2 - 4 October 2019
The 2019 Dublin Platform took place from 2 - 4 October in Dublin Castle, bringing together 114 human rights defenders 90 countries, to share experiences, learn from each other and come up with new and more effective strategies for their security and protection.
Simon Coveney, TD, Ireland’s Foreign Minister (right), and Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (center), opened the 2019 Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders by welcoming over 114 human rights defenders (HRDs) from 90 countries and calling for greater protection and support for HRDs at risk. Front Line Defenders Executive Director, Andrew Anderson (left), reported that five human rights defenders were prevented from traveling to Dublin – Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Oyub Titiev (Russia), Said Boudour (Algeria), and Michel Matos (Cuba).
EU Special Representative, Eamon Gilmore (left), and UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst (right), each addressed the gathering and took questions from the HRDs.
Over three days, human rights defenders shared tactics and strategies for their protection and security, while learning from each other about their struggles, protests, resistance movements and victories.
On 3 October, the HRDs marched in a procession to Christchurch Cathedral as part of the “Set Them Free” campaign, calling for the release of HRDs facing multi-decade prison sentences around the world. The campaign includes former Front Line Defenders Protection Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Bahraini HRD Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, now serving a life sentence for his role in the peaceful pro-democracy uprising of 2011.