Posted 2012/12/5

Call for OSCE Action on Human Rights Defenders

The Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was founded with a commitment to human rights as one of its three key pillars. Sadly OSCE member states have not been living up to those ideals and human rights defenders face imprisonment, threats, harassment, defamation and restrictive legislation in countries across the region. Front Line Defenders is calling for strengthened OSCE action to protect those who speak out for the rights of others through the creation of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.

"It is time the OSCE backed up fine declarations with effective action," said Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders, "too often it has been the prisoner of consensus and failed to respond when human rights defenders have been jailed, attacked or killed."

Front Line Defenders will undertake a silent vigil outside the OSCE Ministerial Council in Dublin on Thursday 6th December highlighting ten cases of human rights defenders from the region:

Vidadi Iskenderov is in prison in Azerbaijan

Ales Bialiatski is in prison in Belarus

Natalya Estemirova was murdered in Chechnya, Russia in July 2009

Agnes Gereb is under house arrest and facing a prison sentence in Hungary

Roza Tuletaeva is in prison in Kazakhstan

Azimjan Askarov is in prison in Kyrgyzstan

Pat Finucane was murdered in Northern Ireland in February 1989

Osman Isci is in prison in Turkey

Sviatoslav Sheremet was attacked and badly beaten in Ukraine in May 2012

Dilmurod Sayid is in prison in Uzbekistan