Encounters with Human Rights Defenders
Send us your reactions or our own testions regarding human rights defense at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Except if otherwise indicated, we will publish your contribution on this page.
Nobody has ever told me that I can not live where I do. Nobody has ever stolen my land, threatened my family, or ordered us to leave. I never had to use a language other than mine to get medical care for my children. They do not call me a terrorist when it suits them. They do not call me a peasant when it suits them. I am Peruvian, but I had the chance to be born in a city and I never had to endure it all. My commitment comes from having heard the voices of my brothers who have suffered it all. When I became a human rights lawyer, the threats started to arrive and have been getting closer and closer since.
Bruno Rodríguez Reveggino
This website provides an important opportunity to create transnational communities of human rights defenders. As a human rights defender in Guatemala, I often found the biblical expression "No man is a prophet in his own land" to be true. Human rights defense got me accused of being a terrorist, a communist and an opportunist. In addition to the social stigma, we risk our own lives to defend minimum standards, which could easily be conceived of as universal.
However, I am encouraged to read that I am not alone in this struggle, and that others share this dream. This website shows the stories of people such as Oscar Carrupia, who were persecuted for defending their communities and yet continue to make their voices heard. Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of another train approaching, but the light of justice. Maybe many small lights can eradicate darkness if we put them all together. Thank you for your testimonies.
Thank you Christopher and to your colleagues for their testimonies. The interactive presentation allows for the participation of many. It is very refreshing to be able to know these people, men and women, young or more experienced, lawyers and community leaders. These human rights activists bring back to my mind the many ones, young and old, that I had the privilege of meeting throughout my career and my life in the field of international relations.
Gaëtane Gascon, Gatineau (QC)