ISHR in the Media

The International Service for Human Rights welcomes all media-related enquiries on human rights issues. For a list of media contacts, click here.

Politicized UN committee using 'repeated and arbitrary deferrals' to block NGOs, critics say
CBC News, January 21, 2018
ISHR along with other NGOs and voices within the United Nations are calling for the reform of the committee tasked with accrediting non-governmental organisations, saying it has become a political tool to block rather than bolster their participation. Read the full story here.

Protection des défenseurs des droits humains: le rôle des Institutions Nationales des Droits de l’Homme au cœur d’un atelier
Zere Infos, December 21, 2017
ISHR, along with the Coalition Ivoirienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CIDDH) and Côte d'Ivoire's national human rights commission, co-organised a regional consultation on legal protection of defenders in Africa. The consultation was held on 19 and 20 October and hailed Côte d'Ivoire for taking the lead in this by being the first country to adopt a national law protecting defenders.  Read the full story (in French) here.

Egyptian legal scholar wins top rights prize
The Sun Daily, October 11, 2017
Awarding Mohamed Zaree with the prestigious Martin Ennals prize was not only  a way to celebrate his achievements, but also a 'collective condemnation ... of the Egyptian authorities' approach to human rights,' said ISHR who was a member of the Jury.  Read the full story here.

Egyptian Activist Receives a Top Human Rights Award
New York Times, October 10, 2017
ISHR was honoured to be once again member of the Martin Ennals Jury who awards prominent human rights defenders from across the globe. This year's laureate is Egyptian lawyer and activist Mohamed Zaree, country director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies who was awarded for his contribution to promoting human rights amid the government’s escalating harassment and intimidation of activists. Read the full story here.

Concern mounts for detained Chinese activists
Bangkok Post, September 13, 2017
In a call made by human rights defenders to China voicing concern for the health and fate of detained lawyers and critics, ISHR highlighted the case of Jiang Tianyong, a human rights lawyer who disappeared last November and was held incommunicado for six months after a trial  that 'can be reasonably called neither fair nor impartial’. Read the full story here.

China’s War on Dissent
The Diplomat, August 20, 2017
At a press briefing hosted by ISHR in Geneva on 24 August,  a group of Chinese human rights defenders expressed their deep concern about the future of their detained and disappeared colleagues. They discussed various cases such as those of Gui Minhai, disappeared since 2015, or Liu Xiaobo, who died this Summer after spending years in detention. Read the full story here.

China Buying International Silence on Human Rights
China Digital Times, June 22, 2017
ISHR signed a statement along with ten other human rights groups on Monday to urge the European Union to cancel an upcoming dialogue between the Union and China as thos dialogue 'has steadily deteriorated into an exercise whose purpose is largely to secure another round of the dialogue, not to make meaningful change in China.' Read the full story here.

Council Discusses Côte d’Ivoire and The Democratic Republic of the Congo under Technical Assistance and Capacity Building
Military Technologies, June 20, 2017
ISHR participated in the interactive dialogue with the UN Independent Expert on the enhancement of capacity building and technical cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire. Read the full story here.

Amnesty, 6 others urge govt to ensure Sultana Kamal’s security
Dhaka Tribune, June 14, 2017
Several human rights organisations including ISHR have expressed concern over the recent threats made by Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam to Sultana Kamal, a prominent lawyer and human rights defender in Bangladesh. Read the full story here.

Int’l rights orgs express concern over threats to Sultana Kamal
Prothom Alo, June 13, 2017
Along with several international human rights organisations, ISHR signed a letter calling upon the Bangladesh authorities to conduct 'credible investigation into threats of violence and ensure protection of [ human rights defender] Sultana Kamal'. Read the full story here.

Séminaire régional : la Côte d’Ivoire, un modèle en Afrique sur la protection juridique des défenseurs des droits humains
Afrique Infos, April 26, 2017
Press article in French by online newspaper Afrique Infos on the regional consultation organised by ISHR and other partners on 12-13 April on the development of protection laws for human rights defenders in Africa. Read the full story here.

Protection juridique des défenseurs des droits humains : la Côte d’Ivoire, un modèle en Afrique
Eburnews, April 26, 2017
Press article in French by Ivorian online newspaper Eburnews on the regional consultation organised by ISHR and other partners on 12-13 April on the development of protection laws for human rights defenders in Africa. Read the full story here.

Des experts réunis à Abidjan pour une reconnaissance et une protection juridique des défenseurs des droits humains en Afrique, April 13, 2017
Press article in French by Ivorian online newspaper on the regional consultation organised by ISHR and other partners on 12-13 April on the development of protection laws for human rights defenders in Africa. Read the full story here.

Les DDH en conclave à Abidjan pour promouvoir la loi sur leur protection juridique en Afrique
Ecovisionafrik, April 10, 2017
Press article in French by Togolese online newspaper Ecovisionafrik on the regional consultation organised by ISHR and other partners on 12-13 April on the development of protection laws for human rights defenders in Africa. Read the full story here.

Human Rights Council holds general debate on technical assistance and capacity building after reports on Afghanistan and Yemen
Reliefweb, March 23, 2017
ISHR welcomed the reports of the High Commissioner on Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia and deplored the threats facing human rights defenders in Guatemala as well as the widespread corruption in Honduras. Read the full story here.

Human Rights Council holds separate interactive dialogues with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic
Reliefweb, March 21, 2017
ISHR took part in the Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Mali and commended Mali for being the second country in Africa to take measures to protect human rights defenders, and encouraged the implementation of the law on this subject. Read the full story here.

Mugabe’s commitment to rights questioned
NewsDay, March 20, 2017
ISHR raised the red flag over the impending introduction of a cyber law in Zimbabwe. 'We note that the Zimbabwean government is in the process of drafting a Cyber Crimes Bill which, if passed, will further curtail the right to freedom of expression and privacy; and will further impede the work of defenders,' ISHR said in a joint statement with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Read the full story here.

International human rights groups call for rights upholding in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Consolidated News, March 18, 2017
ISHR and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights expressed their concern about the continued targeting of human rights defenders by State actors.'Hundreds of defenders currently face prosecution following their arrest for exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and association between May and November 2016,' they recalled in joint statement delivered at the Human rights Council's 34th session. Read the full story here.

UN review exposed Zimbabwe’s poor human rights record
The Standard , March 18, 2017
The International Service for Human Rights and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said in an oral statement to the Huan Rights Council that Zimbabwe Cybercrime Bill should not be enacted, as it would further infringe on freedom of expression and privacy. They urged the government to reconsider the recommendation to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders. Read the full story here.

Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcomes of Haiti and South Sudan
Reliefweb , March 17, 2017
ISHR expressed its concern at South Sudan's rejection of the recommendations made during its Universal Periodic Review to cease attacks against civilians and United Nations premises, and stop unlawful killings and arbitrary detention.. Read the full story here.

Marquette Democracy Project brings social activism from around the globe
Marquette Wire , March 7, 2017
Maryam Al-Khawaja, an ISHR Board member will be part of the Marquette Democracy Project, which brings international activists to Marquette University for brief visits during the school semester, during which they teach classes, give a public talk (open to the Milwaukee community), and tell their stories to student journalists and videographers. Read the full story here.

Australia's bid for UN Human Rights Council seat comes with 'stop the boats' baggage
The Sydney Morning Herald , February 28, 2017
As Australia launched a charm offensive in the United Nations corridors in Geneva, seeking to win a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council, ISHR recalls that the country's human rights record does not entirely count in its favour. Read the full story here.

L’ONU accusée de livrer à Pékin les noms d’opposants chinois
Le Temps, February 3, 2017
As the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is being accused of disclosing names of human rights defenders coming to the Human Rights Council to China, ISHR expresses its opinion on the issue. Read the full story here.

Gay rights supporters win 2nd victory at the United Nations
The Daily Mail Online, December 20, 2016
The close vote that rejected the African Group's proposal to halt the work of Independent Expert on SOGI shows how much work is needed to build bridges with many countries. Read the full story here.

Boris Johnson Urged To Defend UN’s First LGBT Rights Expert By Labour MP Sarah Champion
The Huffington Post, November 8, 2016
ISHR denounced the attempt made by some African countries to block the appointment of Vitit Muntarbhorn, a law professor who has been hired to look at ways to overcome violence and discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. 'This move is harmful to non-violence and anti-discrimination efforts in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people around the world' ISHR said. Read the full story here.

African nations attempt to suspend UN's LGBT rights monitor
The Guardian, November 7, 2016
ISHR shared its concern and denounced the lack of legal foundation of the attempt by African nations to call into question the legitimacy of the Human Rights Council resolution establishing the independent expert to protect against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Read the full story here.

ISHR launch 'Model National Law' in Gambia
Foroyaa, October 26, 2016
ISHR held a side event to officially launch its National Model Law on the recognition and protection of human rights defenders in Africa. The event was held in Banjul, the Gambia, on the margins of the 59th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Read the full story here.

China: One year since Gui Minhai’s abduction
China Worker Info, October 18, 2016
One year after his disappearance, Gui is still not formally charged with any crime. Neither Sweden’s representatives nor his daughter have been told where Gui is being held. ISHR expressed its view on the issue. Read the full story here.

Human rights mechanism workshop underway
The Standard, October 17, 2016
ISHR organised a training for African civil society members on international and regional human rights mechanisms. The training took place in Banjul, the Gambia, on 15 and 16 October and was organised in collaboration with the OHCHR and the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies. Read the full story here.

Kidnapped by China: Beijing's Battle Against Dissidents and Free Speech
The Diplomat, October 7, 2016
ISHR told that China’s ongoing crackdown on human rights is no longer limited to its national borders. 'China is exporting its paranoia and its poor practices – disappearances, arbitrary detention and censorship of dissent. This is a worrying sign for activists and organisations throughout Asia and beyond'.  Read the full story here.

ISHR's Phil Lynch on Sierra Leone's television 
EYV Television, October 6, 2016
ISHR's director Phil Lynch was invited on Sierra Leone's EYV Television on the occasion of a training and consultations with authorities and civil society on the development of a national law protecting human rights defenders. He shared his views on the leading role he thinks the country coud take in terms of strengthening of legal frameworks in English-speaking Africa. Watch here.

For daughter of missing Hong Kong bookseller, activism is not a choice
NPR, October 5, 2016
Multimedia news website NPR interviewed Angela Gui, daughter of disappeared bookseller Gui Minhai and a young hunan rights defender whom ISHR hosted for several days in Geneva last September. Read the full story here.

Gay men in Ivory Coast say they were attacked after showing support for Orlando victims
PBS, June 30, 2016
While six gay men in Ivory Coast say they were attacked after the U.S. embassy published a photo of them offering condolences to the 49 victims in the Orlando shooting, ISHR recalls that to date there are no legal protections against attacks that target the LGBT community in the country. ISHR also highlights that 'sexual minorities' report periodic harassment from security forces and the general population. Read the full story here.

Russian Diplomat Is Accused of Threatening Rights Activist on Twitter
New York Times, June 14, 2016
ISHR denounced a threatening message sent on Twitter by a Geneva-based Russian diplomat to a member of a human rights organisation that supports activists in Russia.  ISHR told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday that 'an online threat made by a state representative, albeit one hiding behind the cowardice of anonymity, is a threat against both the targeted individual (...) and the integrity of this important institution.' Read the full story here.

Govt of India "blocking" international Dalit network to freely associate with UN for eight long years: NGO letter
Counterview, May 26, 2016
ISHR was part of an NGO coalition who sent a letter calling on members of the  ECOSOC to reform the practice of the Committee of NGOs that prevents certain human rights organisations, including the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN), from associating freely with the UN. ISHR noted that 'unfortunately, in too many instances the Committee is reflective of the growing restrictions on civil society at the very time restrictions at the national level make access to the UN all the more crucial.' Read the full story here.

Ilham Tohti, Uighur scholar jailed in China, is nominated for rights award
The New York Times, April 27, 2016
Ilham Tohti, a scholar and advocate for China’s Uighur ethnic minority, currently serving a life sentence for separatism in a Chinese prison, is one of three nominees for the prestigious annual Martin Ennals Award for human rights defenders. Phil Lynch, Director of ISHR, which is a jury member for the awards, said the three nominees had … ‘stood out as being particularly courageous, persistent, principled and innovative and at a very high level of risk’. Read the full story here.

Human Rights Council adopts historic resolution on protection of rights defenders
Sri Lanka Guardian, March 25, 2016
ISHR welcomed the adoption of a landmark resolution on the protection of human rights defenders working to promote economic, social and cultural rights by a resounding vote. ISHR also recognised the principled leadership of Norway in leading the development of this timely resolution. Read full story here.

ONG globales piden a Peña combatir descrédito de activistas
La Jordana, March 17, 2016
ISHR has joined six other non-governmental organisations in a joint letter to the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, calling for the public condemnation of the defamation and discrediting of civil society organizations and human rights defenders. Read full story here (article in Spanish).

Detrás de la noticia: Dignidad pisoteada
RT en español, March 11, 2016
In light of the murder of high-profile indigenous human rights defender Berta Cáceres in Honduras, ISHR's Ben Leather and ISHR trainee Andrea Cerami are interviewed as part of a Spanish language news documentary story on the attacks and murders of environmental activists and land rights defenders in Latin America and the world. Watch the programme on YouTube here (in Spanish).

Protestor laws could trap farmers
The Land, January 27, 2016
ISHR, as well as the UN, criticised the introduction of the Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill 2015 by Australia as there is fear that the Bill could result in criminalisation of lawful protests and the silencing of environmentalists and human rights defenders. Read the full story here.

Deported Swedish NGO worker concerned about detained colleagues in China
Voice of America, January 27, 2016
ISHR expressed its views on the case of Peter Dahlin, a Swedish human rights activist expelled from China last January for allegedly operating an unlicensed rights group in China to endanger the country’s national security. For ISHR, Dahlin’s case showcases “the long arm of China,” whose influence now appears to have extended beyond its borders. Read the full story here

Nigerian and Global Rights Groups urge Nigeria to drop "Social Media Bill"
Sahara Reporters, December 17, 2015
ISHR co-signed an open letter sent by about 20 Nigerian, African and international human rights groups to urge key officials in the Nigerian Senate, citing concerns about free expression and the criminalisation of free expression under the Frivolous Petitions Prohibition Bill. Read the full story here.

Nigeria, Iran, Parkistan, Syria, North Korea others vote against UN resolution to protect human rights defenders
The Biafra Herald, November 28, 2015
ISHR expressed extreme disappointment at the 14 votes that rejected the UN resolution on human rights defenders as well as at the "cowardly position of abstaining" taken by 40 other countries. This "amounts to a failure to recognise the important role of defenders and the need for their protection," they said. Read the full story here.

Rwanda votes for human rights resolution. Russia, China protest
K T Press, November 26, 2015
Rwanda has defied African solidarity, voting in favour of a historic UN resolution that guarantees protection for individuals and groups involved in human rights work. ISHR's Madeleine Sinclair says votes against the resolution and abstentions amount to a failure by States to recognise the important role of defenders and the need for their protection. Read the full story here

Australia heavily criticised at UN for asylum seeker stance
ABC Online, November 10, 2015
ISHR participated in the Universal Periodic Review of Australia during which the country was heavily criticised for its asylum seeker stance. According to ISHR, these policies will have an impact on Australia's bid to win a seat on the UN Human Rights Council from 2018. Read the full story here

Regional Indigenous activists slam corporate abuses at IACHR
TeleSUR, October 22, 2015
ISHR participated in the first hearing held by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the role of businesses in violations against Indigenous activists working on land, environmental and cultural rights. ISHR denounced 'clear collusions between businesses, the State and organised crime groups aimed at silencing defenders'. Read the full story here

Human rights groups support EU resolution condemning Angolan rights violations
Angola News Network, October 8, 2015
ISHR joined a group of  international human rights and press freedom organisations who signed a letter of support to a recent European Parliament resolution calling attention to the worsening human rights situation in Angola. Read the full story here

Syria: Disclose Whereabouts of Detained Freedom of Expression Advocate
The Syrian Observer, October 8, 2015
ISHR joined a call launched by 30 other organisations to the Syrian authorities to immediately reveal the whereabouts of Bassel Khartabil, a human rights award-winning software developer who is facing Military Field Court proceedings for his peaceful activities in support of freedom of expression.  Khartabil managed to inform his family on October 3 that security officers had ordered him to pack without indicating his destination. His family believe that he may have been transferred to the military-run Field Court inside the Military Police base in Qaboun. Read the full story here

Ahmed Mansoor Selected as the 2015 Laureate Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders
Huridocs, October 7, 2015
The 2015 Martin Ennals Award was given to United Arab Emirates human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor for his work in favour of freedom of expression, civil and political rights. ISHR was among the ten world's leading human rights organisations that composed the Award jury.  Read the full story here

At U.N., China uses intimidation tactics to silence its critics
Reuters Investigates, October 6, 2015
Along with other civil society members, ISHR denounced China’s growing capacity to stifle opposition in the international arena at a time when it is cracking down on domestic dissent and preparing a new, restrictive law on foreign non-governmental organisations operating in China. Read the full story here

Concerns raised at UN Human Rights Council on LGBT rights
GayNZ, September 30, 2015
ISHR co-signed a joint statement during the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council to highlight the lack of global progress in relation to the rights of LGBT people. Read the full story here

Australia urged to lead UN over human rights in Egypt
Video News, July 15, 2015
ISHR co-signed a letter urging Australia to take a leadership role in the forthcoming discussions on Egypt's human rights situation. The letter states that 'Australia’s geographical isolation from Egypt may be a helpful factor' where other countries have been unwilling to lead on the issue due to concerns about regional security and stability in the Middle East. Read the full story here

Human Rights Group, Activists Decry Accusations by Venezuela's Diosdado Cabello
Latin Post, July 8, 2015
ISHR issued a statement denouncing the "dangerous and irresponsible"accusations made by the Venezuelan Government in order to tarnish the reputation and question the legitimacy of several human rigths defenders who had testified before the UN Human Rights Council. Read the full story here. 

International community ‘must maintain fullest scrutiny of Sri Lanka’ say NGOs
Tamil Guardian, July 3, 2015
ISHR co-signed a letter calling on ambassadors of UN Human Rights Council Member States to maintain scrutiny of Sri Lanka on issues of justice and accountability regarding the mass atrocities committed during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict. Read the full story here.

Maldives upset over Commonwealth move to discuss Nasheed
The New Indian Express, July 2, 2015
Commonwealth countries have called for the Maldives to be put on the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, over the trial and sentencing of former president Mohamed Nasheed. The move follows condemnation, last month, by ISHR and others of the deteriorating democratic and human rights situation in the Maldives. Read the full story here.

Criticism mounts against Maldives' Supreme Court
Minivan News, June 20, 2015
ISHR reiterated that the Maldives' Supreme court ruling that bars the national human rights watchdog from communicating with foreign organisations was a clear breach of the country's membership of the UN Human Rights Council. Read the full story here.

Refugee policies give Australia's global reputation a beating
Sydney Morning Herald, June 20, 2015
As a a staggering 60 million people have been driven from their homes due to war and persecution this year, ISHR denounced Australia's disdain for the Refugee Convention and expressed concern on the morality and legality of Australia's refugee and asylum-seeker policy. Read the full story here.

International Service for Human Rights condemns SC verdict on HRCM
Raajje, June 19, 2015
ISHR declared that the Maldives Supreme Court's decision preventing the country’s independent national human rights institution from communicating with the UN without government authorisation is a clear breach of international law and flagrantly incompatible with the Maldives’ membership in the UN Human Rights Council. Read the full story here.

European countries say they are 'concerned' and 'surprised' at payment allegations
Sydney Morning Herald, June 17, 2015
In the midst of a growing asylum seeker crisis in Europe, there is surprise and concern at the allegation that the Australian government has paid people smugglers. ISHR Director, Phil Lynch, said there is increasing concern within the UN but and the wider diplomatic community as to Australia's refugee and asylum seeker policy. Read the full story here.

Revealed: How the UN told Abbott government to back off on Gillian Triggs
Sydney Morning Herald, June 9, 2015
Following an appeal from ISHR, the UN has formally urged the Australian government to stop attacking Gillian Triggs and pressuring her to consider stepping down as president of the Human Rights Commission. Read the full story here.

Two NGOs lost their UN consultative status for speaking against Pakistan’s atrocities in Balochistan
Balochwarna News, June 6, 2015
ISHR has expressed deep concern after the withdrawal of UN consultative status from two NGOs in retaliation for statements they made at the UN Human Rights Council. Read the full story here.

NGOs condemn Nauru's censorship
Radio New Zealand, May 27, 2015
A group of NGOs, including ISHR, has written a letter to the Nauru government calling on it to restore full access to internet services and repeal a new law which restricts freedom of expression. Read the full story here.

Nauru rights regressing as it faces UN Universal Periodic Review
ABC, February 27, 2015
Ahead of Nauru's appearance at its Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations later this year, ISHR and the Human Rights Law Centre call on the Nauru government to address a regression in the country's human rights situation. Listen to the full story here.

Australia called to repeal excessive restrictions on freedom of speech and expression and other rights
International Buisness Times, February 6, 2015
ISHR's new report urges Australia to repeal excessive limitiations on rights such as freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. Listen here.

Australia urged to remove restrictions on rights
SBS, February 5, 2015
ISHR has released a report urging Australia to remove excessive restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful protests. Read the full story here.

China Proposal on NGOs raises transparency concerns
The New York Times, February 3, 2015
A proposal by China that would have withheld the names of countries that criticize NGOs seeking UN accreditation has drawn condemnation from diplomats and rights groups, citing concerns about transparency. The proposal was subsequently dropped. ISHR released a statement urging the accreditation committee to continue to be transparent in reports of its meetings. Read the full story here.

Sri Lanka: New Government must support human rights defenders and cooperate with the UN
The Sri Lankan Guardian, January 9, 2015
The new government in Sri Lanka must prevent, investigate and ensure accountability for attacks against journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders, ISHR has said. Read the full story here.

Sri Lanka's presidential race closely monitored by Australia
The Sydney Morning Herald, January 2, 2015
Australian officials are carefully watching Sri Lanka's presidential election, uneasy about how a change of government might affect joint action to stop asylum seekers' boats. ISHR's Phil Lynch said whatever the composition of the next Sri Lankan government, Australia should be guided by a commitment to human rights and the rule of law. Read the full story here.

UN officials call for U.S. to prosecute those responsible in CIA torture probe
News Observer, December 10, 2014
Following a damning US Senate report on the CIA's detention and interrogation programme, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for those responsible for torture to be held accountable. ISHR's Phil Lynch said as a matter of international law the US is not the only country that could bring charges; there is an obligation on member countries to the UN Convention against Torture to investigate all allegations of torture and to hold those either “directly or indirectly” involved accountable. Read the full story here.

Maryam al-Khawaja, the Inconvenient Activist
Foreign Policy, September 4, 2014
The arrest of Bahraini human rights activist Maryam al-Khawaja marks a new low point for the country’s autocracy. Maryam has been forbidden any contact with her lawyer for the entire seven days, which ISHR has declared to be 'in contravention of international human rights law.' Read the full story here.

Rights Groups Write To UN
The Sunday Leader, September 3, 2014
A group of six international human rights organisations, including ISHR, has called on the President and member states of the Human Rights Council as well as the government of Sri Lanka to take action to stop reprisals against those who cooperate with the UN. Read the full story here.

Activists sceptical on Lanka probe pledge
Gulf Times, September 2, 2014
The Sri Lankan government's claim that it will investigate the circumstances of people’s disappearances from its 26-year civil war has been received skeptically by activists and human rights organisations. ISHR says the government has failed to protect local activists from 'a clear pattern of systematic reprisals against human rights defenders and victims in Sri Lanka who seek to engage with the UN.' Read the full story here.

Rights groups ask Sri Lanka to stop intimidation
The New Indian Express, August 27, 2014
ISHR together with five other human rights organisations has written to the Sri Lankan government, and the President and member states of the Human Rights Council to put an end to intimidation and harrassment against those who cooperate with the UN. Read the full story here.         

Rights groups write to UN, Ravinatha
Colombo Gazette, August 26, 2014
A group of six international human rights organisations, including ISHR, has written a joint letter calling on the President and member states of the Human Rights Council, as well as the government of Sri Lanka, to take action to ensure no-one faces reprisals for cooperating with the UN. Read the full story here.      

Contentious Start For U.N. Process Toward Business And Human Rights Treaty
Mint Press News, July 10, 2014
The UN Human Rights Council voted to allow negotiations to begin toward a binding international treaty around transnational companies. ‘The development of a treaty on business and human rights is an important opportunity to strengthen corporate respect for human rights, the protection of human rights defenders, and access to justice for victims of corporate human rights violations,’ said Phil Lynch, ISHR Director. Read the full story here.

Interview with Phil Lynch
World Radio Switzerland, July 2, 2014
ISHR Director Phil Lynch spoke to Tony Johnson at World Radio Switzerland about his life in Geneva as an expat and his work at ISHR. Listen here.

After Losing Vote, U.S.-EU Threaten to Undermine Treaty
Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), June 28, 2014
The Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution that establishes an inter-governmental process to begin the development of a treaty on transnational corporations and other business enterprises. However, the EU and the US have threatened to undermine it by warning they will not cooperate with the intergovernmental working group that will lay down ground rules for negotiating the treaty. Philip Lynch, director of ISHR, said that it is very important that the EU participates in this negotiation process, as it is crucial that any treaty on business and human rights be negotiated with input from all relevant stakeholders. Read the full story here.

«Ma vraie vengeance, c’est la réconciliation»
Tribune de Genève, June 24, 2014
An outstanding South African freedom fighter, Albie Sachs, visiting Geneva at the invitation of ISHR, gave an interview to the Tribune de Genève about his life, work and “the soft vengeance” he had when his country got freedom and democracy. Read the full story online here or in print here

Albie Sachs, who lost arm in apartheid bomb blast: S. Africa needs to be on 'side of justice'
Ecumenical News, June 24, 2014
Former South African Constitutional Court Judge, Albie Sachs was at a special screening of a recently released biographical film Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa. The director of ISHR, Phil Lynch, who hosted Sachs with support from the Legal Resources Centre, said that Sachs is a huge inspiration to the thousands of human rights defenders ISHR trains. Read the full story here.

Interview with Albie Sachs
World Radio Switzerland, June 19, 2014
A renowned South African freedom fighter visited Geneva at the invitation of ISHR to participate at premiere screening of a film about his life Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the new South Africa. Albie Sachs spoke with Tony Johnston at World Radio Switzerland about his life and work to promote and protect human rights. Listen here.

Will Jordanian Prince Champion LGBT Rights In Top U.N. Post?, June 18, 2014
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan has been appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The International Service for Human Rights looks forward to Prince Zeid continuing on the path set by Navi Pillay who, throughout her term, was accessible to civil society, provided protection and support to human rights defenders, stood up and spoke out for universal human rights and against discrimination in all of its forms, says ISHR's Phil Lynch. Read the full story here.

Côte d’Ivoire : Après l’adoption par les députés de la loi sur la protection des défenseurs des droits de l’homme- LA CIDDH, le ROADDH et le SIDH appellent le Président Alassane Ouattara à la prise d’un décret pour  » sa mise en œuvre immédiate », June 17, 2014
The Law on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Defenders was adopted by the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire on 11 June 2014. This law should inspire other African States to develop similar legislation, the Côte d’Ivoire Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, the West African Human Rights Defenders Network and the International Service for Human Rights said today.  Read the full story here.

Liberia reports human rights record to AU, May 9, 2014
For the first time ever, Liberia has appeared before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to report on its human rights record. The International Service for Human Rights says among the most significant developments at the review was an open invitation by the Liberian government for the African Commissioners to make a country visit and provide their human rights expertise. Read the full story here.

Human rights nomination a boost for Chinese activism
Radio Free Asia, April 26, 2014
The nomination of a Cao Shunli who died in police custody after being denied medical treatment for the prestigious Martin Ennals Award is a boost to the country's nascent rights movement, activists have said. The International Service for Human Rights has called on the UN to push for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ms Cao's illness and death. Read the full story here.

Global recognition for Bangladeshi human rights defender
Scoop, April 26, 2014
Adilur Rahman Khan, a renowned human rights defender, who has been relentlessly persecuted by the incumbent regime in Bangladesh, has been recognized for his courage by the global human rights community. The International Service for Human Rights is a member of the jury of the Martin Ennals Award, for which Mr Khan has been nominated. Read the full story here.

Cao Shunli nominated for the Martin Ennals Award
Radio France Internationale (Chinese), April 23, 2014
Cao Shunli, a Chinese human rights defender who died in detention earlier this year, has been nominated for the 2014 Martin Ennals Award. The award aims to reward those who have made outstanding contributions in the field of human rights. 'It was only in her death that her voice was ultimately heard at and through the Human Rights Council,' says ISHR Director, Phil Lynch. Read the full story here (in Chinese only).

CCP criticized for canceling human rights dialogue with UK Government
New Tang Dynasty Television, April 17, 2014
The Chinese Communist Party has cancelled a human rights dialogue with the British government that was scheduled to take place on April 16, 2014. The cancellation of the dialogue follows the UK’s involvement in China’s dispute with the International Service for Human Rights at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) session, when ISHR attempted to hold a moment's silence for deceased human rights defender Cao Shunli. Read the full story here.

Civil society interests are deserted by democratic states at UN
Global Post, April 8, 2014
ISHR's Michelle Evans says civil society has been deserted by democratic states, who are failing to seek seats on the UN's Committee on Non-governmental Organizations. The committee controls which civil society groups secure UN 'consultative status'. However, membership on the 'gatekeeper' committee only seems to be coveted by States such as Azerbaijan, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Iran and Venezuela. Read the full story here.

The Pope’s tone softens — but The Vatican is still fighting LGBT rights around the world
Buzzfeed, April 2, 2014
Pope Francis’ softening tone on LGBT issues does not appear to have been matched by a meaningful shift in international policy. The Holy See continues to hold a hard line in fighting to preserve a narrow definition of the word 'family' in international law, and is negatively influencing other States to take equally regressive positions in resolution negotiations. Read the full story here.

Issue of China’s Forced Organ Harvesting from Falun Gong Raised at UNHRC
Epoch Times, March 31, 2014
The Chinese regime’s macabre practice of killing Falun Gong practitioners for their organs was raised before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva recently by the Vancouver-based Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada. Read the full story here.

China blocks tribute to dead dissident at UN rights council
Global Post, March 21, 2014
China has locked horns with Western states and rights groups at the UN Human Rights Council, after ISHR called for a moment's silence to honour deceased human rights defender Cao Shunli. US representative Paula Schriefer said Members of the council have no authority to dictate the content of relevant interventions by civil society organisations. 'That fact applies to any intervention that includes silence, as much as any spoken intervention,' Schriefer said. Read the full story by Agence France-Presse here

Nigerian anti-gay law prompts arrests, international condemnation
Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2014
A draconian anti-gay law passed by the Nigerian parliament last year and quietly signed by President Goodluck Jonathan this month has led to the arrest of scores of homosexuals and set off an international wave of condemnation. "International human rights law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity," explains Dr. Heather Collister. Read the full story here

Dozens arrested after anti-gay law passed in Nigeria
The Telegraph, January 14, 2014
Dozens of men have been arrested for being gay after Nigeria quietly passes homosexuality legislation. Dr. Heather Collister gives ISHR's opinion on the new bill. Read the full story here

UN women's rights resolution passed despite backlash
Al Arabiya, November 28, 2013
The UN General Assembly has passed a 'landmark first resolution on women's rights defenders', reports Agence France-Presse with commentary from ISHR's Eleanor Openshaw. Read the full story here

Accents du monde - UPR of China
Radio France Internationale, October 25, 2013
Radio France Internationale reports on the Universal Periodic Review of China and speaks with ISHR’s Michael Ineichen regarding the disappearance of Chinese human rights defender Cao Shunli. Listen to the reporting here. The story is available in Chinese here.

La Chine joue de l'imtimidation
Le Temps, October 23, 2013
Speaking to Le Temps newspaper, ISHR's Director of Human Rights Council Advocacy, Michael Ineichen reports on the disappearance of Chinese human rights defender, Ms Cao Shunli. Ms Shunli was scheduled to attend an ISHR training course and the Human Rights Council's 24th session, ahead of China's universal periodic review. Her disappearance is said to be emblematic of the kinds of intimidation experienced by those that criticise the Chinese government. Read the full story here.

Human rights defender disappeared in China
SBS Radio Australia, September 25, 2013
ISHR's Director of Human Rights Council Advocacy, Michael Ineichen spoke to SBS Radio Australia on the reported disappearance of a Chinese human rights defender, scheduled to attend an ISHR training course on international human rights advocacy in Geneva. Listen to the interview here.

China mystery: Legal activist questioned by police disappears at airport
Washington Post, September 25, 2013
Cao Shunli has been missing since Sept. 14, BBC reported. She was attempting to fly out of China to Switzerland for a human rights training course offered by the International Service for Human Rights, when airport security forces barred her from boarding. Read more here.

UN should protect rights defenders from attacks and reprisals
Global Post, August 8, 2013
The UN must address a disturbing global increase in reprisals against human rights defenders who campaign for corporate accountability, writes ISHR Director Phil lynch. Read more here.

Does Australia deserve a place at the world's top human rights table?
The Australian, June 20, 2013
From an Australian perspective the most recent session of the UN Human Rights Council ended last week with a bang, says Phil Lynch. Read more here.

Global community must act to protect human rights defenders from restrictions and attacks
Global Post, June 3, 2013
The global community must act to protect human rights defenders and civil society organizations from unprecedented restrictions and attacks, explains Phil Lynch. Read more here.

UN Human Rights Council may act against LGBT discrimination
Global Post, April 28, 2013
While supporters celebrated France becoming the 14th country to legislate for marriage equality, across the world lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people continue to struggle against violence and discrimination, says Dr. Heather Collister. Read more here.

Global voices must be heard on Sri Lanka
The Australian, March 15, 2013
The world has a responsibility to act, says Phil Lynch. Read more here.

UN called upon to oppose rampant worldwide anti gay and trans bigotry
Gay Star News, 14 March, 2013
‘The time has come for the Human Rights Council to take a strong and principled stand in favour of equality and against homophobia and intolerance' says Phil Lynch. Read more here.

Achieving progress? UN Rights Council looks at 20-year-old declaration
Global Post, February 29, 2013
Phil Lynch discusses the need to maintain the human rights goals of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in 1993. Read more here.

Shrinking space for human rights defenders
The Australian, February 21, 2013
The Russian "homosexual propaganda" bill exemplifies the shrinking space for human rights defenders and their susceptibility to intimidation, attacks and reprisals explains Phil Lynch. Read more here.