Steadfast in protest

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders which supports, monitors and protects human rights defenders throughout the year, is publishing its 2007 Annual Report today. The report focuses on the year-round fight for human rights and includes contributions from Hina Jilani, Desmond Tutu, Barbara Hendricks, José Ramos Horta, Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Wei Jingsheng. It celebrates the steadfast protest of all human rights defenders.

Media Kit
Full Report
332 pages

Sixty years after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ten years after the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, many states are still violating these fundamental texts.

As Eric Sottas, OMCT Secretary General said, "In 1998 after difficult negotiations that led to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, we expected States to adopt measures compliant with their commitments. The 2007 evaluation shows the contrary, that this year more than ever before, defenders’ rights have been abused in an effort to prevent them from carrying out their vital work to defend and protect human rights" .

We must recognise that the obsession with "security" has begun to take precedence over the requirement for citizens’ liberty. Arbitrary arrests, sentences meted out following unfair trials and house arrests continued this year, all measures that hold back the activities of hundreds of human rights defenders throughout the world. Some defenders pay for their commitment with their lives.

"We have to recognise," said Souhayr Belhassan, FIDH President, "that defenders now are suffering from an unprecedented backlash which requires us to be more vigilant than ever."

This report is being published in extenso in French, English and Spanish with an abridged version in Russian for part of Europe and the Community of Independent States and in Arabic for the Maghreb/Mashrek states. Furthermore, an annex containing all the cases covered by the Observatory in 2007 will be available on a CD somewhat later.

2007 Annual Report
PDF version
Table of Content
Europe & CEI
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