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Front Line Defenders launches campaign on 15 human rights defenders coinciding with Olympics

Monday, July 30, 2012

Front Line Defenders   26 July 2012

‘Olympic Dreams’ Campaign to focus attention on targeted human rights defenders

(Dublin, Ireland) – Front Line Defenders launched an online and social media campaign today to call attention to the plight of 15 human rights defenders (HRDs) around the world facing threats, harassment, intimidation, prison and violence on account of their human rights work. The ‘Olympic Dreams’ campaign (www.sportshrd.org) calls on the public to take action to support these 15 defenders by writing to country officials, including the heads of the various National Olympic Committees.

All 15 of the activists highlighted in the campaign have displayed great courage and integrity in their work on a range of human rights issues around the world. From Temogen Tulawie jailed in The Philippines and Roza Tuletaeva jailed in Kazakhstan to Alexandre Anderson de Souza facing death threats in Brazil and Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera facing death threats in Uganda, the 15 who have been chosen for the campaign face extraordinary challenges in their work defending the human rights of others. [1]

“With global attention focused on the incredible talent and commitment of athletes gathered from around the world to compete in a spirit of sportsmanship and fair play, Front Line Defenders also wants to draw attention to other heroes in our societies who work at great personal risk, against seemingly insurmountable odds to secure fundamental rights and freedoms for others,” announced Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders at the launch of the campaign.

“Just as these athletes could not compete, let alone win, at the Olympics without a substantial support team, so too do human rights defenders need support for their protection in order to achieve. And just as an energized crowd can spur a new world record, Front Line Defenders believes that by taking a few minutes to join the campaign the public can make a major difference in the lives of these human rights defenders,” explained Adam Shapiro, Head of Campaigns.

Front Line Defenders has worked for over a decade to provide practical and rapid support for human rights defenders at risk, including emergency support, grants, training in physical and digital security, international advocacy and campaigning.

For more information:

Adam Shapiro +353-­‐85-­‐236-­‐0262 adam@frontlinedefenders.org @FrontLineHRD

[1 ] The 15 HRDs in the campaign are: 1. Alexandre Anderson de Souza (Brazil); 2. Azimjan Askarov (Kyrgyzstan) 3. Biram Dah Ould Abeid (Mauritania); 4. Gao Zhisheng (China); 5. Habiba Al-­‐Hinai (Oman); 6. Juan Vásquez (Honduras); 7. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (Uganda); 8. Kavita Srivastava (India); 9. Magodonga Mahlangu (Zimbabwe); 10. Marianela Sánchez Ortiz (Venezuela); 11. Osman Işçi (Turkey); 12. Roza Tuletaeva (Kazakhstan); 13. Samar Badawi (Saudi Arabia); 14. Temogen Tulawie (Philippines); 15. Yacine Zaid (Algeria)

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org