VARANASI: On the eve of Human Rights Day (December 10), a convention of human right defenders was held at Paradkar Bhawan by the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) on Friday.
Addressing the convention, the speakers expressed concern on the increasing threats to human right defenders. The state president of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Chittaranjan Singh, advocated for proper security to human right activists and said the state and democratic forces should come forward for their protection and establish rule of law. The people should be informed about the Human Rights Day and Human Rights Defender's Day to know their rights, he said. Speaking on the occasion, other speakers also pointed out the cases of human rights violation by police. They also condemned the life threat given to PVCHR general secretary Lenin Raghuvanshi.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in its message believes that December 9, which is the day when the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders was adopted by the United Nations on December 9, 1998, be declared as Human Rights Defenders Day to acknowledge and pledge continued support to the human right defenders who are working for the creation and sustenance of a rights aware and rights respecting civil society.
The message of NHRC was also circulated on the occasion. According to NHRC message, the nation as well as international community around the world are increasingly realising and acknowledging the role and contribution of human rights defenders in strengthening the human rights regime throughout the globe. The NHRC considers the human rights defenders as its partners in the endeavour to fulfill its role as an institution for promotion and protection of rights of common man. The NHRC understands that there are many security risks for human rights defenders and they have to tread a very risky and difficult path to perform their tasks. The problems and harassment of the human rights defenders are in the knowledge of the NHRC and it has always made sincere efforts to ameliorate the problems.
The inaugural session was followed by the testimonials of human rights defenders. Many human rights defenders including Duryodhan Reddy from Orissa, Mahatm Mushahar from Jaunpur, Mangala Rajbhar from Varanasi, Mohammed Salim Ansari from Mordabad, Ram Kripal and Muharram Ali from Ambedkar Nagar and Managal Singh from Mahoba were also felicitated on the occasion for their works. The PVCHR will also organise rally and a march at the district headquarters on Saturday on the Human Rights Day.