Iran Releases Human Rights Lawyer, Other Prisoners


speech on Monday. Sotoudeh, a 49-year-old mother of two, had been convicted of security offenses and was sentenced to six years in prison after appeals. She began her sentence in September 2010. In March 2011, President Barack Obama called her imprisonment a sign of fear by Iranian authorities. In 2012, the European Union awarded her the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Sotoudeh and her family were unaware she was going to be released, her husband Reza Khandan told The Associated Press. “We had expected her to come for a short leave but they have told her she is free,” Khandan said.
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Canada pursues trade ties with Russia amid human rights concerns

(Photo: Christopher Furlong, Getty Images) SHARE 266 CONNECT 32 TWEET 8 COMMENTEMAILMORE BRUSSELS (AP) European lawmakers have nominated several candidates for the bloc’s top human rights prize, including Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. The European Parliament said in a statement late Monday they were among seven nominees for this year’s Sakharov prize. The finalist for the prestigious 50,000 euro ($65,000) award will be chosen next month. The 16-year-old Malala, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year on her way home from school, was jointly nominated by three caucuses, making her the likely front-runner. Snowden, who leaked a trove of documents on U.S. surveillance agencies’ spying programs, was nominated by the Greens, a smaller pro-environment group.
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The MBI Al Jaber Foundation Supports the Work of Human Rights Watch in the Arab World

Finance Wed, Sep 18, 2013, 6:43 PM EDT – U.S. Markets closed The MBI Al Jaber Foundation Supports the Work of Human Rights Watch in the Arab World Press Release: MBI Al Jaber Foundation 3 hours ago H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber signs an agreement with Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch (Photo: Business Wire) Multimedia Gallery URL LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and Chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation has signed an agreement with Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, in the presence of Sarah Leah Whitson, Director of Human Rights Watchs Middle East and North Africa Division, in order to support the work of Human Rights Watch in the area of civil society in the Arab world, with particular reference to the cause of human rights in Arab countries in transition. The MBI Al Jaber Foundation is committed to supporting the strengthening of civil society across the Arab world. For more than a decade the Foundation has sponsored civil society training programmes in the region, and this collaboration with Human Rights Watch, which was formalised in 2012, is within the broader context of the Foundations work in the three key areas of education, cultural dialogue, and citizenship and good governance. For more information on the MBI Al Jaber Foundation: For more information on Human Rights Watch: Notes to Editors: This is a press release from the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, a UK Registered Charity (number:1093439).
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Press Conference on Vienna+20 β€” Human Rights Gains, Shortcomings, Way Forward

Even in the so-called poster countries for African democracyKenya, South Africa, Senegal, and Botswanacountries whose regular and relatively free and fair elections are held up as the standard in the region, have high levels of popular unrest. Even there, citizens demand better services and living conditions and oppose with increasing strenuousness the authoritarian means introduced by their elected governments to reduce the transparency and accountability of their leadership. What, then, are the links between the arts, on the one hand and, respectively, democracy, human rights, development and the eradication of poverty, and economic growth on the other? Which among these are to be priorities? And what is the role of the creative sector generally, and of artists in particular in shaping these priorities? Economic Growth and the Arts Creative industriesare being sold to Africa as a magic bullet [4] that would generate the resources required for broader social and human development on the continent. The fact that industrys growth was unaffected by the global financial crisis, was further rationale for its push toward Africa.
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Nasrin Sotoudeh, Iranian defender of human rights

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh puts on her scarf as she welcomes guests at her house in Tehran on September 18, 2013

What was missing was consensus in the Security Council. In Sri Lanka, we didnt sufficiently alarm the international community, he said. But today, the Council was receiving regular information on Syria. We tell them what they need to know whether they like it or not, he said. Taking a question on the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council, Mr. Doujak described why it was worthwhile to support that body, saying that the universal periodic review had created a positive system for identifying concerns. The Council had improved over the years in the face of serious human rights violations in Libya and Syria.
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Human Rights, Development, and Democracy in Africa: What Role for the Arts?

After studying law at Shahid Beheshti University in the capital, Sotoudeh fought for several years for the right to practise as a lawyer in the late 1990s. She began her career by concentrating on the rights of youths sentenced to death for crimes committed as minors, one of many judicial practices in Iran regularly condemned by international humanitarian organisations and the UN. But from 2009, Sotoudeh defended many opponents of the government, hundreds of whom were rounded up for protesting against the disputed re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh poses with her husband, Reza Khandan, her son Nima (L) and her daught She was the lawyer of several figures, ranging from journalist Issa Saharkhiz, close to then reformist opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, to many demonstrators who took to the streets after the election. She also defended Ebadi and other members of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, including fellow lawyers who paid a heavy price for their work. Two co-founders of the organisation, Abdolfattah Soltani and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, were sentenced earlier this year to 18 and 19 years imprisonment respectively. Sotoudeh also drew the wrath of the regime for the interviews she gave to Western media outlets after the crackdown in 2009, which figured in the charges against her in her own trial.
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Malala, Snowden nominated for EU human rights award

aThere are significant opportunities for Canadian companies in Russia in many areas, such as building products, construction, agriculture, aerospace and mining,a Husny said in a statement. aCanadian companies have the technologies and expertise, and both countries will benefit from increased trade and investment ties.a Two-way trade between Canada and Russia has skyrocketed to $2.65 billion last year from $179 million in 1999, while Canadian companies had about $4.8 billion invested in the country by the end of 2012. Liberal foreign affairs critic Marc Garneau noted Canada has a large and extensive relationship with Russia that includes co-operation on a large number of issues such as the Arctic. But the fact two federal ministers were in Moscow talking trade at the same time Harper was criticizing Russia for supporting the Syrian government effectively undermines whatever point the prime minister was trying to make, said NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar. aAfter a while, the Russians are going to see thereas a pattern here, namely that thereas a lot of rhetoric but itas not backed up by anything but aletas do more trade,aa Dewar said. aItas about being consistent.a Dewar also said Russian Ambassador Georgiy Mamedov appears to have been correct in stating that the spy case, in which navy Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle stole military intelligence from a secret facility in Halifax, wouldnat have any impact on Canada-Russia relations.
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