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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Nestled between the northern tip of Lake Tanganyika and mountain ridges of South Kivu province in Eastern Congo, Uvira town is home to several dozens of human rights defenders and their organisations. Many more are active in the wider Uvira-Fizi - Read more ...
I arrived into Bogotá airport on Sunday evening, ready to meet with local and national human rights defenders and organisations to talk about the current situation they are facing in terms of security risks and the measures they have to take in - Read more ...
I've just returned from conducting a workshop with Afghan Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) in Kabul, at which I was truly inspired by these extraordinary women working for the rights of women. Despite working for years in a situation - Read more ...
Prominent young activists are in jail, stigmatization of human rights defenders has increased and further legal measures against human rights groups are expected. One could hardly be expected to believe that this is the same country that inspired - Read more ...
The Indignados movement (or 15M, as it is called in Spain) was born in May 2011, when, in the wake of the economic crisis in the country and major disruptions to social and economic welfare, a demonstration in Plaza de Sol in Madrid developed into a - Read more ...
Rasul Jafarov is Coordinator of the Art for Democracy campaign and the head of Human Rights Club, which launched several critical campaigns against politically-motivated imprisonment, including the “Sing for Democracy” campaign (later re-named Art - Read more ...
"When I go out, I'm afraid of being bombed, or that a nearby building or the street I'm in will be bombed. But I am the channel through which information reaches the office, and from there – the world, so I haven't stopped working". Dear - Read more ...
Guest Blog Hassan Shire Sheikh, Executive Director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. Last week President Obama hosted the inaugural ‘United States-Africa Leaders Summit’ in Washington DC. Some of the heads of state - Read more ...
Guest Blog As Turkey prepares to go to the polls on 10 August to elect the first directly elected president in its political history, Turkish journalist Rengin Arslan looks at the prospects for human rights in Turkey. Fallout from the ongoing - Read more ...
The news that the Russian Interior Ministry is offering a £65,000 prize for a way to identify individuals using the Tor network to browse the internet anonymously is almost beyond parody. It is the latest attempt to control access to independent - Read more ...
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