nos sistemas de saude, atraves de conflitos de interesse, patentes industriais e acordos internationais oscuros, até ter consequencias dramaticas :
>> A governaçao cronica e o caso da Hepatite C, Julio Silvestre, Jornal Mapa (Abril Junho 15)
All the president’s psychologists
A new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists argues that the American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror.
>> Full document HERE
>> American Psychological Association bolstered CIA torture programme, report says – James Risen, NY Times, April 30 2015
>> First, Do harm, Justine Sharrock, Motherjones, July 14 2009
Find out about great Tactical Tech project for Holistic Security
“Human rights defenders, journalists, and activists continue to operate in a terrain fraught by ever-evolving risks to their physical and psychological integrity, along with those of their family, friends and associates.
The great proliferation of digital devices and information and communication technologies such as the internet, email, social networking tools, mobile and smartphone devices, has had a profound impact on the dimensions of these threats, both in broadening the kinds of surveillance and harassment to which HRDs can be subjected, and providing new and innovative ways for them to communicate, organise, take action and stay safe, both psychologically and physically.”
Whistleblowers have a human right to a Public Interest Defense, and hacktivists do too, writes Carey Shenkman, first amendment, human rights lawyer, in HuffingtonPost.
“The United States’ war on transparency is making it an outlier in the international community. Just this week, a high-level European human rights body “urged” the United States to allow NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to return home and be given a meaningful chance to defend himself.
International human rights law has been clear for decades: anyone engaged in exposing gross abuses through whistleblowing and publishing is entitled to protection. Yet, the Obama administration has waged war on transparency, prosecuting more people for disclosing information to the press than Richard Nixon and all other U.S. presidents combined.
Not a single one of those prosecuted has been allowed to argue that their actions served the public good. Chelsea Manning, the alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, exposed human rights abuses worldwide and opened an unprecedented window into global politics. Her disclosures are to this day cited regularly by the media and courts. Thomas Drake exposed massive NSA waste, while John Kiriakou exposed waterboarding later admitted to be torture in the recent Senate CIA Torture Report. The story of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of widespread NSA surveillance recently won an Oscar.
Whistleblowers cannot argue that their actions had positive effects, known as a “public interest defense.” The United States treats disclosures to the press as acts of spying — no matter what good they lead to. In response, European and international human rights bodies are urging the United States to adopt better protections for whistleblowers.
These protections should apply not only to insiders who blow the whistle, but also to other transparency advocates such as hacktivists. A public interest defense should have been available to Aaron Swartz, the Creative Commons creator and Reddit co-founder who tragically committed suicide following an overzealous government prosecution. His crime? Trying to make academic articles accessible to the public.
The defense could have helped Jeremy Hammond, who in 2013 was convicted for “computer trespass” and sentenced to 10 years for exposing that the private intelligence firm Stratfor spied on human rights activists. The Justice Department tried to cast Hammond as a cybercriminal. But Hammond’s supporters, which include human rights organizations and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, recognized that he was motivated to expose government and corporate surveillance.
In guaranteeing a fair trial for information disclosures, the United States lags behind other jurisdictions, including Canada, Denmark and Germany. Canada’s Security of Information Act offers a public interest defense, as does the Danish Criminal Code on disclosing state secrets. The defenses are not airtight, but they are better than nothing. For hacktivists, at least one German court has defended a digital sit-in as political speech, acknowledging that ‘hacker’ does not equal ‘cybercriminal.’
International norms support the human right to a public interest defense. The UN Human Rights Committee, interpreting the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the world’s farthest-reaching human rights treaty, noted that governments must take “extreme care” to ensure that laws relating to national security are not invoked “to suppress or withhold from the public information of legitimate public interest.”
Additionally, the Johannesburg Principles, adopted since 1995 by international legal experts, stipulate that “No person may be punished on national security grounds for disclosure of information if . . . the public interest in knowing the information outweighs the harm from disclosure.” This principle was reiterated in 2013 in the Tshwane Principles–agreed upon by UN experts, civil society and practitioners around the world. The Tshwane framework outlined in detail specific categories of disclosures, like corruption and human rights abuses, that should be protected.
Finally, the European Court of Human Rights, Europe’s high human rights court, has provided for whistleblower protection on numerous occasions. For instance, in Guja v. Moldova, the court protected as a matter of free speech a whistleblower’s right to disclose wrongdoing committed by a public prosecutor. In reaching its decision, the court weighed the perceived damage suffered by the public authorities against the public interest of the information revealed.
This week’s statements from the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe follow a tradition of long-standing norms which consistently support the right to a public interest defense in information disclosures. None of these norms depend on the defendant being a government whistleblower; they can certainly protect hacktivists as well.
The free flow of information is necessary for a democratic society, and this flow cannot be purely in the hands of government. This is why the rights to expression and a free and open press are among the most widely recognized rights on earth. When those exposing wrongdoing cannot even defend themselves in court, this is ultimately a failure of the rule of law. It means that even judges cannot challenge the basis for government secrecy, undermining the basic tenets of democratic society.”
Comité Médical pour les Exilés
“Les associations de l’Observatoire du Droit à la Santé des Étrangers ont le regret de vous faire part de l’expulsion imminente vers le Kosovo, par la préfecture du Doubs, de Monsieur B.
Il est enfermé au centre de rétention du Mesnil-Amelot depuis 10 jours avec sa femme. Au Kosovo, il ne pourra pas bénéficier de la prise en charge médicale que nécessite son état de santé. Ses jours seront en danger. Le ministère de la santé est alerté : il doit stopper cette expulsion.
Monsieur B n’est pas un cas isolé, depuis juin 2012 nos associations ont été informées de nombreuses situations similaires dont certaines ont conduit à l’expulsion. La mobilisation associative et citoyenne aura permis d’éviter que certaines de ces personnes ne soient renvoyées vers une mort certaine.”
La Cimade / Actualités
“Our aim is to contribute to the international Human Rights movement based on our research and professional experience in the health sciences. Health concerns are an important area in the HR-international mission that has, unfortunately, been neglected as primary focus by most of established HR NGOs. We have chosen to undertake this endeavour from an independent platform, as a new established organization independent from government or partisan-politic interests. We act upon the basis of the UN chart of human rights and the ethical norms of the World Medical Association. We seek no sponsoring from any institution. We are totally independent from government, and we will not receive any financial support from governmental or corporative entities.”