FoRB on the Frontlines

A five-part series featuring updates from Human Rights Defenders in South Asia, with special guest writer Michel Forst, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
Read FoRB on the Frontlines.

Speaking up for religious freedom in South Asia and Central
Asia is a dangerous pursuit. Speak up for those who speak out.
Tweet your support below.
India
Attacks on #HumanRightsDefenders campaigning for #CommunalHarmony in #India must stop. They must be able to speak out without fear. It’s time to #DefendTheDefender #FoRB @narendramodi @forstmichel #HRD www.defendthedefender.com
Pakistan
Attacks on #HumanRightsDefenders in #Pakistan campaigning for #ReligiousFreedom must stop. They should be free to speak out without fear. It’s time to #DefendtheDefender #FoRB #HRD @pid_gov @imrankhanpti @betterpakistan @forstmichel www.defendthedefender.com
     Bangladesh
Killings of #bloggers and attacks on #HumanRightsDefenders in #Bangladesh should be investigated without delay. Attacks on those campaigning for #ReligiousFreedom must stop. It’s time to #DefendTheDefender #FoRB @albd1971 @forstmichel #HRD www.defendthedefender.com
Kyrgyzstan
Surveillance, harassment and attacks on #HumanRightsDefenders in #Kyrgyzstan campaigning for #ReligiousMinorities must stop. They should be free to speak out against #PoliceBrutality. It’s time to #DefendTheDefender #FoRB #HRD @kyrgyzpresident @forstmichel www.defendthedefender.com
Sri Lanka
Intimidation by state officials towards #HumanRightsDefenders promoting #ReligiousFreedom in #SriLanka must stop. Violence against those campaigning for justice must be investigated. It’s time to #DefendTheDefender #FoRB #HRD @MaithripalaS @forstmichel www.defendthedefender.com
Nepal
Legislation that blocks #HumanRightsDefenders in #Nepal carrying out work promoting #ReligousFreedom must be repealed. Independence of the Human Rights Commission @NepalNHRC must be ensured. It’s time to #DefendTheDefender #FoRB #HRD @PM_Nepal @forstmichel www.defendthedefender.com
How are
Defenders silenced?

Sajjad’s story

Bushra’s story

Julfikar’s story

Many Human Rights Defenders suffer beatings, or are targeted with vile online abuse. Other times, they are deprived of funding or targeted through tax legislation that means they’re unable to keep working.

Defenders love their countries and speak up for the principles of freedom, peace and tolerance their home is built upon. And yet they are branded anti-nationals and enemies of the state.

In August 2017, 40 Defenders came together from Bangladesh, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to find new ways to work together, support one another and see real change.

Radicalism and Red Tape

To advocate for religious freedom makes you particularly vulnerable.
Read the report.

The issues differ from country to country. And yet the recurring theme
is clear: it’s becoming harder to speak out. How far would you go?
Please click here for an infographic of our policy recommendations.