Experts Ask Protection for Human Rights Defenders

By Prensa Latina,

United Nations : Experts of the UN requested urgent measures for the protection of human rights defenders in Colombia Wednesday, after recent violent actions against activists, union leaders and lawyers.

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In a report presented before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, published here, the group expresses concern for recent events in Colombia indicating a deterioration of the situation of human rights defenders.

According to these UN independent specialists, this year at least 21 murders of union and civil society leaders have occurred.

Also, dozens of threats of death have been reported against activists and defenders on the part of new illegal armed groups.

This escalade confirms the need of the government’s immediate and vigorous reaction to help human rights defenders in Colombia.

More effective and consistent measures to protect the defenders are urgently claimed, as well as efficient investigations and conclusive judicial actions against perpetrators.

Also, the experts request political support for the activists and concrete actions to stop the impunity for crime and violations against the defenders.

The report was prepared by the UN Secretary General’s special representative for the situation of the human rights defenders, Hina Jilani, and the UN special ombudsman on extrajudicial, disciplinary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston.

UN special ombudsman on judges and independent lawyers, Leandro Despouy, also took part in the preparation of the report.