The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has a history of supporting campaigners, writers, and persecuted individuals. Most famously we campaigned and supported Bangaldeshi writer Taslima Nasrin after she was exiled from her home country and faced serious threats to her life. In 2014 we worked to free Mubarak Bala, an atheist wrongfully detained in a psychiatric hospital for expressing his atheism. Most recently the Human Rights Defence fund was used to provide security to threatened humanists in Uganda.
In recent years, the IHEU has seen a significant rise in persecution against the non-religious, as detailed in our Freedom of Thought Report. In particular across much of the Islamic world, atheism, secularism and humanism are suppressed by religious taboo, as well as laws against “apostasy”, “blasphemy”, or “insulting” religion or political leaders. Individuals frequently face threats, harassment or prosecution for non-conformity, including advocating the human rights of others. In Bangladesh several atheist bloggers and humanists have been murdered in the streets for their expressing their views, including Avijit Roy and Washiqur Rahman in 2015.
We need to be able to respond decisively to new threats. The IHEU is a UN ECOSOC-accredited non-government organization with years of experience in human rights advocacy; we are a democratic organization, accountable to Member Organizations around the world, and we have the contacts and the expertise to assess and support individuals as needs require.
Your gift to the Human Rights Defence fund will enable us to support human rights defenders, advocates, and other secular or humanist individuals under threat.
For example your gift could pay for:
- Transport, for example to a country where a persecuted individuals must seek asylum
- Providing safe havens and other support costs
- Security needs, for example when there is a direct, credible and verified threat to someone’s life
- Necessary legal costs, such as defending a campaigner against a false accusations
This fund can make all the difference. All donations via the link below are reserved for the Human Rights Defence Fund and are used exclusively to support human rights defenders and for the security of other individuals under direct threat.
IHEU is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization incorporated in New York, USA. And registered in England, number FC020642.