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Russian Federation: Bill to Criminalise Cooperation with Foreign Organisations: A New Threat to Human Rights Work

This article, originally published by FIDH on January 19th, 2015, discusses how the Bill on “undesirable foreign organisations”, if adopted, will complement an already very restrictive legislative arsenal used to silence all forms of criticism against the regime in contradiction with international human rights instruments ratified by Russia and will allow authorities to ban legitimate human rights activities, though they are protected under international law.


Equality Now mourns the passing of Maha Abu-Dayyeh (1951-2015)

We are truly saddened to report the death of our longtime friend, Board member and human rights visionary, Maha Abu-Dayyeh, who passed away this morning in Jerusalem after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. Maha was an integral part of the Equality Now family and a member of the Board since 2002. She served as Acting President from 2009 to 2011 and most recently as Vice-Chair. She played a critical role in the women’s rights movement and was the Co-Founder and General Director of the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC) in Jerusalem. We will all greatly miss her leadership, passion and kindness. Maha is survived by her husband Charles and her children Diala and Raja.


Update: Belarus – Police Order to Expel Human Rights Defender Ms Elena Tonkacheva Upheld by Court

On 13 January 2015, Pervomayskiy District Court in Minsk ruled to uphold the previous decision of the Office for Migration and Citizenship of Pervomayskiy District Police Department cancelling the residence permit of human rights defender Ms Elena Tonkacheva ordering her to leave Belarus for three years.


International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 4 months only to go!

Time flies and the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is once again round the corner.

You will have noticed that this year we are integrating Biphobia explicitly in the title, acknowledging the specific issues faced by Bisexual people, not least within the “LGBTI” movement itself.  



Letter by the IM-Defensoras to Ban Ki-moon

This letter, written by the IM-Defensoras to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, analyzes the situation of women human rights defenders in the Mesoamerican region.


Statement in Support of Aminetou Mint El-Moctar

A death sentence was issued in June 2014, against Ms. Aminettou Mint El Moctar, president of the Association of Women-Headed Households (AFCF) in Nouakchott. This was not an act of the Mauritanian justice system, but a fatwa from Yadhih Ould Dahi, the leader of a radical Islamic movement, Ahbab Errassoul. 


In Memoriam: Maha Abu-Dayyeh (24 August 1951 – 9 January 2015)

It is with deepest sorrow that the members of the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling announce the passing of its co-founder and General Director, Ms. Maha Abu-Dayyeh. Maha died in the early morning hours on 9 January 2015, surrounded by her beloved family, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. 


Prominent Women Human Rights Defender Esraa Abdel-Fattah Banned from Traveling outside Egypt

On the 4th of February, 2015, the Egyptian State Council officially informed Woman Human Rights Defender Ms. Esraa Abdel-Fattah, via an official representative of the Council, that the 17th of February, 2015 is set as a date to begin the court sessions regarding her lawsuit against the General Persecutor and the Ministry of Interior over the travel ban decision that was issued against her on January 13, 2015.


Senegal: 121 Communities in Velingara-Ferlo Publicly Declare Abandonment of FGC and Child/forced Marriage

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the remote village of Velingara Ferlo, 121 communities from the department of Ranerou in Northern Senegal publicly declared to abandon female genital cutting (FGC) and child/forced marriage. Of these 121 communities, only 20 participated in the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) financed by Radio Sweden, while the other 101 villages were adopted through the process of organized diffusion. The declaration was read in Pulaar and French by two community members, Khadidiatou Diallo and Aminata Sow.


Update: Ben Othman Sentenced to Two Months in Prison

This article, originally published by Tunisia Live on January 8th, 2015, discusses how film director Ines Ben Othman was sentenced to two months in prison on Wednesday for criticizing a police officer. 



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