The first four months of 2011 witnessed an unprecedented surge of ordinary people speaking up for their rights and demanding change. But the authorities’ repressive attempts to silence these voices through arrests and detentions, ill-treatment and prison sentences continued. Civilians paid a heavy price for exercising their civil and political rights. In contrast, 2011 has seen some victories for international justice and towards ending the death penalty. Yet entrenched human rights abuses and insecurity continued unabated in many countries. Worldwide, the struggle for free expression, security and human rights is in sharper focus than ever.
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