Saturday, December 06, 2008

Karina's story

Karina Moskalenko is a prominent lawyer in Russia. She is well known as a lawyer in human rights matters.

She is currently representing the family of murdered journalist, Anna Politkovskaya. The preliminary hearing for the case was initially fixed on 15th October 2008. But she missed that hearing. She did not make it. She was in hospital.

She fell ill after mercury was placed in her car in Strasbourg. She was treated for nausea and headaches. her family members were also taken ill.

Was this a failed attempt at murder - or an act of intimidation?

Source: BBC News Online here

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Anna's story

The head of the jounalism union in Russia had described Anna Politkovskaya as the conscience of the country's journalism.

"Her polemical style earned her many critics in Russia but her stories stood out from much of the mainstream Russian media and she pursued them at great personal risk, whether reporting from the war zone or receiving death threats in Moscow".

She worked for a paper called Novaya Gazeta and she is renowned for exposing the human rights abuses committed by Russian troops in Chechnya. Obviously, she wasn't popular in some circles.

There has been many attempts to silence her - including attempts to end her life.

On 7 October 2006, while she was in a lift at her apartment, her was shot point blank 3 times.

The trial of those accused for her murder which was scheduled to start on 15 October 2008 was postponed as there was an attempt on the life of her lawyer who survived but was taken ill.

You can read Anna's orbituary here.

Source: BBC News Online here

Friday, November 21, 2008

Nguyen's story

Nguyen Viet Chien is a journalist in the Thanh Nien Newspaper in Vietnam. Both he and another journalist had been actively reporting on the corruption scandal in Vietnam's Ministry of Transport. Their efforts resulted in many big names being arrested.

However, authorities had accused their reports as inaccurate and harmful.

The two journalists were arrested in May 2008 for "abusing their professional power and position". In September 2008, the charge was changed to "abusing freedom and democratic rights".

Nguyen states that he "...never have any other purpose in mind when writing... [his] reports but exposing wrongdoing and fighting corruption".

However, the Hanoi People's Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 2 years imprisonment. Reporters without Borders has condemned the trial, calling it the Vietnamese government's "revenge" against "daring journalists who revealed embarrassing cases and brought greater freedom to the Vietnamese press".

Source: BBC News Online here

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nay Phone Latt's story

Nay Phone Latt is a blogger in Burma. In the September 2007 uprising, his blog provided valuable information about the things happening in Burma.

Recently he posted a cartoon of Military Leader Than Shwe and he was arrested among other things for that. His mother was not allowed to attend his trial and he was not allowed to be represented by the counsel of his choice (who was imprisoned for contempt of court).

Yesterday, the court sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment which includes 15 years for offences under the Electronics Act, two years for "creating public alarm" and three and a half years for offences under the Video Act.

Source: BBC News Online here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My story (Updated)

I started off this blog as a student of International Human Rights Law (see here).

Today i am blogging as a lecturer of International Human Rights Law. Yes, the circle is complete. When i left you, i was but a learner. Now, *I* am the master!

Hehehe. Couldn't resist the Star Wars reference! :-P

This blog has been somehow neglected after i completed me studies - altho there had been a couple of occasions when i tried (in vain) to spark off a revival. This is my 3rd attempt at that. I hope i have the stamina to go on.

What sparked off this round of revival was when i met a senior lawyer the other day and he congratulated me on the blogs i have! I'm sure he meant well but i din take his compliment to heart. Me blogs are no big deal. But he insisted, saying that it is good that people in our line take the time to blog and share our views.

I thought of this blog then. It was a good idea back then. And though i doubt if anybody really followed it, this blog was meant also as a tribute to the many who's rights have been wrong, to the many who stood up for the rights of others or of themselves. This is whatever little i can do for them.

I remember the poem i share with all my students at the start of the year:-

I am only one
But still, i am one
I cannot everything
But still, i can do something
And because i cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that i can do
Edward Everett Hale

I will not be too ambitious and will try to update this blog on a weekly basis at the very least.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Engin's story

Engin Ceber had protested against the shooting of a fellow human activist in Turkey last year by the local police. He was arrested for doing so.

While in prison at Istanbul, he was beaten up severely, allegedly by prison guards. He informed his lawyer and he was taken to hospital where he fell into a coma. Engin passed away on 11th October 2008.

In a rare move, the Turkish government issued an apology and suspended 19 officials.

Let's hope those responsible will be charged and convicted by law.

Source: BBC News Online here

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ching Cheong's story

In April 2005, Ching Cheong was detained by the Chinese authorities. He was alleged to have been working as a spy for the Taiwanese government, that he was buying info and passing it to Taiwan. He apparently "confessed" his crimes.

After almost 3 years, he was surprisingly released and allowed to return home to Hong Kong to celebrate the Spring Festival.

His case is one of the many in China which reflects the country's "increasing repression of journalists".

Source: BBC News Online here.