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Across the globe human rights defenders face various forms of persecution in their everyday struggle for human rights

In Honduras an anonymous tip off alerts members of Cofadeh that their Director Bertha Oliva, and other prominent human rights defenders, are on a death list.

In Armenia Mr Arshaluys Hakobyan of the Helsinki Association is taken into custody and beaten.

In Thailand Ms Angkhana Neelaphaijit who is the chairperson of the Working Group on Justice and Peace (WGJP) and wife of the missing human rights lawyer, Somchai Neelaphaijit, who disappeared on 12 March 2004 in Bangkok, is subjected to an ongoing campaign of harassment and intimidation.

These few cases are typical of the thousands of human rights defenders who dedicate their lives and risk their personal security in defence of the rights of others.

Your support will help them to create more just and equal societies for all. These are the people with the power to change the world.

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Urgent Cases

Sierra Leone - Threats against human rights defender Ms Mary Contehposted on: 2014/08/29

On 28 August 2014, human rights defender Ms Mary Conteh received a call from an unknown number where the caller threatened to spread false information that she contracted Ebola if she does not stop her human rights work.

Bangladesh: Physical attack against human rights defender Hana Shams Ahmedposted on: 2014/08/28

On 25 August 2014, at approximately 6.30 pm, human rights defender Ms Hana Shams Ahmed was the victim of an attack reportedly committed by members of Somo Odhikar Andolan, a nationalist group, in the Bandarban district.

Mexico: Threats against Silvia Perez Yescas, human rights defender from CIARENAposted on: 2014/08/26

On 19 August 2014, the indigenous peoples's woman human rights defender Ms Silvia Perez Yescas had just returned to her hometown after being away for a long time, when she was informed that in San José Río Manzo community there is a bounty of 100.000 pesos on her head.

India – Human rights defender Ms Irom Chanu Sharmila re-arrestedposted on: 2014/08/26

Human rights defender Ms Irom Chanu Sharmila, campaigner against Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was arrested in Imphal on 22 August, 2014, on charges of attempted suicide.

Colombia: Repeated death threats against indigenous rights defender Mr Juan Pablo Gutierrez Gonzalezposted on: 2014/08/25

For two weeks now, human rights defender Mr Juan Pablo Gutierrez Gonzalez from the Organización Nacional Indigena de Colombia – ONIC has been persistently receiving death threats through phone calls, text messages and a note.

Thailand - Continued intimidation of human rights defender Mr Surapan Rujichaiwatposted on: 2014/08/19

On 16 August 2014, the wife of Wang Saphung community leader Mr Surapan Rujichaiwat received a phone call during which an unidentified individual threatened him for his campaign work on behalf of the Wang Saphung community in relation to its dispute with the gold-mining company, Tung Kha Limited Company (TKLC).

Russian Federation – Harassment continues against human rights defender Mr Ivan Pavlov as court upholds decision to deport his wife to USAposted on: 2014/08/19

On 19 August 2014, Frunzenskiy District Court in Saint-Petersburg upheld the decision of the Federal Migration Service to deport Ms Jennifer Gaspar, a citizen of the USA.

Colombia: Threats against environmental rights defenders from Movimiento Ríos Vivosposted on: 2014/08/18

Since January 2014, environmental human rights defenders from Movimiento Rios Vivos – MRV (Living Rivers Movement) have been facing death threats, surveillance, break-ins, smear campaigns and harassment. In 2013, two members of Movimiento Rios Vivos were murdered.

Morocco – Human rights defender Ms Ouafa Charaf imprisoned for reporting assault and Mr Boubker ElKhamlichi acquittedposted on: 2014/08/15

On 11 August 2014, the Tanga First Instance Court sentenced Ms Ouafa Charaf to one year in prison and a 1,000 MAD fine (approximately €89) for “reporting a false incident” and 50,000 MAD (approximately €4,478) in compensation to Morocco’s police force for “slander”.

DRC – Three members of human rights organisation AGAPE Hauts-Plateaux held by rebel group in eastern DRCposted on: 2014/08/15

On 14 August 2014, human rights defenders Mr Prince Furaha, Ms Patricia Semuhanuko and Mr Afani Katabana, all members of the organisation AGAPE Hauts-Plateaux, were arrested and held by a rebel group in Burongi, South Kivu province.

Kazakhstan - Human rights lawyer Ms Zinaida Mukhortova held under compulsory psychiatric treatmentposted on: 2014/08/15

On 2 July 2014, human rights lawyer Ms Zinaida Mukhortova was detained by six unidentified individuals in plain clothes in the city of Balkhash, Kazakhstan, and transferred to Balkhash psychiatric clinic.

Azerbaijan – Human rights defender Mr Intigam Aliyev in pre-trial detention while a group of NGOs' bank accounts are frozenposted on: 2014/08/12

On the morning of 8 August 2014, human rights defender Mr Intigam Aliyev was summoned for interrogation in the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor's Office in Baku, where he was charged with tax evasion (under article 213.1 of the Criminal Code), illegal enterprise (article 192.2.2) and abuse of official power (article 308.2), and was then sent to pre-trial detention. Later on 8 August 2014, Nasimi District Court in Baku ruled to detain the human rights defender for three months, and authorities transferred him to Baku Pre-Trial Detention Facility. If the court finds Intigam Aliev guilty of the charges, he may face up to seven years' imprisonment.

Swaziland - Defamation campaign against Messrs Vincent Ncongwane and Sipho Gumedzeposted on: 2014/08/11

On 6 August 2014, human rights defenders Messrs Vincent Ncongwane and Sipho Gumedze were subjected to defamatory comments and threats by Swaziland's Prime Minister, Mr Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, in relation to their participation to a civil society meeting in the United States.

Sri Lanka – Meeting of Families of the Disappeared disrupted, human rights defenders intimidated and targeted in a smear campaignposted on: 2014/08/11

Human rights defender Ms Nimalka Fernando, President of the International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), was summoned and interrogated by police on 6 August 2014. The previous day, officers claiming to be from the Police Criminal Investigation Department had visited Mr Britto Fernando, the President of the Association for Families of the Disappeared, at his office in Negombo and had inquired about him. These incidents follow the violent disruption of a meeting of the Association for Families of the Disappeared held on 4 August 2014 in the office of the Centre for Society & Religion (CSR).

Bangladesh: Human rights defenders Ms Moshrefa Mishu, Ms Joly Talukder and Ms Shabnam Hafiz detained by policeposted on: 2014/08/07

On 7 August 2014, police officers from the Detective Branch detained trade union leaders Ms Moshrefa Mishu and Ms Joly Talukder before releasing them at 9 pm that evening. One day earlier, police attacked a group of human rights defenders at the Hossain Market of Badda in Dhaka, where over a thousand Tuba Group garment workers have been protesting on hunger strike since 28 July 2014. On 6 August 2014, the human rights defenders were violently beaten at the scene, including Ms Shabnam Hafiz, who were temporarily detained in Badda police station.

Bahrain – Human rights defender Mr Ahmed Radhi subjected to travel banposted on: 2014/08/07

On 30 July 2014, Mr Ahmed Radhi was banned from entering the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and was detained for fifteen hours in the Dubai International Airport and was then deported to Bahrain.

South Sudan: Attempted assassination of human rights defender Mr Deng Athuai Mawiir posted on: 2014/08/07

On 1 August 2014, human rights defender and anti-corruption advocate Mr Deng Athuai Mawiir was attacked and injured by an unidentified gunman. Deng Athuai Mawiir is a prominent human rights defender in South Sudan known particularly for his anti-corruption campaigning. Deng Athuai Mawiir serves as Chairperson for South Sudan's Civil Society Alliance (SSCSA), an umbrella organisation formed in 2011 with the aim of building a vibrant and credible civil society capable of effectively advocating on behalf the people of South Sudan on issues of public concern.

Brazil - Threats, attack and raid targeting human rights defender and her familyposted on: 2014/08/06

On 30 July 2014, the home of the mother of a human rights defender, known as ”Isabel”, was raided by a group of unknown individuals. This raid is believed to be connected with the events of 23 May 2014, when more than 100 civilian police officers raided a building in downtown Niterói in which approximately 400 women were working as prostitutes, including Isabel. During this raid, the officers reportedly committed extortion, theft, robbery and rape against the sex workers.

Azerbaijan: Human rights defender Mr Rasul Jafarov in pre-trial detention on charges of economic crimesposted on: 2014/08/06

On 2 August 2014, human rights defender Mr Rasul Jafarov was interrogated by the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor's Office and was subsequently charged under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan with illegal enterprise (Article 192), tax evasion (Article 213), and abuse of official power (article 308). The Nasimi District Court in Baku has ordered Rasul Jafarov to serve three months of pre-trial detention.

India – Threats against human rights defender Mr Mohar Ali Mondal by police officerposted on: 2014/08/01

On 27 July 2014, human rights defender Mr Mohar Ali Mondal was threatened by a police officer while temporarily detained inside Swarupnagar Police Station in Parganas (North) District of West Bengal.

Sri Lanka – Death threats against human rights defender Mr Sunil Jayasekara after publicly condemning harassment of Tamil journalistsposted on: 2014/08/01

On 26 July 2014, human rights defender Mr Sunil Jayasekara condemned the harassment faced by a group of Tamil journalists as they travelled to Colombo for a workshop on digital security co-facilitated by Jaffna Press Club.

Azerbaijan – Detention of human rights defenders Ms Leyla Yunus and Mr Arif Yunus and travel ban ordered against Mr Rasul Jafarovposted on: 2014/07/31

On 30 July 2014, Ms Leyla Yunus, Director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, was arrested before being interrogated for approximately six hours in the Serious Crimes Investigation Department of the General Prosecutor's Office.

Tajikistan – Pre-trial detention of human rights lawyer Mr Shukhrat Kudratovposted on: 2014/07/25

On 21 July 2014, human rights lawyer Mr Shukhrat Kudratov was arrested in his office in Dushanbe city. On 23 July, he was charged with three criminal offences – including attempted bribery of a judge – and, on the same day, the court ruled to hold him in pre-trial detention.

DRC: Abduction of two women human rights defenders, Ms Médiatrice Riziki and Ms Angélique Navuraposted on: 2014/07/22

On 17 July 2014, two women human rights defenders Ms Médiatrice Riziki and Ms Angelica Navura, who were released after being abducted for four days by an armed group in eastern DRC, were released following intense negotiations with the leader of the group in question.

Ethiopia - Formal charges brought against seven human rights defenders and bloggers with Zone9, including Ms Soliana Shimelisposted on: 2014/07/22

On 17 July 2014, Ethiopian authorities formally charged seven human rights defenders and bloggers, including Ms Soliana Shimelis, under anti-terrorism legislation.

Niger – Illegal detention of Ali Idrissa and ten other human rights defenders arrested during the state visit of the French Presidentposted on: 2014/07/18

At 4am on 18 July 2014, human rights defender Mr Ali Idrissa was arrested at his home without an arrest warrant. He was released in the afternoon of the same day.

DRC - Death threats against human rights defenders, Messrs Jean Marie Dhena Diro and Josué Bura Thengaposted on: 2014/07/18

On this 18 July 2014, human rights defender M. Josué Bura Thenga has received a text message threatening him with death, while his colleague M. Jean Marie Dhena Diro, was called by an unknown man who also threatened him with death.