Tag Archives: Human Rights

STOP THE ABUSE. PROTECTION & CARE FOR ASSANGE

 Many facts about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks were distorted, omitted, made up, or amounted to smearing, during the organization’s numerous releases campaigns, and in the legal cases their founder was involved in over the years. 
Recently, various outlets published private photographic and video materials from inside the embassy, sneaky peaks at Assange’s life inside which ought to be denounced as cruel voyeurism, not news.         
        
Indeed, M.D. Sondra S. Crosby, the doctor who examined Assange several times during his political asylum in the embassy stated, in a letter to  the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, that «the synergestic and cumulative severity of the pain and suffering inflicted on Mr. Assange—both physical and psychological—is in violation of the 1984 Convention Against Torture, Article 1 and Article 16. ». She believes « the psychological, physical, and social sequelae will be long lasting and severe ». Doctor Sean Love, who also examined Assange, concurs. He wrote last year that « Assange’s detention continues to cause a precipitous deterioration in his overall condition and amounts to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment». The First in-depth assessments of the psychological and physical effects that the severely restrictive conditions of confinement within the Embassy have had on Assange date back from 2015. So yes, watching pale prisoner Assange skateboard after hours, trying to stay fit inside the walls of his arbitrary detention is cruel voyeurism, it is not newsworthy at all. Worse even, it comes in the context of a criminal extortion scheme, where possessors of the materials tried to extort millions from Assange. This was revealed in a press conference by WikiLeaks and is the subject of a police investigation in Spain.         
        
Not only did Julian Assange suffer greatly from confinement and intense stress during his political asylum, his privacy inside the embassy was not respected. His alone time, as well as visits and interviews with friends, family, and even lawyers and doctors, were spied upon and recorded.         
        
This privacy breach – and following that breach, the publication of private materials by media – appears to be the continuation by other means of the abuse of an already vulnerable and weakened person, a political refugee what’s more, and a serious matter. Not only a matter of privacy, also a matter of « attorney-client confidentiality, a matter of journalistic freedom and protection of sources », as noted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy, who is investigating the case and visited Assange in Belmarsh prison.
        
As for the « arbitrary detention » of Julian Assange, it is also a matter that was investigated by the UN, may we recall once more, it is not a figure of speech. It is the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that Julian Assange’s years inside the embassy were indeed years of arbitrary detention, as they carefully deliberated in 2015-16 : 
        
«The Working Group considered that Mr. Assange has been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty: initial detention in Wandsworth prison which was followed by house arrest and his confinement at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Having concluded that there was a continuous deprivation of liberty, the Working Group also found that the detention was arbitrary because he was held in isolation during the first stage of detention and because of the lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr. Assange. The Working Group found that this detention is in violation of Articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 7, 9(1), 9(3), 9(4), 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and falls within category III as defined in its Methods of Work. »7
        
In passing, we note that the observed «Lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr. Assange» has not been much reported on since Julian Assange exerted his right to political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy. One could argue such “lack of diligence” did not serve well any of the parties involved, neither the women nor Assange, but the states involved, who cared more about neutralizing Assange than they did about justice. For clarification and reflection about the alleged rape and molestation case involving Assange and two women in Sweden in 2010, there are good reads, such as the works of Stefania Maurizi, John Pilger, and more recently Jim Kavanagh
        
Now Julian Assange’s fear of a sealed indictment in the USA and of an extradition request from the US has been confirmed, in the hours after he was handed over by Lenin Moreno’s Ecuador to the UK Metropolitan Police that gloomy morning of April 2019. He faces years in a maximum security jail, unfair trial, further cruel treatments, or death. 
It is urgent to fight for his rights, his life, and with him and WikiLeaks for the freedom of the press. Ultimately, for the rights of everyone to live in a hospitable world, where compassion, altruism, courage are key, knowledge circulates in the hands of the people, powers are held in check, and history is no more a story written only by the “winners”.
Because that is what Julian Assange and WikiLeaks stand for, what their work has done, enabled, inspired, what we should be grateful for and fight to protect.
UK and everyone must resist !
NO US EXTRADITION FOR ASSANGE, EVER, FROM ANYWHERE
JULIAN ASSANGE MUST BE PROTECTED AND GET THE CARE HE NEEDS         
    
Much strength and continued courage to Julian Assange
Stay strong !
We are standing with you
freeAnoUSxtrad

“The most important thing” Free Ola Bini

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On the same day Julian Assange was handed over by Ecuador and arrested by UK Police at the embassy, April 11th, the Police in Ecuador arrested Ola Bini, a Swedish free software developer and  privacy advocate who had been living there for the last years. His arrest and detention since have in many ways been unlawful. There are no solid grounds for Ola’s ongoing detention other than what looks like Orwellian Thoughtcrime (they found books !),  ignorance and misunderstanding around Ola Bini’s field of research, or guilt by association (Ola Bini visited Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London).

Activists, intellectuals, software developers, wrote a letter to Swedish PM expressing their concerns and asking Sweden to step up.

From his detention, Ola Bini wrote a letter, The Most Important Thing, where, quoting Aaron Swartz, he shares his thoughts on the most important thing he could devote his life to – and invites us to ask ourselves again : What is the most important thing you could do? Are you doing that? If not, why not?

Stay informed, spread the word, support  FREE OLA BINI <3

 

 

PROTECT ASSANGE !

JULIAN

Julian Assange was arrested today by UK police inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had a been a political refugee since 2012.

He did not “walk out”. In fact, he was carried out by Police.

Ecuador terminated his asylum right in violation of international law.

Let’s fight for Julian Assange’s rights, his life, and with him and Wikileaks for the freedom of the press, and ultimately, for the rights of everyone to live in a hospitable world, where compassion, altruism, courage are key, knowledge circulates in the hands of the people, powers are held in check, and history is no more a story written only by the “winners”.

Because that is what Julian Assange and Wikileaks stand for, what their work has done/enabled/inspired, what we should be grateful for and fight to protect.

UK and everyone must resist !

NO US EXTRADITION FOR ASSANGE, a political refugee, journalist primed with dozens of awards, nominated for the Nobel prize every year since 2010.

https://defend.wikileaks.org/

PS to everyone who has until then showed reserve in supporting Julian Assange an Wikileaks :

Do not fall and do not let anyone around you fall anymore for the vicious lies and smears that have been going on for years now, looking to delegitimize Assange and WL, and to divert attention from the numerous engineered failures of Justice/ lack of due process in the multiple cases (or absence of thereof) he has been entangled in. Do not get confused: There is the discussion you might want to have about Assange and Wikileaks (the vision, the “motives”, the politics, the style of journalism etc.) and there is the ACTUAL POSSIBILITY of you and others everywhere around the globe even HAVING these conversations, that is, a world where we can be informed, think, have divergent views, write and publish etc. Also, for those of you who do feel concerned about the world but can’t quite get what that “white dude Assange is about”,  bear in mind that social justice fights are not mutually exclusive, that WL even has what could be understood as a meta approach to social justice, empowering many, and that for the causes and people which you do fight for and whom you do care about there is probably a way somehow somewhere WL helped or inspired (have a look here https://wikileaks.org/10years/)

FREE CHELSEA and DROP IT ALREADY

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chelseaagain

USA  2019 : Chelsea Manning was jailed again after refusing to testify over her 2010 disclosures to a secret grand jury investigating Wikileaks. She is to remain in jail until she agrees to testify—or until the grand jury wraps up its work… How about they DROP IT already ?! USA 2019, where  a whistleblower / alleged source is being coerced to testify against journalists, who are being criminalized for speaking truth to power. Disgusting yes, and dangerous.

Chelsea has a strong spine but she will need support, we can contribute to her legal funds to help her resist this secret grand jury abomination. And may her courage, and her type of Contempt, be contagious.

THANK YOU CHELSEA

LOVE & SUPPORT

<3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3  <3

Fight For the Future call for immediate release

Chelsea Manning Twitter (run by friends and volunteers until Chelsea is released from jail)

About how and where to write to Chelsea in jail, see this thread

Background on + Support for, Wikileaks : https://defend.wikileaks.org/

Traducmed Accueil Migrants

traducmed

Un nouvel outil de traduction spécifique aux entretiens avec des personnes migrantes et réfugiées allophones est disponible gratuitement.

Cet outil a été développé grâce à la mobilisation des groupes de La Cimade et de RESF de Montpellier et de traductrices et traducteurs bénévoles. Il s’est fait en collaboration avec le créateur du site Traducmed, le docteur Charles Vanbelle qui a construit, depuis 2005, un outil d’aide à l’accueil de patient·e·s allophones, puis une application smartphone Traducmed permettant d’énoncer oralement dans la langue du patient des phrases prédéterminées aidant à l’établissement d’un diagnostic. Ces services sont libres d’accès et ne collectent aucune information sur leurs utilisateurs.

TRADUCMED ACCUEIL MIGRANTS

Gendersec Curricula public release

The Gendersec Curricula is a resource that introduces a holistic, feminist perspective to privacy and digital security trainings. Informed by years of working with women and trans activists around the world, this free resource covers over 20 topics such as Hacking Hate Speech, Strategies of Resistance, Creative Uses of Social Media,Technological Sovereignty, Handling Anxiety, Releasing Physical Stress, Information Mapping and Identifying Risks. Trainers can access the workshops and adapt them to their communities to help Women, activists and Human Rights Defenders to protect themselves from online and offline threats.

Think twice : UN’s biometric identity management system

Biometric identity management systems raise many very important questions and some very scary ones as well.

Even more so when they are big multinational programs, like the UN Refugee Agency biometric identity management system, and collect and store biometric data of millions of the most vulnerable people on the Planet…  The sick, injured, persecuted people, refugees, asylum seekers, ethnic, religious or other minorities who ended up in a humanitarian camp because another group with more power somewhere simply wants them wiped out…  Question: Should the biometric data of individuals who are the target of a genocide even be collected in the first place ?? How is this data protected, how are these people protected, short and long term ? Not to mention the great asymmetry of power between the “helper” and the “helped”, and the questionable validity of informed consent (if it is brought up at all) in situations where it’s primarily about survival.

The following article gives an overview of these questions through the example of the Rohingya.

Tagged, tracked and in danger : How the Rohingya got caught in the UN’s risky biometric database. / Elise Thomas, Wired

Woman On Waves in Mexico 21-23/04

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En colaboración con organizaciones locales y nacionales, el barco de Women on Waves (Mujeres sobre las olas) llegó a México. Hoy inició su campaña y ya navega en aguas internacionales donde atiende a mujeres con hasta nueve semanas de embarazo que desean realizarse un aborto.
Quienes ahora estén cursando un embarazo no deseado pueden solicitar apoyo al 755980 0548.

El viernes 21 de abril a las 10:00 horas habrá una conferencia de prensa en el hotel Sunscape Dorado Pacífico Ixtapa, ubicado en Paseo de Ixtapa, Ixtapa.
Para más información de prensa, comunicarse al 55 4042 8376 y 55 4551 0791 con Women on Waves o (52) 1 55 4010 6752 para hablar con las organizaciones nacionales y locales.

El barco de Women on Waves cuenta con todos los permisos requeridos en México y estará atendiendo a las mujeres hasta el próximo domingo 23 de abril. Los servicios que se brindan a bordo se rigen por los más altos estándares médicos internacionales y las recomendaciones de la OMS.

In collaboration with national and local Mexican organisations, the Women on Waves ship arrived in Mexico. The campaign started today and the boat has already sailed out with women to international waters where women can get free legal medical abortions till 9 weeks of pregnancy. Women with unwanted pregnancies in need of help can call 7559800548

On Friday April 24th at 10am there will be a press conference at the hotel Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa, address Paseo de Ixtapa, Ixtapa. For more press information, please contact: (52) 55 40428376 and (52) 55 4551 0791 for Women on Waves or (52) 1 55 4010 6752 for the national and local organizations.

The ship has all required permits to sail out and will be receiving women until Sunday, April, 23rd. The services on board the ship are provided according to high European medical standards.

Info on the campaign + Sexuality and Birth Control Resources >> WOMEN ON WAVES / MUJERES SOBRE LAS OLAS

 

A breath of fresh Justice for Assange !

To-The-Indicter-article-5-Feb-2016-Assange-UNWAD-AFP

“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”

>> Justice for Assange

>> Freeing Julian Assange: The last chapter, by John Pilger (+ em Portugues : O preso politico que expoe o Imperio)

>> Julian Assange: What happens to your body when you are indoors for three years ? Kashmira Gander

From AI WEIWEI with LOVE

ai

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).

Encryption and anonymity technologies essential to protection of human rights

TOR

>> UN Special Rapporteur : Anonymity is gateway to free expression 

“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”

All the President’s Psychologists

AMABush

All the president’s psychologists

Description:

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

Read

>> 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

Towards Holistic Security – Tactical Tech

Find out about great Tactical Tech project for Holistic Security

>> Towards holistic security for rights advocates

“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.”

Absolutely right

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.”

Malades et expulsés

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PERSONNES ETRANGERES MALADES PLACEES EN RETENTION ET/OU EXPULSEES de février 2013 à mars 2015.

“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

 

Swedish Doctors For Human Rights

“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.”

SWEDISH DOCTORS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS