Tag - USA ( 17 )

News | Freedoms of assembly and association: UN expert announces first official visit to the USA

Jul 07 2016

WASHINGTON / GENEVA – United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will visit the United States of America from 11 to 27 July 2016 to make an in-depth assessment on the extent to which the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are enjoyed in the country. Mr. Kiai’s visit will be the first information-gathering mission to the United States by an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and promote the realization of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association worldwide. “The United States was the main driving force behind the establishment of my mandate in 2010, and its recent renewal for another period of three years,” the expert noted. “This visit will give me an unique opportunity to gather first-hand information on any good practices developed at the federal and state level in relation to the exercise of the rights falling under my mandate, but also to examine existing challenges in this regard, and advise the authorities how to overcome these”, he said. During his sixteen-day visit, at the invitation of the Government, the Special Rapporteur will travel to Washington DC; New York, NY; Baltimore, MD; Ferguson, MO; Cleveland, OH; Phoenix, AZ; New Orleans, LA; Jackson, MS; and Philadelphia, PA, where he will meet with... Continue reading →

Discussion | Discussion: A call for information ahead of the Special Rapporteur’s July mission to the United States

Jun 28 2016

If you’ve been following our newsletter, you’re probably aware that Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will be making an official visit to the United States of America from July 11-27, 2016. Kiai is visiting at the invitation of the US Government, so that he can make an in-depth assessment of the country’s promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. The Special Rapporteur will meet with government officials, civil society and others, traveling to Washington, DC, and a number of other cities throughout the country. He’ll then hold a press conference announcing his preliminary findings in Washington, DC, on July 27. The situation surrounding assembly and association rights US presents a number of intriguing and important issues. But the US is also a big country: 50 States, 318 million people and nearly 10 million square kilometers. That makes it hard to cover everything and meet everyone in roughly two weeks. To that end, the mandate is putting out a general call for information ahead of the mission. What are the most pressing issues related to assembly and association rights in the United States at the moment? What issues do you think the Special Rapporteur should look into? What would you like to see covered in the final report? How to submit:... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 1, Issue 9 (December 2014)

Dec 10 2014

Issue No. 9 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: • Special Rapporteur: Surmounting civil society restrictions “the great challenge of our time" • A step forward for LGBT rights in Botswana, with a step backward looming in Kyrgyzstan • Your rights on one page: UNSR releases fact sheets on assembly and association rights • Experts: "Legitimate concerns" over outcome of Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases • Sound off for the UNSR’s next report: Tell us your views on FOAA rights in the context of natural resource exploitation • Video: Strategic litigation for assembly & association rights • Freedom of association and assembly: By the numbers • Special rapporteur news in brief: November-December 2014 • 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 (1.3MB file) or here (6.8MB 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. 1, Issue 6 (July-August... Continue reading →

News | ‘Legitimate concerns’ over outcome of Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases – UN rights experts

Dec 05 2014

GENEVA – A group of United Nations experts on minority issues, racism, people of African descent, the right to peaceful assembly, and on extrajudicial executions have expressed “legitimate concerns” over the decision not to bring to trial the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in the United States. The human rights experts voiced deep concern over the broader pattern reflected in this week’s decision of the Staten Island grand jury not to bring to trial the case of Eric Garner, an African-American who died after a police officer put him in a chokehold. They also recalled a similar decision of St. Louis County grand jury in the case of Michael Brown, an African-American teenager shot and killed by a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri, last August. The decisions have sparked a renewed wave of demonstrations across the US against what is considered by many in the African-American community to be unlawful killings and further examples of lethal force being disproportionately used against young African-American men. The UN experts welcomed possible measures to address consistent allegations of inappropriate policing practices in the country, and to build trust between communities and the police proposed by President Barak Obama. However, they highlighted that “they should also... Continue reading →

News | FOAA News Roundup: June 3, 2014

Jun 03 2014

• Indian police use water cannon to end gang-rape protest in Lucknow. (The Guardian) • As King Juan Carlos abdicates, anti-monarchy demonstrators take to the streets in Spain to demand a referendum on abolishing the monarchy. (RT.com) • Bring Back Our Girls demonstrations banned for “security reasons” in Abuja, Nigeria. Ban is “insane,” says protest group’s lawyer. (The Telegraph) • 13 demonstrators arrested in protest against Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, police (four days autopsy report revealed police had shot a homeless man in the back in March). “All we asked is to talk to the mayor,” said one protester, just before being handcuffed. (Albuquerque Journal) • British Colombia (Canada) students plan walkout to protests labor dispute between teachers and government. “We’re not taking sides,” says Grade 12 student leader. (Globe and Mail) • EU Neighborhood survey finds most of Europe’s neighbors don’t know what the term “civil society” means – but still think it can make a difference. (EU Neighborhood Info Centre) • Hungarian government raids three NGOs with ties to Norway. (Reuters) • And over the weekend, big clashes in Turkey over the one-year anniversary of the Gezi Park protests (Haaretz). Even a CNN reporter got roughed up a bit:... Continue reading →

News | FOAA News Roundup: May 29, 2014

May 29 2014

• Civil society forms “watch committee” in Rakhine State, Myanmar, to “see whether their aid goes to the right places.” (In March, mobs attacked UN and aid group offices in Rakhine, forcing many INGOs to flee; they were accused of favoring the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group). (Myanmar Times) • The EU is pumping €674K into civil society into Armenian civil society focused on healthcare, agriculture and social security. (ARKA News Agency) • In Cambodia, civil society condemns the (currently one-party) National Assembly’s passage of three “flawed judicial reform bills” (the opposition party continues its 10-month boycott of parliament due to allegedly flawed elections last summer). (Asian Human Rights Commission) Special Rapporteur Surya Subedi has chimed in as well. • The .ngo website suffix comes online in October 2014. (Nonprofit Quarterly) More here. • Is Israel jumping on the “foreign agent” NGO law bandwagon? Proposed bill “directed at left-leaning groups.” (Haaretz) • In Brazil, Rival World Cup protest songs jostle for football fans’ attention. “Rival tunes, anti-FIFA raps and instrumental lamentations challenging the poorly received official theme,” writes Jonathan Watts. (The Guardian) • Violinists’ protest video goes viral after they... Continue reading →

News | Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai to join roundtable with Venezuelan activists in USA

Apr 10 2014

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts - UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will participate in a roundtable discussion about the ongoing protests in Venezuela at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on April 11. The event will be streamed live online at http://ustre.am/1c1VG. Kiai, who is the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, will join Alfredo Millán, a Venezuelan student from MIT, and Juán Andrés Mejía, a Venezuelan activist currently at Harvard who is also a member of Venezuela’s National Commission of the political party Voluntad Popular. Mejía was among several Venezuelan opposition leaders living in the Boston area who were profiled in an article in the Nicaragua Dispatch in February. Venezuela has been engulfed by protests since early February, when demonstrators took to the streets to voice their displeasure over rising crime, pervasive unemployment and corruption. Media have reported that up to 31 people have died in the protests, while over 1,800 have reportedly been detained or arrested. Last month, Kiai and other UN Special Rapporteurs called upon Venezuela to account for the alleged arbitrary detentions and use of violence against protesters in an official statement. “I am deeply disturbed by the reports of deaths and... Continue reading →