Good News On Euro-Med Monitor's Joint Efforts Towards Ceasing Human Rights Violations – December 2020
We are proud to bring about real change through concrete steps to bring justice to victims of human rights violations in collaboration with other organizations around the world. After decades of armed conflicts and wars, the Middle East and North Africa have become a hub for human rights violations, with most perpetrators enjoying impunity. People have lost faith in the ability of human rights defenders to help them. Nonetheless, change is happening at the hands of hundreds of thousands of these courageous human rights defenders. In the words of Professor Richard Falk, chair of the Euro-Med Monitor Board of Trustees: “It is important to continue the struggle despite frustrations and disappointment based on an ultimate faith in the triumph of justice”. Here are some of our accomplishments:
On December 29, the State Security Court in Jordan decided to release journalist Jamal Haddad on bail despite the fact that he was detained without a legal basis. Haddad was detained at Marka Prison after a court directed a list of charges against him following publishing a newspaper article stating that some officials received the COVID19 vaccine. He expressed his criticism of the contradictions in official statements regarding the vaccine and called on the government to reveal the truth.
Euro-Med Monitor called on the Jordanian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release journalist Jamal Haddad and to put an end to practices that violate the rights and freedoms of individuals and entities. In its statement, Euro-Med Monitor stressed the need for Jordan to abide by domestic laws, which stipulate that journalists must be brought before civil courts.
On December 24, the Tunisian government and the Judges Syndicate reached an agreement to end the strike the judges have started since the middle of November, protesting against the unfair working conditions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. On December 23, Euro-Med Monitor addressed the Tunisian government to respond to the demands of judges, stop stonewalling in resolving the crisis, and paving the way for justice.
On December 17, the General Intelligence Service in Jericho decided to release Palestinian activist Suhaib Zaheda, after arresting him for days for participating in protests against a government decision to close Hebron due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Euro-Med Monitor had contacted the concerned parties in the PA on December 16, calling on them to immediately release and review their policy in dealing with opponents. Euro-Med Monitor urged them to stop all violations that would undermine rights guaranteed in relevant international laws and treaties.
The EU's Foreign Affairs Council adopted new sanctions against human rights violators. The sanctions will enable the EU to implement severe penalties against human rights violators. The sanctions include banning violators to enter EU countries and freezing their assets.
For years, and during a series of lobbying and advocacy campaigns, Euro-Med Monitor, in partnership with international organizations, had addressed the EU and its various bodies to take further measures and enact laws that would reduce human rights violations.
In another context, Members of European Parliament approved a draft resolution calling on all other MEPs to adopt a solidarity mechanism to guarantee the right to asylum in the EU and a fair distribution of refugees between member states.
During a lobbying and advocacy campaign that extended for more than three years, Euro-Med Monitor worked with partner international organizations to address MEPs and EU governments to accommodate more asylum seekers and distribute the burden among the EU countries. Euro-Med Monitor also raised the issue of asylum seekers and the ongoing violations they face in countries of asylum at the 45th session of the Human Rights Council in October 2020.
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
The EU asked the Bosnian government to take action to protect migrants and asylum seekers moving in large numbers in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina after the first snowfall covered their fragile tents and urged the authorities to transfer migrants to the EU-funded facilities during winter and to open new ones.
On December 8, Euro-Med Monitor addressed the EU and the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to urgently open additional shelters for migrants and asylum seekers in compliance with international law and to ensure that asylum seekers receive adequate housing and treatment. Euro-Med Monitor also urged the EU to establish an urgent monitoring mechanism in Croatia to ensure that the police deployed at the borders respect European laws and the basic rights of migrants, including securing their access to asylum procedures.