Natalia bracelet starts being used by human rights defenders in Belgrade

September 27, 2013

Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist from Albania, is one of the human rights defenders included in the Natalia Project.

(Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist from Albania, with Natalia Bracelet)

Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders announced today, 27 September 2013, that Kristi Pinderi, LGBT activist from Albania, will be one of the first human rights defenders to be included in the Natalia Project security system. His bracelet is activated just in time for his participation at Belgrade Pride. ”Behind the bracelet there is an entire system and organisation with people, institutions, and media ready and willing to act in case of an emergency. It is a way for human rights activists not to feel alone and it is definitely the best tool for empowering them. When you are an activists, sometimes you forget about practical details like security, you are driven by your activism and ideals.” stated Kristi Pinderi,

The Belgrade Pride Parade has been beset by violence from extreme right-wing groups ever since the first attempts to organise a march in the beginning of the 1990-s. In 2011 and 2012 Serbian authorities banned the parade in the last-minute, arguing that the police couldn’t guarantee the security of the participants. “The security system goes a long way in enhancing the physical and psychological protection of human rights defenders. A lot of work is being done to educate activists like Kristi, who are equipped with security protocols that can be used for their organisations as well. They learn more about risk assessments and develop a strategy for secure communication and information technology. The goal is to give protection to the human rights defender but also to their entire organisations” says Civil Rights Defenders.

Within the next few weeks two more human rights defenders from the Western Balkans will be included in the Natalia Project. That will make a total of nine participants. The previous six people are all from the North Caucasus. Preparations have started to add defenders from Southeast Asia within the next months. The goal is to expand this number to 55 by the end of 2014.

Read more about the Natalia Project on www.nataliaproject.org

Civil Rights Defenders – Natalia bracelet protects human rights defender during Belgrade Pride.

 

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