Minister Kitt to make Human Rights Defenders a priority of Irish EU Presidency

(A Press Release Issued By Frontline)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 29, 2003

The Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights today welcomed two human rights defenders, Aloysius Toe and Raihana Diani, to Iveagh House in Dublin.

Minister Kitt has taken a particular interest in the case of Aloysius Toe, who recently escaped by boat from Liberia, and had made representations on his behalf.

Raihana Diani was recently imprisoned as a result of her work on behalf of women in the conflict zone of Aceh, Indonesia.

The Minister emphasised the Irish government’s support of Front Line and its role in protecting Human Rights Defenders around the world.

"Promoting the work of Human Rights Defenders such as Aloysius and Raihana will be a priority of the Irish Presidency of the European Union," he said.

Both Aloysius Toe and Raihana Diani are in Dublin to attend the second Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders, which will take place at Dublin Castle on September 10, 11 & 12th. Over 100 Human Rights Defenders from more than 70 countries will attend the conference.

Front Line is an Irish-based, independent and impartial body that supports human rights defenders in their activities and tries to ensure that they come to no physical or mental harm because of their work in helping to build a civil and just society. Front Line regards a human rights defender as a person who works non-violently for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.