Acvitists still work in climate of fear 25 years after UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
Right Livelihood raised concern about governments’ increasing use of intimidation, torture, and arbitrary detention to stop activists from defending human rights during the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Despite the fact that the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders has recognized activists’ freedom of opinion and expression, association, and peaceful assembly for the past 25 years, those who are violating these freedoms are not being held accountable. This leaves brave people risking their lives to fight for justice and equality, including many Right Livelihood Laureates, facing greater danger than ever before.
The fight for human rights is not an easy one, the organization told the Council. It requires dedication, persistence, and bravery, which Right Livelihood Laureates and human rights defenders across the globe exemplify every day. However, the challenges they face continue to increase in sophistication and severity.
Because of this, Right Livelihood called on the Council to take urgent action to hold governments and companies accountable for the violence faced by defenders on the frontlines. This includes human rights defenders but also the land, environmental, and indigenous defenders, who often face an even greater risk for their activism.
You can read the full statement here.
Ales Bialiatski received Right Livelihood Award in 2020. At the moment, he and five other Viasna human rights defenders are imprisoned in Belarus for their peaceful legitimate human rights activities.