Tag - foreign funding ( 4 )

News | UN experts call on Malaysia to stop targeting human rights defenders under national security legislation

Dec 09 2016

GENEVA – Malaysia must protect all of its human rights defenders instead of targeting them under national security legislation, said today a group of United Nations human rights experts*. Their call comes after weeks of heightened pressure on BERSIH 2.0 – a coalition of civil society organizations campaigning for clean and fair elections – and the organizers of the Bersih 5 rally, held in three cities across Malaysia on 19 November 2016. “We are particularly concerned at the arrest of Maria Chin Abdullah, the Chairperson of BERSIH 2.0, on 18 November 2016 and her subsequent detention under the Security Offences Special Measures Act 2012 (SOSMA),” the experts said. SOSMA specifically states that no individual will be arrested under the law for ‘political activity’ or ‘belief’ and that its use is strictly restricted to matters pertaining to public order and national security. “Although Ms. Chin Abdullah has now been released, the detention of a prominent woman human rights defender under SOSMA sets a troubling precedent, by suggesting that democratic participation can be a threat to national security,” they cautioned. “Her arrest will clearly have a chilling effect on civil society participation”. Ms. Chin Abdullah, who was the first peaceful activist to be detained... 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... Continue reading →

News | India: Special Rapporteur’s legal analysis argues restrictions on foreign funding contrary to international law

Apr 22 2016

NAIROBI/GENEVA - United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has published a legal analysis arguing that India's Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) - which regulates foreign funding to certain individuals, associations and companies - is not conformity with international law, principles and standards. The analysis, which was submitted to the Government of India on April 20, 2016, is available here. The FCRA, which was enacted in 2010, bars “organizations of a political nature” from accepting foreign contributions. Acceptance of foreign contributions may further be prohibited where the Government “is satisfied that the acceptance of foreign contribution… is likely to affect prejudicially… public interest.” The law has come under scrutiny in recent years, with some sources reporting that nearly 14,000 NGOs have seen their licenses to receive foreign funding revoked by the Government. The Special Rapporteur argues that the ability of civil society organizations to access resources, including foreign funding, is a fundamental part of the right to freedom of association under international law, standards, and principles – and more particularly part of the right to form an association. He further asserts that India’s limitations on access to foreign funding do not meet... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 2, No. 5 (Issue 14) – July-August 2015

Aug 06 2015

Issue No. 14 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Pull the plug on televised reprisals against rights defenders in Venezuela • ‘Cambodia’s NGO Bill threatens a free and independent civil society’ – UN expert urges Senate to reject it • Burundi: UN experts call for determined Security Council action to prevent mass violence • Bahrain: Freed from jail, all charges against Nabeel Rajab must be dropped • The clamp-down on resourcing: comparing how States regulate business and civil society • ‘Lawyers need to be protected not harassed,’ UN experts urge China to halt detentions • Freedom of association and assembly: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief: July-August 2015 • World briefing: Freedom of assembly and association in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (1.6MB file) or here (2.9MB full resolution file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent newsletters, see the links below: The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Issue 11)... Continue reading →