Document Type: Policy Makers Tools

Understanding Death Threats Against Human Rights Defenders

15 June 2021

“Understanding Death Threats Against Human Rights Defenders” is a reflection paper written by Enrique Eguren and Mauricio Angel of Protection International. This paper sheds light on the issue of death threats against human rights defenders (HRDs) and how they impede their right to defend human rights. It is based on an earlier submission to the UNSR on HRDs Mary Lawlor and was presented at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The paper discusses how and why a perpetrator poses a threat to defenders; the gendered impact of death threats, and how they contribute to the repression of HRDs; and the general psychological impact of death threats on HRDs. Finally, the paper suggests a way to analyse death threats and several ways to address the issue.

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