June 2, 2017
May 26, 2017
Defending human rights activists and political prisoners is some of the most dangerous work a lawyer can do in Crimea. After years taking on these risky cases, Crimean Tatar lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was today awarded a top international prize for human rights activists. In Dublin, on 26 May 2017, Front Line Defenders named Emil the 2017 Laureate of its annual Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.
May 3, 2017
On 7 May 2017, human rights defender, Mohammed Khatib, will appear before an Israeli Military Court after three and half years of lengthy court proceedings following his participation in peaceful demonstrations at Beit Il checkpoint, in the village of Bettin, on 7 March 2013. The human rights defender is facing three charges of entering a closed military zone, participating in an illegal demonstration, and disturbing the soldiers.
The upcoming military trial of the human rights defender will take place on 7 May 2017 in Ofer military court. According to Israeli and Palestinian human rights organisations, the conviction rate of Israeli military courts has ranged from ninety to ninety-nine percent in recent years.
Mohammed Khatib has previously been arrested and detained by Israeli forces on several occasions on account of his participation in peaceful demonstrations. On 20 January 2017, Israeli forces arrested Mohammed Khatib while he attended his colleagues’ military hearing for participation in a peaceful demonstration. He was held in Ofer prison for four days and was also accused of participating in an “illegal protest” against Israel’s illegal annexation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem. In 2014, he was detained for participating in a tree-planting project in Turmusaya. All these charges against the human rights defender are still pending and he is expected to have to stand trial for them in the future.
Front Line Defenders condemns the continued judicial harassment of human rights defender, Mohammed Khatib, as it believes it to be solely related to his legitimate and peaceful human rights activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Front Line Defenders further condemns the pattern of intimidation, harassment and prosecution of human rights defenders by the Israeli occupation forces.
March 31, 2017
The Jury has selected human rights defenders from Ukraine, Nicaragua, Vietnam, South Africa and Kuwait as finalists for the 2017 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk:
Emil Kurbedinov is a Crimean Tatar and human rights lawyer. Since the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Emil has been defending the persecuted Crimean Tatar minority, civil society activists and journalists. He also provides emergency response and documentation of rights violations during raids and searches of activists’ homes. In January 2017, masked representatives from Crimea’s Centre for Counteracting Extremism detained Emil and took him to a local directorate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) for interrogation. A district court found him guilty of “propagandizing for extremist organisations” and sentenced him to ten days in detention.
January 3, 2016
More than 1000 human rights defenders were killed, harassed, detained or subjected to smear campaigns in 2016, Front Line Defenders reported today at the launch of its annual report in Dublin. The Annual Report on Human Rights Defenders at Risk in 2016 documents hundreds of physical, legal, and social attacks on activists around the world in 2016.
According to the report, 282 human rights defenders were murdered in 25 countries, 49 percent of whom were defending land, indigenous and environmental rights. Front Line Defenders found that in the vast majority of cases, killings were preceded by warnings, death threats and intimidation which, when reported to police, were routinely ignored. The report highlights the devastating effects of activist murders on communities and social movements; according to Front Line Defenders research in Bangladesh, refusal by police to investigate death threats and protect human rights defenders led to increased self-censorship, a breakdown in activist networks, and more than two dozen human rights defenders fleeing the country.
“This report honours the hundreds of defenders killed in 2016,” said Front Line Defenders Executive Director Andrew Anderson. “We mourn their loss and celebrate their lives and achievements. Each and every peaceful HRD killed is an outrage. The scale of the killings in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Philippines is a bloody indictment of the governments concerned; it demands an urgent and systematic response.”
In addition to killings, over half of the cases reported by Front Line Defenders in 2016 concerned criminalisation, a tactic which the organisation calls “the first choice of governments to silence defenders and to dissuade others.” Arbitrary detention was widespread and ranged from a few hours in Nicaragua, to prevent HRDs from attending protests, to years-long house arrests in China.