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Rights on the Line

Rights on the Line

Author: Front Line Defenders

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Front Line Defenders is an international human rights organization based in Ireland working exclusively for the security and protection of human rights defenders at risk.
54 Episodes
In this episode, Salah tells us about how his upbringing inspired his human rights work, what the revocation of his residency means and other tactics being used to silence human rights defenders in Palestine. He gives us insights to the inhumane tactics which Israeli authorities use to break the spirit of political prisoners, systemic neglect of healthcare in prison, his own experience of hunger strikes in prison and more.
Hiba sheds light on the situation for human rights defenders in Syria in the aftermath of the recent earthquake - expressing how HRDs have been detained and harassed by authorities for speaking out about the corruption with humanitarian aid to Syrians, as well as how WHRDs have been absurdly blamed for the earthquake.
A special storytelling episode - follow Bidya Shrestha Maharjan's story with sound effects as she narrates her story of being a woman human rights defender and defending the rights of the Newa Guthi indigenous people. Bidya is a teacher by profession, as well as the women’s president of the World Newa Guthi, an indigenous community organization. Bidya has long been leading the movement to stop illegal road expansions in the valley of her hometown. She has been threatened several times, physically attacked and arbitrarily detained as a result of her work.
We hear from HRD Prof. Colin Harvey on advocating for human rights in Northern Ireland, and what a united Ireland means to him in the context of human rights. He also shares his experiences being targeted and harassed as a human rights defender for his work over the last few years.
AGE networks Matina Ebri (Head, Administrator), Esther Odiong (Finance Officer) and Margeret Oyigeya (Operation officer) share the challenges they face in their work advocating for womens rights, the nuances of advocating for womens rights within a patriarchal society, and their own experiences and stories as women regarding the work they carry out at AGE network in Nigeria.
We hear from Palestinian land rights defender Hafez Huraini, a farmer from at-Tuwani village in Masafer Yatta, Hebron, Occupied Palestinian Territory. He speaks about the context of Masafer Yatta, and his most recent experience being brutally assaulted and harassed by settlers and Israeli authorities on his own land.
On this episode of rights on the line, we talk to Olena Schevchenko, the chairperson of Insight, an NGO that focuses on promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTQI + persons in Ukraine. This year, amidst a crisis of war, pride month was different for LGBTIQ defenders in Ukraine. While Olena and Insight would usually be organising pride events around this time, this year they are providing support and protection to the LGBTQI+ community during the war in Ukraine. Olena shares insights on the situation for HRDs on the ground during the war, how it has affected the LGBTIQ and Human rights community, and how Insight and other lgbtqi + groups have adapted their work to support the current needs of the war crisis.
Abahlali baseMjondolo is a grassroots movement of poor shack dwellers in Durban and other parts of South Africa, advocating for the rights of people living in shacks, including access to decent housing, services and education. Since their inception, leaders of the fast growing movement – with a member base of up to 100,000 – have been targeted and sadly, killed. In the last two weeks, two leaders were again murdered, bringing the number of HRDs killed in the movement to over 20. 30-year old activist Ayanda Ngila was gunned down while tending to a communal garden in Cato Crest. He was a branch chairperson at the time of his murder. Shortly after, Bongumusa Manqele was killed in eNkanini informal settlement during a raid by a large police contingent. We chat to one of Abahlali’s prominent leaders, Sbu Zikode, to hear more about the situation.
Season 4, episode1: Gaps in state-reported data on land and environmental rights defenders negatively and severely impacts the ability to monitor and mitigate situations where human rights defenders are at risk. In 2020, Front Line Defenders reported that 331 human rights defenders were killed, 69% being land and environmental rights defenders. But, Official data on killings remain limited, while there is even less data on physical and other types of lethal attacks on defenders. In this episode, we talk about the gap in data in terms of land rights defenders, touching on the crucial gap report and the data working group. We chat to Carole Excell, Director of Environmental Democracy Practice at the World Resources Institute, and Eva Hershaw, who works on land and monitoring data at the international land coalition.
Topics covered: - How the situation unfolded since the suspicion of an initial hack and breach - How the announcement of the 6 organisations deemed as‘’terrorist’’ linked to the unfolding investigation - Who NSO Group is and what Pegasus is - How the devices were confirmed to be infected, and what happens when spyware is installed on a device - Recommendations on the situation and what the international community can do.
In this episode, we talk about human rights defenders in Africa experiencing challenges in the digital space, on social media platforms and more. Ronald shares his insights as the Digital Protection Coordinator for the Africa region at Front Line Defenders, as well as very NB tips on how HRDs can protect themselves in the Digital space. Abdifatah, and HRD from Digital Shelter in Somalia, talks about a recently released report by Digital Shelter on how HRDs in Somalia and Africa are targeted digitally, as well as how it might be remedied. Alex talks about how LGBTI+ Rights Ghana was challenged when their social media accounts were shut down without warning in relation to their work, and how they went about dealing with that.
Zambias national elections will be held on the 12th of August 2021. This comes against a dangerous background of the country veering towards dangerous authoritarianism. Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Zambia face arrests, violent threats, intimidation tactics, surveillance, and smear campaigns as the government persecutes civil society and challenges the legitimacy of HRDs who speak out against the crack down on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, and other core civil and political rights. HRDs worry that elections will not be free and fair, and that the state of authoritarianism will only worsen. Listen to our guests share different insights: MUSIC: TATWASHUPA BY HRD ARTIST PILATO Linda Kasonde: 01m54s Pilato: 15m04s Laura Miti: 32m04s Euegene Mulenga: 44m34s Mbototo: 01h03m04s
Front Line Defenders Rights on the Line podcast, presenting the voices, perspectives and experiences of human rights and human rights defenders (HRDs) across the globe. In this episode, we chat to two HRDs who were a part of the SEA-EYE 4 ship crew, which rescued 408 people from five different refugee boats in distress in May 2021. Sophie Weidenhiller is from the German NGO Sea-Eye, who works for the rescue of fleeing people in the central Mediterranean Sea. Sara Cincurova is a Slovakian HRD journalist who writes on issues ranging from migration, to human rights, humanitarian issues, and women's rights. She has reported from about fifteen different countries, and has been published by BBC and The Guardian, among others. Sara and Sophie will speak on Sea-Eyes most recent heart-wrenching humanitarian mission aboard the Sea Eye 4 ship, as well as their experiences being targeted as human rights defenders for the their sea-rescue efforts and work. Music: Soft Instrumental Hip-hop by jorikbasov
In the last two weeks, unwarranted violence against Palestinians by Israeli authorities has increased. Palestinians on the ground have resisted, and in turn, Israeli forces have since used repeated excessive force on Palestinians. As Airstrikes continue, Israel is cracking down on media with strong censorship of Palestinian content, and the recent targeted bombing of Al-Jazeera and Associated Press building. Israel is using its connections and influence with social media companies to censor content and expression online. Today we speak to 3 Palestinians to shed light on the situation on the ground, what Palestinians need to support their struggle, and what the reality of the struggle is for palestinians. Our guests today include Fayrouz Sharqawi, the director at Grassroots Jerusalem, a platform for Palestinian and international activists and organizations in Jerusalem. Afaf Al-Najjar is in Khan Younis in Gaza, and is a writer with We Are Not Numbers. Lastly, Mona Shtaya is a Communicator, campaigner, Digital/ Human Rights defender and Local Advocacy Manager at Hamlah, the Arab center for social media.
We discuss the challenges faced by human rights defenders working on gender and LGBTI issues, in light of the recent withdrawal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention. We chat to Aslıhan Tekin, the EU Representative /Alternate Board Member of the European Women's Lobby Coordination for Turkey, as well as Yildiz Tar, Media and Communications Program Coordinator at Kaos GL, an organisation which aims to advance the rights of the LGBTIQ community in Turkey. Our guests will shed light on the pushback against gender issues in Turkey, and how the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention impacts women, and women human rights defenders, and LGBTI rights defenders and the LGBTI community.
In this episode, we discuss the findings of the Front Line Defenders Global Analysis report 2020, focusing on the impact of Covid-19 on the work of human rights defenders, especially in terms of digital security and lockdown regulations. Guests include: Ed O' Donovan, Head of Protection at Front Line Defenders; a HRD from Zambia, an HRD from the Colombian organisation ''Somos Defensores'' speaking on the killings in Colombia, and Bestang Sarah Dekdeken from the Philippines speaking about the impact of Covid-19 on indigenous rights defenders in the Philippines.
This is a special episode, produced by the Coalition for Human Rights in Development. in collaboration with Front Line Defenders. Ahead of the upcoming Finance in Common Summit in Paris, we speak with defenders in Kenya, Guatemala and India, about the human rights impact of projects imposed in the name of development From the 9th to the 12th of November, all public development banks in the world will be together for the first time ever. Over 450 finance institutions and heads of governments will meet to discuss their response to global challenges such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the flag of "sustainable development", these banks often present themselves as the world's saviours. But their investments come at a high price. Activities they finance have been linked to thousands of human rights violations. Human rights defenders who oppose harmful projects are being accused of being “anti-development” and they are being threatened, attacked and killed. Indigenous Peoples are seeing their territories being pillaged. Rural communities are being forcibly evicted. Yet, despite growing evidence about these abuses, human rights are not even mentioned in the Finance in Common summit agenda and are glossed over in the proposed joint declaration that all banks will sign at the end of the event. Once again, the voices of human rights defenders and local communities are being completely ignored.
Episodio SP 2 - Defender Derechos En Tiempos De COVID - 19 Una conversación con Sandra Patago, Front Line Defenders; Guillermo Rodríguez García. Oficial de incidencia del programa para México y centroamérica del Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL); Argentina Casanova, codirectora ejecutiva de la RNDDHMX; Waquel Drullard, facilitadore de proyectos en Artículo 19 en la oficina de Mx y Centroamérica y colabora en la facilitación del Espacio OSC en México; María Martín, coordinadora de incidencia de la IM-Defensoras; y Lesly Guerrero, encargada área legal internacional de UDEFEGUA (Guatemala). Además del fuerte impacto que ha tenido la crisis sanitaria generada por la pandemia de COVID-19 en el acceso a derechos y servicios básicos, esta ha resultado también en una profundización de la crisis democrática y de derechos humanos en la región mesoamericana. Como respuesta a la pandemia, algunos Estados de la región han implementado acciones de carácter punitivo, como toques de queda, estados de excepción o la militarización de la seguridad ciudadana, entre otras medidas contrarias a los derechos humanos de la población. En este contexto, la defensa de los derechos humanos enfrenta nuevos obstáculos y, a la vez, se vuelve más urgente que nunca. Estas son algunas de las conclusiones del brief “Defender derechos en tiempos de COVID-19: retos para México y Centroamérica” publicado el día de hoy por el Espacio OSC para la protección de personas defensoras y periodistas (Espacio OSC), Front Line Defenders, la Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (IM-Defensoras), la Red Nacional de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en México (RNDDHM), el Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL), la Unidad de Protección a Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos, Guatemala (UDEFEGUA), el North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), y Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED).
Hafez Omar Interview

Hafez Omar Interview


Interview with Palestinian artist and human rights defender Hafez Omar for Cypher 02:
Episode 9 - Watched & Monitored: Protecting HRDs from Surveillance - FLD Intro: 00:00 - 01:20 - Hussein Radhi, Bahrain: 01:20 - 04:38 - BIll Marczak, The Citizen Lab, Canada: 04:39 - 16:11 - Tahir Imran, Pakistan: 16:12 -30:02 - Zehida Bihorac, Bosnia & Herzegovina: 30:03 - 36:02
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