Human Rights Defenders, NOT Terrorists. NCHRO Commemorates Human Rights Day.
This year’s International Human Rights Day observations will focus on highlighting the human rights situation in our country. NCHRO will observe International Human Rights Day and the 71th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by spotlighting “Human Rights Defenders, NOT Terrorists”.
Posters were prepared to gear up the momentum. Apart from English, Posters were prepared in regional languages, to raise awareness among a wider audience.
Human rights defenders, as a result of their commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, are the target of repression by State. It is clear targeting civil society is not random or an incidental act. This repression takes the form of restrictive laws and practices regarding freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly, smear campaigns, abuse, death threats, arbitrary arrests and detention, forced disappearance, torture and assassination. When States define dissent against them as threats to the nation, it is a quick step to re-branding human rights defenders as terrorists and legitimising further crackdown measures.
India becoming one of the most dangerous countries in the region to become a human rights defender, when it is so easy to be listed on the governments hit-list for voicing political dissent. A list that renders human rights defenders vulnerable to arrests under false charges, detention for an indefinite period, arbitrary imprisonment, tortured or even killed. To make matters worse, these are legitimised by draconian laws like the UAPA that is now being used to legitimize persecution of Human Rights activists and normalize violations targeted at them. To speak against authoritarianism and anti-people policies are not acts of terrorism but rather a large part of our duty to uphold human rights and commitment to participatory democracy.
The role of the human rights defender is vital. NCHRO believes the work of human rights defenders is essential for the advancement of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, in particular given the current worrying trend of the shrinking space for civil society in our country.
Support for the work of human rights defenders, their protection and the development of an enabling environment for their activities lie at the core of our constitution. NCHRO respects the work of People who, individually or collectively, work peacefully on behalf of others to promote and defend human rights in our country.