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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

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.

Egypt: Leading trade unionist Mahmoud Rehan faces trial for expressing views on Facebookposted on: 2014/11/18

On Thursday, 20 November 2014, human rights defender and prominent trade unionist Mr Mahmoud Rehan will face trial before Al Nozha Misdemeanours Court on charges including “insulting the President” and “spreading false rumours” on Facebook. He has been detained at a police station inside Cairo International Airport since he was arrested on 10 November 2014.

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.

Azerbaijan: Interrogation of mother of human rights defender Gulnara Akhundova and search of her homeposted on: 2014/11/06

On 5 November 2014, the mother of human rights defender Ms Gulnara Akhundova was summoned to the Public Prosecutor’s office where she was interrogated about her daughter's human rights activity. Her apartment was also searched.

Honduras - Detention and subsequent release of human rights defender Mr Calixto Vásquezposted on: 2014/11/06

On 3 November 2014, indigenous human rights defender Mr Calixto Vásquez was released following his arrest earlier that day during a peaceful protest against the proposed construction of a hydroelectric dam.

Oman - Human rights defender Mr Saed Jadad receives travel banposted on: 2014/11/04

On 31 October 2014 human rights defender Mr Saed Jadad was not permitted to travel on a flight to Doha while on route to Istanbul. He was stopped by a plain-clothed security agent and was informed that a travel ban was issued for him in July 2014.

China – Human rights defender Ms Su Changlan confirmed to have been placed in criminal detention on charges of “subversion of state power.”posted on: 2014/11/03

On 28 October 2014, the family of human rights defender Ms Su Changlan received confirmation that she had been placed in criminal detention accused of “subversion of state power”. However, they did not receive an official confirmation document and her exact whereabouts are still unknown.

Belarus - Authorities cancel residence permit for human rights defender Ms Elena Tonkacheva as she faces expulsionposted on: 2014/11/03

On 30 October 2014, human rights defender Ms Elena Tonkacheva, the head of the Centre for Legal Transformation, received a notification from Pervomayskiy District Police department in Minsk stating that her residence permit in Belarus has been nullified by the authorities, despite the fact that she has lived in the country on a permanent basis for the last thirty years.

Ecuador - LGBTI rights defender in hiding awaiting investigation into recent attacksposted on: 2014/10/30

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights defender Ms Diane Marie Rodríguez Zambrano is currently in hiding in a safe-house as a result of recent death threats against her.

FYR Macedonia – Attack against LGBTI Support Centre's eventposted on: 2014/10/29

On 23 October 2014, a group of around 30 people attacked the venue where the LGBTI Support Centre was holding a public event to celebrate its second anniversary.

Saudi Arabia - Prison sentences against prominent lawyers for tweetingposted on: 2014/10/29

On 27 October 2014, the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh sentenced three lawyers and human rights defenders, Mr Abdulrahman Al- Subaihi, Mr Bander Alnogaithan, and Mr Abdulrahman Al- Rumaih, to 5 to 8 years' imprisonment, travel bans and a ban from appearing in the media as well as using social media. The three lawyers were sentenced on charges including “insulting the judiciary” and “prejudicing public order” via Twitter.

Burma - Human rights journalist killed in detention by military forcesposted on: 2014/10/28

On 24 October 2014, Burma's military forces reported that freelance journalist Mr Aung Kyaw Naing was killed while in detention on 4 October 2014.

Mexico - Concerns for the safety and security of human rights defenders opposing mining activities in the state of Colimaposted on: 2014/10/24

Over the past year, environmental and indigenous rights organisations in the municipality of Comala, Colima State, Mexico, have been facing continuous threats, attacks, stigmatisation and criminalisation as a result of their ongoing opposition to a mining concession that has been granted in the Indigenous Nahua community of Zacualpan.

Russian Federation: 73-year-old head of a regional Soldiers Mothers' Committee detained and chargedposted on: 2014/10/21

On 17 October 2014, 73-year-old human rights defender Ms Ludmila Bogatenkova, the head of the Soldiers Mothers' Committee in the city of Budennovsk in the Stavropol region, was charged with fraud and put in pre-trial detention.

Kyrgyzstan: Anti- “homosexual propaganda” draft law adopted by the Parliament in a first readingposted on: 2014/10/17

On 15 October 2014, the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan voted to adopt, in its first reading, the package of amendments to the Criminal Code and the Administrative Code prohibiting “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations in open or indirect way”.

Vietnam – Human rights defender Mr Dang Xuan Dieu severely mistreated in prison posted on: 2014/10/15

On 7 October 2014, the former cell mate of imprisoned Vietnamese human rights defender Mr Dang Xuan Dieu reported the severe, inhuman treatment of Dang Xuan Dieu who has been held in isolation and unable to communicate with anyone outside of the prison since April 2014, when he began a long-term hunger strike in protest over prisoners' rights.

China – Detention of human rights defender Mr Guo Yushanposted on: 2014/10/13

In the early hours of 9 October 2014 human rights defender Mr Guo Yushan was taken from his home by police in Beijing and was detained on suspicion of “picking quarrels”.