“If you drive 40 miles inland from Recife you go back in time 150 years.” Those were the words of a human rights defender from the Pastoral Land Commission in Pernambuco, Brazil, as he tried to explain the lawless brutality with which landowners managed their sugar cane plantations. The reach of the state is weak and the level of corruption and abuse of power is high.
On 22 September 2016, human rights defenders Svetlana Gannushkina (Russian Federation) and Mozn Hassan (Egypt) were awarded The Right Livelihood Award. The other two recipients were The White Helmets (a volunteer rescue group in Syria) and Turkey's independent "Cumhuriyet" newspaper.
Front Line Defenders is extremely saddened and would like to express its deep condolences for the sudden death of renowned human rights defender from the Philippines, Mr. Max de Mesa, on 28 September 2016.
Yolanda Barranco Hernández will never forget the morning of 18 May 2013. It started with a loud noise. Seven men carrying heavy weapons broke down the door of her house. They were looking for her husband, Damián Gallardo Martínez. They didn't present any warrant. They said they were there to arrest him and they took him away.
In light of unprecedented attacks on human rights defenders, Andrew Anderson of Front Line Defenders argues for increased direct support to human rights defenders working at the local and national levels, flexibility in funding, and a greater focus on core, multi-year support.
Between 4-5 September the leaders of 19 of the world’s largest economies and representatives from the European Union meet in Hangzhou in eastern China to discuss global financial stability and international economic policy. It is the first time that China is hosting a G20 Summit and it is another opportunity for it to announce its arrival on the world stage. Millions of dollars are being spent to ensure the city is picture-postcard perfect for the arrival of the dignitaries.
For more than five months, she has been demanding the Mexican authorities find her husband Fidencio Gómez Sántiz. She wants him back, and alive. So far, her demands have been met with silence.
Sebastiana Pérez Hernández is a 45-year-old woman and is the mother of two children. She speaks the indigenous language tzeltal and lives in the village of Las Perlas, in the municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas. She is a member of the grassroots organisation Frente Nacional de Lucha por el Socialismo (FNLS).
On July 12-13, 2016, the annual EU-China Summit will take place in Beijing. After two weeks of Brexit-induced European turmoil, China is likely to see this as an opportunity to take advantage of the EU’s member states for better trade deals.