Frontline Defenders Global Analysis 2019

2019 was characterised by waves of public uprisings of remarkable magnitude in each of the world regions, demanding changes to how people were governed. The role human rights defenders (HRDs) played in these protests ranged from organising and mobilising to monitoring and documenting human rights violations, and to assisting those who were injured or arrested. The causes of street protests and social unrest differed, but tended to revolve around outright rejection of deep economic inequality, rampant corruption, and calls for greater civil and political rights. While the demonstrations were largely peaceful, the security forces in many countries used acts of violence carried out by a minority of protesters as an excuse to respond with excessive use of force against the majority. Even in contexts where there was no threat to them, security forces were often ruthless. This was highlighted in Sudan in June when three HRDs were among dozens shot dead by security forces while participating in a sit-in at the headquarters of the Transitional Military Council. The speed with which police and other forces were authorised to use tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition on non-violent protesters was extremely worrying, as governments around the world sought to remove the tactic of peaceful, on-street mobilisations from the toolkit of civil society.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Human Rights Defenders
Author: Frontline Defenders