Posts Tagged ‘Claudia Samayoa’

Important side event on Thursday 21 September 2017: Ending Reprisals

September 19, 2017

organizes on 21 September 2017 an important side event: “Ending Reprisals: Discussion with Human Rights Defenders and Experts”. The purpose of this discussion is to contribute to the critical debate on developing and strengthening procedures to prevent and address reprisals at the UN, ensuring that the voices of defenders are at the front and centre of the discussion.

This panel coincides with the presentation of the Secretary-General’s annual report on Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights (‘the reprisals report’) at the Council’s current session. [for some of my earlier posts on this crucial topic see:]


  • Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
  • Peggy Hicks, Director of Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division, OHCHR
  • Claudia Samayoa (UDEFEGUA), Human Rights Defender from Guatemala
  • Ellecer Carlos (iDEFEND & PAHRA), Human Rights Defender from the Philippines
  • Women human rights defender from Burundi, member of the MFFPS

Moderator:   Tess McEvoy, Legal Counsel, ISHR

(Attendance with UNOG pass only.)

Source: Invitation: Thursday 21 September, 3.00pm – Ending Reprisals: Discussion with Human Rights Defenders and Experts

Guatemalan Human Rights Defenders Unit gets a Human Rights Award from the Guatemala Human Rights Commission

December 5, 2013

The Alice Zachmann Human Rights Defenders Award recognizes an individual, organization or community from Guatemala who has demonstrated a commitment to the defense of human rights through non-violent methods, and for which he/she has been exposed to threats, violence and/or other attacks. The award serves as a means to highlight the struggle of the recipient on an international level and represents a commitment by GHRC to provide ongoing support.

The award giver, the Guatemala Human Rights Commission [GHRC] presented the 2013 Award to the Guatemalan Human Rights Defenders Unit (UDEFEGUA) Read the rest of this entry »

Guatemala Genocide Trial Must Resume, Say Woman Human Rights Leaders

May 2, 2013

A coalition of seven female Nobel Prize winners, including Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum of Guatemala, called April 25 for the trial of former dictator Efraín Rios Montt to proceed. Montt was indicted in January for genocide and crimes against humanity, including widespread rape. The trial in Guatemala City was suspended last week mere days before observers expected it to conclude when a lower court judge on April 18 unexpectedly issued a ruling on a legal technicality. Guatemala’s attorney general has called the ruling illegal. The trial marks the first time a head of state has been tried for genocide by his own country’s justice system. Rios Montt is accused of ordering the killings of over 1,700 Ixil Maya people in 1982 and 1983, when he was army general and de-facto president of Guatemala. Read the rest of this entry »

Guatemalan human rights defender Claudia Samayoa threatened

November 21, 2012

From Front Line Defenders comes the following case: During the week of 12 November 2012, human rights defender Ms Claudia Virginia Samayoa received warnings of an attack being prepared against her, in the latest incident in an ongoing series of threats and defamatory statements targeting her and several other human rights defenders. Claudia Samayoa is the coordinator of the Unidad de Protección de Defensoras y Defensores de Derechos Humanos Guatemala – UDEFEGUA (Human Rights Defenders Protection Unit in Guatemala), who supports the work of human rights defenders in preventing and responding to security risks, through monitoring, verification and advocacy work.On 5 November 2012, she filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights denouncing a statement, then in circulation, in which she and several others were threatened and accused of involvement in terrorist activities and fuelling anti-business hostility. The statement, which is believed to have been delivered at a press conference on 15 October 2012, had reportedly been circulated and forwarded for several days before it came to Claudia Samayoa’s attention on 19 October 2012. The statement originates from the Fundación Contra el Terrorismo (Foundation Against Terrorism), and mentions Claudia Samayoa by name as someone with anti-business and terrorist sympathies. It claims she expressed this by financing “destabilizing organisations” and partaking in a conspiracy with two other civil society figures, who are accused of being ex-guerrillas who took part in the torture and kidnapping of the Foundation Against Terrorism’s director in 1982.

The document goes on to link the human rights defender to a number of recent violent clashes between the military and local populations in which members of the military were injured, and implies that Claudia Samayoa and others were responsible for these events through “incitement”. The last part of the document is a direct call on state authorities and the armed forces alike to ensure that all those it deems complicit in “political trials” against the military be held responsible and forced to pay for having attempted to change history. During the week of 12 November 2012, both Claudia Samayoa and a member of the Human Rights office of the Archbishop of Guatemala received warnings of an attack being prepared on their lives.  Threats have been issued against UDEFEGUA in the past and on one occasion in February 2010, Claudia Samayoa’s car was tampered with in an attempt to cause an accident. Front Line Defenders issued an urgent appeal on the threats against the organisation on 10 March 2010 . As a result of the threats, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights considered it necessary to provide Claudia Samayoa and other members of UDEFEGUA with protection measures.