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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

Venezuela – New Threats and Intimidation Against Human Rights Defendersposted on: 2015/03/27

Over the last week a number of human rights defenders have reported being intimidated and followed upon returning to Venezuela from the United States. Since 20 March 2015 a number of prominent members of human rights organisations have been returning from Washington D.C. where they were attending the 154th period of sessions at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), which took place from 16 to 23 March 2015.

Kuwait - Arrest and detention of human rights defender Mr Nawaf Al Hendalposted on: 2015/03/26

On 23 March 2015, Kuwaiti security forces arrested human rights defender Mr Nawaf Al Hendal in Al-Erada square while he was monitoring peaceful protests. Reportedly, security forces beat the human rights defender during the arrest, which occurred in front of the National Assembly in Kuwait City, and confiscated his phone.

Colombia - Pamphlets Threatening Human Rights Defenders Publishedposted on: 2015/03/26

Human rights organisations in Colombia continue to face threats including the Movimiento de Victimas de Crimenes de EstadoMOVICE (Movement of Victims of State Crimes) and the Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos – CSPP (Political Prisoner's Solidarity Committee).

Guatemala – Continued detention of three environmental rights defendersposted on: 2015/03/25

Environmental rights defenders Messrs Sotero Adalberto Villatoro, Francisco Juan Pedro and Arturo Pablo Juan remain in detention following the postponement of the hearing of their challenge to their detention, originally scheduled for 6 March 2015. The human rights defenders are accused of charges including threats, illegal detention, illicit association, plagiarism and abduction. On 3 March 2015, the three indigenous peoples' community leaders were transferred from the prison in Huehuetenango to the remand prison in the city of Guatemala.

Egypt - Judicial harassment of human rights defender Ms Azza Solimanposted on: 2015/03/25

On 23 March 2015, legal representatives of human rights defender Ms Azza Soliman obtained information on the formal charges being brought against her. On 4 April 2015, Azza Soliman will face trial before the Abdeen Misdemeanour Court on charges including unauthorised protests and breach of security and public order.

SWAZILAND: HRD Writing Letters from Prison Transfered to Solitary Confinementposted on: 2015/03/25

On 17 March 2015, Thulani Maseko wrote a letter from behind bars in Swaziland. Less than 48 hours later, prison authorities transferred the human rights defender and lawyer to solitary confinement, where he is due to remain for a further two weeks. He has been denied access to visitors, legal representation, and writing materials.

Bahrain – Travel ban imposed on human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheerposted on: 2015/03/24

Human rights defender Ms Ghada Jamsheer was stopped at Bahrain International Airport on 14 March 2015 by security authorities and was informed that she was not permitted to travel as the Prosecutor General had ordered a travel ban against her. She had not received any written notification of such a ban.

Uganda - Police arrest HRD and radio journalist Gerald Kankyaposted on: 2015/03/24

On the morning of 24 March 2015, human rights defender Mr Gerald Kankya was arrested and remains in custody at the Fort Portal police station over unsubstantiated claims that he took part in the assault of a local radio journalist in February 2015.

Bahrain – Incommunicado detention of imprisoned human rights defender Mr Naji Fateelposted on: 2015/03/24

23 March 2015 marks the 13th day since human rights defender Mr Naji Fateel, detained in Jaw prison, has been held incommunicado. Authorities have refused to allow the human rights defender's family to visit or contact him and did not provide any information on when contact may be resumed, stating that he is being punished.

China – Deteriorating health of detained women's rights activists Ms Wu Rongrong and Ms Wang Manposted on: 2015/03/23

On 18 March 2015, the legal representative of women's rights activist Ms Wu Rongrong was informed that her health condition had continued to deteriorate during her detention in the Haidian District Detention Centre, Beijing. Reportedly, Ms Wang Man recently suffered a heart attack in the same detention centre, allegedly as a result of long hours of daily interrogation, and is now receiving medical treatment in the Public Safety Hospital. Both women work to promote gender equality.

Malaysia – Temporary detention of members of Lawyers for Libertyposted on: 2015/03/23

On 23 March 2015, human rights lawyer Ms Michelle Yesudas was detained and released the same day, after the Inspector-General of Police made a threat via Twitter to summon her for questioning. The day before, her colleague, human rights lawyer Mr Eric Paulsen, was detained after receiving similar threats from the Inspector-General of Police. A court magistrate ordered Eric Paulsen's release on 23 March 2015, refusing the police's request to extend his detention by four days.

Togo – Acts of surveillance and physical assault against members of Synergie des travailleurs du Togoposted on: 2015/03/20

On 16 March 2015 from 8 pm to 9 pm, a military jeep with a machine-gun was reportedly parked outside the offices of the Syndicat des Praticiens Hospitaliers du Togo – SYNPHOT (Hospital Workers of Togo Sindicate) in Lome. Two hours earlier, the office had hosted the General Assembly of the Synergie des travailleurs du Togo – STT (Synergy of Workers of Togo).

Morocco – Assault and arrest of human rights defender Mr Hicham Mansouriposted on: 2015/03/18

On 17 March 2015 at approximately 10:30 am, human rights defender Mr Hicham Mansouri was beaten and arrested at his home before being detained at a police station in Rabat. No reasons were provided for the arrest.

Thailand – Intimidation of members of Southern Peasants' Federations of Thailandposted on: 2015/03/18

On 16 March 2015, at approximately 11:30 am, members of the Southern Peasant Federations of Thailand (SPFT) refused to sign a contract with the Thai military agreeing not to return to the Premsub Community in Surat Thani Province. Six days before, the organisation received information from a reliable source that the President of SPFT, Mr Pianrat Boonrit, had been placed on a surveillance list by the intelligence agencies in Thailand as an “influential person of interest” with ties to the mafia.

Cameroon: Threats and smear campaign against human rights defenders Maximilienne Ngo Mbe and Alice Nkomposted on: 2015/03/16

On 10 March 2015, it was reported that a presenter from the television channel Afrique Media verbally attacked human rights defender Ms Maximilienne Ngo Mbe, during a radio broadcast by Radio Balafon, a private radio channel in Douala.

Ethiopia - Human rights defender Mr Omot Agwa Okwoy arrested while travelling to international workshopposted on: 2015/03/16

On 15 March 2015, human rights defender Mr Omot Agwa Okwoy was arrested by Ethiopian security agents at the Addis Ababa airport where he was travelling to Nairobi to attend an international workshop on seeds and land issues to help improve the lives and livelihoods of communities in remote parts of Ethiopia.

Guatemala – Killing of journalist Mr Danilo Zapón Lópezposted on: 2015/03/13

On 10 March 2015 at approximately 12:35 pm, human rights journalist Mr Danilo Zapón López was killed in a shooting in Mazatenango, Suchitepéquez. A second journalist, Mr Federico Salazar, was also killed, and a third journalist, Mr Marvin Israel Túnchez, is receiving treatment in hospital after being gravely injured.

Danilo Zapón López was a reporter with the newspaper Prensa Libre for over a decade. He regularly highlighted corruption and misuse of public funds by local government officials and politicians in the Suchitepéquez Department both in his articles and on social media. Federico Salazar, a correspondent for Radio Nuevo Mundo, and Marvin Israel Túnchez, a reporter for cable news television show Optimo 23, have also written several pieces on corruption. Danilo Zapón López and Federico Salazar were also Vice-President and Secretary, respectively, of the newly established Asociación de Prensa de Suchitepéquez (Press Association of Suchitepéquez).

Burma – Detention of three leaders of a student organisation in ongoing crackdownposted on: 2015/03/13

On 12 March 2015 at approximately 11:00 pm, two human rights defenders, leaders of the All Burma Federation of Student Union (ABFSU), Ms Han Ni Oo and Mr Thiha Win Tin, were detained in an ongoing crackdown on student protesters. Ms Phyoe Phyoe Aung, also a member of ABFSU, was detained on 10 March 2015.

Zimbabwe – Abduction of human rights defender Mr Itai Dzamaraposted on: 2015/03/12

On the morning of 9 March 2015, human rights defender Mr Itai Dzamara was abducted by five unidentified men while at a barber shop in Harare's Glenview suburb. The human rights defender's whereabouts remain unknown, and his spouse has filed a missing person report with the local police.

Sri Lanka – Conditional release of human rights defender Ms Balendran Jeyakumariposted on: 2015/03/11

On 10 March 2015, human rights defender Ms Balendran Jeyakumari was conditionally released upon payment of a bond of 200,000 Sri Lankan Rupees (approximately €1420) pending completion of the investigation. As part of the conditions imposed by the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court for the release, the human rights defender's passport was confiscated and she is required to report to the police twice a month.

Since the enforced disappearance of her husband during the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Balendran Jeyakumari has led a campaign demanding to know the whereabouts of missing persons who had been arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Sri Lanka. The human rights defender's son disappeared after surrendering to the Sri Lankan army in 2009. Balendran Jeyakumari and her daughter have featured in various video documentaries on the disappeared. Additionally, she has mobilised families in Killinochchi to attend various hearings, protests and meetings and has received visiting diplomats and media personnel.

India – Fresh investigation brought against human rights defender Ms Teesta Setalvadposted on: 2015/03/10

On 6 March 2015, the Ministry of Human Resource Development allegedly ordered an investigation into accusations against human rights defender Ms Teesta Setalvad. The allegations are reportedly of misuse of funds provided by the government to the non-governmental organisation Sabrang Trust, and are part of the ongoing judicial harassment against the human rights defender due to her work combating impunity for communal violence.

China – Arrest of at least five women's rights defendersposted on: 2015/03/09

Between 6-8 March 2015, at least five women's rights defenders were arrested across China in advance of the intended launch on 7 March 2015 of a national campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation. Five women's rights defenders reportedly remain in detention, namely Ms Wu Rongrong, Ms Li Tingting, also known as “Li Maizi”, Ms Zheng Churan, Ms Wei Tingting and Ms Wang Man.

Belarus – Refusal to investigate death threats against human rights defender Mr Leanid Sudalenka and his familyposted on: 2015/03/09

On 5 March 2015, human rights defender Mr Leanid Sudalenka sent a complaint to the General Prosecutor of Gomel city concerning the decision made by the Zheleznodorozhny District Police Department on 28 February 2015 not to investigate death threats made against his family. On 1 March 2015, the human rights defender received an email containing a death threat. Previously, on 20 February 2015, deaths threat had been made against Leanid Sudalenka's sons in an article published online.

Kenya – Death threats against human rights defender Mr John Mulingwaposted on: 2015/03/06

At approximately 12:30 am on 1 March 2015, human rights defender Mr John Mulingwa received an anonymous threatening call warning him to stop his investigation into an alleged extra-judicial killing or risk his life.

Lebanon – Ongoing judicial harassment of members of the Lebanese Center for Human Rightsposted on: 2015/03/05

On 17 March 2015, human rights defenders Ms Marie Daunay and Mr Wadih Al-Asmar will appear before the Court of Publications at the Baadba Palace of Justice on charges relating to “defamation and false accusation”. If convicted, they face the possibility of imprisonment and a fine.

Pakistan - Travel ban imposed on human rights defender Mr Mama Qadeerposted on: 2015/03/05

On 4 March 2015, human rights defender Mr Abdul Qadeer Baloch, also known as Mama Qadeer, was informed of a travel ban imposed against him. The human rights defender was attempting to travel to a human rights seminar in the United States with other relatives of persons forcibly disappeared in Balochistan.

Uganda – Break-ins at the home of human rights journalist Mr Wilfred Mukonyeziposted on: 2015/02/26

On 23 February 2015, human rights journalist Mr Wilfred Mukonyezi recorded a statement at a police station in Fort Portal, Western Uganda, requesting a criminal investigation into the attempted break-in at his home the previous night.

India – Arrest and detention of human rights defender Kalimuthu Kandhasamyposted on: 2015/02/26

In the morning of 26 February 2015, human rights defender Mr Kalimuthu Kandhasamy was remanded to judicial custody after having been arbitrarily arrested at his home in Kavarangulam, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, at approximately 7:15 pm the evening before.

Israel / OPT – Charges brought against human rights defender Ms Lema Nazeehposted on: 2015/02/26

On 23 February 2015, human rights defender Ms Lema Nazeeh was arrested in Al Eizariya in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, by the Israeli occupation forces. She was transferred to Maale Adomim Police station and accused of "attacking and disturbing soldiers" and "entering a military area". The human rights defender was released on bail of 1000 Israeli Shekel (approximately €223) on the same day, after the charges against her were formalised by the Public Prosecutor.

Algeria – Appeal against conviction of eight human rights defendersposted on: 2015/02/25

On 11 March 2015, the appeal will be heard against the conviction of Messrs Khencha Belkacem, Brahimi Belelmi, Mazouzi Benallal, Azzouzi Boubakeur, Korini Belkacem, Bekouider Faouzi, Bensarkha Tahar and Djaballah Abdelkader on charges related to participating in an “unauthorised gathering” and “exercising pressure on the decisions of Judges”.