Human Rights in the news

Daily round up from CHRI UK on 14/01/2016

Today’s top news:

· Human rights activist released after detention in Saudi Arabia

· China detains Swedish human rights worker Peter Dahlin

· Shami Chakrabarti to leave human rights campaign group Liberty

United Kingdom

Shami Chakrabarti to leave human rights campaign group Liberty

BT, The Telegraph (

Prominent British human rights leader and civil liberties activist, Shami Chakrabarti, is to leave her role as the director of campaign group Liberty after 12 years in which she has repeatedly clashed with governments.

Split opinion on how UK Charity Commission should be funded

Civil Society (Finance)

Recent Charity Finance Group report found that opinion was heavily divided over how the regulator should be funded and that awareness of the Charity Commission was very low — with many things the public suggested that Commission should be doing being things that it already does.

The Commonwealth

Commonwealth Games organisers criticised by Australian minister

Brisbane Times

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organisers were criticised by Queensland’s government for communicating poorly with the opening ceremony’s unsuccessful bidders although an independent report shows the overall tender process was fair.

Former Caribbean PM to lead Commonwealth observer group to Vanuatu general election

Jamaica Observer

Former Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham will lead a Commonwealth Observer Group to Vanuatu for its general election on January 22, being held nine months ahead of schedule following a period of instability in the region.

Commonwealth Countries

Visiting UK minister pressures Shri Lanka to look into human rights abuse allegations

Economy Next

Minister of State for Asia at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire will visit Colombo, Jaffna and Galle on his third official visit to Sri Lanka and has called on Sri Lanka to act on a promised probe into alleged human rights abuses before the next meeting of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

New limits on FOI requests in UP, India threatening right to information

Economic Times (The Indian Times)

According to the new rules, any request under the Right to Information Act that goes beyond 500 words can be rejected by a public information officer. If the information isn’t maintained by a government office, it won’t be mandatory for the public information officer to transfer the request.


North Korean nuclear threat shouldn’t deter condemnation of human rights abuses

The Guardian

Jack Hands from The Guardian urges us not to see the recent North Korean detonation of a hydrogen bomb as a reason to silence criticism surrounding human rights abuses.

7 Chinese human rights lawyers have been charged with ‘subversion’ against the government

BBC News

Seven human rights lawyers from the Beijing law firm Fengrui Law have been held in secret for over a year and recently arrested and charged with ‘subversion’, potentially facing up to 15 years in prison.

China detains Swedish human rights worker Peter Dahlin

BBC News; TIME (

Amid a crackdown upon defence lawyers within the country, a Swedish human rights lawyer, Peter Dahlin, has been detained in Beijing under suspicion of “harming the national interest”.

Philippines to launch first ever formal human rights investigation into the world’s biggest coal, oil and gas corporations.

The Ecologist

The Philippines is becoming a leading voice in the global climate wars by launching the first ever investigation into the world’s top 50 biggest coal, oil, and gas corporations; giants standing accused of violating international human rights law as a result of their fossil fuel production.


US allies, the Philippines and Colombia accused of top proportion of human rights defenders killed worldwide

Huffington Post

Recent revelations of close allies to the US, the Philippines and Colombia having some of the worst numbers of human rights defenders killed in the, has raised accusations against the US for its ‘two-faced’ approach to human rights.


Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission makes submission to UN to revise the “legal framework on abortion”

Irish Times

The IHREC has submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of a Child to reframe the current legal understanding of abortion to protect the human rights of girls experiencing crisis pregnancies.

Middle East

Human rights activist released after detention in Saudi Arabia

The Independent

Samar Badawi, one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent human rights activists has been released after her recent arrest on accusations of terrorism. Her brother and husband are still being held.


Rights concerns surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Human Rights Watch

The Washington director of HRW has expressed concerns at the recent TTP and how it will affect the human rights of over 800 million people living in Pacific Rim countries.


Decision by ECHR that company within its rights to read employees private messages

BBC News

An engineer in Romania appealed to the ECHR after he had had private messages read by his employer but the court ruled that he had breached the company’s rules and that his employer had a right to check on his activities.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

EEF pursuing Cisco for human rights violations in China

Beta News

The EFF is demanding that a Federal Appeals Court reopen a case that accuses Cisco of wrongdoing by aiding the Chinese government in the capture and subsequent torture of members of the Falun Gong movement, a religious sect that keeps itself as secret as possible within the nation.

African Union

AU Summit to discuss human rights, focussing particularly on the rights of women

African Brains

The headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will from Thursday 21 January to Sunday 31 January 2016, host the 26th AU Summit. Holding under the theme: “2016: African Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”.