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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.
60 Episodes
Why have Kenyan human rights defenders been protesting? What have the consequences of their human rights work during the protests been? Listen to a human rights defender on the ground in Kenya share their perspective on why they are peacefully protesting, as well as how they have been targeted and harassed during this time.
Doris is a woman human rights defender working on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for over a decade, advocating for the rights of women, girls, and marginalized communities in Kenya and beyond. She talks about the challenges and successes of her work as a human rights defender: the difficult context for SRHR, LGBTIQ+ and womens rights work in Kenya, in a society that has alot of stigma and resistance to advancing these various areas of human rights work. Doris herself has been a victim of targeting, harassment, home raids, and more, as a result of her work. She shed light on this and tells us why she will never stop her human rights work.
"Francisca Fernández Droguett: el ciberespionaje de personas defensoras en Chile por una empresa extractiva privada". Conversamos con la defensora chilena, integrante del Movimiento por el Agua y los Territorios - MAT, sobre el ciberespionaje al que ella y otras personas defensoras de derechos humanos que protestan en contra del proyecto hidroeléctrico Alto Maipo en Chile, fueron sometidos. Francisca Fernández Droguett nos cuenta en este último episodio en español de nuestro podcast, Rights on the Line, cómo la justicia chilena respaldó a la empresa extractiva privada incluso después de que reconocieran haber participado en ciberespionaje. Esto, en un contexto en que Chile se adhiere al Acuerdo de Escazú que pretende dar garantías a líderes ambientales.
Tara Houska is a citizen of Couchiching First Nation, a tribal attorney, land defender, environmental and Indigenous rights defender. She is the founder of the Giniw Collective, an Indigenous women, two-spirit-led frontline resistance to defend the sacred and live in balance. Tara Houska has been active in resisting the Line 3 oil pipeline, the Dakota Access pipeline, and is involved in the movement to reclaim Land Back and in defunding fossil fuels. We chat to her about her journey as a human rights defender including the resistance to the Line 3 and Dakota Access pipelines, what drives her, what the earth means to her, and more.
Mary Lawlor, the founder of Front Line Defenders, is currently the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. This year marked 25 years of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Mary shares invaluable insights into the achievements for human rights defenders over the last 25 years, how the landscape has changed and evolved in terms of the protection of HRDs. She also shares her story of how Front Line Defenders came into being, and special moments she has had through her career with HRDs, as well as what it means to be a Special Rapporteur to HRDs.
We chat to the Media initiative for human rights, a prominent Ukrainian human rights organization working on the topic of civilian hostages, political prisoners and prisoners of war. Their recent investigation looked at secret prisons in Russia and Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine where civilian hostages from Ukraine are kept together with prisoners of war, subjected to torture and ill-treatment, all in violation of international humanitarian law. Media initiative for human rights documented more than one thousand cases of civilian hostages. Among those hostages are Ukrainian Human Rights Defenders and journalists who found themselves on Russian-occupied territories and abducted by the Russian army to silence civil society and cease any form of peaceful resistance. We chat to one of the founders of media iniative for human rights to find out more.
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.