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May Advocate 2017

400 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 3 M A Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE respect, protect and fulfill the right of all persons to participate in public affairs by engaging in criticism, opposition and dissent”. An extraordinarily rich resource, The Right to Dissent is also available free on LRWC’s website. Its copyright notice (online and hard copy) encourages the reader to “copy, distribute and display this work and to make derivative works” if credit is given and changes are acknowledged. LRWC works every year with hundreds of human rights defenders and NGOs around the world. Indeed, part of LRWC’s mandate is to cooperate with other organizations, promoting cooperation between NGOs that used to hoard resources. This cooperation itself helps to produce a work product that is better and more widely distributed than a small entity could otherwise achieve. The cooperative nature of LRWC’s work allows it, though a relatively small organization (of unusually dedicated people working pro bono), to have a large and effective impact. Human rights defenders in danger describe LRWC interventions as necessary to ensure safety and achieve greater justice. While it is difficult to know with certainty how much success LRWC can claim for any given outcome, and of course results vary, what can be said is that the following positive developments occurred in the past year after earlier LRWC interventions: release of lawyers and other human rights defenders from custody (Bahrain, China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey); stay of sedition charges against lawyers (Malaysia); attackers (army personnel) of land rights defenders convicted (Thailand); acquittal of human rights defender (Thailand); charges against lawyer rejected (U.S.); sentences against human rights defender suspended (Bahrain, Thailand); investigations re-opened into shooting death of prosecutor (Argentina); murder investigation opened in death of a human rights defender (Guatemala); commission of inquiry continued in relation to the murder of lawyers (Pakistan); repressive amendments of a UN Human Rights Council resolution on human rights defeated (Geneva); model law to recognize and protect human rights defenders completed and released (global); recommendations adopted (UPR/Thailand); allowance by court of exhumation of bodies of Franco-era victims (Spain); charges withdrawn (Thailand). Detailed accounts of sample files such as these may be presented in future “news from LRWC” pieces, but in the meantime, those interested should consult the LRWC website or its newsletter, both rich with detail. Largely excluded from this article are the names of our authors, speakers, members, board members, executives, monitors, advocates and bottlewashers, all of whom are volunteers. Mentioning some would omit others equally worthy or perhaps even more worthy of mention. The point is that


May Advocate 2017
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