International Society for Human Rights (ISHR)



Public Health in Cuba

When talking about the Castro brothers’ regime in Cuba, it is common to hear not only about the results attained in education or sports, but also on the so-called "achievements" of the country in public health. What is the truth on this matter?

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Invitation to the 41st Annual International Society of Human Rights Conference

From April 12-14, 2013, the German Branch of the International Society for Human Rights will be holding the 41st Annual ISHR Conference at the Gustav Stresemann Institute (GSI) in Bonn, Germany. The conference will bring together human rights activists from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America to exchange experiences, to collaborate on future actions, and to network. The conference presentations and discussions will be led by expert witnesses and will focus on various, present-day human rights abuses and ongoing situations worldwide.



Happy Norooz!

Dear Friends,

Happy Norooz! The International Society for Human Rights in Germany wishes you a happy and fruitful new year: We hope that in the coming year those who are persecuted will find freedom, that all political prisoners will be released, and the repression will come to an end. Human rights are unconditional rights for every person, at anytime, everywhere. Let us work together in the New Year to continue to make human right for all reality and not only a privilege for few! Happy New Year!

Warmest Regards,
The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR)



Cuba: Death in Prison

After a 38 day-hunger strike in a prison in Santa Clara, Cuba, a prisoner has died, spurring human rights groups to call for change in the prison regime system of the country. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reported that the victim Roberto Antonio Rivalta began the hunger strike in protest against his arbitrary arrest without a trial. He was accused by the authorities of theft, but Rivalta denied all the accusations and assured his innocence until his death. He was only 46 years old. His sister stated that her brother was persistent in requesting a trial where he expected to be absolved of the accusations because there was no evidence against him. She believed her brother was only held in prison because the authorities did not want to admit that they had accused the wrong person.

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Vladimir Novitski, President of the ISHR-Section Russia: "People have rights and the right to defend them"

On 21 November 2012, after Foreign Agent Laws were coming into effect, all politically engaged non-profit organisations - NGOs - with sponsors from abroad, must now include the term "Foreign Agent" in their official documents. This law has added fundamental changes to the NGO-law and provides: "Material published by non-profit organisations, functioning as "Foreign Agents", and/or material, distributed by them via media or internet, must be labelled as follows: "Material distributed by non profit organisations, hold the function of a Foreign Agent". Failure to comply with these demands will have severe consequences. Vladimir Novitski, President of the ISHR-Russian Section and Lawyer, explains if this law is consistent with generally recognised rules and what impact it will have on NGOs.

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Egypt: Economic and Military Aid to be Tied to Conditions

The German section of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) demands that the governments in the European Union and of the USA reassess all aid provided to Egypt. At the same time, all economic and military aid should be tied to concrete requirements regarding adherence to human rights.



NGOs petition EU to support the compliance of Human Rights principles in Cuba

On November 19th, 2012, during talks within the European Union about a common position towards the Republic of Cuba, the Europe-Cuba NGO Network released the following petition to the EU.



Foundation of the ISHR USA

On October 13, 2012, a cheerful atmosphere of optimism surrounded the memorial place "Casa del Preso" in Miami.  The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) USA was founded. The Event was hosted by the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR/IGFM), German Section. Within the last years, numerous residents of the United States joined the organization. 74 people participated in the event, amongst them the Consul General Eva Countess Kendeffy, the president of Mothers and Women against Repression (M.A.R. por Cuba) Sylvia Iriondo and the president of the "Casa del Preso" Luis Infante.



Venezuela: Final spurt of the election campaign in the sign of violence

Before the presidential election the atmosphere on the streets of Venezuela is heating up. According to information of the ISHR dissidents have been prevented violently from taking part in election manifestations by head of state Hugo Chavez. Temporary highlight was the murder of three local dissident politicians at a manifestation on 29th of September.

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Iran: Aquittal and release for pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

The Iranian convert pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who had been sentenced to death in September 2010 because of apostasy, had been absolved from the accusation of apostasy in a new trial on the 8th of September 2012. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, the judges sustained the accusation of evangelization and sentenced the pastor to a three year imprisonment. Because Nadarkhani had been arrested since the 12th of October 2009, the judges said that the sentenced has already been served. The ISHR emphasized that evangelization isn´t a criminal act, but on the contrary is a certified human right.

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Cuba: Protests in front of Havanna´s capitol knocked down

As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, there were heavy protests against the Castro regime in front of  the convention center in the historic district of Havana last Sunday. Pedestrians and tourists showed their solidarity and mingled under the protesters until the police came and battered them  brutally and finally arrested six dissidents. "Instead of taking the legitimate demands for social justice and respect for human rights finally seriously, Raúl Castro again had silenced them violently", says ISHR.

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Cuba: Ofelia Acevedo to her husband's death - "I was afraid that something like this happens"

The Cuban opposition leader Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, winner of the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament, died on July 22, 2012 at the age of 60 years under mysterious circumstances in a car accident. While Cuban authorities state, the driver of the car had lost control of the vehicle, Ofelia Acevedo, the wife of the deceased, fears that her husband's death was planned by the Cuban regime. Face to face with ISHR representatives Oswaldo Paya expressed recently that he felt threatened and couldn't exclude an attempt on his life.

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Cuban opposition leader killed in mysterious car accident

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, one of the most important leaders of the Cuban democracy movement, died after a fatal car accident on Sunday, July 22. Payá’s family members have justified doubts on the official version about the car accident. Just three weeks ago, Payá has been involved into an accident, in which a car has crashed into the side of his own vehicle.

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Cuba: Former political prisoner arrives in Miami

The famous Cuban physician and co-founder of the Cuban ISHR work group, Dr. Darsi Ferrer, is said to be leaving the island and to be brought to the USA today in the framework of a program for political refugees. He will meet his wife and son in Chattanooga/ Tennessee, who already left Cuba with the same program in April 2012.

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China: Internet censorship in Tibet intensified

The Chinese authorities in Tibet arranged new mechanism for controlling of the information flow, in order to prevent the increase of the protest movement to Central Tibet, says the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR). Especially the expansion of the protests of self-immolation by burning should be avoided by the internet censorship. At the same time, a new program for the defamation of the Dalai Lama has been invented which provides rewards for “law-abiding” monks and nuns.

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Europe Cuba Network calls for immediate release of Jorge Luis García Pérez

The Europe Cuba Network is calling on the Cuban government to immediately release long time human rights defender, Jorge Luis García Pérez, also known as "Antúnez". The members of the Europe Cuba Network are gravely concerned for the welfare of Antúnez, a former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience, who presented video testimony to the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee on “Countering Repression and Strengthening Civil Society in Cuba” on Thursday, 7 June.

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Cuba: Civil rights activist and “Lady in White” maltreated in prison

The civil rights activist and “Lady in White” Niurka Luque Alvarez is maltreated mentally and physically. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, the independent journalist Dania Virgen Garcia could smuggle out a video recording of the civil rights activist - which is on hand of the ISHR - of prison last week. In this video Luque Alvarez tells about beats in the face, verbal attacks, threats and refused medication.

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Cuba: Archbishop sees “Ladies in White”

As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, Dionisio García, the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, saw a delegation of the civil rights group “Damas de Blanco” (“Ladies in White”) yesterday. The spokesperson of the group Berta Soler and three of her colleagues asked the Archbishop in the priestly residence in Havana amongst others for the release of more than 50 political prisoners.

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Azerbaijan: Human rights activists are demanding amnesty for political prisoners

The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) from Frankfurt appeals on the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Alijew, to take the Eurovision Song Contest as an occasion to release all political prisoners of the country. According to information of the ISHR, 62 people are in jail in Azerbaijan due to political reasons at the moment, among them are at least eleven journalists, blogger and media professionals.

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Cuba: Leading opposition politician under house arrest

The famous Cuban opposition politician Jose Daniel Ferrer was put under house arrest, reports the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR). Daniel Ferrer is the spokesperson of the democratic movement "Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU)", that is mostly settled in the east of Cuba. The goal of the UNPACU is the social and political change of Cuba from the One-Party-State with central planned economy to a plural democracy with social market economy.

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Eugenia Timoshenko's speech at the ISHR Annual Meeting in Cottbus on April 14, 2012

"...There is still a lot to be fought for and achieved in Ukraine for it to become a real candidate for the title of the European nation. But the road should not be too long, we were almost one step away from EU, just few years ago when my mother's government made first steps towards free and comprehensive trade agreement with Europe. Please also do not underestimate the yearning for freedom in Ukrainian people. ... So my mother's most profound hope that the Lukyanivska and Kachanivska prisons, will one day become memorials to mark Ukraine's final rupture with the Soviet past. ..."

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Human Rights in occupied North Mali, April 2012 - Report of the ISHR Mali National Group

Northern Mali is a desert of approximately 600 000 km2 and terrorists take advantage of the Malian army's limited resources, of the topography (sand desert, rocky mountains), of the hostile climate and of the low population density. The coup d'Etat (March 22, 2012) destabilized the army since senior officers were pushed aside by the putschists. The  MNLA and terrorists took advantage of this confusion and took control of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu. At present, there is no State representative in these three regions, which are totally under the controls of  the rebels and terrorists.

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Cuba: Pastor with brain damage after attack by governmental agents

Pastor Reutilio Columbie, president of the Cuban Pentecostal "Shalom" Christian Center Church, will permanently suffer from brain damage after an attack by governmental agents. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, the Pentecostal pastor got threatening phone calls by the authorities for weeks. On the 6th of February he was attacked and maltreated in the city of Moa in the Eastcuban province Holguín. Pedestrians found the almost lifeless clergyman on the sidewalk and brought him to the emergency room of the Holguín hospital. According to information authorities refuse to investigate against the offenders.

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EU / Cuba: Ashton is worried about the rise of short-term arrests in Cuba

European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, declared on February 4, 2012 that the EU is very worried about the arrests of peaceful protesters in Cuba. According to Ashton, there have to be improvements regarding to "total respect of the civil and political rights of the population, including of freedom of speech". The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) regards this as a correct, but as a very late awareness of the EU-politician.

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Cuba: Dissidents sexually harassed, mistreated and arrested

Seven members of the "Rosa Park's feminist movement for civil rights" arranged a protest march on February 1, in order to demand the release of the independent journalist Yasmín Conlledo Riverón and of her husband Yusmani Rafael Alvarez Esmoris. Conlledo Riverón, member of the prisoner relief association "Ladies in White", was arrested arbitrarily in her house in Santa Clara on the 8th of January 2012. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, the protest march was already attacked after few minutes by around 25 police and state security officials. The participants were hit, sexually harassed, arrested and dragged to police cars.

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Cuba: Violence and arrests at commemorations for Cuban freedom fighter

On the 28th of January, 2012 the Cubans celebrated the 159th birthday of the Cuban national hero José Martí, who became a symbol of the Cuban struggle for independence over hundred years ago. According to information of the ISHR, the commemorations have been disturbed by security forces all over Cuba. Members of the prisoner relief association "Ladies in White", human rights defenders and dissidents were maltreated and arrested, their houses were attacked and besieged by the regime.

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ISHR Founder, Mr. Ivan Agruzov, Died

The founder of our organisation, Mr. Ivan I. Agruzov, has passed away. The International Society for Human Rights has lost the person that once had created our civil initiative to stand up against the violation of human rights. With great thankfulness, love and respect we have to take our leave of Mr. Ivan Agruzov and will try to continue our work for the promotion of Human Rights in the spirit he created.
You could write your expression of sympathy to:

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International NGOs stand up for human rights in Belarus

International NGOs will organize street actions across Europe to stand up for human rights in Belarus on 19 December 2011. Joint actions by NGOs will take place in London, Zurich, Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam. Groups of Young European Federalists across Europe have also organized protests.

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Nguyen Van Dai: 2011 - The International Human Rights Day I refer to the wives, children and parents of the prisoners of conscience in Vietnam. An Appeal to the World.

Nguyen Van Dai, the Vietnamese lawyer, human rights defender and political prisoner: "Each year during the International Human Rights Day, people usually mention and honor those who fight for human rights, the prisoners of conscience detained in prisons. In the article, and also this letter, I refer to the wives, children, parents of the prisoners of conscience in Vietnam. I'm calling them prisoners of conscience because what they say or write comes from their conscience and sense of responsibility toward their fellow citizens and their country." ...

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Cuba: Human rights activists are consistently persecuted and undergo reprisals

The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) is increasingly worrying about the persecution of human rights activists, independent trade unionists and journalists by the Castro regime. The last weekend was marked by several arrests. Maria Elena Mir Marrero, general secretary of the independent labor organization CONIC was arrested in her house in Havana. The dissident journalist Julio Cedeño Negrin and two other civil rights activists were also arrested in Havana. On the same day members of the prisoner relief association "Ladies in White" (Damas de Blaco) were arrested in the small town Contramaestre.

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ISHR- Sponsorship of political prisoners in Iran: Members of Parliament for Human Rights

Members of Parliament, European Parliament and several State Parliaments have taken on a political sponsorship for political prisoners in Iran. Politicians want to be personally involved in fighting for the release of arbitrarily imprisoned human rights activists, journalists and other political prisoners in Iran.

[more about ISHR- Sponsorship of political prisoners in Iran...]



Federal Volunteer Service at the International Society of Human Rights (ISHR)

Do you want to use your time in a useful way?
Do you want to do something for weak people?
Do you want to do something for people who are persecuted and discriminated because of their religion, their political attitude or because of their nationality?

If you wish to do so, the International Society of Human Rights (ISHR), which is located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, is the right place for you!

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Cuba: Big march in honor of Laura Pollán

As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) already reported, the founder and speaker of the "Ladies in White" died at the age of only 63 years last Friday, the 15th of October, in the Calixto Garcia Hospital in Havana. Despite of the loss of Laura Polláns, the "Ladies in White" again marched this Sunday at the Avenida Cinco to the mass in the church Santa Rita. But on this Sunday around 100 supporters, among them also 40 men, met in order to remember Laura Pollán.

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Cuba: Civil rights activist arrested for days

"The civil rights activist Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, who "disappeared" between the 26th and 30th of September, has been arrested by the Cuban police illegally, displaced, maltreated and threatened with death", says the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR). In a note from the 3rd of October the civil rights activist reports about experienced maltreatments. She announced that the Cuban civil and human rights activists won´t be intimidated by repression.

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Cuba: "Freedom for innocent couple!"

The Cuban government plans to proceed against the couple Sara Marta Fonseca and Julio Ignacio León Fonseca, who have been arrested on the 24th of September, reports the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR). They are accused of "offense against public policy" and of "fomenting unrest". As a consequence of the serious injuries because of the police and a hunger strike, the constitution of both prisoners is alarming.

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Cuba: Again police violence against human rights activists

According to reports of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) again violent attacks of the police against human rights activists in Cuba took place on Monday, 26th of September. The policemen acted extraordinarily brutal, some even robbed them. Due to statements of the people concerned, the policemen stole them money.

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Cuba: People are still prosecuted because of homosexuality

Despite of all contrary assurance of the government, people in Cuba are still discriminated because of homosexual relationships, prosecuted and even forced to forced labor, reports the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) under reference to Cuban dissidents. Moreover the death of the 34 years old transsexual Nelson Linares García, who died on the 8th of September in a prison cell due to official information because of a malfunction of breath, still remains unanswered.

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Cuba: New wave of arrests shows the fear of the regime

On the 11th of September Cuban security agents arrested human rights activist Caridad Caballero Batista, her husband Esteban Sander and two other activists in Holguin. On the weekend and the days before over 20 political activists were arrested. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, the protest march of Cuban dissidents from east to west Cuba - planned for the 8th of September 2011 on the day of the patron saint of Cuba - was the occasion for a wave of arrests. The march took place under the title "National march for freedom, Boitel and Zapata live" ("Marcha Nacional por la Libertad, Boitel Zapata Viven").

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Statement by the Europe-Cuba NGO Network on the Government Violence Against Women's Organizations in Cuba

Following recent news from Cuba about the use of intimidation, violence and temporary detentions by Cuban government against the "Damas de Blanco" nine NGO demonstrate in a statement respect, support and admiration for their non-violent protests and ask for even greater support and recognition for this civil group in particular.

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Cuba: Catholic Church condemns continuing violence against civil rights activists

The Catholic Church in Cuba reacted to the worrying situation of human rights in Cuba and published a declaration, in which it condemns the violence against political activists distinctly. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) has already pointed at the continuing violence against the civil rights movement "Ladies in White" and against other political activists in the last weeks and appreciates the courage of the Cuban representatives of the Catholic Church.

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Cuba: Still at least 68 political prisoners in Cuban jails

In the jails of the Castro-dictatorship there are at least 68 people due to political reasons. This has been announced by the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) in Frankfurt am Main. Without an exception, the prisoners are suffering under inhuman conditions, reports ISHR. Supposed confessions are blackmailed with torture and the political prisoners are put together with murderers and rapers. There is a lack of nutrition, clean water and medication.

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Cuba: Human rights defenders and dissidents should be muzzled

The Cuban government tries to muzzle political dissidents with a wave of intimidation. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) points at the fact that on the 28th of August 2011 several members of the dissident group "Patriotic union of Cuba" (UNPACU), who met peacefully in a private house, were arrested violently. On the same day a group of women were arrested on their way to the dome, in order to prevent them from taking part in the church service. All in all over 65 people have been arrested mostly violently in the last five weeks because they criticized the government in public.

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Iran / North Korea: Human rights activists demand Westerwelle to have "priority for human rights"

The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR/IGFM) urged German Foreign Minister Westerwelle to make "priority for human rights the guideline of German foreign policy." The cause of such appeal is the strengthened cooperation of the two "misfit states" North Korea and Iran in the realm of nuclear technology.

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Middle East: German technology used against democratic movements

Thanks to German technology from companies like Trovicor LLC in Munich, authoritarian regimes are more able to focus on Twitter activists, the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR/IGFM) criticizes. Iran, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait and many more countries are pursuing Twitter activists with severe and brutal violence. Systematic persecution, high prison sentences and exorbitant bails are integral parts of state terror campaigns that aim to hinder civil society.

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Iran: Introduction of “Halal Internet“ scheduled for late August 2011

In late August 2011, the Ahmadinejad regime’s "Halal Internet" should replace the free and globally attainable Internet in Iran. According to Iranian government plans, the World Wide Web will not be accessible in the Iranian network. The "Halal Internet", cut off from the world, would be an "Iranian Intranet" and would give the regime full control over the contents.

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Cuba: Violence against the civil rights activists "Ladies in White"

While Cuba's aged dictator Fidel Castro celebrates with pomp his 85th birthday and the German "Linke" (The Left) congratulates him to his "achievements", strong-arm men of Castro are beating constantly the women of the prisoner's relief association "Ladies in White" (Damas de Blanco). The Women, who went on the streets for democracy and the release of the political prisoners on the 18th and 21st of August in Havana, were beaten, kicked and spat on them, some were arrested. The ISHR condemns the violence against the "Ladies in White" and other members of the Cuban democratic movement fiercely.

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Cuba: Germany's Left-Party mocks victims of Castro's dictatorship

The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reacted with "horror and incomprehension" to the letter of congratulation of the heads of the party "Die Linke" (The Left), Gesine Lötsch and Klaus Ernst, to the dictator Fidel Castro on the occasion of his 85th birthday. Those who attest Fidel Castro that he can be "proud" of his achievements are justifying five decades of brutal repression and torture. Those who assure their "unbreakable friendship", are mocking the victims of the dictatorship and glorifying a surveillance society and a lawless state like in the ex-GDR.

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Germany / Iran: Iran embassy accepts 4090 appeal signatures

On Friday, August 12, 2011, the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR/IGFM) delivered 4090 appeal signatures to the Iranian embassy in Berlin. The signatories demanded the release of evangelical pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who is currently awaiting the death penalty. On September 22, 2010, Nadarkhani was sentenced to death by hanging because of "spreading non-Islamic teachings" and "defection from Islamic beliefs". The sentence was upheld in appeals proceedings on July 22, 2011.

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Cuba: New violence against "Ladies in White"

While the official Cuba celebrated the 85th anniversary of the revolution leader Fidel Castro with a high pathos and got congratulations by international head of governments, on the 14th of August 2011 in the East of Cuba militant rowdies again attacked the peaceful protesters of the prisoners relief organization "Ladies in White"

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Cuba: Dissident after maltreatment by paramilitary units in critical condition

Even five days after he has been beaten brutally by paramilitary units, the dissident Ernesto Manuel Carrera Moreno is still in critical condition and arrested in a hospital in the Eastcuban province Guantánamo. The rowdies who were loyal to the regime maltreated the dissident activist in the night of the 5th of August so brutally that he got a skull fracture and a fracture of the jaw.

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SR Vietnam: Arrested because of alleged adultery, sentenced because of alleged propaganda

Numerous prominent individuals in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi are calling on the Supreme People's Court to open the court's gates to citizens interested in observing the planned August 2 appeals hearing against the civil rights defender Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu. In an Open Letter, of which the ISHR possesses a copy, they fear that the hearing, as in the first instance, will exclude the public entirely. After a brief trial in Hanoi, the Frankfurt-educated jurist Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu was sentenced on April 4, 2011 to seven years in prison and a subsequent three years of house arrest.

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SR Vietnam: For nine months, no sign of life from the imprisoned blogger Dieu Cay

Since his arbitrary imprisonment in October of last year, the family of the well-known blogger Dieu Cay - Nguyen Van Hai has been denied visitation rights. In a call for assistance to the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), his family supposed that the denial of visits was due to the loss of his arm.

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Cuba: Brutal attack on Cuban human rights activists

As is currently known, 200 government loyalists of the "rapid response brigade" persecuted members of the peaceful Cuban human rights group "Damas de Blanco" ("Ladies in White") with massive violence. At the end of a prayer service, a spontaneous protest march took place and ended in riots. Consequently, many women had to be treated in hospitals.

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Turkey: July 24 - 88th Anniversary of Lausanne Treaty

On the occasion of the 88th Anniversary of the July 24, 1923 Lausanne Treaty, the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) recalls that the Turkish government has permanently violated the treaty’s obligation to respect the rights of minorities in its own country.

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Iran: Imprisoned civil rights activist urgently needs medical assistance

The prison conditions and medical care of imprisoned Iranian civil rights activist Farah Vazehan, who has been in Evin Prison since December 29, 2009, are scandalous. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) criticises that the most serious health impairments were ignored by the prison management and desperate hospital visits were not granted. In January 2011, the death sentence of Farah Vazehan was converted into 17 years in prison. She suffers from heart problems, a foot tumour and internal infections.

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Germany / Saudi Arabia: Tank deal with King Abdullah is a scandal

According to official, still unconfirmed reports, the German government plans to deliver 200 Leopard tanks to the Saudi regime. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) condemns such a tank deal as "scandalous and dangerous." ISHR Spokesman of the Board Martin Lessenthin: "Exporting war weapons to crisis areas, such as the Near and Middle East, is inadmissible. Should the deal go through, the German government's own claim of being a defender of human rights will reveal itself as rubbish."

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Lebanon: Maids are a status symbol

by Björn Zimprich, Beirut, May 2011

In more than a hundred thousand Lebanese households, Asian and African maids slave away for a mere $100 up to $200 per month. Their legal position is precarious. Mistreatment is nothing out of the ordinary.  The Caritas is taking care of the most serious cases. A visit to a protection centre in Beirut.

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Cuba: Human rights activist ends hunger strike

According to the information of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), imprisoned Cuban civil rights activist Jorgé García Cervantes ended his hunger strike on Monday night. Within the circle of the Cuban ISHR group, it became known that after a 30-day hunger strike, the Castro regime has agreed to release Cervantes from custody on the condition that he and his family are deported immediately to exile in Spain.

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Iran: The Mullah Regime will continue public executions

Iranian Chief Justice Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani has announced on June 27, 2011 an adherence to the practice of public executions. Moreover, executions should continue to be possible from death sentences resulting from quick court proceedings of up to one month. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) believes the Iranian regime is in a "bloodlust".

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Iran: Twelve political prisoners in Evin Prison end hunger strike

Dramatic scenes are currently playing out in Iran. Twelve regime critics in Teheran's Evin Prison have ended their nine-day hunger strike, but three Kurdish dissidents in Rajai Shahr Prison in the city of Karaj are continuing to refuse food. Meanwhile, an ISHR activist in Germany has begun a hunger strike as well. With her action, human rights activist and blogger Shiva Sokhan wants to make public the desperate situation of political prisoners in her homeland.

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Cuba: Human rights advocate in hunger strike for 30 days

According to information of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), the condition of imprisoned human rights advocate Jorgé Cervantes García is increasingly worsening. Cervantes began his hunger strike immediately after his arrest on May 29, 2011, to protest against his once-again arbitrary imprisonment. Since June 10, he has been in the intensive ward of the prisoners sector of the Saturnino Lora Hospital in Santiago de Cuba. As the ISHR reports, solidarity demonstrations calling for Cervantes's immediate release have occurred in the past several days in Cuba and Spain.

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Cuba: Catholic Church in Cuba wants to stand up for more releases

The Catholic Church apparently wants to stand up for the remaining political prisoners. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) found out, this has been promised by the diocese Havana during a meeting with Speaker of the prisoners aid organization "Ladies in White", Laura Pollán. Mrs. Pollán reported to the ISHR: "They assured that they will help us that the prisoners, who we call political, will be released." Meanwhile the pressure on the Cuban government is increasing, especially since the death of the dissident Juan Wilfredo Soto on the 8th of May 2010. The dissident died after he had been beaten brutally by security forces.

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PR China / USA: Chinese Dissidents Sue Cisco Systems

Through its unjustified persecution and torture of people, Cisco Systems serves as the prime example of corporate indifference. The US-based Corporation produces software and IT products, which are exported in mass quantities to China, where they are used in the prosecution of innocent people. Because of these shipments, Cisco is now being sued in the USA by three dissidents. Spokesman of the Board of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), Martin Lessenthin, notes the "trend-setting effect of such court proceedings."

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Iran: Stronger actions against "un-Islamic" clothing

The Iranian government has announced a strengthening of the penalty for the violation of clothing regulations. In a press conference in Teheran on June 7, the Iranian Deputy Police Chief General Ahmadreza Radan emphasized taking harder action in the future against women who appear in public without the Islamic headscarf. For the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), this announcement is further evidence of the increasing radicalisation of the regime.

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Iran: Political Prisoner in Life Danger

Ten days of solitary confinement for complaining about inhumane prison conditions - this punishment was the Iranian judiciary's response to a protest letter from political prisoner Mehdi Mahmoudian. As a result, the journalist and opponent of the regime, whose health is severely ailing, began a "dry" hunger strike, in which he also refuses the consumption of water. In the opinion of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), the dissident hangs in "critical life danger."

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Cuba: Sakharov prize winner Guillermo Farinas in hunger strike again

The refusal of the Cuban authorities to explore the death of Juan Wilfredo Soto led to another hunger strike of the Sacharow prize winner, the independent journalist Guillermo Farinas. The ISHR is "concerned" about the hunger strike and fears for the life of the civil rights activist. Farinas already showed during his 135 days lasting hunger strike in 2010 that he is serious about it. As Farinas declared in Santa Clara, he wants to continue his hunger strike until the regime explores the death of Soto on the 8th of May 2011, punishs the culprits and stops every kind of acts of violence against dissidents.

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Cuba: "Nelson Mandela of Cuba" - non-violently for freedom

Oscar Elias Biscet estimates the political situation in his country has reached an "essential point". The afrocuban physician and human rights defender, who has been released from prison two months ago, accuses the Castro regime to use hard reprisals against dissidents. Nevertheless he wants to continue his way of non-violent resistance against the permanent human rights abuses. In the sence of many people inside Cuba and around the world Oscar Elías Biscet enjoys the reputation to be the "Nelson Mandela of Cuba". The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) supports the suggestion for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize 2011 to him.

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Cuba: Castro critic and Baptist dies after brutal mistreatment of the police

"If the dissident Juan Wilfredo Soto hasn't been mistreated by the Cuban police on last Thursday, he would still be alive today", Speaker of the Board of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), Martin Lessenthin, is sure. As the ISHR reports, security agents brutally beatened the dissident Baptist on the 5th of May in a park of the central-Cuban city Santa Clara and after that brought him to hospital. As a consequence of the brutal mistreatment, Wilfredo Soto died on Sunday.

[more ...]



Germany: Former GDR-prison Cottbus now in "Prisoner's" Hands

As a late victory over the East German dictatorship the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) celebrates the peaceful takeover of the prison Cottbus by the 'Human Rights Center Cottbus e.V.' Between 1972 until the reunification of Germany (1989) the ISHR supported around 200 prisoners which were detained in that prison: regime critics, civil rights activists, and those who only wanted to leave the GDR. Dieter Dombrowski, who is now a member of the Brandenburg parliament, and Siegmar Faust, a well-known writer and author, were detained there. An especially cruel punishment was the arrest in dark and cold cells, the so-called "tiger cages".

[more ...]



Cuba: Political prisoner Faustino Colás on hunger strike until death

In the notorious prison "Kilo 9" in the central-Cuban city Camagüey a new hunger strike drama is on the horizon. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, the political prisoner Faustino Colás wants to continue his hunger strike, which he began last Wednesday, until his death or his release. Colás role model is the human rights activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo who died on the 23rd of February 2010 in jail of as a consequence of a hunger strike.

[more ...]



Cuba: Church sermon prohibition for a protestant pastor

The Protestant pastor Omar Gude, who was released from jail in February, has to be silent in the future. The clergyman, who was recognized as a political prisoner by the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), was told by the Cuban state security, that he has to stop preaching. If he would ignore this order, he will be arrested again. During his recent imprisonment, the pastor was a victim of torture.

[more ...]



Houshang Asadi: Iran Is a Mine Field For a Writer

Today the modern part of Iran's society is in a harsh battle with religious despotism. And unfortunately, we are dreadfully alone in this battle. The free world has till now not understood the importance of the battle for freedom in Iran. It is still not understood that Shiite Taliban is far more dangerous to the world than Fascism and Stalinism. As an Iranian writer, I cannot conceal the depth of my sorrow that companies such as Siemens-Nokia are providing tools to the Islamic Republic to oppress freedom in Iran. ...

[more ...]



Cuba: Last political prisoners of the "Group of 75" released

The last two political prisoners of the "Group of the 75" who had been arrested during the "Cuban Black Spring 2003" and sentenced up to 28 years in prison, were released. Félix Navarro and José Daniel Ferrer have refused until the end to be deported to a forced exile to Spain together with their families. The Catholic Church announced at the same time that 11 more political prisoners will be released to Spain. According to the ISHR the founder of the pro-democratic youth movement Néstor Rodríguez Loabaina, who is in prison since December 2010, is among them.

[more ...]



Cuba: Political prisoner Oscar Elias Biscet released without forced exile

The Castro regime released one of the most famous political prisoners. The afro-cuban physician, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, is allowed to return to his wife Elsa Morrejón in Havana after 11 years in prison without forced exile. As the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports, the release traces back to the initiative of the Catholic Church. The news led to a big happiness of human rights activists in Cuba. Oscar Elias Biscet enjoys a high reputation in Cuba, says ISHR. This makes him to a possible leadership person for the time after Castro. Since 2004 Dr. Biscet is a honourable member of the ISHR.

[more ...]



Cuba allows mother of the dead political prisoner Orlando Zapata to leave the country

For the mother of Orlando Zapata, who died after a hunger strike one year ago, the martyrdom can come to an end soon. As ISHR reports, she and other members of the Zapata's family got an exit visa for the USA. While this is welcomed due to humanitarian reasons, the ISHR criticizes the tactic of the Castro-dictatorship, to bring oppositionists out of the country. Democrats need freedom on the island, not in exile.

[more ...]



Cuba: Political prisoner of the "Group of the 75" free without forced exile

According to information of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) the political prisoner Diosdado González Marrero has been released after 8 years in a Cuban prison on the 27th of February. He was one of eleven prisoners who refused to buy their freedom with exile. The human rights defender was arrested during the so-called Cuban "Black Spring" in the year 2003 and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He wants to continue his work as a non-violent dissident.

[more ...]



Cuba: Political prisoner in hunger strike taken to hospital

Néstor Rodríguez Lobaina - the founder of the dissident youth movement "Movimiento Cubano de Jóvenes por la Democracia" (MCJD) - was taken to hospital after 14 days of hunger strike. Since the 9th of December 2010 he is in the prison Combinado de Guatánamo. Due to information of the ISHR, the prison administration denied to give him drinking water during eight days - a common method, in order to break the will of the prisoner.

[more ...]



Cuba: Arrests on the centenary of Orlando Zapata's death of starvation

The Cuban government again takes drastic measures. 40 dissidents were arrested and other 50 were put under house arrest. They wanted to commemorate the human rights defender Orlando Zapata Tamayo in several demonstrations, who had died on the 23rd of February 2010 as a consequence of his hunger strike. For the ISHR these drastic measures of the authorities show the new/old strategy of the Castro regime: While the foreign countries are presented the "release" of political prisoners, the screws are tightened in the country.

[more ...]



CRDHC-Annual Report on Human Rights in Cuba 2010

The abbriviated report of the Consejo de Relatores de Derechos Humanos de Cuba (CRDHC) - The Cuban Council of Human Rights Reporters (CCHRC) contains following parts: prison conditions, political repression against the peaceful opposition, economic repression, freedom of worship and religion and recommendations to the Cuban government.

[to the report ...]



Cuba: Release of two political prisoners without forced exile

The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) calls the release of the political prisoners Hector Maseda and Angel Moya as a "success of the international pressure towards the Castro regime". In contrast to the prisoners of conscience that have been released so far, both of them can continue their activities in the democracy movement on the island. Now the Castro regime has to allow the return of the over 40 democracy activists who have been pushed to a forced exile.

[more ...]



Cuban Human Rights Advocate Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet González Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize 2011

Freedom Now and the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights are pleased to announce the nomination of Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet González for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Prime Minister of Hungary, members of the Parliament of Canada, members of the United States Congress, members of the European Parliament, members of the British House of Lords, and a leading member of another government.

[more ...]



Belarus: Open Letter by 9 European civil and human rights organizations

Nine civil and human rights organizations of several European countries jointly express in an Open Letter to the Belarusian authorities and to the Governments of the EU Member States the deepest concern about the mass detentions and serious human rights violations in December 2010. They express their full solidarity with people and organizations who are suffering due to the tyranny of Europe's last country of dictatorship and call up to sign the Petition demanding the respect of fundamental human rights in Belarus.

[more ...]



Cuba: Police arrests human rights activists

The Cuban physician and human rights activist Dr. Darsi Ferrer became again a victim of an assault of the Cuban state security. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) reports that he, his wife and two other dissidents have been prevented from participating in a workshop on the relationship between Cuba and the EU on the 1st of December, to which the citizen platform "Proyecto Nuevo País" invited them. It had to take place in the house of the activist of the democratic opposition Juan Antonio Madrazo.

[more ...]



Cuba: Prosecution even after the death - Orlando Zapata Tamayo

The Cuban authorities want to exhume and burn the subject of the dead human rights activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo who was buried at the end of February 2010. Apparently the remains of the prominent member of the democratic opposition should be brought out of the country. The ISHR criticizes that the Castro regime tries to get rid of the grave of the civil rights activist - already a place of pilgrimage of the opposition - as a memorial of their own failure.

[more ...]



A sign of hope from Havana: Oppositionists divine signs for the Castro regime's political destabilization

The last months were full of movement in an else wise lethargic Cuban political everyday life between state propaganda and an economy of scarcity. The hunger striking Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s death in February, the following hunger strike of the oppositional journalist Guillermo Farinas, the release of until now 28 political prisoners and the reappearance of Fidel Castro did create a new political situation. In this process two of the most moulded dissidents divine explicit signs for a weakening of the dictatorship. Both hope for the beginning of the Castro regime's end.

[more ...]



ISHR Georgia Report 2010: Prison Conditions in the Republic of Georgia

The living conditions in prisons and prison camps of Georgia - also known under their euphemistic name as "correctional facilities" - are not conducive of improved outcomes for inmates. Quite the contrary: The system amounts to an offence against international standards for correctional facilities. Requests for help in order to stop torture in the prisons are common. The  availability of medical care in prisons and camps is totally inadequate leading to a very high mortality in Georgian prisons. The human rights of the inmates are simply being ignored.

[more ...]



ISHR Guatemala Working Group Report 2009/2010

Guatemala is a poor country with the majority of the population unskiied and lacking in education. Crime is increasing and the authorities are unable to control the situation. Members of our organization have visited the most dangerous and violent prisons of the country. But the main activity of our organization is to support the education of the Maya community in Guatemala and to help to solve the problem of discrimination against this minority.

[more ...]



ISHR Cameroon Section and FHRD Activity Report 2008/2009

In January 2008 the ISHR Cameroon Section and The Foundation for Human Rights and Development (FHRD) spelled out the state of the relationship that will bind them henceforth. Since then they work together to ensure that a culture of genuine human rights, access to justice and a fight against corruption is jointly conducted in Cameroon. Here ist their Activity Report 2008/2009.

[more ...]



Cuba – on the path to more democracy?

One month after the announced release of 52 political prisoners new violation against civil rights activists and independent journalists minimize the hope that the Castro regime could move in the direction of  respect for human rights and more democracy. The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) in Frankfurt, Germany today criticized that the releases go on very slowly and in tiny rates. Until August 23 just 23 political prisoners who could or were forced to leave the Castro state had been released. Most of them would have rather stayed on the island to continue their commitment for a free and civil society. In the light of this fact the EU-Cuba NGO Network appeals to the European Union.

[more ...] 

Newsletter of the International Society  


ISHR Australia - Activity Report 2009

Newsletter of the International Society for Human
Rights-Australia Inc.
PO Box 168 Thomastown Victoria 3074
Vol: 5-No: 2 October 2009
ABN 79 428 071 539 Inc:A0031346L.

[Report, pdf-file (313 kb) ...]

To teach Dictators a lesson   


To teach Dictators a lesson


[to teach Dictators a lesson  ...]]

Die Volksrepublik China setzt Folter systematisch ein.  


Systematic Torture in the People's Republic of China

Despite economic splendour and the Olympic shine, the People's Republic of China (PRC) is undoubtedly a one party dictatorship. Censorship and immense human rights violations, such as the use of systematic torture, take place on a daily basis.

[Systematic Torture in the People's Republic of China ...]

Torture methods in the People's Republic of China


Torture methods in the People's Republic of China

Almost every prisoner in the 's Republic of China had to or still has to suffer being beaten and kicked. This by far most common form of abuse is especially easy to spot once the prisoner has been released from prison as the victims exhibit widespread bruises and injuries on their bodies. Numerous victims of torture have reported that the beatings and other torture methods stopped a few weeks before they were due to be released from the camps or penitentiaries in order not to leave behind any external signs of the abuse.

[to the narration...]

The ISHR Armenian working group


The ISHR Armenian working group started a long term project for disabled people

ISHR Armenian working group started on March 31, 2009 its project for disabled people "Our Right of Leisure" with a great three-hour-charity-concert in the large hall of the State Opera and Ballet Theatre of Yerevan. More than 20 Armenian stars singers and dances, some of them disabled themselves like the blind singer Sasha Isaev were on the stage. This project is very necessary in Armenia because the disabled are the fringe group of the society.

[more ...]


ISHR Exhibition "Discover the real Cuba"

The ISHR exhibition "Discover the real Cuba" shows the hidden side of Cuba's reality - a police state, censorship, economic misery and severe persecution. It portrays cases of political prisoners in Cuba, their places of detention and prisons, the situation of their families and relatives. It explains the importance of tourism for Cuba's rulers and its outcome for the citizens. The exhibition opening took place on December 5, 2007 in the representation building of Saarland in Berlin and will be shown in 100 cities of Germany.


? Internationale Gesellschaft f?r Menschenrechte (IGFM), deutsche Sektion e.V. Spendenkonto: 23 000 725, Taunussparkasse, BLZ 512 500 00