[fund] persecution of opposition

A number of prominent human rights organisations in Israel, including B'Tselem, The Public Committee against Torture in Israel and The Association for Civil Rights in Israel have published an open letter to the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, Member of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, and Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyhau, urging them to condemn the assault and delegitimization of human rights organizations in Israel by by extremist organizations (NGO Monitor, Im Tirtzu and others). Please see the letter attached.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim failed in his bid to get a stay of his sodomy trial and the hearing proper is now set to begin on Wednesday. In rejecting the stay application on Tuesday, High Court judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah said there were no special circumstances to warrant a stay of the sodomy trial. “I find that there is no special circumstances in the law of proceedings (shown by Anwar) to grant a stay. The trial will proceed,” he said in his ruling in a packed courtroom.

Sixteen defendants currently facing a “show trial” in Tehran have been selected to intimidate specific  groups of dissidents and pave the way for applying the charge of Mohareb, or “enemy of God,”  to large numbers of  dissidents and protestors, charges that can lead to their execution, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.  Five of the sixteen defendants prosecuted in the post-Ashura trials of 30 January face the death penalty, having been charged with that crime.

The Human Rights Bureau (HRB) of the HAQ Movement expresses its concerns about the ongoing smear and defamation campaign waged by state-supported electronic and printed means of publications. Some dailies, in Arabic and English, newspapers as well as electronic forums stage that campaign whenever an international related activity (Report, Press Release, Petition, Seminar, Article) is posted out covering aspects of human rights of violations in Bahrain. The waged smear campaign was focused on Mr Nabeel Rajab, President of (BCHR), Ms Ghada Jamsheer, President of Women's Petition Committee, Dr Abdulla Al-Derazi, Secretary General of the Bahrain Human Rights Society, and Mr Mohamed Al-Maskati, President of Bahrain Youth Human Rights Society.

Publié le 26 janvier 2010: L’élection présidentielle d’aujourd’hui va se tenir dans un climat particulièrement tendu, notamment pour la presse qui a été confrontée à de multiples entraves. Les médias d’Etat ont été utilisés pour promouvoir le candidat sortant Mahinda Rajapaksa. Certains médias privés ou d’opposition ont été les cibles d’attaques qui ont culminé avec l’enlèvement, le 24 janvier au soir, du journaliste politique Prageeth Eknaligoda. Reporters sans frontières appelle les deux camps à tout faire pour ne pas créer un "scénario à l’iranienne" où des élections contestées et contestables ont débouché sur un cycle de manifestations et de répression, dont la presse serait évidemment la victime.

Le 22 janvier 2010, Ameni Rezgallah et Hanen Dhahiri ont été kidnappées. Les deux militantes de l’UGETavaient été condamnées, le 21 décembre 2009, par le tribunal de première instance de Manouba à 6 mois de prison pour entrave à la liberté de travail, 6 mois de prison pour dégradation du bien d’autrui et à 9,6 dinars d’amende pour tapage. Ces accusations de droit commun sont l’habillage que les autorités tunisiennes ont présenté en guise  d’unique réponse pour les revendications légitimes des étudiantes et à leur mouvement de protestation qui a duré 28 jours. 

Change for Equality: Somayeh Rashidi is an activist involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign. This women’s rights defender was summoned to court for interrogation, after her home was searched and her property seized. She appeared in court on December 19, 2009 and after a few hours of interrogation the investigative judge ordered an arrest warrant for her and transferred her to Evin prison.

26 January 2010: Tension surrounds today’s presidential election, especially for the press, which has had to face many obstacles. Use of the state media to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign for another term has been accompanied by harassment and violence against privately-owned opposition media, culminating in the 24 January abduction of political reporter Prageeth Eknaligoda. Reporters Without Borders appeals to both sides to make every effort to avoid an Iran-style scenario in which the challenging of a questionable election result leads to a cycle of demonstrations and repression in which the press would clearly be one of the victims.

Police in Uzbekistan are compiling an unusual criminal case against one of the country’s leading photographers, Umida Ahmedova. The charge is defamation, and the insulted party is the population of Uzbekistan. IWPR has learned that Ahmedova was required to sign an undertaking not to leave the country by a police investigator on January 13. A month earlier, she was charged with defamation and with harming Uzbekistan's reputation, RFE/RL radio reported. The case against her is based on two articles of the criminal code, carrying penalties of up to six months in jail. Update on Uzbekistan: Woman Human Rights Defender Umida Ahmedova Facing Charges

Iranian judicial and prison authorities have refused to release any information about charges against women’s rights activist Somayeh Rashidi (24), who was arrested on 19 December 2009, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported today. During the past two months, over a thousand people have been detained through the use of a blanket detention order, which is effectively a license for security and intelligence agents to arrest anyone at will. Hundreds of these detainees, similar to Somayeh Rashidi, have disappeared into Iranian prisons without any information available to their families or lawyers.

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