More than 300 human rights activists were killed in 2019, 100 of them – in Colombia

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A total of 304 human rights defenders in 31 countries were killed in 2019, the report by Front Line Defenders stated. The activists fought for the environment, free speech, LGBT+ rights and indigenous lands. Two thirds of the murders took place in Latin America, with Colombia emerging as the most dangerous country after 103 were killed in the past year. The Philippines was the second deadliest country with 43 killings, followed by Honduras, Brazil and Mexico. The majority of campaigners who were killed reported about death threats to them personally or to other members of the organizations they represented before they died. Many of them are known to have been harassed, assaulted and libeled. Transgender activists are especially vulnerable due to their heightened visibility, coupled with the factor of gender identity being omitted in anti-discrimination laws of many countries. Although the FLD acknowledges “significant gains” in LGBT+ rights, such as in Botswana, Angola and Taiwan, it found that backlash from existing and new anti-rights and conservative actors had doubled while increasing the level of sophistication in their tactics.

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