Search Results for ngo law ( 137 )

News | Egypt NGO law: UN expert warns about growing restrictions on civil society

Oct 11 2016

GENEVA - The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, warned today about the growing restrictions imposed on civil society in Egypt and the targeting of human rights defenders and human rights organizations. On 17 September 2016, the Cairo Criminal Court froze the assets of five prominent human rights defenders and three NGOs named in “Case 173 on foreign funding”. The order places the frozen assets under government custodianship, meaning that the organizations and individuals can no longer make independent decisions about the confiscated money. “These new developments intervene in a context of a continuing crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society organisations in Egypt since the reopening of the 2011 NGO case, known as the ‘ 173 foreign funding case’, in which a number of human rights defenders and heads of civil society organizations are being investigated,” said Mr. Kiai. “The Government seems to be systematically attacking civil society in an effort to silence its voice,” the human rights expert added. On 8 September, the Egyptian Cabinet approved a new draft NGO law retaining the restrictive provisions in the current NGO law (No. 84/2002). “The draft law also limits NGO work to ‘development and social objectives’, and imposes a... Continue reading →

News | China: Newly adopted Foreign NGO Law should be repealed, UN experts urge

May 03 2016

GENEVA – A group of United Nations human rights experts today called on the Chinese authorities to repeal the Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations’ Activities adopted by the National People’s Congress on 28 April 2016. The Law will enter into force on 1 January 2017. “We fear that the excessively broad and vague provisions, and administrative discretion given to the authorities in regulating the work of foreign NGOs can be wielded as tools to intimidate, and even suppress, dissenting views and opinions in the country,” warned the UN Special Rapporteurs on freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kiai; on human rights defenders, Michel Forst; and on freedom of expression, David Kaye. Under the new Law, foreign NGOs are banned from undertaking activities deemed as ‘endangering national unity, national security or ethnic unity or harming China’s national interests and societal public interests…’. “Such broadly crafted restrictions fail to comply with international human rights norms and standards relating to freedom of association and freedom of expression,” the experts stressed. The Law also prohibits foreign NGOs from conducting ‘political activities’ without specifying what such activities entail, hence allowing arbitrary and broad interpretations of... Continue reading →

News | Cambodia’s draft NGO law must be fully in line with international law – UN experts

Oct 14 2011

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Mr. Maina Kiai, warned that the current public draft of the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations in Cambodia - if adopted - risks breaching the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. “The current draft NGO Law contains a set of problematic provisions, raising concerns over a potential negative impact on Cambodian citizens’ democratic participation in furthering the development of their country,” warned the UN rights expert. Welcoming a recent statement by the Ambassador of Cambodia to the UN Human Rights Council promising “further consultations,” he called on the authorities to review the draft law in open and meaningful discussions with associations and NGOs. Mr. Kiai stressed that the draft law makes registration of associations and NGOs mandatory, not voluntary, and prohibits any activity by unregistered groups. “This constitutes a clear infringement of the right to freedom of association. Having a recognized legal status may confer rights and benefits to organizations such as the ability to open bank accounts, but legal status is not necessary for the enjoyment of the right to freedom of association.” “The draft law excludes refugees, stateless persons and other... Continue reading →

News | UN rights experts urge India to repeal law restricting NGO’s access to crucial foreign funding

Jun 16 2016

GENEVA – Three United Nations human rights experts today called on the Government of India to repeal the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which is been increasingly used to obstruct civil society’s access to foreign funding, and fails to comply with international human rights norms and standards. “We are alarmed that FCRA provisions are being used more and more to silence organisations involved in advocating civil, political, economic, social, environmental or cultural priorities, which may differ from those backed by the Government,” said the UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights defenders, Michel Forst, on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and on freedom of association, Maina Kiai. The experts’ call comes as the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs suspended for six months the registration of the non-governmental organization Lawyers Collective, under the FCRA. The suspension was imposed on the basis of allegations that its founders, human rights lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, violated the act provisions by using foreign funding for purposes other than intended. Despite detailed evidence provided by the NGO to rebut all allegations and prove that all foreign contributions were spent and accounted for in line with FCRA, the suspension was still applied. “We are alarmed by reports that... Continue reading →

News | New draft law threatens the independence and existence of NGOs in Kazakhstan, warns UN rights expert

Oct 15 2015

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, today warned that Kazakhstan’s Bill amending the Law on Non-profit organizations “may not only compromise the independence of associations, but challenge their very existence.” The draft law establishes an operator with the right to allocate both governmental and non-governmental grants, including grants from international organizations, diplomatic missions or international not-for-profit organizations, to non-governmental organizations. “The possibility for a centralized Government’s operator to distribute all grants irrespective of sources, be it public or private funds, enables the authorities to arbitrarily limit resources and to control the entire not-for-profit sector,” Mr. Kiai cautioned. “By controlling the sources of funds, the draft law would limit associations’ functional autonomy and put their independence and existence at serious risk.” “Access to financial resources is an integral and vital part of the right to freedom of association,” the expert underscored. The new legislative amendments were adopted by the Senate on 8 October 2015. The text would now be with the Lower House of the Parliament for its final consideration and it may be adopted any time... Continue reading →

Page | 15. The right to observe and record assemblies, including law enforcement operations

Oct 15 2015

The presence of the journalists, monitors and other observers plays a key role in ensuring the accountability of security personnel during the management of large gatherings. The Grand Chamber of the ECtHR has held that the authorities should not deliberately prevent or hinder the media from covering a demonstration. Pentikäinen v. Finland, ECtHR, Grand Chamber Judgment of 20 October 2015, para. 114. Pentikäinen v. Finland concerned a photojournalist who was sent by a weekly newspaper to report on a demonstration in Helsinki. After the demonstration turned violent, the police decided to prevent the demonstrators from marching. They later sealed off the area and ordered the protesters to disperse. The applicant decided to stay on the scene, despite being asked to leave repeatedly. He was then arrested along with some demonstrators and detained for over 17 hours. He was subsequently found guilty of disobeying police orders, but no penalty was imposed. The Grand Chamber of the ECtHR ultimately found that the measures taken against Pentikäinen were not disproportionate. It stressed, however, that “this conclusion must be seen on the basis of the particular circumstances of the instant case, due regard being had to the need to avoid any impairment of the media’s “watch-dog” role.” Pentikäinen v.... Continue reading →

Report | Angola communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2017

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with Angola by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2017 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Angola. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) - the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Angola, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) Joint allegation letter, 29/08/2011. Case no. AGO 2/2011. State Reply: None to date. Alleged denial of entry by immigration officials. Joint allegation letter, 21/12/2011 Case no. AGO 3/2011. State Reply: None to date. Alleged repeated restrictions to the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the excessive use of force during allegedly... Continue reading →

News | Burundi: UN experts raise alarm at growing repression of NGOs and human rights defenders

Feb 06 2017

GENEVA – A group of United Nations human rights experts today condemned the recent ban and provisional suspension of a number of civil society organizations in Burundi, and warned about “the obstructive, restrictive and stigmatizing effect of recent legislation on NGOs, in a context of growing repression of human rights defenders.” On 19 October 2016, the Burundian authorities banned five civil society organizations*. In December 2016, the Ligue ITEKA, one of the leading human rights institutions of the country, which was suspended in October as well as OLUFAD – an NGO promoting good governance and the fight against corruption - have also been barred. Another four organizations** were provisionally suspended. Following that move, the National Assembly adopted two bills in December 2016 aimed at closely controlling the action of local and international NGOs. This new legislation compels local NGOs to obtain authorization from the Minister of the Interior for any activity and to transfer funds of foreign origin through the Central Bank. The work of foreign NGOs must comply with priorities set by the Government. “These moves are just the latest in a series of attacks on the rights to freedom of expression and association in Burundi,” the experts, said. “Disturbingly, these measures take particular aim at... Continue reading →

News | Egypt NGO bill threatens to “devastate” civil society, UN expert warns

Nov 23 2016

GENEVA – United Nations expert Maina Kiai has expressed serious alarm at Egypt’s approval of a draft law which would impose major restrictions on the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Mr. Kiai said that if the bill became law, it would devastate the country’s civil society for generations to come and turn it into a government puppet. The Egyptian Parliament approved the bill on 15 November and sent it to the State Council for review; it will be sent back to the Parliament for a final vote at an unknown date. The government did not hold consultations with civil society on its contents. Mr. Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, said the law appeared to be “deliberately drafted to curtail civil society’s ability to operate, and to stifle their ability to freely express themselves”. The bill’s provisions violated international law and contradicted Egypt’s own constitution, he said. “This bill proposes perhaps the worst restrictions on fundamental freedoms in Egypt since the 2011 uprisings,” Mr. Kiai said. “It aims to destroy Egypt’s foundation for peaceful, civic engagement at its very roots. If it becomes law, it would devastate civil society not only in the short term, but possibly for generations to come”. “I urge... Continue reading →

News | Democratic Republic of Congo: UN rights experts urge end to ‘unjustified’ ban on protests

Nov 03 2016

(français) GENEVA - A group of United Nations human rights experts has called on authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to lift an “unjustified” ban on protests in the capital, Kinshasa, amid social discontent over delayed presidential elections. The ban was imposed in September after a series of large demonstrations that were brutally supressed by security forces, reportedly leaving dozens of people dead and injured. “The rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are fundamental rights guaranteed by international law. These rights can only be restricted in very specific and narrowly defined circumstances,” the experts said. “It is clear that the current situation in the DRC does not justify a general ban on demonstrations in several cities,” they noted. “In fact, given that the country is in a hotly disputed election period, people should be given more space, not less, to express their democratic freedoms.” Since the ban on protests in Kinshasa took effect on 22 September, at least four demonstrations have been cancelled. The UN experts have also raised fears over the National Dialogue agreement which took effect in October, postponing presidential elections beyond the constitutional deadline. The agreement could be used to... Continue reading →