Alkarama Launches 2014 Annual Report – Chastises Arab States for Violations Committed in the Context of Countering Terrorism
At the launch of its annual report in Geneva on 26 March, Alkarama chastised Arab States for trying to undermine, not only the United Nations human rights system, but also Arab civil society, all this under the pretext of countering terrorism, a label that has become the weapon of choice for authoritarian regimes to stifle criticism.
On 24 March 2015, Alkarama sent an appeal to United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT) regarding the case of Ammar Mohammed Mohammed Mahmoud, a 19 year-old Egyptian student who has been subjected to various acts of torture since his arrest in November 2014. Detained in deplorable conditions inside Tora prison, Ammar remains at high risk of torture and has not been brought before a judge yet.
United Nations: 47 NGOs Call Upon UN Member States to Focus on Quality of Recommendations During Universal Periodic Review
On 20 March 2015, UPR Info and a group of 46 NGOs, including Alkarama, called upon UN Member States to focus on the quality and not the quantity of recommendations issued during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which should be stronger and more specific.
"As the third cycle of the UPR is due to start in 2017, States are repeatedly calling for a decrease in the number of recommendations, claiming that a too high number of recommendations undermine their effective implementation," says Rachid Mesli, Legal Director at Alkarama. "On the contrary, we argue that weak and vague recommendations are the issue. What really undermines the promotion of human rights is the sole acceptance by some states of the least binding recommendations."
On 2 March 2015, Alkarama sent a communication to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) concerning the cases of two Syrian citizens disappeared from Homs. Both were arrested by members of the Syrian security forces.
On 20 March 2015, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted the outcome of Egypt's Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a process aimed at reviewing the human rights record of all UN Member States by every four years. In a context of serious and gross human rights violations in the country, the Egyptian authorities have accepted many of the HRC's recommendations regarding civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural ones. However, past experiences and practice in the field show that the authorities have to do more than just promises.
Syria: Further Cases of Enforced Disappearance in Latakia – Three Syrian Citizens Missing For Over Two Years
On 3 March 2015, Alkarama and Human Rights Guardians sent a communication to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), regarding the disappearance of three Syrian citizens in Latakia between August 2011 and August 2012 following their arrest by members of the Security Forces.