Space for civil society and human rights defenders has "shrunk"

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Margaret Sekaggya

The job of a human rights activists remains highly dangerous in many parts of the world, according to a senior UN official.

Presenting her last report to the Human Rights Council, Margaret Sekaggya, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders said during her tenure, the space for civil society and human rights defenders has visibly shrunk.

She also observed "sophisticated forms" of silencing the voices of defenders and impeding their work through the misuse of the judicial system.

"Human rights defenders and their families are often intimidated, harassed, subject to surveillance, threatened, attacked, arbitrarily arrested, criminalized, tortured and ill-treated in detention, subject to enforced disappearances, and sometimes killed. Both State and non-State actors are involved in the commission of these acts and I deeply regret to say that impunity tends to prevail in many parts of the world."

Sekkaggya said she was highly concerned that these patterns could endanger the physical and psychological integrity of human rights defenders.

These patterns could also undermine the work of human Rights defenders and impose a climate of fear to society at large.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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