Today Karim Lahidji was elected President of FIDH. He succeeds to Souhayr Belhassen who headed the Federation for six years. The vote was held during the 38th FIDH Congress in Istanbul where the FIDH member organisations were meeting to elect the new International Board and define the main FIDH orientations for the next three years.
There were two candidates for the position: Karim Lahidji, FIDH Vice President and President of the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, and Luis Guillermo Perez Casas, FIDH Secretary General and member of the CCAJAR. He is the first FIDH President from Iran.
“It is an immense honour to have been elected President of FIDH. My first message is to all the human rights defenders who are arbitrarily detained, wherever they are in the world. We will continue endlessly to call for their immediate, unconditional release. My thoughts turn especially to my colleagues and friends Ales Bialiatski, in prison in Belarus and Nabeel Rajab, detained in Bahrein”, said Karim Lahidji.
“We would like to reiterate our appeal to the Turkish authorities to free all the journalists, lawyers and unionists who have been arbitrarily detained, in particular Muhammet Erbey, President of the Diyarbakir section of IHD who has been in prison since December 2009 for having denounced human rights violations against the Kurdish minority”, Karim Lahidji added.
“At present, women’s rights are being threatened in many countries; the universality of rights will be at the heart of our fight, more than ever,” said Karim Lahidji.
During the 38th FIDH Congress, its movement was reinforced with the number of member leagues increasing from 164 to 178. The Congress adopted 26 resolutions on, e.g. Mali, Syria, Malaysia, Cuba, Russia and Turkey.
Composition of the new FIDH International Board.
President: Karim Lahidji
Souhayr Belhassen was appointed Honorary President of FIDH.
Ales Bialiatski, FIDH Vice President, imprisoned in Belarus since 4 August 2011 was reelected.
Yusuf Atalas, Turkey
Ezzedine Al Asbahi, Yemen
Dimitris Christopoulos, Greece
Noeline Blackwell, Ireland
Katie Gallagher, US
Tolekan Ismailova, Kyrgyzstan
Shawan Jabarin, Palestine
Dismas Kitenge Senga, DRC
Elsie Monge, Ecuador
Sheila Muwanga, Kenya
Rosemarie R. Trajano, Philippine
Drissa Traoré, Ivory Coast
Paulina Vega Gonzalez, Mexico
Zohra Yusuf, Pakistan
Dan Van Raemdonck (Belgium)
Debbie Stothard (Birma)
Paul Nsapu (DRC)
Amina Bouyach (Morocco)
Pierre Esperance (Haiti)
New FIDH member leagues:
South Africa, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
Angola, Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia (AJPD)
Senegal, Ligue Sénégalaise des Droits Humains (LSDH)
Honduras, Comité de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH)
China, China Labour Bulletin (CLB)
Kazakhstan, Kazakstan international Bureau for Human Rights and rule of law (KIBHR)
Uzbekistan, Association internationale de défense des droits de l’Homme « Club des cœurs ardents »
Tajikistan, Tajik “Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law” (BHR)
Egypt, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
Gulf, Gulf Center for Human rights (GCHR)
Kuwait, Human Line Organisation
Lebanon, Centre Libanais des Droits Humains (CLDH)
Libya, Human Rights Association for Recording and Documenting War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
Palestine, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
Syria, Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
Tunisia, Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux (FTDES)