December 12, 2018 ILN Fall 2018

Human Rights Defenders Face Increased Threats

By Juan Ramirez

Attacks on lawyers, judges, human rights defenders, and journalists are not only growing around the world, but also such attacks are increasing in frequency and severity. Last year, Front Line Defenders, a Dublin-based organization with regional offices worldwide, documented the killing of more than 300 human rights defenders, with a sharp increase in Latin America during the past five years. Corruption and a lack of judicial independence and impartiality are among the barriers to accountability for the unlawful killing of activists and for the misuse of legal proceedings against human rights advocates. The ABA Center for Human Rights will be monitoring two high‑profile human rights cases that highlight the significance of these challenges: the criminal case of those accused of killing Berta Cáceres, an advocate for indigenous people’s rights in Honduras, and the criminal trial of Milena Quiroz, a Colombian activist charged with rebellion in apparent retaliation for her social movement activism.

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