Front Line Defenders has learned with great sadness of the death of human rights defender Rafiq Hajat, who passed on 13 September 2021 of a heart attack. Despite the personal risks, Rafiq Hajat dedicated 20 years of his life to peacefully defending human rights in Malawi.
Some years ago I was introduced to the text “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd World Women Writers”1 by Glória Anzaldua. In it, she encourages women's writing. The Chicana, feminist and lesbian scholar on cultural theory calls on women from the so-called ‘third world’ to write. She recognizes writing as a form of creation. Of survival.
In recent weeks – that have been dominated by challenging and difficult news – it has been great to see Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason take up Ireland’s seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC), and for her to be already promoting an agenda around women, peace and security.
Ireland starts its two-year term at a time when the international rules-based system has never been under greater threat.
On 10 September 2020, Yury Korzun, a miner from Belarusian city of Salihorsk chained himself to a piece of equipment 300 meters below the surface. Belarusians commented it happened because “another person has handcuffed himself to the presidential chair”.
Atziri Elizabeth Ávila López es una defensora de derechos humanos de Oaxaca, México, que trabaja con el Observatorio Ciudadano Nacional del Feminicidio (OCNF), una red de ciudadanos/as compuesta por 43 organizaciones. El objetivo del OCNF es contribuir a garantizar el derecho de las mujeres a una vida libre de violencia. Además de su trabajo con OCNF, Atziri también es miembro del Consejo Consultivo del Mecanismo para la Protección Integral de Personas Defensoras de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas en México.
In mid-February 2020, as the coronavirus outbreak led to cities and counties across China imposing strict lockdown, a mother surnamed Wang and her two young children, with luggage in tow, walked for almost five hours in an attempt to return to their hometown in a neighbouring county after she was beaten by her abusive ex-husband.
With at least ten rural workers and leaders killed in 2019 and increased violence against human rights defenders, fuelled by hate speech from the highest levels, there seems to be little to celebrate in the State of Para on Human Rights Day 2019. This 9 December, Front Line Defenders Protection Coordinator, Ivi Oliveira, accompanied one of our partners in Brazil at the reception ceremony of the Medal Paulo Frota by the Legislative Assembly of Para (ALEPA), which recognised individuals and organisations for their work in defence of human rights in the state.
En los próximos días, se decidirá el destino de Pablo López Alavéz, un activista de un pueblito en el sur de México. La decisión de una corte federal podría afectar también el destino de una parte del bosque en las montañas de Oaxaca que él considera su hogar. Algunas personas también esperan que el dictamen siente un precedente para los defensores de la tierra y el medio ambiente en todo México.
“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.