Blogs from the Front Line

Blaming the Victims in Guatemala

Following the publication of my recent Opinion Piece in The Irish Times regarding the humanitarian crisis of undocumented children arriving in the United States from Central America, a reader wrote to me questioning some of the basic facts.

Seeking Justice at the BRICS – Can Brazil Lead?

On 15 July, the 6th BRICS Summit will open in Brazil. The timing, in many ways, could not be more important for each of the 5 countries involved.

Lies and Obfuscation - the legal system in Saudi Arabia

In the space of three days last week two prominent human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia received harsh prison sentences. To any reasonable person it seems incredible that the mere fact of demanding political reform and democratic change or simply monitoring the human rights situation in your country could be construed as taking part in a plot to overthrow the state.

Tiananmen 25: More than a Symbolic Legacy

(Visit the China campaign site for more interviews with Tiananmen student leaders)

Twenty five years ago today, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) demonstrated the extent to which it would go in order to face down any challenges to its power or legitimacy.

Failure at Launch – Azerbaijan and the Council of Europe

Just when we needed the Council of Europe to stand strong for human rights, Azerbaijan is due to bring its hackneyed brand of authoritarian repression to the role of Chairman.

Argentina and the issue of impunity

As Front Line Defenders launches a new documentary, Memory, Truth & Justice, on the struggle for justice by HRDs and families of the disappeared in Argentina, Mary Lawlor looks at just why these cases are so important to the current struggle for human rights.

As Afghanistan goes to the polls on Saturday what prospect for women's rights

As Afghanistan prepares to go to the polls on Saturday for Presidential and provincial elections, many women are concerned that the progress they have struggled to make over the past number of years may be traded away in the name of reconciliation in the political negotiations prior to the withdrawal of international forces at the end of this year.

Uganda - Betrayal of Trust

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A LEADER?

Someone to lead, inspire and guide us. Someone whose focus is on the greater good of all, yet who will at the same time strive to protect the rights and the interests of even the poorest and most marginalised among us.

Slim victory for LGBT rights in Uganda

President Museveni may be congratulating himself on the basis that having refused to sign the Anti Homosexuality Bill into law he can somehow position himself as a champion of human rights in Uganda. At the same time we in the international human rights community may be feeling that we have scored some kind of victory.

“I believe we were put here to improve civilisation” Seamus Heaney RIP

I am so very sad to hear of the death of Seamus Heaney. This giant of a man had a profound understanding of how human rights were enmeshed in and inseparable from daily living.

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19/May/2012
It was good to be back in Manila and to meet with human rights defenders at an event at the University of the Philippines. There was an interesting discussion on the forthcoming UPR session on the Philippines. Sadly the issue of protection of human - Read more ...
10/May/2012
Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is very much the favoured interlocutor of the West and is promoted as “reform minded.” Indeed he was the person who attempted to negotiate with protesters last spring, which may have reflected a genuine - Read more ...
28/Mar/2012
It is increasingly difficult to find positives when your friend has been on hunger strike for 50 days and has declared that he will pursue it to freedom or death. The shadow of despair gnaws at your heart as the days grind by. To begin with there - Read more ...
19/Mar/2012
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16/Mar/2012
This is the beginning of the end of our military engagement in Afghanistan. We started with a legitimate mission to remove the threat of al Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11. We can argue about whether Bush took his eye off the ball because of Iraq or - Read more ...
15/Mar/2012
I flew into Chihuahua, Mexico after the sun had retreated behind the rolling hills to the west. After dark, this city of almost a million people becomes a different place. Lucha, an extraordinary human rights defender was waiting for me in the - Read more ...
07/Mar/2012
When my father started his current hunger strike, he was already weakened as he had just ended a seven-day hunger strike 48 hours before. On the 10th day of this hunger strike my father was taken to the hospital, having collapsed in prison. He was - Read more ...
27/Feb/2012
This evening I am writing from my hotel in Guatemala City, where my mission partner Annalisa Mauro, of the International Land Coalition, and I have just been making our own dinner. The wonderful hotel staff suggested that we have a sushi making - Read more ...
21/Feb/2012
I am just back in Tegus after three days at the International Encuentro in Tocoa, Aguan with participants from Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador. It was a huge privilege to meet so many amazing Honduran HRDs who are working in - Read more ...
21/Feb/2012
Amidst the destruction and abuse going on in Syria, Anthony Shadid, a friend, died in an effort to tell the story of what is happening to people under fire. Anthony was in there without approval of the regime, and died tragically from an asthma - Read more ...
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