Annual Report 2014

annual Report 2014

Cover: Demonstrators in front of police forces protest against a third term of President Pierre Nkurunziza in Musanga, in the suburbs of Bujumbura (Burundi).

04 Our Fundamentals
05

A Universal and Federalist Movement

06

178 Member Organisations

07

International Board

08

International Secretariat

10 Priority 1

Supporting Human Rights Defenders

20 Priority 2

Promoting and Protecting Women’s Rights

27 Priority 3

Promoting and Protecting Migrants’ Rights

33 Priority 4

Promote the Administration of Justice and fight against Impunity

44 Priority 5

Strengthening Respect For Human Rights in the Context of economic Globalisation

51 Priority 6 Conflicts, Closed and Transition Countries: Defending Democratic Principles and
Supporting Victims of the Most grave Violations
51

> Maghreb and the Middle East

57

> Sub-Saharan Africa

65

> The Americas

70

> Asia

76

> East Europe and Central Asia

82

FIDH Organisational Implications

90

Financial Report 2014

91 Acknowledgements

Our Fundamentals
Our mandate: Protect all rights
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is an
international NGO. It defends all human rights – civil, political,
economic, social and cultural – as contained in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.

Our commitment: Three pillars of action
FIDH acts in conjunction with its member and partner
organisations. Its actions are founded on three strategic pillars:
securing the freedom and capacity to act for human rights
defenders, the universality of rights and their effectiveness.

Guiding principle: The accountability of all
FIDH’s work is directed at States as primary human rights
guarantors. However, it also addresses non State actors such
as armed groups and multinational corporations. FIDH is
committed to holding individual perpetrators of international
crimes to account through the international criminal justice
system.

Ethics: Independence and objectivity

FIDH is a recognised NGO. FIDH’s independence, expertise
and objectivity are the hallmarks of its credibility. It maintains
this by acting with complete transparency.

Interaction: Local presence - global action
As a federal movement, FIDH operates on the basis of
interaction with its member organisations. It ensures that
FIDH merges on-the-ground experience and knowledge with
expertise in international law, mechanisms of protection
and intergovernmental bodies. This unique combination
translates through joint actions between FIDH and its member
organisations at national, regional and international levels to
remedy human rights violations and consolidate processes of
democratisation. It makes FIDH highly representational and
legitimate.

A system of governance:
Universality and transparency
FIDH’s structure and operations place its member organisations
at the heart of the decision making process, and reflect its
principles of governance.

FIDH is a non partisan, non sectarian, apolitical and not for profit
organisation. Its secretariat is headquartered in France, where

FIDH Congress, May 2013, support to detained human rights defenders Ales Bialiatski (Belarus) and Nabeel Rajab (Bahrein) © FIDH

4 — F I D H ANNUaL RePORT 2 0 1 4

A Universal and
Federalist Movement
The Congress

The International Secretariat

• Is composed of the 178 member organisations of FIDH since
the end of the FIDH Congress in Turkey in 2013;
• Meets every three years;
• Discusses the FIDH thematic and geographical priorities and
decides on the policy orientations of FIDH.

• Based in Paris, it is composed of a team of professionals
managed by a Chief Executive Officer and an Executive
Director, who sit as non-voting advisory members of the
International and the Executive Boards. The team is
structured by regions, action priorities, and delegations.
The International Secretariat has permanent delegations at
the United Nations in New York and Geneva, at the European
Union in Brussels, before the International Criminal Court
in The Hague; regional offices in Tunis and Pretoria; and
offices in conjunction with member organisations in Conakry,
Abidjan, and Bamako. It also comprises a Communications
and Public Relations department, and an Administrative and
Financial Support department.
• In permanent contact with the actors in the field, the
International Secretariat implements the decisions of the
FIDH policy-making bodies in conjunction with the member
organisations, the chargés de mission, and members of the
International and Executive Boards.

The International Board
• Comprises 22 volunteers from FIDH member organisations. The Board is elected by the Congress and consists
of the President, the Treasurer, 15 Vice-Presidents and 5
Secretaries-General;
• Determines FIDH’s main strategic goals and orientations,
according to the policy orientations set by the Congress
and approves the annual accounts;
• Meets three times a year and reports to the Congress.

The Executive Board
• Is composed of the President, the Treasurer, 5 Secretaries
General and 5 Deputy Secretaries General;
• Prepares and organises the meetings of the International
Board;
• Meets once a month and reports to the International Board.

Key
activitie
2014 s
International
missions

62

Fact-finding
reports
and
position
papers

40

Material
support
to defenders
at risk

Advocacy
missions
before intergovernmental
organisations

Alerts
on the
situation of
defenders

Judicial
actions
on behalf
of victims

60 100
240 110
F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 5

178 Member Organisations
Afghanistan, Armanshahr/Open Asia / AlbaniA, Albanian human rights group (Ahrg) / AlgEriA, Collectif des familles de disparu(e)s en AlgÉrie (Cfda) / AlgEriA, Ligue AlgÉrienne de défense des droits de l’homme (Laddh) / angola, Associação Justiça Paz e Democracia (AJPD) /
ArgentinA, Liga Argentina Por Los Derechos Del Hombre (Ladh) / ArgentinA, Comité De Acción Jurídica (Caj) / ArgentinA, Centro De Estudios Legales Y Sociales (Cels) / ArmEniA, Civil Society Institute (Csi) / AuStriA, Osterreichische Liga Fur Menschenrechte (Olfm) / AzerbaIjan, Human Rights Center Of Azerbaijan (Hrca) / BahrAIn, Bahrain Human Rights Society (Bhrs) / BahrAIn, Bahrain CentER For Human Rights
(Bchr) / Bangladesh, Odhikar / Belarus, Human Rights Center Viasna / BelgiUM, Liga Voor Menschenrechten (Lvm) / BelgiUM, Ligue Des
Droits De L’homme - Belgique / BEnin, Ligue Pour La Défense Des Droits De L’homme Au BÉnin (Lddhb) / BoliviA, Asamblea Permanente De Derechos Humanos De Bolivia (Apdhb) / Botswana, The Botswana Centre For Human Rights – Ditshwanelo / BrAZil, Movimento Nacional De
Direitos Humanos (Mndh) / BrAZil, Justiça Global (Cjg) / Burkina Faso, Mouvement BurkinabÉ Des Droits De L’homme Et Des Peuples (Mbdhp)
/ BUrma, Altsean Burma / Burundi, Ligue Burundaise Des Droits De L’homme (Iteka) / CambodIA, Cambodian Human Rights And Development
Association (Adhoc) / CambodIA, Ligue Cambodgienne De Défense Des Droits De L’homme (Licadho) / CameroOn, Maison Des Droits De L’homme
(Mdh) / Canada, Ligue Des Droits Et Des Libertés Du QuÉbec (Ldl) / CentraL African REpubliC, Ligue CentrafricAIne Des Droits De L’homme
(Lcdh) / CentraL African REpubliC, Organisation Pour La Compassion Des Familles En DÉtresse (Ocodefad) / chad, Ligue Tchadienne Des
Droits De L’homme (Ltdh) / chad, Association Tchadienne Pour La Promotion Et La Défense Des Droits De L’homme (Atpdh) / ChilE, Observatorio Cuidadano / ChilE, Corporacion De Promocion Y Defensa De Los Derechos Del Pueblo (Codepu) / ChinA, CHINA LABOUR BULLETIN (CLB) /
ChinA, Human Rights In China / CHINA (TIBET), International Campaign For Tibet (Ict) / ColombiA, Corporacion Colectivo De Abogados José
Alvear Restrepo Ccajar / ColombiA, Instituto Latinoamericano De Servicios Legales Alternativos (Ilsa) / ColombiA, Organización Femenina
Popular (Ofp) / ColombiA, Comite Permanente Por La Defensa De Los Derechos Humanos (Cpdh) / Congo, Observatoire Congolais Des Droits
De L’homme (Ocdh) / Costa Rica (Aseprola), Asociación De Servicios De Promoción Laboral (Aseprola) / Ivory Coast, Mouvement Ivoirien Des
Droits Humains (Midh) / Ivory Coast, Ligue Ivoirienne Des Droits De L’homme (Lidho) / CroatiA, Civic Committee For Human Rights (Cchr) / Cuba,
Comision Cubana De Derechos Humanos Y Reconciliacion National (Ccdhn) / cZECH REpubliC, Human Rights League (Hrl) - Liga Lidskych Prav
/ DEmocratiC REpubliC OF Congo, Ligue Des Électeurs (Le) / DEmocratiC REpubliC OF Congo, Groupe Lotus / DEmocratiC REpubliC OF
Congo, Association Africaine Des Droits De L’homme (Asadho) / Djibouti, Ligue Djiboutienne Des Droits Humains (Lddh) / Dominican REpubliC, Cnd Comisión Nacional De Los Derechos Humanos, Inc / ECuaDor, Fundación Regional De Asesoria En Derechos Humanos (Inredh) /
ECuaDOr, Centro De Derechos Economicos Y Sociales (Cdes) / ECuaDOr, Comisión Ecuménica De Derechos Humanos (Cedhu) / Egypt, Cairo
Institute For Human Rights Studies (Cihrs) / Egypt, Human Rights Association For The Assistance Of Prisoners (Hraap) / Egypt, Egyptian initiative for personal rights (eipr) / Egypt, Egyptian Organization For Human Rights (Eohr) / El Salvador, Comision De Derechos Humanos Del
Salvador (Cdhes) / EthiopiA, Human Rights Council (Hrco) / Europe, Association Européenne Pour La Défense Des Droits De L’homme (Aedh)
/ Finland, Finnish League For Human Rights (Flhr) - Ihmisoikeusliitto / France, Ligue Des Droits De L’homme Et Du Citoyen (Ldh) / FRANCE (NEW
CalEdoniA), Ligue Des Droits Et Du Citoyen De Nouvelle Calédonie (Ldhnc) / FRANCE (FRENCH PolynEsiA), Ligue PolynÉsienne Des Droits Humains (Lpdh) / GEorgiA, Human Rights Center (Hridc) / gERMANY, Internationale Liga Fur Menschenrechte (Ilmr) / GrEEce, Hellenic League
For Human Rights (Hlhr) / Guatemala, Comision De Derechos Humanos De Guatemala (Cdhg) / Guatemala, Centro De Acción Legal En Derechos Humanos (Caldh) / GuineA-Bissau, Liga Guineense Dos Direitos Humanos (Lgdh) / GuineA-Conakry, Organisation GuinÉenne De DÉfense
Des Droits De L’homme Et Du Citoyen (Ogdh) / gUlf, Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) / HaIti, Centre Oecumenique Des Droits Humains
(Cedh) / HaIti, Réseau National De Défense Des Droits De L’homme (Rnddh) / Honduras, Centro De Investigación Y Promoción De Los Derechos
Humanos (Ciprodeh) / Honduras, Comité de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH) / IndIA, Commonwealth Human
Rights Initiative (Chri) / INDONEsiA, KontraS / Iran, Defenders Of Human Rights Center In Iran (Dhrc) / Iran, Ligue Pour La DÉfense Des Droits
De L’homme En Iran (Lddhi) / IrEland, Free Legal Advice Centres Limited (Flac) / IrEland, Irish Council For Civil Liberties (Iccl) / IsraEl, B’tselem / IsraEl, Association For Civil Rights In Israel (Acri) / IsraEl, Public Committee Against Torture In Israel (Pcati) / IsraEl, Adalah / ItalY,
Lega Italiana Dei Diritti Dell’uomo (Lidu) / ItalY, Unione Forense Per La Tutela Dei Diritti Dell’uomo (Uftdu) / JapAn, Center For Prisoners’
Rights (Cpr) / Jordan, Amman Center For Human Rights Studies (Achrs) / KAZAKHSTAN, Kazakstan International Bureau for Human Rights
and Rule of Law (KIBHR) / Kenya, Kenya Human Rights Commission (Khrc) / Kosovo, Council For The Defense Of Human Rights And Freedoms
(Cdhrf) / KUWAIT, Human Line Organisation (HLO) / KYrgYzstan, Human Rights Movement (Bir Duino-Dyrgyzstan) / KYrgYzstan, Kyrgyz Committee For Human Rights (Kchr) / KYrgYzstan, Legal Clinic Adilet / KYrgYzstan, Kylym Shamy / Laos, Mouvement Lao Pour Les Droits De
L’homme (Mldh) / LATVIA, Latvian Human Rights Committee (Lhrc) / LEbanON, Palestinian Human Rights Organization (Phro) / LEbanON, Centre
Libanais des Droits Humains (CLDH) / LibEria, Regional Watch For Human Rights (Lwhr) / LibyA, Human Rights Association for Recording and
Documenting War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity / LibyA, Libyan League For Human Rights (Llh) / LitHuaniA, Lithuanian Human Rights
Association (Lhra) / MalaYsiA, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) / Mali, Association Malienne Des Droits De L’homme (Amdh) / MaltA, Malta Association Of Human Rights/ Fondation De Malte / MauritaniA, Association Mauritanienne Des Droits De L’homme (Amdh) / MexiCO, Liga Mexicana
Por La Defensa De Los Derechos Humanos (Limeddh) / MexiCO, Comision Mexicana De Defensa Y Promocion De Los Derechos Humanos
(Cmdpdh) / MOLDOVA, Promo-LEX / MOrocCO, Organisation Marocaine Des Droits De L’homme (Omdh) / MOrocCO, Association Marocaine Des
Droits Humains (Amdh) / Mozambique, Liga Mocanbicana Dos Direitos Humanos (Lmddh) / Nicaragua, Centro Nicaraguense De Derechos
Humanos (Cenidh) / Niger, Association Nigerienne Pour La DÉfense Des Droits De L’homme (Anddh) / NigEria, Civil Liberties Organisation (Clo)
/ NorTHERN IrEland, Committee On The Administration Of Justice (Caj) / Pakistan, Human Rights Commission Of Pakistan (Hrcp) / Palestine,
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (AL MEZAn) / Palestine, Palestinian Centre For Human Rights (Pchr) / Palestine, Al Haq / Palestine, Ramallah Centre For Human Rights Studies (Rchrs) / Panama, Centro De Capacitación Social De Panamá (Ccs) / PERu, Asociacion Pro Derechos
Humanos (Aprodeh) / PEru, Centro De Derechos Y Desarrollo (Cedal) / Philippines, Philippine Alliance Of Human Rights Advocates (Pahra) /
Portugal, Civitas / RomaniA, The League For The Defense Of Human Rights (Lado) / RussiA, Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial (Adc Memorial) / RussiA, Citizens’ Watch (Cw) / Rwanda, Collectif Des Ligues Pour La DÉfense Des Droits De L’homme (Cladho) / Rwanda, Association
Rwandaise Pour La DÉfense Des Droits De La Personne Et Des LibertÉs Publiques (Adl) / Rwanda, Ligue Rwandaise Pour La Promotion Et La
DÉfense Des Droits De L’homme (Liprodhor) / SEnEgal, Organisation Nationale Des Droits De L’homme (Ondh) / SEnEgal, Rencontre Africaine
Pour La DÉfense Des Droits De L’homme (Raddho) / SEnEgal, Ligue Sénégalaise des Droits Humains (LSdh) / SerbiA, Center For Peace And
Democracy Development (Cpdd) / SOUTH AFRICA, LAwyer for human rights (LHR) / spaIn, Asociacion Pro Derechos Humanos De Espana
(Apdhe) / spaIn, Federacion De Asociaciones De Defensa Y Promocion De Los Derecho (Fddhh) / Sudan, Sudan Human Rights Monitor (Suhrm)
/ Sudan, African Center For Justice And Peace Studies (Acjps) / SWITZERLAND, Ligue Suisse Des Droits De L’homme (Lsdh) / SyriA, Damascus
Center For Human Rights Studies (Dchrs) / SyriA, Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) / SyriA, Committees For The
Defense Of Democracy Freedoms And Human Rights (Cdf) / TaIwan, Taiwan Association For Human Rights (Tahr) / TAJIKISTAN, Tajik « Bureau
on Human Rights and Rule of Law » (BHR) / TanzaniA, The Legal And Human Rights Centre (Lhrc) / ThaIland, Union For Civil Liberties (Ucl) / THE
NETHERLANDs, Liga Voor De Rechten Van De Mens (Lvrm) / Togo, Ligue Togolaise Des Droits De L’homme (Ltdh) / TunisiA, Ligue Tunisienne Des
Droits De L’homme (Ltdh) / TunisiA, Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux (FTDES) / TunisiA, Association Tunisienne Des
Femmes DÉmocrates (Atfd) / TunisiA, Doustourna / TunisiA, Conseil National Pour Les LibertÉs En Tunisie (Cnlt) / TurKeY, Insan Haklari Dernegi (Ihd) / Diyabakir / TurKEY, Human Rights Foundation Of Turkey (Hrft) / TurKEY, Insan Haklari Dernegi (Ihd) / Ankara / uganda, Foundation
For Human Rights Initiative (Fhri) / UniTED KINGDOM, Liberty / UniTED StatEs OF AMERICA, Center For Constitutional Rights (Ccr) / UniTED
StatEs OF AMERICA, Center For Justice & Accountability (Cja) / uzbekistan, Association internationale de défense des droits de l'Homme
« Club des cœurs ardents » / uzbekistan, Human Rights Society Of Uzbekistan (Hrsu) / uzbEkistan, Legal Aid Society (Las) / Vietnam, ComitÉ
Vietnam Pour La DÉfense Des Droits De L’homme (Cvddh) / YEmen, Human Rights Information And Training Center (Hritc) /
YEmen, Sisters’ Arab Forum For Human Rights (Saf) / Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (Zimrights).

6 — F I D H ANNUaL RePORT 2 0 1 4

International Board
PRESIDENT

TREASURER

Karim LAHIDJI
Iran

Jean-François Plantin
France

VICE-PRESIDENTS

Yusuf Alatas
Turkey

Aliaksandr Bialiatski
Belarus

Noeline Blackwell
Ireland

Juan Carlos Capurro
Argentine

Dimitris Christopoulos
Greece

Katherine Gallagher
United States of America

Tolekan Ismailova
Kyrgyzstan

Shawan Jabarin
Palestine

Dismas Kitenge Senga
Democratic Republic
of Congo

Elsie Monge
Ecuador

Sheila Muwanga
Uganda

Rosemarie R. Trajano
Philippines

Drissa Traoré
Ivory Coast

Paulina Vega Gonzalez
Mexico

Zohra Yusuf
Pakistan

Debbie Stothard
Burma

Pierre Esperance
Haiti

Paul Nsapu Mukulu
Democratic Republic
of Congo

Patrick BaudoUin
France

Daniel Jacoby
France

Michel Blum
France

Nabeel Rajab
Bahrain

Alice MOGWE
Botswana

Artak KIRAKOSYAN
Armenia

SECRETARIES GENERAL

Amina Bouayach
Morocco

Dan Van Raemdonck
Belgium

HONORARY PRESIDENTS
Souhayr Belhassen
Tunisia

Sidiki Kaba
Senegal

and in cooperation with:

DEPUTY SECRETARIES GENERAL
Florence Bellivier
France

Khadija CHERIF
Tunisia

PERMANENT DELEGATES
Dobian Assingar
before the Economic and
Monetary Community
of Central African States

Mabassa Fall
before the African
Union (AU)

Luis Guillermo Perez Casas
before the Organization
of American States (OAS)

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 7

8 — F I D H ANNUaL RePORT 2 0 1 4

Kate COLES

Assistant to the Executive
Directorate

Mathilde Hamon

Director, Human Resources

Marie-France BURQ

Director, Fundraising

Fundraising Officer

Nathalie LASSLOP

Accountant

Tony MINET

Nina NOUYONGODE

Director, Accounting

Finance Officer

Samia MERAH

Director, Financial Control

Sergueï FUNT

ADMINISTRATION, FINANCES and HUMAN RESOURCES

headquarters (PARIS)

Department DIRECToRS

executive Directorate
Antoine MADELIN

Executive Assistant
Secretary

Lidya OGBAZGHI

Director,
Publications

Céline BALLEREAU TETU

Digital Communication
Officer

Jean-Baptiste PAULHET

Director, Press Relations

Arthur MANET

Director, Information
Systems

Nicolas BARRETO DIAZ

Publications
Officer

Christophe GARDAIS

Press Officer

Audrey COUPRIE

Deputy Director Information
Systems

Cyril MARION

COMMUNICATION and PUBLIc RELATIONS

Director, International
Advocacy

Corinne BEZIN

Director, Finance and
Administration

Juliane FALLOUX
Executive Director

Antoine BERNARD
Chief Executive Officer

Tchérina JEROLON

Alexandra POMEON

Director, Observatory
for the Protection of Human Rights
Defenders

Hugo GABBERO

Programme Officer, Observatory
for the Protection of Human Rights
Defenders

Deputy Director,
International Justice

Delphine CARLENS

Karine BONNEAU

Director,
International Justice

Assistant, Women’s Rights
and Migrants’ Rights

Daisy SCHMITT

Marion CADIER

Programme Officer,
Globalisation and Human Rights

Nancy DEMICHELI

Programme Officer,
North Africa and Middle-East

Joanna HOSA

Assistant, Eastern Europe
and Central Asia

Deputy Director, Africa

Director, Women’s Rights
and Migrants’ Rights

Katherine BOOTH

Director, Globalisation
and Humans Rights

Geneviève PAUL

Director,
North Africa and Middle-East

Marie CAMBERLIN

Director, Eastern Europe
and Central Asia

(Nadia YAKHLAF until May 2014)

Alexandra KOULAEVA

Natalia YAYA MARTELLO

Programme Officer, Americas

Director, Africa

Florent GEEL

Director, Asia

Michelle KISSENKOETTER

Director, Operations

Marceau Sivieude

REseaRCH and OPeRATIONS

Isabelle Chebat

updated january 31, 2015

Director, Communication and
Public Relations

International Secretariat

(until May 14)

Coordinator,
Belarus Programme

Léa SAMAIN-RAIMBAULT

Hassatou BA

Programme Officer, Africa

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 9

(from April 14)

Representative to the UN

Stéphanie DAVID

Liaison Officer,
Delegation to the UN

Sonia TANCIC

Representative to the UN

Nicolas AGOSTINI

Liaison Officer,
Delegation to the EU

Catherine ABSALOM

Delegate to the EU

Jean-Marie ROGUE

Representative to the EU

Gaelle DUSEPULCHRE

NEW YORK

GENEVA

BRUSSELS

MOBILISATION of INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS

DeLeGATIONS, ReGIONAL OFFICES AND JOINT OFFICES FIDH/LEAGUES

Consultant – Communication
Officer on Latin America
and the Caribbean

José Carlos THISSEN
LIMA

COMMUNICATION and
PUBLIc RELATIONS

Consultant FIDH Delegate Tunis

Yosra FRAWES

Programme Officer,
Western Europe

Elena CRESPI

Jimena REYES

Director, Americas

Representative before the ICC

Carrie COMER

Clément MAVUNGU

Coordinator African Court
Programme

TUNIS

BRUSSELS

THE HAGUE

PRETORIA

Programme Officer,
AMDH/FIDH joint programme

Lalla TOURE

Drissa TRAORE

Programme Officer,
AMDH/FIDH joint programme

Accountant Secretary,
OGDH/FIDH joint programme

Aboubacar SYLLA

Programme Officer,
OGDH/FIDH joint programme

Mamadou Boussouriou DIALLO

Amadou BARRY

Programme Officer,
OGDH/FIDH joint programme

Coordinator Guinea
Programme

Mathilde CHIFFERT

Deputy Coordinator,
MIDH/LIDHO/FIDH
joint programme

Willy NETH

Antonin RABECQ

Delegate in Ivory Coast
and Guinea

REsEaRCH and OPeRATIONS

BAMAKO

GUINEA

ABIDJAN

Priority 1

Supporting Human Rights
Defenders
Context and challenges
In closed and totalitarian countries like Eritrea, North Korea or
Turkmenistan, the defence of human rights remains virtually
impossible, forcing defenders to go underground or seek exile.
Many defenders active in authoritarian countries in 2014,
have sought to draw attention to the oppression prevalent in
their home states, including through institutions like the United
Nations. However, many of them have been subject to intense
pressure and repression. In these countries, authorities place
considerable limits on freedoms for civil society by controlling
the justice system and introducing rules to curb freedom,
especially regarding NGO access to funding, NGO registration,
control over activities and freedom of assembly. This legalised
oppression is now being exported from country to country with
the intent to silence any denunciation of human rights violations.
This is particularly the case in Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, the Russian Federation,
Vietnam, and Turkey, amongst others.
The situation of human rights defenders is also particularly
precarious in conflict zones and areas affected by violence
from non-state groups. Here, defenders documenting violations
or fighting impunity are the targets of attack, kidnapping or
assassination, often being seen to support one or other of the
warring parties, as is the case in Libya, the Philippines, the DRC,
and Syria.
In other countries beset by extremist religious movements,
this year has also seen defenders of the rights to freedom of
expression, freedom of religion and women’s rights subjected to
particularly serious acts of violence, including in Saudi Arabia,
India, Libya, Mauritania and Pakistan.
The repression of defenders of land or environmental rights
continues to escalate in line with the growing number of disputes
over fundamental rights and natural resources. More and more
defenders, peasant leaders or indigenous community leaders,
journalists and NGO activists, who are committed to these causes

10 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

are the target of violence or criminalisation campaigns. Such
treatment is especially observable in Latin America (Brazil,
Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru),
Asia (Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Thailand) and Africa (Cameroon, Liberia, Uganda, the DRC,
Sierra Leone).
Moreover, human rights defenders standing up for marginalised
or discriminated against segments of society are particularly
repressed. Defenders of women’s rights, LGBTI rights, migrant
rights, indigenous peoples’ rights and the rights of religious
minorities often face discrimination, criminalisation and
sometimes hate crime.
Defenders’ activities render them often subject to surveillance,
including through the use of new technologies. Personal data,
phone conversations, emails and social network discussions can
be spied upon or pirated. Surveillance therefore becomes yet
another means of repressing human rights defenders, together
with ridicule, threats, legal harassment, attacks and assassinations
– all frequently carried out with complete impunity. This is the
precarious situation in which these defenders exist, their abusers
including both agents of the State and non-state actors, such as
companies.
FIDH vice-president, Ales Bialiatski, was freed in Belarus one
year before the end of his sentence in June 2014. Nevertheless,
whilst FIDH’s Assistant Secretary General, Nabeel Rajab, was
also freed in 2014, he was subsequently subjected to yet another
judicial prosecution and rearrested in Bahrain. At the end of
2014, many representatives from FIDH’s member and partner
organisations remained in arbitrary detention in countries such
as Iran, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Syria, Egypt and Azerbaijan.
Defenders subject to judicial harassment are often the target
of rushed trials or extremely long procedures that become
punishments in themselves, preventing them from pursuing their
human rights activities.
The political context in which they operate, their isolation
and their lack of financial resources render many NGOs and
defenders weak in trying to counter risks to their personal safety

or take protective measures. Material support to strengthen their
capacity for action, with training in how to document and detect
violations, as well as advocacy before local, national, regional
and international institutions, remained FIDH’s core task in 2014,
whilst also seeking to strengthen co-operation with international
and regional bodies to protect defenders.

FIDH and its member organisations and partners
in action
In line with its multi-year strategic plan of action, FIDH with its
member organisations and partners implemented many activities
to protect defenders in danger and strengthen their capacity to act.
Protective activities were undertaken within the framework of the
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights (the Observatory), a
joint program created by FIDH in 1997 with the Global Organisation
Against Torture (GOAT).

> Protecting defenders in situations
of insecurity or repression
Establishing the facts and alerting on a daily basis
Urgent interventions constitute one of the main tools for protecting defenders. They consist of mobilising all available leverage among state and non-state actors, including armed groups
or companies, as well as the media and decision-makers. Such
mobilisation seeks to halt or expose any threat or harassment
directed at defenders or groups of defenders. These interventions
describe the threat as experienced by those targeted, making a
series of recommendations to the competent authorities to guard
against these violations. Each case or situation is the subject of
discussion with the defender concerned, his family, local partners and FIDH’s geographic teams, so as to determine the most
appropriate strategy.
FIDH aims to respond to defender threats in the shortest possible time on the basis of trustworthy and verified information
gathered and compiled by its member organisations. It does so
in the most useful format and language, and seeks to ensure
constant follow-up as the situation develops. In many cases this
has brought an end to the violation, and has helped improve the
situation or working conditions of the defenders concerned, as
well as preventing new violations. These urgent interventions
also serve as a basis for developing advocacy actions, targeted
mobilisation or emergency assistance at a later date where a
violation persists or worsens.
In 2014, FIDH undertook 243 emergency interventions (urgent
appeals, press releases and open letters to authorities) involving
51 countries. These interventions particularly focused on certain
countries where violations are especially serious or systematic, or

where they took place in the context of conflict, crisis or political
transition: for example, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma,
Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia, Djibouti, Cambodia, Egypt,
Guatemala, Haiti, Iran, Mauretania, Mexico, the DRC, Russia,
Rwanda, Syria, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
Throughout the year, FIDH has been extremely sensitive to the
problems faced by defenders of land and environmental rights.
2014 saw it issue 36 related emergency alerts, publish an annual
report on the matter (see below), and consolidate an information
network with NGOs specialising in the area, including Global
Witness and the International Land Coalition (ILC). Based on
these emergency interventions and other information compiled,
FIDH produced an interactive map indicating the different types
of violations against land rights defenders by country. This is
proving to be a highly valued educational outreach tool for decision-makers, available at: www.wearenotafraid.org.
Lastly, to alert and mobilise agents of change on the particular
situation of arbitrarily detained defenders, FIDH launched an
international campaign called #ForFreedom: The more you talk
about it, the sooner they’ll be out. The campaign focuses on
emblematic cases of human rights defenders in detention.

BAHRAIN: “Thank you for all your help and support
which helped me feel stronger and showed the world I was not
alone”.
Message from Nabeel Rajab, FIDH Assistant Secretary
General and President of the Bahrain Centre for Human
Rights (BCHR), following his release in May 2014.

BELARUS: “It’s the support from all of you, all the
national and international mobilisation since the day I was
arrested, that led to my release today”.
Message d'Ales Message from Ales Bialiatski, FIDH Vicepresident, following his anticipated release in June 2014.

FIDH campaign calling for the release of detained human rights defenders. Credits : FIDH

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

— 11

FOCUS
Turkey – Human rights lawyer Muharrem Erbey freed after
1,570 days in preventive detention

© IHD

On 12 April 2014, a Turkish court ordered the provisional release
of Muharrem Erbey, vice-president of the Turkish Human
Rights Association, a FIDH member organisation. It found a
“lack of proof” in Muharrem Erbey’s case after over four years
of preventive detention. Muharrem Erbey had been arrested
in December 2009 for his alleged affiliation to the Union of
Kurdish Communities (KCK) and was accused of being “a
member of an illegal organisation”. Within the framework of
the Observatory, FIDH issued numerous urgent appeals about
his case and led a vigorous campaign via  #ForFreedom, as
well as holding advocacy meetings with the highest Turkish
authorities to demand his release. Muharrem Erbey’s continuing
legal harassment was clearly aimed at repressing his legitimate
activities in defence of human rights. FIDH reiterates its call to
drop all charges against him.
FOCUS
Vietnam – Nguyen Huu Cau freed after 20 years detention

In March 2014, Nguyen Huu Cau was released after several
decades in arbitrary detention. He was sentenced to life
imprisonment in May 1983 after being falsely accused of
“harming the regime’s image” and for writing poems that
denounced corruption and the abuse of power. FIDH and its
member organisation, the Vietnam Committee for the Defence

12 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

of Human Rights (VCHR), highlighted Nguyen Huu Cau’s
case, including by producing a document that outlined the
particularly worrying situation of 17 political prisoners. This
document was handed to Vietnamese authorities as part of
an active mobilisation designed to obtain the release of these
detainees.
Strengthening the protective capacity of intergovernmental
organisations
In 2014, all the Observatory’s emergency interventions continued to be systematically directed to international and regional
mechanisms for the protection of defenders. These mechanisms
included special procedures of the UN, the African Commission
for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Commissioner for
Human Rights at the Council of Europe, the focal point of the
Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (BDIHR)
at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
(OSCE), and EU mechanisms. Such referrals prompt further
interventions and investigations by competent authorities.
FIDH also used other organs of these intergovernmental organisations to lobby on behalf of cases of defender repression (e.g.
before the European Parliament, UN Human Rights Council etc.)
and to this end organised meetings/interfaces between representatives of its member organisations and these institutions.
FIDH organised a 5th “inter-mechanism” meeting in November
2014. This meeting addressed the issue of strengthening
interaction and co-ordination between UN mechanisms and
regional mechanisms for defender protection. The event
brought together representatives from the UN, the International
Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), the African Commission
for Human and People’s Rights, the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights, the Bureau of the Commissioner for Human
Rights of the Council of Europe, the BDIHR and the European
Union, as well as international NGOs. Participants discussed
ways of strengthening their co-operation when it came to
referrals and public declarations concerning violations against
defenders, as well as in following up individual communications
and recommendations subsequent to country visits. They also
discussed best practice and strategies relevant to arbitrary
detention, especially in emblematic cases. The meeting set aside
time for an exchange on the definitions of reprisals and impunity,
and the interaction between the two (e.g. how combatting
impunity by establishing responsibility can contribute to
reducing drivers for reprisals). Finally, NGO financing, including
from overseas, as well as the protection of land rights defenders,
were also discussed, echoing the Observatory’s annual reports
from 2013 and 2014. A 6th meeting is planned for 2015.
Providing emergency assistance in case of threats and risks
Responding to intimidation and threats of physical or psychological violence against defenders, FIDH offered material help to 44
defenders and/or their family members and 3 human rights NGOs
in 9 countries. This met needs in terms of prevention (securing

offices and homes: Cameroon), protection (temporary or permanent relocation costs: Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mauretania, CAR, DRC,
Sudan, Syria, Tunisia), legal costs (Cameroon, India, the DRC,
Rwanda) and medical costs (Cambodia, Burundi).

In certain cases, this assistance was extended in co-operation and/
or co-ordination with international NGOs providing the same type
of support. This ensured the fastest and most appropriate response.

FOCUS
Rwanda – relocating the “legitimate” president of LIPRODHOR, under threat following a takeover of the league
The situation of the Rwandan League for Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (LIPRODHOR) is emblematic of the
harassment suffered by human rights defence organisations in Rwanda, where the authorities seek to silence or control such
organisations. Since July 2013, LIPRODHOR has undergone a political takeover by elements of the Rwandan Patriotic Front
(FPR), who illegally ousted members of the current management board. The “legitimate” members of LIPRODHOR, above
all its president Laurent Munyandilikirwa, have gone to court seeking the nullification of the decisions that led to the organisation’s takeover. Since then threats against these members have escalated.
Having been subjected to particularly violent threats since lodging his complaint, LIPRODHOR’s president received assistance
from FIDH to cover the costs of his relocation.
Under the auspices of judicial observation missions, the Observatory has further mandated the presence of a representative at
six of the seven hearings listed, and at the end of 2014, undertook to continue the defence of the civil case during the appeal
process.
Cambodia – paying a defender’s medical costs after an attack
On 2 May 2014, Cambodian journalist, LM, was beaten with batons and kicked by six to ten members of the security forces
during a demonstration he was covering. The attack was prompted by the fact that he had taken photos of a monk who had been
attacked by members of these same forces. LM had to be evacuated for an operation on his face.
FIDH offered financial support to meet his medical expenses.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the support you
have given us during the enquiry into Eric’s assassination. The
whole team sends you their good wishes”.
Message from the President of CAMFAIDS after FIDH
provided funding to cover the legal costs for the enquiry
into the murder of Cameroonian LGBTI defender, Eric
Lemembe.

“It’s been six months now since you relocated me
to a safer place after the Ugandan parliament passed its
anti-homosexuality law, which left me in an unsafe situation.
I’m very happy where I am now: my accommodation, my
surroundings and my neighbours are all very pleasant. Thank
you so much to FIDH for the support you have given me”.
Message from a Ugandan LGBTI rights defender,
relocated after threats to his safety in Uganda.

Responding to judicial harassment
In 2014, many defenders fell victim to judicial harassment or were
forced to seek legal redress when their rights were violated.
Confronted with the instrumentalisation of justice to hamper or
criminalise defender actions, FIDH organises judicial observation, defence and solidarity missions. Such missions have various
objectives: providing expert legal assistance to support victims;
bringing solidarity and international attention to bear on proceedings to ensure a fair trial; highlighting procedural violations to
mobilise the international community.
From January to December 2014, FIDH mandated 11 judicial observation missions dealing with cases in Algeria (one observation),
the Russian Federation (one observation), Rwanda (six observations) and Turkey (three observations). It also published a report
in English and French on the judicial observation mission for the
trial of Pinar Selek before the Turkish courts (see Focus).

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

— 13

FOCUS
Turkey – The Supreme Court revokes Pinar Selek’s life
sentence

FOCUS
DRC – Senegalese justice authorities called upon to hear
charges against Paul Mwilambwe in the Chebeya/Bazana
case

Photograph by Aude Coquin

After 16 years, four trials and an untold number of procedural
errors, the life sentence of famous Turkish sociologist, Pınar
Selek – known for her advocacy of the rights of minorities in
Turkey – was quashed by the Supreme Court, which found the
accusations against her unproven. In 1998, Pınar Selek had been
accused of supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and
terrorism.
FIDH undertook several judicial observation missions to expose
the procedural errors in Pinar Selek’s case and took part in
mobilising the international community against her ongoing and
unjustified judicial harassment. This led to a 5th trial, which was
also won by Mrs Selek at the beginning of 2015.

Floribert Chebeya

Legal proceedings will be opened in Senegal on the basis of
universal jurisdiction against former Congolese (DRC) police
officer, Paul Mwilambwe. This individual is alleged to have
witnessed the murder of human rights defenders, Floribert
Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana, in June 2010.
Following a judicial enquiry mission deployed by FIDH's legal
team decided to file a civil suit to claim for damages against
the charge officially brought by the families in the Senegalese
courts on 18 June. At the subsequent press conference, lawyers
underlined the importance of this case in the struggle against
impunity in Africa.

Establishing responsibility
In line with its multi-year strategic plan, FIDH continued to
develop legal action before national courts and regional and
international mechanisms protecting human rights. In doing so,
it has continued to seek the attribution of responsibility, either
state or individual, in emblematic cases of defenders’ rights
violations, while supporting victims in their right to justice and
contributing to the prevention of these violations, including
via the consolidation of jurisprudence on the protection of
defenders’ rights.
In 2014, FIDH lodged four complaints or referrals to judicial or
quasi-judicial bodies (Egypt, Iran, the DRC). It also continued
to pursue two complaints lodged with the African Commission
for Human and People’s Rights: the first in 2009, following
the torture of three human rights defenders in Sudan; and
the second in 2013, after the right to freedom of association
was denied to the Human Rights Council, an FIDH member
organisation in Ethiopia. Similarly, in 2014, FIDH sought the
resolution of a complaint lodged with the UN Committee on
Forced Disappearances (CFD) involving the disappearance
of two female defenders in Mexico, and several referrals
to UN working groups on arbitrary detention and forced
disappearances (see below).

14 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Demonstration against the Tumulos Bill (Guatemala). © Diario La Hora de Guatemala

Examples of submissions of complaints to quasi-judicial bodies in 2014
Country

Defender/
Organisation

Reviewing Body

Date of Review

Determination

Latest situation

Iran

Mohammad
Seizadeh

WGAD

April 2014

No information to
date

Still in detention

DRC

Abedi Ngoy et
Gervais Saidi

WGAD

April 2014

May 2014 (« the
detention is
arbitrary ») – FIDH
was informed in
July 2014

Freed in May2014

Yara Sallam

WGAD

August 2014

No information to
date

Still in detention

Hilal Mammadov
(suivi)

WGDA (follow-up/
reponse)

Follo-up November
2013

November 2013
(« the detention is
arbitrary ») – FIDH
was informed in
March 2014

Still in detention

Marcial Bautista
Valle et Eva Alarcón
Ortiz

CED (follow-up/
reponse)

October 2014

Review underway

Still disappeared

Yorm Bopha

WGAD

October 2013

"No information to
date

Libération provisoire
(novembre 2013)

Bangladesh

Adilur Rahman
Khan

WGAD

August 2013

No information to
date

Provisional release
(October 2013

Burma

Ko Htin Kyaw

WGAD

August 2013

November 2013
(« the detention is
arbitrary ») – FIDH
was informed in
February 2014

Amnesty 31
December 2013

Khosro Kordpour et
Massoud Kordpour

WGAD

August 2013

November 2013
(« the detention is
arbitrary ») – FIDH
was informed in
February 2014

Still in detention

Human Rights
Council

ACHPR

April 2014

No information to
date

Complaint regarding
violation of the
right to freedom of
association

Nasrin Sotoudeh

WGAD

April 2014

No information to
date

Provisional release
(October 2013)

Sri Lanka

Sinnavan Stephen
Sunthararaj

WEGEID

April 2014

No information to
date

Still disappeared

Sudan

Osman Hummaida,
Abdelmoneim Aljak
et Amir Mohamed
Suliman

ACHPR

Follow-up 2009

Decison Adopted

Complaint regarding
torture and ill
treatment

Egypt
Azerbaijan

Mexico

Cambodia

Iran

Ethiopia

Iran

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

— 15

> Reinforcing defenders’ capacity to
act
Action for a favourable political and normative framework
for defenders
FIDH conducted two fact-finding missions in 2014. One
mission addressed harassment and threats against LGBTI rights
defenders in Cameroon; the other, the surveillance of defenders
and land rights defence movements in Brazil. The respective
reports are due for release in 2015.
FIDH and its member organisations have also denounced
legislative reform plans aimed at curbing freedom of association,
especially NGO access to foreign financial support, or
criminalising LGBTI rights defenders.
In addition, FIDH participated in the strengthening of the
regional and international judicial framework through initiatives
pursued at the United Nations, the ACHPR and the OSCE.
Throughout 2014, FIDH played a special part in working groups
charged with drafting and tabling OSCE/ODIHR guidelines
on defender protection, aimed at States participating in the
organisation. FIDH further made a written contribution on
the matter, with a follow-up in late 2014 at the OSCE Human
Dimension Implementation Meeting. Here, FIDH called for
the establishment of a body to oversee the application of these
guidelines. FIDH also contributed to devising joint guidelines
for the ODIHR and the Venice Commission on the Freedom of
Association, focusing on the inclusion of provisions covering
access to finance, including foreign-sourced, as a component of
the right to freedom of association. These joint guidelines were
launched at the beginning of 2015.
FIDH likewise extended its participation in the Study Group
on Freedom of Association (SGFA), set up by the ACHPR to
produce an analytical document examining the main obstacles
to the creation and operation of NGOs in Africa, and to develop
recommendations for ACHPR member States dealing with
freedom of association and assembly. The SGFA completed its
work in 2014 and its report was to be adopted at the next session
of ACHPR (twice postponed because of the Ebola crisis). FIDH
continued to lobby the ACHPR to adopt a resolution for the
protection of LGBTI rights defenders.
Lastly, FIDH has lobbied for the establishment of a specific
UN mechanism to ensure respect for privacy. This mechanism
should be given a special mandate to denounce the harmful
effects of surveillance or the interception of communications,
including from outside national territory, as well as the largescale collection of personal data, on the exercise of one’s human
rights.

16 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

FOCUS
“We are not afraid !” 2014 Annual Report of the
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
On 2 December 2014, FIDH released the 2014 Annual Report
of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights
Defenders. This year’s theme was land rights defenders.
The report addresses the situation of defenders in 29 countries:
Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, South
Africa, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia,
Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Egypt,
the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Canada, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua
and Peru.
The document was compiled with contributions from FIDH
member and partner organisations, and the OMCT. It presents
the global context in which defenders operate, with principle
forms of repression illustrated in 79 cases from 29 countries.
The report goes on to detail existing institutional protective
mechanisms, and makes specific recommendations to States,
private donors and investors, companies, and intergovernmental
organisations, in order to improve the working environment for
these defenders.
Problems faced by land rights defenders are not new.
However, the number of victims of land rights violations and
the repression suffered by their defenders renders their plight
particularly fundamental.
The report aims to become an advocacy tool and awarenessraising device for States, lenders/investors, companies,
intergovernmental bodies and public opinion. It calls upon all
parties to better recognise the legitimate role and important
work carried out by these defenders in respect of rights for
all, peace, stability and lasting development. It also calls
for better protection for defenders in particularly vulnerable
situations, including fighting against impunity for the attacks
and violations they suffer.
Since its publication, the report has been the subject of
discussions and presentations at press conferences, seminars,
meetings, and other events (Geneva, Mexico, Puebla, Quezon,
Cape Town, Marrakesh, Paris).
By December 2014, the website www.wearenotafraid.org,
together with the publicity campaign accompanying the
launch of the report saw at least 4,676 visitors access the site
to find out more. On Facebook, the report generated 31,196
interactions (Likes, Comments & Shares), and managed to
reach 782,459 people.

Material support and training for NGOs and defenders
In April 2014, FIDH organised a training seminar in Brussels for
representatives of the NGO ADC Memorial. This civil society
organisation had been dissolved in Russia following the refusal
of its directors to agree to a ruling demanding that it register as a
“foreign agent”, following the enactment of severely oppressive
legislation. Having been dissolved in Russia, ADC Memorial
decided to register its office in Belgium in order to continue
its activities. At the seminar, FIDH provided participants with
training in IT security, defender protection mechanisms and
advocacy at the European Union. In addition, two representatives
of other FIDH member organisations, the Electors’ League
(DRC) and the International Campaign for Tibet, gave examples
of organisations working wholly or partially from overseas.
The seminar allowed the representatives from ADC Memorial
to draw up a multi-year strategic plan and to develop a set of
actions to be used in the event that repression intensifies.

- The website site freeales.fidh.net allowed all information on
Ales Bialiatski’s situation to be pooled. President of the Human
Rights Centre Viasna and FIDH Vice-president, Ales was
sentenced to four and a half years’ in prison following a political
trial. The website brings together all the mobilisation actions
undertaken on Ales’ behalf by civil society, intergovernmental
organisations and rights protection mechanisms promoting his
release.

FIDH also continued to implement its specific program to
strengthen the Fraternity Center’s capacity for action. The
Fraternity Center is an independent NGO created with FIDH
support in 2013 to promote human rights and democracy in the
Kurdish area of Hassakeh near the Turkish border. Activities
to strengthen the organisation’s capacity included training and
support for initiatives raising human rights awareness, as well
as providing secure means of communication.

- Tweets on defenders’ situations enabled real-time updates on
violations against defenders and developments in individual
cases.

Furthermore, in line with the express wishes of member
organisations, and keeping in mind the surveillance risk faced
by independent NGOs, FIDH and the Euromed Foundation have
initiated an assessment mission to survey the security needs of six
Egyptian human rights organisations in the areas of IT equipment
and communication. The mission was followed up by the arrival
of two experts to train the staff of these organisations in security
techniques and the use of appropriate equipment and software.
Through a specific program of support for civil society in
Belarus, FIDH also provided secure ICT equipment to several
NGOs and local human rights defenders. Further, psychological
clinics were set up with the help of the French association
TRACES allowing the follow-up of 18 defenders and their
training in the psychological aspects of their work with victims
of human rights violations.
Lastly, FIDH set up the first platform for Burmese defenders to
gather information on their situation in the country. In 2015,
FIDH will organise training workshops for members of this
platform on protection mechanisms for defenders.
Visibility of defenders’ situations
In 2014, several activities generated a better awareness of the
situation of defenders and how important it is to protect them.
- The campaign #ForFreedom, centred on the website www.
freedom-defenders.org, which presents emblematic cases of
defenders in detention. In doing so it helped alert and mobilise
actors of change and the general public on the particular
situation of defenders in prison.

- The website www.wearenotafraid.org provided the general
public with a concrete, easily-understood overview of the
harassment experienced by land rights defenders, using photos,
key facts and figures, videos and an interactive map.
-
I nterviews conducted with defenders for the Annual
Observatory Report enabled direct access to testimony from
defenders who had been victims of violations.

- Interfaces with intergovernmental organisations (see above)
raised the profile of defenders before these entities, enabling
them to benefit from greater follow-up regarding their action
and participation.

Examples of outcomes
FIDH has enabled or contributed to the following:
Release, end of judicial harassment and progress towards
justice
• The release of 44 defenders in arbitrary detention in
Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, Burundi, Djibouti,
Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
Rwanda, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Turkey
and Vietnam.
FOCUS DRC
• The conviction by Senegalese courts, following an FIDH
complaint, of Paul Mwilambwe, a former major in the
Congolese National Police, for his alleged involvement in
the murder of Congolese human rights defenders, Chebeya
and Bazana.
FOCUS Turkey
• The quashing by the Supreme Court of the life sentence
imposed on Pinar Selek, a famous Turkish sociologist
known for her involvement in minority rights in Turkey.
The ruling came after 16 years of proceedings, 4 trials and
an untold number of procedural errors.
Material protection and safety of defenders
• Securing the safety of 44 defenders, their families and
their NGOs through material help in 24 situations (support

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

— 17

with temporary or permanent relocation, securing NGO
offices, covering defender medical costs incurred as a
result of mistreatment for their human rights activity, etc).
Decisions and declarations of intergovernmental protection
mechanisms
• Mutliple declarations or resolutions by the European
Union, the United Nations, the ACHPR, the OSCE and
the Council of Europe, calling for the release of defenders
and respect for freedom of association.

Adoption by the African Commission for Human and
Peoples’ Rights at their 55th session of a resolution on
"Protection against violence and other violations of human
rights against people on the basis of their real or presumed
sexual identity or orientation", which emphasises States’
obligations to protect the rights of LGBTI defenders in
Africa. FIDH, which initiated and drove the adoption
of this resolution, has been battling for several years to
have the voice of LGBTI rights defence associations
heard at the ACHPR and urged this body to make a public
pronouncement on the question of the rights of LGBTI
people.

FOCUS Azerbaijan
• A statement by the United Nations Working Group on
Arbitrary Detention concluded that “the accusations of
treason and incitement to national, racial, social and
religious hatred and hostility levelled against Mr Hilal
Mammadov are no more than the rightful exercise of his
right to freedom of speech”, demanding his immediate
release with compensation. Mr Mammadov is a defender
of Talysh ethnic minority rights and the head of the TolishiSado (Voice of the Talysh) newspaper. He was arrested on
21 June 2012 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment
after an unfair trial. His case was examined by the Working
Group on the basis of information provided by FIDH.
FOCUS Belarus
• On 24 September, the UN Human Rights Committee
rendered a decision on the detention of Ales Bialiatski
(FIDH Vice President and President of CHR Visana)
following a joint appeal by FIDH and Mr Bialiatski’s wife.
The decision found Mr Bialiatski’s detention to be arbitrary
and held that the action of the Belarussian authorities had
violated his rights to freedom and safety, justice, a fair trial
and freedom of association. The Committee demanded that
the authorities re-examine Viasna’s previous application
for official registration, withdraw Bialiatski’s criminal
record and pay him adequate compensation.
FOCUS Iran
• A statement by the United Nations Working Group on
Arbitrary Detention concluded that the detention of the

18 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

brothers Khosro and Massoud Kordpour, chief editor and
correspondent respectively for the Mukrian News Agency,
was arbitrary and demanded their immediate release with
compensation. The case was examined by the Working
Group on the basis of information provided by FIDH.
Improvement of legislative frameworks at the national level
• Abandonment of plans to curb freedom or reversal of
repressive laws, in Bangladesh, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan,
Uganda and Ukraine.
Prizes awarded to defenders for whom FIDH campaigned
• Adilur Rahman Khan (Bangladesh): Robert F. Kennedy
Human Rights Prize, Gwangju Prize and International
Bar Association Prize
• Anar Mammadli (Azerbaijan): Vaclav Havel Human
Rights Prize of the Council of Europe
• Leyla Yunus, Anar Mammadli, Rasul Jafarov and Intigam
Aliyev (Azerbaijan): Andrei Sakharov Freedom Prize of
the Norwegian Helsinki Committee
• Mutabar Tadjibayeva (Uzbekistan): Engel Dutertre Prize
of the ACAT Foundation
• Muharrem Erbey (Turkey): Pen International Award for
Freedom of Thought and Expression

FIDH interacting with its member and partner organisations
16 international fact-finding, judicial, advocacy and solidarity missions (Cameroon, Egypt, Brazil, Senegal,
Indonesia, Panama, Cambodia, France, Burma)
11 judicial observation missions involving four areas of concern (in Algeria, the Russian Federation, Rwanda
and Turkey)
243 urgent appeals – ENG/FR/ESP/RU/TUR/PERS
Referrals and judicial and quasi-judicial follow-up :
Before Senegalese courts: monitoring the procedure begun against a presumed perpetrator of the murder of
Congolese (DRC) defenders Chebeya and Bazana
Before the Human Rights Committee: communication against Uzbekistan in the Mutabar torture case
Before the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances: follow-up of the communication against
Mexico
Before the UN Working Groups on Arbitrary Detention: deposition of communications against Iran, Egypt
and the DRC, follow-up of communications against Azerbaijan and Iran
Before the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances: follow-up of a communication against Sri Lanka
Before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: follow-up of the communication against Sudan
(arbitrary detention and acts of torture against defenders); follow-up of the communication against Ethiopia (curbs
on freedom of association)
Advocacy support for defenders before IGOs, relevant regional and international mechanisms and representatives
of influential States
Strategic seminars :
Egypt: Training on secure data storage and communication
Belarus: Training local NGO representatives on psychological aspects
of gathering victim testimony
Syria: Train the trainers seminar on human rights promotion
Burma : Meetings of the Forum for the Protection of Defenders
Russia: Training seminar on data security, protective mechanisms for
defenders and advocacy at the European Union
Partnerships: OMCT in the framework of the Observatory and 400
members and partners

Fact-finding reports
2014 Observatory Annual Report : "We are
not afraid" 
Turkey: International Judicial Observation
Mission Report on the 16-Year Long
Judicial Harassment faced by Ms. Pınar
Selek
Russia 2012-2013 : Attack on Freedom
Eastern Europe : Disputed Entities in
Eastern Europe: Human Rights Sacrificed

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

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Priority 2

Promoting and protecting
women’s rights
Context and challenges
As the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW), now ratified by virtually all States, celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2014, the rights of women and those
defending them were under serious threat. Some countries had
even witnessed significant regression.
Profoundly discriminatory laws remain in force in many countries, particularly in areas such as marriage, nationality, ownership of property and inheritance. Family laws in Burkina Faso,
Egypt, Gabon, Indonesia, Morocco and Senegal, allow men to
have several wives. In Kenya in 2014, the adoption of a new marriage law further endorsed such discrimination. In Afghanistan,
Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Guinea, Nicaragua, Sudan and Yemen,
the law requires women to obey their husbands. Many laws contain discriminatory provisions on the minimum marriage age,
such as those in force in Cameroon or Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC). In several countries, such as Bahrain and Lebanon, the law prohibits women from passing their nationality on
to their foreign spouse or their children. Legislation on property
ownership and inheritance rights remain discriminatory in all
countries in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as in
Chile, where a woman’s share of inherited wealth is only half that
of a man’s,. In Iran, the testimony of a man in legal proceedings
equates to that of two women.
In 2014 domestic law in many countries remained deeply flawed
as regards preventing and responding to violence against women.
Many states, such as Lebanon, Armenia, DRC, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Egypt, Haiti and Niger, have still not adopted legislation that
specifically punishes domestic violence, and perpetrators thus continue to enjoy virtual impunity. Marital rape is not a crime in the
Central African Republic (CAR), DRC, Egypt, Haiti, Cameroon,
Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco or Senegal. In Tunisia, the
law allows a rapist to avoid any punishment by marrying his victim. In Egypt and Syria, the law provides for a lesser sentence for
men who kill their wives in the name of honour. In several states,
almost all women and girls are victims of female genital mutilation with no measures in place to eliminate the practice. 98 % of
women in Somalia, 96 % in Guinea, 93 % in Djibouti, 91 % in
Egypt and 89% in Mali are victims of this practice.

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Women and girls are targeted in many conflict situations. In the
DRC, Darfur, South Sudan and Somalia, rape and other crimes
of sexual violence continue to be committed on a massive scale.
Victims rarely have access to justice, and perpetrators enjoy total
impunity. In 2014 the world witnessed the rise of fundamentalist groups, such as Daech in Iraq and Syria, and Boko Haram in
Nigeria. These groups promote the exclusion of women and girls
from public life and perpetrate rape, abduction, forced marriage
and sexual slavery.
Despite growing international commitment in the past fifteen
years towards promoting the participation of women in peace and
transition processes, and the United Nations Security Council’s
adoption of a series of resolutions concerning “women, peace
and security” in particular, women in 2014 continued to be sidelined in these processes. The developments that took place in
2014 in Afghanistan, particularly the gradual withdrawal of international troops and the holding of presidential elections, pose
serious threats to women’s rights.
Whilst in the Middle East and North Africa, the “Arab Spring”
created opportunities for promoting equality in law and in practice in many countries, it has also seen a rising risk of regression.
In Egypt, the participation of women in the transition process
is threatened by ongoing violence against those who attempt
to exercise this right to participate in public life. In Syria, the
conflict that continues to ravage the country specifically targets
women and girls, who are the victims of gender-based violence.
From a global perspective, the risk of setbacks is particularly
acute in the area of reproductive and sexual rights. On every
continent, repressive legislation continues to criminalise abortion in serious violation of women’s rights. In 2014, Spain narrowly avoided a reform intended to drastically restrict access to
abortion following massive public mobilization in defence of
women’s rights. In Turkey abortion has been legal since 1983.
On several occasions in 2014 however, the president explicitly
voiced his determination to restrict access to medical termination. In Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile and the Dominican
Republic, abortion is banned without exception. In Ireland,
Senegal, Ivory Coast and Bangladesh, extremely restrictive

laws only allow for exceptions in cases where a woman’s life
is at risk. In Poland, abortion has been banned since 1997,
except in cases of rape, incest, foetal malformation or where
a woman’s life is at risk. Furthermore, all these laws contain
procedural constraints that prevent access to abortion in practice, even in those limited cases allowed by law. Women thus
resort to illegal and unsafe abortions with sometimes fatal consequences, in some countries facing potential prison sentences
of up to several decades.
In 2014, women’s rights activists fighting for equality paid a
heavy price, as demonstrated by the death threats directed at
Mauritanian human rights activist, Aminetou Mint El Moctar,
and the assassinations of the Libyan and Congolese activists,
Salwa Bugaighis and Kasoki D’Assise.

FIDH and its member organisations and
partners in action

> To secure equality between women
and men before the law
Documentation, strategic exchanges and advocacy
In 2014, FIDH continued to focus on documentation activities
and capacity building to eliminate violence against women in
several North African countries where political and legislative
reforms are being implemented. FIDH organised a series of
actions aimed at consolidating exchanges between women’s
rights activists in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.
The conclusions of FIDH’s fact-finding mission report, published in April, on the scourge of sexual violence in Egypt’s
public sphere (see Focus, below), where a very real epidemic
of violence persists, have been relayed by its Moroccan and
Tunisian member organisations, who have also organised
awareness-raising and solidarity activities. In October, as the
Tunisian government was preparing to examine a framework
law to eliminate violence against women in line with the new
constitution, FIDH and the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD) met in Tunis for a workshop attended by
twenty women’s rights campaigners to discuss good practice
in the fight to eliminate violence against women in the areas
of prevention, advocacy and dealing with cases of violence.
The workshop led to the organisation of a regional seminar on
this issue, which was attended by campaigners from the five
North African countries. The event provided a forum for sharing experiences, consolidating strategies and clarifying challenges. A compilation of good practice in eliminating violence
against women and aimed at civil society organisations and the
authorities will be produced in 2015.

FOCUS
FIDH condemns the epidemic of sexual violence in Egypt
Following an international fact-finding mission, conducted
in collaboration with Egyptian women’s rights organisations
in April 2014, FIDH published a report setting out more than
250 cases of violence against women demonstrators between
November 2012 and January 2014. According to FIDH, these
attacks in Tahrir Square are the most visible manifestation
of a long-standing, systemic problem, which is maintained
by a culture of total impunity and which prevents women
from participating fully in the public and political life of their
country. Women in Egypt are regularly subjected to sexual
harassment and assault on the street, on public transport and
in the workplace. Victims are stigmatised and accused of having “provoked” these attacks, including by the political and
religious authorities, as well as by the media. Shame and
stigmatisation drive most of the survivors not to report the
crimes. When they do report them, their complaints are only
rarely investigated.
The publication of this report was widely covered by the
Egyptian and international media, fuelling political debate on
this issue at national as well as regional level, particularly in
Morocco and Tunisia where FIDH and its member organisations arranged press conferences.
The report’s findings were referred to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and the UN Working Group on the issue of the Discrimination against Women
in Law and in Practice. In May 2014, FIDH organised a round
table attended by Egyptian and regional organisations, international experts (experts from the CEDAW Committee
and the former UN Special Rapporteur on violence against
women) to share the report’s recommendations and define
advocacy strategies to eliminate the scourge. This action led
to sixteen Egyptian women’s and human rights organisations
jointly mobilising, publishing and distributing a statement
of “10 Urgent Measures to End Violence Against Women”,
directed at the Egyptian State. As part of an examination of
two election legislation bills (the law on parliament and the
law on exercising political rights), FIDH and the Egyptian
organisation Nazra for Feminist Studies submitted a joint
statement to the United Nations Working Group on the issue
of Discrimination against Women to warn of the discriminatory nature of the proposed provisions and the inadequacy
of the measures intended to ensure women’s representation
on elected bodies.
The advocacy conducted by FIDH and its partner organisations contributed to the adoption of amendments to the
Criminal Code, which were formulated to include a definition
of sexual harassment. In July 2014, the first convictions for
sexual assault committed in Tahrir Square were handed down.
In addition, the government launched a discussion process to
devise a national strategy on violence against women, without, however, consulting civil society organisations.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

— 21

To exert even greater influence on the authorities’ response
to violence against women, FIDH completed its analysis of
this phenomenon by conducting a second fact-finding enquiry into sexual violence committed by Egyptian security
forces against people arrested and detained. The report will
be published in 2015.
FIDH and its member organisations have continued to strenuously
advocate for an end to laws that discriminate against women in
the North Africa region. Until the new constitution was adopted
on 26 January, our organisations tirelessly lobbied members of
the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly and the authorities
to guarantee gender equality. FIDH subsequently facilitated the
establishment of a national panel of experts (lawyers, professors
and NGO members), which met on many occasions in 2014 to
analyse whether national laws comply with the new constitution
and, in particular, to propose reforms guaranteeing equality for
women and men in national law. As part of the Equality Without
Reservation campaign, FIDH and its member organisations
demanded that national authorities complete the process of
withdrawing all reservations to CEDAW in accordance with their
publicly stated commitments. This was done in April 2014. In
support of women’s rights organisations in Bahrain, a general
advocacy statement on the situation of women’s rights in Bahrain
was submitted to the CEDAW Committee when the report on that
State was being examined as part of the Committee’s periodic
review of Bahrain’s compliance with the Convention.
In response to a request from several member organisations and
partners in the face of the increasing politicisation or militarisation
of Islam in their country and the risk of regression in women’s
rights, FIDH launched a multi-region project with its partners
in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Mali, Somalia, Nigeria,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. In the first instance,
FIDH coordinated a written analysis of developments relating to
women’s rights in law and in practice in the different countries.
This study served as a reference document for a seminar that
brought together women’s and human rights organisations in the
countries in question to discuss the latest challenges arising in
these specific contexts and to devise strategies for taking action
to protect rights.
In a global context in which sexual and reproductive health rights
are under serious threat, FIDH has stepped up its actions in this
area. FIDH and its member organisations consequently voiced
opposition to the attempted tightening of Spanish legislation on
abortion and mobilised the United Nations Working Group on the
issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice in
this regard. On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, FIDH issued a memorandum on the violation of sexual and reproductive rights and the risk of regression at
a global level. In Senegal, FIDH conducted a fact-finding enquiry
in Dakar, Thies and Ziguinchor into the effects of the ban on abortion, which is resulting in serious violations of the rights of women
and girls. Senegalese legislation on medical termination is in fact

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among the most restrictive in the world. A report entitled “I don’t
want this child, I want to go to school” was published by FIDH
and its member organisations in Senegal in November 2014. A
list of recommendations based on the enquiry’s observations was
forwarded to the CEDAW Committee at its pre-sessional meeting
to examine Senegal and to the Working Group on Discriminatory
Law and Practice when it visited Senegal in the first half of 2015.
An advocacy mission directed at the Senegalese authorities will
be organised in 2015.
FIDH has continued to fight for equality in Africa as part of its
“Africa for Women’s Rights: Ratify and Respect!” campaign in
which one hundred local and regional African women’s and human rights organisations are involved. FIDH has conducted a
follow-up to its fact-finding mission on women’s rights in Uganda
with the aim of producing an action strategy along with local
organisations. This strategy is designed to circumvent the political obstacles to reforming the law on marriage and divorce and
to implementing the law on sexual violence. On the basis of its
findings, FIDH submitted a communication to the United Nations
Working Group on the issue of Discrimination against Women in
Law and in Practice. The public response from several quarters
condemned the serious violations of women’s rights perpetrated
by elements of the fundamentalist armed group Boko Haram in
northern Nigeria. In addition, FIDH supported advocacy action
undertaken by representatives of Guinean NGOs and directed at
the CEDAW Committee during its examination of Guinea.
In 2014, FIDH also contributed to the activities of the NGO network for gender equality initiated by the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) in French-speaking countries. Having
helped draw up the network’s founding charter and action plan,
FIDH took part in parallel activities organised at the OIF Summit
in Dakar in November 2014, where it distributed a position paper
on the rights of women in the French-speaking world.

FIDH intervention in front of the delegation for woman's rights of the French National Assembly.
Credits: FIDH

Lastly, on the subject of Asia, FIDH brought the issue of
women’s rights before the United Nations Human Rights Council
during the Universal Periodic Review of Iran. Two months prior
to the Afghan presidential elections, Armanshar/OPEN ASIA and
FIDH launched a campaign entitled “Unveiling Afghanistan: The
Unheard Voices of Progress”. Over a period of fifty days, a series
of fifty interviews with influential social, political and cultural
figures from Afghan civil society was posted on the Huffington
Post website and published in the major Afghan daily newspaper
8 Sobh. A large number of testimonies reported the situation of
women’s rights in the country. In addition, FIDH supported the
organisation of the second International Women’s Film Festival
held in Herat in November.
Focus
FIDH and its leagues mark 35 years of CEDAW
To mark the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination
Against Women (CEDAW) on 18 December 2014, FIDH developed a series of original and creative tools designed by students
at the Paris School of Decorative Arts to promote and share
this fundamental text.

> To promote women’s access to
justice
Strategic exchanges
FIDH and its member organisations were involved in joint action
to end impunity for those perpetrating the most serious crimes
and, in the process, encountered social, political and legal barriers to women’s ability to access justice, particularly victims of
sexual crime.

victims of sexual crimes. In Guinea, many rapes were committed by
members of the security forces in 2009 and the days following the
bloody repression of a peaceful protest against the junta in power.
Here, FIDH and Guinean Human Rights League (OGDH) continued
to support women victims during their hearings before examining
magistrates in order to sustain an open judicial process relating to
the 28 September massacre. An FIDH international mission to Mali
in June helped establish a pool of lawyers and an anti-impunity platform of six NGOs (comprising FIDH and five Malian organisations)
in support of victims of crimes committed during the occupation
of northern Mali by armed fundamentalist and Touareg groups. In
November 2014, these six NGOs filed a complaint with the Malian
courts on behalf of 80 victims of rape and sexual violence. In Ivory
Coast, FIDH and its member organisations, acting as civil parties in
proceedings underway relating to post-election violence, recorded
gaps in investigations into sexual violence. Strategic meetings with
women’s rights organisations led to legal work being undertaken to
support women from the neighbourhoods of Yopougon and Adobo
in court and legal dealings.
FOCUS
Tunisia: Justice finally done for a victim of police rape
On 20 November, a Tunisian court imposed a prison sentence
of 15 years on police officers who had taken part in a gang rape.
FIDH and its member organisations represented the victim in the
criminal and appeal court and supported her when she received
public threats and faced potential criminal proceedings herself.
The victim was initially charged with indecency. She not only
had to face her rapists but also her critics, including the spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior who spread insulting and
defamatory rumours about her.

In a bid to build capacities, exchange experiences and engage in
strategic discussions, in July FIDH organised a training on the
provision of legal support to victims of sexual and other genderbased crimes and associated advocacy activities. The training was
directed at representatives of its member organisations in Ivory
Coast, Mali, Guinea and the Central African Republic. Conducted
by Patricia Viseur-Sellers, former adviser to the ICTY Prosecutor
and Adviser on International Criminal Law Prosecution Strategies
to the ICC Prosecutor, this training led to an internal report that
was circulated to all FIDH staff.
Workshops and seminars were organised in Egypt and Tunisia (see
Objective 1, above) by FIDH and its member organisations on the
subject of violence against women. This provided an opportunity
to discuss strategy and share experiences and good practices in the
fight to end impunity for perpetrators of such violence.
Contentious action
As part of its specific programmes in Ivory Coast, Guinea and Mali
to end impunity for the most serious crimes, FIDH and its member
organisations have continued to focus on the right to justice for
Drawing from FIDH illustrated booklet on the 35 years of CEDAW

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 23

The police officers were found guilty in April 2014. An appeal
led to harsher sentences in November 2014. The verdict represents major progress in the fight against sexual violence in a
country where it remains taboo.
Advocacy action at national, regional and international
level
In 2014 FIDH and its member organisations met with the highest
levels of government in all countries in which they were leading contentious actions. The aim of these meetings was to secure
commitment from the authorities to tackling impunity for the most
serious crimes, particularly crimes of sexual violence, and to take
concrete measures to promote women’s access to justice.
FOCUS
FIDH contributes to the adoption of decrees establishing
reparation for victims of crimes of sexual violence in Libya
Victims of sexual violence, which was used as a weapon of war
during the Libyan revolution, are now considered war victims
and their right to reparation has been recognised by the Libyan
State. In February 2014, following a conference organised by
FIDH, the Observatory on Gender in Crisis and the Delegation
on Women’s Rights of the French National Assembly, the Libyan
Minister of Justice Mr Salah El Marghany adopted the first ever
decree according the status of war victims on victims of sexual
violence and granting them the right to compensation, training
and various forms of assistance, particularly relating to housing.
The decree provided for the creation of a committee responsible
for identifying women who have suffered sexual violence and
awarding them benefits. FIDH was approached by the future
members of this committee and in April organised a meeting
in London at which reparations experts shared their specialist

Graffiti on Talaat Harb, ©Julia Schoepp

24 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

knowledge. In June, the Libyan Minister of Justice adopted a
second decree formally establishing the Libyan Committee for
the Reparation of Victims of Sexual Violence. FIDH facilitated
the appointment of an expert responsible for supporting the work
of the committee.
FIDH advocacy action also played a part in the adoption by the
African Commission on Human and People’s Rights of two resolutions relating to combating sexual violence in Africa. These
resolutions emphasise the need to combat impunity for perpetrators of such violence. The CEDAW Committee, echoing the
recommendations of FIDH and civil society, also called on the
Guinean authorities to combat impunity for sexual violence committed during the 28 September 2009 massacre.

Examples of outcomes
FIDH has enabled or facilitated the following
Equality between women and men before the law
Egypt
• Launch of a process to draw up a national plan to eliminate
violence against women.
• Adoption in June 2014 of an amendment to the Criminal Code to
include a definition of sexual harassment.
Tunisia
• Inclusion of provisions guaranteeing protection for women’s rights
(non discrimination, equality before the law and elimination of
violence against women) in the new constitution adopted on 26
January 2014.

• Formal notification to the United Nations General Secretary of
the withdrawal of reservations to CEDAW with effect from 17
April 2014.
Bahrain
• Adoption by the CEDAW Committee of final observations
addressed to the Bahrain authorities that reiterate the concerns
and recommendations of FIDH and its member organisations.
Guinea
• Adoption by the CEDAW Committee, following examination of
Guinea, of a report which emphasises the need to end impunity
for sexual violence, female genital mutilation and discriminatory
legal provisions, as advocated by FIDH and OGDH, its member
organisation in Guinea.
Spain
• Withdrawal on 23 September 2014 of the draft bill intended to
prohibit abortion except in certain cases.
• Report to the United Nations Working Group on the issue of
Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, which
reiterated the recommendations of FIDH and its members
concerning access to abortion in Spain.
Promoting women’s access to justice
Egypt
• Conviction by a Cairo court of seven men for sexual assault in
July 2014.
Libya
• Adoption by the Libyan authorities of a decree recognising victims
of sexual violence as war victims in February 2014, and a decree
establishing the body responsible for identifying victims and
providing each with benefits in June 2014.
Tunisia
• Conviction in a criminal court in April 2014 of police officers
who took part in the gang rape of a woman in September 2012.
In November 2014, the conviction was upheld and the sentences
increased on appeal. FIDH and its member organisations in Tunisia
represented the young woman in court.

The concrete recommendations formulated in these resolutions
directed at Member States echo those drawn up by FIDH. In
particular, they call for the adoption of appropriate legislative
measures, effective action to combat impunity for perpetrators of
sexual violence and the adoption of reparations for victims.
Senegal
• Report to the United Nations Working Group on the issue of
Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice warning of
the consequences of prohibiting abortion in Senegal, as advocated
by FIDH and its members.
Guinea
• Court hearing before examining magistrates involving almost
400 victims, including many victims of sexual violence, who
were legally represented by FIDH. This hearing was part of
proceedings launched in February 2010 relating to the massacre
of 28 September 2009.
• Further court hearing in response to international rogatoryletters
involving the director of Conakry Stadium, the former Minister
of Youth and Sport, and former head of the earlier military junta,
Moussa Dadis Camara, who had fled to Burkina Faso.
• Conviction as part of these proceedings of eight leading figures
including Lieutenant Colonel Moussa Tiegbo Camara, Secretary
General to the Presidency and responsible for special services and
for combating drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism;
Colonel Abdoulaye Chérif Diaby, former Minister of Health; and
Colonel Claude Pivi, current chief of the presidential guard.
Mali
• Legal representation before Malian courts for 80 women and
girls who were victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence
committed during the occupation of northern Mali by armed
groups in 2012 and 2013.
Ivory Coast
• Adoption of a circular in March 2014 highlighting that the
production of a medical certificate should not be a requirement in
cases of sexual violence.

Africa
• Adoption by the African Commission on Human and People’s
Rights of two resolutions during its 55th ordinary session
condemning the persistence of crimes of sexual violence in Africa.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

— 25

FIDH interaction with its member organisations and partners
7 international fact-finding, judicial and advocacy missions (Tunisia, Uganda, Egypt, Senegal, Ivory Coast,
Guinea and Mali)
121 Press releases in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Farsi.
Advocacy support for 15 human rights activists (Bahrain, Libya and Guinea) directed at IGOs, relevant regional
and international mechanisms and representatives of influential States
Judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings:
- Before Tunisian courts: Support for a victim of rape committed by police officers in 2012 (four defence assignments
in criminal and appeal courts)
- Before Guinean courts: Support for victims of violations committed during the massacre of 28 September 2009
- Before Ivorian courts: Support for victims of post-election violence in 2010
- Before Malian courts: Support for victims of armed groups from the north
- Before the United Nations Working Group on the issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice;
two submissions regarding Egypt; two submissions regarding Uganda
- Before the Special Rapporteur on violence against women: Submission regarding Egypt
Strategic seminars:
- Tunisia: Two seminars on harmonising legislation and the provisions of the constitution
- Tunisia: Seminar on eliminating violence against women (November 2014)
- Libya: Seminar on sexual violence committed during the conflict (February 2014)
- Libya: Seminar on implementing the decree on crimes of sexual violence (April 2014)
- Egypt: Strategic seminar on violence against women with Egyptian organisations and
Fact-finding reports/Position
international experts  (May 2014)
- Region: Regional seminar on good practices in eliminating violence against women papers
(December 2014)
- Central African Republic/Ivory Coast/Guinea/Mali: Seminar to share experiences Egypt: Keeping women out - Sexual violence in
of and strategies for combating impunity for perpetrators of crimes of sexual violence the public sphere
Egypt: 10 Urgent Measures to End Violence
(July 2014)
Against Women
Campaigns and partnerships: Coalition for Equality Without Reservation; Africa Tunisia: Sexual violence in Tunisia: from denial to
for Women’s Rights: Ratify and Respect!; International Coalition for the International dawning recognition
Criminal Court; International Trade Union Confederation; Herat International Women’s North Africa and Middle East: General Statement
on the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Film Festival, Afghanistan.
Senegal : « Je ne veux pas de cet enfant, moi je
veux aller à l'école »
Francophone countries : Les femmes
francophones ne sont pas sur un pied d'égalité
Iran : Report submitted to the Universal Periodic
Review
Global : The prohibition on abortion constitutes
violence against women
Outils de sensibilisation
A number of pubblications (banners, illustrated
CEDAW text, postcards) to raise awareness
on CEDAW provisions in occasion of the 35th
anniversary of its adoption

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Priority 3

Promote and protect
migrants' rights
A Rising Number of Obstacles to Mobility
Migrant rights violations are on the rise at every stage of the
journey. Measures tightening controls on migration and policies prioritising economic and security interests over human
rights are increasing.

right to asylum and principle of non-refoulement. These developments coincide with the end of a special operation in Morocco to put papers in order – an operation that has had mixed
results. The strict application of criteria limited the number of
programme beneficiaries below that predicted and the operation’s conclusion was marked by a huge number of arrests and
forcible expulsions of Sub-Saharan migrants.

It is estimated that at the end of 2014, 3.2 million people had
fled the conflict in Syria, with Libya, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq
receiving the vast majority of these refugees. Less than 1%
were accepted outside the region. The European response to
the Syrian exodus has been shameful. With the exception of
Germany, which offered thousands of resettlement opportunities (a pledge it has yet to deliver on), the number of Syrians
received by EU Member States is derisory.

Under pressure from the United States, which is keen to reduce
migrant arrivals at its own borders, Mexico processed a record
number of expulsions from Central American countries in 2014.
Migrants crossing Mexico continue to be victims of violent
crime, kidnapping and extortion while the perpetrators of these
crimes enjoy almost total impunity. In the United States, resources for security measures have been increased to expand
detention centres and set up new surveillance technology.

In October 2013, after two shipwrecks killed over 400 people off Lampedusa, EU Member States promised measures to
prevent the repetition of such tragedies. 2014 ended up even
deadlier, with over 3,500 fatalities at sea. Instead of introducing necessary reforms, the EU took a closed shutter approach:
building barriers at borders, strengthening methods of surveillance used by Frontex and Member States, launching a data
sharing system at EUROSUR borders, and financing detention
centres, etc. Far from stemming migration attempts to Europe,
these exorbitantly expensive measures have pushed migrants to
pursue even more dangerous and even fatal means of accessing
the continent – as evidenced in the shipwrecks of early 2015.
Most of those who die trying to reach Europe have sought to
flee war and persecution in Syria, Somalia or Eritrea.

Australia continues its policy to prevent boatloads of migrants
from reaching Australian soil, transferring passengers to Manus
Island, Papua New Guinea or Nauru. Here, they are detained
in overcrowded, squalid centres, whilst awaiting a decision
on their refugee status, and ultimately resettlement in another
country. Some have been returned to their country of origin in
violation of the principle of non-refoulement.

Context and challenges

In the South Mediterranean, the EU and its Member States continue to outsource border controls, entrusting responsibility for
preventing illegal immigration to countries of origin or transit.
In Morocco, negotiations with the EU lead to a readmission
agreement permitting the enforced return of illegal immigrants
of Moroccan nationality, as well as foreigners crossing through
its territory. In December 2014, Spain passed a law authorising
its police and civil guard to return those crossing its borders
in secret at Ceuta and Melilla to the Moroccan border. Such
returns constiute a violation of international law, notably the

Migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation and abuse
Inhabitants in the Southern Regions are increasingly emigrating from the South to the North in light of attractive lifestyles
in emerging nations (Brazil, India, China), Gulf Oil States and
some African countries. Migrant workers, especially illegal
immigrants, are often exploited by employers or recruitment
agencies. Against this backdrop, it is all the more important
to make the authorities in their countries of origin face their
responsibilities and take steps to protect their nationals travelling abroad.
In Gulf countries, millions of both male and female migrant
workers, mainly from Asia and Africa, are caught in a trap by
the kafala system of sponsors. This ties them to their employers
and prevents them from leaving their jobs and even the country.
They become victims of forced labour, practices such as the
non-payment or arbitrary reductions in salary, confiscation of

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 27

their passports, and abuse mainly of a sexual and psychological
nature, without access to legal remedy. Domestic workers in the
Gulf Region are estimated to number around 2.4 million and
are mostly female. These workers are particularly vulnerable
to abuse and exploitation by the very nature of their work and
absence of legal protection. In 2014, the situation of migrant
workers in Qatar continued to raise international concern surrounding preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Working
conditions are extremely harsh and have caused the deaths of
more than 300 migrant workers. Under pressure, the authorities
reformed kafala but failed to outlaw the system, simply limiting
its duration. Nor has Qatar abolished its exit visa requirements
to leave the country.
More and more people are emigrating from Central Asia to Russia and, to a lesser extent, Kazakhstan in their search for work.
As long as the economies of their countries of origin remain
dependent on money sent home to family from abroad, migrant
workers will remain extremely vulnerable to exploitation. The
situation of migrants in Russia has been deteriorating for many
years. Legislation on entry or residency has been toughened
and racial discrimination is fed by political discourse and a
xenophobic media. Despite the adoption of new measures at the
start of 2014 allowing access to work permits in Kazakhstan,
serious migrant rights violations persist.

FIDH and its member organisations and partners in action

> To strengthen policies and national
laws for the protection of migrants’
rights
To investigate and raise the alarm on migrant rights
Investigation work and public denunciation of migrant rights’
violations is especially important given the fact that migrants
are often ostracised by local populations, and are barely heard
and therefore are barely visible. In keeping with its multi-year
action plan, FIDH and its member organisations have documented migrant rights violations in countries of origin, transit
and destination. In doing so FIDH has drawn conclusions and
made recommendations for national authorities and international bodies. In 2014, Kuwait, Morocco, Russia, Tajikistan,
Greece and Turkey were a particular focus for such work.

28 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

FOCUS
FIDH documents rights’ violations of Tajik migrants in Russia
FIDH has carried out numerous investigations and much
advocacy work in Russia, focusing on work migration between
Tajikistan and Russia since 2011. FIDH has worked with ADC
Memorial, its member organisation in Russia, and their Tajik
partners (Tajik Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law
(BHR) and Human Rights Centre (HRC)). In 2014, FIDH and
ADC Memorial published a report highlighting deteriorating
conditions for migrant workers in Russia.
The report (“Whether or not you want to, you have to go”. From
Tajikistan to Russia: Vulnerability and abuse of migrant workers
and their families) documents Russian police and border guard
extortion, arbitrary arrests and police brutality targeting Tajik
migrants. Stirred up by the Media’s racist political discourse,
attacks on migrants are on the increase. The perpetrators of
these attacks enjoy almost total impunity. The report also
documents violations such as wages not being paid, poor living
conditions and a lack of access to medical care. Furthermore,
given the increased restrictions on entry and residency in Russia,
expulsions have multiplied, and tens of thousands of migrants
have been subjected to readmission bans.
The report also addresses the question of the specific impact
of migration on women’s rights. Hundreds of thousands of
women are left behind in Tajikistan to raise children, and to
work in the fields and markets. They depend on their in-laws
for financial support. Some husbands stop sending money or
disappear altogether, often leaving their wives destitute. The
number of Tajik women who emigrate to find work has been
growing for several years. Female migrants, especially those
who leave their country alone, are considered a challenge
to traditional role models and are often stigmatized by their
families and communities in Tajikistan. Meanwhile, in Russia,
they are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and violence.
Findings have been submitted to relevant UN bodies, and to
the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in
particular. In March 2015, the Committee published several
recommendations for authorities in Tajikistan on migrant
workers, taking into account the majority of FIDH and
ADC Memorial’s claims. The report’s conclusions were also
shared with OSCE representatives at the Human Dimension
Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.
In 2015, FIDH will pursue legal action for a project on migrant
workers in Central Asia involving its members and partners in
Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan and Russia.

To plead at national, regional and international level for the
protection of migrant rights
Throughout 2014, FIDH held the EU and its Member States
accountable for fatalities in the Mediterranean due to their
policies on securing borders, arguing the case for a European
policy on migration that is respectful of migrant rights. Following the enormous loss of life in a shipwreck near the Island of
Lampedusa at the end of 2013, FIDH made a referral to the UN
Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. After
two shipwrecks in September 2014, in the course of which
more than 700 hundred people drowned, FIDH called upon
the EU and its Member States to set up legal and safe methods
of migration without delay, so that migrants and in particular
refugees, could reach European soil without risking their lives.
FOCUS
FIDH argues for improvements in Morocco’s scheme to
manage legal status
FIDH, its member organizations and Moroccan partners
have monitored how a scheme to regularise out the status of
illegal workers has been implemented in Morocco. When the
scheme was at the half-way point, participants from many
Moroccan, Sub-Saharan and international migrant rights’
organizations and authority representatives exchanged
views at a conference organized in Rabat. The discussion
highlighted a number of the scheme’s weaknesses. Based
on experiences in other countries with similar schemes,
participants identified concrete strategies for improvements.
These included relaxing criteria or setting up a framework for
dialogue to allow civil society and lawyers who help migrants
in regularization applications to share their concerns with the
authorities.
Following this seminar, real headway was made. Numbers
grew considerably from the few who had had their papers
regularised in the first half of the scheme, moving from 2,812
acceptances in June 2014 to 17,916 by 31 December 2014.
On 27 June, an appeal commission with the power to review
applications rejected in the first instance was established. It
proceeded to regularise the papers of all women applicants
(5,060), as well as those in charge of migrant associations.

In Morrocco, FIDH added its voice to that of Moroccan organizations to call upon the authorities to cease judging civilians in military courts. This came against the backdrop of a
case against Manado Disarray – an individual accused in a
military court of fatally wounding a soldier during a police
operation that sought to prevent a group of migrants trying to
pass through fencing at Melilla. Following civilian protests,
the Council of Ministers passed a military justice reform on 14
March 2014. It set out that military courts have no jurisdiction
to judge civilians and that civilians awaiting trial should be
returned to a common law jurisdiction. Parliament voted on the
law in October 2014 and it should come into force in July 2015.
In December 2014, FIDH supported Kuwaiti NGOs in bringing
their recommendations to the Human Rights Council under
Kuwait’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). This followed
a collaborative enquiry in Kuwait with FIDH’s member
HumanLine. It documented the situation of migrant workers and
stateless Bidun people. FIDH supported representatives from
the Kuwait Civil Alliance coalition and facilitated meetings
with influential diplomatic missions. Rights defenders most
notably took part in delegations on the necessity of reforming
the Kafala system. This sees migrant workers kept under the
custody of a sponsor throughout their stay in Kuwait. Urgent
solutions must be found for the Biduns, who are considered
illegal residents by the Kuwaiti authorities.

In December 2014, as the scheme was nearing its close, FIDH
and GADEM began to draw up a full report on the operation.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 29

> To strengthen the accountability of
those violating migrants’ human rights
FIDH has developed strategies for legal action in cases where
migrant rights have been violated. These strategies aim to
fight impunity, influence policies and monitor the prevention
of further violations. FIDH participated mainly in judicial
proceedings relating to violations of human rights in the
Mediterranean Sea, resulting from the migration policies of
the EU and its Member States.
Progress in the "left-to-die boat" case
In March 2011, as Member States carried out NATO patrols
against the Gaddafi Regime, 72 migrants fleeing Libya on a
makeshift boat were left adrift at sea. Distress calls were sent
to Italian coastguards, NATO, and all other boats in the area.
Helicopters and a military vessel saw the craft but did not go
to help the passengers. A fortnight later, the boat was washed
up on the Libyan coast with 11 survivors. Two died shortly
after reaching shore. 63 people, including 20 women and 3
children, died due to this failure to assist. To establish the
accountability of the armed forces in the area at the time of
the catastrophe, FIDH, Gisti, the French and Belgian human
rights' leagues and Migreurop set up a group of lawyers to
work on the case. They launched an appeal in Italy in 2012
and helped victims to launch actions in France, Belgium and

FIDH/GADEM seminar on migration policy in Morocco. Credits : FIDH

30 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Spain in 2013. In France, an initial complaint was filed in 2012
and was dismissed by the prosecution. FIDH and its partners
filed a civil action to force a judicial enquiry. Requests for
information were also filed in the United Kingdom, United
States and Canada. Precise information was sought about the
actions of the armed forces from these three countries at the
time of the events in question.
In France, in December 2013, the case against X for failure to
assist people in danger was dismissed before the investigation
had even begun. Furthermore, another ruling contested the
right of associations to launch a civil action on behalf of
survivors. Appeals were launched against these two decisions,
and in June 2014, the Investigation Chamber overturned the
dismissal, ruling that a judicial enquiry should be opened and
allowed to proceed. In Italy, an initial action had already been
filed before several Italian courts, when another appeal was
lodged in November 2014 on the survivors’ behalf. In Belgium,
following an action filed in the names of three survivors in
November 2013, an enquiry for failure to assist people in
danger and a war crime were opened and proceeded.
By launching such proceedings at national level, FIDH and its
partners demonstrate that the sea is not a lawless zone and that
these crimes cannot go unpunished. If actions are dismissed at
national level, appeals can go before the European Court of
Human Rights.

FOCUS
Highlighting Frontex's accountability for rights' violations
at the Greek/Turkey border
An investigation was carried out on the border between
Greece and Turkey by FIDH, Migreurop and REMDH, along
with its Greek and Turkish members and partners. The resulting report was entitled "Greek/Turkish border: The tragic
limits of European migration policies" ad was published in
May 2014.
Supported by about 10 witness statements, as well as numerous exchanges with Frontex, the European agency for external
border controls, the report documents serious human rights'
violations at the very heart of the agency's operations. It underlines the catastrophic consequences of tightened border
controls: collective expulsions, use of dissuasion techniques
to push back boatloads of migrants, denial of asylum applications, physical and verbal abuse, etc. The report also
highlights Frontex's responsibility for these rights' violations.
Despite receiving information on its repeated violations, the
agency continues to provide logistical support and to participate in EU border operations. FIDH and its partners have denounced the absence of a mechanism to question the agency’s
accountability and the lack of transparency in its operations.
The French version of the report was launched at a press
conference in Brussels. The Turkish version was launched
at a press conference in Ankara. It has also been translated
into English and Greek.
Legal action has also been taken against European Union representatives on the basis of the report’s findings. Its conclusions were also presented to Frontex’s directors in Warsaw in
January 2015. Information collated by the Frontexit campaign
helped create a public debate about Frontex's operations and
even questioned its very existence. An increased caseload in
recent years has led to questions about Frontex's responsibility
for migrant rights violations in the Parliamentary Assembly of
the European Council, as well as by the European Ombudsman, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. Furthermore, in February 2015, the Greek Government
announced the closure of detention centres in which it held
anyone entering Greek territory illegally.

Examples of outcomes
FIDH enabled or contributed to
Strengthening the protection of migrants' human rights in
policies and national laws
• Systematic processing of the papers of 5,060 women and those
in charge of migrant associations through the Moroccan Appeal
Commission and through the decision to bestow automatic
renewal of residence permits upon expiry.
• The passing of a law removing the jurisdiction of military
tribunals over civilians by the Moroccan Council of Ministers
on 14 March 2014. Parliament voted on the law on 22 October
2014 and published it on 1 January 2015. It should come into
force on 1 July 2015.
• The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
adopted key recommendations on migrant workers for the Tajik
authorities, taking up the concerns and recommendations of
FIDH and its partners.
• The Working Group of the Universal Period Review for Kuwait
adopted recommendations adressing the concerns of FIDH and
the Kuwait Civil Alliance.
• The Greek Government’s announcement in February 2015 that it
would close detention centres in which it held illegal immigrants.

Strengthening the accountability of those violating migrants’
human rights
• The adoption on 9 June 2014 of a new report on the “Left-to-die
boat” by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
In accordance with FIDH’s plea, the Assembly asked Member
States to cooperate fully in communicating their ships’ positions
during the drifting of the craft, as well as the messages received
by their ships. It also requested them to grant residence permit
applications to the survivors for humanitarian reasons, given
their ongoing suffering. Furthermore, the Assembly encouraged
Member States to adopt concrete measures to save a greater
number of lives at sea, to create legal and secure channels for
migration and to share responsibility for asylum seekers in
Europe.
•T 
he opening of a judicial enquiry in June by a French Appeal

Court into the attitude of the French army that stands accused
of a failure to assist migrants drifting in the “left-to-die boat”
leading to the death of 63 persons in March 2010. The opening
of a judicial enquiry for failure to assist people in danger and war
crimes by the Tribunal of the First Instance in Brussels.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 31

• Raising public awareness on Frontex’s role and the impact of its

actions on human rights.

• The adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights,

the European Ombudsman and the UN Special Rapporteur for
the Human Rights of Migrants of recommendations made by
FIDH and its partners’ for the EU, Member States and Frontex
to remedy violations committed at Europe’s borders.

FIDH working with its member and partner organisations
55 press releases in EN/FR/AR/ES/RU/GR/IT/PO
Supporting the pleas of 7 rights’ defenders (in Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan)
with IGOs, pertinent regional and international bodies and influential State representatives.
Judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings filed and followed through by FIDH:
The "left-to-die boat" incident before French, Spanish and Belgian courts
Communications on EU and its Member States’ policies on migration to the UN Special Rapporteur on the
Human Rights of Migrants
Strategic Seminar:
Morocco: FIDH/GADEM Seminar on the operation of
migration policy
Partnerships: International Union Conference; Union
Network International; Global Campaign for the ratification
of the convention on the rights of migrants; Migreurop; Boats
4 people

Bangladeshi migrant worker, Kuwait, November 2013, © Sara Prestianni

32 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Investigative Reports
Greece/Turkey: Greek/Turkey border: The tragic limits
of European migration policies
Eastern Europe: Disputed Entities in Eastern Europe:
Human Rights Sacrificed
Morocco: Judicial Reforms must be translated into
Action
Tajikistan/Russia: “Whether or not you want to, you
have to go”. From Tajikistan to Russia: Vulnerability
and abuse of migrant workers and their families

Priority 4

Promote the administration
of justice and fight against
impunity
1. Context and challenges
The right to effective redress for victims of
international crimes
Combating impunity for serious human rights violations, including crimes falling under international law, not only contributes
to the prevention of these violations, to the prosecution of their
perpetrators, and to the increased effectiveness of victims’ rights,
but also ultimately reinforces the rule of law. Redress for victims
of international crimes before national courts in the countries
where these crimes have been committed is the first opportunity
for the victims to exercise their right to truth, justice and reparation. But in some countries, however, the collapse of the judicial
system, the lack of independence of the courts, and/or the lack
of protection for the victims and legal personnel can make it
very difficult to access the judicial remedies1, through which
perpetrators of international crimes can be held accountable and
adequate reparation can be obtained.

continued to be the rule, especially in Kenya, Sudan, Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Burma, Mexico, Colombia,
Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria, shows the importance of developing and consolidating strengthening other channels of redress.
Another present-day challenge to the right to effective redress
for victims is to have national courts acknowledge corporate
responsibility for the commission of international crimes. Two
cases launched by FIDH made the front pages in France in 2014.
They concern companies that sold surveillance technologies to
the regimes of Gadhafi and Baschar AEl- Assad, which then used
them in the arrest, and torture of persons considered opponents
of their rule.
National extra-territorial jurisdiction laws, which authorise national courts to investigate and prosecute anyone on their territory suspected of committing international crimes abroad, contribute to fighting impunity. However, some countries continue
to attack or restrict such laws. Support for these legal provisions

In 2014, under the leadership of FIDH, major progress was made
in judicial matters in 2014 in Mali, Guinea, and Ivory Coast in
the fight against impunity for the perpetrators of international
crimes before the national courts of these countries. The death
of the former dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier, in October 2014
aroused fears that the proceedings launched in Haiti would be
jeopardised. However, proceedings were continued with widened focus on all the highest- ranking members of the Duvalier
regime. In conjunction with the former dictator, these individuals
either conducted, or were accomplices in perpetrating enforced
disappearances, arbitrary detentions, acts of torture and summary
executions that took place between 1971 and 1986. Further, the
fact that impunity for serious violations of human rights has
The ICC Prosecutor visits FIDH

1. Ensuring access to and effectiveness of all justice mechanisms – be they
extra-national or international, judicial or quasi-judicial – always entails specific
challenges.

Fatou Bensouda, ICC Prosecutor, with (from left to right) Souhayr Belhassen,
FIDH Honorary President, Karim Lahidji, FIDH President, Raji Sourani,
Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Shawan Jabarin, FIDH Vice President,
Antoine Bernard, FIDH Chief Executive Officer. Credits : FIDH

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 33

and proceedings is essential, as shown from the trial that led
to the first conviction (in March 2014) by the French judiciary
of Pascal Simbikangwa for genocide and complicity in crimes
against humanity committed in Rwanda in 1994.
Hybrid courts, which combine national and international law and
employ mixed judges and prosecutors, have made considerable
headway in 2014 in both Asia and Africa. In August 2014, the
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)
pronounced their second sentence, this time against two former
high-ranking Khmer Rouge leaders, namely Khieu Samphan
and Nuon Chea. Both of them were sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity connected to the forced
displacement of populations and the execution of former soldiers and civil servants of the Khmer Republic. Elsewhere, the
Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC/SC) in the Senegalese
Courts, opened in January 2013, carried out throughout 2014
an investigation that ended culminated in February 2015 with
Hissène Habré being sent brought before the Higher Criminal
Court (Chambre d'assises) for crimes against humanity, war
crimes and torture perpetrated between 1962 and 1990 when
he was President of Chad. Civil society representatives are also
pushing for the establishment of specialised mixed courts to deal
with international crimes in DRC and in CAR to make up for the
shortcomings of national courts.
The International Criminal Court opened a second investigation into CAR relating to the crimes committed since 2012 and
has continued to carry out inquiries and to prosecute the main
perpetrators of crimes within its jurisdiction in eight situations
countries (Uganda, DRC, CAR, Kenya, Sudan, Libya, Ivory
Coast, Mali).
With regard to the situation in DRC, in March 2014 the ICC
rendered its third verdict by declaring Germain Katanga, Commander of the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri district, guilty

of complicity in crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed in February 2003 in Bogoro, a village in Ituri district,
in DRC. With regard to the situation in DRC, the ICC also
confirmed the charges against Bosco Ntaganda, whose trial for
war crimes and crimes against humanity (perpetrated in 20022003 in Ituri province) is scheduled to open in July 2015. The
ICC also concluded the trial against Jean-Pierre Bemba, former
Vice President of DRC, who was charged with crimes against
humanity and war crimes in CAR in 2002-2003.
The trial of Laurent Gbagbo, the former President of Ivory Coast,
for committing crimes against humanity during the post-electoral
violence period at in end 2010-beginning 2011is scheduled to
begin in November 2015, together with the trial of Charles Blé
Goudé, former Ivorian Minister of Youth and alleged head of the
Young Patriots militia. (Charges against him were confirmed in
December 2014).
Opposition to the mandate of the ICC continued throughout
2014. Lack of cooperation from by the Kenyan authorities with
the Office of the Prosecutor, and allegations of threats and attempts to sway key witnesses for the prosecution, seriously hindered investigations. In fact, the Office of the Prosecutor decided,
in December 2014 to dismiss the charges against Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. The ICC was again
criticised for the lack of impartiality of its action although it is
noteworthy of note that the Office of the Prosecutor had opened
preliminary investigations into of other situations in 2014, in
particular in Georgia, Colombia, Honduras, Afghanistan and
Ukraine, situation under preliminary examination by the Office
of the Prosecutor throughout 2014. Additionally, the ICC has
been examining the situation in Palestine since the beginning
of 2015 after Palestine recognised the jurisdiction of the Court.
The Registrar’s reform project, carried out by the ICC Registrar
(the ReVision project) was a major challenge this year, in light

Victim participating in trial against Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea in front of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, in front of photo of prisoners of camp S 21. Credit FIDH

34 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

of its effects on the legal representation and participation of the
victims in the ICC proceedings.

FIDH and its member and partner organisations in
action

Lastly, highlighting the responsibility of States in committing
international crimes remains essential to the victims’ search for
redress, especially when impunity is widespread at the national
level. The leaderships of international and regional, judicial and
semi-judicial treaty mechanisms have a role to play in this area.
Access to such mechanisms by NGOs and individuals is still at
times challenge, as in the case of the the African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights.

> Reinforcing the right to effective
remedy for victims of international
crimes

Administration of effective and equitable
justice
On 18 December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly
adopted a resolution establishing a moratorium on the use of the
death penalty. There was a record vote of 117 votes for, 38 against
and 34 abstentions. That same month, Madagascar abolished the
death penalty. In July 2014, at a continental conference held in
Benin, representatives from the states, the African Union, and the
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Working
Group on the Question of the Death penalty and Civil Society
passed a declaration calling for the adoption of a Protocol to the
African Charter on the abolition of the death penalty on the African
continent. But prorogress was, however, slowed by the suspension
of the moratorium on the death penalty in December 2014, in Pakistan in December 2014, and the numerous executions in China,
Iran and the United States, along with the announcement of the
execution of many foreigners condemned to death (especially in
Indonesia) for drug trafficking. The World Coalition Against the
Death Penalty used the 10 October World Day Against the Death
Penalty to draw attention to the special concerns for prisoners with
mental health issues who risk being sentenced to death or are have
been executed. Getting information about the executions and advocacy on abolition are still major challenges, especially in Asia,
which is the most severely strongly retentionist area.
Furthermore, in many countries, the fight against impunity for
perpetrators of acts of torture and enforced disappearances is no
less a challenge in 2014 than it was in 2013 in many countries.
Last, but not least, at the heart of the problem of the administration of effective and equitable justice is how to conduct the fight
against terrorism while still respecting human rights. This was
a major problem in 2014, when in dealing with the actions of
the fundamentalist groups such as AQMIAl-Qaeda, Daesh, the
Taliban, Al-Shebab and Boko Haram, which are terrorising people and annihilating all freedoms for individuals who are living
in areas under their control. Some States have also continued to
use the pretext of fighting terrorism to repress peaceful protest
movements.

Legal action
FOCUS
FIDH Litigation activities
FIDH is supporting almost 750 victims in more than 110 judicial
and semi-judicial proceedings being held to determine the
responsibility of perpetrators of serious human rights violations
committed in about 45 national incidents. Most of the
proceedings are to establish individual criminal responsibility
before national and international courts. However, FIDH is
increasingly involved in proceedings to establish responsibility
of states and of corporations before regional bodies.
FIDH’s litigation work is conducted in close collaboration
with its member organizations and partners. It focuses on
emblematic cases, based on the extent of violations, their legal
status, or the types of victims and perpetrators, so as to highlight
the victims’ right to justice, and to pursue the objectives of
deterrence, reconciliation, and the strengthening of the rule of
law. The choice of judicial or semi-judicial bodies before which
to present cases depends on their criteria of admissibility as
well as on considerations of their judicial and political scope.
The coordination of the Legal Action Group (GAJ) is ensured
by Patrick Baudouin, honorary president, and Clémence
Bectarte.
Establishing responsibility before national courts
FIDH and LAG, its Legal Action Group (a group of lawyers, magistrates, and jurists who work on a pro bono basis, is supporting
the fight against impunity and contributing to the advancement of
national justice in several countries in transition. In 2014 they assisted several hundred victims of the most serious crimes in 2014
before the national courts of Ivory Coast, Guinea-Conakry and Mali,
and lent supported to proceedings underway against Duvalier in
Haiti (Priority 6).
In addition, FIDH continued its legal efforts to advance national
proceedings by making use of extra-territorial jurisdiction which is
often the only recourse left for victims of international crimes who
are unable to obtain justice in their own country. FIDH has become
particularly involved in the case of ex-Captain Pascal Simbikangwa, who was sentenced by the Paris Higher Criminal Court (cour
d’assise) to 25 years in prison for genocide and complicity in crimes
against humanity in Rwanda. This first trial has opened the way for
many others in coming years; close to 30 investigations of suspected
perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda are being carried out by the

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 35

unit specialising in international crimes in France. In May 2014,
Octavien Bganzi and Tito Barahira, two other persons who are also
suspected of committing committing genocide in Rwanda, Octavien
Bganzi and Tito Barahira were sent to face the Paris Criminal Court.
The hearings of the trial are expected to start in 2016; FIDH and
LDH will participate as plaintiffs.
FOCUS
Rwanda: French court sentences Pascal Simbikangwa for
genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity
On 14 March 2014, twenty years after the events and after six
weeks of hearings, the Paris Criminal Court sentenced Pascal
Simbikangwa to 25 years in jail for genocide and complicity
in crimes against humanity committed in 1994 as part of the
Rwandan genocide. Initially he was only charged with complicity
in genocide; however Simbikangwa was ultimately convicted
of genocide after the prosecutor advocated for a change in the
type of criminal responsibility. This was the first trial held in
France against an alleged offender in the Rwandan genocide. The
accused has appealed the sentence and the appeal trial should be
held in 2016.
FIDH and LDH (Ligue des Droits de l’Homme), who, together
with other organisations, are participating as civil parties in this
case, have fought tirelessly for this trial to be held, and for France
to honour its legal obligations. Accordingly, FIDH set up a team
of LAG lawyers to defend the interests of the civil parties before
and during the trial. FIDH also published a summary report prior
to the trial as well as an analytical paper on the main lessons to
be learned from this first trial about the Rwandan affair to be held
in France. This verdict shows the crucial role of extra-territorial
in achieving justice for victims who, in some cases, have been
waiting for many years.
The case of the Relizane militia against the Mohamed brothers (Algeria). An investigation has been underway in the French courts
since 2003 to establish the responsibility for violence committed
in the 1990s by the armed militia which colluded with the Algerian
authorities as part of their policy to fight terrorism. The investigating
judge of the Criminal Court (tribunal de grande instance) in Nimes,
on 26 December 2014 finally indicted and sent the Mohamed brothers to trial. This decision, if confirmed, could lead to the convening
of the first trial on these crimes; however, the accused have appealed. FIDH and LDH are participating as civil parties and LAG
lawyers are representing seven individual plaintiffs.
The case of the “Disappeared of Brazzaville Beach” (Republic of
Congo). FIDH has continued to attempt to establish responsibility
for the massacres, torture and enforced disappearances perpetrated
in 1999, so as to ensure that those responsible are brought to court
and that the victims obtain justice and reparation resulting from
fair, just and independent proceedings. LAG has worked to counter the arguments of the defense, which called for the cancellation of judicial proceedings against Norbert Dabira, former Army
Inspector-General. On 9 October 2014, The Investigatory Chamber

36 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

of the Paris Appeal Court, on 9 October 2014, finally confirmed the
judicial investigation of Norbert Dabira for crimes against humanity,
thus allowing the procedure, involving 80 victims who escaped or
members of victims’ families who are participating as civil parties,
to get under way.
Informed of the presence in France of Prince Nasser Bin Ahmad
Al Khalifa, son of the king of Bahrain, on 22 August 2014, FIDH
and LDH filed a complaint for acts of torture against him with the
Prosecutor of the French Special Unit on Crimes against Humanity
and War Crimes within the Paris Tribunal. The complaint claims
that Prince Nasser was personally involved in committing acts of
torture torturing Bahraini opponents in 2011 as part of the repression of the popular protest movement known as the Pearl Spring
of Bahrain. On 29 August 2014, the preliminary investigation was
suddenly halted, following a notice granting immunity to Prince
Nasser issued by the Protocol Department of the French Ministry
of Foreign Affairs. This notice was based on an international convention that France had not ratified, but was presented in a new
and surprising manner, as being part of customary international
law. However, this contradicted a letter by the same Ministerial department sent the same day to FIDH, which stated that the Prince
was on a private visit, and thus was not entitled to diplomatic
immunity. An appeal was sent to the General Prosecutor of the
Paris Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, on 7 October 2014, the High Court in London ruled,
in response to a judicial review request brought by a Bahraini torture survivor, and with ECCHR as an interested party, that Prince
Nasser was not entitled to immunity. This decision was taken following a complaint about acts of torture submitted to the Crown
Prosecution Service in July 2012, and opens the way for further
investigations in the UK.
FIDH also acted in the suit for the extradition of Mario Alfredo
Sandoval, a Franco-Argentinian citizen. He is wanted in Argentina
for committing crimes against humanity, arbitrary detention, and
acts of torture causing death, in the naval engineers’ school (the
Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA)), a secret detention
centre in Buenos Aires, where 5,000 disappeared prisoners were
were held during the dictatorship. Since Mr Sandoval was living in
France, an international arrest warrant was issued by an Argentinian judge on 15 March 2012 and an extradition request was sent
to France, specifically for his involvement in the disappearance of
Herman Abriata, a student of architecture abducted on 30 October
1976, and never seen again. The investigatory chamber of the Paris
Supreme Court of Appeals authorised the extradition on 28 May
2014. The defence had already appealed to the Court de Cassation, and had already lodged an appeal with the Constitutional
Court which, on 14 November 2014, confirmed that the extradition of Sandoval was not unconstitutional, since the accused was
not French at “the time when the offence for which extradition
is sought was committed”. (Decision no. 2014-427 QPC of 14
November 2014)
FIDH strengthened its activities relating to the establishment of
corporate legal responsibility by continuing to support Libyan

victims appearing as plaintiffs in the case against Amesys for complicity in torture. This French company and its management are
accused by FIDH and LDH in a complaint filed in November 2011,
of having sold surveillance equipment to the Mohammar Gadhafi'd
dictatorial regime, equipment that was which was used to spy on
dissidents of the regime. An investigation is currently under way.

civil parties in Cambodia and visit the place of remembrance.
FIDH continued to support the civil parties and two victims’
associations in their efforts to have a memorial monument
built in Paris in honour of the victims of the Khmer Rouge
regime as a measure of reparation.

FIDH has also continued its judicial action in the case against
Qosmos and other French companies for complicity in torture in
Syria. This company allegedly provided surveillance equipment
to the dictatorial regime of Bashar Al-Assad to use for spying on
the Syrian people and to enable Al-Assad' s intelligence services
to perfect their tools for repression of dissidents. In April 2014,
18 months after the official complaint by FIDH and LDH, the
prosecutor of the Paris Higher Criminal Court opened a judicial
inquiry.

FIDH has also been advocating for the establishment of a specialised hybrid tribunal for international crimes in Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) and in the Central African Republic
(CAR). FIDH and its member organisations have pressed for the
creation of a special criminal court in CAR to try the perpetrators
of international crimes, who will not be prosecuted by the ICC
and who cannot be tried by the national courts in their present
state. The CAR court was created in 2015. In DRC, FIDH and 146
Congolese and international human rights organisations called for
the adoption of a draft law relating to the creation of specialised
hybrid chambers to try the persons responsible for serious violations of human rights and a draft law for the implementation of the
ICC Statues. FIDH and its member and partner organisations in
DRC denounced the 5 May acquittal of 36 of the 39 members of
the DRC armed forces, accused of rape in Minova, by the military
court of North Kivu at Goma, This acquittal shows the urgent need
for the DRC to create hybrid chambers and obtain the legal arsenal
needed to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes.

As part of its fight for sanctions against violations of individual
freedoms, and following revelations by Edward Snowden, FIDH
and LDH continued their efforts against illegal use of software
on French territory such as that of the US called PRISM (Planning Tool for Resource Integration Synchronization and Management), which enabled NSA and the FBI to intercept and capture
private data on any individual. It was for this reason that, on 26
December 2014, FIDH and LDH filed a complaint in a Paris
Higher Criminal Court (TGI de Paris) against senior officials in
the French Intelligence Services. Newspapers in 2013 reported
that those Intelligence Services had illegally collected huge quantities of data.
Actions before mixed or hybrid courts
In 2014, FIDH continued to provide support for 10 Cambodians
living in France who are plaintiffs in Case no. 002/02 before the
ECCC. FIDH support allowed 5 plaintiffs and 3 close relations to
go to Phnom Penh to hear the verdict in the Khieu Samphan and
Nuon Chea trial.
FOCUS
Cambodia: Landmark decision condemning former
Khmer Rouge leaders to life in prison
On 7 August, the ECCC sentenced Khieu Samphan, former
Head of State, and Nuon Chea, “Brother Number Two”,
a former ideologue in the Khmer Rouge regime, to life
imprisonment for crimes against humanity. This is the first
time that high-ranking Khmer Rouge officials have been
convicted by an independent tribunal. Furthermore, the
tribunal has ordered collective reparations for the civil
parties.
FIDH was the legal representative for 10 victims living
in France and, together with its member organisation in
Cambodia, ADHOC, made it possible for the plaintiffs living
in France and in Cambodia to be present for the hearings and
the historic verdict. The civil parties and their families had
the opportunity to meet other civil parties living in Cambodia,
to hold discussions with the NGOs and the lawyers of the

Before the International Criminal Court
During intense internal debate on a declaration by the government
of Ukraine recognising the ICC’s jurisdiction, FIDH organised an
information exchange on the Maidan events for a representative of
the Center for Civil Liberties (its partner organisation in that country) at the Court’s headquarters. The declaration came into force
on April 9, and in June FIDH organised a an advocacy mission
targeting Ukrainian authorities advocating for the extension of the
ICC jurisdiction beyond the Maidan events, and for ratification of
the ICC Statute. FIDH took part in the drafting of a communication
on the Maidan events, submitted in January 2015, as a contribution
to the preliminary examination by the Prosecutor’s office.
Following two missions to Mexico, in particular one to the State
of Baja California, FIDH documented cases of torture, arbitrary
detention and forced disappearances committed in the region from
2006 to 2012. A communication was drafted, presented and submitted to the Prosecutor’s office for a preliminary examination
to be opened on the situation in Mexico, a necessary first step
towards the opening of an investigation on these crimes, which
constitute crimes against humanity. A public report based on the
communication was published in September 2014.
In October, FIDH also transmitted a communication to the Prosecutor’s office on crimes resulting from large-scale land-grabbing
in Cambodia. These activities were shown to be crimes against
humanity, so to trigger the opening of a preliminary examination in the situation. The communication was given considerable
media coverage.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 37

In March, along with 134 national and international NGOs, FIDH
called on the ICC Office of the Prosecutor to continue its investigations in DRC, and not to limit itself to the proceedings instituted
so far.
FIDH continued to transmit information to the Prosecutor’s Office
concerning the other situations before the ICC, in particular the
fact-finding missions reports on CAR and on the crimes committed in Ivory Coast, and on progress in national proceedings in the
course of a meeting in the Hague with representatives of FIDH
member organisations.
Exposing the criminal responsibility of States
In the context of its action efforts to draw attention to States’ responsibilities, FIDH contributed directly to the historical ruling
handed down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on
July 29, condemning the State of Chile for serious violations of
the human rights of the members of the Mapuche community in
Chile. This ruling, recognising the illegal nature of the criminalisation to which communities defending their ancestral lands had
been subjected. FIDH appeared before the Court to represent Mapuche citizens sentenced in Chile under the antiterrorist legislation,
which, according to the Court, found to violated the principles of
legality and the right to the presumption of innocence. The ruling
constitutes an important precedent for similar cases falling within
the jurisdiction of the IACHR.
Following its third party interventions before the European Court
of Human Rights, FIDH and partner organisations, have continued
to make amicus curiae submissions on cases relating to the defence
of LGBTI individuals. FIDH and partner associations submitted
third party interventions in the following cases:
- in two cases pending before the European Court of Human
Rights against Italy (Oliari et al. and Orlandi et al.) concerning
9 couples of the same sex who are unable to have their union
legally recognised in Italy;
- in the M.C. and A.C. case against Romania relating to hate crimes
committed against homosexuals in the country, and;
- in the A.E. case against Finland relating to the asylum application
of an Iranian national who feared torture in his country based on
his sexual orientation.
FIDH actions before the Court which set legal precedents concerning the protection of LGBTI rights are presented in a report
published in January 2014.
FIDH has also followed the progress of communications submitted
with other member and partner organisations before the African
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights against Algeria, regarding cases of forced disappearances during the Years of Lead,
and against Sudan for acts of torture committed by agents of the
intelligence services against human rights defenders.

38 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Advocacy activities
Before national courts
FIDH has continued advocating to the authorities concerned, intergovernmental organisations and the ICC in favour of strong,
effective national judiciaries, with both the capacity and the will
to fight impunity for the most serious crimes committed on national territory, in particular in Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali (see
priority 6).
In France, it also continued to press for the amendment of the
August 9, 2010 law. This law adapted the French criminal code
to the Rome Statute, introducing an extra-territorial jurisdiction
mechanism for war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime
of genocide. However, this law included a number of substantial
obstacles to its application, and therefore needs to be modified.
To this end several meetings with French ministerial and parliamentary representatives were conducted, in conjunction with the
French Coalition for the International Criminal Court.
At the level of European Union Member States (EU), FIDH continued pressing for victims of serious human rights violations to
have access to independent, fair and effective justice. In a joint
programme with REDRESS, TRIAL and ECCHR, FIDH co-organised and participated in two seminars in Brussels for practitioners (investigators, magistrates and prosecutors): one in March
2014 on the implementation of the directive on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and the other, in October
2014, on the right to participation, protection and reparation of
victims of international crimes in the European Union. The latter
seminar was organised ahead of the meeting of the EU points of
contact network on international crimes, which takes place every
six months, and which FIDH attends.
To increase awareness and exchange views on judicial strategies
dealing with the criminal liability of business enterprises and their
principals, FIDH organised several activities. On April 4, 2014, it
organised a seminar in Brussels attended by a dozen experts and
the main NGOs involved in establishing the responsibilities of ICT
companies. CAUSE, a coalition of NGOs on the responsibilities
of ICT companies for human rights abuses, was launched on that
occasion. Taking into account the findings of the seminar and of
the legal proceedings under way, such as those against Amesys
and Qosmos, in December 2014 FIDH published an analytical
position paper called “Surveillance Technologies ‘Made in Europe’: Regulations Needed to Prevent Human Rights Abuses”.
It also organised a seminar to share experiences among Libyans,
Tunisians and Egyptians on transitional justice.
Before the International Criminal Court
FIDH continued to defend the realisation of victims’ rights
before the ICC. In particular, in an open letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Registrar, FIDH expressed
concerns about the effects the Registrar’s reform project (ReVision project) could have on the victims’ participation and
legal representation in ICC proceedings. FIDH also published

a report entitled “Five myths about victim participation in ICC
proceedings”.
This report, which develops the themes addressed in the open letter to the Registrar, was widely distributed during the 13th Session
of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) in New York in December
2014. FIDH organised a panel on the reform issues to do with
the rights of victims to participate and have legal representation
before the ICC. The Registrar, the ASP president, and the legal
representatives of the victims in the Kenyan cases were key participants. At the 13th Session, FIDH was represented by a large
delegation of representatives of its member and partner organisations in Kenya, Ukraine, Mexico, Israel, Palestine and Libya, and
also by representatives of the victims in the Prosecutor v. Kenyatta
case. FIDH circulated a position paper containing recommendations relating to the main themes on the agenda:
- defending the integrity of the Rome Statute (with amendments
on the immunity of Heads of State and the use of the Assembly
to pursue national interests);
- the ICC budget; amendments to the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence;
- the omnibus resolution (concerning in particular victims’ rights,
counsel and legal aid, intermediaries, complementarity and cooperation).
FIDH organised several meetings between representatives of its
member organisations and the Registrar’s office. It also organised
meetings between representatives of its member organisations
in Israel (PCATI) and Palestine (Al Haq) and representatives of
diplomatic missions in New York, to highlight the situation in
Palestine, particularly after the Operation Protective Edge. These
meetings took place at a time when Palestine and Israel intervened
for the first time at the ASP, and when discussions were under way
on Palestine’s proposed ratification of the ICC Statute (which took
place early in 2015). During the ASP, FIDH also co-organised
parallel events, on Ukraine and the ICC, and on Mexico and the
ICC, in addition to those on victims’ rights referred to above, with
the participation of the Office of the Registrar. FIDH spoke in the

plenary during the opening speeches. FIDH expressed its appreciation for the election to President of the Assembly of States Parties
of the ICC, of its honorary president, Sidiki Kaba now Minister
of Justice of Senegal.
At the opening of the session, FIDH and its member organisation in Kenya, the Kenyan Human Rights Commission, (KHRC),
denounced the lack of cooperation by the Kenyan government
and the witness interference and intimidation that led to the withdrawal of charges by the ICC Prosecutor against Uhuru Kenyatta,
President of Kenya.
Before hybrid tribunals
Throughout 2014, FIDH closely followed the legal process taking
place in the Extraordinary African Chambers of the Senegalese
Courts in Senegal, in particular by accompanying and supporting
Assane Dioma N'Diaye, the Senegalese lawyer coordinating the
legal representation of victims.
Following its mission organized for the delivery of the verdict
by the ECCC in case 002/2 on 7 August 2014, FIDH produced a
30-minute documentary entitled Dossier N°002 – Histoire d’un
verdict.
The documentary, with subtitles in French, English, Spanish, and
Khmer, was streamed on the sites of Mediapart, France 24, Phnom
Penh Post, and Animal Politico. At the same time, FIDH published
the testimony of the five civil parties it supported in the trial,
recalling their sufferings during the Khmer Rouge regime, and
relating their expectations in relation to the proceedings before
the ECCC.2
On 24 April 2014, FIDH and ADHOC, its member organisation
in Cambodia, welcomed the request of the international co-prosecutor that co-investigating judges investigate sexual violence
2. https://www.fidh.org/La-Federation-internationale-des-ligues-des-droits-del-homme/asie/cambodge/cetc/16251-cambodge-dossier-no002-histoire-d-unverdict

FOCUS
FIDH supports the inclusion of victim participation in the ICC Registrar “ReVision” project 
In a 17-page letter addressed to the ICC Registrar, FIDH expresses its concerns over the Registrar’s reform project (ReVision, concerning
the comprehensive reorganization of the Registry) and the possible effect it will have on the participation and legal representation of
victims in the ICC proceedings.
“FIDH supports the reform initiative, but remains concerned that some elements might fundamentally undermine the right of victims to
participate and be legally represented in the ICC proceedings “, declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.
In particular, FIDH is worried that the ReVision project envisages internalizing the legal representation of victims, and eliminating
all independent legal advice to them. The presence of local external counsel would become optional, and they would become ICC
staff members or consultants. What is more, the project failed to be specific as to the support that would be given to victims’ legal
representation in the field, an aspect that - in the opinion of FIDH - is essential if meaningful victim participation is to be assured.
Further consultations took place with the Registrar and his team following this letter, first in December on the occasion of the Assembly
of States Parties, then in March at The Hague.
Although the results of the reform are not yet known, this letter led to the raising of a number of questions, and all commentators
welcomed its impact relative to the rights of victims and the important influence it had had on the course of the reform.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 39

and gender-based crimes in respect of four individuals charged
in Case 004 before the ECCC. This case promises to meet the
need for truth, justice, and reparations on the part of the victims
of forced marriages, rapes, and sexual violence committed during
the Khmer Rouge regime.

FIDH continued to work with the World Coalition against the
Death Penalty for global abolition of the death penalty, and the
establishment of a moratorium in those countries that still practise
it. Florence Bellivier, Deputy Secretary-General of FIDH, is also
president of the World Coalition.

Before the bodies set up to establish the responsibility of States
Throughout the year, FIDH has pressed for direct access by NGOs
and individuals to the African and Arab courts of human rights,
and has continued to denounce attempts to weaken the Inter-American regional system for the defence of human rights, exemplified
by Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Inter-American Court

To promote an independent judiciary, and combat torture
FIDH mobilized against the electronic surveillance systems that
have been installed by many States, and which are used to restrict
freedom of expression, including the arrest and torture of regime
opponents and human rights defenders. This is the basis of the complaints filed in France against Amesys and Qosmos for complicity
in torture in Libya and Syria (see above).

> To promote the administration of
effective and fair justice

FIDH also pursued its legal action in Guinea concerning cases of
torture committed in 2010 (see priority 6), and monitored the response of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights
to its report on the case of three tortured human rights defenders in
Sudan. FIDH also followed developments arising from its report
to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations on Uzbekistan in relation to acts of torture against the human rights defender
Mutabar Tadjibaeva.

To make progress towards the universal abolition of the
death penalty
FIDH has continued to oppose the use of the death penalty, in
particular in Iran, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Botswana, Egypt,
the Maldives, Sudan, Burma, and Belarus.
FIDH also continued to push for the adoption of a Protocol to
the African Charter concerning the abolition of the death penalty. (This protocol was finally adopted in May 2015). FIDH participated in the first continental conference on the death penalty
in Africa, organised from 2 to 4 July in Cotonou by the African
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), in collaboration with the Benin authorities. The conference facilitated
the acceleration of the process for the adoption of the protocol by
ACHPR in May 2015.
On World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2014,
FIDH published a communiqué in six languages called “Greater
protection against capital punishment for people with mental
disorders.” Placing particular emphasis on the United States
and Japan, FIDH denounced the fact that, in some countries,
the death penalty is still imposed on persons with mental-health
problems, despite its prohibition under international law. FIDH
has placed online several interviews with experts (notably Stephen Greenspan, a developmental psychologist regularly called
as a witness in death-penalty cases in American courts) on the
theme of this world day, and on the use of the death penalty in
such countries as Belarus.
FIDH welcomed the adoption of the resolution of the General
Assembly of the United Nations establishing “a moratorium on
the application of the death penalty” by a record number of countries. Proposed every two years since 2007, the resolution was
passed with an increased number of countries voting in favour
(117 - six votes more than in 2012), a reduced number voting
against (38 - three votes less than in 2012), and 34 abstentions
(as in 2012). This vote conveys the message that the death penalty constitutes a serious violation of human rights, and that the
movement to abolish it is gaining ground.

40 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

FIDH, its member organisations and partners conducted a factfinding mission in Morocco to review the implementation of the
authorities’ commitments in relation to reform the justice system,
in accordance with international human rights law. The mission
investigated cases where the justice system had been used to repress
fundamental liberties, and cases of torture and ill-treatment.
To combat enforced disappearances
In 2014, FIDH and its member organizations continued to work
to shed light on the fate of the disappeared, and to ensure justice
for them and their families.
Thus, FIDH succeeded in having four former officers in the Malian army arrested and questioned for complicity in murder as
a result of an inquiry into the disappearance of 21 red-berets in
Mali. FIDH and AMDH played a part in initiating the inquiry
by filing a civil action in 2013,
Following the filing by FIDH of a complaint implementing the
principles of extra-territorial jurisdiction, legal proceedings were
opened in Senegal against the former Congolese (DRC) policeman Paul Mwilambwe. This former member of the notorious
PNC (Police Nationale Congolaise) claims to have witnessed the
disappearance and murder of human rights defenders Floribert
Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana in June 2010.
FIDH collaborated with a number of French and Argentinian
NGOs to call on France to give a favourable response to the
request from Argentina to extradite Mario Alfredo Sandoval to
that country, where he is wanted for crimes against humanity
during the dictatorship period.
FIDH continued to take legal action over disappearances in
Guinea (the massacre of 28 September 2009), Ivory Coast (postelectoral violence), Congo Brazzaville (Brazzaville Beach case),

and Algeria (Rélizane case). It also monitored the cases of disappearance taken to the United Nations Committee and Working
Group on Enforced Disappearances to establish the responsibility of Congo Brazzaville, Chad, Guinea, and Mexico.
On International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances,
FIDH and other organizations asked the Association of South-East
Asian Nations and its member states to take all necessary measures
to combat such violations in South-East Asia. FIDH and its partner organizations reiterated their appeals to the governments concerned and to the international community for urgent clarification
of the fates of Sumlut Roi Ja of the Kachin community in Burma,
Sombath Somphone in Laos, and Dedek Khairudin in Indonesia.
FIDH monitored the progress of its submission to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights against Algeria’s enforced
disappearances during the Years of Lead in that country. FIDH also
documented and denounced the systematic practices of enforced
disappearance committed in Mexico before the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights. It also opposed the extension of the
jurisdiction of military tribunals to cover cases of flagrant violations
of human rights, including disappearances in Colombia.
FIDH continues to campaign for the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by more states.
To promote the protection of human rights in the war against
terrorism
Lastly, FIDH has continued to denounce the serious violations
of human rights committed by fundamentalist groups such as
Al-Qaeda, Daesh, the Taliban, Shebab, and Boko Haram. It has
also called on countries to respect international law on human
rights in their struggle against terrorism, and has documented
cases where the war against terrorism has been used as a pretext
to repress non-violent protest movements.

Examples of outcomes
FIDH achieved or contributed to

Strengthening the right to effective remedy for victims
of international crimes
In National Courts
Argentine
• On 28 May, the Paris Investigation Chamber authorised the extradition of Mario Alfredo Sandoval to Argentina, in connection
with the disappearance of Hernan Abriata, an architecture student detained on 30 October 1976, who disappeared in ESMA,
the clandestine detention centre in Buenos Aires, where 5,000
detainees disappeared during the dictatorship.
Ivory Coast
• Renewal of the mandate of the special investigation unit responsible for legal investigation of post-electoral crimes (Cel-

lule spéciale d'enquête sur les violences post-électorales).

• Promotion of investigations by the Ivorian courts of crimes com-

mitted by both Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters; and of crimes
committed in the Nahibly displaced persons camp in 2012.

Guinea
• Investigating judges heard close to 400 victims legally represented by FIDH in the judicial proceedings opened in February
2010 over the 28 September 2009 massacre; Trials of the director of the Conakry stadium and the former Minister of Youth
and Sports, and the hearing on the international rogatory commission of Moussa Dadis Camara who fled to Burkina Faso;
Indictment in this case of 8 high authorities, including Lieutenant Colonel Moussa Tiegbo Camara, Secretary General of the
Presidency in charge of special services, the fight against the
drug trade, organised crime and terrorism; Colonel Abdoulaye
Chérif Diaby, former Minister of Health and Colonel Claude
Pivi, current Head of the Presidential Guard.
Haiti

• The Port au Prince Court of Appeal reinstated the charges against

Jean-Claude Duvalier for crimes against humanity and ordered
a further investigation into these crimes.

Mali
• I ndictment, on 13 and 14 February 2014, of two senior officials
of the ex-junta for their alleged responsibility in the assassination of 21 bérets rouges in April 2012, to be added to 17 other
military officers indicted in November 2013 for this same crime.
FIDH and AMDH, its member organisation, joined the judicial
proceedings as civil parties alongside the 21 victims’ families.
• Opening of a judicial inquiry on 14 March 2014 on the “30
September 2013 Mutiny” subsequent to a complaint lodged by
FIDH and its member organisation AMDH.
Syria

• Opening of a judicial investigation in France, assigned to a

specialised unit for crimes against humanity and war crimes,
principally against Qosmos, for selling surveillance equipment
to the Bashar Al Assad regime. This inquiry was opened as a
result of a complaint lodged by FIDH and its member organisation LDH.
Rwanda
• The sentencing of Pascal Simbikangwa by the Paris High Criminal Court (Cour d'Assises) to 25 years in prisons for crimes of
genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity committed
in 1994 as part of the Rwanda genocide.
Central African Republic
• Application on 12 June 2014 by the CAR authorities to the Office of the ICC Prosecutor requesting that it open an inquiry into
crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC, committed in
the country since 1 August 2012.
•C 
reation on 9 April 2014 of the Special Unit of Inquiries and

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 41

Instructions (CSEI), an investigative body incorporated in the
special criminal court.

in Buenos Aires, where 5,000 detainees disappeared during
the dictatorship.

Cases before Mixed and hybrid Tribunals
• The 7 August conviction of Khieu Samphan, former Head
of State, and Nuon Chea, “Brother Number 2” and former
ideologue of the Khmer Rouge regime to life imprisonment
for crimes against humanity.

• Mali: Indictment, on 13 and 14 February 2014 of two senior

• Signature on 8 August 2014 of a Memorandum of Agreement

between the CAR authorities and the United Nations on the
establishment of a special criminal court to fight impunity
for the most serious crimes, in compliance with the recommendations of the fact-finding and advocacy report of FIDH
and its member organisations.

officials of the ex-junta for their alleged responsibility in the
assassination of 21 red berets in April 2012, to be added to
the cases of 17 other military officers indicted in November
2013 for this same crime. FIDH and AMDH, its member
organisation, have joined the judicial proceedings as civil
parties alongside the 21 victims’ families.

• Algeria: Indictment against the Mohamed brothers issued

by the investigating judge of the Nîmes High Criminal Court
(Tribunal de Grande Instance) (26 December 2014) in the
Rélizane forced disappearances case.

Cases before Regional Courts and Commissions
•T 
he historic decision of the Inter-American Court against
Chile condemning the use of anti-terrorism laws to criminalize the protest action of the Mapuche community against the
expansion of forestry projects.

• Guinea: Indictment of three high-level officials in the 2010

Cases before the International Criminal Court
•P 
reliminary analysis by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor on
the situation in CAR, which led to the opening of a second
enquiry, on the situation in Guinea, and on the situations in
Mexico and Cambodia

•S 
enegal: Using the principal of extra-territorial jurisdiction,

•C 
losing oral statements by Prosecutor in the case against

Jean-Pierre Bemba for crimes committed in CAR, covering
many of the elements set out in the reports that FIDH transmitted to the ICC, concerning application of article 15 of
Statute of the ICC.

• Accession of Palestine to the ICC Statute
• The “ReVision” project for the Registrar related to the impact

on the victims’ rights and the organization of most substantial
consultative meetings..

Administration of effective and fair justice
• Africa: Adoption by the African Commission for Human

and Peoples’ Rights of the Protocol to the African Charter
on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the abolition of the death
penalty in Africa

•A 
rgentina: On 28 May, the Paris Investigation Chamber

authorised the extradition of Mario Alfredo Sandoval to
Argentina, in connection with the disappearance of Hernan
Abriata, an architecture student detained on 30 October 1976
who disappeared in ESMA, the clandestine detention centre

42 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

torture case, including Resco Camara, Governor of Conakry and General Nouhou Thiam, Chief of Staff of the Armed
Forces; completion of the judicial investigation and scheduling of the trial.

legal proceedings opened in Senegal against former Congolese policeman Paul Mwilambwe in the case of the disappearance and assassination of human rights defenders Floribert
Chebeya and Fidèle Bazana in June 2010.

FIDH in interaction with its member and partner organisations
18 international fact-finding, judicial and advocacy missions (Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea, Central African
Republic, Cambodia, Haiti. Gaza/West Bank, Honduras, Mexico, Senegal, Chile, Ukraine, Panama, France, South
Sudan)
127 Press releases in ENG/FR/SP
Support for advocacy action by 10 defenders, lawyers, representatives of victims’ associations to the IGOs,
pertinent States, and national, regional and international jurisdictions
Judicial and semi-judicial proceedings initiated and monitored by FIDH: more than 110 legal proceedings in
support of 750 victims to establish the responsibility of the perpetrators of grave human rights violations in 45
countries
Strategy/training seminars:
Face-to-face: Strategic planning meetings between representatives of Ivory Coast and Mexico with representatives
of the ICC, States, and journalists based in The Hague
Central African Republic/Ivory Coast/Guinea/Mali: Seminar on sharing experiences and on strategies for
fighting impunity for sexual crimes
The Americas: Seminar in Guatemala on the fight against impunity for
Fact-finding reports and position
the most serious human rights abuses
Eastern Europe: seminar on violations of human rights in disputed papers
territories, and recourse mechanisms
Central African Republic: “They must all leave or die”
Eastern Europe: “Disputed Entities in Eastern Europe:
Partnerships:
Human Rights Sacrificed”
International coalition for the International Criminal Court;
Ukraine: “The Forgotten Victims”
Working group on victims’ rights;
Q/A Cambodia: “Cambodia: ICC preliminary examination
International Committee for the fair trial of Hissène Habré;
Association for psychological support for victims of grave human rights requested into crimes stemming from mass land grabbing”
European Union:
abuses, TRACES and DIGNITY;
- “Drive Forward Justice: Victims of Serious International
National Coalitions for the ICC;
Crimes in the EU”
World Coalition Against the Death Penalty;
- “Handbook for Victims of Serious International Crimes
International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances.
in the EU”
Morocco: “Moroccan judicial reforms: Time for
conclusions and effective implementation”
Mexico: “Report on alleged crimes against humanity
committed in Baja California between 2006 and 2012”
ICC: “FIDH Recommendations to the 13th Assembly of
States Parties
ICC: “Five Myths about Victim Participation in ICC
Proceedings”
LGBTI : “LGBTI Rights before the European Court of
Human Rights : One Step at a Time”

Rwanda - 2005 - © Pierre-Yves Ginet / Women in Resistance

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 43

Priority 5

Strengthening respect
for human rights in the
context of economic globalization
Context and challenges
As competition for access to resources continues on a global
level, economic development in many countries is based
on natural resource exploitation. The liberalization of trade
and investment flows, protections for foreign investors, high
levels of global economic interdependence, foreign debt and
the policies of international financial bodies, have restricted
the role of nation States in executing economic and social
policies to improve the welfare of their own populations.
Moreover, the emergence of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India,
China and South Africa), and transnational corporations
originating from these countries and operating in the global
South, pose significant challenges to guaranteeing human
rights protections
.
The entry into force in 2013 of the Optional Protocol to the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights reaffirmed the formal recognition of economic, social
and cultural rights. This affirmation has been underscored
by the, albeit slow, progress made towards this protocol’s
ratification, with nineteen States parties at the end of 2014.
Nevertheless, securing the protection of economic, social
and cultural rights remains extremely challenging. This is
especially so in the context of globalization where human
rights protesters and defenders have to counter powerful
economic interests and are seen as a threat. States continue
to respond to critical voices by stigmatizing, repressing or
criminalizing them. In this context, land rights defenders
are being increasingly targeted on every continent. Attacks
against defenders, journalists and political opponents are
facilitated by the sale and export of surveillance, information
and communications technologies. The mobilization of FIDH

44 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

alongside other civil society organizations, thanks to the
launch in 2014 of CAUSE (Coalition against the Unregulated
Export of Surveillance Technologies), has succeeded in
highlighting human rights abuses associated with the increased
use of these technologies. It has also helped to engender a
movement towards more action on the national, regional and
international levels for updating export regulations.
Three years on from the adoption of the United Nations
Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGP)
in June 2011, advances in securing corporate human rights
respect remain inadequate. Moreover, victims’ access to
justice remains illusory in too many cases, and recent reforms
and court rulings have even heightened barriers in this regard.
In June 2014, following appeals from civil society and
social movements, the United National Human Rights
Council adopted a resolution requesting the elaboration of an
international instrument on business and human rights. The
adoption of this resolution and the negotiation process that
ensued presented a critical opportunity to influence regulatory
developments and discussions on corporate responsibility by
building on ongoing processes at the regional and national
levels.
Finally, in many European countries, austerity measures
promoted by States and financial institutions continue to
undermine human rights enjoyment. The current negotiation
of free trade treaties between the European Union and third
countries continues to arouse serious concerns over the
potential adverse impacts that these agreements could have
on human rights, and the legitimacy of provisions such as
arbitration clauses remain seriously in question.

FIDH and its member organizations and partners in
action

> Contribute to the responsibility of
economic players
Document the impact of corporate activities on human
rights and establish responsibility
Following a first mission in partnership with Carrefour in
2010, FIDH undertook a fact-finding mission to India in July
2013. This mission sought to assess working conditions and
the presence of forced labor in the group’s supply chain, in
particular through the Sumangali Scheme. Visits to factories
and dormitories where female workers are housed in three
provinces of the country, as well as interviews with former
victims, researchers, unions, local NGOs, the International
Labor Organization (ILO) and Carrefour Global Sourcing
Delhi, uncovered numerous labor rights violations. These
included forced labor, and were presented in the fact-finding
report published by FIDH in 2014 (see Focus).
FOCUS
FIDH denounces the forced labor of textile workers in
India
In April 2014, FIDH published an investigation report
highlighting working conditions in the textile industry in
India. The report highlighted the presence of forced labor
in the supply chains of mass-market corporations. FIDH
denounced, amongst others, the existance of the Sumangali
scheme, a system by which adolescent girls in rural areas are
recruited for a period of about three years, at the end of which
they receive a sum of money that can serve as a dowry. In
reality, these young girls are subjected to indecent working
conditions similar to forced labor.
A complete version of the report was published in English,
and the executive summary was published in Hindi and
Tamil.
Round tables participated in by corporations, civil society
organizations and trade union organizations, and press
conferences in English, Tamil and Hindi were organized in
Delhi, as well as in Southern India (where the Sumangali
scheme is more widespread). The report received media
coverage, especially in Delhi and Tamil Nadu newspapers.
With respect to the national context, many challenges and
obstacles remain before these violations in the textile sector
can be eradicated.
Nevertheless, the report contributed to the mobilization of
corporations operating in this sector: upon the initiative of
FIDH, a partnership was set up between Carrefour, a global
mass-market leader, and the local NGO SAVE. The project

focuses on the prevention (through awareness raising among
local players) and documentation of violations associated
with the Sumangali scheme. Moreover, the private initiative
BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) made it the
subject of its annual round table and organized a round table
on the subject in Southern India. FIDH was invited there to
present its report, and it secured the participation of local
NGOs and partner unions. After the report was published,
some members of parliament from the Netherlands sent
questions to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Cooperation
of the Netherlands, asking the minister to raise the issue
of forced labor and traceability in the supply chain in the
context of his bilateral relationship with India. In response,
the minister made mention of the FIDH report and explicitly
referred to the need for corporations to act with vigilance,
limiting himself however to evoking voluntary measures.
A new human rights impact study using a methodology
based on affected community participation was launched in
Colombia in November 2014. The study aims to document
the impacts of the activities of oil company Pacific Rubiales
in the Meta Province. A first international mission saw
meetings with representatives of the companies involved,
local and national authorities and international institutions,
enabling the gathering of first-hand testimony from affected
communities.
A research project concerning the business relationship
between the telecoms company Orange and an Israeli telecoms
company active in illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian
Territory was conducted in collaboration with FIDH member
organizations in France and Palestine, an NGO and two labor
unions. Several requests for meetings were sent to Orange and
to French authorities.
Following on from a study on the consequences of industrial
pollution for the communities of Piquia de Baixo and
California in Brazil, published in 2011, and at the request of
its member organizations and partners in Brazil, FIDH asked
Fondation Vale, the steel industry corporations concerned and
local authorities to contribute financially to the relocation of
380 families from the Piquia de Baixo community.
On another matter, as part of its analysis of the criminalization
of social protest, FIDH continued to work on the illegal
surveillance of social movements and human rights defenders,
especially in Brazil, with a fact-finding mission on two
companies that have engaged in this type of activity.
In December 2014, FIDH published a position paper calling
on the EU and the international community to effectively
regulate the export of surveillance technologies used by
repressive governments to commit human rights violations.
The position paper emphasizes litigation undertaken by
FIDH before French courts in representing victims of alleged
human rights abuses committed with the help of companies
selling surveillance technologies (Amesys Case), as well as

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 45

discussions emanating from an expert seminar organized by
FIDH in Brussels in April 2014.
Legal leverage and redress mechanisms
Strategic litigation activities continued against the French
corporations Qosmos and Amesys, who are alleged to have
sold surveillance technologies used by the regimes of Gaddafi
and Bashar al-Assad to arrest and torture anyone perceived as
opposing their power. In April, a judicial inquiry was opened
against Qosmos for complicity in acts of torture in Syria.
At the end of July 2014, the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights condemned Chile for having used its antiterrorist
legislation against members of the Mapuche people. In the
wake of expanding forestry projects, Chile systematically
stripped the Mapuche of their territories, repressing protest
through the discriminatory application of its anti-terrorist act
and lengthy prison sentences. FIDH represents a number of
Mapuche people convicted under this legislation, which the
Court found to violate the principles of legality, equality and
non-discrimination, as well as the right to the presumption
of innocence. This ruling will set a precedent for similar
cases falling under the jurisdiction of the IACHR. The
Chilean government has already publicly announced that it
will comply with the decision. The government is currently
discussing compensation measures with the petitioners and
their representatives (including FIDH).
In addition, FIDH, its member organization CEDHU (The
Ecumenical Commission for Human Rights), and MiningWatch
Canada, lodged a complaint with the Canadian OECD National
Contact Point (NCP) in July 2013. The complaint concerned
the first large-scale mining operation in Ecuador, Project
Mirador. A report denouncing its environmental and human
rights impacts had been published by FIDH and CEDHU
in 2010. In October 2014, the Canadian NCP confirmed its
initial evaluation of the complaint, indicating its decision
not to pursue proceedings by reason of the insufficiently
substantiated nature of the allegations. FIDH, CEDHU and
Mining Watch Canada criticized this refusal to act in a joint
press release.
Strengthening legal authority
On the European level, FIDH supported the work of the
European Coalition for Corporate Social and Environmental
Responsibility(ECCJ). In July 2014, a major breakthrough
was achieved with the approval of a directive on extrafinancial reporting, which requires about 6,000 companies
to publish information on measures put in place to identify
and prevent social, environmental and human rights risks
associated with their activities. The ECCJ played a central

46 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

role in negotiating this directive, and it continues to work for
ambitious implementation by Member States. ECCJ published
a joint study analyzing the National Plans of Action for the
implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and
Human Rights adopted by four Member States.
In July 2014, FIDH and LDH, its member organization in
Belgium, submitted recommendations in the framework
of consultations for the elaboration of the Belgian National
Action Plan. Moreover, in February 2014, FIDH and its
member organization in Belgium launched the “Made in
Illegality” campaign, which aims to put an end to economic
relations with the Israeli settlements.
As part of its advocacy to place human rights at the center
of investment and free trade agreements, FIDH has organized
several meetings within the European Commission concerning
the situations in Burma, Cambodia, Egypt, Vietnam and South
Korea. FIDH and VCHR, its member state in Vietnam, lodged
a complaint with the European Ombudswoman against the
European Commission for its refusal to take human rights
into account when negotiating commercial and investment
agreements with Vietnam.
FIDH has continued to participate in meetings of the Drafting
Group on Human Rights and Business (CDDH-CORP) of
the Council of Europe, aiming to draw up a non-binding
instrument. FIDH has issued targeted recommendations,
in particular on the issue of access to justice, and civil and
criminal liability.
On the international level, FIDH has participated in civil
society efforts that have led to the adoption by the Human
Rights Council of a resolution providing for the establishment
of an intergovernmental working group responsible for
drawing up a binding instrument on business and human
rights (see Focus). FIDH was notably active within the Treaty
Alliance coalition, and subsequently organized meetings at
the United Nations to convince States to participate in drafting
a treaty.
FIDH also co-organized parallel events during the UN Annual
Forum on Business and Human Rights on the issue of land
rights defenders, on an international treaty on business and
human rights, access to justice, adequate consultation and
representation, and surveillance technologies.

Focus
Towards an international treaty to regulate the activities
of multinational corporations
In June 2014, during its 26th session, the Human Rights
Council adopted a historic resolution calling for the
establishment of an intergovernmental group to work on the
elaboration of a legally binding international instrument on
business and human rights. Aiming to continue the work
accomplished following the adoption of the United Nations
Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs),
this historic vote comes in response to the mobilization of
over 600 civil society organizations and social movements
that called for strengthening of the international regulatory
framework, notably by signing the Bangkok appeal of 2013.
Through documentation, mobilization and advocacy work,
FIDH has played a key role in the adoption of this resolution.
During the Council session of March 2014, FIDH published
an advocacy note highlighting the difficulties associated
with the implementation of the United Nations Guiding
Principles for Business and Human Rights, and calling for
the establishment of an intergovernmental group to work on
the elaboration of one or more binding instruments. FIDH
also mobilized the company Carrefour, which publicly
expressed its support for the process. Several FIDH member
organizations also mobilized themselves to bring this issue to
the national level.
The process set in motion at the United Nations will
complement the work carried out by the UN Working Group
on Business and Human Rights to ensure the implementation
of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGP). FIDH calls on all
UN Member States to actively participate in this process
to ensure that it helps to reinforce existing national legal
efforts and victims’ access to justice.
As part of its cooperative arrangement, FIDH continued to
call on Carrefour to fulfill its supply chain due diligence
responsibilities, especially regarding situations like slave labor
in shrimp shelling in Thailand. FIDH submitted about fifty
detailed recommendations addressing the Group’s practices,
especially regarding internal governance, supplier processes
and the situation in particular countries or sectors.
Finally, with respect to its ethical and philanthropic fund,
Libertés et Solidarité, which is invested in State shares
and bonds, FIDH has worked to strengthen selection and
engagement criteria for companies.
FIDH was asked by the Michelin Group, a global leader
in the rubber industry, to participate in the first internal
interdepartmental meeting to elaborate and encourage the
Group’s social responsibility strategy.

> Promote respect for economic, social
and cultural rights by States
Documenting violations
Alerted by its Greek member organisation, the Hellenic League
for Human Rights, of the consequences of the economic
crisis and austerity measures, FIDH conducted a fact-finding
mission from 19 to 29 January to assess the impact of these
phenomenon on respect for economic, social and cultural rights.
During this mission, FIDH met all concerned players in Greece
and gathered witness statements from victims. Exchanges also
took place with representatives of European and international
financial institutions.
Focus
Devaluation of Rights: the Price of Austerity in Greece
In December 2014, FIDH published a report following up on an
international fact-finding mission conducted in Greece in January
2014. The report concerns the human rights consequences of the
economic crisis and the austerity measures adopted in response.
Based on a detailed analysis of the consequences of crisis and
austerity for economic and social rights, it shows how the
draconian objectives of deficit reduction, as defined by the Troika,
were achieved principally by cuts to public expenditure, notably
in essential services such as jobs and health, without taking into
account the need to preserve a minimum level of service and to
respect fundamental obligations with respect to these rights. The
report formulates conclusions that apply not only to Greece but
also to all countries benefitting from the assistance of European
or international financial institutions in the context of economic
recession. Highlighting the interdependence and indivisibility
of human rights, the report shows how the crisis combined with
austerity threatens the foundations of democracy and affects
fundamental individual rights and liberties, including freedom of
expression and association.
The report analyzes the complex obligations and responsibilities of
the different players concerned, and underlines the responsibility
of national and international institutions, notably the European
Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary
Fund (as Troika members).
The report received major media coverage in Greece and
internationally and was republished in over a hundred media
outlets. The opposition party in 2014, now in power, echoed
the report’s recommendations, as did the European Parliament
Commission for Civil Liberties, Justice and Internal Affairs,
whose study analyzing the impact that the economic crisis and
austerity have had on a certain number of fundamental rights in
Greece largely reflects and integrates the conclusions of the FIDH
fact-finding report.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 47

Supporting local players
Together with Oxfam, FIDH organized two training workshops on
a human rights impact study methodology based on community
participation. The Bogota (Colombia) workshop numbered 15
participants from 8 different countries; a Geneva workshop in
December saw representatives from different continents attend
(DRC, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Poland, Niger, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Nicaragua, United States, South Africa, and others),
as well as representatives from the UN and national Human
Rights institutions. FIDH supported the participation of several
of these member organizations during these two workshops.
During the Annual United Nations Forum on Business and
Human rights, FIDH supported the participation of FIDH
member and partner organizations from South Africa, Burma,
Brazil, Chile, Peru and Nicaragua, among others.
FIDH also facilitated meetings with permanent delegations in
Geneva and with UN treaty and special procedures bodies for
its member and partner organizations (Burma, Brazil, Chile),
supporting their participation in sessions of the Human Rights
Council.
During an International Board meeting organised in Marrakesh
in November 2014, sessions on the protection and justiciability
of economic, social and cultural rights were held jointly with
FIDH member organisations and Maroccan civil society.
Protecting and Strengthening the Justiciability of the DESC
FIDH supported the Vietnam Human Rights Committee
(VHRC), its Vietnamese member organization, through inputs
and the submission of an alternative report before the UN
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
ahead of its review of Vietnam's report during its 53rd session.
In July 2014, FIDH, together with its Irish member organization,
the Free Legal Advice Center (FLAC), lodged a complaint
before the European Committee on Social Rights. FIDH and
FLAC argued that the country has violated its obligations with
respect to the right to housing. At the end of 2014, FIDH was
awaiting the Committee's decision on admissibility. The filing
of this complaint stems from a demand from affected groups
in Ireland. FIDH and FLAC are working closely with these
groups and with civil society organizations representing them.
An informal coalition was formed, and advocacy work will be
undertaken in relation to this complaint.
Through the International Coalition of NGOs for the
Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International
Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, FIDH
continued to promote the Protocol’s ratification to secure the
effective implementation and justiciability of economic, social
and cultural rights.

48 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Examples of outcomes
FIDH made possible or contributed to

Contribution to the responsibility of economic players
Brazil
• Four UN special procedures sent a joint call to Brazilian
authorities concerning reparation measures for members of
the Piquia de Baixo community of Açailândia. This call came
in response to pressure from civil society and restated the
principal conclusions of the case study published in 2011
by FIDH and its member and partner organizations in Brazil
concerning the consequences of industrial pollution for the
communities of Piquia de Baixo and California.
• The multinational corporation Vale replied to FIDH and confirmed its intention to contribute financially to the relocation of the Piquia de Baixo community, despite difficulties
in getting the Group to acknowledge its direct and indirect
responsibility in this case. The corporation also confirmed its
intention to use its influence with the steel industry corporations involved.
Honduras
• In May 2014, the World Bank revisited its action plan concerning its support for the activities of the palm oil corporation Dinant au Honduras. This decision followed pressure
from civil society and made reference to the conclusions of
FIDH and its member and partner organizations following an
international fact-finding mission conducted in 2011.
Syria
• The opening in France of a criminal investigation into the
Qosmos corporation for the sale of surveillance equipment
to the Bashar al-Assad regime. Assigned to a specialist court
division for crimes against humanity and war crimes, this
investigation is a response to a complaint lodged by FIDH
and its member organization LDH.
European Union
• The European Parliament’s adoption on 15 April of a reform
to strengthen transparency and the disclosure of information
concerning the impact of corporate activities on human, environmental and social rights, in conformity with the objectives
of the campaign conducted by the European Coalition for
Corporate and Environmental Justice (ECCJ), of which FIDH
is a steering committee member. Under the new legislation,
companies will have to disclose information on advance verification policies and procedures to evaluate risks and avoid
negative impacts from their operations.
•T 
he adoption on 19 May of the conclusions of the Council
of the European Union on respect for human rights in trade
and investment activities, in accordance with the approach
sustained by FIDH.
• The adoption on 17 April by the European Parliament of
a resolution echoing the demands of FIDH and its member

organization VCHR calling for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade
Agreement to be made contingent on concrete advances in
human rights and for the introduction of human rights in the
future chapter on sustainable development. The resolution requests the European Commission to carry out an impact study
on human rights in accordance with the Guiding Principles of
the UN Special Reporter on the Right to Food.
•S 
upport from the European Ombudswoman for a complaint
lodged by FIDH accusing the European Commission of poor
administration for having failed in its obligation to conduct a
human rights impact study during negotiations on a free-trade
agreement with Vietnam.
• I n April 2014, on the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza
disaster, six European Union member states (France, Great
Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany) published a joint ministerial communiqué calling on big brands
to contribute to the Rana Plaza victim compensation fund,
in line with the recommendations of FIDH and Odhikar, its
member organization in Bangladesh.
• I n late June 2014, the French, German and British ministers
of foreign affairs published a notice warning citizens and corporations of the risks associated with financial and economic
activities in the Israeli settlements. These notices, which must
be strengthened, resulted from the advocacy work of FIDH
and its partner organizations within the EU.
•M 
arietje Schaake, a member of the European Parliament,
representatives of the Directorate General for Trade and
academic experts cited and restated FIDH recommendations
concerning the need to regulate the export of surveillance
technologies, following the publication of FIDH’s position
paper in December, “Surveillance technologies “Made in Europe”: Regulation Needed to Prevent Human Rights Abuses”.

in illegal settlements, following a referral by FIDH and its
member organization Al Haq.

Strengthening respect for economic, social and cultural
rights by States
Greece
• The recommendations of a study commissioned by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Internal Affairs of the
European Parliament, which analyzes the impact of the economic crisis and austerity on a certain number of fundamental
rights in Greece, largely reflects and integrates the conclusions
of FIDH’s fact-finding report Devaluation of Rights: the Price
of Austerity in Greece (see Focus).
Vietnam
• Numerous recommendations made by the UN Committee echoed recommendations included in a FIDH-VCHR joint submission, particularly with regard to limitations on the exercise
of rights, access to justice and remedies, non-discrimination,
trade union rights, the economic exploitation of children and
the impact of development programs.
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
• In 2014 the Protocol was ratified by Finland, Gabon, Belgium,
Cape Verde, Niger and Costa Rica. Ratification processes are
well underway in France and Luxembourg as well.

The Council of Europe
• The Drafting Group on Human Rights and Business of the
Council of Europe, which is responsible for the elaboration
of a non-binding instrument on this matter, considers access
to justice and the duty of vigilance to be priority issues. The
preparatory work on and the first drafts of the instrument are
based explicitly on work done by FIDH.
The UN
• The 

adoption by the Human Rights Council, during its 26th
session, of a resolution calling for the establishment of an
intergovernmental group to work on the elaboration of a legally binding international instrument on business and human
rights (see Focus).
• Renewal 

of the mandate of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and continuation of the work of the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights on access to justice.
• An 

announcement by the UN Working Group on Business and
Human Rights recognized an increased duty of diligence for
corporations operating or maintaining business relationships

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 49

FIDH in interaction with member and partner organizations
6 international fact-finding and advocacy missions (Greece, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Cuba, Colombia)
111 Press Releases in ENG/FR/SP
Supporting the advocacy of defenders before intergovernmental organizations, relevant regional and international
mechanisms and representatives of influential States
Judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings
French courts: judicial investigation into the Amesys and Qosmos cases (sale of surveillance material and
technologies)
European Committee on Social Rights: Announcement c. [sic] Ireland
Canadian OECD National Contact Point (NCP): Follow up on the complaint about Project Mirador (large-scale
mining) and public denunciation of the NCP’s refusal to examine the case.
European Ombudswoman: joint complaint from FIDH and its member organization VCHR concerning
negotiations surrounding an EU-Vietnam investment and trade agreement.
Strategic/Training Seminars:
Supported the holding of the Peoples’ Forum on Business and Human
Rights (Colombia). Training workshops on a human rights impact study
methodology based on the participation of communities (Switzerland
and Colombia). Supported the participation of member and partner
organizations in the United Nations Annual Forum on Business and Human
Rights.
FIDH supported holding the Peoples’ Forum organized in October by
the DESC Network in Bogota (Colombia), including support for the
participation of five FIDH member organizations (Burma, Chile, Colombia,
Peru, Philippines).
Partnerships: European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ), DESC
Network, International Trade Union Confederation, OECD Watch,
International Coalition of NGOs for the ICESCR Optional Protocol.

50 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Fact-finding reports and position
papers
Burma:
F I D H / A LT S E A N
BURMA
recommendations concerning EU-Burma investment
relations
Greece: Devaluation of Rights: the Price of
Austerity in Greece
India: Behind the showroom: The Hidden Reality
of India's Garment Workers
Indonesia: Will Indonesia's economic development
come at the expense of human rights?
Surveillance Technologies: Surveillance
technologies “Made in Europe”: Regulation Needed
to Prevent Human Rights Abuses
UN / International Regulatory Framework on
Business and Human Rights: Enhancing Standards
and Ensuring Redress

Priority 6

Conflict, closed and
transition countries:
defending democratic
principles and
supporting victims of the
most grave violations
Maghreb and Middle East
Context and challenge
The popular uprisings in the Arab world in 2011 denounced
authoritarian regimes and called for democracy, social justice,
and respect for fundamental liberties. These uprisings had various
outcomes, but all of them gave rise to important challenges to the
protection of human rights at regional and national level, and also
internationally.
Syria remained mired in chaos. The civilian population was
trapped by a conflict that not only set the troops of Bashar ElAssad against various armed militias, but also opposition forces
against jihadist groups. By the end of the year, more than 200,000
people had fallen victim to the conflict. Activists from all sections
of civil society were particularly vulnerable. While confronted
with many obstacles to their activities (assistance to civilians,
documentation, alerts etc.) they continued to be targeted by
combatants, suffering abduction, arrest, arbitrary detention, and
exile. Political negotiations are stalled and the Security Council,
despite adopting a humanitarian resolution, the effects of which
have still to be felt, has remained inactive. It has been blocked by
inertia, and by permanent member vetoes of resolutions to refer
matters to the International Criminal Court. In fact, the attention

of the international community has,progressively turned away
from the broader Syrian situation. Instead, activities have become
limited to aerial strikes aiming to block the territorial advances
of the jihadist group Daesh, which abducts, executes, and rapes
not only its opponents but also civilians, destroys liberties in
conquered regions, and recruits jihadists from all over the world.
Libya, another country in the region on the verge of collapse,
has been in the throes of an escalating conflict between armed
groups since May 2014. This has destroyed any eforts made
since the fall of Gadhafi to build a state based on the rule of law.
Civilians have been caught up in the fighting, falling victims of
abduction, torture, pillage, and indiscriminate bombardment. Many
human rights defenders have been forced to leave the country to
escape persecution, making documenting the situation virtually
impossible.
In Bahrain 2014 challenges relating to protection of human
rights and democratic principles have also been substantial.
There, the situation is characterized by repression by security
forces and the courts. This affects all those calling for reforms,
including the opposition, journalists, and human rights defenders,
to a similar extent. Bahrain’s commitment to implementing the
recommendations of the independent Commission of Inquiry into
the abuses committed by the regime when subduing the popular
protests of 2011 has remained a dead letter.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 51

In Egypt, the renewal of repression by the Al Sissi regime recalls
the repressive and anti-libertarian methods prevailing prior to
the hopes for change born out of the demonstrations in Tahrir
Square. At the end of 2014, the bloody suppression of Muslim
Brotherhood demonstrations against Mohammed Morsi’s removal
from power had met with no credible legal response. At the same
time, convictions rained down from the tribunals of the regime.
Severe penalties, including death sentences, were meted out, not
only to both leaders and followers of the Muslim Brotherhood,
but also targeted pro-democracy activists and human rights
defenders. This repressive judicial apparatus has been reinforced,
under the pretext of the war against terrorism. The new law on
demonstrations, and the law on associations (which is in breach
of international norms for the protection of human rights), have
been used to silence the opposition and silence human rights
organizations , with many defendants thrown into prison, and
organizations threatened. The grave authoritarian excesses of the
military regime have occurred against a background of apathy on
the part of the international community, which turns a blind eye
to the behaviour of a regime that it regards as an essential pillar
against terrorism.

of concerns expressed by NGOs about several of its limitations,
notably its restrictive mode of referral, and the lack of worthwhile
progress in the development of a regional system for the protection
and promotion of human rights.

In Yemen, the political transition painfully initiated after the
overthrow of president Ali Abdallah Salehfin in 2011 has been
continually hampered by factors such as the lack of real reforms
on the part of the authorities.

FIDH conducted an international mission of inquiry to Morocco
in collaboration with its member organizations and partners, the
Moroccan Association of Human Rights, the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, Adalah, and GADEM. The intention of
this mission was to encourage the Moroccan authorities to bring
its reform projects to fruition notably regarding rerforms to the
judicial system, to bring it into line with international norms for
the protection of human rights. The mission investigated into instances where the justice system had been employed to repress
fundamental liberties, and cases of torture and ill-treatment.

Tunisia’s Dignity Revolution, on the other hand, has been marked
by two significant democratic advances in 2014: the adoption of
a constitution guaranteeing the protection of human rights, and
conduct of free, fair legislative and presidential elections. Laws
and practices contrary to human rights, notably against freedom of
expression and the rights of women, have nevertheless marred this
country’s development towards democracy. Morocco has followed
the path of reform, but achievement has been limited, notably in
respect of the right to a fair trial, the prohibition of torture, and
the campaign against the impunity of security forces responsible
for violations of human rights. Increasing pressure has also been
exerted on civil-society organizations in this country. Contempt
for fundamental rights and democratic principles has remained
at the centre of concerns in respect of Algeria, where President
Bouteflika was re-elected for a 4th term. This has also been the
case in the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the
United Arab Emirates.

FIDH and its members in action
Establishment of facts, alerts, proposals
In 2014, on the basis of information communicated by its member
organizations and partners, FIDH published a very large number
of alerts about violations of human rights in the region (more than
340 press releases in Arabic, English, and French), with particular
focus on the situations in Palestine, Bahrain, Syria, Tunisia, and
Egypt. This information was communicated to the authorities concerned, and to intergovernmental institutions, international and regional bodies for the protection of human rights and to the media.
In support of its member organizations and partners, FIDH continued its work of documenting serious violations of human rights
and determining facts and responsibilities.

In Tunisia, FIDH conducted several missions to observe one of
the proceedings relating to the repression that accompanied and
followed the popular rising that occurred in Tunisia between 17
December 2010 and 14 January 2011. 132 demonstrators were
killed and several hundred wounded (the so-called ”Martyrs of
the Revolution” affair). These observer missions brought to light
a number of procedural irregularities (such as inability of victims
to participate in the preliminary hearing; and; refusl by judges to
allow certain requests for supplementary inquiries and to allow
witness statements prepared by lawyers for the civil parties), leading to calls for a reform of the military justice system.

Lastly, the Israel-Palestine conflict, another major subject for
concern in the region, reached a new peak with “Operation
Protective Edge”, conducted in flagrant violation of international
humanitarian law, and causing the deaths of more than 2,000
people. Impunity is the rule here, and the Commission of Inquiry
of the Human Rights Council has not been allowed to enter Gaza.
Despite this situation, the League of Arab States has continued
to show a weak response to conflicts and loss of liberties in many
of its member states. The mistrust felt by civil society towards
the regional organization was heightened in 2014 by the adoption
of the statute of the Arab Court of Human Rights, in the face

52 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

FIDH Fact-finding mission in Gaza (October 2014). Credits: FIDH

FOCUS
FIDH, first NGO to visit Gaza after “Operation Protective
Edge”
The 50 days of the offensive launched by Israeli troops into the
Gaza Strip in July and August 2014 were marked by serious
violations of international humanitarian law and human rights.
While the United Nations Commission of Inquiry was prevented
from entering Gaza, FIDH was able to go there in October.
There, they collected evidence of indiscriminate attacks on civilians and homes, attacks on health services and refuges for
displaced persons, as well as on population support services.
This constitutes prima facie evidence of war crimes and crimes
against humanity.
In the face of the refusal of certain authorities in the region to authorize FIDH to conduct inquiries their territory, FIDH decided to
conduct a study into the commission of acts of sexual violence by
Egyptian security forces as a means of suppressing critical voices.
FIDH also used reliable, cross-checked information from its member organizations to produce position papers on the situations in
Bahrain and Yemen.
Mobilization of national and international authorities to
implement concrete measures for the protection of human
rights
Support for its member organizations in their representations, not
only at national level, but also at regional and international level,
lies at the heart of the activities of FIDH.
In June, at the end of its investigative mission to Morocco, FIDH
and its member organizations met the highest Moroccan authorities, including the Ministers of Justice and of the Interior and the
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, along with representatives
of institutions such as the inter-ministerial delegation for human rights, the delegation of the prisons administration, and the
National Institute of Human Rights. At these meetings, FIDH
called for the acceleration of reforms and the implementation of
a justice system respectful of human rights, together with elimination of the use of torture. These meetings were also used to
present specific examples, notably the situation of 9 detainees in
Okasha prison who, following a procedure marred by irregularities, were imprisoned for several months for their participation
in a peaceful demonstration of trade unions in April 2014. Following this mission, the Court of Appeal provisionally decided
to free them. While FIDH was in Marrakesh in June, during the
course of a session of its international board and participating
in the World Forum of Human Rights, it once again called on
the Moroccan authorities to harmonize their national law with
international norms for the protection of human rights: an appeal
which resulted in reform of military justice and the adoption of
measures leading to the establishment of a national body for the
prevention of torture.

Focus
Tunisia –advocacy activities to promote the harmonization
of the national legal framework with international human
rights law
FIDH and its member organizations continued to develop their
advocacy activities for a constitution that guarantees human
rights, including the equality of men and women, in the lead
up to its adoption on January 26. That same month, an FIDH
mission led by its president officially opened the FIDH bureau
in Tunis, and, via a press conference, used the occasion to
call on the authorities to respect the rule of law, and to cease
using the justice system to repress fundamental freedoms. It
invoked the case of Jabeur Mejri, sentenced to more than 7 years
imprisonment for having posted a caricature of the prophet on
his Facebook page, and whom the FIDH delegation met in his
cell. He would be freed by Presidential pardon some weeks later.
Aware that courts were using laws to limit freedoms, FIDH
determined to undertake sustained advocacy in favour of
harmonizing national laws with the new constitution. To do
this, it established an expert group charged with analysing
national laws in the light of Tunisia’s international obligations,
notably in respect of the freedoms of opinion, expression, and
conscience, non-discrimination and equality between men and
women, economic and social rights, and the independence of the
judiciary, further charging it with formulating recommendations
with a view to legislative reforms. After many meetings of this
group, the experts’ conclusions were shared with representatives
of civil society and brought together in a manual, as a reference
document for submission to the authorities.
Following on from its investigation mission in Gaza, FIDH
organized an advocacy mission to the Palestinian authorities,
during which it was able to meet President M. Abbas to call for
respect for international conventions for the protection of human
rights, ratification of the Statute of the International Criminal
Court (ICC), and referral of the situation in Gaza to the Court.
These last two recommendations were enacted by the Palestinian
authorities at the beginning of 2015.
On the question of Libya, FIDH has continued to call on its national authorities to fight impunity of the perpetrators of the most
serious crimes. In particular, advocacy was carried out towards
he head of government and the Minister of Justice, particularly
during meetings at a seminar in the French parliament and at the
World Summit in London on sexual violence , to acknowledge as
war crimes the rapes committed during the 2011 uprising. This
was done by Presidential decree.
At regional and international levels, the advocacy activities of
FIDH and its member organizations were concentrated on countries where the possibility of interactions between the national
authorities and civil society is limited in these cases, engagement
with those authorities by intergovernmental organizations, bodies
for the protection of rights, or third-party states, might influence
certain behaviours.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 53

Focus
FIDH refuses to be silent on the fate of peaceful Syrian
activists
In view of the apathy of the international community, and in
particular the paralysis of the Security Council in face of the
conflict in Syria, FIDH turned to the United Nations Council on
Human Rights to further its advocacy regarding the campaign
against the impunity of the perpetrators of the most serious
crimes in that country. During the 26th session of the Council,
FIDH organized a high-level panel on this theme, with the participation of the organisations Violations Documentation Center
(VDC) and Syrian Commission on Justice and Accountability
(SCJA). The event was attended by the representatives of 25
states, including Russia and China. At the end of the session,
the Council adopted a resolution on Syria insisting on the importance of the campaign against impunity for the most serious
crimes, and calling for the United Nations Commission of Inquiry to be guaranteed access to the entire territory.
At the sessions of the Council, during panels, encounters, and
declarations, FIDH also systematically denounced the fate
of peaceful Syrian activists detained, abducted, or killed by
parties to the conflict for having supported the local population
or denounced violations of human rights in their country. This
issue was raised by several countries, including France, the
United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany, in their
public statements.
FIDH coordinated the campaign “Free Syrian Voices”, conducted
with 6 organizations and symbolically presenting the cases of
certain of those activists. The campaign engages with opinionformers through its internet site, social networks, press-releases,
interviews, declarations, and open letters, appealing to them to call
public attention to the activists’ fate, and to act in their support.
FIDH circulated its position paper on the human-rights situation
in Yemen in conjunction with the report on that country by
the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The
resolution adopted by the Council from this report reflected many
of the concerns and recommendations of FIDH.
FIDH also succeeded in keeping the human-rights situation in
Bahrain on the international community’s agenda, despite the
important geo-strategic and economic ties developed by that
country with the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia,
and, increasingly, France. In addition to public events and
encounters, position papers, open letters, and press releases have
been sent to the representatives of international organizations,
third-party states, and international bodies for the protection of
human rights. These activities and documents urge the recipents
to denounce the violations of human rights in Bahrain, notably the
detention of Nabeel Rajab, director of BCHR and secretary general
of FIDH, who was sentenced to 2 years in prison for exercising
the free of association and expression.
FIDH and its member organizations in Egypt also mobilized to
call on the European Union and the African Union to denounce

54 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

violations of human rights in Egypt, notably obstacles to freedom of
association. Although these actions met with a favourable reception,
advocacy on these same issues at the UN Human Rights Council
was made more complex by the attitude of numerous states that
do not want to criticize the authorities of this country, which is
considered an ally in the war against terrorism.
The deterioration of the human-rights situation in Egypt, highlighted
by repeated threats against representatives of civil society, has,
however, obliged FIDH to close its representation office at the
League of Arab States (LAS) temporarily. FIDH has nevertheless
continued to organize frequent meetings with LAS representatives
to influence the ongoing reform of its system for the protection of
human rights. Notably, the conclusions of a meeting of member
organizations and partners in the region, organized in February, led
FIDH to draw up a position paper on the projected statute for the
Arab Court of Human Rights, to formulate recommendations in this
regard, and to participate in LAS seminars on this theme.
Strategic Litigation Activities
Stimulating national and international justice systems to provide
justice for victims, sanctioning those authorising and perpetrating
the most serious crimes, and helping prevent those crimes in future:
all these were key activities for FIDH in the region.
As a result of complaints made jointly by FIDH and LDH, (is
member organization in France), a judicial inquiry into the sale
of surveillance equipment to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, has
opened in France, entrusted to the unit specializing in crimes against
humanity and war crimes. . Particular attention is being paid to
the activities of the French company Qosmos. A similar complaint
relating to the conduct of the French company Amesys, which
provided this same type of surveillance material the Gadhafi regime
in Libya, is on-going.
Meanwhile FIDH and LDH, along with Kurdish complainants,
have brought an independent action before a judicial inquiry into
“complicity in murders, attempted complicity, and concealment of
the effects of those crimes”. This inquiry, which opened in 2013,
concerns the chemical attack carried out by the forces of Saddam
Hussein against the Kurdish town of Halabja, which killed 5,000
people.
FIDH and its member organizations in Tunisia provided legal
representation for Meriem Ben Mohamed in her case against
members of the police for rape, leading to their conviction.
The case against the Mohamed brothers, who were accused of
crimes of torture and forced disappearance committed in the name of
the war against terrorism during the civil war in Algeria, was finally
sent to the assize court on 26 December 2014, after 10 years of
proceedings. FIDH had brought a complaint against the Mohamed
brothers in France in 2003, in support of 7 civil parties. In relation to
this same dark period, in 2014 FIDH and SOS Disparu(e)s followed
developments connected to their communication to the African
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights about disappearances
in Algeria.

Finally, FIDH report of its investigation into the situation in
Gaza, which was finalized at the end of 2014, was sent to the
Office of the Prosecutor at the beginning of 2015, in accordance
with Article 15 of the Rome Statute. This report was produced in
the context of FIDH's campaign to invoke the jurisdiction of the
International Criminal Court in relation to the situations in Syria
and Palestine, following the lack of commitment by authorities
concerned to ensure accountability and fight against impunity for
the perpetrators of the most serious crimes.
Capacity Building
In this environment of conflict, crisis, and transition, there has
been an important need to strengthen the ability of civil-society
organizations to act. In accordance with the objectives set out in
its multi-year action plan, FIDH has contributed to the fulfilment
of this need.
Therefore, FIDH has continued to implement its specific programme
to strengthen the capacities of Fraternity Center1 by supporting their
initiatives in human rights awareness training: seminars, celebrations
and campaign tools supporting women’s rights. FIDH has also
provided various sections of Fraternity Center with secure means
of communication.
In response to requests from defenders of human rights in Libya, a
seminar involving Libyan, Tunisian, and Egyptian activists, lawyers,
and magistrates, has been organized in Tunisia, with the aim of
exchanging information about the obstacles to efforts to bring cases
dealing with violations of human rights before national courts, and
the means to bypass those obstacles.
Lastly, in accordance with a desire expressed by its member
organizations, and in view of the risk of surveillance of independent
NGOs by the regime, FIDH and the Euromed Foundation evaluated
the security needs of 6 Egyptian organizations for the defence of
human rights, to do with data-processing and communication
material. This investigation led to dispatch of 2 experts to train the
staff of these organizations in security techniques, and in the use of
appropriate devices and software.
Examples of results achieved
FIDH enabled or contributed to
At national level
Algeria

• Committal of the Mohamed brothers to the Court of Assizes,
accused of committing torture and forced disappearance in
the name of the war against terrorism during the civil war.
FIDH and the Ligue française des droits de l'Homme initiated
the complaint and provided support for 7 civil parties.

1. Fraternity Centre is an independent NGO created with the support of FIDH in
2013, with a mandate oftpromoteing hn and democratic rights in the Kurdish
zone of Hassakeh, near the frontier with Turkey

Egypt

• Acquittal of 26 homosexuals accused of debauchery, following a protest campaign by FIDH and the Guide du Routard.
• Suspension (on 21 September 2014) by the appeal court
of the sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment imposed on Al
Mansheya, pending the decision of the Supreme Court.
• The provisional release, (on 15 September 2014) by the
criminal court in Cairo, of Alaa Abdel Fattah, as well as
Ahmed Abdel Rahman and Wael Metwalli, unjustly accused
of offences committed in connection with demonstrations,
after more than 3 months in prison.
Iraq

• The decision by the French judiciary to accept the request by
FIDH and its member organization LDH to bring an independent action alongside Kurdish complainants in the judicial inquiry into “complicity in murders, attempted complicity, and concealment of the consequences of those crimes”.
This inquiry opened in 2013 and concerns the chemical attack carried out by the forces of Saddam Hussein against the
Kurdish town of Halabja, killing 5,000 people.
Morocco

• Provisional release, by the Court of Appeal in Casablanca, of
9 members of the “Movement of 20 February”, which calls
for political and social reforms. This decision followed an international mission to Morocco, carried out by FIDH, which
concerned justice reform and the right to a fair trial, during
which mission members visited the 9 detainees.
Syria

• The opening in France of a judicial inquiry entrusted to the
unit specializing in crimes against humanity and war crimes,
primarily into the French company Qosmos , in respect of
the sale of surveillance material to the regime of Bashar
Al-Assad. This inquiry follows a complaint made by FIDH
and its member organization LDH.
Tunisia

• The decision by a Tunisian court of appeal on 20 November to
sentence members of the police who participated in the gang
rape of Meriem Ben Mohammed to 15 years’ imprisonment.
FIDH and its member organizations in Tunisia acted as the
victim’s legal representatives before the court.
• The decision by the Court of First Instance in Tunis on 23 May
2014 to release Azyz Amemi, a young Tunisian blogger known
for his commitment to the defence of freedom of expression, on
the grounds of abuse of the legal process. This followed strong
advocacy by FIDH and its member organisations.
• The release by Presidential pardon of 5 Marc of Jabeur Mejri,
who was sentenced in 2012 to seven and a half years in prison
for publishing caricatures judged to constitute an “offense
against Islam”. Karim Lahidji, the president of FIDH, had
visited Mejri in his cell some time before the pardon, and
called for his immediate release.
• Official rescinding in April 2014 of the specific reservations

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 55

expressed by the Tunisian state at the time of its ratification
of the CEDAW in 1985.
At regional and international levels
Bahrain

• The mobilization of 103 European parliamentarians in
favour of the release of Nabeel Rajab, director of BCHR
and secretary general of FIDH.
Egypt 

• The adoption on 16 May by the consulting committee mandated by the EU to evaluate the impact of the pending Deep
and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the EU
and Egypt, of a report invoking the risks to human rights
presented by this agreement, echoing the concerns of FIDH.
• Adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution incorporating elements of a submission by FIDH, particularly the
request for immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, defenders of human rights, and individuals
assumed to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood,; an the
demand for a European embargo on the export of surveillance
technologies that might be used for repressive purposes.

• Adoption by the African Commission on Human and Peoples'
Rights of 2 resolutions initiated by FIDH, condemning violations of human rights in Egypt, notably arbitrary detention, acts
of torture and maltreatment in detention centres, violations of
the rights of defenders of human rights, sexual violence against
women, violations of the right to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, and use of the death sentence.

Palestine
• Opening of a preliminary investigation by the ICC of the
situation in Gaza since June 2014, following the referral to
the Office of the Prosecutor by the Palestinian authorities in
accordance with Article 12.3 of the Rome Statute.
• Palestine’s submission to the statute of the ICC, and its referral of the situation in Gaza to the Office of the Prosecutor in
accordance with Article 12.3.
Yemen
• Adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution condemning the extreme violence in the country, and calling for
the establishment of a transitional system of justice in compliance with international law in respect of human rights.

Interaction between FIDH and its member and partner organisations
8 international fact-finding, advocacy, judicial and judicial observation missions: Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia
344 Press Releases – ARA/ENG/FR
Judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings:
- Before French tribunals: in respect of Qosmos (Syria), Amesys (Libya), and Rélizane (Algeria)
- Before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights: communication concerning forced disappearances in Algeria
during the “années de plomb”
- Before the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN): Bahrain, Syria
- Before the Committee on Forced Disappearances (UN) regarding the case of Razan
Zeitouneh and companions kidnapped by armed groups: Syria
Fact-finding reports / Position papers
Support for the defence of 21 defendants before the IOs, appropriate regional and
international bodies, and representatives of influential states.
Strategic seminars:
- Syria: training workshops for Syrian human rights defenders
- Tunisia: seminar on the campaign against violence to women
- Tunisia: two seminars on the harmonization of legislation with the provisions of
the constitution
- Libya: seminar on acts of sexual violence committed during the conflict (February
2014)
- Libya: seminar on the implementation of the decree on sexual crimes (April 2014)
- Egypt: strategic seminar on acts of violence against women, with Egyptian
organizations and international experts (May 2014)
- Morocco: FIDH/GADEM seminar on the implementation of migration policy
- Morocco: workshops of the World Forum on Human Rights
Partnership: REMDH, Crisis Action, International Commission of Jurists, Arab
Institute for Human Rights

56 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Bahrain: Human rights in Bahrain: EU must pursue
efforts and deepen its search for results
Bahrain: Failed promises in Bahrain: Human rights
violations linger on
Morocco: Ongoing violations: Morocco should get back
on track
Morocco: La justice marocaine en chantier: des réformes
essentielles mais non suffisantes pour la protection des
droits humains
Egypt: Keeping women out - Sexual violence in the
public sphere
Egypt: Epidemic of sexual violence continues
Tunisia: Tunisie année 4: il est temps de sortir de l’ornière
Tunisia: Sexual violence in Tunisia: from denial to
dawning recognition
Yemen: Key Human Rights Challenges
Region: Proposed Arab Court of Human Rights: an empty
vessel without substantial changes to the draft statute

Sub-Saharan Africa
Context and challenges
In 2014 Sub-Saharan Africa remained afflicted by conflicts over
political and economic power, organised crime and the development of terrorist movements. The region has struggled with
the protection of civilians, the first to suffer in fighting and violence, as well as with the settlement of these in accordance with
international humanitarian and human rights law and the fight
against the impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes.
The territory of the Central African Republic (CAR) was divided throughout the year with under the control of ex-seleka
rebels and the other under the influence of anti-balaka. The
beginning of 2014, saw MISCA forces and French Sangaris
troops unable to prevent bloody confrontation between Seleka
and anti-balaka forces, as well as the forced departure of much
of the Muslim community in circumstances characterised by
ethnic cleansing. The CAR’s government failed to restore the
State’s authority over the whole country. The transitional authorities supported the creation of the MISCA in September
2013 and pledged to fight impunity – a key underlying cause of
recurrent conflict in CAR. It created a Special Unit of Inquiries and Instructions (CSEI) and signed an agreement with the
United Nations to create a special criminal court, all the while
working together with the International Criminal Court on its
preliminary investigation into the situation.
In Sudan, the Sudanese army perpetrated grave human rights
violations in Darfur and the Blue Nile and South Kordofan
regions. The situation continued to grow increasingly tense
in Khartoum as the presidential elections scheduled for April
2015 drew nearer and political opponents and human rights
defenders faced arrest. Omar El Beshir is not only subject to
an International Criminal Court international arrest warrant,
but his regime faces serious opposition due to the country’s
economic suffering occasioned by disputes at the border with
South Sudan. In this newly independent country, the security
and humanitarian situation remains extremely alarming for
civilians after the massacres and ethnic cleansing carried out
during the power struggle between the army supporting President Salva Kiir, and troops supporting his Vice President, Riek
Machar after he joined the opposition.
Rebel groups, self-defence militia, the Lord’s Resistance Army
and some army servicemen have continued to target attacks on
civilians in northern and eastern DRC. The end of the conflict
with the M23 rebellion came at the cost of amnesty. Moreover, of
the few judicial proceedings brought against the perpetrators of
international crimes, especially sexual violence, even fewer are
completed as defendants often flee and victims receive no compensation. Impunity for the violent repression of the Ministère de
la restauration à partir de l’Afrique noire (MRAN) sect at the end
of 2013 in response to what the authorities called an attempted
coup d’État also persists.

The Sahel continued its struggle against fundamentalist groups
who seek control over lands from which to conduct their criminal activities and establish a caliphate governed by extremist
Islamists. Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi) troops took
advantage of fallback zones in Mauritania, Algeria, Northern
Mali and Niger to continue their attacks until they reached
Kidal, Gao and then went on to Timbuktu, despite the presence of Malian, French and MINUSMA troops. This opened
the way for armed rebels and pro-government forces to go on
a rampage. In northern Nigeria, Boko Haram has terrorised
local populations by orchastrating mass killings in villages
and suicide attacks.
Electoral processes underway in sub-Saharan African countries in conflict or with government monopolies that have been
maintained for decades have seen a ratcheting of tensions. In
Burkina Faso, President Blaise Compaore tried to change the
Constitution to run for a third term of office. In November
2014, he was driven out of office by mass protests, paving way
for a civilian transition regime.
The fight against impunity for perpetrators of the most serious
crimes remained subject to serious challenges in sub-Saharan
Africa in 2014. During peace negotiations in Mali and South
Sudan, for instance, belligerents tried to sacrifice justice in
the name of peace and stability, despite the fact that justice
is essential to punishing and preventing crimes and ensuring
reparation for victims. Similarly, during political transition,
justice is the very basis of the consolidation of the rule of law
and of reconciliation. In Kenya, post-electoral violence was
generally left unpunished. Conversely, in Guinea, Mali, Ivory
Coast and in Senegal with regard to the Chadian ex-dictator
Hissène Habré, justice was rendered thanks to the courage and
the actions of victims and civil society.
In this context, while 34 African countries have ratified the
Rome Statute for the ICC and 5 of them called upon the Court
to open investigations, some countries such as Kenya and Sudan continued trying to weaken the actions and mandate of the
ICC. By manipulating the African Union, more specifically by
trying to turn the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights

French President F. Hollande receives FIDH delegation composed by Karim Lahidji, President,
Dismas Kitenge and Sheila Muwanga, Vice-President, Alice Mogwe, Deputy Secretary General,
Antoine Bernard, Chief Executive Officer. Credits : Présidence de la République

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 57

into a court that has jurisdiction over individual crimes, they
are trying to replace the ICC with a court system that is under
their control. Although the African Union bodies seem to be
interacting more promptly with civil society organisation, the
AU has shown again that it has a limited capacity to settle
conflicts and crises in Africa, nor have a positive impact on
situations of serious human rights violations.
The need to strengthen the capacity of independent civil society to document crimes, support victims of the most serious
crimes and to safely denounce grave violations of human rights
persists.

FIDH and its member and partner organisations
in action
Establish the facts, send out alerts, make proposals
To send out alerts and have an influence over situations of human rights in times of conflict and violence in closed countries
and countries in transition, FIDH and its member organisations
in sub-Saharan Africa issued more than 300 joint press releases
in 2014. These releases informed and alerted the international
community about violations that do not generally receive wide
international attention.
FIDH also organised several international fact-finding missions
to help its member and partner organisations document serious
human rights violations and identify their perpetrators. Some
crises are of such scope and nature that investigations become
impossible or more difficult for national organisations. This
is due to their lack of material, human or financial resources
or lack of experience in documenting international crimes or
because of insecurity. The presence of FIDH fact-finders (selected from FIDH’s leagues, the International Secretariat or
some larger network of mission leaders on the basis of their
expert knowledge) alongside representatives of local organisations makes it possible to document the most grave violations
and identify perpetrators, even at the heart of a conflict area.
FOCUS
FIDH fact-finding mission in South Sudan
Since the independence of South Sudan in 2011, FIDH has conducted two international fact-finding missions in this country,
which has been weakened by decades of war, conflict over its
border with Sudan, inexperienced institutions and the slow construction of a human rights protection system.
The mission, composed of representatives from FIDH leagues
in Zimbabwe, Sudan and South Africa, and a representative
from the Africa desk of the FIDH International Secretariat, focused on the persistent violations of human rights one year after
the eruption of deadly conflict between President Salva Kiir’s
troops and the troops of his former Vice President, Reik Machar.
The FIDH delegation met with representatives of the State, the
armed opposition, civil society and the United Nations. It was
able to identify the reasons for the tension that could rekindle
the conflict (displaced persons, inter-ethnic conflict, circulation
of weapons, restrictions on basic freedoms, etc.). The mission

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report makes tangible recommendations to the authorities, and
also to the international community urging the African Union
and IGAD (the conflict’s mediator) to achieve successful political negotiations that will bring about lasting peace based on
respect for human rights. This includes the fight against impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes, for this is one of
the causes of recurrent violence against the civilian population
in South Sudan.
FIDH, together with the CAR Human Rights League and the
CAR Human Rights Observatory carried out a major investigation into grave human rights violations committed during
the fighting between the armed Séléka and anti-balaka fighters
and despite the presence of French forces and MISCA regional
forces. The mission was able to document the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Muslim population and heard the
testimony of many victims of the criminal acts committed by
both sides: murder, rape, pillage, etc. The mission reacted to
impunity for these crimes by seeking to identify their main
perpetrators and made specific recommendations in its factfinding report, such as the creation of a special investigation
and information unit as a possible first element of an emergency
justice system.
FIDH also carried out fact-finding missions in Togo to shed
light on the situation of human rights in this country a few
months after the presidential election, as well as to South Sudan
to assess the human rights situation one year after terrible mass
killings orchestrated by the warring supporters of President
Salva Kiir and those of his former Vice President, Reik Machar
(see Focus). In the DRC, FIDH and its member organisation,
the League of Electors, were the only organisations to carefully
document widespread killings in towns throughout the country
of over 450 followers of the “Ministry for the Restoration of
Black Africa”, to avenge a so-called coup d'État.
FIDH and its member organisations have also continued recording the testimony of numerous victims of international crimes
in support of legal proceedings instigated by them. Instances
include: in Guinea, the repression of demonstrations in 2007,
the massacre of 28 September 2009, and torture cases from
2010; in Mali, on crimes committed in the north during occupation by armed Islamic groups and the tuareg, as well as
serious abuses by the ex-military junta that ruled Mali; and in
Ivory Coast, the post-electoral violence in respect of which a
special mission was sent to analyse the compatibility of the
military justice system with international standards for human
rights protection.
FIDH carried out special programmes in these three countries
(Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea) which were designed to support
and train local organisations in documenting international
crimes. This led to a training session on specific techniques
for recording testimony on sexual violence, attended by representatives of the member leagues from these three countries
as well as from the Central African Republic, who had been

invited by FIDH. The session was conducted by an expert in
international criminal law, a former advisor on gender crimes to
the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the former
Yugoslavia.
FIDH gave material support (IT and communications) to several of its member and partner organisations in Ivory Coast,
Mali, Guinea and Central African Republic, thereby equipping
them to document human rights violations more safely.
Mobilise national authorities and the international community to support effective measures to protect human rights
To encourage actions that protect human rights in situations of
conflict, crisis and transition, FIDH supported member organisations in advocacy and visibility campaigns and in the presentation of results obtained from monitoring human rights and
from its investigations. FIDH encouraged the implementation
of recommendations set out in their reports, position papers and
joint press releases.
In addition to producing significant results, these actions provided representatives of the member organisations with on-site
training in advocacy to prepare them to become key contact
persons for national authorities, intergovernmental bodies and
international and regional rights protection mechanisms.
FOCUS
Successful advocacy for peacekeepers and strengthening
the justice system in CAR
In response to conclusions of investigations carried out in July
2013 and February 2014, FIDH and its member and partner organisations, the CAR League of Human Rights (LCDH) and the
Central African Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) recommended that the African regional force (MISCA) be converted
into a United Nations peace-keeping operation with a stronger
mandate and increased resources to protect civilians and human
rights and to step up the fight against impunity for perpetrators
of the most serious crimes.
• These analyses and recommendations were submitted to
the highest State authorities, including the President of the
Republic, and to the main diplomatic representations in
Bangui in February 2014 during the second fact-finding
mission.
• FIDH also invited an OCDH representative to attend the
22nd Summit of the African Union (AU) to convey the
same messages to African states.
• Meetings held in February in Paris with the French authorities, in Brussels with representatives of the European Union, and in March in Geneva with members of
the Human Rights Council were followed by advocacy
campaigns in March in the United States, and, together
with an OCDH representative, meetings with members of
the Security Council in New York and U.S. government
representatives in Washington D.C.
• The advocacy campaign, with the participation of an
OCDH representative, was continued in April during the
55th session of the African Commission for Human and

Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and in June at the 23rd Summit
of the African Union.
All these actions had a direct, demonstrable impact on the situation in this country, a country which usually does not attract
much international attention. Outcomes included:
• Adoption of resolutions by the UN Security Council and
the AU condemning human rights violations and emphasising the need to protect civilians and fight impunity.
• Creation, by presidential decree, of a special investigation
unit to investigate grave human rights violations.
• Referral by the CAR authorities to the International Criminal Court.
• Conclusion of an agreement between the CAR authorities and the United Nations on the creation of a special
hybrid criminal court to fight impunity for the most serious crimes.
• Strengthening of MISCA and the creation and deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated
Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with a strong mandate to protect civilians and
human rights, and to fight against impunity.
FIDH and its member organisations met several times with the
highest authorities of Mali, Ivory Coast and Guinea during special international advocacy missions or via their representatives
of joint offices in Abidjan, Conakry and Bamako. Discussions
centered mainly on the commitment of these countries to fight
against impunity for the most grave crimes. There were also
discussions on encouraging influential states such as France,
the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States to use
their diplomacy during discussions with the above countries
to convey the concerns and recommendations of FIDH and
its members.
By attending the 22nd and 23rd African Union summit meetings,
FIDH and the representatives of its member organisations had the
opportunity to familiarise the ambassadors of African countries,
representatives of the Political Affairs Commission and of the
Peace and Security Council with the human rights violations in
countries in conflict or transition. It was also an opportunity to
use our recommendations, to contribute our findings especially
those concerning the situation in Central African Republic and in
South Sudan. FIDH is still advocating more generally to encourage the African Union to create an efficient system for reacting to
crises based on the protection of fundamental freedoms, and for
fighting against impunity in partnership with civil society. The
actions of the AU human rights observers in Mali and in Central
African Republic and the establishment of a UN investigation
commission in South Sudan can be traced directly to these advocacy campaigns.
Representatives of FIDH member organisations from the CAR,
Angola, Botswana, Senegal, Liberia and Mozambique, who were
invited by FIDH to participate in the April session of the African
Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, took the opportunity
to inform the commissioners about the situation in their respective
F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 59

countries. They were also afforded the chance to make the ACHPR
aware of their member organisations’ concerns about human rights
during the various election periods taking place throghout the continent. FIDH also continued to advocate to commissioners the need
for the Commission to be fully involved in the decision-making
process of the Peace and Security Council and to mainstream human rights protections into conflict and crises resolution across
the continent.
Through its delegation in Geneva and its leagues’ representatives,
FIDH has also brought its concerns and recommendations to the
Human Rights Council in an effort to sway draft resolutions on
Sudan, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Central African
Republic, and to support the mandate of the independent experts
on the situation in Ivory Coast and Central African Republic.
Many meetings were held with the representatives of the International Francophony Organisation (OIF) and the European Union
to encourage these organisations to convey the concerns and recommendations of FIDH and its member organisations. This year,
special emphasis was also placed on informing members of the
Security Council about the situation in Central African Republic,
in an effort to convince the Council to send a peacekeeping operation to the CAR, with a strong mandate to protect civilians,
maintain human rights and fight impunity.
In addition, FIDH started the “MyVoteMustCount” campaign that
encourages African and international civil society to advocate for
increased visibility during preparations for 2016 elections and to
demand that governments respect the legal rights of citizens to
choose their representatives freely in elections that must be regular,
free, and transparent.
Lastly, the many press conferences held by FIDH and its members,
and the distribution of joint press releases, reports and position
papers inspired national and international media to convey our
concerns and recommendations on the protection of human rights,
thereby creating public pressure that contributed to some major
outcomes.
Acting against impunity and for reconciliation
FIDH has continued to launch new judicial and quasi-judicial
actions to support victims’ rights to justice and also to contribute
to consolidating Rule of law, which is needed to settle and avoid
the repetition of conflicts and crises, and steer transitional politics
towards sustainable peace. These actions place the responsibility for judging perpetrators of the gravest crimes squarely on
the shoulders of national authorities, and strengthen advocacy
for the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and of
legislative reforms.
As part of the special programme on the fight against impunity,
FIDH and its member organisations in Ivory Coast took civil
action on behalf of close to 100 victims in legal proceedings
on the post-electoral violence in 2010-2011 and the violations
committed in the Nahibly camp in July 2012. FIDH sent three
international missions to these countries in 2014 to evaluate

60 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

progress and shortcomings (especially impartiality) in the legal
proceedings, to request additional investigations and to monitor
the victims’ hearings.
FOCUS
Mali: Investigation of crimes committed by Islamist
groups and the ex-military junta
Through their programme, Mobilisation of civil society to respond to the human rights crisis in Mali, FIDH and its member
organisation AMDH, have stressed the fight against impunity
due to the lack of a justice system in this country. This deficiency
has led to recurrent violence and divisions within communities.
The fight against impunity should particularly prioritised given
that political negotiations between the government and armed
groups in the north tend to sacrifice justice in the name of peace.
Through FIDH Legal Action Group (LAG) missions, FIDH has
been able to file as a plaintiff in support of 21 families who had
lost loved-ones during the killing of bérets rouges in April 2012
by the ex-military junta. At end 2014, the military courts indicted 21 soldiers in this case. In another case, a complaint filed
by FIDH and AMDH led the courts to open a judicial investigation on 14 March 2014 into the “30 September 2013 mutiny” in
the Kati camp. Moreover, in June 2014, an international FIDH
mission contributed to creating a pool of lawyers and a platform
for 6 NGOs (FIDH and 5 Malian organisations) in an effort to
stand by victims of crimes committed during the occupation of
northern Mali by groups of Islamists and Tuaregs. In November
2014, these 6 NGOs filed a complaint with the Malian courts
on behalf of 80 victims of rape and sexual violence. This was in
addition to the 2013 civil party submission by FIDH and AMDH
in support of 15 victims (who gave testimony and mandates to
FIDH during its fact-finding mission to Gao) in a case opened
against Iyad Ag Ghali and 28 other people, and directed against
the most senior officials of the Ansar Dine movement.
Furthermore, FIDH and AMDH held a conference on the fight
against impunity and for Malian reconciliation that was attended
by over 300 people, including the Prime Minister, the Minister
of Reconciliation and many representatives of the State authorities, diplomatic representations, and civil society organisations.
The conference analysed the situation and suggested basic strategies for the truth, justice and reconciliation process in Mali.
FIDH and its member organisation in Guinea continued their
judicial involvement in cases concerning the 28 September 2009
massacre and other human rights violations that took place in
2007 and 2010.
In addition to daily actions by the FIDH/OGDH local team, including the collection of victim testimonies, the provision of support at court hearings (by late 2014, judges had heard 400 victims
on the 28 September 2009 massacre), and the investigation of
acts and their perpetrators, FIDH led the international missions
this year, creating especially propitious moments for consolidating the judicial strategy of LAG’s international lawyers and the

Guinean legal team. This included holding information meetings
with victims, requesting legal documents and sharing ideas with
investigating judges.

Examples of outcomes

On the basis of this experience, FIDH held a seminar at which
representatives of its member organisations in Ivory Coast, Mali,
and Guinea, and members of LAG and the FIDH International
Secretariat spoke of their experiences and discussed strategies
for most effectively fighting impunity, as well as ways to respond to the needs of victims and their legal representatives.
Representatives of the CAR League of Human Rights (LCDH)
and the Central African Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH)
also participated since FIDH and its leagues intend to bring complaints before Central African legal bodies and the future special
hybrid criminal court.

At the national level
Ivory Coast
• Renewal of the mandate of the special investigation unit responsible for legal investigations on post-electoral crimes
(Cellule spéciale d'enquête sur les violences post-électorales).
• Development of investigations by the Ivorian courts on
crimes committed by both Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters.
• Progress in investigating crimes committed at Nahibly displaced persons camp in 2012.

These legal actions and FIDH situation reports on the fight
against impunity in Guinea, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic and Mali have contributed to the preliminary analysis
and investigations conducted by the ICC on these situations,
thanks to the information transmitted in pursuance with Article
15 of the Rome Statute and several discussions with the Office
of the ICC Prosecutor. The FIDH office in The Hague organised
a meeting for representatives of the Ivorian organisations and a
representative of the ICC bodies.
FIDH also contributed to the CAR authorities’ referral to the
ICC that led to the opening of an investigation on the situation
in the CAR. In another case, FIDH has continued to speak out
against Kenya’s opposition to ICC proceedings, in particular
aginst threats of reprisal against victims and witnesses, and is
calling upon the African Union to improve its relations with this
international body.

FIDH enabled or contributed to

Guinea
• Investigating judges hear close to 400 victims legally represented by FIDH in juridical proceedings opened in February
2010 concerning the 28 September 2009 massacre; hearings
of the director of Conakry stadium and the former Minister of
Youth and Sports, and the hearing at the international rogatory
commission of Moussa Dadis Camara, who had fled to Burkina
Faso; indictment in this case of 8 high ranking officials, including Lieutenant Colonel Moussa Tiegbo Camara, Secretary
General at the Presidency in charge of special services, the fight
against the drug trade, organised crime and terrorism, as well as
former Health Minister, Colonel Abdoulaye Chérif Diaby, and
current Head of the Presidential guard, Colonel Claude Pivi.
• Indictment of three high-level officials in the 2010 torture case,
including Resco Camara, Governor of Conakry, and General
Nouhou Thiam, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces; completion
of the judicial investigation and scheduling of forthcoming trial.

International seminar on FIDH and the Association malienne des droits de l'Homme on transitional justice and reconciliation. (Mali, 6 November 2014) Credits: FIDH

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 61

Central African Republic
• Referral on 12 June 2014 by the CAR authorities to the Office of the ICC Prosecutor requesting that it open an inquiry
into crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC and
were committed in the country since 1 August 2012.
• Creation on 9 April 2014 of the Special Unit of Inquiries
and Instructions (CSEI), an investigative body to be incorporated into the forthcoming special criminal court.
• Signature on 8 August 2014 of a Memorandum of Agreement between the CAR authorities and the United Nations
on the establishment of a special criminal court to fight impunity for the most grave crimes, in compliance with the
recommendations of the fact-finding and advocacy report
of FIDH and its member organisations.
Mali
• Indictment, on 13 and 14 February 2014, of two senior officials of the ex-junta for their alleged responsibility in the
assassination of 21 bérets rouges in April 2012, to be added
to 17 other military officers indicted in November 2013 for
the same crime, in respect of which FIDH and its member
organisation AMDH, joined the judicial proceedings as civil
parties alongside the 21 victims’ families.
• Opening of a judicial inquiry on 14 March 2014 on the “30
September 2013 mutiny” subsequent to a complaint lodged
by FIDH and its member organisation AMDH, alongside 7
victim families;
• Opening of a judicial inquiry into rapes and other sexual
crimes perpetrated in northern Mali during the occupation
by armed jihadist and Tuareg groups as crimes against humanity and war crimes subsequent to the complaint filed by
FIDH, AMDH and 5 other organisations on 12 November
2014 in support of 80 victims of sexual crime.
At the regional and international levels
Ivory Coast
• Renewal by the Human Rights Council of the mandate of the
independent expert on the situation of human rights in Ivory
Coast and adoption by the Council of a resolution on Ivory
Coast stressing the importance of the fight against impunity.
Guinea
• Adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution on
Guinea urging the authorities to fight against impunity for
the perpetrators of the most serious crimes.

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Central African Republic
• Adoption in March 2014 by the African Commission of
Human and Peoples’ Rights of a resolution encouraging
the authorities to take steps to end acts of violence against
civilians and bring their perpetrators to court, and calling
upon the African Union and the international community to
increase the resources (material and human) allocated to t
peace-keeping forces in the CAR;
• Adoption on 10 April 2014 by the Security Council of a
resolution to create the United Nations Multidimensional
Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central African Republic
(MINUSCA) with a mandate focused on the protection of
civilians, support for the expansion of State authority, assistance with the transportation of humanitarian aid, protection of human rights, and actions in support of national and
international justice;
• Adoption of sanctions by the United Nations and the United
States authorities against (respectively) five and three Central African officials (including former president, François
Bozizé; warlord, Abdoulaye Miskine; anti-Balaka militia
leader, Levy Yakété, and the second in command of exSeleka rebels, Noureddine Adam) for having committed or
supported acts detrimental to peace, stability and security in
the Central African Republic. These sanctions were adopted
after advocacy actions by FIDH based on its fact-finding
reports.

Sudan
• Adoption on 26 September 2014, by the Human Rights
Council of a resolution condemning international human
rights and the l humanitarian law violations in the Darfur,
Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions, and calling for an independent inquiry into the excessive use of force against the
demonstrators. The resolution also called for an increase in
the monitoring capacity of the independent expert in Sudan.

• Adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution that
reflects the recommendations advocated for by FIDH on the
basis of its investigative report. The report especially urges
the African Union to publish the report of the investigation
commission on grave crimes committed in South Sudan and
to continue implementing the arms embargo. The report urges the government to reject all legislation that would restrict
the activities of NGOs and other humanitarian associations.

South Sudan
• Installation, in March 2014, of an African Union investigation commission mandated to review human rights
violations committed by the warring parties and to make
recommendations to ensure that those responsible are held
accountable for their acts.
• Adoption, in March 2014, of a resolution by the African
Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, urging the conflicting parties to immediately stop all hostilities and calling
upon the South Sudanese authorities to fully cooperate with
the African Union investigation commission and ensure that
persons responsible for human rights violations are held
accountable for their acts.

Africa
• Adoption by the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights of two resolutions at the 55th ordinary session to
condemn the unending crimes of sexual violence in Africa.
The tangible recommendations set out in these resolutions
echo recommendations made by FIDH. These especially
called for the adoption of adequate legal measures, ensuring
the efficacy of the fight against impunity for persons guilty
of sexual violence, and the adoption of measures to obtain
reparation for victims, as well as the adoption by the African
Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights of resolutions
on the situation of human rights during election periods in
Africa and the right to peaceful demonstration.

Advocacy meeting at the African Union. A delegation from FIDH is received by Mrs Aisha Laraba, Commissioner for Political Affairs. Credits: FIDH

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 63

Interaction between FIDH and its member and partner organisations
21 international fact-finding, advocacy, judicial and judicial observation missions
(Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Central African Republic, Senegal, South Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Cameroon, Uganda)
309 press releases FR/ENG
Judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings
- Before the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Senegalese Courts: participation in proceedings against Hissène
Habré.
- Before Guinean courts: supporting victims of 2007 and 2010 violations, and the 28 September 2009 massacre.
- Before Ivorian courts: supporting victims of post electoral violence of 2010 and other violations carried out in 2012.
- Before Malian courts: supporting victims of armed groups in the north, Green Beret forces and the Kati mutiny of 2013.
- Before the Senegalese courts: support for the families of Chebeya and Bazana, Congolese human rights defenders
assassinated in 2010.
- Before French courts: cases concerning the Brazzaville Beach missing persons (Congo-Brazzaville); cases against alleged
Rwandan génocideurs; cases against the French army (in Opération Turquoise in Rwanda in 1994); case against Said Abeid
(Comoros); the Baba case (Mauritania).
- Before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Communications regarding Sudan (acts of torture) and
Ethiopia (freedom of association).
- Before the International Criminal Court: supporting Congolese victims to participate in prosecution proceedings, and
contribution to investigations and analyses concerning Ivory Coast, Guinea, Kenya, the CAR, the DRC and Sudan.
- Before the Working group on Enforced disappearances (UN): Communications regarding Chad and Guinea.
Advocacy Activités: Supporting the advocacy of 40 defenders (from the DRC,
Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, the CAR, Senegal, Kenya, Sudan, Cameroon,
Ethiopia and Uganda) aimed at relevant regional and international mechanisms
and influential State representatives.
Strategic seminars:
- Central African Republic/Ivory Coast/Guinea/Mali: Seminar on sharing
experiences and on the strategy for fighting impunity for sexual crimes.
- Ivory Coast: Information seminar in The Hague on the International Criminal
Court.
- Mali: Seminar on transitional justice.
Partnerships: Crisis Action, Coalition for the International Criminal Court,
Coalition for an Effective African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights,
International Committee for the judgement of Hissène Habré, Committee to
fight impunity in Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali, World Coalition against the
Death Penalty.

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Fact-finding reports / Situation
paper / Manual
Ivory Coast: Ivory Coast: Choosing between justice and
impunity
Kenya : One year in office for Uhuru Kenyatta and
William Rutto: A human rights record marred by abuses
Mali: Mali: Justice in Progress – FR/ENG, March 2014
Central African Republic: Central African Republic:
“They must all leave or die”
Democratic Republic of Congo : Les massacres des
adeptes du Ministère de la restauration à partir de l'Afrique
noire
Rwanda: Note de situation : Garantir les libertés publiques
et individuelles, l'envers du décor
Rwanda : Rapport sur le procès de Pascal Simbikangwa :
Retour sur un procès emblématique
Senegal : « Je ne veux pas de cet enfant, moi je veux aller
à l'école » : La prohibition de l’interruption volontaire de
grossesse au Sénégal - FR (“I don’t want this child, I want
to go to school”)
South Sudan: “We fear the worst”: Breaking the cycle
of violence and impunity to prevent chaos
Africa: Filing a Communication before the African
Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The Americas
Context and challenges
Although democratic regimes are now the norm in the Americas
(except in Cuba), rule-of-law guarantees to ensure human rights
respect continue to be undermined in many countries by endemic
levels of organised crime and corruption. This is particularly so
where legal systems have become flawed and biased. The result
is impunity for the perpetrators of serious crimes – a phenomenon
that heightens levels of violence in the Americas, where such levels
are among the highest in the world, particularly in Central America,
Mexico and Colombia. As such, holding governments to account
on victims’ right to justice, and securing intervention by the International Criminal Court (ICC) where national authorities fall short,
were the major challenges of 2014.
The forced disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico,
in March 2014 sparked worldwide condemnation. Nevertheless,
these events were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the violence
raging in that country, with estimates that more than 70,000 people
have been killed and 22,000 disappeared as a result of actions by
cartels or the army between 2006 and 2012. These figures continue
to rise under the presidency of Peña Nieto, as does impunity, which
is estimated by the authorities to be at 98%.
In Colombia, the role of justice was one of the key issues of the year
during peace talks initially launched in 2012 by President Santos (reelected in 2014) to end years of bloody conflict between the army,
paramilitaries and FARC guerrillas. Some negotiators proposed
sacrificing victims’ rights to truth, justice and reparations on the altar
of peace – a move that would represent a short-termist approach that
is in conflict with international human rights law, and which would
undoubtedly give rise to future instability. Indeed, the absence of an
effective justice system to pursue the perpetrators of attacks against
civilians of either camp, has been one of the drivers of this conflict,
which has seen 220,000 deaths and 5.3 million displaced persons.
Honduras again had the highest per-capita murder rate in 2014, at
90.4 per 100,000. The vast majority of these crimes go unpunished.
Further to referrals made by FIDH and its member organisations
concerning crimes committed in Mexico, Colombia and Honduras,
the ICC continued its preliminary examination of the situations in
the latter two countries in 2014. The opening of investigations by
the ICC would represent a powerful signal, highlighting a lack of
will on the part of the relevant political and judicial authorities to
counter impunity for the most serious crimes, and giving hope to
victims. Such a step would also strengthen the Court and illustrate
the universality of its action.
In this environment of impunity, some countries are also struggling to come to terms with past crimes. In Guatemala, 2014 saw
a flagrant violation of judicial independence when the Constitutional Court illegally and arbitrarily overturned former dictator Rios

Montt’s conviction for genocide in May 2013. In Haiti, the bravery
of victims’ families has enabled proceedings against former dictator,
Jean-Claude Duvalier, and his associates to move forward, in spite
of his recent death.
The Americas have also seen social and territorial conflict triggered by the exploitation of natural resources. Serious human
rights abuses have been perpetrated in this context. This trend has
intensified over the last ten years and continued into 2014 despite
an economic slowdown. Those companies involved are increasingly using the law to manage these tensions by criminalising the
leaders of communities who are opposed to or denounce the impact
of their activities on the environment, the right to health, the right
to free and informed consultation and the right to decent housing.
This process of criminalisation particularly affects indigenous communities and other vulnerable groups. The Inter-American Court
of Human Rights’ ruling in favour of Mapuche leaders, wrongly
convicted by the Chilean courts for having protested against the
actions of a company, represents the first regional jurisprudence
in this area. It also sets an interesting precedent in the context of a
general trend towards criminalising social protest. In 2014 this trend
led to numerous arrests in Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia, and
saw scandals involving the interception of human rights defenders’
telephone and digital communications.
Finally, simultaneous speeches by Barack Obama and Raul Castro
in December 2014 marked an historic turning point for North-South
relations: the gradual normalisation of diplomatic relations between
the US and Cuba after over half a century of embargo. At the same
time, the EU and Cuba opened negotiations on a bilateral agreement
on political dialogue and cooperation. These negotiations should not
obscure the persistent serious human rights violations that continue
to be perpetrated in this last dictatorship of the Americas, where
any criticism is snuffed out by arbitrary proceedings or harassment.

FIDH and its member and partner organisations in
action
Establish the facts, send out alerts, make proposals
To alert the world to situations of violence and impunity for serious
human rights violations, and to influence the human rights situation,
FIDH and its member organisations in the Americas issued around
200 joint press releases in 2014. These were distributed to the appropriate authorities, intergovernmental organisations and rights
protection mechanisms, as well as to the media, especially the South
American press, which widely covered the information conveyed.
In 2014, FIDH provided particular support to its member and partner organisations in establishing the facts and attributing responsibility where serious human rights violations had been perpetrated.
It organised several missions to Honduras to train its member and
partner organisations in the specific documentation of international
crimes. The aim was to analyse the extent to which the many murders committed in the country since the coup could constitute crimes
against humanity under the Rome Statute.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 65

FIDH and two Mexican human rights organisations (the Mexican
Commission for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights and
the Baja California Citizen Centre) conducted an investigation into
acts of torture, severe deprivations of liberty and forced disappearances committed between 2006 and 2012 in Baja California by
the State’s armed and security forces. The mission’s report established that these systematic and widespread human rights violations, which were part of a government policy implemented by the
military and police, represented crimes against humanity falling
within the competence of the ICC. It concluded that civilians had
been targeted in order to justify claims that “progress and success”
had been achieved in the campaign against organised crime.
Moreover, in its analysis of the criminalisation of social protest,
FIDH continued to work on the illegal surveillance of social
movements and human rights defenders, notably in Brazil. Here,
it undertook a mission to investigate two companies that have resorted to this type of activity at a time when Brazil was simultaneously denouncing the activities of the National Security Agency
in the United States for similar such activity. FIDH also organised
missions to Panama to alert the region’s press to the fact that the
authorities were blocking the implementation of the Panamanian
Supreme Court’s ruling that the decision to grant territorial asylum
to Maria del Pilar Hurtado had been unconstitutional. Ms Hurtado,
former head of the Colombian intelligence agency (DAS), had been
wanted in Colombia on several charges, including conspiracy. She
was finally obliged to give herself up to the Colombian authorities,
who sentenced her along with ex-President Uribe’s former chief
of staff to prison terms of 14 and 8 years respectively for illegal
surveillance and abuse of power.
Fighting impunity for past and present international crimes
With the aim of supporting victims’ right to justice, preventing other serious crimes and helping consolidate the rule of
law, FIDH and its member organisations continued to mobilise
against impunity for serious crimes before the national courts
and also, where relevant, before the ICC. To this end, a strategic meeting between FIDH and representatives of its member
organisations was held in Guatemala to reinforce the work of
FIDH’s Legal Action Group in the Americas.
Having observed the trial of Rios Montt in Guatemala in 2013,
FIDH published a report on the former dictator’s conviction
– a conviction that was followed by the illegal and arbitrary
annulment of part of the proceedings against him. Moreover,
FIDH continued to support its member organisation’s efforts
to combat impunity for genocide in Guatemala and bolster the
independence of the judicial system. Amongst other initiatives,

66 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

FIDH organised a regional seminar on the role of the judiciary
in the fight against impunity for international crimes in Latin
America. FIDH’s President and the UN Special Rapporteur on
the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of
Non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, were present at a key moment
in the process of appointing judges to Guatemala’s appellate and
supreme courts, and the renewal of the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
Their presence was important in highlighting the serious shortcomings in these processes.
Around one month after the death of former dictator Jean-Claude
Duvalier, FIDH, in partnership with its member organisations
in Haiti, the National Human Rights Defence Network (RNDDH) and the Ecumenical Centre for Human Rights (CEDH),
organised a mission to assess progress in the legal proceedings
conducted by the Port au Prince Court of Appeal on crimes
against humanity perpetrated under the Duvalier regime. FIDH
renewed its support for its member organisations and the Collective Against Impunity, which provides strong day-to-day assistance for victims in the Haitian courts.
In France, FIDH and other organisations continued to campaign
for the extradition of Mario Alfredo Sandoval to Argentina,
where he faces trial for crimes against humanity, deprivation
of liberty and acts of torture leading to death, committed under
the Pinochet regime.
FIDH and its member organisations also closely monitored developments in the Colombian peace process, and the role of
justice in this process. A seminar will be held in Colombia on
this issue in 2015.
In response to the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of the
2009 coup in Honduras, FIDH prepared submissions on the
admissibility and merits of the Zelaya case before the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). FIDH also
monitored developments relating to its submission to the IACHR
in relation to Chile in the “media prescripción” affair, in which
it denounced the lenient sentences imposed on dignitaries of the
Pinochet regime that enabled them to walk free when sentenced.
FIDH also mobilised to provide input into the ICC’s preliminary
examination of situations in Mexico (see Focus), Colombia and
Honduras. In Honduras, FIDH facilitated a meeting between
officials from the ICC Prosecutor’s Office and several Honduran
NGOs, refuting the government’s claim that the Prosecutor’s
Office had closed its preliminary examination in a press
conference.

Focus
FIDH calls on ICC to open preliminary examination on
Mexico
Having determined the likely existence of international crimes
in Mexico, FIDH has been mobilising since 2013 to train local
civil society in the documentation of offences that may qualify
as crimes against humanity under international criminal law.
This work has been undertaken both to help document these
crimes and to persuade the ICC Prosecutor’s Office that a preliminary examination should be launched into the situation in
Mexico.
In 2013, following an initial communication submitted under
Article 15 of the Rome Statute, FIDH, together with two Mexican organisations, documented and submitted a second communication concerning cases of torture in Baja California. This
time, part of the communication was made public in a report
published in September 2014. This report received wide coverage in the national and international press. In the presence of
the Mexican authorities, it was also presented to a hearing of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington,
and a parallel event held to present the mission report by Juan
Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. These actions helped trigger a
debate on the existence of international crimes in Mexico and
the Mexican authorities’ reluctance to tackle impunity for such
crimes.
The report by FIDH and the Mexican NGOs was also presented
to the ICC Prosecutor’s Office and to the ICC States Parties
during their annual meeting in New York.
To encourage the submission of further communications to complete FIDH’s work and call on the ICC Prosecutor’s Office to
open a preliminary examination, FIDH also organised in Januaary 2014 a training seminar in Mexico City on international
criminal law and the submission of communications to the ICC
Prosecutor’s Office. The seminar was attended by around 15
Mexican NGOs.
Mobilising national governments and the international
community on concrete measures to secure human rights
protection
In 2014, FIDH again conducted many advocacy actions calling for
the implementation of recommendations in its notes, reports and
joint communiqués with member and partner organisations.
FIDH supported its member organisation in Cuba in its advocacy
for the inclusion of human rights stipulations in the future Political
Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba.
The unpublished directives for the negotiations on this agreement,
adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council in February 2014, did
not appear to rule out such stipulations. Nevertheless, at the first negotiation session on this agreement in Havana in April 2014, the EU
did not meet any Cuban dissidents or human rights defenders. FIDH

therefore organised several meetings in Brussels and Washington
between the director of its member organisation, Elizardo Sanchez,
and representatives of the EU, its member states, the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the media, in order to
emphasise that the negotiations must include guarantees on human
rights protection in Cuba. The EU finally invited Elizardo Sanchez
to a meeting in Brussels in May 2014 to further cooperation, and
met representatives of Cuban civil society during its third negotiation session.
FIDH also drew the EU’s attention to miscarriages of justice in
the Rios Montt case in Guatemala and the process for appointing
judges to the Guatemalan courts of appeal and Supreme Court. It
thus facilitated a meeting between senior representatives of the EU
and the an appeal court judge who had resigned in the course of
denouncing corruption on the part of the ruling political party in
the process of appointing judges.
Focus
FIDH calls upon Chile to implement historic ruling by
Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Mapuche case
In July 2014, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found
Chile in breach of its international human rights obligations, after
a 12-year legal battle. In these proceedings, FIDH had represented
five of seven Mapuche complainants who had received harsh
sentences under antiterrorist legislation for having engaged in
activities to reclaim their ancestral land. The Court found that
Chile had violated the principle of legality, ruling that Chilean
antiterrorist legislation did not conform to international standards on account of racial discrimination (the Court found that
the convictions of the Mapuche for terrorism had been based on
arguments derived from stereotypes and prejudice, contrary to
the principle of equality and non-discrimination). It further found
Chile to be in violation of the right to liberty, adding that it was
necessary to take account of the particular impact of incarceration on members of indigenous populations, especially spiritual
leaders of their community.
The ruling was hailed as a great victory for the Mapuche people,
who had been stigmatised as terrorists since the start of this century, with more than 100 of them (including around ten minors)
having been prosecuted for terrorist offences.
In December 2014, FIDH invited three Mapuche representatives
to present the Court’s decision during a meeting held in parallel
with a session of the UN Working Group on Business and Human
Rights, as well as at the annual human rights conference held
by the EU, whose theme this year was freedom of expression.
The Mapuche also engaged with UN special procedures and EU
representatives. This tour helped persuade Chile to extend the
reparations ordered by the Court for victims and their families to
the whole community, thereby implicitly recognising the collective nature of the damage suffered.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 67

FIDH and its member and partner organisations continued to call
on the authorities of various countries in the Americas to respect
human rights via IACHR sessions and the hearings system.

sent a box containing a dismembered, red-stained doll to Soraya
Gutierrez, a Colombian lawyer, member of the Colectivo de
Abogados and former Vice President of FIDH.

Thus, FIDH, the Mexican Committee for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH), the Committee Against
Torture and Impunity (CCTI), the Citizens’ Human Rights
Commission of the Northeast (CCDHNOR), the Centre for the
Integral Development of Women (CEDIMAC) and the Centre
for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) attended a session on
“impunity for serious human rights violations in Mexico” with
the Mexican government, during IACHR's 153rd period of public
hearings. In addition, together with its member organisations in
Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia,
FIDH presented a paper detailing around ten cases involving the
criminalisation of human rights defenders to the Special Reporter
for Human Rights Defenders at a IACHR hearing.

At regional and international level
Chile
• In a historic decision, the Inter-American Court ruled against
Chile regarding its use of antiterrorist legislation to criminalise protests, in favour of the Mapuche community’s right
to its ancestral lands.

Examples of outcomes

Honduras
• The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman completed an audit,
publishing its conclusions in January 2014, in which it
mentioned reports by FIDH. It acknowledged shortcomings
in the treatment by World Bank officials of the situation in the
Bajo Aguan region and issued a series of recommendations.
• The ICC opened a preliminary examination into the situation
in Honduras.

FIDH led or contributed to
At national level
Argentina
• On 28 May 2014, the Paris Investigation Chamber authorised
the extradition of Mario Alfredo Sandoval to Argentina, in
connection with the disappearance of Hernan Abriata, an
architecture student detained on 30 October 1976. Abriata
disappeared in ESMA, the clandestine detention centre in
Buenos Aires, where 5,000 detainees were disappeared during
the dictatorship.
Chile
• The Chilean government agreed that the reparations ordered by
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for victims and their
families should be extended to all the Mapuche communities to
which they belong.
Haiti
• The Port au Prince Court of Appeal reinstated the charges
brought against Jean-Claude Duvalier for crimes against humanity and ordered a further investigation into these crimes.
Colombia
• Maria del Pilar Hurtado, former head of DAS, was extradited
from Panama and sentenced by the Colombian Supreme Court
to 14 years prison, while Bernardo Moreno was handed an 8
year sentence, for conspiracy, among other offences.
• In March 2015, a Colombian government official admitted in a
case in which FIDH is involved as a civil party, that DAS had

68 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Cuba
• Numerous press articles reiterated the call by FIDH and its
member organisation for closer relations between the EU
and independent Cuban civil society.
• Representatives of the EU and Cuban civil society met during the third negotiating session on the Political Dialogue
and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba.

Mexico
• A national debate was launched into the role of the ICC,
given the serious crimes that have been committed in the
country.
• There were admissions in the press owned by Calderon, former President of Mexico, that “errors” had been committed
by the police in the war on trafficking and drugs.
• During a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, attended by FIDH, the Mexican government
admitted that it lacks the capacity to pursue those responsible for serious crimes in Mexico.
Global
• The UN created the mandate of the Special Rapporteur
on Private Life, who will be responsible for exposing the
pernicious effects on human rights of surveillance and the
interception of communications, including outside national
territory, as well as the harvesting of personal data, particularly when carried out on a large scale.

FIDH interacting with its member and partner organisations

11 international investigation and advocacy missions: Haiti, Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, Chile, Panama, Cuba, Colombia
199 press releases – SP/EN/FR
Judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings initiated and monitored by FIDH:
- Before the Colombian and Belgian courts: proceedings against DAS (Colombia).
- Before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: case against Chile on misuse of the antiterrorist law against the Mapuche.
- Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: communications against Honduras in the Zelaya case (2009 coup
d’état); communication against Chile in the “media prescripción” case (lenient sentences imposed on dignitaries of the Pinochet
regime).
- Before the International Criminal Court: contribution to preliminary examinations into Honduras, Colombia and Mexico.
- Before the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (UN): communication against Mexico.
Help with advocacy for 15 human rights defenders (Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Guatemala, USA) before IGOs,
appropriate regional and international mechanisms and representatives of influential states.
Strategic seminars: on the campaign against impunity for the most serious human rights violations, in the presence of 20
representatives of FIDH member organisations (Guatemala).
Partnership: HRDN; NGO coalition within Inter-American system, CIFCA,
Oidhaco.
Partenariat : HRDN ; Coalition d'ONG devant le système interaméricain,
CIFCA, Oidhaco

Investigation reports / situation
reports
Mexico: Report on the alleged commission of crimes
against humanity in Baja California between 2006 and
2012
Cuba: The EU must put civil society at the heart of
negotiations with Cuba

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 69

Asia
Context and challenges
The human rights situation throughout Asia continues to give
cause for concern. In 2014, in most countries, authorities intensified their repression of civil society. No tangible progress was
made and serious setbacks to human rights occurred.
In many of the countries in the region, oppressive and non-democratic regimes remain in power. They have intensified their efforts to silence human rights defenders and political opponents,
through threats, attacks and judicial harassment. North Korea is
still one of the planet’s most closed countries. The regime reacts
with contempt to any attempt by the international community to
put an end to its serious breaches of human rights. In 2014, the
United Nations General Assembly adopted a historic resolution
referring the situation in North Korea to the International Criminal Court. Despite the regime’s egregious system of repression
and surveillance of the population, information on extrajudicial executions of conscientious objectors, concentration camps
and other serious violations of human rights constituting crimes
against humanity continue to reach the outside world.
In Iran, despite the promises made by the government elected in
2013 to give more leeway to the exercise of the freedom of expression and assembly, human rights defenders, political leaders
and members of ethnic and religious minorities were persecuted
in 2014. The authorities intensified reprisals against Iranians who
failed to comply with the government’s strict interpretation of
Islamic law and customs.
In Laos and Vietnam, single-party regimes continued to clamp
down on all forms of dissidence and to obstruct exercise of fundamental rights. In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen showed

no signs of being willing to give up his 30-year hold on power.
The harassment, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of members
of the opposition, activists, trade union leaders and human rights
defenders are still hallmarks of the government. Impunity is the
rule with respect to serious human rights violations in Cambodia;
tthese violations include mass, forced displacements of people
caused by land-grabbing by the political elite, which constitute
crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute.
In Malaysia, the government intensified their use of repressive
and antiquated legislation, such as the Sedition Law, to silence
criticism. The most flagrant example of this was the imprisonment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after an unfair and
politically motivated trial.
By the close of 2014, the oppressive environment generated by
the military junta that came to power In Thailand on 22 May
2014 had affected almost all human rights, especially the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of expression. The military junta
cited the need to protect the monarchy as a pretext to indict,
detain and imprison through the application of draconian lèsemajesté laws. In the past, Thailand had been a relatively safe
haven for dissidents from neighbouring countries, but more recently became a source country for asylum seekers and political
activists seeking safety.
In Burma, in the context of greater economic openness and increased influx of foreign investment, continuing human rights
violations received a lukewarm reaction from the international
community. Democratic institutions lack confidence, the rule of
law falters, the army is omnipresent and continues to commit
human rights violations with complete impunity. This situation
raises serious concerns because of the elections scheduled for
2015. There were still dozens of political prisoners in the country
in 2014, and the number of activists and human rights defenders
charged with crimes for having exercised their right to peaceful
assembly did not drop.

Press conference on the situation of religious
minorities in Pakistan (Islamabad, 29 January 2014)
Credits: FIDH

70 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

In Bangladesh, the role of civil society continued to diminish.
Throughout the country, human rights defenders and political
dissidents were threatened, placed under surveillance, imprisoned or were victims of forced disappearances.
In China, freedom of expression, of association and of assembly continued to be repressed. Human rights defenders, artists,
journalists and political dissidents continued to be placed under
surveillance, under house arrest, or imprisoned for criticising the
communist party or for having obtained and circulated information deemed illegal by the State such as information on human
rights, on democracy, and on Tibet’s right to self-determination.
The party attempted to strengthen its control over Hong Kong
by chipping away at the “one country, two systems” concept. In
2014, the announcement of the creation of a nomination committee to appoint candidates for the elections in 2017 for the office
of chief executive, sent millions of protesters out into the street.
The Chinese regime disregarded the unrest and stood its ground.

to those who dared to denounce abuses despite threats and intimidation.
Based on information provided by its member and partner organisations, over 340 press releases, p-eds, and position papers were
ublished to draw local and international media attention to urgent
human rights issues in over 20 countries.
FOCUS
Burma: Establishment of the Human Rights Defenders
Forum
In 2014, FIDH, with the support of its member organization
Altsean-Burma, established the Human Rights Defenders Forum (HRDF) in Burma. The HRDF is a platform for information-sharing and coordinated action that aims to support the
efforts of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to promote human
rights in Burma.

Throughout China and the rest of Asia, governments and investors rushed to control natural resources and to buy land for
infrastructure and property development projects; this led to the
destruction of the environment, a loss of the means of subsistence, massive confiscation of land and displacement of communities. All of these actions may constitute international crimes.

Initiated in July 2014, the HRDF functions through a monthly
Open Forum for information-sharing among key stakeholders
and an action-oriented Steering Committee that engages directly with at-risk HRDs. The HRDF aims to create a nationwide
network that facilitates immediate and accurate informationsharing for cases in which HRDs are at risk.

The progressive reduction of international forces in Afghanistan
was coupled with a reduction in international funding for human rights and economic development projects. This places the
local population at greater risk at a time when attacks from the
Taliban and other armed factions have started up again. Moreover, the political changeover that took place as a result of the
presidential election failed to have a positive effect on human
rights and security.

The HRDF collects and disseminates information by phone and
email regarding news, events, and emergencies related to HRDs.
It also links HRDs at risk with emergency financial and technical resources. The HRDF produces a brief monthly summary of
HRD-related news and events in English and Burmese, which
is distributed to key local and international stakeholders. The
HRDF also has an online presence. Its website provides English
and Burmese language material and resources and its Facebook
page provides timely HRD updates.

Throughout the region, the continued persecution of ethnic and
religious minorities was one of the main causes of instability and
of human rights violations. In many countries, such as Burma,
Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India, religious intolerance, coupled with
the rise of national movements, led to an increase in violence and
discrimination perpetrated by the state, or by paramilitary forces
with the prior and implicit approval of the authorities. These
situations were made possible by lack of victim protection and
by the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators.

FIDH and its member and partner organisations in
action
Establishing the facts, alerting the public and authorities
and proposing action
In light of the increasing repression of civil society and basic
freedoms across Asia, FIDH worked closely with its member
organisations and partners in the region to investigate and report
on human rights violations and provide support and protection

Despite being in its early stages, the HRDF has already proven
to be an extremely useful mechanism to alert the international
community to threats, harassment, and arbitrary detention of
HRDs in Burma.
In 2014, FIDH organized 15 international missions in the region to investigate or alert about urgent human rights situations.
Several reports were published in a range of languages to raise
awareness about the many important human rights issues in the
region, including reports on EU-Burma investment relations,
prison conditions and the death penalty in Japan, economic development and land rights in Indonesia, and human rights violations in the garment industry in India. Based on the information
provided by its member organisations, FIDH also drafted two
position papers denouncing continuing human rights violations
in Iran and Laos.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 71

FOCUS
FIDH and its member organisation formulate
recommendations to combat discrimination and violence
against religious minorities in Pakistan
Following a growing number of incidents of violence, intolerance
and discrimination towards members of religious and sectarian
minority communities across Pakistan, FIDH and its member organisation, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP),
organised a workshop in Karachi on 25 and 26 January 2014
with representatives from various religious minorities in Pakistan.
The aim was to discuss the challenge of discrimination on the
grounds of belief faced by minority and vulnerable communities across Pakistan, and to develop recommendations on how to
end the violence, discrimination, and marginalisation they face.
The workshop served as a forum for community representatives
to exchange views on the problems they face and on possible
solutions, and identified institutional reforms and strategies to
enhance freedom of religion as well as the protection of religious
minorities in Pakistan. The workshop was also an opportunity for
representatives from minority communities to learn from one another, and to be exposed to broader perspectives on these issues,
through the exchange of experiences with human rights defenders from Pakistan and other countries in the region (Philippines,
Indonesia, Palestine) who were invited to participate.
A broad range of communities were represented in the workshop,
including Ahmadi, Bahai, Christian, Hindu, Muslim (among them
Shia including Hazara Shias), Sikh, and Zoroastrian (Parsi) communities from across Pakistan. Several HRCP members, international experts, lawyers, lawmakers and media representatives
also participated.
Following the workshop, FIDH and HRCP published a report
highlighting the main forms of discrimination facing religious
minorities in Pakistan and providing recommendations addressed
to the government of Pakistan and the international community
to end the violence and the institutionalised discrimination facing
these minority groups.
Mobilising national authorities and the international community to take concrete measures in favour of human rights
protection
In many authoritarian States in the region, the authorities are
more or less beyond the reach of national and international
NGOs, which limits the latter’s ability to campaign. In such
situations, the international community has an ever-more
important responsibility to exert pressure on governments
that are not responsive to the rights and demands of their own
people. Accordingly, FIDH made continuing efforts to keep
the international community informed and to mobilise key
international institutions to respond to urgent human rights
issues in Asia. FIDH brought 16 human rights defenders
from eight countries in the region to the headquarters of
the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU)’ to
meet relevant representatives of influential states, to present
first-hand accounts of the human rights situation in Asia

72 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

and make recommendations from the front-line on the role
the international community should play. In situations with
acute human rights violations, FIDH ensured that relevant
intergovernmental organisations were kept informed and
mobilised.
FOCUS
Laos and Vietnam: Effective UN and EU advocacy
Documentation of the deplorable human rights situation
in Laos and Vietnam remained a challenging task in 2014
because of limited access for independent human rights
organizations and the absence of free media outlets.
Despite these constraints, FIDH and its two member
organizations in exile, the Lao Movement for Human Rights
(LMHR) and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
(VCHR), effectively used UN and EU mechanism to keep the
international spotlight on the serious human rights challenges
that both countries continue to face.
With regard to Laos, in May 2014, FIDH and LMHR
published a briefing paper to document the continuing human
rights violations committed by the government ahead of the
EU-Laos Human Rights Dialogue. Many of the issues detailed
in the briefing paper, including the disappearance of prominent
civil society leader Sombath Somphone, were raised by EU
officials during the dialogue and reflected in the EU official
statement after the event. In June 2014, FIDH and LMHR, in
their submission for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of
Laos, documented the government’s failure to address serious
land rights issues. Many of the recommendations contained in
the submission were echoed in the recommendations made by
several states in relation to land rights during the Laos UPR
session in January 2015.
With regard to Vietnam, in February 2014, FIDH and VCHR
briefed diplomats and UN officials in a side-event on freedom
of expression, association, and religion during the UPR
session on Vietnam in Geneva. On 7 August, FIDH and VCHR
submitted a complaint to the EU Ombudsman alleging that
the European Commission’s refusal to carry out human rights
impact assessments (HRIAs) during negotiations for a free
trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam constituted a case of
maladministration. In March 2015, in response to the FIDHVCHR complaint, the EU Ombudsman recommended the EU
carry out HRIAs during FTA negotiations with Vietnam. In
December 2014, following its review of Vietnam’s periodic
report on the implementation of the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Committee
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) made
numerous recommendations that mirrored those contained in
the FIDH-VCHR shadow report submitted to the CESCR a
month earlier.

As a prime example of FIDH effort, many advocacy activities
were held jointly by Altsean-Burma and FIDH representatives
to alert the international community to continuing human rights
violations in Burma. Meetings were held with key countries to
influence the wording of the UN General Assembly resolution
on Burma and FIDH encouraged UN Human rights Council's
members to renew the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur
on the human right situation in Burma. FIDH also followed up
various suits it initiated on cases of human rights defenders and
political activists before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary
Detention.
FIDH focused advocacy on the situation in Iran, requesting
the EU to incorporate the issue of human rights protection
in its strategic action plan with regard to this country. FIDH
invited Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, to meet with
representatives of the most influential countries to push the
UN General Assembly to adopt a strong resolution denouncing
human rights violations in Iran. FIDH also seized on human
rights cases with the UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture and
on Freedom of Assembly and Association and followed up the
case it brought before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary
Detention on the matters of Khosro Kordpour and Massoud
Kordpour, respectively Editor in Chief and correspondent of
the Mukrian News Agency.
Vis-à-vis Thailand, FIDH maintained close relations with
UN agencies and foreign embassies to alert them on lèse
majesté cases brought by the putschist regime against political
opponents, peaceful demonstrators and human rights defenders.
A deposition on a case of torture was also made before the UN
Committee against Torture.
Acting against impunity
Justice and accountability are important tools to prevent and deter future human rights violations. In support of this view FIDH
sought to engage various national and international accountability mechanisms to pursue justice for the victims of violations and
international crimes.
After its involvement in discussions on the establishment of the
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)
in the early 2000s, FIDH provided legal representation for
10 France-based victims of crimes committed by the Khmers
Rouges in the proceedings against two former Khmer Rouge
leaders before the ECCC. In August 2014, FIDH and its member
organization in Cambodia (www.adhoc-cambodia.org/) made it
possible for 56 civil parties living in France and in Cambodia
to witness the historic verdict that found the two former Khmer
Rouge leaders guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced
them to life in prison. In October, FIDH released a 30-minute
documentary called “Case no. 002 – History of a Verdict.”

FIDH also followed up the proceedings it initiated before the
French courts in the case of Ung Buon Hor, the then-president of
the Cambodian Parliamentary Assembly who disappeared after
being arrested by the Khmers Rouges at the French embassy in
Phnom Penh in 1975.
FOCUS
Communication to the ICC on Cambodia
Since July 2002, an estimated 770,000 people have been
adversely affected by land grabbing in Cambodia. Civil
society leaders and land and environmental rights activists
have been routinely threatened, harassed, and arbitrarily
detained for campaigning against land grabbing and forced
evictions.
In 2014, FIDH assisted international human rights lawyer
Richard Rogers to prepare and submit a communication
to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International
Criminal Court (ICC). The communication, submitted to the
OTP on 7 October 2014 on behalf of Cambodia victims,
documented crimes against humanity that stemmed from
the widespread and systematic land grabbing conducted by
the Cambodian ruling elite between 2002 and 2014. These
crimes include forcible transfer of population, murder, illegal
imprisonment, other inhumane acts, and persecution. The
perpetrators of these crimes have enjoyed complete impunity.
The ICC communication demands that the OTP open a
preliminary examination into crimes against humanity
committed by Cambodia’s ruling elite. The threat of a
preliminary examination leading to the opening of an
investigation would have a significant deterrent effect on
the commission of further crimes and could spur genuine
national judicial proceedings.
The communication received widespread international
media coverage and the public support of dozens of
human rights organizations in Southeast Asia and beyond.
FIDH summarized the key findings and objectives of the
communication in a 10-page Questions & Answers pamphlet.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 73

Examples of outcomes
Where and how the FIDH had an impact
Achievements in countries
Burma
• Thaw Zin was released from prison on 26 September. Thaw Zin
is a member of the Yangon People's Support Network who campaigned to support farmers who were victims of expropriation
because of extraction activities at the Letpadaung copper mine.
He had been sentenced to 15 months in prison in March 2014.
• Kyaw Hla Aung was released from prison on 7th of October.
Kyaw Hla Aung had been detained since 15 July 2013 for organising protests against the government when it decided to register
members of the Rohingya people as Bangladeshi citizens.
• Phyu Hnin Htwe was released on 15 October. He is a political
activist and member of the All Burma Federation of Student
Unions (ABFSU), and had been detained since 13 September
2014 as a result of false accusations aimed at sanctioning him
for his work as an advocate for human rights.
Sri Lanka
• Securing the release, on 19 March, of Ruki Fernando and the
Rev. Praveen Mahesan after three days of detention without legal assistance and without formal accusations being filed. FIDH
and other organizations brought attention to their detention and
questioned the Sri Lankan authorities during the 25th session of
the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.
Vietnam
• Securing the release of Nguyen Huu Cau, who was sentenced to
life imprisonment in May 1983 for writing poems denouncing
corruption and abuse of power, accused of "harming the image
of the regime.
Achievements Internationally
Burma
• The UN Human Rights Council responded favourably to the
advocacy work conducted by the FIDH which called for the
renewal of the appointment of the Special Rapporteur on the
human rights situation in Burma.
• The adoption of a resolution (21 November 2014) by the Third
Committee of the UN GA, addressing the human rights situation
in Burma, urging the authorities to ensure equal access to full
citizenship and to humanitarian assistance for members of the
Rohingya people living in the State of Rakhine and calling for
the release of prisoners of conscience. The resolution contains
many of the points advocated by the FIDH.
North Korea
• On 18 November 2014 the third committee of the UNGA , adopted a resolution highlighting human rights violations committed

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in the DPRK and requesting the International Criminal Court
to examine the situation, as advocated by many organizations,
including FIDH.
Iran
• On 3rd of April, the European Parliament adopted a resolution
calling for the integration of human rights into all aspects of
cooperation and calling for discussions at the highest level with
regard to EU strategy on Iran. The resolution resulted from advocacy work conducted by the
​​ FIDH.
• The Third Committee of the UN GA, on 18 November 2014,
adopted a resolution that condemned widespread human rights
violations in Iran, as advocated by FIDH in collaboration with
Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
• The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a decision stating that the detention of brothers Khosro Kordpour
and Massoud Kordpour (editor and correspondent for Agence
Mukrian News, respectively), was arbitrary, and calling for their
immediate release and for the awarding of fair compensation.
Laos
• The European Union issued a declaration dated 21 May recording its concerns concerning the human rights situation in Laos,
which had been described in detail in an advocacy paper published by FIDH and its member organization in Laos. The paper
placed particular emphasis on land grabbing, forced eviction,
restrictions on the freedoms of expression, religion, assembly
and association, and on forced disappearances. Particular attention was given to the case of human rights activist Sombat
Somphone. The FIDH had conducted high-impact awareness
campaigns on Somphone’s situation.
• The European Union delegation in Vientiane issued a declaration
on 14 November that included many of the concerns expressed
by the FIDH with respect to draft legislation that would significantly restrict the activities of non-profit organizations.
Pakistan
• On 17 April, the European Parliament adopted a resolution
on recent cases of persecution in Pakistan that had been
brought to light by FIDH.The resolution aims to create greater
awareness in the international community of the sharp rise in
sectarian violence and religious intolerance against minorities
in Pakistan.
Thailand
• The European Union released a statement, on 28 May, expressing deep concerns regarding the political situation in Thailand
and calling for reestablishment of a legitimate democratic process. These concerns and recommendations had been outlined
by FIDH during a meeting with diplomatic missions in Bangkok,
which included those of EU Member States.

FIDH activities conducted in collaboration with member
and partner organizations
Fifteen (15) international missions for fact-finding, legal affairs, judicial proceedings observation and advocacy. (Malaysia,
Burma, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, The Philippines, Afghanistan and Pakistan)
340 press releases published in English and French
Judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings
- Before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, representation of 10 victims living in France and civil
parties in case No. 002.
- Before the French courts: the Ung Buon Hor case (Cambodia)
- Before the International Criminal Court: follow-up about the communication on forced displacement submitted to the
International Criminal Court.
- Before the Un Human Rights Committee: Communication on the human rights situation in Cambodia.
- Before the UN Committee against Torture: Communication on the human rights situation in Thailand.
- Before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Communications on the human rights situation in Iran, Vietnam,
Bangladesh, Burma, and Cambodia.
- Before the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances: Communications on the human rights
situation in Sri Lanka.
- Before the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: Communications
Investigation Reports / Situation
on Bangladesh and Cambodia.
Papers
- With the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture: Communications on Iran.
- With the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly and Association:
Cambodia: Deteriorating Human Rights Situation
Communications on Iran.
Calls for Urgent Action by the EU
Cambodia: Q & A: Cambodia: ICC-requested
Advocacy activities
Sixteen (16) defenders of human rights in Iran, Afghanistan, Burma, Vietnam,
preliminary examination into crimes stemming
from mass land grabbing (English), October 2014
Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and China worked to raise awareness among relevant
Burma: Recommendations for the EU-Burma
regional and international bodies and among the representatives of influential states.
Investment Relationship
India: Behind the showroom: The Hidden Reality
Strategic Seminars
of India’s Garment Workers - (English and Tamil)
Pakistan: Seminar on discrimination against religious minorities
Indonesia: No Development without Rights
Iran: Report Submitted for the Universal Periodic
Partner organisations
Review
The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK)
Laos: Report Submitted for the Universal Periodic
and the Asia Forum
Review
Japan: Prison Conditions and the Death Penalty;
Report Submitted to the UN Human Rights
Committee for ICCPR Review

Demonstration in occasion of the visit of Chine
President Xi Jinping to Brussels. Credits: FIDH

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 75

East Europe - Central
Asia
Context and challenges
The conflict in eastern Ukraine drew the international community’s attention to the region in 2014, particularly regarding the
human rights situation. Hostilities between the Ukrainian army
and armed pro-Russian separatist groups have taken over 5,000
lives and involved the violation of both international humanitarian and human rights law. Ukrainian NGOs, operating under
considerable risk, have documented indiscriminate bombing,
destruction of civilian infrastructure, kidnapping, extra-judicial
executions and acts of torture perpetrated by both armed actors
and civilians. Media censorship and war propaganda are raging
in both Russia and Ukraine. Those protesting the conflict or denouncing acts by the Russian army are arrested and detained for
treason, particularly in Russia. Ceasefire attempts have failed
and victims find themselves without any real recourse to justice.
The Ukrainian authorities have referred the crimes committed during the Maidan events, which saw 100 people killed
by thugs of the regime, to the International Criminal Court.
However, this referral was not extended to the international
crimes committed after February 2014, nor did the Ukranian
authorities ratify the Rome Statute despite the provisions of
its agreement of association signed with the European Union.
This conflict and the annexation by Russia of the Crimea, where
serious violations are being committed against the Tatar minority, are part of a Russian policy to control broad swaths of
territory of the former Soviet Union. Appealing to the nostalgic
and nationalistic sentiments of citizens to strengthen the regime
and its expansionist ambitions for economic and geostrategic
reasons, President Putin maintains de facto control of Russia in
“grey areas” such as Southern Ossetia, Transnistria and Abkhazia. These disputed territories in Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine,
Azerbaijan and Armenia, where 3.3 million people live, are
areas of lawlessness where violence can explode at any moment. This is the fragile reality of areas where the conflict
settlement process has been frozen, like in Southern Ossetia
in 2008 – a situation under preliminarily analysis by the International Criminal Court.
Over the past three years, the Russian authorities have led the
most ardent offensive against freedom since the end of the
Soviet Union. Following the contested election of President
Putin in 2012, the regime has equipped itself with a legislative arsenal to repress voices of protest. The most fundamental
rights have been called into question: the right to inform, to
demonstrate, to be in association, to assert the equality of different sexual orientations, etc. Acts of repression in the wake

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of these laws are continuous with the repeated prosecution of
opposition activists, journalists, artists and human rights defenders on absurd charges.
This system of authoritarian governance is being imitated in
many countries of the former Soviet Union to benefit family,
clan or cleptocratic parties. In Azerbaijan, which held the chairmanship of the Council of Europe in 2014, President Alyev
has ordered the imprisonment of anyone who dares criticize
his policy. In Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov has imposed a cult of personality and under the
guise of reformist policy, is amending legislation to curtail freedom of association and assembly. These same restrictions can
be seen in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrghyzstan,
where prisoners of conscience are numerous.
In Belarus, Lukashenko’s regime continues to repress civil society one year away from presidential elections. Obstruction of
freedom of association persists, whilst preventive detention is
used to avoid any protest at political and public events of importance to the authorities. On 21 June, Ales Bialiatski, president of HRC Viasna and FIDH vice-president, was released
from prison after almost 3 years of detention. Other political
prisoners, however, continue to languish behind bars.
Faced with ever greater obstacles to documenting human
rights violations in many countries of Eastern Europe and
Central Asia, independent NGOs need training and to share
their experiences of what to do to ensure that their actions are
safe and to carry out advocacy work within international and
regional intergovernmental bodies to express their concerns
and recommendations.

FIDH and its member organizations in action
Fact-finding and responsibility
FIDH and its member organizations collected information on
human rights violations in the region throughout 2014. Almost
200 press releases, open or closed letters and urgent appeals
from the Observatory for the protection of human rights defenders were disseminated over the year. These materials have
decried violations of international humanitarian law, authoritarian laws and practices that curtail freedoms, and failures to
apply democratic principles, as well as impunity for perpetrators of serious crimes.
FIDH sought to capitalize on the spotlighting of Russia by the
winter Olympic Games held in Sochi in February to provide
concrete information on the extremely precarious human rights
situation in that country. In January, FIDH published its report:
“2012-2013: the offensive on freedoms”, which highlights the
alarming legal arsenal for rights violations instituted by Putin’s
regime since his reelection in 2012. The investigation shows

many laws which have been passed or amended to facilitate repression of protest, calling into question the most fundamental
rights, such as those to inform, demonstrate, associate, assert
the equality of different sexual orientations, etc.
This report was published at the same time as the report of
the International Commission for the Investigation of violence
committed at the “March of millions” on 6 May 2012 (mobilization of the opposition on the eve of Putin’s inauguration). This Commission was mandated by several international
NGOs, such as the FIDH, and is composed of international
experts. It studied over 200 documents and almost 50 hours
of video footage, finding that “agents provocateurs” were present at the demonstration inciting demonstrators to violence
against law-enforcement officers and that police were engaging
in unprofessional conduct. The report highlights the impunity
enjoyed by law-enforcement officers in spite of complaints filed
by demonstrators, as well as the political nature of the proceedings and trials against demonstrators themselves.
Finally, several NGOs, including FIDH, presented portraits of
journalists, artists, teachers, environmental activists or simple
Russian demonstrators who paid dearly for their commitment
to democracy with their freedom and safety. Theses portraits,
presented in the on-line newspaper Mediapart, will be compiled
into a publication entitled “The Other Voice of Russia” in 2015.
FOCUS
FIDH returns media attention to the forgotten situation
of disputed territories in Eastern Europe
The illegal annexation of the Crimea by Russia and the conflict in eastern Ukraine have spotlighted a little known and
potentially explosive phenomenon: Eastern Europe’s many
disputed territorial entities. These situations risk degenerating at any time into open crisis or conflict characterized by
serious human rights violations.
FIDH has continued to document and alert the international
community about this long-neglected issue. In April, it organized a workshop in Istanbul bringing together member
organizations and partners concerned by these entities and
international experts in order to assess the human rights situation in these different regions (Transnistria, Southern Ossetia,
Abkhazia, Crimea and Upper Karabakh). The report resulting
from this workshop shows the main trends of human rights
violations committed in these territories. Such abuses include
violations of the rights to life, citizenship, a decent standard
of living, property, health and education, freedom of expression and association, and freedom from arbitrary detention,
torture and abuse by security services, as well as deplorable
prison conditions. The report emphasizes the lack of recourse
for victims of such violations and the indifference of the international community to these situations, which constitute
a real time bomb for the region.

In 2014, FIDH was informed by its member organization HRC
Viasna that in Belarus activists are placed in preventive detention just before significant public events in order to suppress
any form of protest. It therefore carried out an international
investigative mission on this issue immediately following the
World Hockey Championships, which were held in Minsk in
the month of May. The report from this mission was published
in September and details 37 cases of activists arrested and detained on the occasion of this championship. It further assessed
the non-conformity of legislation used by the authorities to
engage in these acts with Belarus’ international human rights
obligations.
Moreover, to meet the needs of Belorussian partners regarding
their specific human rights protection program, FIDH, with the
support of the association TRACES, organized several training sessions for 18 defenders on the psychological aspects of
gathering testimonies from victims. Having been victims of
repression themselves, gathering victim testimonies can be a
traumatic process for defenders, as well as those being interviewed. The training, provided in the form of psychological
clinics, enabled Belorussian NGO representatives to refine their
skills in this regard whilst also opening up to psychologists
about their own difficulties in the process.
Furthermore, faced with a wave of arrests orchestrated by the
authorities against defenders in Azerbaijan, FIDH went there
to analyze the legal and political basis of this severe repression
and express its solidarity with detainees and their families, calling upon the authorities to release them.
Focus
Pushing to bring perpetrators of crimes in Maidan, the
Donbass and the Crimea to justice
FIDH and its partner organization, Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), have spared no effort to document and alert on
the most serious crimes committed in the Ukraine. FIDH
and CCL have covered abuses during the suppression of the
Maidan demonstrations from November 2013 to February
2014, the annexation of the Crimea by Russia and crimes
committed in eastern Ukraine during the conflict between
the army and pro-Russian separatist groups. This work has
focused mainly on the legal qualification of crimes committed, identifying perpetrators and assessing the fight against
impunity.
The arrival of CCL’s director in Paris and in The Hague
mid-March made it possible to alert the French authorities
and International Criminal Court (ICC) representatives of the
nature of the crimes committed to repress demonstrations at
Maidan and in the Crimea.
Following an ad-hoc referral by the Ukrainian State to the
ICC concerning the Maidan events, FIDH organized a mission to Ukraine in June. This mission highlighted the total

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 77

lack of judicial response to serious crimes committed in the
country, advocating for the ratification of ICC’s Rome Statute, as well as the expansion of the referral to cover the situation in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine to parliamentarians
and the government.
In August, FIDH and the CCL also published a position note
denouncing serious violations of international humanitarian
and human rights law in the first months of the conflict in
the Donbass. These included firing at non-military targets,
kidnapping and torture, obstruction to freedom of information, violations of minority rights.
Furthermore, FIDH experts participated in several training
seminars to show Ukrainian NGOs how to document international crimes and how the ICC functions. One expert was
deployed to Kiev for several weeks in October to support
an NGO coalition (including CCL) in drafting a document
to further the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor’s preliminary
analysis. This letter was sent to the Court in early 2015 in
accordance with Article 15 of the Rome Statute. It details the
magnitude of the crimes committed during the repression of
Maidan and is based on numerous testimonies and material
evidence. FIDH and the CCL are preparing a further report
of an in-depth investigation on the most egregious crimes
committed in eastern Ukraine with a view to further submission to the ICC.
FIDH also invited a representative of the CCL to participate
in the Assembly of States Parties at the ICC, which was held
in New York in December to assess the situation in Ukraine.
The CCL was thereby able to present its analysis of the total
lack of will and capacity of the Ukrainian authorities to fight
impunity for the most serious crimes.
FIDH has continued to highlight the responsibility of States in the
region for human rights violations using firm material evidence. It
has followed up its submission to the United Nations Human Rights
Committee concerning the torture of Uzbek human rights defender,
Mutabar, by the national authorities. This same Committee also took
an important decision in the case of FIDH vice-president and HRC
Viasna president, Ales Bialiatski, confirming Belarus’ violation of
the right to freedom of association and the arbitrary nature of his
arrest, as well as requesting the State to grant him compensation and
register Viasna as a legal association.
Rallying national authorities and the international community to take concrete measures to protect human rights
Basing itself on alerts and investigation reports, FIDH carried out
much advocacy work in 2014 to push governments from the region
to take concrete measures to protect human rights.
Throughout the year, FIDH has sought to move public opinion
and the international community on the human rights situation
in Russia. Its investigation report provides detailed information
on the repressive legal arsenal now being deployed against civil

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liberties in the country and has been sent to intergovernmental
organization representatives, United Nations Human Rights
Council special procedure bodies, influential third-party States
and journalists. Many interviews were given to the Russian and
international media during the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
FIDH and its member organization, ADC Memorial, contributed
to a Human Rights Committee pre-session to draw up a list of
questions for consideration of Russia’s state report slated for 2015.
A specific interface was organized in April with representatives
of ADC Memorial in Brussels to heighten the awareness of the
European authorities as regards repression of independent Russian
associations. A parallel event was also organized during a Human
Rights Council session in September on the situation of freedoms
in the country.
FIDH also arranged for Dinara Yunus, daughter of an arbitrarily detained Azerbaijani human rights defender, to come to Paris
to sensitize the French authorities, who maintain important diplomatic and economic ties with Azerbaijan, to the human rights
situation in the country and in particular the situation of defenders.
FOCUS
FIDH steps up international pressure on Belarus
The Belorussian authorities refuse to have any interaction
with national and international human rights NGOs. Within
the framework of a specific program, FIDH therefore supported its member organization, Viasna, and several partner
organizations to create multiple forms of advocacy with public opinion and the international community with a view to
informing them on the human rights situation in the country
and to force the authorities to make some headway in this
area.
A broad communication campaign was conducted throughout
2014 to denounce human rights violations in the country.
Such violations included the detention of political prisoners,
such as Ales Bialiatski. FIDH therefore produced 15 press
releases, fed a dedicated website freeales.fidh.net and ran
the #ForFreedom campaign, posting a wealth of information
on Belorussian- and Russian-speaking social networks, and
broadcasting cartoon videos to raise public awareness during
the World Ice Hockey Championships.
Moreover, FIDH and HRC Viasna organized a round table
on the human rights situation in Belarus during the March
session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Here,
they advocated for the renewal of the mandate of the UN
Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus.
Several interfaces were organized in March, April and May in
Brussels with the European Union, namely within the context
of the Conclusions of the Council of the EU on sanctions
against Belarus. Regular contact has been maintained with
bodies of the Council of Europe and meetings were also held
with representatives of the French and Swedish authorities.

All theses efforts largely contributed to the release of Ales
Bialiatski in June, one year prior to the end of his prison sentence, after 1,052 days of detention in very harsh conditions.
Barely out of jail, Ales Bialiatski himself took the initiative
to go on an advocacy tour in September to the European
Union, the Council of Europe, and the French authorities,
including the Mayor of Paris, to thank them for their support
and to appeal to them to commit more than ever to protecting
human rights in Belarus. Finally, a panel on the human rights
situation in that country was organized in New York during
the UN General Assembly in October.
In 2014, the European Union remained an important target for
advocacy on this region. Meetings concerning dialogue on human
rights between the EU and Uzbekistan, as well as with Armenia,
were an opportunity for FIDH and its member organizations to inform EU bodies about the situation in these countries and propose
concrete avenues for action to enhance respect for human rights.
The annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is also a good opportunity to alert this organization
to the human rights situation in its member States and to make
representatives of States aware of cases of rights violations. This
year, FIDH invited several representatives of its member organiza-

tions to participate in this meeting and organized different panels,
including on the human rights situation in Belarus, on human
rights in disputed territories in Eastern Europe and on the situation
of human rights defenders in the region.
Lastly, several UN milestones have provided advocacy occasions
such as the Universal Periodic Review of Uzbekistan and the review of Kazakhstan by the Committee against torture.
Examples of outcomes
FIDH made it possible or contributed to
At the national level
Ukraine 
• Request by the Ukrainian Parliament to the ICC to investigate
the crimes committed in the Donbass.
Belarus
• The release of FIDH vice-president and HRC Viasna president,
Ales Bialiatski, one year prior to the end of his prison sentence on
a political conviction.
• Adoption of a reform (26 June) concerning centers of detention and
forced labor for individuals dependent on drugs or alcohol, “humanizing” conditions and reducing the duration of detention.

Demonstration against the law on Traffic Circulation and Obstruction of Roads (Guatemala). © Newspaper La Hora de Guatemala

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 79

Uzbekistan
• Cancellation of meetings scheduled between Uzbek president,
Islam Karimov, and Czech ministers leading to the indefinite
postponement of his visit to the Czech Republic following
strong public mobilization by human rights organizations, including FIDH.
At the regional and international levels
Azerbaijan
• Adoption of the opinion of the United Nations Working Group
on arbitrary detention concluding that “the accusations of treason and incitement to hatred and to national, racial, social and
religious hostility based on the legitimate exercising by M. Mammadov of the right to freedom of expression […]”, and requesting his immediate release with compensation. M. Mammadov,
a defender of the rights of the Talysh ethnic minority and editor
in chief of the newspaper Tolishi-Sado (the voice of Talysh),
was arrested on 21 June 2012 and sentenced to five years in
jail after an unfair trial. His case was presented to the Working
Group by FIDH.
• Adoption by the European Parliament (18 September) of a resolution condemning the persecution of human rights defenders
in Azerbaijan. This resolution draws on several individual cases
compiled by FIDH, namely those of Leyla Yunus, Rasul Jafarov
and Intigam Aliyev, for whom FIDH is requesting “immediate
and unconditional release”.

Belarus
• Adoption on 16 May 2014 by the European Union external
action Service of a declaration condemning the detention of activists prior to the World Ice Hockey Championship in Minsk.
• The decision (24 September) of the Human Rights Committee, referred by both the FIDH and the wife of Ales Bialiatski,
qualifying his detention as arbitrary. The Committee recognized
the violation by the Belorussian authorities of the right to freedom and security of the person, the right to justice, the right to
a fair and equitable trial and the right to freedom of association.
The Committee asked the authorities to review the request to
register “Viasna” officially, to expunge the criminal record of
Ales Bialiatski and to give him appropriate compensation.
• Renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus
Eastern Europe
• A hearing before the European Parliament was granted to FIDH
to present recommendations from its report on human rights violations in the disputed territories of Eastern Europe. The intervention of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for
Foreign Affairs, which evoked "the importance of intensifying
efforts" in Transnistria during an interview with the Prime Minister of Moldova, in the wake of advocacy meetings organized
by FIDH, attests to an increase in interest in this matter.

Extracts of animated films #NotOk produced at the occasion of the Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus.

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FIDH in interaction with member and partner organizations
4 international investigation and judicial observation missions: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine
165 press releases – RU/ANG/FR
Judicial and quasi-judicial:
- Before the Human Rights Committee: Uzbekistan and Belarus
Support for the advocacy of 17 defenders (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova) among IGO,
relevant regional and international mechanisms and influential State representatives
Strategic seminar:
Eastern Europe: seminar on human rights violations in disputed territories and
recourse mechanisms
Partner: Civil Rights Defenders; Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Human Rights
House FoundationRights House Foundation

Investigation Reports
Belarus: Arbitrary preventive detention of activists
in Belarus
Region: Disputed territories Eastern Europe: Human
Rights Sacrificed
Russia: 2012-2013: Attack on Freedom

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 81

82 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Following on from 2013, and more specifically after the FIDH Congress – an important step on the road to fulfilling these two sub-objectives – the
year 2014 was devoted to intensifying the work done by our member and partner organisations around the world. The consolidation of FIDH’s
network remains a high priority. In this regard, last November FIDH’s International Bureau accepted the membership application of the Mouvement
démocratique des femmes marocaines (Democratic Movement of Moroccan Women), thereby confirming a partnership that had started over a
decade ago. The "Mouvement" is known throughout the region for its commitment to women’s rights.

- Strengthen the participation of the three pillars in the Further experience was gained in integrating activities, e.g. combining the three pillars. This was particuarly achieved through the launch of the
communication activities of FIDH and its member Observatory Annual Report; the 25th anniversary of CEDAW; actions involved in obtaining the release of arbitrarily detained defenders, such as
organisations and to facilitate the flow of information Nabeel Rajab; the 4th anniversary of the Syrian uprising; and the January 2015 terrorist attacks in France.
between them

B. Institutional communication

- Increase opportunities for sharing strategies among FIDH organised 25 strategy sharing seminars for leagues, experts, and members of both the IB and the IS. These seminars were designed and
member organisations and within FIDH political organised together with the leagues and can be held at both national or regional levels. For example, FIDH and the Human Rights Commission
bodies
of Pakistan held a workshop last January in Karachi on violence and discrimination against religious minorities. The inclusion of participants from
member organisations in Palestine, the Philippines and Indonesia afforded the seminar an opportunity to compare experiences and make tangible
recommendations on ways to fight discrimination.
The IB meetings held since the last FIDH Congress have regularly included one or more sessions entirely focused on strategy sharing. Strategic
challenges discussed included: land rights defenders and the environment (meeting held prior to the finalisation of the Observatory Annual Report
on this theme), the activities of the DAESH group, as well as organisational development issues, e.g. sessions on Twitter strategy and fundraising. The November IB was held in Morocco, and coincided with the publication of FIDH’s fact-finding report on the state of justice. This was
an opportunity for IB members to show support for and solidarity with the Moroccan associations, to make joint recommendations to the national
authorities, and to share their experiences with civil society representatives at a session on economic and social rights.

- Strengthen international representation of FIDH
governing bodies and member and partner leagues

- Explain and formalise the role of these three entities The process of explaining and formalising the role of these three entities was completed with the adoption of FIDH’s new Statutes at the the FIDH
(leagues, IB, IS) and their relationships with each Congress in May 2013 and the introduction of tools to facilitate regular interaction between member organisations, the International Bureau and
other
the International Secretariat.
In 2014, the emphasis was on increasing strategy sharing among these three entities (see below).

A. Governance

I. Stronger Leagues – International
Bureau – International Secretariat interaction

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

FIDH ORGANISATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 83

FIDH continued to implement bilateral action programmes (FIDH – member organisations) in Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Belarus, Libya (concerning
the Amesys case) and Syria. Through these programmes, a variety of flexible actions can be developed to increase daily cooperation with member
organisations and increase the effectiveness of potential activities (share offices, recruit local staff and/or consultants assigned to implement joint
actions, provide material support to specific leagues and develop shared judicial actions).
In 2014, FIDH developed a new programme in Burma.
This year FIDH is considering the possibility of expanding this type of project to the CAR, Tunisia, Mexico and Palestine.

The following constitute some of the actions carried out under this priority in 2014:
110 meetings were held for delegations with the UN, EU, AU, ACHPR, ICHR, Arab League and ICC bodies.
Thanks to its presence in Tunis, FIDH was able to respond as quickly as possible to the needs and expectations of the civil society in the region:
legal support for a woman raped by policemen, seminars on harmonising legislation with the provisions of the Constitution, seminars on combating
violence against women, a regional seminar on best practices to combat violence against women, and the publication of briefs and press releases
in response to human rights violations.

The development of our organisation;
In 2014, FIDH had four delegations (to the UN in Geneva and New York; to the EU in Brussels and to the ICC in The Hague). FIDH continued to
develop its local offices (Tunis and Bangkok). For strategic and security reasons FIDH decided to close its offices in Cairo and Nairobi and to
open an office in South Africa with the intention of developing its work with member organisations in this region, and to continue mobilising AU
bodies and the African authorities. The office will be located at the premises of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, an FIDH member, and
will be inaugurated in 2015. FIDH has also established a joint office with MIDH and LIDHO, its member organisations in Abidjan, according to
plans and an arrangement similar to those concluded with OGDH in Conakry and AMDH in Bamako. Permanent interaction has been established
between the delegations, the local offices and the selected leagues.

- Strengthen planning and evaluation processes to
ease the flow of activities, make them more effective
and less time consuming, and prioritise in an effort to
increase the impact of activities

A. Prioritisation and evaluation

II. Consolidate the International Secretariat

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

FIDH processes have been updated, especially since a change of staff in the Operations Department. Not only have Heads of Department
been giving greater attention to prioritisation, but it was decided they should also have more responsibility. Furthermore, at the beginning of the
financial year, a meeting was held with general management to develop each desk’s annual work plan, followed by another meeting for budget
forecasting. Difficult arbitration issues are submitted once a month to the President's priority meeting and, if necessary, are submitted to the
projects’ “custodians” on the Executive Bureau and the International Bureau.

- Continue providing support for leagues and local For instance, 62 international missions were carried out with FIDH member leagues, 60 cases of material assistance to defenders and NGOs,
partners in risky situations (field missions, material 240 urgent appeals from the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
assistance, help with secure data storage, etc.)

- Strengthen active partnerships with the leagues
through, for example, joint programmes carried out
during the last few years with Haiti and Guinea, as
well as strengthen connections with the regional
networks.

- Increase interactions of the local offices (Nairobi,
Cairo and Bangkok) and the delegations (New York,
Geneva, Brussels, The Hague) with the leagues
concerned

C. Operational component

84 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

- Continue the improvement of working conditions

- Continue to explore other financial and non-financial
staff recognition tools for the IS

- Continue to improve salaries

Three FIDH offices were moved: New York, The Hague and Tunis. As mentioned above, we closed our offices in Cairo
and Nairobi and are preparing to open an office together with our South African member league in Pretoria.

Additions were made to staff through the recruitment of:
- a senior accounting officer,
- a digital communications officer, and
- a programme officer for North Africa and the Middle East.

As part of its policy on staff support and recognition, FIDH developed its internal mobility and advancement policy,
which was applied to expand the FIDH team in New York in 2014.

As part of the training plan developed over two years (2014-2015), a priority this year (in connection with the
decision to develop digital communications at FIDH) was to train staff to use Twitter. Depending on its
needs and capabilities, in 2015, FIDH will focus on three goal-oriented developments:
- training the teams in management and accounting skills;
- better use and uptake of communication tools and information technology;
- support and development of linguistic capacities.

The new remuneration table came into effect in January 2014. The table contains enlarged sections to allow for more horizontal
advancement.

Salary adjustment policy:
Based on the above information and FIDH's financial situation, FIDH was able to continue implementing its salary adjustment
policy with an average salary increase of 5.8% in 2014.

- Explain roles, responsibilities and procedures at the This year, human resources management procedures were completed, updated and presented in a manual:
IS
- job descriptions were circulated and included in the annual evaluation process;
- a new classification scale for FIDH positions and responsibilities took effect on 1 January 2015;
- individual evaluation tools and processes were revised to more thoroughly analyse the work performed by staff and
their results;
- a new version of the Internal Regulations for FIDH’s head office was prepared and became effective in June 2014;
- a chart on the use of computerised, electronic and digital resources was drawn up;
- a think tank was held on security and risk prevention tools. A list of risks (and how to prevent them) was drawn up for the
IS and a diagram of overall risks to FIDH, including to the IS was adopted by the IB in November.
The new payroll entered into force in January 2014. It is composed of broad salary ranges to allow for more horizontal advancement.

B. Improvement of working conditions and work
implementation

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 85

- Make FIDH identity visible and legible, especially by
studying its name and signature

A. Strengthen institutional communication

III. Strengthen capacity to mobilise the public

C. Specialisation and external recruitement

- Further develop FIDH internationalisation

-
C ontinue developing staff training and the
implementation of FIDH’s gender equality policy

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

The FIDH acronym and its signature heading Mouvement mondial des droits humains/Worldwide Human Rights Movement have now
been adopted in-house.
The international campaign #ForFreedom carried out to obtain the release of arbitrarily detained defenders around the world, has given FIDH a recognisable
identity on a concrete subject that can easily be adopted by member organisations. Similarly, an increase in the number of tools that give FIDH greater visibility
during highly publiziced events such as the Sochi Games and the World Ice Hockey Championship in Belarus, or those developed for the 35th anniversary of
CEDAW have all been opportunities to re-affirm the identity of FIDH, especially via the social networks. A new promotional film on justice, reconstructed into
visuals for social networks and the written press, will be ready in 2015. The circulation of this film should contribute to enhancing the image and identity of FIDH.
Furthermore, the recruitment in 2014 of a communications officer for Latin America, and the support of FIDH Spanish language translators, have made
it possible to provide communications in Spanish on a regular basis. All these activities are carried out in at least the three main FIDH languages of
English, French and Spanish.

Fifteen nationalities were represented on FIDH’s staff in 2014, the same as in 2013.

FIDH ensures equal treatment of women and men concerning wages, career opportunities and recruitment.

At the end of 2014, the IS staff was composed of 65% women and 35% men.

86 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

The “Impacts” list on the website allows for real-time transmission of FIDH outcomes and progress, as well as retransmissions through the media.
This list is now published in four languages, following the addition of Arabic to the English, French and Spanish versions in 2014. The main “Impacts”
are regularly repositioned on social networks.
The 4th edition of the comic strip version of FIDH’s Annual Report now has a unique dimension due to the CharlieHebdo attacks in France. The FIDH
comic strip version of the report has been published in several languages, and is again this year
being produced together with the “Cartooning for Peace” association created by the famous French designer, Plantu, whose notoriety has boosted
circulation figures and attracted bigger audiences for FIDH. All languages taken together there have seen close to 2,000 visitors to fidh.org. 1,641,000
people were reached through Facebook, with over 233,000 commitments and over 201,000 people reached and over 38 285 commitments Impacts
are also published in FIDH Newsletters, including in the Spanish version created in 2014. This has meant that the Newsletter is now published in 3
languages and has close to 30,000 subscribers. Eleven issues of the Newsletter were sent out in three languages in 2014.

- Further develop the presence of FIDH in the English, The year 2014 was marked by a determination to optimise the coverage of FIDH reports in the media around the world and in all languages, with
Arab, and Spanish language media
special attention given to English, Spanish and Arabic.
Whilst the number of retransmissions decreased in 2014 to 13,122 (from 19,949 in 2013), the principle aim of the strategy was to emphasize quality
rather than quantity, in order to obtain more in-depth coverage. This strategy has proved successful, with FIDH having raised its visibility and become
better understood. This required a change in media relations, including through making best use of media deadlines, proposing subjects to the media
well in advance of events, and giving preference to exclusive offers. FIDH has increased the number of highly relevant operations, resulting in excellent
media coverage, e.g. over 100 articles were written on the report “Downgrading Rights: the Cost of Austerity in Greece”, some of which were in-depth
articles in highly reputable publications such as Mediapart (France), Die Welt (Germany), La Vanguardia (Spain), etc. In addition, over 100 articles
were written on the Annual Report of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, called “We are not Afraid!” Some were in-depth
articles in prestigious publications such as Le Monde (France), El Pais (Espagne), etc.
The number of FIDH’s press releases increased from 611 in 2013. to 674 in 2014. The number of press releases that were translated into Spanish also
increased, thus contributing to our efforts to consolidate our presence in South America.
The 2013 training session on “how to draft press releases” was re-offered to our staff in 2014. FIDH invested heavily in its press service in 2014 in
order to spread and clarify the contents of its press releases and to make them more readily accessible to journalists. This focus will continue in 2015
and pertinent IS members will be trained in drafting press releases in English.
Maintaining relations with the press services of our member organisations remains a priority, especially during important events, enabling us to hold
joint press conferences, relay information through their websites and social networks, and receive media coverage at the local level.

B. Strengthen communication with the media

- Develop tools for FIDH and its activities that can The creation of digital communications and the many visibility-enhancing tools for social networks represent a new phase in our relationship with
easily be used by member organisations
member organisations, enabling FIDH to offer and share communication tools for ad hoc use not only in their own situations, but when collaborating
with others. This is the case for instance for the #ForFreedom and Free Syria's Silenced Voice campaigns, as well as the digital version of the
Observatory’s Annual Report.

- Publicize the results and impacts of FIDH actions

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 87

- Maximise the dissemination of this output on the web All videos can be viewed on YouTube and on FIDH’s website. Social networks regularly use them, which significantly boosts audience figures (see
and social networks, and through partnerships with section on digital communications).
select media
In 2015, priority will be on partnering with media, e.g. for the film on Cambodia.

- Continue to make FIDH audiovisual outputs more Forty-four testimonies and interviews of human rights defenders were conducted in 2014.
professional.
Case no. 2 is a 30 minute documentary on the trial of Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
with sub-titles in French, English, Spanish and Khmer. It was first released on the sites of the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia, Mediapart, France 24,
and Elkle in France and Animal Politico in Mexico. This film is also used for advocacy and discussions with the member organisations.
Lastly, 13 videos were produced to communicate on the social networks and for FIDH’s annual gala dinner.

D. Develop and enhance audiovisual outputs

- Professionalise the website by strengthening the The increasing presence of FIDH on social networks in 2014 led to a greater distribution of FIDH messages through Facebook and, especially Twitter.
editorial strategy and adapting the strategy on This unquestionably had repercussions for FIDH site visits, which registered a total of 532,511 hits.
multilingualism.
The number of articles published in Spanish doubled in 2014 (408 articles from 198 in 2013). This was particularly thanks to efforts by our communications
officer for Latin America to have them translated and to the person handling FIDH translations into Spanish who has built up a remarkabe network of
volunteer translators. The number of publications in Spanish (475 in 2014 from 496 in 2013) is almost the same as the number in French. Figures for
articles published in English: 830 in 2014, and 680 in 2013.
Lastly, in 2014, consideration was given to having a graphic facelift and optimising the website, as well as to identifying stakes, challenges and improvements
needed. An agency with whom to work was identified and the process commenced. The new version of the site is expected to be up in July 2015.

- Capitalise the presence of FIDH on web-based social The recruitment of a digital communications officer has enabled FIDH to increase its digital communications work.
networks, especially Twitter, in the working languages In June 2014, a strategy and an action plan were proposed that allowed for the adaptation of the specific objectives. Two new sites were developed
of FIDH and its leagues by adopting the most suitable (#ForFreedom and Free Syria's Silenced Voices). Priority was given to the creation
tools: web applications, blogs, website, wiki, and by and professionalisation of visuals for the social network rather than prioritising blogs or wikis, which are considered less
training the staff on how to use these tools.
effective. All IS members expressed the need received training on using Twitter. The first impacts of this action plan have been considerable on social
networks.
FIDH’s Facebook page has shot up from 18,396 fans in 2013 to 66,896 fans in 2014 – an increase of 267%.
This increase has seen FIDH’s 276 Facebook posts reached close to 15 million people. Over 500,000 people engage with these posts.
Special attention has been given to Twitter. The strategy is organised around four multilingual accounts (English, Arabic, Spanish,
and French) certified by Twitter, and an ecosystem of Twitter accounts (11 accounts for members of the FIDH International Bureau, 25 FIDH staff
accounts, 106 FIDH member organisation accounts). By the end of 2014, FIDH’s 4 institutional
Twitter accounts had 34,669 subscribed – 102% increase over June 2014. In 2014, FIDH’s 3,549 tweets reached over 5 million people and were
retweeted over 20,800 times.
FIDH’s Linkedin page, which was created as the showcase for FIDH on this crucial network, had 350 subscribers in 2014. It is
both a dissemination platform and an important channel for sharing job offers.
The #ForFreedom campaign urges web-users to help secure the release of 34 human rights defenders by calling upon over 40 targeted decisionmakers. The campaign site was launched in March 2014 and has been visited 26,654 times. The #ForFreedom hashtag has been used close to 10,000
times. Five defenders were released in 2014. This campaign will continue in 2015, with the
regular addition of other defenders and monthly highlights. The first FIDH digital publication was the Observatory Annual Report. The publication site
received over 11,700 in just three months. Over this same period, the report was disseminated widely through social networks, reaching more than 1.3
million people on Facebook and 600,000 on Twitter. The #NotOk campaign that was launched in connection with the World Hockey Championship in
Belarus provided an opportunity to denounce human rights violations and the repression of human rights defenders in Belarus. Three animation films
in Russian and English on forced labour, capital punishment and freedom of expression were posted on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. They were
viewed 16,106 times in English and 15,484 times in Russian, generating 1,365 interactions in English and 1,040 in Russian.
Free Syria's Silenced Voices was launched in March 2014 when FIDH, partnering with five human rights organisations, demanded the release of
activists detained by the regime or abducted by armed groups. This web platform documented 58 cases in 2014 and received more than 34,000 visits.

C. Strengthen and utilize web-based
communication channels

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

88 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Plans to change the membership dues system will be implemented in 2015 on the basis of the experience in 2014 using the current system.

- Overhaul the membership dues system

- Develop special events to identify and contact
large donors who might support FIDH activities and
convert these contacts into FIDH donors

The gala dinner is still the main event of the year in this respect. It was decided to investigate the possibility of repositioning and developing it for 2015.
Although the event in Tunis that marked the opening of the FIDH-Tunisia office was a great success, considering the number and prestige of the
participants, it did not immediately bring in any new donors.
An event will be organised in Pretoria to mark the inauguration of the FIDH office and will provide an opportunity to develop new contacts.

- Increase resources to interact with these donors Both the institutional fund-raising team and the communication team were strengthened in 2014.
(including prospecting, support for presentations
of projects and reports, maintain high quality
relationships)

B. Strengthen fundraising aiming mainly at
large private and institutional donors, and
“internationalise” fund-raising

FIDH has continued implementing its bilateral action programmes (FIDH with member organisations) in Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Belarus, Libya (on the
Amesys case) and Syria. These programmes enable development of the flexible and varied means of action needed to strengthen daily cooperation
with member organisations. They also allow the activities being planned (such as establishment of joint offices, recruitment of staff or local consultants
joint actions, material support for particular members, development of common legal actions) to be more effective.
In 2014 FIDH developed a new programme in Burma and
in 2015, FIDH is considering expanding this type of project in CAR, Tunisia, Mexico and Palestine.

- Support the development of bilateral programmes
with members

A. Strengthen interaction with members

IV. Develop Financial Resources

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 89

The quality of the relations with public partners improved also thanks to increased exchanges and were all the more appreciated considering the
current financial challenges faced by many States.

FIDH’s selection as a beneficiary of the Ford Foundation initiative, which sought to strengthen the international human rights movement in 2013,
contributed to strengthening relationships with the main donors working in the human rights sector. In 2014, FIDH management staff participated
in the strategic retreat that Ford organised in Morocco. A large number of private institutional donors also participated. FIDH was able to develop
relationships with major donors through discussions on strategic issues, as FIDH was consulted on the future development of the strategic plans of
some of these donors.

FIDH developed new partnerships with donors such as GIZ and the Promotional Fund of Turkey. In 2014, the main institutional donors were the
governments of Sweden (SIDA), France, Norway, and Finland, and the European Commission. The main private donors were the Libertés and Solidarité
fund, the Ford Foundation, the Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Open Society Foundation. The 10 top donors contributed 60% of FIDH’s resources; 36%
of the funds received were not earmarked.

In 2014 FIDH was able to consolidate its resources and diversify its funding sources. Contracts with public and private donors in 2014 provided revenue
of 9 million euros. Expenditure in financial year 2014 was €7,018,888, 3.7% higher than in 2013.

Besides Newsletters and Impacts, the new layout of the website will improve communications, making the site more attractive to donors.
Furthermore, Newsletter is being developed in 2015 in a way that makes it possible to produce a special edition for present and prospective donors.

D. Think more deeply about FIDH as a service
provider

This idea emerged in 2014 when thinking about renewing relations with Groupe Carrefour for 2015. The possibility of developing these services has
not yet materialised.

- The organisaton of an annual donor meeting will be This meeting will be held in mid-2015. In the interim, the main institutional and private donors have regularly been invited to IB meetings. Four of the
tested and will focus on the new multi-year stretegic main donors have been in contact with IB and IS members in 2014.
plan

- Develop partnership with donors interested in creating
or intensifying a longlasting high quality relationship
with FIDH (multi-year support, operations funding,
or in connection with the institutional development
of FIDH)

C. Strengthen partnership with certain strategic
donors

- Develop communication tools that highlight FIDH
achievements, to encourage and retain current
donors and capture prospective donors

OVERALL OBJECTIVES
AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

Financial Report 2014
EXpenses

6,7%

13,4%

1,3%
0,5%

euro

6,7 % Supporting human rights defenders

9,2%

456 648

1,3 % Promoting women's rights

5,7%

90 538

0,5 % Promoting migrants' rights

37 130

9,2 % Promoting effective justice systems that respect human rights

5,2%

639 471

5,2 % Strenghtening respect for human rights in the context

6,0%

of globalisation

363 044

32,8 % Defending democratic principles and supporting victims of the most serious
violations in situations of conflict, closed countries or States in transition
2 276 895
19,2 % To reinforce FIDH network
19,2%

32,8%

INCOME

1 331 870

6,0 % To reinforce external mobilisation capacity

419 846

5,7 % Logistic costs for actions

398 269

13,4 % Fundraising and administrative costs (incl.1,1 % provisions)
5,5%

0,6% 2,5%

928 475

Total Expenses* : 6 942 186 

55,8%

euro 

2,5 % Membership fees and contributions

170 032

55,8 % Earmarked grants

3 918 774

35,6 % Non-earmarked grants

2 500 340

5,5 % Reversal of provisions and other income
0,6 % Financial and extraordinary income

35,6%

385 730
44 012
Total Income* : 7 018 888

* excluding dedicated funds

FINANCIal RePORT 2013
EXpenses
3,1%
0,7%
4,1%

5,3%
5,6%

euro

10,3%

11,3%

3,1%

10,3 % Supporting human rights defenders

667 848

3,1 % Promoting women’s rights

197 776

0,7 % Promoting migrants’ rights

44 963

4,1 % Promoting effective justice systems that respect human rights

264 737

3,1 % Strenghtening respect for human rights in the context of globalisation 201 803

26,1%

INCOME

30,4%

30,4 % Defending democratic principles and supporting victims
of the most serious violations in situations of conflict,
closed countries or States in transition

1 966 456

26,1 % To reinforce FIDH network

1 690 998

5,6 % To reinforce external mobilisation capacity

363 192

5,3 % Logistic costs for actions

344 526

11,3 % Fundraising and administrative costs (incl. 1,6 % provisions)
6,0%

0,3%

3,3%

725 171

Total Expenses* : 6 467 470 

60,7%
29,7%

euro 

3,3 % Membership fees and contributions

221 661

60,7 % Earmarked grants and donations

4 104 875

29,7 % Non-earmarked grants and donations

2 011 248

6,0 % Reversal of provisions and other income
0,3 % Financial and extraordinary income

410 394
18 792
Total Income* : 6 766 970

NB: The audited annual accounts are available and can be consulted on FIDH's website : www.fidh.org
90 — F I D H A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4

Acknowledgements
FIDH would like to thank the institutions, foundations and corporations that support its actions, in particular:

International and national
institutions

Foundation, associations and
other institutions

The European Commission, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Finland, SIDA, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of France, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of Denmark, Irishaid, BMZ, GIZ, Turkish
Promotional Fund, Mairie de Paris,
Parliamentary Funds from the French
Senat and National Assembly, Organisation
Internationale de la Francophonie,
UNVFVT, French Embassy in Central
African Republic.

Ford Fondation, Sigrid Rausing Trust,
Open Society Foundations, Bread for the
World, Oak foundation, Un Monde par
tous, Humanity United, Syriart, Fondation de France and the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Human Rights.

Corporations
BCRH & Associés, Caisse des dépôts
et consignations, Carrefour solidarités,
Dailymotion, Domplus, France Médias
Monde, France télévisions, GDF Suez,
Europe 1, Gandi, Havas, Kyodo, La
Banque postale, LBPAM, La Poste, Le
Guide du Routard, Ligne de Front, Limite, Macif, Magnum, Saatchi Saatchi &
Duke, TV5 Monde, Unibail Rodamco,
Voyageurs du Monde.

The Support Committee, chaired by Denis Olivennes, interpretors, translators and other volunteers, as well as all the individuals,
national and international non-governmental organisations and intergovermental organisations who responded to its requests for support.
Finally, FIDH extends its sincere gratitude to the members of the Legal Action Group (GAJ), its mission representatives, and to the
200 professional translators and interpreters who volounteers their time and to support FIDH's work.

F I DH A N N U a L R e P O R T 2 0 1 4 — 91

FIDH
represents 178

human rights organisations
on
5 continents

FIDH - International Federation for Human Rights
17, passage de la Main-d’Or - 75011 Paris - France
CCP Paris: 76 76 Z
Tel: (33-1) 43 55 25 18 / Fax: (33-1) 43 55 18 80
www.fidh.org