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No one should be killed for fighting for basic Human Rights: Amnesty International

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
24 March 2024 | 15:41 CAT

Time to realise that a safe environment is a human right. Image/ Amnesty International

No one should be killed for fighting for their basic human rights, Amnesty International South Africa said on National Human Rights Day. The organisation is clear that no individual should ever be subjected to harm or death for standing up for their basic rights.

In an interview with Radio Islam International, Amnesty International South African campaigner Cassandra Dorasamy highlighted the importance of protecting those who advocate for human rights.

Reflecting, South Africa still has many human rights issues; 30 years post-apartheid, we have problems with water, sanitation, gender-based violence and a longer list, Dorosamy pointed out.

She explains, “Behind each of these struggles for human rights are a group of people who carry the fight. In the defence of human rights, it is important to defend the defenders.”

An example of this has been the harassment and killings of Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) activists. Amnesty International has put its might behind the grassroots movement; AbM fights for land dignity and housing.

Amnesty International South Africa has also campaigned for justice for Fikile Ntshangase and the protection of Nonhle Mbuthuma and continues to call for the protection of all HRDs.

South Africa will be celebrating 30 years since the end of apartheid next month. Still, people are being assassinated and murdered for standing up for what they believe in, fighting for basic services, or speaking out against corruption.

There is an urgent need for legislative measures to safeguard the lives of human rights defenders.

Amnesty International South Africa is calling on the government to uphold its obligations under international law to protect human rights defenders and ensure their safety, and urge all living in South Africa to stand in solidarity with human rights defenders and demand an end to violence and impunity.

Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam International with Muallimah Annisa Essack.

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