Inauguration of “the Union of Arab Human Rights Defenders”


Meanwhile, AHRDU is to approach the rest of Arab, regional and international organizations, concerned with human rights defenders in an effort to cooperate and exchange expertise in all fields in addition to enhancing dialog and coordination with these all so as to help support human rights defenders. Still, exposed defending activists will be provided with legal, moral and material protection and trainings on means of their protection. And we should not forget developing the enlightenment about human rights defenders and organization of meetings, seminars, congresses and workshops.

On the other side, AHRDU will activate all means of informational activity that would express opinions of volunteers and activists of organizations, members of the union. Also, it can unit the contributions of members and work to develop the union’s own resources according to its goals and purposes, when necessary.AHRDU is to monitor human rights defenders tribunals, provide lawyers for the cases of human rights defenders in addition to preparing studies and researches on human rights defenders.

And pursuant to the founding committee, AHRDU relies on international authorities just as International Bill of Human Rights, United Nations Declaration of Human Rights Defenders and EU guidelines related to protection of human rights defenders, and it shall work in coordination with Special Envoy of United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights Defenders Issues.

It is worth mentioning that the preparatory committee of AHRDU is assuming its duties since a year ago so as to draft the founding charter and regulations of the union and finish all registration procedures. In this way, the committee would be able to officially declare the union on 9 December 2009, in coincidence with the 11th memory of issuing the United Nations declaration of human rights defenders in 1998.

The Arab Human Rights Defenders Union embraces a group of regulatory authorities including the general assembly, general secretariat, executive body and advisory body.AHRDU is to be presided by one of Arab human rights defenders dignitaries who is to be elected by the union’s general assembly via direct secret ballot for no more than two terms.

In the same context, and according to Aihan Jaf, director of the Arab-European Center for Human Rights and International law (AECHRIL), Norway, the general assembly is the broader frame which is formed by members [both of organizations and individuals] of AHRDU. It will be held at least for one time a year, using all available means, as well as every two years to elect the board of trustee and the union’s president via the direct secret ballot. The general assembly is entitled to exceptionally meet under the request of one third of the board of trustee members or subject to an invitation of the majority of executive body. And it shall be responsible for endorsing future policies, plans and conceptions of the union.

As for the AHRDU board of trustee, Jaf says that it is the higher administrative authority which stands for the union and is elected by the general assembly via the direct secret ballot for a term of two years. It is formed of the general secretary, assistant general secretary, treasurer, secretary and a representative for each Arab member state of AHRDU. Meetings will be held at least once a month at the union’s permanent headquarters. Also, the general secretary has the right to call it for an emergency meeting, when necessary.

Jaf also adds that the general secretariat will work on bringing into effect the resolutions and recommendations of the union’s general assembly as well as monitoring its activities, preparing financial statements and annual activity reports then referring them to the general assembly. It might also set the rules and bylaws that regulate the appointment ofAHRDU personnel.

However, Jaf digresses by saying that although international law stipulates for guaranteeing all human rights, attempts to achieve these rights or unveil any relevant violations can involve risks anywhere all over the globe. And more often than not, human rights defenders can be seen as the sole mediator between ordinary people and the state’s grip.

Mention worthy, the AHRDU founding committee makes of AECHRIL a headquarters from which it assumes all preparations of the union.

AHRDU includes an ad hoc founding committee formed by some human rights defenders from the different Arab states. It will prepare for and monitorAHRDU establishment, set its regulations, propagate for it, call on members, form the general assembly, hold the first coordinative meeting and elect the first board of trustees.

And finally, the countries of joining members are so far: Egypt, Bahrain, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.

Founding Committee:

1- Aihan Jaf – Director of Arab-European Center for Human Rights and International Law – Norway

Email: Phone: 004790802999

2- Sayed Abu El Ela – Director of “Aman” International Organization – Norway

Email: Cell Phone: 0020123452449

3- Muhammad Al Maskati – President of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights – Bahrain

Email: Phone: 0097336437088

4- Omar Rahal – Director of Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “Shams” – Palestine

Email: ‏ Phone: 0097022985254

5- Ismail Al Mutawakel – President of Yemeni Center for Human Rights – Yemen

Email: Phone: 0020100481992

6- Ahmed Ghazi – Chairman of the Board of Hemaia Center for Supporting Human Rights Defenders – Egypt

Email: Cell Phone: (+2)0128881765

7- Kazem Al Bidhani – President of Al Munkez Organization for Human Rights – Iraq

Email: Phone: 00964 790 252 4624

Arab Human Rights Defenders Union

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