Human rights activists attend Dublin conference

Mary Lawlor

Almost 120 human rights activists have arrived in Dublin for a three-day conference where they can share experiences and learn from each other.

The 8th Front Line Defenders Dublin Platform is taking place from 4-6 November in Dublin Castle and has attracted activists from over 101 countries, in which many say they operate under threat of political persecution.

The event was formally opened yesterday by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, speaking via live link from Geneva.

It was also addressed by Charlie Flannagan, Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, and Stavros Lambrindis, the European Union’s special representative for human rights.

Activists who spoke yesterday included Peruvian journalist Cesar Estrada Chuquilin, who said he had faced two attempts on his life in the past month while reporting on human rights violations related to the mining industry in Peru.

Mary Lawlor, executive director of Front Line Defenders told the Irish Independent: “The attempted assassination of Cesar Estrada Chuquilin highlights once again the alarming spread of violent attacks on human rights defenders, especially environmental rights defenders.”

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