The ethos of Protection International (PI) is centred around human rights defenders (HRDs) and their right to defend human rights. During election season, the right to defend human rights refers to the right to freedom of expression, the right to vote, the right to free and fair elections within a democratic society and for the upholding of the rule of law and the will of the people. Presidential and legislative democratic elections will take place in several countries where we operate in 2022 and 2023, and PI is concerned about the disregard for human rights and incidences of harassment against people who promote and protect human rights during elections. PI condemns any form of violence, including acts of intimidation, attacks and extra-judicial killings of HRDs.
Protection International’s statement on democratic elections includes an explanation about the importance of protecting the right to defend human rights during electoral processes, the critical role that HRDs play in ensuring the realisation of democratic values, and recommendations to key stakeholders on how to uphold the right to defend human rights during this critical time.