5 Human Rights Activists that the World is to Behold this Year

19 May 2017

By: Amnesty Intentional Thailand


“Human rights activists” can be anyone, from correspondents to attorneys, lecturers, labor unions, activists, farmers and even ordinary people. What is takes is only to come out, protect and advocate human rights in the community, regional, national or even international level without using or supporting hatred, discrimination and any form of violence.

The following are five outstanding examples of brave human rights activists who need support from you this year.





Sakris Kupila, a Transgender Human Rights Activist - Finland

Brave to be Herself 


According to the Finnish law, infants are identified by gender at birth which cannot be changed according to sexual orientation unless such individuals are diagnosed with mental illness or are sterilized. Sakris is a transgender activist whose gender transformation is denied by law, as she did not want to be diagnosed with mental illness or be sterilized. That was the beginning for her to come out and advocate for transgender rights, as well as educating the LGBT+. She was threatened and intimidated for her peaceful actions which caused her to take a break from school for one year.



Thep Wannee, a Community Activist – Cambodia

Brave to Renounce Her Freedom to Protect Her Community


It has been almost 10 years since Thep Wannee and members of Rim Ta Le Sap Bueng Kok Community in Phnom Penh have been making movement for rights in their community. Thep’s work is to support activists in communities at risk of eviction. She has become the symbol of peaceful movement in Cambodia. Meanwhile, she has been threatened by influential people and faced with intimidation, attack, arrest and arbitrary detention only because she has exercised her freedom of expression in peaceful assembly.




Azza Solima, an Women’s Rights Defender – Egypt

Brave to Stand up to Protect Women’s Rights


Azza is a lawyer, women’s rights defender and co-founder of the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance (CEWLA) and Lawyer for Peace and Justice Organization. In addition, she helps and educates women who are victims of violence by being a women’s rights defender which caused her to face threats from the Egyptian authorities and press many times. At present, she has been prosecuted with three cases and her freedom to travel has been restricted. In addition, her personal assets have been confiscated. If she is proven guilty, she might be liable to up to 15 years of imprisonment.



Rodrigo Mundaca, an Environment Rights Defenders – Chile

Brave to Stand up for What is Right


Rodrigo is a member and spokesperson for the Chilean environmental activist group. They expose politicians and companies who use their influence to violate the right to access to water resources of rural people. Rodrigo criticized these politicians and companies openly. As a result, he was prosecuted for criminal cases. Moreover, he has continuously been threatened and attacked in various ways, especially in March 2015. Rodrigo and his teammates were assaulted and injured, and until now no offender has been arrested.




Sirikarn (June) Charoensiri, a Human Rights Lawyer – Thailand

Brave to Carry out Her Duties


For Thailand, many human rights defenders face various types of attacks, whether threats, arbitrary detention, criminal prosecution and slander. One of the victims is Lawyer June


Lawyer June is a human rights lawyer in Thailand who provides legal assistance to clients who have been prosecuted for exercising human rights in a peaceful manner. Being a lawyer for activists who have opinions different from those of the Thai officials, she has also been charged in a criminal case. What happens, in addition to limiting her role of attorney, is to stimulate an atmosphere of panic towards the human rights movement in Thai society as a whole.



Because human rights defenders are the "brave" who stand up for rights, on the day that they are threatened it is time for us to show support for their bravery to encourage them work safely for a better society. You have the power of courage in yourself.




Be brave to use it.