Paris, 27 March 2014 - FIDH launches today an international campaign entitled #ForFreedom to speed up the release of 16 of its members jailed throughout the world. The #ForFreedom campaign is composed of an Internet website, a mobilization illustration and a hashtag. #ForFreedom intends to become the people’s voice supporting all defenders currently in detention.
Obtaining the release of arbitrarily detained human rights defenders is a priority for FIDH and its 178 member organisations. The objectives of the #ForFreedom campaign are to inform and digitally mobilise public opinion to the situation of human rights defenders in prison. #ForFreedom enables internet-users to become cyberdefenders and to address decision-makers throughout the world directly with just a click using their Twitter account, and thus help speed up the release of the human rights defenders in jail.
“If we speak out, they walk out” said Karim Lahidji, the FIDH President quoting the campaign’s slogan, “Obtaining the release of arbitrarily detained defenders is not wishful thinking. Our mobilization brings freedom to a good number of them every year”.
The campaign site introduces the situation of 16 FIDH members jailed in Bahrain, Belarus, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Thailand and Turkey. On the site, the 178 FIDH member leagues and their partners can introduce other defenders, who are in jail in their region.
"My husband manages to hang on in his prison cell because he knows his fight lives on within others. He also knows that thousands of others have been working tirelessly for the last two years to get him released. Every little bit of information that gets through to him makes him feel closer to the outside world, closer to the free world. Silence, which would mean giving up, or resignation, would be for him the worst of sentences," testified Sumaya Rajab, the wife of Nabeel Rajab, a human rights defender jailed in Bahrain since 2012.
The campaign is available in English, Spanish and French, and will soon be translated into Arabic and Russian.
Click here to access the campaign site and discover the portraits of the 16 FIDH members, human rights defenders currently in jail.
What is a “human rights defender”? A “human rights defender” is any person or group of persons who, on behalf of individuals or groups, acts, in a peaceful manner, to promote or protect human rights, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).