FIDH starts a campaign for release of imprisoned human rights defenders threatened by pandemic

Author: FIDH, Published on: 9 April 2020

"COVID-19: Jailed Human Rights Defenders Must Be Released Immediately", 08 Apr 2020

In light of the serious threat posed to prisoners by the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, FIDH and its undersigned member organisations recall governments’ obligation to ensure the safety and health of detained individuals that are under their responsibility, and launch a campaign, #ForFreedom , to call for the release of all jailed human rights defenders (HRDs). [T]he need to release HRDs is more urgent than ever... As stated by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, “Now, more than ever, governments should release every person detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views.” This concerns minors, migrants, refugees, political opponents, journalists, and HRDs... The urgency of the current health crisis presents authorities with an opportunity to redress the unjust deprivation of liberty of all these individuals... In such a context,... we call on governments to relieve congestion in prisons by releasing vast numbers of prisoners on a temporary, permanent or conditional basis for public health reasons...

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