Front Line Defenders (FLD) has launched a social media campaign entitled "Olympic Dreams" to raise international public awareness about 15 human rights defenders from different corners of the globe who were subjected to harassment, threats, repression, imprisonment and violence.
The campaign calls upon all participants to roll into action for them and write a letter to the officials and the heads of the National Olympics Committees in the respective home countries of the 15 human rights defenders.
Their names go as follows:
Osman İşçi (Turkey,) Biram Dah Orud Abeid (Moritania,) Yacine Zaid (Algeria,) Roza Tuletaeva (Kazakhstan,) Ajimzan Askarov (Kyrgyzistan,) Gao Zhisheng (China,) Temogen Tulawie (Phillipines,) Juan Vasques (Honduras,) Marianela Sanchez Ortiz (Venezuela,) Alexandre Anderson de Souza (Brazil,) Kahsa Jacqueline Nabagesera (Uganda,) Magodonga Mahlangu (Zimbabwe,) Samar Badawi (Saudi Arabia,) Habiba El Hinai (Oman,) Kavita Srivastava (India.)
The 15 activists have all exhibited great courage and integrity in their work on human rights in different parts of the world, the FLD explained.
"From Temogen Tulawie jailed in The Philippines and Roza Tuletaeva jailed in Kazakhstan to Alexandre Anderson de Souza facing death threats in Brazil and Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera facing death threats in Uganda, the 15 who have been chosen for the campaign face extraordinary challenges in their work defending the human rights of others."
"Working for others by taking personal risks"
"With global attention focused on the incredible talent and commitment of athletes gathered from around the world to compete in a spirit of sportsmanship and fair play, Front Line Defenders also wants to draw attention to other heroes in our societies who work at great personal risk, against seemingly insurmountable odds to secure fundamental rights and freedoms for others," said Mary Lawlor, the executive director of Front Line Defenders at the start of the campaign.
"Just as these athletes could not compete, let alone win, at the Olympics without a substantial support team, so too do human rights defenders need support for their protection in order to achieve," said Adam Shapiro, the FLD's head of campaigns.
"Arrested for his stance on the rights of the Kurdish people"
"Osman İşçi is a trade unionist working to promote and protect freedom of expression and association in Turkey. He has recently been targeted and imprisoned by the authorities for his stance for the full respect for the rights of the Kurdish people," the FLD commented on İşçi.
Authorities took Osman İşçi under custody on June 25 during the operation against the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) in connection with the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trials. They arrested him three days later on June 28. (AS)
*You can join the campaign by clicking here, or by using your Twitter and Facebook accounts.