Blogs from the Front Line

Blaming the Victims in Guatemala

Following the publication of my recent Opinion Piece in The Irish Times regarding the humanitarian crisis of undocumented children arriving in the United States from Central America, a reader wrote to me questioning some of the basic facts.

Seeking Justice at the BRICS – Can Brazil Lead?

On 15 July, the 6th BRICS Summit will open in Brazil. The timing, in many ways, could not be more important for each of the 5 countries involved.

Lies and Obfuscation - the legal system in Saudi Arabia

In the space of three days last week two prominent human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia received harsh prison sentences. To any reasonable person it seems incredible that the mere fact of demanding political reform and democratic change or simply monitoring the human rights situation in your country could be construed as taking part in a plot to overthrow the state.

Tiananmen 25: More than a Symbolic Legacy

(Visit the China campaign site for more interviews with Tiananmen student leaders)

Twenty five years ago today, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) demonstrated the extent to which it would go in order to face down any challenges to its power or legitimacy.

Failure at Launch – Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe

Just when we needed the Council of Europe to stand strong for human rights, Azerbaijan is due to bring its hackneyed brand of authoritarian repression to the role of Chairman.

Argentina and the issue of impunity

As Front Line Defenders launches a new documentary, Memory, Truth & Justice, on the struggle for justice by HRDs and families of the disappeared in Argentina, Mary Lawlor looks at just why these cases are so important to the current struggle for human rights.

As Afghanistan goes to the polls on Saturday what prospect for women's rights

As Afghanistan prepares to go to the polls on Saturday for Presidential and provincial elections, many women are concerned that the progress they have struggled to make over the past number of years may be traded away in the name of reconciliation in the political negotiations prior to the withdrawal of international forces at the end of this year.

Uganda - Betrayal of Trust


Someone to lead, inspire and guide us. Someone whose focus is on the greater good of all, yet who will at the same time strive to protect the rights and the interests of even the poorest and most marginalised among us.

Slim victory for LGBT rights in Uganda

President Museveni may be congratulating himself on the basis that having refused to sign the Anti Homosexuality Bill into law he can somehow position himself as a champion of human rights in Uganda. At the same time we in the international human rights community may be feeling that we have scored some kind of victory.

“I believe we were put here to improve civilisation” Seamus Heaney RIP

I am so very sad to hear of the death of Seamus Heaney. This giant of a man had a profound understanding of how human rights were enmeshed in and inseparable from daily living.

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On 15 July, the 6th BRICS Summit will open in Brazil. The timing, in many ways, could not be more important for each of the 5 countries involved. Brazil, the host nation, will be seeking to turn its hosting of an excellent World Cup (and - Read more ...
Robert Sann Aung is a human rights lawyer from Burma. This week he turned sixty. Every time I met him over the past few days, I kept hearing him say: 'I will be sixty soon and I am still not afraid'. When he says he is not afraid he straightens his - Read more ...
I started work as an intern in the EU Office of Front Line Defenders just 10 days ago, and it has been a privilege to meet with Ms Noorzia Afridi, a courageous women's rights defender from Pakistan and Director of SAWERA, the organisation which won - Read more ...
In a recent article in the respected Middle East web publication Al Monitor, Sarah Bin Ashoor published an article on Bahrain which severely distorted the facts of the situation. Front Line Defenders Deputy Director Andrew Anderson challenges her - Read more ...
With presidential elections under way in Algeria, Salah Debouz, president of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights, writes about the challenges facing human rights defenders in his country. Not only is the human rights situation in - Read more ...
Abuja, Nigeria, a capital mostly built in the eighties on arid soil, looking unfinished. It's one of the most expensive places in Nigeria, and most inhabitants live in the outskirts. Compared to the former capital, the saturated Lagos, Abuja looks - Read more ...
Within hours of my arrival in Rio de Janeiro, the news broke that the police and military would be entering a local favela near the airport in order to ‘secure’ it. With two months to go until the World Cup, the authorities deemed it necessary to - Read more ...
While most of the recent media coverage of political developments in Egypt has focused on the elections and the prospects for the incoming government, one item in the new constitution largely escaped notice. Egypt's new constitution, which was - Read more ...
A day in a Commission of Verification of human rights violations in Colombia is a non-stop day. From 4.30am to 11.30pm it's car, road, coffee, scrambled eggs with arepa, car, meetings, sancocho, meetings, road, meetings. Finally, at the end of the - Read more ...
Being a human rights defender is a difficult road. Pick a country and you’ll find HRDs being routinely and aggressively repressed by their governments, outdated social norms, big-business, armed militias and communities who just want them to leave - Read more ...
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