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Front Line Defenders


Crimean Tatar Lawyer Wins 2017 Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

Defending human rights activists and political prisoners is some of the most dangerous work a lawyer can do in Crimea. After years taking on these risky cases, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was today awarded a top international prize for human rights activists. Front Line Defenders named Emil the 2017 Laureate of its annual Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

"When we defend political prisoners and persecuted activists, we are going against a system in which there’s no hope of a fair trial. Winning an acquittal for my clients is almost impossible – but what I can do is show them that despite the risks, I will not abandon them." - Emil Kurbedinov

2017 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk


Emil Kurbedinov, Crimea - 2017 Award Finalist Video
Opinion piece by Jan Jarab, Representative for Mexico of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

In terms of the safety of journalists and human rights defenders, the first four months of 2017 have been chilling: at least five murders of journalists, two defenders and two escorts of beneficiaries of the National Protection Mechanism. But the nightmare seems endless. In recent days, in less than a week, two new victims have been addeed to the list - a leading figure in the movement of families of disappeared people of Tamaulipas, Miriam Rodríguez, and prominent journalist Javier Valdez, in the capital of Sinaloa.

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Ryan Lariba
5 April 2017

Dispatches 2016 presents the work Front Line Defenders has undertaken around the world for the protection and security of human rights defenders at risk in 2016, including the impact of grants, training, advocacy, visibility, rest & respite and other programs, as well as the launch of the HRD Memorial, honoring HRDs killed since the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998.

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Berta Caceres - protest
31 March 2015

In April 2015 Front Line Defenders and Verso Books published La Lucha: The Story of Lucha Castro and Human Rights in Mexico - the first book in a series of nonfiction graphic novels. La Lucha features the real life stories of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in northern Mexico who confront lethal challenges in order to promote human rights, justice and accountability.