Human rights defenders inform the society they are living in about the concept of human rights and contribute to the building of a human rights culture. They promote human rights for everyone everywhere. They engage in peaceful acts and fight against the culture of impunity. They collect information on human rights violations, document and report these violations and disseminate such reports. They stand in solidarity with the victims; offer medical, psychological and legal support. They work for the implementation of international declarations, covenants and conventions on human rights. They are involved in human rights education. They also hold press conferences, petition, and stage peaceful protests.
One can briefly summarize the work of human rights defenders under four headings:
- Supporting victims
- Fight against impunity
- Introduce the concept of human rights and contribute to the building of a human rights culture.
The policy of judicial harassment of HRDs in general, along with İHD executives and members, has escalated after the declaration of the SoE and attempts were made to narrow down the human rights field in its entirety through repression.
Particularly the impediment of and restrictions before the rights to freedom of speech and association, the absence of guarantees for the right to liberty of the person lead to intensive repression of human rights defenders. Moreover, the dialogue between civil society organizations and the public administration is not effective enough to protect human rights defenders. Governments and bureaucrats from past to present have long been disregarding human rights organizations, often ignoring them. Human rights organizations that have no trouble in meeting with EU executives have a hard time in meeting with ministers. Following the declaration of the SoE the dialogue between human rights defenders and the public administration has been minimized.
The goal of the present report was, therefore, to present an overview of repressive policies against human rights defenders and organizations with a specific focus on İHD.
Full report in English: sr20200707_IHD-HRD Repression Report 2020