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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

Kenya: Eight human rights defenders arrested during peaceful demonstrationposted on: 2014/12/19

On the morning of 19 December 2014, eight activists appeared before the Milimani Law Courts following their arrests the previous day during a peaceful demonstration to protest against a controversial security bill. The court denied them cash bail and instead imposed a very high bond as condition for their release, pending the opening of their trial.

Israel / OPT: Sentence of up to 10 years to be issued against Abdallah Abu Rahma as he is found guilty in military courtposted on: 2014/12/19

On 5 January 2015, a sentence will be issued against human rights defender Mr Abdallah Abu Rahma. On 21 October 2014, he was found guilty by the Ofer Israeli Military Court on charges including “disturbing a soldier on duty” and “obstructing military operations” as well as attempting to influence public opinion, which is punishable by 10 years' imprisonment, the maximum sentence pursuant to Israeli military law.

Colombia – Renewed threats against members of MOVICE and other human rights defendersposted on: 2014/12/16

On the morning of 9 December 2014, a pamphlet containing death threats against a number of human rights defenders, including members of Movimiento de Victimas de Crimenes de Estado – MOVICE (Movement of Victims of State Crimes), was handed to a human rights defender at the Centro de Memoria Paz y Reconciliación (Centre for Memory Peace and Reconciliation) in the city of Bogotá. The pamphlet was signed by the Águilas Negras paramilitary group, and as well as members of MOVICE, it also targeted other human rights defenders, victims of state crimes, employees of the High Council for Victims in Bogotá and independent media outlets.

Russian Federation – Arson attack on office of Joint Mobile Group and search of its apartment after threats against HRDs working in Chechnyaposted on: 2014/12/15

On 14 December 2014, at approximately 1pm, several armed men entered the apartment of the Joint Mobile Group (JMG) in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. The apartment is located next to their office, which was badly damaged in an arson attack the previous day. The armed men refused to identify themselves but later said that they were from Leninsky district police department in Grozny. They forcibly searched the premises and two members of JMG, Mr Sergey Babinets and Mr Dmitry Dmitriev, were held in the apartment.

Oman - Arbitrary detention of human rights defender Saed Jadadposted on: 2014/12/12

On 10 December 2014, International Human Rights Day, at approximately 9:00 p.m., human rights defender Mr Saed Jadad was arrested by a group of uniformed and plain-clothed members of the security forces while in the street in Oqad region in the city of Salalah in the province of Dhofar. He was arrested approximately 10 minutes after he left his residence, which is located in the same area.

Saudi Arabia - Two women human rights defenders remain in detention for attempting to drive into Saudi Arabiaposted on: 2014/12/11

11 December 2014 marks the 10th day since the arrest and detention of two women human rights defenders Ms Maysaa Al-Amodi and Ms Lujain Al-Hathlol. On 7 December 2014 they were both informed that their detention has been extended for an additional 25 days. Both defenders were detained on 1 December 2014 for attempting to drive over the Saudi border. Maysaa Al-Amodi is currently being held at Al- Ahsa Central Prison while Lujain Al-Hathlol is held at Al- Ahsa juvenile centre for girls. The human rights defenders, as well as their families and their lawyers, are unaware of any official charges against them.

China - Whereabouts of HRDs remain unconfirmed two months after detentions; lawyers refused access to other detained defendersposted on: 2014/12/10

Two months after their detentions by police in Beijing, the whereabouts of human rights defenders Mr Huang Kaiping and Ms Kou Yanding remain unconfirmed. On 10 October 2014, both human rights defenders were separately detained, reportedly on charges of “creating a disturbance”. Since that time, neither defender's family has received any formal notification or documentation regarding their detention. While it is believed that Kou Yanding is being held in Haidian District Detention Centre in Beijing, the whereabouts of Huang Kaiping are unknown.

Western Sahara – Critical health of Mbarek Daoudi who is on hunger strike after a year in pre-trial detentionposted on: 2014/12/10

9 December 2014 marked the sixth week of hunger strike for Sahrawi human rights defender Mr Mbarek Daoudi which he began on 1 November 2014 in protest of his lengthy pre-trial detention and the conditions of his detention. Moroccan police arrested Mbarek Daoudi ِand three of his sons on 28 September 2013, after raiding his house in the city of Guelmim in southern Morocco. Since then, he has been in pre-trial detention, facing military court for “possessing weapons”. He is currently detained in Salé prison and is in very poor health.

Azerbaijan – Details of Khadija Ismail's arrest and pre-trial detention on unfounded chargesposted on: 2014/12/10

On the morning of 5 December 2014, human rights defender and investigative journalist Ms Khadija Ismail was summoned for interrogation in Baku City Prosecutor's office. When she arrived at the Prosecutor's office, she was detained and informed that the Prosecutor had issued an order for her arrest on charges of causing a person to attempt suicide (article 125 of Azerbaijan's Criminal Code).

Sudan – Prominent human rights defender Mr Amin Mekki Medani detained and moved to undisclosed locationposted on: 2014/12/09

On 6 December 2014, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) officials arrested Mr Amin Mekki Medani inside his house in Khartoum, without a warrant or reason for his arrest. The human rights defender was moved to an undisclosed location, and his family members have not been informed of his whereabouts.

Democratic Republic of Congo - Threats against human rights defender Mr Jean-Chrysostome Kijanaposted on: 2014/12/08

Since 1 December 2014, human rights defender Mr Jean-Chrysostome Kijana has received several threatening phone calls and text messages in which both he and his family were threatened.

Sri Lanka - Rankothge Mauri Inoka Kumari Jayasena abducted and threatenedposted on: 2014/12/08

On 30 November 2014, human rights defender Ms Rankothge Mauri Inoka Kumari Jayasena, whose husband disappeared in September 2013, stated that she believes that she is under constant surveillance in her home town of Anuradhapura since her short abduction earlier in the month.

Russian Federation: Attack on human rights lawyer Vitaly Cherkasovposted on: 2014/12/08

On 25 November 2014, human rights lawyer Mr Vitaly Cherkasov was attacked near Lomonosovsky District Court in Saint Petersburg after defending an LGBTI rights activist in court. After the hearing, the assailants poured an unknown liquid over the human rights lawyer using two syringes.

Saudi Arabia – Human rights defender Ms Samar Badawi banned from travelling to NGO forumposted on: 2014/12/04

On Wednesday, 3 December 2014, human rights defender Ms Samar Badawi was banned from travelling from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah to attend the EU NGO forum in Brussels, to which she had been formally invited. She was informed that the Ministry of the Interior ordered a travel ban against her for an indefinite period.

Sudan: Rashid Shikhaldeen Abash continues to remain in detention without charge for more than two monthsposted on: 2014/11/28

On 23 September 2014, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) raided Mr Rashid Shikhaldeen Abash's company and arrested him for allegedly printing posters intending to commemorate protesters who were killed during protests in September 2013. The human rights defender has been held without charge for more than two months and his current place of detention has not been confirmed.

India – Azimuddin Sarkar detained and severely beaten in custodyposted on: 2014/11/27

On 21 November 2014, human rights defender Mr Azimuddin Sarkar was detained during the night by local police at his home in the village of Bardhanpur, Murshidabad district, West Bengal. Following his detention, he was severely beaten in custody.

Russian Federation – Tatiana Kotlyar faces new criminal charges for “false registration” of migrantsposted on: 2014/11/25

On 13 November 2014 human rights defender Ms Tatiana Kotlyar appealed to the Obninsk City Court to nullify the decision to bring a new criminal case against her. The court hearing on Tatiana Kotlyar's appeal is scheduled for 24 November 2014.

Mexico: Martín Solís Bustamante forced to temporarily relocate due to government refusal to implement protection measuresposted on: 2014/11/24

Environmental rights defender, Mr Martín Solís Bustamante, has been forced to temporarily leave the state of Chihuahua as a result of renewed threats against him. The director of El Barzón Chihuahua, the state branch of El Barzón, a national association that represents the owners of small and medium-sized farms, Martín Solís Bustamente is beneficiary of precautionary measures (388/12) granted by the Inter-american Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on 6 November 2012. To date the Mexican authorities have failed to implement these measures.

Russian Federation – LGBTI rights defender Ms Lena Klimova charged with “homosexual propaganda” as authorities threaten to block her online project posted on: 2014/11/24

On 18 November 2014, the Russian Federation's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) filed an administrative case against LGBTI rights defender Ms Lena Klimova, accusing her and her project Children-404 of “propagating non-traditional sexual relationships among minors”, under article 6.21(2) of the Administrative Code, regarding publications posted on the Russian social network site Vkontakte.

Thailand – Meeting between human rights lawyer Ms Sor Rattanamanee Polkla and local communities interrupted by military posted on: 2014/11/20

On 11 November 2014, military officers, along with a number of police officers, interrupted a private meeting between Ms Sor Rattanamanee Polkla, a human rights lawyer from the Community Resources Centre (CRC), and members of local communities in Udon Thani Province, North-Eastern Thailand, while they were discussing a case related to the environmental impact of the construction of the Xayaburi hydroelectric dam on the Lower Mekong River. The military also forced the lawyer to sign a letter obliging her to seek permission for further meetings. The officers observed the rest of the meeting.

China – Arbitrary detention of human rights defender and wife enters eighteenth monthposted on: 2014/11/17

On 19 November 2014, the arbitrary detention of human rights defender Mr Mi Chongbiao and his wife, Ms Li Kezhen, will enter its eighteenth month.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Arrest and detention of human rights defender Boniface Umpula Nyemboposted on: 2014/11/17

On 10 November 2014, human rights defender Mr Boniface Umpula Nyembo was arrested on orders from the Prosecutor General of Lubumbashi. He was held in detention on false accusations after having taken part in the release of a press release made public by a union of magistrates.

Morocco: Ibn Rochd Center for Studies and Communication to shut downposted on: 2014/11/14

On Thursday, 6 November 2014, Ibn Rochd Center for Studies and Communication announced that it will cease its activities as of 31 December 2014 as a prelude to shutting-down completely by 31 January 2015.

Cambodia: Seven land rights defenders sentenced to one-year imprisonment and fine for peaceful protestposted on: 2014/11/13

On 11 November 2014, seven women land rights defenders Ms Tep Vanny, Ms Nget Khun, Ms Song Sreyleap, Ms Kong Chantha, Ms Pan Chunreth, Ms Bop Chorvy and Ms Nong Srengand were sentenced by Phnom Penh First Instance Court to one-year imprisonment and a fine on charges of obstructing public traffic after protesting in front of Phnom Penh’s City Hall.

Saudi Arabia – Souad Al- Shammary continues to remain in detention over Tweetsposted on: 2014/11/11

Human rights defender Ms Souad Al- Shammary spent a second week in detention since she was arrested on 28 October 2014, while attending an interrogation session at the Bureau of Investigation in Jeddah.

Zimbabwe - Brutal assault of Itai Dzamara and Kennedy Masiye following peaceful demonstrationposted on: 2014/11/11

On 10 November 2014, journalist and human rights defender Mr. Itai Dzamara was discharged from hospital a few days after he and human rights lawyer Mr. Kennedy Masiye, along with 9 other demonstrators, were brutally assaulted by police officers during a peaceful and non-violent demonstration at Africa Unity Square in Harare.

Guatemala - Criminalisation of human rights defender Bárbara Díaz Surínposted on: 2014/11/11

Human rights defender and community leader, Ms Bárbara Díaz Surín is currently in detention, on fabricated charges of murder. She is being held at the Santa Teresa pre-detention centre for women and will remain in detention until her next hearing, which is due to take place in February 2015.