- For defenders
- How can I help?
Human rights defenders in Argentina have been subjected to death threats, surveillance, acts of intimidation, raids on their homes and offices, abductions, violent attacks, forced disappearances, judicial harassment, ill-treatment, torture and killings. It is believed that critics of the former military dictatorship and key witnesses in the ongoing trials of former authority figures, have been targeted by supporters of the former regime.
According to her report on the situation of human rights defenders, the UN SRSG states “In the context of the military dictatorship which governed the country until 1983, Argentinian NGOs have become specialised in the struggle against political repression and the defence of civil and political rights”. (E/CN.4/2006/95/Add.5 page 44-45) She also refers to the growth of a movement within civil society which defends economic and social rights, in response to the economic crisis in recent years. Human rights defenders who were former detainees or relatives of detainees or ‘desaparecidos’ during the military regime, who through their campaigns for justice, have spoken out about the ill-treatment and torture suffered at the hands of the dictatorship, have been intimidated, threatened and in some instances have even been forcibly disappeared. Judges, legal representatives, journalists, key witnesses and human rights defenders who have documented the human rights violations which occured during the dictatorship or who have been involved in the trials of those charged with crimes against humanity, have been persecuted. Mr. Leandro Despuoy, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers has been threatened.
Defenders of LGBTI rights still face discrimination and harassment however on 21 November 2006 the Asociación de Lucha por la Identidad Travesti y Transexual (Association for the Struggle of the Transvestite and Transexual Identity - ALITT) was granted legal status in a Supreme Court decision overturning earlier rulings by the General Inspectorate of Justice and a lower court. Indigenous leaders defending the rights of their people to self-determination and their ancestral lands have also been targeted by the authorities.
Argentina: Death threats against Judge Roberto Burad, presiding over trial of 10 people accused of committing crimes against humanity