Tuesday Oct 25, 201105:22 AM GMT
HR defenders main targets of violent attacks
Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:24AM
Hank Flynn, Press TV, UN
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The Observatory's annual report -- entitled "Steadfast in Protest" -- was released on Monday across the globe.

One of this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners -- Tawakkul Karman of Yemen -- was scheduled to speak -- but had to attend the report's release in Washington DC.
Karman continues her work overcoming the US / Saudi - supported Saleh regime in Yemen -- and she left this video statement.

High praise from the first Arab woman to win a Nobel Prize -- but her words on behalf of Human Rights Defenders appear sorely needed.
Here at the UN -- a seat should've been occupied by Ales Bialiatski of Belarus sat empty.

Bialiatski was arrested in August on tax evasion charges and remains imprisoned -- and according to the Observatory's General Secretary -- governments are increasingly using trumped-up charges to silence human rights defenders.

According to the report -- some governments have seen the Arab Spring uprisings and moved to crush any semblance of protest.
Countries such as Saudi Arabia -- Bahrain -- Ethiopia and China are among many listed where free expression is strongly discouraged and human rights defenders are persecuted.

Staberock -- the General-Secretary -- says that the UN General Assembly ought to do a better job of vetting Security Council candidates before they are voted in -- as Kyrgyzstan almost was last week.

The report breaks down attacks of all kinds against human rights defenders in every region and most countries -- and it's in its fourteenth year of publication.

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