Front Line Defenders has launched the ‘Set Them Free’ campaign to shine a light on the fate of 11 human rights activists suffering long-term imprisonment for what the group has called "their legitimate work defending and advancing the rights of their communities".
The group says the human rights activists are challenging authoritarian and unjust governments.
“Governments wish to silence these human rights defenders because their words of freedom, of justice are powerful and are a direct challenge to the corrupt, the autocratic and the oppressive." said Andrew Anderson, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders.
"But even jail cells cannot silence the calls for justice and human rights. Front Line Defenders will continue to make the liberation of human rights defenders from imprisonment a priority in its work and will continue to campaign for the freedom of those HRDs who are locked away.”
The prisoners are: Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja (Bahrain), Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran), Azimjan Askarov (Azerbaijan), Ateena Daemi (Iran), Ihlam Tohti (China), Germain Rukuki (Burundi), Pablo López Alavéz (Mexico), Mohamed Al-Roken (UAE), Narges Mohammadi (Iran), Tran Thi Nga (Vietnam) and Dawit Ishak (Eritrea)