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Carter Center Slideshow | Love + Solidarity > Fear

One hundred human rights defenders from around the world met at The Carter Center in May 2017 to teach, learn from, network with, and encourage one another under the theme "Freedom from Fear: Securing Rights in Challenging Times." At the closing session of the forum, they issued a unified statement, excerpts of which accompany the following images.

  • "Women human rights defenders remain under intense attack, and we are vilified, isolated and stigmatized for our work; but we will not be deterred. We will challenge and overcome the weapon of fear."
    Pictured, from left: Jedidah Wakonyo Waruhiu, commissioner, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Kenya; Ruth Mumbi, founder and national coordinator, Bunge La Wamama, Kenya; Sister Denise Mbuilu, activist, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Julienne Lusenge, president, Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development, Democratic Republic of Congo. (All photos: The Carter Center/M. Schwarz)

  • "Our struggle for freedom is a long one, and we must recognize that none are safe when hard-won basic human rights are unraveling all around us."
    Pictured: Yulia Gorbunova, researcher, Human Rights Watch, Russia.

  • "We must redouble our commitment to the principles adopted nearly 70 years ago in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
    Pictured: Musa Mahmodi, executive director, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

  • "Religion can be a potent force for good or for ill. Working with religious leaders and communities who share our vision is more urgent than ever."
    Pictured: Ella Musu Coleman, assistant secretary general for social services, National Traditional Council of Liberia.

  • "We work for the benefit of all—for victims of state abuse and for society at large. We refuse to give in to the imagined fears and false truths that have enabled the rise of authoritarianism."
    Pictured: Nighat Dad, executive director, Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan.

  • "We need to find new alliances, including those which might be difficult for us to achieve; we need to be more imaginative than ever before."
    Pictured: Rostin Nkwahata Manketa, executive director, Voice of the Voiceless for Human Rights, Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • "We resolve to break the fear by staying engaged and connected."
    Pictured from left: Stefánia Kapronczay, executive director, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Hungary; Hadar Harris, founding director, RightsDefense Project, United States.