In recent years, we have witnessed an increased number of cases of harassment of activists defending the environment in many countries. The reasons are different, but most often, they are linked to the deterioration of the environment, the business of transnational corporations, scrupulous oligarchs or large industries, and a lack of democracy in some governments.
According to the international human rights organization, Global Witness, 197 land and environmental defenders were killed worldwide in 2017, “the deadliest year on record” for activists killed. The situation in Europe and the former Soviet Union is not lethal for the most part, but nevertheless disturbing. Hundreds of people are repressed for their efforts to protect nature or their neighborhoods. Persecution has various forms: blackmail, threats, dismissals, expulsion from jobs and studies, administrative and criminal prosecution, psychological pressure, physical violence, detentions, and arrests. The public authorities sometimes do not advocate for the citizens' right to live in a healthy environment, and defend private commercial interests instead. The cases are rarely properly investigated, and the culprits remain unpunished.
Through this website, we want to express solidarity and support to activists who are dealing with environmental issues and facing persecution. We also want to attract the attention of the public, the media, and international organizations. We believe that speaking openly about serious issues is the first step to solving these problems. Thank you for your contributions, interest, and support.
English subtitles available in the video