Five women defending human rights that you need to know about

In the face of discrimination, violence and imprisonment, these extraordinary women are refusing to back down.

Claire Yinguinza. © AI
Claire Yinguinza. © AI

Claire Yinguinza, Central African Republic

In 2013 Claire Yinguinza and her her 19-year-old daughter Nadia were raped in their home in the Central African Republic (CAR) by a group armed men. Nadia became pregnant as a result of the attack and was also infected with HIV – her baby daughter is also HIV positive.

The men responsible are part of CAR’s anti-Balaka group – a ‘self-defence’ militia made up largely of animists and Christians who target Muslims.

Claire has taken the brave step of preparing to take her case to the High Court. Find out how you can stand with Claire and Nadia.

Ni Yulan, China

Ni Yulan was among thousands whose homes were demolished in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Without a permanent place to live herself, Ni Yulan now defends the rights of others forced from their homes by lucrative construction projects.

Pursued by the Chinese Government for nearly 20 years, she has been beaten, harassed, put under surveillance, threatened, evicted and repeatedly arrested for her activism.

Despite all this, Ni Yulan won’t stop defending the rights of others. Call on the Chinese authorities to put a stop to the constant harassment and intimidation of Ni Yulan and her family now.

Hanan Badr el-Din. © Private
Hanan Badr el-Din. © Private

Hanan Badr el-Din, Egypt

Hanan Badr el-Din’s husband disappeared after attending a protest in July 2013. Khalid Mohamed Hafez Ezz el-Din joined hundreds of people who have gone missing at the hands of Egypt’s security forces.

In 2014 Hanan co-founded a group tasked with finding the truth behind Egypt’s disappeared. Her latest attempt to get information about her husband has lead to her arrest and being charged with belonging to a banned group. Hanan’s courage and determination could see her locked up for at least five years.

Join our call on the Egyptian President to drop all charges and free Hanan immediately and unconditionally.

Idil Eser, Turkey

Idil Eser. © AI
Idil Eser. © AI

İdil Eser, Head of Amnesty International Turkey, was one of ten human rights workers arrested in July 2017 as part of a series of government efforts to silence its critics. Since the attempted coup of July 2016, over 150,000 people have been placed under criminal investigation.

İdil and her fellow human rights workers, the Istanbul 10, have dedicated their lives to defending the rights of others in Turkey. Criminalising them leaves everyone vulnerable to the government’s ongoing crackdown on freedoms.

Following a global outcry, İdil and the Istanbul 10 have been released on bail. However, Taner Kılıç, Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, is still in prison and the Istanbul 10 remain at risk.

Tell Turkey to stop persecuting these rights defenders and drop the charges against them.

Shackelia Jackson, Jamaica

In 2014 Shackelia Jackson’s brother, Nakiea, was shot by police while he worked as a cook. According to eyewitnesses, a police officer, searching for an alleged suspect with dreadlocks, stormed into Nakiea’s shop and shot him. Nakiea died from his wounds.

Horrified by her brother’s murder, Shackelia took on the Jamaican court system to fight for justice. Since speaking out, Shackelia and her family have been raided, harassed and intimidated by police but refuse to be silenced. Join our call on the Prime Minister of Jamaica to protect Shackelia and ensure justice for all those killed by police.

Women and girls have fought hard for their human rights over the years – to be educated; to access health care, to own property, to vote, and much more. But, around the world, they continue to face violence and discrimination. Learn more about our women’s rights campaign work.

When courageous people protest, they make the world a better place. We must protect the right to protest wherever it is restricted and whenever it is at risk. Learn more about our right to protest campaign work.

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