Front Line Defenders publishes 2012 annual Report on human rights defenders
This report underlines the crucial role played by human rights defenders in standing up for the rights of others, challenging oppression and speaking out for those who have no voice said Front Line Defenders' Executive Director Mary Lawlor speaking in Dublin today.
Inspiring Hope and Provoking a Backlash: Front Line Defenders Annual Report on Global Challenges to Human Rights Defenders Around the World
The 2012 Front Line Defenders Annual Report highlights the fact that while international media and public attention were largely focused on the dramatic events unfolding across the Middle East, elsewhere repressive governments continued to respond to any challenge to their power and privileges with violent repression.
The fact that authoritarian and repressive governments around the world continue to focus repression on human rights defenders is a tribute to their importance in the struggle for justice and accountability. That is why Front Line Defenders dedicates itself solely to the security and protection of human rights defenders at risk. They are the key agents of social change and need our support and protection. They are the future” added Ms Lawlor.
In many countries human rights defenders who spoke out on behalf of the rights of others were identified as the focus of dissent and were a particular target in a consistent pattern of attack across all the regions:
Draconian security laws used to target HRDs working on issues viewed as controversial or political by the authorities.
Human rights defenders attacked in their homes or at their offices
Human rights groups subjected to intensified surveillance in the run-up to elections
Bloggers and media activists using the internet to raise human rights awareness or expose abuses harassed, arrested and under heavy surveillance
Continued impunity for the killing of human rights defenders
Human rights defenders subjected to smear campaigns or labelled as terrorists or rebels
LGBTI rights defenders faced harassment and strong opposition to their work.
The full text of the Annual Report is available below in PDF format