The Criminalization of Rights and Human Rights Defenders as a Means of Repression

Course 4A of the Monique and Roland Weyl People’s Academy of International Law.


Thursday, May 23

9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern, 4 pm UTC

Interpretation available in English, Spanish, French (Arabic, Portuguese upon request)


NOTE: This will be a 3-hour course!

Register Now for Course 4A of the People’s Academy of International Law: The Criminalization of Rights and Human Rights Defenders as a Means of Repression on Thursday, May 23.

Faculty for Course 4A:

  • Edre U. Olalia, chairperson, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Philippines; Transitional President, International Association of Democratic Lawyers
  • Ş. Ceren Uysal, executive board member, Progressive Lawyers Association of Turkey; co-secretary general, European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights
  • Maria LaHood, Deputy Legal Director, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York; founding board member, Palestine Legal
  • Steven Donziger, lawyer and climate activist; helped Amazon communities in Ecuador win $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron (largest environmental judgment in history)

The program will be moderated by Marjorie Cohn, Dean of the People’s Academy of International Law.

The criminalization of dissent, freedom of expression, and human rights advocacy is increasingly used in every region of the world as an effective tool of repression. States routinely criminalize advocacy and rights ostensibly to contain manufactured or real threats from ever widening sources that include possible false flag operations and acts captured by an expanded definition of discrimination and terrorism that includes protesting genocide. In violation of international human rights law, human rights defenders and those resisting war, as well as land and water exploitation, are subjected to unlawful harassment, surveillance, prosecution, disappearance, imprisonment and death. Corporations use SLAPP actions against groups and individuals seeking remedies through the courts. This course will examine the criminalization of human rights defenders as a means of restricting or extinguishing rights, with a particular focus on Palestine, Turkey, Philippines, and Ecuador. It will explain how to use international human rights law and mechanisms to stop, prevent and remedy these abuses that threaten the enjoyment of human rights.

The People’s Academy of International Law, which is sponsored by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, seeks to help progressive and anti-imperialist lawyers and human rights defenders globally to marshal the tools of international law to support people’s struggles. Watch past sessions at the People’s Academy website.

Register to be taught by recognized experts in international law, from UN Special Rapporteurs to legal academics to people’s lawyers with decades of experience using international law and legal mechanisms to protect human rights. This course has an anti-imperialist, people and earth-centered view of international law, designed to support practitioners and movements. Course materials and education will be in English, French, Spanish and potentially other languages.

Register and learn more: 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.