Deprivation of liberty is one of the strategies most commonly used against human rights defenders across all world regions. In international human rights law, an arrest or detention is arbitrary in three cases: when there is clearly no legal basis for it; when it is the result of the legitimate exercise of rights such as freedom of expression, association, assembly among others; or when there is a serious violation of fair trial guarantees.
In many cases, following arrest, HRDs are subsequently charged and put on trial, which can result in long imprisonment sentences – see Judicial harassment.
Bail pending investigation or trial can also be denied arbitrarily.
As human rights defenders it is not the repression, imprisonment and torture that we have suffered that counts, but what we have seen and documented. The crimes against humanity, the war crimes committed and still being committed while the world looks on.