2021 Front Line Defenders award for human rights defenders at risk

Front Line Defenders | 24 November 2021

2021 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

The 2021 Front Line Defenders Award Laureates are:

Aminata Fabba, Sierra Leone
Aminata Fabba is the Chair of the Malen Affected Land Owners Association (MALOA), a farmer and a grassroots land rights defender in the southern provincial district of Pujehun. MALOA is a community movement resisting SOCFIN and other biofuel copmanies in Sierra Leone.

With the inception of the large scale land investment in Malen Chiefdom in 2011, Aminata stood against the Chiefdom Authorities to protect her family land; for that she was arrested by police and taken to Sahn, the chiefdom headquarters, and locked in a cell for one week. She was only released with the help of national and international pressure with payment of bail fee. Upon her release she became resolute to continue the fight and eventually became a land rights activist mobilizing support against any occupation of land by the Socfin Agricultural Company (SAC).

Camila Moradia, Brazil
Camila Moradia was born in a place known as Grota, in the group of favelas that make up the Complexo do Alemão. "Cria do morro" as she is born, raised and lives in Alemão. Her family is in its fourth generation in the favela.

In 2010, with the removal of the "Favelinha da Skol", Camila became one of the leaders of the fight for housing in the Alemão complex and started to give voice to 1,300 families. In 2015, based on the actions she was already carrying out and the demands of women who arrived, Camila established the collective, Women in Action in Alemão (MEAA).

MEAA's mission is to end violence against women and contribute to the empowerment of women and their families, thus strengthening their autonomy and guaranteeing their basic rights. More than 400 women are assisted in the Complexo do Alemão, a slum in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro.

Mother Nature Cambodia, Cambodia
Mother Nature Cambodia is an environmental rights movement that advocates and campaigns locally and internationally for the preservation, promotion and protection of Cambodia's natural environment. As part of their work, the movement monitors and challenges gross environmental violations and also raises awareness, educates and empowers people by providing them with training and financial support.

What started as small campaign to empower Indigenous communities to mobilize against a hydroelectric dam has developed into a large movement of human rights defenders – the vast majority young university students – campaigning to protect the environment and expose corruption in Cambodia.

Aleh Hrableuski & Siarhei Drazdouski, Belarus
Siarhei Drazdouski is the Founder and Director of the Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, where Aleh Hrableuski works as a lawyer.

The Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a prominent and leading Belarusian human rights organisation that works for persons with disabilities. The organisation provides legal assistance and facilitates consultations on the rights of people with disabilities, advocates for changes in legislation, conducts research and educational activities to enable citizens to learn more about people with disabilities in Belarus.

In February 2021, the two HRDs were detained and interrogated by the Investigative Committee. After the interrogation Aleh Hrableuski was detained and Siarhei Drazdouski was placed under house arrest.

Mamadou Ba, Portugal
Born in Senegal, and an immigrant to Portugal, Mamadou Ba has dedicated his life to anti-racist activism. He has been member of the SOS Racismo Movement since 1999 and is a founding member of several national and European organisations defending the rights of migrants and racialized people.

Mamadou is one of the most prominent voices of the anti-racist movement in Portugal who has denounced the proliferation of hate speech. As such, he is also one of the preferred targets of attacks by far right and neo-Nazi movements in Portugal.

In the beginning of 2020, Mamadou Ba received a letter with a death threat and one bullet case at his home. In February 2021, an online petition was launched to strip him from his Portuguese citizenship and to deport him from Portugal. And since June, the headquarters of SOS Racismo were vandalised twice with swastikas and racist slurs.

Sami & Sameeha Huraini, Palestine
The South Hebron Hills region is one of the most dangerous areas for Palestinians in the West Bank, with some of the most extremist Israeli settlements located in the area. Sami and Sameeha Huraini and their other activists in the Youth of Sumud movement escort shepherds and school children under threat of attacks by Israeli settlers and soldiers. Sameha also organises activities for women in her village.

As a leader in the community, Sami is frequently harassed by both Israeli settlers and the Israeli military for his peaceful work. He was arrested after his participation in a peaceful demonstration on 8 January 2021. The demonstration was organised to protest against Israeli army violence, particularly after the shooting of the Palestinian activist Harun Abu Aram, on 1 January 2021, who was shot in the neck at point blank range. Sami’s trial is still ongoing. Sameeha has also been detained and has faced judicial harassment for her work defending the rights of her community and the land.
Original source: Front Line Defenders

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