- For defenders
- How can I help?
"اکنون چهار سال است که زندگی ما در حالت تعلیق است. زندان، ترس، مهاجرت اجباری، زندگی های از هم پاشیده، ترک سرزمین و بلاتکلیفی همیشگی. دوستان ما در این بحبوحه رقابت برای انتخابات ریاست جمهوری همچنان در زندان اند."
3 June 2013 marked a great day in Dublin – the Flora Women's Mini-Marathon – a 10k race that is the largest women's event of its kind in the world. Amongst the participating Irish charities was Front Line Defenders, who marked its third year of having a team of women participants in the race.
“It is four years now since our lives have become suspended. Prison, fear, forced migration, lives torn apart, leaving our homes behind and the continuous suspense. Our friends continue to be in prison all this amidst the race to the presidential election.”
Osman İşçi, a human rights defender and trade unionist, wrote this blog following his release on 10 April 2013 on bail after 10 months of detention. It gives an insight into the mentality of those in Turkey who wish to limit human rights and target those who defend them.
This is a topic that has become particularly relevant over the past week, with the emergence of a mass protest movement, following the violent suppression of a peaceful protest against the destruction of Gezi Park in Istanbul.
Importantly Osman also shows us the huge importance of solidarity in giving human rights defenders the will to struggle on.
I am so delighted to have finally made it to Pakistan despite it being 48 degrees here yesterday! It was great to spend time with, in my view the world expert on human rights defenders (HRDs), our Board member Hina Jilani. We met to discuss the situation of HRDs worldwide and in Pakistan and so that I could seek her advice about our work .
Front Line Defenders' Natacha O'Brien reports on her recent mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the first of a series of blogs.
Recently I travelled to the Eastern DRC with my colleague and fellow Protection Coordinator Aloys Habimana. Our objective was to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of our emergency grant system for human rights defenders (HRDs) in the region.
The first area we travelled to, North and South Kivu, has suffered greatly from the ongoing conflict. Violence against civilians, especially HRDs, by combatants, is all encompassing and sexual violence is such an issue that the DRC has been labeled as the "rape capital of the world". The testimonies we heard from HRDs confirmed that violence is an everyday occurrence there including sexual violence against women.
The perpetrators of these abuses can act with impunity in most cases whether they are rebel forces or local authorities.
This guest blog by Farai Maguwu explores both the important work he does and the risks faced by human rights defenders in Zimbabwe.
My human rights work began in 2006 when I formed the organisation Center for Research and Development to carry out research and human rights education in rural Zimbabwe. My work extended to Marange diamond fields in November 2008 following a violent crackdown on artisanal miners, villagers and diamond dealers by state security agents.
At first we heard widespread rumours of state security agents beating, torturing and killing artisanal miners in the diamond fields. We also heard reports of hundreds of women being raped or being forced to engage in unprotected sex with artisanal miners or being raped by the state security agents.
Venezuela: taller interactivo sobre las Directrices de la UE sobre los defensores/as de los derechos humanos
El 21 de marzo de 2013, Front Line Defenders llevó a cabo un taller interactivo de un día sobre las Directrices de la UE sobre los defensores/as de los derechos humanos (DDH) en la ciudad de Caracas. Las Directrices ofrecen sugerencias prácticas para mejorar la acción de la UE en el área de la protección de los/as DDH. Aunque son no vinculantes, pueden ser percibidas como un fuerte compromiso político para con los/as DDH.
El taller se ofreció bajo la forma de un programa bien delineado, con el propósito de aclarar qué pueden esperar los/as DDH de las misiones en el terreno de la UE. Este programa está cofinanciado con el Instrumento Europeo para la democracia y los derechos humanos (EIDHR, en inglés).
Se reunieron 21 DDH llegados desde Caracas y varias provincias, y –por la tarde- se les sumaron representantes de la UE con base en el terreno.
On 21 March 2013, Front Line Defenders conducted a one-day interactive workshop on the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders (HRDs) in Caracas. The Guidelines provide practical suggestions for enhancing EU action in the field of HRD protection. Although non-binding, they can be seen as a strong political commitment towards HRDs.
The workshop came in the framework of a well-established programme aimed at clarifying what HRDs can expect from the EU field Missions. This programme is co-funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
Twenty-one HRDs from Caracas and various provinces gathered, and were joined in the afternoon by EU field-based representatives. The workshop included several components such as presentations, exchange of experiences, role play, argumentation framework for case work, and small group discussions to identify key issues to be discussed.
Asked to share their perception of the EU by naming an animal that the EU would look like if it were a fauna species, the HRDs referred to, among others, a (sleeping) bear, elephant, lion, tiger, octopus, (slow) whale, spider, (guardian) dog, turtle, eagle, dragon...
Adam Shapiro, Front Line Defenders Head of Campaigns, reports from countries he is visiting, working with human rights defenders to promote their visibility, legitimacy and recognition.
Over the last 10 days, I have been traveling from Mauritania to Kuwait to Egypt, meeting human rights defenders, documenting their work and learning about the issues they are working on in their countries. From slavery in Mauritania to statelessness in Kuwait to sexual harassment and gender-based violence in Egypt, there is no shortage of man-made human despair that preoccupies human rights defenders, who themselves face great personal risk for the work they do.