December 10, 2021
John Brady TD commends Human Rights Defenders on Human Rights Day

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD marked the occasion of Human Rights Day, by highlighting the continuing attacks on Human Rights Defenders across the world.

In 2020 alone, some 227 human rights defenders were murdered across the globe, with Colombia emerging as the most dangerous place on the planet for human rights activists.

Teachta Brady said:

“On the 10th December 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This momentous occasion is marked annually on December 10th. The adoption of the UDHR represented a huge milestone in human rights. It sets out the inalienable rights of peoples across the world, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, birth, or status.

“It is one of the most important documents in the world today. But the UDHR must be honoured in deed as well as word. And across the world today human rights activists are under attack.

“Today, Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world for human rights defenders. In India earlier this year we witnessed the death in prison of Fr. Stan Swamy, wrongfully jailed by authorities in India on trumped up charges, since disproven, but ostensibly to remove the aged cleric from his role in standing up for the rights of disadvantaged people.

“We have also witnessed a concerted attack by Israel on Palestinian human rights groups. The decision to designate the six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist groups in October represents a direct attempt to silence the work of the groups in exposing a litany of Israeli human rights abuses.
Two of these groups are directly funded through Irish Aid. Every effort needs to be made to have the designation overturned, and to ensure that funding to the groups continues unhindered.

“The UDHR set out to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of race or creed, yet today in the occupied Palestinian territory we witness an Israeli colonial apartheid policy which segregates Palestinians, which seizes their land and destroys their homes based on their nationality.

“It is time for the international community to invoke the spirit of the UDHR, and to act decisively to once and for all end the illegal actions of the Israeli Government against the Palestinian people.”

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