CIVICUS launches #StandAsMyWitness campaign to stop persecution of Human Rights Defenders
In time for the Nelson Mandela’s birth anniversary on the 18th of July, CIVICUS is launching the ‘Stand As My Witness’ campaign, calling for human rights defenders’ immediate release from jail and persecution, and for States, authorities and multinational corporations to guarantee peaceful human rights activities, without fear of reprisals and intimidation. Thousands of human rights defenders around the world are persecuted and harassed for their stand for freedom, rights and democratic values, and for calling out corrupt governments and multinational companies. Many of them are targeted for their work in defence of land rights, protection of the environment, and protection of economic, social and cultural rights. Many are currently in jail or pre-trial detention in overcrowded prisons following unfair trials and trumped-up charges, facing long prison sentences for their human rights activities. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens their already precarious health and welfare. To fight repression of defenders and help them to be heard, #StandAsMyWitness features the stories of six defenders below and calls on everyone to engage with the online campaign.