Defending Defenders? An Assessment of EU Action on Human Rights Defenders

Around the world, people are speaking up and working to defend human rights, frequently at risk to their safety, freedom or life. All too often, these human rights defenders (HRDs) are labelled as “criminals”, “foreign agents”, “terrorists” or threats to “development” or “traditional values”. Many suffer violations of the very rights they defend. They are harassed and intimidated, unjustly prosecuted and imprisoned. Some are tortured, killed or forcibly disappeared.

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