Dublin: Front Line launches 2011 Annual Report which analyses the global situation for human rights defenders

On 25 March 2011, Front Line launched its second Annual Report on Human Rights Defenders which highlights global trends and developments in the situation of human rights defenders in 2010 and analyses the situation in each region of the world.

The Report highlights the fact that despite some positive developments and the wave of uprising sweeping across the Middle East at year end, overall 2010 was not a good year for human rights defenders who continued to face harassment and repression in many countries.

From Front Line Annual Report 2011 - Global Trends:

We cannot but start this year’s overview by mentioning the historic developments taking place in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The spontaneous protests that started in Tunisia in December 2010 have spread to the entire region and beyond. The ousting of President Ben Ali in Tunisia and President Mubarak in Egypt has given courage and hope to thousands of protesters and pro-democracy activists, human rights defenders (HRDs) and ordinary citizens in neighbouring countries. While protests were far from ending at the time of writing, important results have already been achieved. In Bahrain, more than 300 political prisoners including several human rights defenders were released from prison on 23 February 2011. A day later, the state of emergency that granted the Algerian military extra-ordinary powers was finally lifted after 19 years. In Yemen, the President announced a transition to a parliamentary democracy. These events are inspiring civil society in countries beyond the Middle East and North Africa. Authoritarian governments however have already started acting preemptively in the hope of avoiding similar mass-scale protests. In Zimbabwe, more than 40 people were put on trial on charges of treason for watching videos of the protests in Egypt and the presence of security forces patrolling the streets was reinforced. In China, anonymous online calls from an overseas website for people to participate in a so-called ‘Jasmine Revolution’ – to consist of peacefully gathering on Sundays for walks in major towns and cities – prompted an intense crackdown and more than 20 HRDs were arrested or disappeared...

The full text of the report is attached as a PDF.

annual_report.2011.front_line_defenders.pdf180.61 KB