Geneva, 10 December 2010. On the occasion of the UN Human Rights Day the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) calls for urgent steps to protect persons from torture worldwide and to fully restore respect for the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The massive campaign of intimidation against WikiLeaks is sending a chill through free press advocates everywhere.
Legal experts say WikiLeaks has likely broken no laws. Yet top US politicians have called it a terrorist group and commentators have urged assassination of its staff. The organization has come under massive government and corporate attack, but WikiLeaks is only publishing information provided by a whistleblower. And it has partnered with the world's leading newspapers (NYT, Guardian, Spiegel etc) to carefully vet the information it publishes.
Almost 300 political prisoners and political detainees continue to languish in jail even as this government claims democracy as its lifeblood. Most of them have been convicted or charged with common crimes that deny them of their true identities as grassroots activists, urban poor organizers, or even as revolutionaries.
A briefing paper for the FIDH-PAHRA Mission to the U.S., November 17-24, 2010. This paper also serves as a follow-up of the results of the Fact-Finding and Follow-up Missions conducted by FIDH and PAHRA and IRCT.
November 23 started as a regular day in 2009. Until noon, when a series of news reports about a massive killing of women, children, journalists and civilians by the ruling Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao were reported. It was a desperate attempt to suppress the political opposition in Maguindanao. It was a brazen attempt to bury the truth that can no longer be denied – political families are ruling parts of the country and they are beyond the rule of law.