New Blog: Breaking silence: Getting companies, govts. and the UN to speak out to protect defenders
Photo: Sergey Nikiforov is still serving a prison term in strict regime correctional colony
Environmental human rights defenders and other activists that are confronting corporations got a rare moment in the spotlight last week when the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders presented his report on environmental defenders to the UN General Assembly. With the number of attacks and murders of environmental defenders continuing to grow, this attention is welcome, but the silence around the attacks is still all too common....Sergey Nikiforov, an Evenk indigenous people’s leader and environmental rights defender, is serving a prison term in strict regime correctional colony...According to the...villagers...the true reason for his imprisonment was...that he had led...protests against Petropavlovsk’s operations. We invited DalTeploEnergo and Petropavlovsk to respond to the allegations raised... The companies did not respond. We need progressive businesses to stand up to restrictions on civic freedoms and attacks on defenders....We need states to adopt zero-tolerance approach to killing and violence against defenders...answer to Special Rapporteur’s inquiries, and hold perpetrators to account....and put enough resources...into international mechanisms for them to be able to reach wherever...those that stand up to corporate abuse come under threat.