Back to top

Human Rights Defenders

Ordinary people who work at great personal risk to defend the rights of their communities

Protect One
Empower A Thousand

Front Line Defenders works to protect human rights defenders,
our everyday heroes.


HRD Spotlight: Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, S. Africa

About the Situation

On 22 March 2016, Sikhosiphi Rhadebe was shot dead outside his house by unidentified assailants purporting to be police officers. Less than two hours before his death, Rhadebe called fellow committee member Nonhle Mbuthuma to check on her safety, telling her there was a “hit list” that included both of them and felllow HRD Mzamo Dlamini.

For the past several years, members of ACC with the help of local residents have resisted attempts by Mineral Commodities Ltd (MRC), an Australian-owned mining company, and its local subsidiary TEM, to access the titanium-rich Xolobeni coastal dunes. They believe the mining venture will lead to forced removal from their land and threaten their livelihoods. They assert the community's right to determine the area's future and promote the area's eco-tourism potential instead. More than 100 civil society organisations from across the country have called for the suspension of all mining permits in the area pending an outcome of the probe into Rhadebe’s murder.

On 5 May, solidarity supporters of the Amadiba Crisis Committee and the Xolobeni Community will protest outside the offices of Telereal Trillium, whose CEO is a major shareholder in Australian-based Mineral Commodities Limited (MRC).  If you are in London, click here for more information about the protest.

Sign the Avaaz petition to demand justice for Sikhosiphi

About Sikhosiphi Rhadebe

Sikhosiphi RhadebeSikhosiphi Rhadebe was the chairperson of Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), an advocacy group launched in 2007 to campaign for the rights of the residents of the Xolobeni Community in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He was at the forefront of a campaign opposing open-cast mining of titanium in the Xolobeni area by Mineral Commodities Ltd (MRC), an Australian-owned mining company.

"After one year of threats and attacks, we have been waiting for something like this to happen."
- Nonhle Mbuthuma, Amadiba Crisis Committee

Read The Guardian Article

security forces dig up maxima acuna de chaupe farm 2
Maxima Acuna de Chaupe farmstead at sunset
28 апреля 2016

At the end of March, I visited environmental and land rights defender Máxima Acuña de Chaupe at her home in the Cajamarca region of Peru.  The next nonfiction graphic novel we are producing is about environmental and land rights defenders challenging and at risk from resource extraction companies. Máxima is confronting Newmont Mining (US) and its Peruvian counterpart, Yanococha Mining, which are trying to remove her from her land to build a huge gold mine, known as Conga.

22 февраля 2016

Dispatches 2015 highlights the challenges facing Front Line Defenders in providing fast and effective support to human rights defenders around the world, as the space in which HRDs can work safely continues to shrink.


31 марта 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.

14 января 2016

По данным Ежегодного доклада 2016, в 2015 году, по меньшей мере, 156 правозащитников были убиты или умерли в заключении. Более половины случаев – восемьдесят семь – имели место в Латинской Америке, из них только на долю одной Колумбии пришлись 54 убийства.  Самые разительные цифры вне стран Северной и Южной Америки – 31 заказное убийство правозащитников –  были отмечены на Филиппинах.