WARNING: DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH

Pablo Arenales, (CREDHOS) from the Regional Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and Ana Rueda, (OFP) from The Popular Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rightss Organisation, live in a place where simply working for justice and development can lead to threats, intimidation and even death. They will be speaking about the threats and fears, that is an everyday reality for them, as a result of their work.

The talks will take place at:-

- Saturday 13th October, Salisbury meeting – for details please contact Jonathan Plows on 01722 331647 or by e-mail jonplows@aol.com

- Monday 15th October, 7pm, At Friends Meeting House, 173 Euston Road, Opposite Euston Station and near Euston Square tube. Contact: Farshid 020 – 7417 – 6363.

- Thursday 18th October, 7pm, Student Union Building, University College London (UCL), Gower Street. Nearest Tubes Euston Square/ Warren St. Contact: Farshid 020 – 7417 – 6363.

- Friday 19th October, Brighton meeting – Friends House Meeting. For details please contact Chris Manley on 01903 233 991 or by e-mail at chrismanley@vtis.com or Sarah Birch on 01273 814 366 or by e-mail at sarabirch50@hotmail.com

'This will be a great opportunity to meet the very people who work at the grassroots level in Colombia to defend and promote human rights,' said Amnesty International UK, Christian Aid and Peace Brigades International UK. 'It is hoped that the tour will enable other human rights activists from Colombia to publicise their work in promoting and protecting human rights and to seek international solidarity and protection measures.'

The collaboration of these organisations highlights the importance they attach to the situation in Colombia and the need to raise awareness of human rights and the increasing tensions in the region. The tour hopes to compel the British, European and Colombian governments to take decisive action to ensure the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law. This is essential to guarantee a peaceful solution to the conflict. The tour intends to bring the work Amnesty International, Christian Aid and Peace Brigades International carry out in the defence and promotion of human rights to a wider audience and build up vital help and support.

It is hoped that awareness of the event can be raised so as to allow human rights organisations and other NGOs to carry out their activities without the fear of intimidation and violence. The tour will show people the incredible work people are doing to defend and promote human rights. Support for this event is called for to show solidarity with those who risk their lives everyday in their efforts to defend and protect human rights.

BACKGROUND The importance of the international community in the region was highlighted by Osiris Bayther, ex-president of CREDHOS, who said, 'the death sentences against each and every one of us have not been carried because we are not alone'. For some, the situation in Colombia is an everyday nightmare. Ms Becerra heads the OFP, a group that provides food, health services, job training and legal aid through ‘Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's houses' in the working class neighbourhoods of Barrancabermeja. She is regularly reminded that she is a military target, as the OFP face some of the worst of the paramilitaries campaigns.

Testament to the effectiveness of the international community was succinctly made by Nicholas Coghlan, Advisor, Canadian Embassy in Colombia 'I have no doubt at all that you are saving lives and that you are giving critical support to Colombian NGOs who are fighting for a better and fairer Colombia. I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the whole diplomatic community supports this work'.

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