Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai files amicus brief challenging NGO regulations in Bolivia

Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has filed an amicus curiae brief in the Constitutional Court of Bolivia, arguing that a national law and an executive decree regulating the operations of non-governmental organizations breach the international right to freedom of association.
The brief, which was submitted on May 13, 2015, was the first official court filing in the UN expert’s project to advance the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association through the use of litigation in national and regional courts. The project began in Oct. 2014 and aims to encourage the application of international law norms at the domestic level.
The full press release and the brief itself (in English and Spanish) are available on our website via the following link: http://freeassembly.net/rapporteurpressnews/bolivia-amicus/



New installment in the UNSR’s factsheet series: Civil society’s ability to access resources

UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai’s factsheet series: An installment on civil society’s ability to access resources.

The factsheet, which summarizes the Special Rapporteur’s 2013 report to the Human Rights Council, is available at the following link: http://hrdaindia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Funding-report-factsheet-final.pdf

Call for Nominations for the 5th Truth Foundation Human Rights Award

Call for Nominations for the 5th Truth Foundation Human Rights Award The Truth Foundation Human Rights Award

To commemorate the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture held annually on June 26, the Truth Foundation grants the Truth Foundation Human Rights Award to an individual or organization from South Korea or abroad that has made a significant contribution to help and heal survivors of torture and state-sponsored violence, as well as to prevent such violence. Through the award, the Truth Foundation seeks to respect those who have endured unimaginable pain as a result of torture and state-sponsored violence and to help put an end to such violence.Prior Recipients of the Truth Foundation Human Rights Award

The Award was established in 2011 and the first recipient was Mr. Seo Seung (1945~ , Professor of Ritsumeikan University). He was falsely accused in the ‘Korean Japanese Student Spying Case’ in 1971 and severely tortured by the South Korean security forces. After 19 years of imprisonment, Mr. Seo emerged as a tireless peace activist, especially devoting himself to the solidarity of East Asian peoples.

In 2012, the late Mr. Kim Keun Tae (1947~2011) became the second recipient of the Award. He was a pro-democracy activist against the military dictatorship during the 1980s, and was brutally tortured by the Chun Doo Hwan regime.  He survived the torture and courageously revealed the reality of state-violence in Korea to the whole world. As a former member of the Korean National Assembly, he devoted himself to improving the human rights situation in Korea. Mr. Kim died in 2011 after battling illness due to the lingering aftereffects of torture.

The following year, the award went to Mr. Hong Sung Woo (1938~ ), a dedicated human rights lawyer.  He bravely spoke up on behalf of political prisoners, torture victims and student activists during the military regimes in South Korea.  Because of his activities, he was himself twice imprisoned by the military regime.  Mr. Hong laid thecornerstone for the foundation of MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society, which has worked tirelessly for the protection of human rights in Korea. He has also kept vast records of human rights court cases in South Korea, providing valuable material for the historical preservation of the struggle for human rights in Korea.

The 4th recipient in 2014 was the late U Win Tin (1930~2014) from the Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation. During the 88 Uprising in Burma in 1988, he expressed his strong opposition to the military dictatorship as the vice chair of the Press Alliance Movement. In September 1988, he co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD) together with Aung San Suu Kyi, and organized a campaign against the military regime. After his arrest, in 1989, and subsequent severe torture, he was committed for 19 years to Insein prison, which is notorious for its inhumane conditions and brutal program of mental and physical torture. Yet the imprisonment did not diminish his will to spread his words or further the cause of democracy in Burma. He continued unceasingly to make his voice heard in Burma and in the international community such as to the UN Special Rapporteur regarding the human rights violations committed in prison and the then-situations in Burma. After his release from prison in September 2008, U Win Tin immediately continued with his NLD activities in spite of his frail health brought on by his long imprisonment and torture. In 2012, he established Hanthawaddy U Win Tin Foundation to help the rehabilitation and healing of countless Burmese political prisoners and torture victims, as well as their families. He passed away in 2014, but his spirit remains with the young generations in Burma who continue seek for democracy and peace. for more details