Category Archives: regional human rights protection

Inter-American Court Holds 108th Ordinary Session and 52nd Extraordinary Session

Inter-American Court judges

Judges of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Credit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) is currently holding its 108th Ordinary Session, which began on April 13 and will conclude on April 17, 2015 in San Jose, Costa Rica, and will be holding its 52nd Special Session from April 20 to April 24, 2015 in Cartagena, Colombia.

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African Commission Addresses Torture of Human Rights Defenders in Sudan

51st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' RightsCredit: ACHPR
The 15th Extra Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights  Credit: ACHPR

The 15th Extra Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Credit: ACHPR

On March 10, 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights published a decision condemning Sudan’s mistreatment of human rights defenders, which remains a pressing concern in the country.  In the case of Monim Elgak, Osman Hummeida and Amir Suliman v. Sudan, the African Commission held that the government of Sudan violated several articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights when authorities arrested, detained, and tortured three human rights defenders who were accused of espionage based on their cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. ACommHPR, Monim Elgak, Osman Hummeida and Amir Suliman v. Sudan, Communication 379/09, 15th Extra-Ordinary Session, 7-14 March 2014. Since 2005, the Office of the Prosecutor has been investigating several Sudanese political leaders and other individuals charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide in connection with the situation in Darfur.

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ECtHR: Refusal to Authorize Gender Reassignment Surgery Violates Convention

Judges deliberating at the European Court of Human Rights   Credit: Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights   Credit: Council of Europe

The European Court of Human Rights
Credit: Council of Europe

On March 10, 2015, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) released its judgment in Y.Y. v. Turkey, where it unanimously held that the State’s refusal to authorize gender reassignment surgery for the transsexual applicant violated the right to respect for private life under the European Convention of Human Rights. See ECtHR, Y.Y. v. Turkey, no. 14793/08, Judgment of 10 March 2015 (decision is currently being processed). The Court reasoned that the State’s grounds for denying the surgery – including that the applicant was not unable to procreate – were not sufficient, and that the State’s interference with Y.Y.’s right to respect for his private life was not “necessary” in a democratic society, thus violating Article 8 of the European Convention. The Court stated that transsexuals’ rights to personal development and physical and moral security “could not be regarded as a matter of controversy.” [ECtHR Press Release]

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European Court Upholds Journalists’ Use of Hidden Cameras

European Court of Human RightsCredit: CherryX per Wikimedia Commons
European Court of Human RightsCredit: CherryX per Wikimedia Commons

European Court of Human Rights
Credit: CherryX per Wikimedia Commons

On February 24, 2015, the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in the case of Haldimann and Others v. Switzerland, concerning journalists’ use of secret recordings to report on malpractice in the insurance industry. See ECtHR, Haldimann and Others v. Switzerland, no. 21830/09, Judgment of 24 February 2015 (French only). This was the first time the Court reviewed journalists’ use of hidden cameras to provide information on a subject of general public interest, where the person was not filmed in a personal capacity but as a representation of a particular professional category. [Human Rights Europe] Read more

Inter-American Court of Human Rights Holds 107th Session

The Inter-American Court in session.Credit: IACtHR
The Inter-American Court in session.Credit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court in session.
Credit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) convened its 107th regular session from January 26 to February 6, 2015 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The Court held hearings concerning five pending cases, provisional measures regarding Venezuelan prisons, and States’ compliance with four previous judgments. [IACtHR Press Release (Spanish)]

Public hearings were held on the following pending cases: Rural Community of Santa Barbara v. Peru, Galindo Cárdenas v. Peru, López Lone et al. v. Honduras, Kaliña and Lokono Peoples v. Suriname, and García Ibarra and Family v. Ecuador. These cases involve allegations of forced disappearance and arbitrary detention during Peru’s internal armed conflict, administrative punishment of judges who questioned the legality of the coup d’état in Honduras, indigenous land rights in Suriname, and the killing of an unarmed teenager by police in Ecuador, respectively. Read more

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