Portraits of human rights defenders

Photos hanging at law faculty


“Richard fights for the rights of prisoners in Burundi.” Under the impressive photo of this African human rights defender, with the Servaas Bridge in the background, visitors to the exhibition in the Faculty of Law's Lenculenhal can read Richard's story. Just like those of Nigerian activist Judith (see photo) and journalist Tomy from Honduras, among others.

Within the framework of the Shelter City programme, they were given shelter for three months in one of the ten Dutch Shelter cities over the past few years. The human right defenders fight against the violation of rights and freedoms in their respective countries and that frequently makes them targets of threats. Richard was one of the first guests in Maastricht. He gave lectures, travelled around, participated in meetings, acquired knowledge, and broadened his network.

Photographer Daniella van Bergen depicted ten human rights defenders from the Shelter programme. Some of the photographs, which could previously be seen in Centre Céramique, will be hanging at the law faculty until 25 January.
Nigerian LGBT defender Judith was the last one who set foot on Maastricht soil, which was in Spring 2017. A new guest will most likely arrive in Maastricht by mid-April.

The Shelter City programme is an initiative of Justice and Peace Netherlands. Maastricht became a Shelter City in 2014 and has already taken care of five guests, from Somaliland, Palestine, Kenya, Burundi and Nigeria.

Portraits of human rights defenders
Author: Wendy Degens
Daniella van Bergen
Tags: shelter programme,human rights

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