Back to top

Peter Steudtner


Supporting human rights defenders and their organisations are not a crime but a right.

Peter Steudtner is a German trainer, coach, photographer and documentary film maker.

Having studied Political Science in Berlin, Germany, Peter worked and lived for two years as a civil peace worker in Mozambique. There he focused his work on the psychosocial reintegration of child soldiers in local communities. After several years of work as the Mozambique desk officer for the Development-Policy focused INKOTA Network in Berlin, he became an independent trainer, photographer and Documentary film maker. As a trainer on non-violence his expertise focuses on the Do-No-Harm approach, Anti-Discrimination work and the processing of Trauma and Stress in conflicts. Peter works in Germany as a trainer for the Center for Training and Networking on Non-violent Action 'Kurve Wustrow' in Wendland; Bread for the World/Evangelical Development Service and the Union for Nonviolence (Gewaltfreie Handeln e.V).

Since 2011 he has led international trainings on non-violence at Kurve Wustrow, along with Spino Fante (South Africa) and Stella Tamang (Nepal). In these trainings, Human Rights Defenders broaden their capabilities in techniques for non-violent work in promotion of human rights; distinct approaches including health and well-being, conflict analysis, and self-reflection in conflict transformation play a role in this approach. Since 2014 Peter broadened his approach to include strategic understanding of digital technology in the context of human rights work. Together with Ali Gharavi, Craig Higson-Smith and Daniel Ó Cluanaigh, he co-authored a handbook on 'holistic security', a work which explicitly explores the connection between physical, psychosocial and digital aspects of security in the context of Human Rights work.


Human rights defenders in Turkey have been subjected to harassment, threats, surveillance, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, judicial harassment including criminal prosecution, violent attacks, prolonged arbitrary detention and ill-treatment. They become target for their work on denouncing impunity for serious human rights violations, defending sexual rights, investigating on ultra-nationalist networks, advocating for labour rights or defending the right to conscientious objection.

Turkey's overly broad definition of terrorism allows for arbitrary imposition of the terrorism charges against individuals about whom there is little evidence of logistical or material support for terrorism. Scores of people are arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences for voicing their concern on the Kurdish issue through non-violent speeches and writings. They include political figures, serving mayors, human rights lawyers, journalists, intellectual, academics and human rights defenders – all invariably accused of links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) or the Kurdistan Communities Union (Koma Ciwakên Kurdistan, KCK).