Geneva-Paris, October 11, 2006. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), jointly with Amnesty International – France, reiterate their deep concern regarding the situation of Mr. Parvez Imroz, an Indian human rights lawyer and founder of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP).
On June 2, 2006, Mr. Parvez Imroz was awarded the international human rights prize “Ludovic-Trarieux” by the Human Rights Institutes of the Bars of Bordeaux, Brussels, Paris and the European Bar Human Rights Institute. This prize is awarded every year to a lawyer who works for the defence of human rights, the rule of law, the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form.
In order to receive his prize, Mr. Imroz was invited to France on October 13, 2006. In this regard, he has made several requests to the Indian authorities to obtain a renewal of his passport in the past months. Numerous national and international organisations, bars and individual lawyers took action by means of letters to the Indian authorities, supporting Mr. Imroz’ application so that he may be allowed to leave the country. However, to date, Mr. Imroz’ requests remains without response.
In view of these obstacles to Mr. Imroz’ freedom of movement, his wife and nephew, Mr. Parvez Khurram, also a human rights defender, are to represent him at the ceremony and receive the prize on his behalf.
In this regard, the Observatory and Amnesty International France urge the Indian authorities to ensure in all circumstances that Mr. Parvez Imroz’ wife and Mr. Parvez Khurram will be able to travel to France and back to India freely, in conformity with article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides that “everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own”.
More generally, the Observatory and Amnesty International France call upon the Indian authorities to put an end to any act of harassment against human rights defenders, and to conform with regional and international human rights instruments, in particular the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998.
For further information, please contact:
FIDH: Gael Grilhot: + 33 1 43 55 25 18
OMCT: Delphine Reculeau: + 41 22 809 49 39
Amnesty International France: Hélène Desodt: + 33 1 53 38 65 28