King to speak up while in China

Norway’s King Harald V was winning praise after he said he would bring up human rights concerns during a meeting with China’s authoritarian president Xi Jinping this week. Norway’s leader of Amnesty International called the king’s stated intention to be on the offensive “very gratifying.” The monarch, who is on a state visit to China […]

Minister disappoints on human rights

UPDATED: Norway’s Culture Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland wound up a six-day trip to China over the weekend without mentioning a word about human rights abuses when speaking with her Chinese counterparts. She disappointed, even “shocked,” human rights activists at home in Norway who wanted her to bring up all the jailed authors, journalists and others in China […]

Free trade deal tops Norway’s agenda

Norway’s Trade Minister Monica Mæland arrived in Beijing a day ahead of her government colleagues, eager to start negotiating a new free trade agreement between Norway and China. That’s her top priority as the two countries resume relations after a six-year diplomatic freeze. “We agreed to start free trade negotiations within five months,”  Mæland of […]

Amnesty objects to Solberg’s China trip

The human rights organization Amnesty International is strongly criticizing Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s trip to Beijing next week, which aims to officially restore Norway’s diplomatic relations with China. Amnesty wants human rights to be on the agenda, claiming that its omission sends “a dangerous signal.” Solberg’s upcoming trip was first announced last December, when China […]

Legal community condemns Turkey

Norway’s entire legal community, represented by professional organizations for the country’s judges, legal scholars and attorneys, has sent a letter to Foreign Minister Børge Brende expressing deep concern for their colleagues in Turkey. They’re asking Brende to consider sending a formal state complaint about the Turkish government’s political meddling in its own judiciary branch, to the European […]

Honduran priest wins Rafto Prize

The Bergen-based foundation that awards the annual Rafto Prize for Human Rights announced Thursday that this year’s winner is the Honduran priest Ismael Moreno Coto, better known as Padre Melo. He was hailed for his defense of “freedom of expression in one of the most violent countries in the world.” The Rafto Prize jury cited Padre Melo, […]

Embattled human rights group threatens to sue Norway

A human rights organization that’s been charged with money laundering is demanding a public apology and threatening to sue the government of Norway and Norway’s economic crimes unit that’s investigating it, for NOK 6 billion (USD 779 million). Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that other backers of the group are also threatening to sue Norway for […]

State investigates human rights group

An international organization that bills itself as a human rights advocacy group based in Stavanger now faces money laundering charges filed by Norway’s state economic crime unit Økokrim.  The leader of the group was arrested and questioned over a four-day period in late May but was released and reportedly is now in the United Arab Emirates. Newspaper […]

Deeyah Khan spurs dialogue in Oslo

Deeyah Khan, the filmmaker and human rights activist, could bask in the glow of overwhelmingly positive social media feedback after she opened a conference for women of the world in her old hometown of Oslo on Friday. The conference is just one of her current projects – she’s also making a new film about the radicalization of […]

Oil prices rise on Saudi king’s death

The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah during the night led to an immediate power shift and may give a boost to Norway’s oil-fueled economy. Protesters, meanwhile, have demonstrated against Saudi authorities’ whippings of a Saudi blogger, and the Norwegian government lodged another protest of its own on the day before Abdullah died, calling the whippings “inhuman” punishment.  Within a […]