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Joint NGO Letter to the President of the Russian Federation to Stop Clampdown on Freedom of Association

This joint NGO letter, which was originally published by Front Line Defenders on October 21st 2014, urges the President of Russia to stop the clampdown on the right to freedom of association and end reprisals against independent non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

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Brazil: Indianara Siqueira and The Transrevolution

Indianara Siqueira is president of the group Transrevolução and representative for the South-East region at RedTrans Brasil, which is part of RedLac Trans for the whole South America. She is a prostitute and parlamentary consultant of MP Jean Wyllys.

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Acid Attacks on Women Spread Terror in Iran

This article, originally published by The Daily Beast on October 18th 2014, discusses how zealots on motorcycles are throwing acid at women whose veils are deemed too loose in the ancient city of Isfahan. 

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Call for applications: Hivos' Social Innovation Award

At Hivos, we believe that fresh ideas are needed to put authentic change in motion. Traditional ways of dealing with discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and environmental degradation have either proven in effective or become outdated. It is only by relying on courage and creativity that a better world will have a chance. That is why we work with innovative companies, citizens and their organisations.

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Update: Trial of Women Human Rights Defenders Postponed for Verdict Issuance

On 11 October 2014, the Police Institute near Tora postponed the trial of the seven women human rights defenders until 16 October 2014. On October 16, 2014, a decision was made to postpone the trial for the issuance of a verdict on October 26, 2014, with the continuance of the detention of the seven women human rights defenders and other protesters. The decision to postpone was taken after the court heard the statements of lawyers defending those detained.

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Call for Wafaa Charaf liberation

We have heard about the 09/07/2014 arrest of Waafa Charaf in Tangier, Morocco. The police came to get her at her parents' home. Her crime: “not to have presented herself for the umpteenth convocation at the police station”. The convocations are part of the harassment to which she is exposed since she has complained about her abduction last April.

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Special Rapporteur: Combat Impunity and Enact Laws to Protect Human Rights Defenders

This article, originally published by International Service for Human Rights on October 14th 2014, discusses the priorities as defined by the new UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst in his inaugural report.

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Iran: Judicial Harassment against Human Rights Lawyer Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh

The Observatory has been informed by the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) of the judicial harassment faced by Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer known for defending juveniles facing death penalty, prisoners of conscience, human rights activists and child victims of abuse. 

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Can The Sakharov Prize Save Leyla Yunus?

On October 21, the European Parliament will announce the 17th annual Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, a distinction that comes with a 50,000-euro award ($64,000) and entry to a select club of some of the world's most respected human rights defenders.

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Update: Bahrain – Human Rights Defender Ms Zainab Al-Khawaja Arrested

On 14 October 2014, human rights defender Ms Zainab Al-Khawaja was arrested during a court hearing where she was expected to face charges related to tearing up a photograph of the King of Bahrain. 

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