Communications issued by the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment

In the table below, you will find all the communications issued by the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment organised alphabetically by country. These communications have been published in the joint communications report of special procedures mandate holders, and the reports are also mentioned for easier reference. Allegation letters are identified with (AL), urgent appeal with (UA), and other communications with (OTH). Several communications are addressed jointly with other Special procedure mandates, and are therefore joint communications, identified with as JAL or JUA.

Please submit information to the Special Procedures by accessing the “Online submission to special procedures”.

To access all communications reports of special procedures, including those of previous years, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/CommunicationsreportsSP.aspx

Country

Date

Type of comm and ref.

Summary of the allegations transmitted
(original language)

Reply from State

Published in report

Malaysia

18/08/2014

JAL

Allegations of excessive use of force by the police against environmental and human rights defenders, and local residents who were peacefully protesting against an Australian private company. According to the information received, Lynas Corporation, and its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) is a rare earth processing plant currently being set up in Kuantan, Malaysia, that will potentially impose tons of toxic waste on the local community. On 22 June 2014, around 1,000 environmental activists, human rights defenders and local residents gathered to peacefully protest against the Australian mining company, Lynas Corporation, at Jalan Bandaran in Gebeng, Malaysia. Reportedly, after attempts to negotiate with the police, several protesters were beaten and arrested. Two protesters were hospitalized and one sustained serious injuries to his head. Fifteen Malaysian protesters were charged with, among others, unlawful assembly and rioting: Wong Tack, leader of Himpunan Hijau Hijau, (Green Assembly), a Malaysian environmentalist movement, and five of its members - Phua Kia Yeow, Ho Kam Huat, Wong Chee Wai, Wong Chee Wen and Foong Poh Choo - and Chong Kong Yeun, Raymond Ng Abdullah, Hew Kuan Yau, Thomas Wang, Ta Weng Seng, Rapar Ahmad, Lee Khai Ming, Tan Chee Hooi and Zamri Zonal. Ms. Natalie Lowrey, an Australian citizen, was also arrested and detained for six days, during which she was denied access to basic necessities, including water, before being deported to Australia on 27 June 2014.

05/02/2016

 

 

 

 

A/HRC/32/53

Other

29/02/2016

JAL
OTH 13/2016

Alleged human rights violations associated with the Don Sahong dam development project of the lower Mekong River in the territory of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2 kilometres from the Laos-Cambodia border. According to the information received, the dam construction, operated by a Malaysian developer, Mega First, is likely to adversely affect approximately 29.7 million people residing both upstream and downstream from the Mekong dam in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Despite the anticipated risks, it is alleged that the project is proceeding without adequate environmental and human rights impact assessment and in the absence of meaningful consultation with the concerned population while posing a considerable threat to the livelihoods of people living in the area, particularly in relation to their right to an adequate standard of living, including the rights to adequate food and housing, the right to the highest standard of physical and mental health, cultural rights, the rights to information and participation, as well as the rights of indigenous peoples. Related communications were sent to the Governments of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Malaysia on 16 and 29 February 2016, respectively, see above, case nos. LAO 1/2016 and MYS 1/2016, as well as to Mega First Corporation Berhad, see above, case no. OTH 12/2016.

 

A/HRC/32/53

Other

 

29/02/2016

JAL
OTH 12/2016

Alleged human rights violations associated with the Don Sahong dam development project of the lower Mekong River in the territory of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2 kilometres from the Laos-Cambodia border. According to the information received, the dam construction, operated by a Malaysian developer, Mega First, is likely to adversely affect approximately 29.7 million people residing both upstream and downstream from the Mekong dam in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Despite the anticipated risks, it is alleged that the project is proceeding without adequate environmental and human rights impact assessment and in the absence of meaningful consultation with the concerned population while posing a considerable threat to the livelihoods of people living in the area, particularly in relation to their right to an adequate standard of living, including the rights to adequate food and housing, the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, cultural rights, the rights to information and participation, as well as the rights of indigenous peoples. Related communications were sent to the Governments of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Malaysia on 16 and 29 February 2016, respectively, see above, case nos. LAO 1/2016 and MYS 1/2016, as well as to Mekong River Commission, see below, case no. OTH 13/2016.

 

A/HRC/32/53

Malaysia

29/02/2016

JAL
MYS 1/2016

Alleged human rights violations associated with the Don Sahong dam development project of the lower Mekong River in the territory of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2 kilometres from the Laos-Cambodia border. According to the information received, the dam construction, operated by a Malaysian developer, Mega First, is likely to adversely affect approximately 29.7 million people residing both upstream and downstream from the Mekong dam in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Despite the anticipated risks, it is alleged that the project is proceeding without adequate environmental and human rights impact assessment and in the absence of meaningful consultation with the concerned population while posing a considerable threat to the livelihoods of people living in the area, particularly in relation to their right to an adequate standard of living, including the rights to adequate food and housing, the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, cultural rights, the rights to information and participation, as well as the rights of indigenous peoples. A related communication was sent to the Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic on 16 February 2016, see above, case no. LAO 1/2016, as well as to Mega First Corporation Berhad and the Mekong River Commission on 29 February 2016, see below, case nos. OTH 12/2016 and 13/2016.

 

A/HRC/32/53

Other

16/02/2016

JAL
OTH 1/2016

Allegations of intimidation, in the form of a verbal threat, and harassment, against an environmental human rights defender following his complaints against the fourth independent power plant (IPP4) Al-Manakher Power Plant located in the east of Amman, Jordan. According to the information received, on 8 September and 24 November 2015, Mr. Farhan Issa Ahmed Al-Daboubi, a 60-year old engineer, was summoned by the authorities and questioned about his letters of complaint against IPP4. It is alleged that on 24 November 2015, after being detained for 24 hours, as a condition of release, the police requested Mr. Al-Dadoubi to sign a document committing him not to write to any international organization regarding the IPP4 Project and AES Levant Holding BV Jordan PSC. A related communication was sent to the Government of Jordan on 16 February 2016, see above, case no. JOR 2/2016.

03/04/2016

A/HRC/32/53

Lao People's Democratic Republic

16/02/2016

JAL
LAO 1/2016

Alleged human rights violations associated with the Don Sahong dam development project of the lower Mekong River in the territory of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2 kilometres from the Laos-Cambodia border. According to the information received, the dam construction, operated by a Malaysian developer, Mega First, is likely to adversely affect approximately 29.7 million people residing both upstream and downstream from the Mekong dam in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Despite the anticipated risks, it is alleged that the project is proceeding without adequate environmental and human rights impact assessment and in the absence of meaningful consultations with the concerned population while posing a considerable threat to the livelihoods of people living in the area, particularly in relation to their right to an adequate standard of living, including the rights to adequate food and housing, the right to the highest standard of physical and mental health, cultural rights, the rights to information and participation, as well as the rights of indigenous peoples. A related communication was sent to the Government of Malaysia on 29 February 2016, see below, case no. MYS 1/2016, as well as to Mega First Corporation Berhad and the Mekong River Commission on 29 February 2016, see below, case nos. OTH 12/2016 and OTH 13/2016.

 

A/HRC/32/53

Jordan

 

16/02/2016

JAL
JOR 2/2016

Allegations of intimidation, in the form of a verbal threat, and harassment, against an environmental human rights defender following his complaints against the fourth independent power plant (IPP4), Al-Manakher Power Plant, located in the east of Amman, Jordan. According to the information received, on 8 September and 24 November 2015, Mr. Farhan Issa Ahmed Al-Daboubi, a 60-year-old engineer, was summoned by the authorities and questioned about his letters of complaint against IPP4. It is alleged that on 24 November 2015, after being detained for 24 hours, as a condition of release, the police requested Mr. Al-Dadoubi to sign a document committing him not to write to any international organization regarding the IPP4 Project and AES Levant Holding BV Jordan PSC. A related communication was sent to AES Levant Holding BV Jordan PSC on 16 February 2016, see below, case no. OTH 1/2016.

 

A/HRC/32/53

Nicaragua

14/01/2016

JAL
NIC 6/2015

Alegaciones de abuso de autoridad y funciones, y falta de protección de manifestantes y defensores de derechos humanos, por parte de la Policía Nacional nicaragüense en el marco de una manifestación campesina contra la construcción del Canal interoceánico en Nicaragua. Según las informaciones recibidas, en el contexto de acciones de comunidades campesinas y pueblos indígenas contra la construcción del Canal interoceánico en Nicaragua, el Consejo por la Defensa de la Tierra, Lago y Soberanía habría convocado una marcha campesina a nivel nacional para el 27 de octubre de 2015, con el fin de protestar contra el mencionado proyecto y demandar la derogación de la “Ley Especial para el Desarrollo de Infraestructura y Transporte Nicaragüense atingente a El Canal, Zonas de Libre Comercio e Infraestructuras Asociadas” (Ley n. 840). Las autoridades habrían obstaculizado la participación de las personas en las manifestaciones sin razón o motivo aparente. Se reportaron varias detenciones, presuntamente arbitrarias, confiscación de bienes personales, sin mandato judicial y agresiones a los manifestantes por parte de otros grupos de individuos, sin la debida protección   por parte de las autoridades. Estas alegaciones conllevarían presuntas violaciones de los derechos a la libertad de reunión y libertad de expresión, así como el derecho a la libertad y a la seguridad personal.

11/03/2016
11/03/2016

A/HRC/32/53

Guatemala

07/01/2016

JUA
GTM 6/2015

Alegaciones de hostigamiento y amenazas de muerte en contra de un abogado y defensor de los derechos humanos. Según las informaciones recibidas, el 11 de mayo de 2015, el Sr. Pedro Rafael Maldonado Flores, abogado y director del área legal del Centro de Acción Legal-Ambiental y Social de Guatemala (CALAS), habría recibido amenazas de muerte de una mujer desconocida. El 27 de mayo de 2015, el Sr. Maldonado habría sido objeto de una nota publicada en un diario electrónico desprestigiando su trabajo de abogado de derechos humanos. El 29 de julio de 2015, una persona desconocida habría disparado en contra de la oficina del Sr. Maldonado en el CALAS, mientras él estaba trabajando adentro. El 3 y el 4 de diciembre de 2015, el Sr. Maldonado habría recibido amenazas de muerte en su cuenta en la red social Twitter. El Sr. Maldonado y el CALAS fueron objetos de comunicaciones anteriores, con fechas del 23 de septiembre de 2008 (véase A/HRC/10/12/Add.1, caso no. 19/2008), del 5 de agosto de 2013 (véase A/HRC/25/74, caso no. GTM 6/2013) y del 25 de noviembre de 2015 (véase A/HRC/31/79, caso no. GTM 4/2015).

 

A/HRC/32/53

Finland

15/12/2015

JUA
FIN 1/2015

Alleged lack of meaningful and effective public participation during the drafting phase of new legislation to regulate the Finnish Forest and Parks Enterprise (Metsähallitus), which regulates the management of State owned lands. Alleged lack of recognition of the Sami and their rights as an indigenous people, notably their right to free, prior and informed consent and to enjoy their own culture and the right to their lands and resources, in the proposed new law. According to the information received, the Sami Parliament has been unable to participate in the law-making process and the most recent draft does not include articles safeguarding the rights of the Sami as an indigenous people. Serious concerns are expressed, inter alia, that the business operations of the proposed company will lead to increased deforestation and mining activities in the Sami Homeland region and to further fragmentation and destruction of the Sami people’s traditional herding, hunting and fishing grounds resulting in an imminent threat to the Sami people and their traditional livelihoods and other land-based cultural activities.

22/12/2015

A/HRC/32/53

Ecuador

10/12/2015

JAL
ECU 6/2015

Alegaciones sobre actos de violencia física y verbal y actos de intimidación contra mujeres defensoras de derechos humanos. Según las informaciones recibidas, el 20 de octubre de 2015, Lina Solano, Maria Herlinda Gutama, Georgina Gutama, Elsa Urgilés, Nancy Gutama, Etelvina Misacango, Maria Mercedes Gutama y Maria Ángeles Gutama habrían participado en una manifestación pacífica en contra del proyecto minero ‘Rio Blanco’ cuando policías y agentes de seguridad publica las habrían agredido de manera física y verbal y las habrían retenido por más de dos horas. Agentes de seguridad pública las habrían amenazado con detenerlas diciendo que estaban fichadas. Se expresa grave preocupación por estas alegaciones que restringirían indebidamente sus derechos a la libertad de expresión y de la reunión pacífica y sus actividades en la promoción de los derechos humanos

20/04/2016

A/HRC/32/53

Guatemala

25/11/2015

JAL
GTM 4/2015

Presuntas violaciones de varios derechos humanos de al menos 12.000 personas que viven en 14 comunidades en el departamento de El Petén, Guatemala, debido a la contaminación del río La Pasión además de  alegaciones de restricciones en el trabajo de defensores de derechos humanos denunciando  esta situación. Según la información recibida, desde abril de 2015 se ha encontrado una gran cantidad de peces muertos flotando en el río. Se alega que la muerte de peces en el río La Pasión está relacionada con la presencia de altos niveles de un pesticida organofosforado llamado "malatión". La contaminación del río fue responsabilidad de REPSA, una empresa de aceite de palma que tiene una plantación y una planta de procesamiento ubicada cerca de los afluentes de dicho río. Se alega además que el río La Pasión es una fuente hídrica esencial para el sustento de aproximadamente 12.000 personas del municipio de Sayaxché. Igualmente, se ha constatado que  miembros de las comunidades utilizan el agua del río para lavar ropa, pesca cocinar, beber, bañarse y para la agricultura de subsistencia.

 

A/HRC/31/79

Brazil

24/11/2015

JUA
BRA 10/2015

Alleged detrimental human rights impact caused by the collapse of an ore tailing waste dam in Bento Rodrigues, a sub-district of Mariana municipality in Minas Gerais state belonging to Samarco Mining S.A., a joint venture between Vale S.A. and BHP Billiton Brazil Ltda. According to the information received, 50 million cubic metres of iron ore waste, contaminated with hazardous substances and waste, washed away the entire Bento Rodrigues district of 600 inhabitants and the advancing toxic ‘mud wave’ continues to contaminate the soil, rivers, flora and fauna of the entire ecosystem of the region in its downstream path of 850 kilometres towards the sea. From the source of the contamination to the mouth of the sea, around 6 million people are affected by this disaster. The environmental damage to the region is said to be irreparable as the flood waters have produced a dense toxic mud that has entered the River Doce, contaminating it with very high levels of hazardous substances.

 

A/HRC/31/79

Cambodia

18/11/2015

JUA
KHM 5/2015

Alleged arbitrary arrest and continued detention of four human rights defenders, and a ban imposed on a human rights training session. According to the information received, on 17 August 2015, Messrs. Try Sovikea, Sun Mala, and Sim Samnang, environmental rights defenders from the Cambodian non-governmental organization Mother Nature, were arrested and later charged in connection with their involvement in a protest against foreign companies allegedly engaged in illegal sand dredging activities in the Koh Kong province. On 7 October 2015, Mr. Ven Vorn, activist for Mother Nature and community leader, was arrested following accusations of illegal logging after he and other activists constructed a small visitor centre and community meeting place for local activists involved in a campaign against the proposed construction of a hydropower dam. On 22 October 2015, local authorities in Koh Kong province banned a two-day human rights training session organized by Mother Nature for Ta Meak community members on their rights to freedom of expression after their grievances in relation to industrial projects in the province had been quashed. 

 

A/HRC/31/79

Mongolia

09/11/2015

JAL
MNG 1/2015

Alleged arbitrary deportation of an environmental civil society activist in relation to the exercise of his rights to freedom of opinion and expression. According to the information received, Mr Eugene Simonov is an environmental activist and a representative of Rivers without Boundaries. It is reported that, when exiting Mongolia to China through the Zamyn Uud border-crossing on 12 August 2014, he received a black stamp in his passport marked “Deported from Mongolia for 10 years till August 12, 2024” without any notification. Serious concern is expressed that his deportation may be linked to his work as a defender of environmental rights and his non-governmental organization investigations into plans by the Government, with funding from the World Bank, to build a cascade of hydro-dams and water transfer projects in Lake Baikal transboundary basin.

 

A/HRC/31/79

India

12/08/2015

JUA
IND 8/2015

 

Alleged arbitrary arrest and detention of two women human rights defenders. According to the information received, the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) had planned a large protest against forcible land acquisition in Sonbhadra and the prosecution of peaceful activists for 30 June 2015. At approximately 6.10 a.m. of that day, around 20 armed police officers of the Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh district, forcibly entered the house of Ms. Roma Mallik, the General Secretary of AIUFWP. Ms. Mallik and Ms. Sukalo Gond, a national committee member of AIUFWP who was present at Ms. Mallik’s house, were subsequently arrested and brought to the office of the Superintendent of Police in Sonbhadra. They were reportedly questioned about AIUFWP and their individual human rights activities. They are currently detained in Mirzapur Jail on judicial remand for further investigation into multiple allegations against them, including serious crimes punishable by up to life imprisonment.

 

A/HRC/31/79

Russian Federation

07/08/2015

JAL
RUS 4/2015

Allegations concerning the targeting and criminalization of an environmental human rights defender and the inclusion of a human rights organization on the “foreign agent” list. According to the information received, on 15 April 2015, Planet of Hopes, a non-governmental organization, was included on the so-called “foreign agents” list for carrying out its human rights activities and exercising freedom of expression. On 26 May 2015, the Ozersk City District Court ordered Planet of Hopes to pay a fine of 300,000 roubles (approx. 4,988 USD) for refusing to voluntarily register as a foreign agent. On 27 May, 24 June and 1 July 2015, the Russian national television channel ‘Russia-1’covered the court decision ordering the fine and accused Ms. Nadezdha Kutepova, director of Planet of Hopes, of industrial espionage and revealed her address. Planet of Hopes was the subject of a previous communication sent 20 June 2014, see A/HRC/28/85, case no. RUS 5/2014. The adoption and application of the Law on Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts Regarding the Regulation of Activities of Non-commercial Organisations Performing the Functions of Foreign Agents was the subject of five previous communications sent on 11 July 2012, see A/HRC/22/67, case no. RUS 5/2012; 13 June 2013, see A/HRC/25/74, case no. RUS 3/2013; 18 December 2013, see A/HRC/16/21, case no. RUS 13/2013; 20 June 2014, see A/HRC/28/85, case no. RUS 5/2014; and 14 November 2014, see A/HRC/28/85, case no. RUS 9/2014.

16/11/2015

A/HRC/31/79

Other

07/07/2015

JAL
OTH 3/2015

Alleged beating, abduction and murder of environmental human rights defenders by private security guards hired by a subsidiary pulpwood supplier company in Indonesia. According to the information received, on 27 February 2015, Mr. Indra Pelani and Mr. Nick Karim engaged in an argument with private security officers at a checkpoint owned by Wira Karya Sakti, a subsidiary pulpwood supplier company of Asia Pulp and Paper – Sinar Mas Group. It is alleged that the argument became violent and that subsequently, Mr. Pelani was severely beaten by the private security officers while Mr. Karim managed to flee and seek help. When Mr. Karim returned with around 30 local villagers, Mr. Pelani had disappeared and the security guard on duty denied all knowledge of the incident. On 28 February 2015, Mr. Pelani’s body tied with rope and his mouth stuffed with a T-shirt was discovered during a police search over five kilometres from the site of the attack. Mr. Pelani worked closely with Friends of the Earth Indonesia and was a member of the Tebo Farmers Union. A similar communication on this case was also sent to the Government of Indonesia on 7 July 2015, see above, case no. IDN 3/2015.

 

A/HRC/31/79

Indonesia

07/07/2015

JAL
IDN 3/2015

Alleged beating, abduction and murder of environmental human rights defenders by private security guards hired by a subsidiary pulpwood supplier company in Indonesia. According to the information received, on 27 February 2015, Mr. Indra Pelani and Mr. Nick Karim engaged in an argument with private security officers at a checkpoint owned by Wira Karya Sakti, a subsidiary pulpwood supplier company of Asia Pulp and Paper – Sinar Mas Group. It is alleged that the argument became violent and that subsequently, Mr. Pelani was severely beaten by the private security officers while Mr. Karim managed to flee and seek help. When Mr. Karim returned with around 30 local villagers, Mr. Pelani had disappeared and the security guard on duty denied all knowledge of the incident. On 28 February 2015, Mr. Pelani’s body tied with rope and his mouth stuffed with a T-shirt was discovered during a police search over five kilometres from the site of the attack. Mr. Pelani worked closely with Friends of the Earth Indonesia and was a member of the Tebo Farmers Union. A similar communication on this case has also been sent to Asia Pulp and Paper, case no. OTH 3/2015.

 

A/HRC/31/79

India

18/06/2015

JAL
IND 7/2015

Allegations concerning the arbitrary freezing of funds of Greenpeace India and more broadly the increasing restrictions placed on associations with regard to accessing funding. According to the information received, on 9 April 2015, the bank accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen, based on a decision taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs, on the grounds that the organization had failed to inform the concerned authorities about the transfer of foreign contributions it had received. It is however alleged that the decision to freeze Greenpeace India’s bank accounts was in fact taken in retaliation for the organization’s work in the country, including campaigns against Coal India Limited and the creation of regional anti-coal protest movements. It is further reported that the freezing of accounts and other restrictions placed on Greenpeace India are part of a wider pattern of increased limitations placed on civil society in accessing funding.

17/08/2015

A/HRC/31/79

Japan

15/06/2015

JAL
JPN 1/2015

Allegations of harassment, excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests of peaceful protestors in Okinawa. According to the information received, an unknown number of individuals, including Mr. Masatsugi Isa, Mr. Hiroj Yamashiro, Mr. Dagakku Tanimoto and Mr. Nakasone, were arrested and some of them charged with participating in peaceful sit-in protests in front of the gate of Camp Schwab. The sit-in protests are organized against the lack of public consultation about the construction of a new United States of America military base in the northern region of Okinawa, which is being built over entire coral colonies and involves the complete land fill of a bay that is the breeding ground of the endangered dugong species and will lead to the destruction of an entire ecosystem.

27/07/2015

A/HRC/31/79

Nicaragua

23/02/2015

JAL
NIC 1/2015

Alegaciones de disolución de asambleas pacíficas con uso excesivo de la fuerza y detención arbitraria de manifestantes acusados de delitos de terrorismo y exposición de personas al peligro, en el marco de protestas pacíficas contra la construcción del canal interoceánico en Nicaragua. Según la información recibida, el proyecto de construcción del canal interoceánico otorgado a la Empresa china HKND Group habría sido aprobado sin estudios del impacto medioambiental y sin consultar con las poblaciones locales directamente afectadas por las obras. A su vez, se nos reporta que hacia fines de diciembre, habrían tenido lugar protestas pacíficas en las carreteras, en contra del proyecto y/o para denunciar irregularidades, las cuales habrían sido violentamente reprimidas por la Policía Nacional. Cerca de 90 personas, entre las que se encuentran los Sres. Octavio Vicente Ortega Arana, Ronald Iván Henrique Delgado, Danilo Lorio, Freddy Antonio Orozco, Jairo Moisés Lazo Gaitán y Manuel Vega, habrían sido arrestadas de forma arbitraria y acusadas de los delitos de terrorismo y exposición de personas al peligro. Ocho días después de los arrestos, todas estas personas habrían sido liberadas. Se expresa preocupación por la dispersión violenta y criminalización de reuniones pacíficas y por el uso excesivo de la fuerza, entre otros.

 

A/HRC/29/50

Thailand

 

JUA
THA 2/2015

Allegations of threats against, incommunicado detention, attempted killing and killings of several environmental and land rights defenders, as well as threats against community members. According to the information received, on 30 November 2014, Mr. Pitan Thongpanang, who had been leading a campaign against a mining company operating the Barite mine in Nonpitan District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, was shot dead by an unknown armed man. On 3 December 2014, Mr. Somsuk Kohkrang, a land rights activist in Muang District, Krabi Province, was shot dead by an unknown armed man. On 29 December 2014, the house of Mr. Suwit Jeh-Soh, a community activist and school director in Mueng Ta Kau Village, Phattalung Province, was attacked by unknown armed individuals with multiple rounds of gunfire. On 3 February 2015, Mr. Pianrat Boonrit, a prominent land rights activist from the Premsub community in Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province, while complying with a summons he had received to present himself at Vibhavadi Rangsit Military Camp, was detained and held incommunicado for two days. On 11 February 2015, Mr. Chai Bunthonglek, a community land rights activist from the Khlong Sai Pattana Community in Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province, was shot dead by two unidentified armed men. Two previous communications concerning killings of environmental and land rights defenders were sent to the Government of Thailand; on 9 January 2013, see A/HRC/23/51, case no. THA 1/2013; and on 2 April 2013, see A/HRC/24/21, case no. THA 3/2013.

24/02/2015
02/04/2015
21/05/2015

A/HRC/29/50

Canada

27/11/2014

JAL
CAN 1/2014

Alleged surveillance of environmental and aboriginal organizations in the context of hearings concerning an oil pipeline project. According to the information received, the National Energy Board and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) have carried out surveillance of environmental and aboriginal organizations, including Leadnow, ForestEthics Advocacy Association, the Council of Canadians, the Dogwood Initiative, EcoSociety, the Sierra Club of British Colombia and Idle No More, and shared the information collected with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and private sector companies. Information received alleges that this surveillance took place in 2013 in the context of hearings concerning an oil pipeline project. The issue of undue monitoring of associations was the subject of an earlier communication sent to the Government of Canada on 7 November 2013, see A/HRC/25/74, case no. CAN 4/2013.

27/01/2015
27/01/2015
27/01/2015
27/01/2015
27/01/2015
27/01/2015

A/HRC/28/85

Colombia

21/11/2014

JAL
COL 7/2014

Alegaciones de acoso, rastreo, intimidación y asesinatos de defensores de los derechos humanos ambientales del Movimiento Ríos Vivos (MRV), un movimiento de defensa de los territorios y las comunidades afectadas por la construcción de represas y proyectos mineros en Colombia. Desde la participación de MRV en las protestas sociales en 2012 en contra de la construcción de la represa Hidroituango, se alega que la señora Isabel Cristina Zuleta ha sido víctima de rastreo, ha recibido amenazas de muerte y sus comunicaciones han sido interceptadas ilegalmente. El 2 de julio de 2014, la hija adolescente de la señora Asened Higuita Higuita, una líder de MRV, fue seguida por individuos cuando regresaba a su casa. Se informa, además, que el señor José Orlando González Herrón, líder en el municipio de Briceño, donde se está construyendo la represa de Hidroituango, recibió amenazas de muerte el 2 de enero y 17 de septiembre de 2013.

29/01/2015

A/HRC/28/85

Peru

08/10/2014

JUA
PER 2/2014

Presunto supuestos ataques y asesinatos contra miembros de comunidades  indígenas y defensores de derechos humanos en el Perú. Según la información recibida, el 20 de febrero y el 5 de noviembre de 2014, el señor Washington Bolívar Díaz recibió amenazas de muerte por parte de un maderero ilegal y un agricultor, respectivamente. El  3 de junio 2014, el Señor Edwin Chota Valera, líder Asháninka, presentó una carta al Presidente del Consejo de Ministros del Perú denunciando las múltiples amenazas de muerte recibidas por miembros de la misma comunidad. El 1 de septiembre de 2014, los señores Edwin Chota Valera, Jorge Ríos Pérez, Leoncio Quinticima Meléndez y Francisco Pinedo, todos líderes Asháninkas, se dirigían a la frontera con Brasil cuando encontraron una base maderera ilegal y solicitaron a los ocupantes abandonar sus tierras. En respuesta a esta solicitud habrían sido agredidos y asesinados por los presuntos madereros ilegales.

 

A/HRC/28/85

Republic of Korea

18/08/2014

JAL
KOR 3/2014

Allegations of excessive use of force by Government employees, private security and police officers against environmental human rights defenders and communities affected, who were protesting against the construction of sixty-nine high-voltage (765kv) nuclear power transmission towers by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) in five villages of Miryang, Gyeongsang-do Province. According to the information received, the protesters share a grave concern that these nuclear power towers will cause environmental destruction and damage to food crops, resulting in serious violations of human rights for the largely aging population, notably the right to an adequate standard of living,  the right to food and the right to health. Reportedly, most residents are senior citizens in their seventies, who have been denied meaningful, participatory consultations with Government agencies or KEPCO since 2007. Reports indicate that peaceful protests have been violently suppressed since 2012. The most recent incident occurred on 11 June 2014 when around 2,000 police officers and 200 Miryang public officers were mobilized against approximately 100 senior residents conducting ‘sit-in’ protests at five construction sites, resulting in a series of human rights abuses, including personal injuries, the illegal arrest of protesters and the illegal collection of video footage.

22/10/2014

A/HRC/28/85

Malaysia

18/08/2014

JAL
MYS 5/2014

Allegations of excessive use of force by the police against environmental and human rights defenders, and local residents who were peacefully protesting against an Australian private company. According to the information received, Lynas Corporation, and its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) is a rare earth processing plant currently being set up in Kuantan, Malaysia, that will potentially impose tons of toxic waste on the local community. On 22 June 2014, around 1,000 environmental activists, human rights defenders and local residents gathered to peacefully protest against the Australian mining company, Lynas Corporation, at Jalan Bandaran in Gebeng, Malaysia. Reportedly, after attempts to negotiate with the police, several protesters were beaten and arrested. Two protesters were hospitalized and one sustained serious injuries to his head. Fifteen Malaysian protesters were charged with, among others, unlawful assembly and rioting: Wong Tack, leader of Himpunan Hijau Hijau, (Green Assembly), a Malaysian environmentalist movement, and five of its members - Phua Kia Yeow, Ho Kam Huat, Wong Chee Wai, Wong Chee Wen and Foong Poh Choo - and Chong Kong Yeun, Raymond Ng Abdullah, Hew Kuan Yau, Thomas Wang, Ta Weng Seng, Rapar Ahmad, Lee Khai Ming, Tan Chee Hooi and Zamri Zonal. Ms. Natalie Lowrey, an Australian citizen, was also arrested and detained for six days, during which she was denied access to basic necessities, including water, before being deported to Australia on 27 June 2014.

 

A/HRC/28/85

Thailand

01/07/2014

JAL
THA 5/2014

Allegations of attacks and threats against villagers of Nanongbong, Loei Province, and environmental activists campaigning against the environmental and health impacts of gold mines in their communities. According to the information received, on 15 May 2014, a group of approximately 300 unidentified men, led by a Lieutenant General of the Royal Thai Army, armed with knives, sticks and guns, allegedly entered Nanongbong village in Loei Province. The villagers of Nanongbong belong to the Khon Rak Ban Keod Group and have been actively campaigning against a gold mining company in their district, which is owned by Tungkum Limited (TKL) since 2004. Approximately forty villagers were reportedly attacked and held against their will by the armed men. They were blindfolded, handcuffed and forced to lay face-down on the ground, and many of them were beaten. The villagers and environmental activists were held until the armed men had managed to transfer minerals out of the mine. On 9 June 2014, soldiers were deployed to the area to protect the villagers of Wangsaphung District and the mining company and to create a climate of reconciliation.

09/09/2014

A/HRC/28/85

Russian Federation

07/03/2014

JUA
RUS 3/2014

Alleged enforced disappearance of an environmental rights defender. According to the information received, on 3 February 2014, Mr. Evgeny Vitishko was detained for swearing while at a public bus stop. On 18 February 2014, Mr. Vitishko was transferred to pre-trial detention centre No.1 in Krasnodar instead of being released. On 24 February 2014, it was discovered that Mr. Vitishko’s fate and whereabouts were unknown. Mr. Vitishko works with Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC), an independent group that published a report on environmental damage caused by preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.  Since 2011, Mr. Vitishko has been involved in legal proceedings related to alleged damage to a disputed fence in Krasnodar. In November 2011, he received a three-year suspended sentence. In November 2013, he was imprisoned for alleged breach of curfew, a condition of his probation. Grave concern is expressed about the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Vitishko.

16/07/2014

A/HRC/27/72

Cameroun

21/02/2014

JAL
CMR 1/2014

Allégations d’attaques physiques, arrestations arbitraires et harcèlement judiciaire contre des membres de deux organisations non-gouvernementales (ONG): Struggle to Economise Future Environment (SEFE) et Nature Cameroon, ainsi que des interdictions arbitraires imposées aux membres de Nature Cameroon de se réunir et de participer à des réunions publiques non déclarées. Selon les informations reçues, le directeur de SEFE, M. Nasako Besingi, serait victime d’harcèlement judiciaire et aurait été récemment accusé d’avoir pris part à l’organisation et la conduite d’une réunion publique non déclarée. L’ONG Nature Cameroon quant à elle aurait vu son droit de tenir des réunions et des manifestations publiques suspendu pour avoir tenu, par le passé, des réunions non autorisées répétées. Certains de ses membres auraient également été agressés par un groupe de quatre hommes travaillant pour de l’entreprise d’Herakles Farms. SEFE a déjà fait l’objet d’une lettre d’allégation envoyée le 4 janvier 2013, réf. A/HRC/23/51, no. CMR 6/2012. Des questions concernant des allégations de violations du droit à la liberté de réunion pacifique ont fait l’objet de deux lettres d’allégation envoyées le 8 mai 2012, réf. A/HRC/21/49, no. CMR 1/2012, et le 10 juillet 2012, réf. A/HRC/22/67/Corr.2, no. CMR 2/2012.

 

A/HRC/26/21

Russian Federation

20/12/2013

JAL
RUS 14/2013

Alleged arbitrary detention of 30 environmental activists after their participation in a peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic Circle. According to the information received, on 18 September 2013, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was present in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the arctic, to protest against the activities of the Prirazlomnaya oil platform. It is reported that Ms. Sini Saarela and Mr. Marco Paolo Weber attempted to climb the structure of the platform with the aim of unfurling a banner below the main deck. It is further reported that masked coast guards approached and collided with the Greenpeace inflatable boats and that 30 activists were subsequently arrested. On 26 and 29 September 2013, a court in Murmansk remanded the 30 activists in custody for two months on charges of piracy. These charges were reportedly later changed to “hooliganism”, which can carry a sentence of up 7 years imprisonment. There are allegations of ill-treatment while in detention and breach of due process. All 30 activists have been released on bail and, according to the latest information received, the Amnesty Law adopted on 18 December 2013 by the Duma will apply to them.

20/01/2014

A/HRC/26/21

Guatemala

05/08/2013

JAL
GTM 6/2013

Presuntos asesinatos, ataques y actos de intimidación y desprestigio contra defensores y defensoras de derechos medioambientales. Según se informa, los Sres Mateo García Pérez, Eliseo Ramos Martínez, Medelso Martínez Interiano, Jesús Aldana Choc, Eduber García y Santos Fidel Ajau Suret habrían sido asesinados presuntamente en conexión con sus labores de defensa y promoción de derechos medioambientales y su oposición a las actividades de empresas extractivas. Asimismo, la Sra. Telma Yolanda Oquelí Veliz del Cid habría sufrido un ataque y actos de intimidación también por su labor en defensa del medioambiente.  Los Sres. Yuri Melini y Rafael Maldonado habrían sido objeto de una supuesta campaña de desprestigio supuestamente en relación con su trabajo en defensa de los derechos medio-ambientales.  

 

A/HRC/25/74

Thailand

02/04/2013

JAL
THA 3/2013

Alleged killing of an environmental rights defender. According to the information received, around 2 p.m. on 25 February 2013, environmental rights defender Mr. Prajob Nao-opas was shot dead by an unidentified gunman who escaped in a getaway car. He died while being rushed to the hospital. Mr. Prajob Nao-opas had been warned in December 2012 of suspicions that an attempt on his life might be made. Subsequent incidents were reported by Mr. Prajob Nao-opas to the police. However, allegedly this did not result in any measures to ensure his security. Over the past year, Mr. Prajob Nao-opas led local communities in protest at the alleged dumping of toxic waste by local industries resulting in the pollution of local waterways, attracting widespread media attention in Thailand.

02/07/2013

A/HRC/24/21


In this section
Issues in focus
See also

To access the official independent website of the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Mr. John Knox, please visit: www.srenvironment.org

Follow the Special Rapporteur: @SREnvironment

Human Rights Council

Special Procedures