“I NEVER IMAGINED THAT…TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING COULD MEAN WALKING THE LINE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH… MANY TIMES I’VE FELT AS THOUGH FEAR HAS SOAKED THROUGH TO MY BONES, BUT THE FEELING OF RESPONSIBILITY IS STRONGER”
Dina Meza, Honduran journalist, human rights defender and member of the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared (COFADEH)
The Amnesty International Report 2013 documents the state of human rights during 2012. The Essay and the country-by-country survey of 159 individual countries and territories set out a global overview of human rights violations and abuses inflicted by those in power on those who stand in the way of their vested interests.
Human rights defenders, often themselves living in precarious situations, battled to break through the walls of silence and secrecy to challenge abusers. Through the courts, in the streets and online, they fought for their right to freedom of expression, their right to freedom from discrimination and their right to justice. Some paid a heavy price. In many countries, they faced vilification, imprisonment or violence. While governments paid lip service to their commitment to human rights, they continued to use national security and concerns about public security to justify violating those rights.
This report bears witness to the steadfast and rising clamour for justice. Regardless of frontiers and in defiance of the formidable forces ranged against them, women and men in every region stood up to demand respect for their rights and to proclaim their solidarity with fellow human beings facing repression, discrimination, violence and injustice. Their actions and words show that the human rights movement is growing ever strong and more deep-rooted, and that the hope it inspires in millions is a powerful force for change.