Why we continue to defend human rights
Ahead of International Human Rights Day 2023, HRHF has spoken to several human rights defenders from around the Network of Human Rights Houses to ask them about the state of human rights in their countries and why they find it important to continue their work.
Olha Skrypnyk on HRDs recommendations for the upcoming UN Resolution on Crimea
In December 2023, the UN General Assembly will vote for the eighth resolution on the situation of human rights in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Human Rights House Crimea (HRH Crimea) member organisations have submitted recommendations to the resolution. This year, their emphasis is on new trends emerging amid the full-scale Russian aggression. In this interview originally published by HRH Crimea, Olha Skrypnyk, head of the Crimean Human Rights Group and co-coordinator of the Expert Network of the Crimean Platform, gives insight into these proposals and highlights the significance of this resolution and international advocacy efforts.
Shelling and disguises: a human rights defender’s life under Russian occupation
Oksana Tropina is a human rights defender from Kherson. She remained in the city during the Russian occupation from February to November 2022. In this interview, she discusses life and human rights under occupation as well as evacuation.
“On the first morning of the full-scale invasion [of Ukraine], we were all back in the Theatre together at 11 am. It was exactly the right place to be.”
From 29-30 September 2023, the Lesia Ukrainka Theatre visited Oslo to perform at the National Theatre its first play since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as participate in the panel discussion “When Art Rebels”. Human Rights House Foundation (HRHF) spoke to the Theatre’s project manager Viktoria Shvydko to discuss the role of the arts during wartime.
“I have had the privilege of working with so many brave, inspiring and talented human rights defenders in many countries. They have taught me so much.” Ane Tusvik Bonde
Ane Tusvik Bonde joined Amnesty Norway in September 2023 following almost two decades with the Human Rights House Foundation. In this interview, Ane shares her reflections about the significance of the Human Rights House concept, the Network and the power of solidarity.
When I communicate with [political prisoners] and their relatives, I tell them that [legal action] will not significantly affect their immediate situation, but it must be done.
On 24 February 2022, human rights lawyer Serghiy Zayets and his family became internally displaced persons (IDPs) for the second time as a result of the full-scale Russian invasion. They fled Irpin for Western Ukraine, where they still live today. Originally from Crimea, Zayets and his family fled the peninsula in 2014 following the Russian occupation. In this interview with HRHF, Zayets gives insight into his fight for the human rights of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russian custody and the volatile nature of living and working in a war zone.
“Most of all, I miss Ales’ optimism” – Natalia Pinchuk
14 July 2023 marks two years since human rights defender Ales Bialiatski was detained in Belarus alongside his Viasna colleagues Valiantsin Stefanovich and Uladzimir Labkovich. HRHF spoke to Bialiatski’s wife Natalia Pinchuk ahead of the day.
“The most important thing for a political prisoner is to know they are remembered.”
In June 2023, Human Rights House Foundation spoke to prominent human rights lawyer and former political prisoner Intigam Aliyev. We discussed human rights, his experience as a political prisoner, and the situation for his imprisoned colleagues in Belarus.
“We have to help [political prisoners] understand that what they face right now is temporary. That thousands of people are thinking about them.”
In June 2023, Human Rights House Foundation spoke to Anar Mammadli, a prominent Azerbaijani human rights defender, former political prisoner, and the founder of the Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS). We discussed human rights, his experience as a political prisoner, and the situation for his imprisoned colleagues in Belarus.